Geography: Senegal

So because we have Rodney Duttweiller as this week's church mission speaker on Sunday School as well as dinner this Saturday (tomorrow), I figure I'll look up the countries he's supposed to have served in, Senegal and South Africa, before I see the whole team at dinner. I'm not a big fan of American missionaries these days, but it is what it is, how else would I connect with anyone in America?

Looks like a face with long nose (Pointe des Almadies on Cap Vert Peninsula - advantage for trade routes) and a mouth (The small country Gambia - river to ocean).

14 regions. 70% population on West side.

Capital: Dakar

Most important port on Pointe des Almadies: Port of Dakar

Was French colony. St. Louis used to be the capital for 200+ years, and also was the entire French West-African Colony capital (1895 - 1902).

Independence: 1960

Port of Dakar was main Atlantic slave transport location. Goree Island, a tourist site now.

Relationships with:
Mali - 1959, Mali Federation for 1 year.
Gambia - 1982, 7 years later done.

Tour sites:
Ifan African Arts Museum
Gate of no return on the slave house of Goree island
Women's museum (Henriette Bathily)
Cap Manuel's Abandoned Bunker
Museum of Black Civilizations (Dakar)
Senegal Stone Circles
Mosquee Massalikul Jinaan (Pathways unto Heaven)
Grande Mosquee de Touba
Grande Mosquee de Dakar
Mosquee de la Divinite
African Renaissance Monument (Largest statue in Africa) built by North Korea, who also built multiple such monuments (20+) around Africa.

Senegal name comes from the Senegal River. Wolof words: Snuu Gaal" = our boat. The transition line between Sahara desert and savannah.

North most part: Sahel - hottest, driest part.
Middle, above Gambia: Sudanian Savannah, green.
South most part: Guinea Lowlands, tropical green.

No significant mountains. Situated in the basins of 4 main rivers: Saloum, Gambia River, Casamance (most Christians), Senegal River. Rivers however are blocked at Barbarie Spit, the sand bar beach by the coast, and water could only exit: town of Tassinere.

Pink lake: Lake Retba/Lac Rose
Lac Guiers: main source of water, even for Dakar.

Suffers sand storm Harmattan in the North every year during dry season: Dec - April. Resulting in the Green Wall Project, barrier of trees from Senegal to Djibouti.

Agriculture is main industry: Peanuts, 10th largest producer in the world.

Niololo Koba National Park in the South East
National animal: lion

Food: Fish, seafood => Fadiouth shell island, entire island made of sea shells.
Yassa, Maafe, Stuffed Perch (Capitaine a la Saint-Louisienne), Thiakry (sweet millet pudding), Bassi-salte, Soupou Kandja, Nems spring rolls (influenced from Vietnam), National dish (Thiebou dienne/thebou Yap (Jolof rice - popular in all West African countries with their own versions) - Jolof Kingdom originated in Senegal.

Teranga - most tolerating hospitality. Shown between Muslims and Christians, though majority is Muslim.

16 million people, 20 ethnic groups, 40 languages: French = Official language, but Wolof is the common one.
People: 41% Wolof, 18% Fula/Peul, 16% Serer, 14% Mandinka, etc. Most Asians there are Vietnamese.

Religion: 95% Muslim, rest is mostly Christian.
Sunni/Sufi Maliki school of thought, like most North Africa.
Grand Mosque of Touba, pilgrimage known as Grand Magal, celebrating the teaching of Sheikh Amadou Banmba.

Wolof & Serer are descended from ancient kingdoms. Serer and Fula people joke with each other as each's servants.

Their kind of pattern cloth: Seurou Rabal

Darkest skin tone on Earth.

Sadio Mane, most famous African football player.

Laamb/Lutte avec Frappe (Wrestling with hitting) most famous sport: Objective - have opponent's knees, shoulder or back touch the sands, or pushed out of given area. Attract foreigners.

Thiossane (history tradition & culture)

25% 4 wives, islamic law.

Borom Sarret (The Wagoner) 1963, first film made by Black African, a Senegalese: Ousmane Sembène

Musical style: Mbalax (French African mix)


  • Neolithic Senegambia Period
  • Ghana Empire (~500 AD)
  • Migration of Wolof Serer and other people groups
  • Berber Almoravids come in introduce Islam
  • Arab slave trade begins
  • Mali Empire
  • Songhai Empire
  • Portuguese Dinis Dias lands in the Senegal River
  • Dutch take over Goree Island
  • French and British come to take Senegal & Gambia
  • Atlantic Slave Trade
  • France gives privilege to 4 communes
  • Independence from France
  • Quick Mali Federation
  • Portuguese Military Drama in Guinea Bissau in the 70s
  • 1981 New President Abdou Diouf, first peaceful transition of elected official
  • Senegambia Union for 7 yaers
  • Casamance Drama
  • Tourism became major investment


Vietnam, Lebanon (Shiite community in Senegal, made Shuwarma famous in the country), France (frenemy - the bad past, but works well together now), close with Guinea (marriages), Mali (shares lots of culture), closest is Gambia = literally the same people except Gambia colonized by UK.

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