UNESCO World Heritage-listed Saint-Louis - the former French colonial capital of Senegal
Stretched out on a sliver of land on the Senegal River, in its colonial days Saint-Louis was the capital of French West Africa and an important centre for trade. That the town’s most distinctive image is the arched Faidherbe Bridge is appropriate, for Saint-Louis’ history reveals it to be a place that connects – continents, religions, river and sea, desert and savannah; a place that artfully blended its disparate parts to forge a vital, distinctive Métis culture that today leaves a rich legacy to explore. Brightly painted pirogues bob on the water and impromptu football games spring up on the beach. Back in town, the streets are lined with beautiful brightly coloured 19th century architecture, plaster peeling photogenically under the African sun, while the palm-shaded patios and balconies of historic buildings make for peerless places to relax, listen to the music that is a feature of local life here, and take in the languid, Caribbean feel to the street life of this most charismatic of African towns.