Travel to Ziguinchor – Authentic Capital of Casamance
Ziguinchor is the most authentic city in West Africa. The town succeeds to entertain a large number of visitors thanks to many factors, mainly the incomparable beauty of the Bolongs, the cultural richness and the mysteries of Diolas villages, the fauna and floral diversities, the migratory and sedentary birds species of the Casamance River, the sandy and deserted islands, the dances and ancestral rites, as well as the hospitality of local populations.
Ziguinchor is the capital of the Casamance region of Senegal, lying on the Casamance River. The town was established by the Portuguese in 1645 and recovered by the French in 1888. The groundnut was at the origin of the prosperity of the city.
Ziguinchor is founded on a territory which belonged to the tbñun tribe (Bainouk) of Izguichos. The local legend tells that the term “Ziguinchor” would be a deformation of the Portuguese expression “cheguei, choram” meaning “I arrived, they cry”, allusion to the draft of slaves.
After the Second World war, the city saw its expansion slacking because of the frontier disorders with the Guinea-Bissau. Labelled the most cosmopolitan city in Senegal, Ziguinchor is a melting pot of all the ethnic groups co-existing in Senegal: Manding, Diola, Wolof, Peul/Hal Pulaar, Mancagne, Manjack, Soninke, Serer, Bainounck and Creole/Gourmet.
Head for the Casamance River, Enampor village and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés market where you can enjoy exhibitions and shows, and the handicrafts centre. Bolong hiking, fishing, and excursions to the Carabane Island are possible.
Travellers can tour Zinguichor and the vicinity by bus, available at the Zinguichor bus station.
- Enjoy the old-fashioned charm of the most ‘African’ towns in Senegal, with its coloured stands and colonial quarters.
- Take time to wander round the craft village and picturesque market at Saint Maur des Fosses.
- Discover the French Cultural Centre, an impressive building with a richly decorated interior.