Gorée Island

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With our rental car from “ESPRIT EVASION” we drove to Dakar, where we had to take a ferry to Goree.

Goree is a small car-free island located 3 km from Dakar. The narrow streets with colorful houses bring you into Mediterranean atmospheres. From Dakar you can sail there with a ‘chaloupe’ (ferry) in 20 minutes. The best thing is to take the ferry from 10 am, then you can still return in the afternoon. The narrow streets, the colonial houses in soft pink tones and the blossoming bougainvillea evoke a Mediterranean atmosphere. It is very quiet, flowery and there are no cars.


above: photo of “Porte de non-retour”, from which millions of slaves were shipped.

above: photo of the monument to the abolition of the slave trade.


But Gorée is especially a meeting with history. A visit to the “Maison des Esclaves” (built in 1784) will leave no one untouched. In the ground floor, the slaves were confined according to sex, age and weight. Those who did not weigh 60 kg were ‘fattened’ until they reached the required number of kilos and were subsequently deported. The eloquent guides let you feel the dramas and misery of the slave trade with the look to “the new world” across the street.

In all, it is estimated that 12 MILLION black people from Africa have been kidnapped to be sold as slaves. By the fact that there were always tribal wars in Africa and that the tribes captured each other’s people as slaves. Mainly the Dutch bought those slaves for some mirrors and beads. Many slaves are boarded on the island of Goree, off the coast of Senegal. Goree comes from the Dutch “Goede Reede”. Goedereede or simply Goeree means safe harbor, a good place to moor with ships. Insurgent slaves were thrown overboard. It is estimated that only half of the slaves survived the trip to America.


Tourism is primarily a source of income on the island itself.
Here we also learned how the sand paintings are made.



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