18.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Discover two extraordinary regions of Senegal – the Pays Bassari and the Delta of Saloum

Dance performance in the Pays Bassari © Mamadou Seya Ndiaye

Take a journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Delta of Saloum and the Pays Bassari to discover the cultural assets of these regions of Senegal.

Two new publications by UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar highlight the particularities of the two regions through beautiful photographs and texts.

Since 2009 the Delta of Saloum and the ‘Pays Bassari’ have been at the centre of attention of the Senegalese government and five UN agencies (UNESCO, UNWTO, UNFPA, UNIDO and UNDP) within the framework of the project to promote cultural initiatives and industries in Senegal. The project is funded by the Government of Spain through the Millennium Development Goals Fund. It started in 2009 and ends in December 2012.

“The regions are insufficiently known by the public,” says Yao Ydo, responsible for the project at UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar. “One of the objectives has been to make them better known to attract more tourists both from Senegal and abroad and celebrate their rich cultural diversity,” he adds.

Indeed, the two regions were listed as World Heritage of Humanity sites in respectively 2011 and 2012.

The Pays Bassari, located in the southeastern corner of Senegal, has a rich ethnic diversity (Bassari, Bedik, Coniagui, Djalonké and Peul) but also unique cultural landscapes.The Delta of Saloum in the western part of Senegal is known for its diverse landscapes and unique ecosystems, including mudflats, resting places and dormitories of birds, strings of islands, acting as their breeding grounds.

The two publications are entitled: Cultural Landscapes of the Pays Bassari (in French only) and the Delta of Saloum : between land and sea, an outstanding cultural landscape (in French only).

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