A trip to warm and welcoming Senegal satisfies every traveller’s needs. Dakar, the fast-developing capital, provides a vibrant introduction. Wander around the old Médina district to discover bright embroideries, fusion street food and energetic musicians. Stay to sample its lively nightlife, or make for the coast where quiet beaches and islands offer respite. Car-free Île de Gorée boasts a collection of old French architecture, museums and memorials. Take the short boat trip across to spend the afternoon and get some perspective on this historic era. Further along the coast lies the Saloum Delta National Park, containing forests, lagoons, swamps and different bird species. On the southern side of The Gambia, which is surrounded by Senegal, is the region of Casamance, home to the popular seaside resort of Cap Skirring. Take your pick from white-sand beaches, go kayaking, or visit the traditional Diola villages towards the east. Should you want to explore further inland, there are more national parks like Niokolo-Koba where wildlife safaris can be arranged. During dry season, you’ll likely spot giraffes, elephants, lions and rhinos. There’s a wide range of hotels, lodges, villas and private apartments to rent in Dakar and along the 150 km Petite Côte coastline, which separates the capital from Saloum Delta National Park. Plenty more is available in Cap Skirring and St Louis, Senegal’s second biggest city to the north.