Dates: March 25–April 2, 2019

Begin & End: Dakar, Senegal (DKR)

     • Jeffrey Chapman
     • Winslow Lockhart
     • Elizabeth Opalenik

Maximum Participants: 6

Tuition: $6,300

Accommodation: Included
(optional single supplement: $600)

Meals: Included

Payment Policy: 3 Installments
     • $500 deposit to confirm participation
     • 50% due by September 1, 2018
     • Balance due by December 1, 2018

This photographic adventure begins and ends in Dakar, Senegal. Tuition includes hotels (based on double occupancy; single occupancy is available with payment of a single-occupancy supplement), meals, driver and guide tips, and local group transportation for the duration of the adventure. It does not include visa, souvenirs, bar beverages, laundry, insurance (travel, medical, cancellation), nor any personal expenses.

This adventure is suitable for all levels of photographic experience. Participants must be in good health and able to spend each day walking and carrying their own equipment.

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Senegal Within The Frame Photographic Adventure

Senegal Within The Frame Itinerary

Sitting at Africa’s westernmost tip, Senegal is a fusion between the Arabic north and the diverse and colorful cultures of the region’s southern gulf. Surrounded by the ever-encroaching sands of the Sahal, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and the dense jungle of the Casamance, Senegal beats to a rhythm of its own with accents of colonial-era architecture and French undertones.

Senegal Within The Frame focuses on three very diverse areas of Senegal: Dakar, the westernmost city of the Old World as well as of the African mainland, the colonial old town, and music-rich, Saint-Louis in the north, and the fishing village of Mbour along the Petite Côte (ie, small coast).

This is not going to be a rushed adventure, running from landmark to landmark to grab a quick photograph as proof that we were there. We’re going to linger, absorb, take time to wait for the excitement of the new and exotic to blend with an understanding of our surroundings, to find our visions. We’ll photograph in the early mornings and evenings, spend mid-days talking, discussing, learning, and working to develop our art. We will also take advantage of Elizabeth Opalenik’s expertise and spend some time photographing models during this adventure.

This photographic adventure is about the passionate discovery and photography of people, place, and culture, with emphasis given to going deep not wide, and pursuing that most elusive of photographic necessities — our vision. It is appropriate for photographers of all levels, and you will be free to photograph independently or always with the assistance of one of the leaders.

Dakar & Lac Rose (Days One — Two)

We will all arrive in Dakar in time for a meet-and-greet dinner and an orientation to discuss our itinerary and events for our shared photographic adventure.

Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is located on the Cape Verde Peninsula, the westernmost point of mainland Africa. The name comes from dakhar, a Wolof name for the tamarind tree. It is Senegal’s cultural, political, and economic capital and one of Africa’s leading industrial, financial, and service centers. The Senegalese are proud of their reputation for teranga (ie, hospitality). The locals are extremely friendly and helpful.

Just north of Dakar, Lake Retba, better-known as Lac Rose by locals, has a surprisingly vivid pink color that is caused by the Dunaliella salina bacteria, which is attracted by the lake’s high salt content. The bacteria produces a red pigment that is particularly vivid during the dry season from November through June. Separated from the Atlantic Ocean by just a narrow corridor of dunes, salt ends up concentrated in the lake, resulting in a salt content of up to 40% in parts of the lake, which is about ten times more than the nearby ocean. Much like the Dead Sea, it’s possible to easily float on the lake. With such a high salt content, not much is able to survive living in the lake, but it is important for salt harvesting. Salt is extracted by local men and boys, using pirogues (narrow canoes), from the bottom of the lake using their hands, then women, who like the men coat themselves in shea butter to protect their skin from exposure to salt, wade into the water once the men are near shore and transport the salt to shore in baskets. The salt is sold at markets across West Africa.

Saint-Louis (Days Two — Five)

Saint-Louis, in far northern coastal Senegal, with its crumbling colonial architecture, horse-drawn carts, and peaceful ambiance has a unique historical charm. It was West Africa’s first French settlement and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Called Ndar in Wolof (the most widely spoken language in Senegal), it was founded in 1659 and was the capital of the French colony until independence in 1960. (From 1920 to 1957, it also served as the capital of the neighboring French colony Mauritania.) The old town center sits on an island in the Senegal River. Saint-Louis has a strong and vibrant musical scene, and while we are there we will attend a djembes party to photograph the musicians drumming to their African rhythms.

The area surrounding Saint-Louis is rich in natural sites. The National Park of the Langue de Barbarie occupies the southern point of the Langue de Barbarie, the estuary of the Senegal River. It hosts thousands of water birds, such as cormorants, brushes, pink flamingos, pelicans, herons, and ducks each year. The National Park of the Birds of Djoudj is just north of Saint-Louis. It occupies over 120 square kilometers and includes part of the river, as well as lakes, basins, and marshes. About three million migrating birds of 400 species visit each year. The Fauna Reserve of Gueumbeul, south of Saint-Louis, shelters birds and endangered species such as the Dama Gazelle, the Patas Monkey, and the African Spurred Tortoise.

Mbour (Days Five — Nine)

Mbour is a quaint fishing village along the Petite Côte. Fishermen go out to sea in small, colorful boats and return to sell their catch at the equally colorful harbor market. During slower times on the beach, one finds farmers washing their livestock (goats, horses, etc.), while at busier times of the day the beach is a hive of activity: from kids playing in the water to men with bodies worthy of a Michelangelo sculpture working out on the beach (without any egocentric attitude) or playing soccer — to win. Around 4pm in the afternoon, tens of thousands of pure white butterflies can be seen flying from the sea over the beach. It’s a beautifully surreal experience.

While based in Mbour — at a beautiful boutique hotel full of African artwork right on the beach — we will also visit the weekend bush market, the shellfish village of Joal Fadiouth, and explore and photograph along this beautiful coastal region.

Dakar (Day Nine)

We’ll spend our final morning enjoying the beach one last time, enjoying the company of new friends, and planning our next adventures before saying our goodbyes and heading to the airport for our flights home.

Although this represents the photographic adventure’s planned itinerary, it is subject to change at the discretion of the adventure leaders.

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