Salémata is a city in Senegal.
Salemata is about 80 km west of Kedougou. Salemata and the surrounding Bassari villages attract tourists interested in experiencing the Bassari culture. The area comes alive during the month of May, for the annual initiation ceremonies. There are opportunities throughout the year to view traditional Bassari festivals. The area is also great for outdoor enthusiasts. There are many hiking and mountain biking trails. The local campsite manager, Gilbert, serves as a chimpanzee guide. He is familiar with the area and offers hikes to view the chimpanzees. There are also palm wine excursions available for those interested in viewing the process of collecting palm wine. Be sure not to leave your camera home as Salemata is home to the region’s only castle.
- Public transport: There is a local transport company, Niokolo Transport (221 77 529 5661), which offers service from Kedougou to Salemata every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday (2000 CFA). There is service from Salemata to Kedougou every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. The office is located in Kedougou’s market.
- Private transport: Take the road west out of Kedougou, towards Bandafassi, for 80 km.
- Bassari culture: The annual initiation ceremonies take place during the month of May. Tourists are welcome to view the festival which is complete with brilliant masks and dancing. There are also numerous ceremonies that take place throughout the year. You can call the local campement before arrival to see if there will be a festival during your trip.
- Chimpanzee and palm wine excursion: The local campsite manager, Gilbert, also serves as a chimpanzee guide. He is very knowledgeable on the area and the chimp’s location throughout the year. He is available to take groups into the hills to look for these remarkable animals. Gilbert also offers a palm wine excursion to view the collection of this local drink.
Salemata comes alive every Thursday at the weekly market. Villagers from surrounding villages make the trek to sell vegetables, fruit, and other perishable items.
- Chez Camara: This local bar has a lot of character. They offer cold drinks, including beer, as well as delicious meals. They serve traditional Senegalese fare as well as spaghetti plates upon request.
- Chez Gilbert: (221) 77 107 4584. This is Salemata’s only running campsite. There are 5 huts which can accommodate up to 3 people in each. There is also a bar/restaurant hut which is used for serving meals as well as a social space. Rates are 7000 CFA per person.