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Dance and drum camp in Senegal

Country: Senegal
Next travel date: on demand
Size of group: private group tour, from 6 participants


A 10-day intensive dance and drum camp in Senegal, at the Atlantic coast, with excellent musicians and dancers of the Daniel Sorano National Theatre and Sory Camara Dance Theatre! A unique and inspiring camp where participants can learn West - African dances (serer, peul, mbalax, soninke, diola, etc.) and rhythms from the best dancers and musicians of Senegal. The leading artists of the camp are the multiple winners of the Senegalese "Oscar des Vacances" talent show: Elizabeth Mendy and Abdoul Camara, dancers of Daniel Sorano National Theatre and Sory Camara Dance Theatre. Djembe drums are granted for all participants, but if somebody wishes to play balafon or kora it could be equally organised. Beginner and advanced dance and drum courses will be launched separately, in the light of the final number of participants.
Why Senegal? In Senegal everything is pervaded by art, dance and music. Several world-famous Senegalese singers and dancers origin from this magnificent country  (Youssou N'Dour; Akon; Baaba Maal; Cheikh Lo; Baobab Orchestra, etc.). There is a fantastic atmosphere, great teachers, and comfortable, clean and secured environment to experience African duncing and drumming.
1st day: Let’s go to Senegal! -Night in Dakar
Travel to Dakar, transfer to hotel. Night in Dakar. Senegal, the most westerly country in Africa, is named after the most important river of the region. It is bounded by Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south, and Gambia to the west. The country became independent from France in 1960, since then the democratic state is characterized by domestic political stability. Dakar is capital of the country populated by 14 million people. The official language of Senegal is French, the most common dialects are wolof, serer and peul. Currency is the Senegalese Franc (cfa). 
The capital of Senegal with a population of 2.3 million people is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Dakar is a cultural and trade centre, where the French colonial architecture can be admired. The city was established in the 15th century, there used to be fishing villages on the territory before. It became a favoured port for European sailors and later for slave traders because of its excellent location. During the guided city tour we are going to get to know the Senegalese culture: there will be opportunities for shopping textile in the market HLM, or buying celebration clothing suitable for local climate and culture. Historic places of Dakar will be visited, too. In the afternoon we will visit the Retba Lake, whose pink colour is caused by a special alga, Dunaliella salina. There are only 2-3 similar lakes on the earth. Near the lake a fula village will be visited. The fula (or fulbe, or peul) ethnicity with 40 million people is one of the most significant African migrant group, they live in more than one dozen African country. Rallying between sand dunes, as the Paris-Dakar international race ended at the Pink Lake till 2009. We will spend the night in Mbour, 100 meters by the coast.
2nd Day: Visit Pink Lake and Peul villages, night in Mbour
Visit of Lake Rose situated 70 km-s from Dakar. The Pink Lake is an extraordinary natural site where you will witness a natural lake coloured reddish and pinkish depending on the wind and sun. We will tour around the lake touching dunes of the Sahara and the Atlantic coast line with a giant "buggy". We will visit a peul or fulbe village, meet with the village chief, and visit some local houses, and the community market place. Night in Mbour.
3-10 Day: International dance and drum camp
Daily schedule:
8:00-9:00 breakfast
9:00-12:00 dance workshop
12:00-15:00 lunch and relaxation
15:00-18:00 drum workshop
18:00-20:00 dinner and relaxation, fire on the beach, joy of dance, joy of music
EVERY DAY: extra programs, surprises, guest performers, such as Sory Camara Dance Theatre
The 8 days of the camp consists of 6 thematic days ( SERER; SONINKE; DIOLA AND SOSE; MBALAX; HALPULAR; PEUL), where you will learn the dances and rhythms of 6 important West-African ethnic groups. During these panels, the traditional culture, history, musical instruments and specialties of these groups will be presented. Our aim is to give you a complex knowledge by the end of the day about these cultures, keeping dance, drumming and entertainment in the foreground! Participants for the course can bring own drums, but musical instruments are granted by the camp.
Leading Artist: Abdoul Camara, Daniel Sorano National Theatre, Sory Camara Dance Theatre 
Abdoul Camara is professional dancer of the Daniel Sorano National Theatre (Senegal). He is two times winner of 'Oscar des Vacances' dance competition and leader, coreographer and artistic director of Ballet Sory Camara Dance Company in Grand Yoff, Dakar. He started dancing at the age of 6 with his famous dancer father, Ibrahima Sory Camara. He started to travel through his art from the age of 11. He has been to France, Guadalupe, Japan, India, Tunesia, Algeria, and DR-Congo among others. He is a wonderful artist and dancer of West-African dances (peul, serer, diola, yela, soninke etc.) He is famous for his unique performance with the calabash, a sacred object herited from his peul descendants.
Ballet Sory Abdoul noir et blanc 
Assisting dancers and musicians: members of Sory Camara Dance Theatre
Sory Camara Dance Theatre is composed of 17 dancers, singers and musicians living in Senegal, West-Africa. The dance company was founded by Ibrahima Sory Camara in 1964. He has been a great dancer from Guinean origin, who made an international career as dancer. The company performs diola (Casamance region), toucouler (Fouta Toro), sabar (Dakar) and peul (Guinea) dances and choreographies. They play traditional instruments such as the flute, marecass, kora, balafon, djembe, doroma among others. They perform at festivals and organize drum and dance workshops. They are famous and unique for their dances with the calabash. The Camara family live in a community house in Dakar (Grand Yoff) where children grow up with music and dance therefore traditions and music and dance heritage is passed from generation to generation. The company seeks further opportunities to perform at festivals and cultural events in Europe, Africa and around the globe.
  Ballet Sory Vieux 
During the camp, 2 half days will be dedicated to sightseeing tours!
Saloum Delta National Park and Serer villages
A Serer village will be visited, where polygamous families live in cottages covered with palm leaves. We can have an insight into the everyday life, cottages, and kitchen of these families, and an opportunity for gifting and conversation with local people. The Saloum Delta (96000 ha) is part of World Heritage because of its biodiversity and diverse flora and fauna. The territory is characterized by more than 200 bird species, mangrove forests and baobab trees. We will participate in a boat tour at the River Saloum and have barakuda lunch on a little island. One of the oldest baobab trees of Senegal will also be visited. The baobab tree is a holy tree and an importantsymbol of Senegal. Numerous stories and medical practica are connected to it. Travel back to Mbour, night in Mbour.
Safari in the Bandia Game Reserve, night in Mbour
Rhino, giraffe, zebra, warthog, zebra, ostrich and various antelope species live in the wildlife reserve. Speciality of the park: some animals are approachable on foot in the bush. Free program in the afternoon, farewell party of the camp in the evening. Night in Mbour.
Bandia Vadaspark  Bandia Vadaspark poz orrszarvuval  
11th day: Gorée Island and the arts of Dakar
Travel back to Dakar in the morning. Visit to Gorée Island (900 x 300m) a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located 20 minutes from Dakar. It is a historic place of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which lasted three centuries long. We will visit the slave prison, the History Museum, and the local art market, where souvenirs, masks and sculptures can be bought. We will try the mafé (peanut-butter) sauce at lunch. Transit to airport, departure back to Europe. Suggested flight: 21:40 Dakar- 06:40 Istambul
Accommodation during the camp 
Hotel Le Warang is located directly at the Atlantic coast, in the settlement Warang, near Mbour. Hotel Warang offers a tropical garden, romantic bungalows, a pool, and an unforgettable experience in oceanfront. The owner of the hotel, Kadidia will do everything to take care of us kindly. During our stay we receive a full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner) in the hotel, where delicious Senegalese and European dishes are served. In the bedrooms there is air conditioning and also bathroom. Bar and restaurant also can be found in the hotel and more local grocery stores are in the vicinity.
Mbour halpiac    
Program fee:1450 EUR/ pax
Single person supplement: 100 EUR/ pax
Program fee includes: inland travel with rented minibus, driver, fuel and road taxes; accommodation in African style lodges; full board 3-9. days; half board on 1. and 10. days, breakfast and lunch/or dinner during the tour; entrance fees to parks; full pass for the camp; costs of all programs detailed in the itinerary ; salary of cooker and local guides; guiding and visa fee.
Program fee does not include: international flight ticket, additional meals, drinks, additional programs NOT included in the program, and insurance.
Malarone pill is suggested to prevent Malaria disease.
Yellow fever vaccination is not obligatory! 
Introducing Senegal
The slogen of Senegal is Teranga. Teranga is a wolof word and it means hospitality which is very true for Senegal and it is something you will experience in every moment during your stay in this amazing West-African country. Senegal is a stabile, peaceful and diverse country with good infrastructure, great gastronomy and low-risk of health issues. You do not even need any obligatory vaccination to travel to Senegal.
Couched between the arid desert lands in Northern Senegal and lush tropical forests in the south, this country boasts a stunning array of sights, sounds and flavours. The capital Dakar alone hands you the country in a capsule. Perched on the tip of a beach-lined peninsula, this dizzying city is composed elegance and street hustle all rolled into one. The busy streets, vibrant markets and glittering nightlife will easily draw you into their relentless rhythm, but the escape route is always open – be it to the meditative calm of the historical Île de Gorée or the golden sands of Yoff and N’Gor. And if Dakar’s sensory overload really gets too much, architecturally beautiful Saint-Louis, the first French settlement in West Africa, boasts a vibrant urban culture without the inner-city bustle.
Most visitors head to Senegal for its beaches, and for good reason. North and south of Dakar, wide strips of white sand invite swimming and sunbathing, whether in the built-up resort zones, where a lazy day at the beach can be followed by a cocktail trail at night, or in one of the coast’s charming fishing villages, the beaches of which are dotted with hundreds of colourful wooden pirogues. At the deltas of the Casamance and Saloum Rivers, the coastline is broken up into a maze of thick mangroves, tiny creeks, wide lagoons and shimmering plains. A pirogue trip through these striking zones reveals hundreds of bird species, from the gleaming wings of tiny kingfishers to the proud poise of pink flamingos. Whether you want to mingle with the trendsetters of urban Africa, or be alone with your thoughts and the sounds of nature – Senegal is the place to be.
Dakar is a world hub and gateway to the wider subregion
5-hours away from Europe
Cultural hub of the black world (IFAN Dakar, Fesman)
International Festivals (St Louis Jazz, Dakar Biennale Arts Festival)
Many World Heritage Sites: Goree, Djoudj Bird Sanctuary
Long tradition of openness and hospitality
Low prevalence of HIV / AIDS (0.7%)
Political Stability
One of the sunniest countries in the world
Many sites of exceptional beauty (Grande Côte, Casamance, Petite Côte ..)
700 km of coastline
3000 hours of sunshine annually
Superb beaches
Variety of landscapes: beaches, mangroves, rivers
Wealth of biodiversity
6 national parks
4 nature reserves
Wilderness: The Pink Lake, Dindifélo Falls, Bassari land
Safari activities
Fishing, bird watching, hunting
Strong cultural activity
Music and performing arts (drama, dance)
Historic Heritage: colonial capital St. Louis, Goree (Slave) Island, Art nouveau civic monuments in Dakar enclaves of French architecture from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
Geological and prehistoric sites
Wealth of traditions: traditional games and sports such as Laamb (wrestling) and traditional rituals such as Sabar (dance drumming)
Vibrant arts scene: painting, sculpture, crafts, design

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