Ziguinchor is a city in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. The region is also referred to historically and popularly as Basse Casamance. Ziguinchor region is divided into 3 departments:
There is a daily 40-minute flight to Ziguinchor from Dakar, which sometimes continues to Cap Skirring, the main coastal resort.
The Aline Sitoe Diatta Ferry links Dakar with Ziguinchor. It is an overnight ferry ride, taking about 16 hours. It leaves Dakar Tuesday and Friday afternoon, making the return trip (Ziguinchor - Dakar) Thursday & Sunday. The boat has 'pullman' style seating (CFA 15,500), as well as shared cabins of 8, 4, & 2 (expect CFA 60,000). Book as early as you can, especially in the travel season, as it is frequently sold out. There is a restaurant on board as well as a small bar which also sells snacks.
ALL passengers are required to show their original passport or other form of identification when purchasing their ticket at either the Dakar or the Ziguinchor terminals.
From Dakar, you can drive to Ziguinchor via the Transgambian highway, crossing the Gambia River at the Farafenni ferry. This 450-km (280-mile) trip can be covered in one day. Sept places depart from Dakar early in the morning (be at the gare routière before 06:00). They charge CFA 8,500 plus CFA 500 per bag. The trip will last 8 hours if everything goes smoothly, plus the waiting time at the Farafenni ferry which typically largely exceeds an hour. Expect very bad roads from Kaolack all the way to Gambia's border with Casamance. It is more comfortable to take the road via Kaolack in Senegal to Banjul in the Gambia. When crossing the border in Gambia, officials will stamp your passport. If you are white and have a European or US passport, they will most likely try to charge you for the stamp, anything from CFA 1,000 to 10,000 (this especially happens at Farafenni, much less likely in Amdallai). Demanding for a proof of payment and threatening to contact the embassy in Banjul will probably get your passport back without having to pay. In any case, it is evident that remaining polite and showing respect will be the most effective way to communicate with border officials.
The quality of roads is very bad from Fatick via Kaolack to some distance before the Gambian border in Karang/Amdallai. If coming with a car, arrive as early as possible to cross to Banjul on the ferry, it has very limited capacity and traverses the river only 4 times a day.
A single stop taxi ride (regardless of the number of passengers) costs CFA 500 anywhere within Zig. The cost for a donkey-cart to transport one bag of cement or rice is CFA 200.
Take a stroll around the overgrown government buildings downtown. Check out the boat builders down by the port. Ziguinchor is much bigger than most people's original impression. Feel free to explore the sandy streets further afield, and hey, make a friend or two!
The best known market is the Marche Saint Maur des Fosses, named after the French town with which Ziguinchor is twinned. The Artisan Centre also attracts many visitors looking for souvenirs typical of the region.
- 1 Hotel Le Flamboyant, Rue de France, ☏ +221 33 991 22 23, email@example.com. Well managed hotel, quiet, with a small swimming pool. Opposite to the consulates of France and Guinea-Bissau. The restaurant of this hotel is on the other side of the street, in a building which hosts a Hotel tourist which has rooms where basically everything is broken for CFA 13,000. CFA 25,000 for a spacious double, often runs promotions.
- Hotel Le Bel Kady (near Marche St-Maur), ☏ +221 9911122. CFA 6000.
- Auberge Kadiandou (near Gare Routiere), ☏ +221 9911071. CFA 6000.
There is a Guinea-Bissau consulate-general in Ziguinchor that issues multiple-entry visas in a single visit. It costs CFA 20,000 and requires one photo or a photocopy of the passport identity page. This is much cheaper then the equivalent visa in Dakar (and certainly much more relaxed)! Location - a sandy side street to the left of Avenue Carvalho, within walking distance from the gare routiere.
Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Minibuses (mixto) and taxis (sept place) leave gare routiere for Bissau when full. The price for a 'mixto' seat is CFA 3,500 plus CFA 500 for one piece of baggage. The trip can take up to six hours depending on transport, road and border conditions, bring some water.