The unique style of Campement Essamaye’s traditional impluvium house mimics buildings in the owner’s native Casamance region. The campement has ten comfortable rooms around a central courtyard (communal toilet/shower block) and plenty of space for tent-camping. Closer to Mar Fafako than Mar Lodj, you’re more likely to run into locals than other tourists (if anyone at all), giving a very authentic feel to your visit. Excursions can be organized (hiking, kayaking, fishing) and the adventurous might even find themselves persuaded to book an extended tour down to the Casamance with the owner, Xavier Diatta.
The rooms at auberge Le Limboko are tidy, basic and comfortable. In any case you’ll be enticed to spend most of your time in the campement’s airy two-storied common room and restaurant/bar. Built with shells and local materials where possible, the beautifully painted space provides the ideal setting to watch stunning sunsets over the mangrove-lined channels of the Saloum delta. The staff at the auberge Le Limboko are friendly and welcoming, and Limboko’s owner, Amadou “Thomas” Alpha Ba, a knowledgeable former guide, is multilingual and can chat easily in English and German.
With views across the expanse of the Saloum River, Cap Marignane is the perfect place to launch your exploration of the delta (on fishing tours or kayaking, perhaps) as well as a refreshing sanctuary to return to afterwards. A number of lovely rooms, some accessible by low wooden bridges over a crowd of submerged crab holes, are a calm respite from the sun and surf. Enjoy a drink beachside before heading to the restaurant, a colorfully painted and airy spot where you’ll taste delicious local cuisine.
The usual straw-hut campement gets a French touch at Kooniguy, giving this place an aura of class and luxury. From the beautifully manicured grounds surrounding the enticing pool, you can take in the lovely delta view and relax in Kooniguy’s exclusivity. Not to miss here is the food: deliciously indulgent, taking local ingredients to a refined and gourmet level.
Set on the far southern arms of the island, Hakuna Matata is the fisherman’s paradise in a fisherman’s paradise. The spacious grounds are the ideal embarkation point for excellent fishing throughout the delta. Here you’ll find private huts and communal shower blocks; the inviting bar and restaurant offer a great meeting place among the campement’s vast grounds.
The Nouvelle Vague offers a warm family ambiance in a setting great for small groups with service that’s hard to find elsewhere in Senegal. The accommodations are private straw-roof huts, offering tropical comfort and views of the delta from the terrace. Lagoon and ocean-fishing excursions are available. Locally-owned.
On Bazouk’s lush grounds, a sense of quiet and privacy reigns. With a number of individual bungalows opening right onto the water, you’ll feel like the delta flows before you for your private enjoyment. A few different-sized options (huts and bungalows) are available.
The family atmosphere at Mbind Jamm compliments the simplicity of the campement and highlights the hospitality Sérères are known for. Enjoy the dining area right on the water, where you can watch the ebb and flow of inter-island pirogue transit and fishing boats.
Mar Lodj (also spelled Mar Lothie) is the name of an island in the Saloum delta, as well as the largest village on the island. Peacefully protected near the mouth of the Sine-Saloum delta, half a day’s drive and a short pirogue ride from the commotion and noise of Dakar, the island of Mar Lodj is a calm and refreshing sanctuary. The local population, the perennially friendly and laidback Sérères, live in the island’s three villages of Mar Lodj, Mar Soulou, and Mar Fafaco, as well as on the quaint island-within-an-island of Mar Wandié. Mar Lodj, the largest, has a population of about 2000 and is the only village on the island to be predominantly Catholic. Some ten campements and lodges spread along the island’s beaches provide a range of accommodations.