Between the Sahara and the Atlantic, between primitiveness and civilization – this is about West Africa. The tourist fate of the region so far is, to put it mildly, not very successful: today only Cape Verde (not least thanks to the barefoot Madame Evora) and Senegal have succeeded in throwing off the centuries-old label of the stronghold of the slave trade and the grave of a white man. Paris — Dakar, annually accepting the cream of European society. Otherwise, the west of the African continent from the point of view of a traveler is an ambiguous place: tropical diseases – one, tribal strife – two, rich mineral deposits and cheap labor – three, and in addition not a very convenient flight and the most basic level of comfort when placed on the spot.
However, there are several pluses in West Africa, which for “highly specialized” fans outweigh all the listed minuses. Take, for example, surfers. The Atlantic Ocean, rolling its rounded waves at the Cape Verde Islands, has been attracting surfers from all over the planet for decades, so successfully that Cape Verde is considered one of the top five places in the world to practice this sport. Thanks to him, the ocean-father, the local waters are teeming with rare, well-fed and tasty fish, which professional anglers consider it an honor to catch on a hook. So for those who dream of pulling, if not a goldfish, then at least a blue marlin, a direct road here, on the coast of Cape Verde and Senegal.
Another feature of West Africa is its extremely diverse nature. Although there are not as many reserves and national parks here as in the center of the African continent, the existing ones attract with their diversity and intimate charm.
For example, 550 species of animals live on the territory of Senegal alone and millions of migratory birds winter, and all the diversity of the animal world of the region can be easily found in the one and only Niokolo-Koba National Park ! With an area of 1 million hectares, this is not at all surprising.
Let us also mention the souvenir diversity of West Africa. What is worth taking from here is high-quality cotton with authentic prints. By the way, to this day the best chintz fabrics are supplied to the region from the Netherlands : from the former metropolis to the former colonies. The colors are downright invigorating: a life-affirming extravaganza of bright colors and unexpected (which is why interesting) images from a European point of view: the fabric can be decorated with prints in the form of shoes, laying hens, personal computers, chairs, diamonds and lemon circles – and often all of the above is located on mixed fabrics. Other useful things in the household: a variety of wood products, wicker baskets for bread and dry products, grass mats and all kinds of interior items – from ritual masks to willow ottomans.
And of course, West Africa is a real storehouse of cultural impressions. Only here the shaman will exorcise the spirits from you by rinsing your throat with “Black Label” and spitting it on the fire, after which he will wave the paper icon of the Mother of God over your head and press on the “necessary” points of intersection of the energy meridians of the body – to consolidate the effect, so to speak.
According to Countryaah, Western Africa has the following countries:
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Saint Helena (Dependent Territory, United Kingdom), Senegal
- Sierra Leone