There are many tourist attractions at Goree Island. Senegal is renowned for its beautiful sights, but this island certainly ranks near the top.
The island is located to the coast of Dakar, the capital of Senegal. You can fly direct to the island if coming from New York via South African Airways. These flights will take you to the European continent first. There may be other routes available, but these are cheap.
What to See
The island is known for its tranquility, which for many people is the main attraction. The lack of cars is no problem as you can travel the island on foot. The Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) is one of the biggest tourist attractions at Goree Island. This was constructed by the Dutch to house slaves.
The site has been turned into a museum. Tours are held daily except Monday. For more about the history of Senegal you can visit the IFAN Historical Museum. It is at the northern tip of the island.
The Musee de la Femme (the Women’s Museum) is a retrospective on the role Senegalese women have played in African culture. Equally interesting is the Maritime Museum which is filled with information about the seafaring history of Senegal.
The coast of the island used to be the center of a European settlement. Due to lack of drinking water, the island was uninhabited prior to the European arrival.
The earliest European settlers were the Portuguese who came there around 1450 AD. They constructed a small chapel and utilized the island as a burial ground. It is best known for the House of Slaves that was built around 1780–1784.
When the slave trade diminished in 1780s, the island became a vital shipment port for shipping ivory, gum arabic, peanut oil and peanuts.
The flights to the island will cost about 1000 USD. 8 day tours of the island will cost at least 2000 USD.
There are other attractions at the island. Among them are the 17th century police station and a castle. There is also a beach nearby. In fact the whole island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aside from tourists, archaeologists also go to the island.
Some of the other tourist attractions at Goree Island are the restaurants at the jetty area. These are great places to savor fresh fish. You will find a market near the restaurants where you can buy souvenirs.