Dakar, Senegal
Lake Retba


Tending cattle under the trees.


Mining salt from the lake. More pictures.

May 2, 2005 - I went out to visit Lake Retba which is known as the pink lake while Robin took the city tour. It took about 40 minutes with the police escort to clear traffic for us. Along the way I saw a lot of how people live. We rode buses most of the way, then switched to 4x4 trucks.

Of course there were 4 nice buses and then one "runt". I was in the runt. The runt bus had no air conditioning, just a vent for cooling. We were glad when they stopped for us to see some of the farming areas and trees. It was cooler out of the bus.


The village headman, in purple.


Dancing and drumming.

The coloration of the lake is caused by the on the salt crystals. There is a cottage industry mining salt from the lake. The salt is evaporated in the small boats; in 3 stages. When the boat is full to nearly sinking of salt, it is brought ashore, and the salt bagged, and sold.

After stopping at the lake, we moved on to a small village; about 300 people. There was drumming and dancing. Then the headman of the village invited us in to look around.

More pictures from the village.


A monkey.


Goats and chickens.

We had a chance to walk around in the village. Very different from the city of Dakar. A lot of the village life seems to be very communal. There is a communal kitchen. The monkey is suspiciously close to the kitchen. There are communal fields. Each family sends one person to work in the fields each day.

Irrigating the fields.


4x4 truck.

Irrigating the fields is a simple matter. Next to each field is a pit dug down to the water table (about 2m). A person walks down into the pit, fills two watering cans, walks out into the field, pours the water onto a row of plants. Repeat until the whole field is watered, then move to the next field.

Leaving the village, we packed back into the 4x4 trucks. This one is just like the one I'm riding in.


Arriving at the beach.


Descending a hill.

We rode off across the sand dunes, and eventually, to the beach. The drivers were having a lot of fun, and for a while it felt like an amusement park ride. We drove down the beach a ways, and eventually looped back to where we had left the buses.

More pictures of the trek in the sand.

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All text and photos copyright Robin Berry and William Ringer 2005.