Gorée Island: memories of a time of slavery

Gorée Island: memories of a time of slavery

This beautiful island—with colonial buildings of all colours, a history museum, local artists, and great views—is just a 15-minute ferry ride away from the city centre of Dakar.

Just across from Dakar, history awaits you at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The second you catch a glimpse of the island, you'll see the many colonial buildings lining the shores on an island that was among the first to be inhabited by Europeans in the 15th century. The famous House of Slaves, the last slave-trading centre on Gorée, is now a memorial, with cramped cells that will provide you with a poignant idea of the living conditions imposed upon the captives. If you are in an adventurous mood after your visit, wander down the narrow streets of the island. You will see an African village up close, with mothers washing clothes in plastic tubs or selling fruit to passers-by, fathers in their work clothes, and children dressed up in school uniforms.

Look up at the flowering bougainvillea draped over the walls of the houses, and consider the elaborate balconies and facades of all colors. Come up to the highest point of the island to get the best view of Dakar and to see the expressive art of the Senegalese artists of today.

Gorée Island