2011 March 3 Entered Senegal Left Ivory Coast
I took a Kenya Airways flight from Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire to Dakar, Senegal for 375 Dollars yesterday. Travelocity, Kayak and all the airlines including Kenya Airways has the online purchasing of airline tickets blocked inside Cote d’Ivoire at the IP address I was using. I was lucky, I have a friend Mark that is highly intelligent, and trustworthy, I sent him my credit card information, etc, and he purchased the ticket in my name from New York State allowing me to get a cheap price, and not pay West African gouge the local prices. (Poor people, and the airlines stick it to them.)
Location of Senegal Map on Planet Earth. I am now in WEST - West Africa
Dakar / Yoff / Senegal, West-West Africa --- Friday, March 4, 2011
Free Entry - No Visa Needed is why I came to Senegal
I wanted to go to Liberia, but getting a Visa was complicated in Abidjan quickly, and had become dangerous. I will get that Visa in Senegal or one of the other small countries in the West-West Africa part of Africa.
The huge draw, and the reason many tourist come to Senegal is because they give people from the USA and I believe most Europeans a Visa on arrival. This word "visa" makes no sense, truly there is no visa, they just stamp the passport and you can enter. The word visa makes no sense in many way, it infers there is an application, than an acceptance is needed. An American is almost guaranteed acceptance into Senegal, they just stamp your passport the same as if you was entering Europe. Everyone must fill out an entry form, this is not an application, it is an entry form, the countries that need a Visa must fill out a different application.
What you need to ask the ever-too-stupid travel agents is,
"Can I just fly to the country and enter, or do I need to apply before I leave?"
-- Then learn how to fake an onward ticket, if you are not buying a round trip fare.
I am not sure how long I can stay in Senegal, I asked the man at the gate when leaving immigration, he said you entered, you can stay. Senegal speaks bad French, I could not get a clear answer, I am still not sure how long I can stay.
Togo is the only other easy to enter West Africa Visa-Country, but they only give you a seven day on arrival, and it cost money I believe. Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire all make life difficult, and Ghana is the worst to deal with for Visas. I got one year for Cote d’Ivoire, and Mali and Burkina Faso gave me two years. Niger is forever corrupt, it is a lottery as to what is needed, they denied me my Visa Entente, and made me pay twice.
I am in WEST-West Africa it is difficult to get to West Africa from this part of West Africa, there are natural and political boundaries.
I like Benin, and there is an outside possibility you can get a Visa on arrival, but the Cotonou, Benin Airport is expensive. I would love to talk to the Tourism departments of African and spank their butts. (Tthey have their head up them, so no way to talk… hehehe)
Map of Senegal
Dakar Hotels explained Honestly by Lonely Planet
"BudgetCity of Yoff explained by Lonely Planet
There's hardly such a thing as a budget Hotel in Dakar. The cheapest places are usually brothels with a sure chance of theft."- Lonely Planet Senegal
"You can get a nicely furnished room here for the price of one in a downtown brothel/hotel."- Lonely Planet Senegal
Honest explanations is the reason to buy a paper guidebook, and not book online. (Note, your son just came to a place with a lot of brothels, I left a country full of nice girls.)
The internet punishes people for being honest, it is extremely difficult to explain honestly without having severe problems on an Internet page.
So far, Senegal feels like Niger, West Africa, rather poor and dusty, there are tons of women here and it is Islamic, this so far is weird. The guidebook is for sure labeling Senegal a party capital, how you make an Islamic country into a party capital still baffles me. Dubai is a party capital also. Senegal is highly overpriced, but has all the Western products for sale, so maybe easier to pretend we are in America or Europe.
Dubai imports Philippine, Thai, Ghana, Ivory Coast women to service groups of tourist on vacation there. There is always a work around situation for religions, some loophole that allows a person to save religious face.
Generally, people want to live like at home and pretend they are in another country, this is how a Five Star Hotel thrives. Senegal is serving up a Western Platter wrapped in something closer to Europe, funny stuff, go to Africa and avoid Africa is on the plate.
I believe BBC that purchased Lonely Planet will soon edit out the honesty, and it will indeed become a more lonely planet to travel.
Ivory Coast Story
I want to stop thinking about the violence there for a day, I will try to explain soon, sorry.
2011 March 3 Entered Senegal Left Ivory Coast
Good you are out from the danger zone. Yoff is actually a surfer paradise, and Senegal a well known tourist area for Europeans with money, Club Med and Club Aldiana. Others are there too, but this is the top. Marokko, Senegal, Kenia and South Africa (plus Namibia) are the only ones I know easy for tourist travel. Tunis was, I don't know how it is just now there.
Take a break for a week, play tourist. Cools the nerves down.
I have traveld to Senegal may times and want to return the beginning of June. Can you recommend any affordable flights or sites for travel from NYC-Dakar?