Need to take a break and get out of the capital of Dakar? Or passing through Senegal with the desire for a quiet destination, close to nature? Discover the island of Mar Lodge, and more precisely the Hakuna Lodge, in the heart of the Sine Saloum delta!
How to get to Mar Lodge?
From Dakar: Direction pier of Dangane (Ndangane)
- By car via the motorway 2h30 – 3h: the most practical and comfortable solution, we do not hide it from you. Possibility then to park your car at the pier on guarded private car parks.
- By public transport : by saut de puce …. (option we made round trip) count 5h30 from Dakar
*Dakar Patte d'oie > Mbour (Carrefour Saly): 2500 FCFA / 3000 FCFA (price per person)
*Mbour Carrefour Saly > Mbour Grand Garage: 100 FCFA by shared
taxi*Mbour (from the large garage of Mbour) > Samba Dia: 2500 FCFA
* Samba Dia > Dangane: 500 FCFA always by shared taxi
You may not find a direct taxi to Samba Dia from Mbour, in this case you will have to take a taxi Mbour > Joal for 750 FCFA and then from Joal to Samba Dia or direct to Dangane 1000 FCFA
Once you arrive in Dangane, you can either take the collective canoe (ask for schedules at the port) or take the canoe from your lodge / camp.
Where to stay at Mar Lodge?
We were at Hakuna Lodge, an address we highly recommend!
Located in a secluded corner of the island, with its private beach, quiet, rest and nature at the rendezvous.The canoe of the Lodge was waiting for us at the pier of Dangane. Possibility to park your car in the private, walled and guarded parking of Hakuna Lodge at the pier.
After the canoe, we boarded a cart for about 20-30 minutes of crossing the island. Beautiful lunar landscape, sand, and tall trees! It plunges you directly into the atmosphere …
Arrived at Hakuna lodge, warm welcome from Bandia.
You will find about twenty boxes for two people and some family boxes that are actually two boxes connected to each other. These boxes are equipped with bathroom with private toilet outside. Functional is beautifully thought out, they are spacious with mosquito net and fan.
For the record, the huts are made of mangrove and ronier wood and were built on the camp originally located in Djifer in the 90s, then moved by the owner to Mar Lodge to escape the rising waters.
For the common areas you also have a large restaurant with large tables, very friendly, table football and ping pong to wait for the meal.
The meals are complete (starter main course dessert), and often composed of the fishing of the day or the day before (from the sea, from the pontoon of the Lodge to the plate), we ate magnificent fish (captain). Once grilled and another time in armorican sauce and dessert homemade pancakes or mango from the village!
In the morning at breakfast, good bread, tea, coffee, milk and jams of the island delicious (bissap, mangoes, papaya, lemon-boiled).
Two outdoor relaxation areas, such as a lounge with benches, a bar, tam tam, and even a children's area, to meet with friends and end the day in style!
But what we preferred to Hakuna Lodge is the space arranged by the beach, with deckchairs, hammocks pontoons! The beach is clean and it's a pleasure in Senegal! The water was warm, clear, perfect for splashing and sunbathing, showers also for rinsing and towel distributed! Lazy atmosphere, guaranteed!
Many free activities are offered:
- Windsurfing But beware
of the current that can be strong
- Bike to discover the island
- Boat trip for the excursion "By Hakuna" in the surrounding bolongs just before sunset! Magical moment, you will meet many species of birds including pelicans if it is the season, which fly away at the passage of the boat.
If you're lucky you'll even stumble upon dolphins.
- Fishing trip on demand
What to do on the island of Mar Lodge?
The island of Mar Lodge is very quiet, clean, and no cars circulate there! It feels good!
You can walk there on foot, by cart or by bike, be careful not to get bogged down in the sand. Beautiful landscapes with open views and palm trees and rowlers as far as the eye can see
One of the main activities is to go to the village of Mar Lodge, on Sunday for Mass (9:30 or 10:30, inquire before).
The circular church is worth the eye with the black virgin!The religious songs with the tam tam are moving…
Then, small walk to the very typical villages with the central square and its large trees, a cheese maker is particularly impressive! Possibility to buy the famous jam tasted at breakfast at Hakuna Lodge (2000 FCFA).
Hakuna Lodge Rates:
-Night for a double box: 40 000 FCFA with breakfast-Meal
: 7000 FCFA per person
-Several options for the crossing from Dangane to Hakuna Lodge:
*Boat + Cart : 4,000 Fcfa (6 €) the canoe + 5,000 Fcfa (8 €) the cart / CarriageMaxi
12 people on the canoe and 4 people on the cart / CarriageTotal
duration: 50 minutes.
*Speed boat: 20,000 FCFA (31€) / Boat up to 6 people
Total duration: 20 min journey
Discover our other Roadtrips in Senegal
If you liked or have other tips to share feel free to comment on the article or join the facebook page or follow us on Instagram @jeanmichelvoyage