Auto: Maybe you are unwilling to sacrifice comfort and convenience over money and more money. That’s totally fine. If you can afford such luxuries, you have the option of renting out a personal driver. Either that or you rented a car from a dealer, or even own your own car and had it shipped here…what a life.
Taxis and ???: I want you to imagine a stereotypical, yellow taxi. Now burn that image to the ground. You are now closer to understanding what a ??? is. The spectrum of taxis is quite wide in Senegal. Some come pimped out with TVs, amazing stereo systems, and pristine interiors. Others are missing the floor (as in, you can actually see the road underneath you), need to spark two wires to turn it on, or are so battered beyond repair that you are in awe that the thing can still move. If you want a fun game to play, mentally rate each taxi that you take on a scale of 1-10. Then sit and compare your best and worst taxi experiences with your traveling mates or fellow fellows.
Horse/donkey-drawn carts: This little cart may not be able to get you from Casablanca to Timbuktu, you can bet your last cfa*dollar that you’ll be able to get from one side of town to the other. This is a better option if you are not in a rush, want to be close to animals, or you are taking a tour of a certain place. It sure beats walking.
Boats: When visiting amazing sites like Lac Rose or Gore Island, the average moto or camel will not be sufficient. You’ll need something more….boat-y. While the boat won’t do you much good while on land (duh), it’s a great way to cruise over the waters to reach a destination.
Camel: If you are a person who craves “doing the most”, riding a camel is your best bet. Is it practical? Not really. Is it safe? That’s questionable. But you don’t care about these things, because you know that you look good while doing it. Riding a camel on the beach or on the sandy dunes of Senegal is quite the experience, and you’ll be able to brag about it for ages to come.
Public bus: If you enjoy mass public transportation and confusing navigation, you are free to take the public bus. Quite a cheap way to get around, if you don’t mind waiting forever to reach your destination.
The back of a truck: Does this sound appealing to you? Then you’re probably a very adventurous traveler and do not like paying to get from place to place. Or you have a friend of a friend who offered to give you a lift. It’s also possible that you’re a construction worker heading to your building site. The possibilities are endless…
Train: One of the less popular options, and not super accessible. Usually used to haul materials from one area to another, but you may find trams in Dakar or near an airport.
And there you have it! 15 different/possible ways to get around in Senegal. What is the craziest mode of transportation you’ve ever taken? Which mode of transportation listed here sounds most appealing to you? Let me know in the comments below.
Final note: For those who aren’t familiar with it, the title of this blog post is from 1980’s move that is PURE COMEDIC GOLD! Starring John Candy and Steve Martin, make sure to proceed with caution if you don’t like having a good laugh 😉