Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Ngor Beach resort, Dakar, Senegal. October 2023

Waves Shape

BWD Trip to Dakar, Senegal

Ngor Beach resort and Soumbedioune site

We flew from Heathrow to Dakar via Madrid. The first leg was delayed by half an hour or so, meaning a rush to catch the second flight, however our bags didn’t make it on to this flight and we ended up waiting over 48 hours for them, meaning that we didn’t have any dive kit and missed the first day’s planned diving.

The Diving


(Diving Pictures) First dives followed on the Wednesday apart from one bad case of upset stomach. Dives around Ngor tend to be on a rocky bottom and there are sea urchins everywhere, meaning it is prudent to have good observation and buoyancy control.

Visibility could be very variable and for the first few days so was the water temperature, with the occasional cold currents dropping the pleasant 29-30° down to a chilly 21-23°

Fish life was also often limited, but there were usually quite a few moray eels and a lot of puffer / porcupine fish, also there were quite a few arrow crabs, a very thin spindly type of crab.

On the Sunday we went over to Nautilus Diving’s other site at Soumbedioune, where we dived on a purpose sunken wreck, the Red Star, about 45 minutes boat ride away, laying in 30m of water on its side, rising up to around 15m.This was well encrusted with life and surrounded by dense shoals of snapper and angel fish. Visibility here was a bit improved over the previous dives.

After a few more local dives, with water temperatures improving, we returned to the Soumbedioune area again and did 2 more dives, the first being at Seminal dive site, in an area of basaltic rock, somewhat resembling an underwater version of The Giant’s Causeway and the other at Madeleine Island, designated a nature reserve area, but this is totally ignored by the locals as there is no policing of it, so there are regularly boats putting nets in there. There was still quite a lot of fish life here particularly with large shoals of snappers.

Back at Ngor the dive centre found an area where a lot of nurse sharks appeared to hang out, we carried out three dives here and every time there was a group of about seven of them right beside where they had dropped the anchor. There were also quite a few more sharks in the area, several large stingrays and a black & white remora (shark sucker) that took a liking to John and kept trying to attach to him, although he wasn’t aware of it

On our last day we dived the Seminal (basaltic) site again. Just as we were arriving at the site we spotted something on the surface that turned out to be a humpback whale and her calf. The youngster seemed to be playing, slapping its tail on the surface, while its mother lay in the water beside it. On this dive the current was opposite to the expected direction, so we went it rather than fight it. Most of this dive was around 28-30m deep. The basaltic rock formations here were even more spectacular than on the previous dive. Visibility was quite good on this dive until we returned to the upper 10m where it was very poor. For our second dive we again dived the Madeleine island, on this dive there was a strong swell and probably because this was a shallower dive the visibility was very poor. There was a marbled ray, scorpionfish and jacks seen on this dive. Our guide also recovered a discarded gill net.

All dives in Senegal started and ended in deep (around 15m) sites, so they always ended with a mid-water (3 minutes at 5m) safety stop

The Resort and City

(Resort Pictures) Our accommodation was a small hotel  with around 25 rooms, the rooms were comfortable but lacking in storage space, there were only 2 hangers each and a small shelf.

There was a bar/meal area and a pool, which was generally empty with loads of loungers available.

The dive centre was on-site, just a few yards from the rooms & ran 2 boats from the beach close by.

The beach was just beyond the hotel wall, with a gate opening directly on to it.

The beach was very busy, first thing in the morning there was always an aqua fit class just outside our accommodation and they used foam pool noodles, which they would usually end up slapping on the water. On the beach the locals used to set up tents for the day. One of those things that we will always remember about this holiday will be the rhythmic banging in the evenings, as everyone was beating their beach mats with sticks to knock the sand off..

This area was inhabited by 2 main species of bird, the pied crow and the black kite. There were often flocks of 30+ of each type of bird flying low over the area, the kites were often swooping down to collect food scraps off the beaches, or from the surface of the sea. And the crows would patrol the beaches picking up scraps.

Traffic around Dakar was generally pretty awful, there were usually huge traffic jams on the route to and from the other site at Soumbedioune.

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