Harmattan Tours


Tours in Africa and the Middle East







Dak'Art Biennale of Art and Design, Dakar, Senegal

6-15 May 2010


Tour carried out in co-operation with Malmö Art Museum, Sweden and the Artists' Association of Turku, Finland.



Registration and further information:


Staffan Martikainen +358407617945





Back to home page







Artist Ndary Lô


Dak'Art, the Biennale of African contemporary art (www.dakart.org) is organised for the 9th time in May 2010. The Biennale is a showcase of the best contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora. The tour is organised by Malmö Art Museum, Sweden, which is involved in the Biennale through a co-operation project.


The tour comprises five days in Dakar and the surroundings, 7-11 May 2010. We will take part in the Biennale opening festivities and the openings of the best exhibitions – including the OFF part of the Biennale (over 300 exhibitions!). You will also meet local artists in their ateliers, visit galleries, workshops and museums.


The Biennale also includes African contemporary design. Work by Ousmane Mbaye, Senegal.


Everyday life is art in Senegal – at least when it comes to clothes. Flamboyant and sensual dressing is the norm. Senegalese cooking is a fusion of the best of African and French cuisine. Everything is made from fresh ingredients, of which fish is the most important one.


We will visit the island of Gorée, also called the slave island. This Unesco World Heritage site is a short ferry trip away from the centre of Dakar. Apart from its colonial buildings, the island is known for its artists.


In the night time, the clubs of Dakar are well worth a visit. Dance to Mbalax rhythms and listen to world famous Senegalese musicians.


If you want to see more of Senegal, you can stay on for 4 more days for a tour of the northern part of the country (12-15 May – see below). We will visit the old colonial town of Saint Louis, the former capital, the desert of Lompoul and the holy city of Touba. Alternatively, you can spend some days on the beach of Saly, south of Dakar.



Your tour hosts/guides are Riitta Liede, sculptor and journalist as well as chair of the Artist's Association of Turku, Finland and Staffan Martikainen from Korppikotka Tours. The Artist's Association has been running a project in cooperation with a Senegalese organisation in a neighbourhood of Dakar since 2004. Malmö Art Museum is represented by project coordinator Ms Lena Millinger and Director Göran Christenson.



Preliminary 5-day programme in Dakar:


Thurs 6 May: Arrival day

Fri 7 May: Opening of the Biennale

Sat 8 May: Visits to Biennale exhibitions, Malmö Art Museum cooperation project

Sun 9 May: Visit to Gorée island, including the artists' quarters

Mon 10 May: City tour of Dakar. Visits to Biennale exhibitions

Tues 11 May: Visits to artists' ateliers and crafts markets in Dakar and the surroundings


NB. This order is subject to change depending on the Biennale programme.


Wed 12 May: Free time for shopping or individual excursions. Return flight in the evening/night. Alternatively, you can prolong your trip with a 4-day tour of Northern Senegal (see below).


Evening programme: On request, we can organise visits to concerts or e.g. a traditional wrestling show – a truly Senegalese cultural experience!


Accommodation: We will book accommodation in two categories. Hotel Lagon 2 in the city centre has a quiet location with a view of Gorée island, a private beach and offers fishing excursions. www.lagon.sn. We will also book a cheaper alternative, Espace Thially, situated approx. 5 kms north of the city centre. A charming little family guest house with its own patio garden and cybercafé. Rooms are equipped with fans. http://fondationolivier.com/espacethially/index.php and http://dakar-ca-bouge.net/Espace-Thially


Travel options: 





Biennale (6 nights Hotel Lagon) + tour of Senegal (3 nights)


Biennale (6 nights Hostel Thially) + tour of Senegal (3 nights)


Biennale + Dakar on your own (9 nights Hotel Lagon)


Biennale + Dakar on your own (9 nights hostel Thially)


Only Biennale (6 nights Hotel Lagon)


Only Biennale (6 nights Hostel Thially)


The price includes accommodation and Biennale guide, transport, entrance fees and tips. Full board during the tour of Senegal (drinks are not included). Not included in the price: flights, meals and evening programme or personal expenses during the Biennale. Count on 3-10 euros per meal, depending on the restaurant.


Please book your flights well in advance to get the most advantageous fare. Flight dates for travel options 1 and 2: May 6 and May 15. Flight dates for travel option 3: May 6 and May 12. Among others, the following companies fly to Senegal: Air France, Brussels Airlines, Iberia, TAP and South African Airlines. 


Visa: Find out if you need one. Yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.


Bookings by March 15, 2010 through Staffan Martikainen info@harmattantours.com +358 40 7617 945.


We can accept the first 13 persons who sign up for the tour. Registration fee: 100 euros. The remaining balance of the tour price must be paid by April 15.




Tour of Senegal:


12 May: We leave Dakar by minibus, heading east. Our first stop is the nature reserve of Bandia, where we can see several wild animals: rhinos, giraffes, buffaloes, crocodiles, antelopes, deer and ostriches, in a typically Senegalese baobab landscape. We continue to Lac Rose – the Pink Lake – with a salinity level comparable to that of the Dead Sea. After lunch, we will see how the salt is extracted and drive fourwheelers through the dunes, on the route of the famous Dakar Rally. Feel like a swim in the salty lake? Dinner and overnight.


13 May: After breakfast, we will drive north to Saint-Louis. This former capital of French West Africa lies on the border of Mauretania and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. After lunch, city tour by horse cart. Dinner and overnight.


14 May: Visit to the Djoudj national park, famous for its bird life. Boat tour in the Senegalese river delta. Lunch in Saint Louis. In the afternoon, we continue to Lompoul, where we will experience the sunset in the desert. Overnight in tents.


15 May: Continue east to Touba, the holy city of the Mouride brotherhood. Visit to the Great Mosque. NB: cover up your legs and shoulders. After this, we will drive to the city of Thies for lunch and a visit to the local market. Return to Dakar, where we arrive at 6 p.m. Return flights in the evening/at night.


During the tour, we can make stops on your request, e.g. to visit villages, schools etc, schedule permitting.


The price includes transport in a vehicle with a/c, driver, guide, accommodation (2 hotel nights, one night in the desert), full board and entrance fees. With the exception of Lompoul, drinks are not included.





Copyright © Harmattan Tours 2010