After having lived in Senegal on three different occasions for the past five years, we have never been to Reserve de Bandia, until now! We are already planning another trip and regret not having visited sooner.
We spent the weekend in a wonderful house in Mbour / Saly and drove to Reserve de Bandia early on Saturday morning to check out the animals. We had heard that a visit to the park is well worth it and we were definitely not disappointed.
The park is situated 64 km outside of Dakar, just 18 km from Mbour. It is open between 8:00 and 18:00, but the best time to visit is in the morning or afternoon. Other times it can be too hot for the animals and they just lie in the shade.
A visit is 12.000 cfa for an adult and 7000 cfa for a child. You either rent a vehicle for 40.000 – 60.000 cfa at the park or bring your own for 10.000 cfa. It is obligatory to rent a guide for 6500 cfa, but also necessary I would say. We got an excellent guide, not only did he have excellent knowledge of the animals, the park and connected his stories to Senegal and Senegalese culture. But he was also a real comedian and kept us smiling throughout the trip with his jokes in English and French.
It was a pleasure to see how well fed and relaxed the animals in the park are. They are obviously well taken care off. We were so lucky to see all the animals up close. Close enough for us to see them well, but far away enough for them to still seem comfortable.
The slopes in the park are about 50 km long. When you have spent your 2 – 3 hours animal watching, you can eat at their restaurant and the children can play before leaving.
We would say that a visit to Reserve de Bandia is an essential part of every trip to Senegal. You get to see the beautiful Senegalese countryside, the amazing large African animals, mesmerizing baobab trees and hear interesting stories about Senegal.