Guide and driver in Senegal

By Blake Whitehead
This item appears on page 27 of the January 2013 issue.

During a trip to West Africa in June ’12, I spent 11 days in Senegal. In Dakar, I was fortunate to use the guide services of Massaer Dieng (e-mail, who goes by “Ali.” He is knowledgeable, experienced, very personable and speaks English well. I used him for six days during my stay and was very happy with the experience.

Ali works with his friend Abdou, who is an excellent, experienced and friendly driver. (“Friendly” is not unusual in Senegal, I found.) Abdou drove us in his 4-passenger taxi.

Ali’s services were arranged for me by the woman who ran the B&B where I stayed in Dakar. I surmise that she firmed things up with him a week before my arrival, but he can be available with 24 hours’ notice.

For a one-day walking tour in Dakar for one person, Ali charges $28 per day. Up to three people can tour in a cab for $68 per day. A day trip from Dakar to Saint-Louis would cost $164 total. A group of 10-14 passengers would pay $231 per day.

Senegal was a great experience. Both Ali and Abdou enhanced my visit tremendously, and I can recommend both of them without hesitation.

Fremont, CA