A photo of people and Senegalese style boats (colorful with religious phrases written on them) at the beachfront

Best Beaches in Dakar: The Ultimate Guide

Dakar has some of the best beaches in West Africa. If you have time, I suggest visiting as many beaches as possible to find your favorite. Choose public beaches for an authentic experience or private beaches for more peace and quiet.

N’gor Beach: N’gor Beach is known for its soft sand, clear turquoise waters, and vibrant energy. It’s a popular spot for swimming, surfing, and scuba diving. Make sure to watch the weather before heading here. One time, there was a thunderstorm, and we were stranded on N’Gor until 2 am. Hotels are limited and fill up fast during the high season and holidays.

Yoff Beach / Plage Yoff BCEAO: This beach is excellent for being surrounded by traditional Senegalese culture. Many tourists skip this spot, but I fondly remember meeting new friends and bonding over attaya and fried fish. Young men and boys often participate in Senegalese wrestling / lutte. Yoff Beach is not super quiet, especially during holidays. Be very careful of the water here. It is a bit unpredictable. The sunsets at Yoff Beach are stunning, making it one of the most Instagrammable places in Dakar.

Plage de Mammelles is a great beach location.

Plage Mermoz: Plage Mermoz is located on Corniche Ouest. During the weekend they play reggae music. It has a very laid-back vibe.

Virage Beach: Virage Beach, also known as Plage du Virage, is a favorite among surfers due to its consistent waves. It’s a lively beach with plenty of beachfront bars and restaurants serving fresh seafood and cold drinks. Virage Beach is also a popular spot for beach volleyball and soccer.

Secret Beach (Plage de Secret): This secluded beach, also known as Plage de Secret, is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Dakar. It’s a hidden gem with pristine sands and calm waters, perfect for a peaceful day of swimming and sunbathing.

These are just a few of the best beaches in Dakar, each offering its unique charm and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether looking for a lively atmosphere, water sports, or a peaceful retreat, Dakar has a beach to suit every preference.

The Best Private Beaches in Dakar

A photo of people and Senegalese style boats (colorful with religious phrases written on them) at the beachfront

Private beaches in Dakar are your best bet during super hot days. The crowds are smaller, and there are usually more parking spots. However, there is a limit on how many people can be admitted each day, so I suggest going early.

  1. Plage d’Or / Golden Beach
  2. Hotel Terrou-Bi Beach
  3. Radisson Blu Hotel Dakar Beach
  4. King Fahd Palace Hotel Beach
  5. Hotel Lagon 2 Beach

Best Beaches in Senegal (Outside of Dakar)

If you have enough time, I suggest exploring outside of Dakar. Here are a few beaches outside of Dakar. These tend to be more quiet.


Popenguine is located in Thies, about an hour from Dakar. It’s a unique city because although Senegal is predominantly Muslim, Popenguine is home to many Christians. It’s also a Catholic pilgrimage site, and lots of people visit during Easter.

Saly Beaches

Saly is located in Mbour. I find it a bit boring, but it’s great for a quick city escape.

Cap Skirring Beaches

Cap Skirring is located in Casamance, home of the Jola/ Diola people. Cap Skirring has very lush vegetation. If you visit during mango season, you won’t want to leave. There are a few hotels here with local charm.

Tips for Planning a Beach Trip in Dakar

To have a great beach day, planning is critical. In the off-season, Dakar beaches aren’t super crowded. Sometimes, you won’t be able to find food vendors. Here are a few tips for visiting Dakar beaches:

  • Pack a snack – Stop by the boulangerie for fresh bread and pick up some cheese and fruits from the grocery store. Or cook at home and bring a bowl with you.
  • Bring bathing suits. Sometimes people sell bathing suits on the beach, but they aren’t the most fashionable. Sea Plaza has better options.
  • Bring cash for snacks or parking fees.
  • Observe non-swimmers. In one season, over 40 people drowned on Dakar beaches. I have personally been at a beach when someone passed away, and there were no lifeguards around.
  • Get there early for a good parking spot during high season.
  • Wash off before getting in a taxi. Some taxi drivers refuse to carry you if you look wet or have sand on you.
  • Taxi drivers raise the price during high season. Use apps or carry more cash.

The most important tip? Don’t skip your reef-friendly sunscreen!

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