Things to do in Senegal: Bandia Reserve

zebra in bandia reserve senegal

Bandia Reserve is a 3,500-hectare wildlife reserve in Senegal.  The reserve is about an hour’s drive from the country’s capital, Dakar and is a must-see for anyone visiting Senegal.  Animals that are natural to the region but which disappeared years ago due to man’s activities like poaching have gradually been introduced into the reserve.  At the moment, the reserve does not have big carnivores like lions or leopards but it has animals like rhinoceroses, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, ostriches, impalas and more.  Many of these animals can be seen up close, sometimes you can even walk within a foot of them.  It is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Here are some pictures from my Bandia Reserve safari:

cape eland in bandia reserve senegal

These are Cape Elands.  Apparently, the Cape Eland is the second largest antelope in the world.  The largest, the Derby antelope, can also be found at Bandia Reserve.

giraffe at bandia reserve senegal

The giraffes I saw at Bandia Reserve all seemed gentle and elegant.

ostrich at bandia reserve senegal

Spot the ostrich.  It was when I saw animals in their habitat that I truly understood the camouflage of animals that I was taught in biology class in secondary school.

rhinoceros at bandia reserve senegal

I walked within a foot of this rhinoceros and took pictures!  It was scary and awesome at the same time!

A good tour of Bandia Reserve will take between 1 and 2 hours.  To fully enjoy your time at the reserve, I would suggest you hire a tour guide.  In addition, since the animals are more likely to be active when the weather is cool, it’s best to tour the reserve in the morning or evening.  It’s important to dress appropriately for your Bandia Reserve tour.  When going to Bandia Reserve, one is essentially going into the bush so don’t wear clothes that you care too much about – jeans, a T-shirt or tank top and comfortable covered shoes are probably the ideal outfit to wear.


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