Published: May 2009
By Darrell Hartman
The capital of Senegal lures in-the-know travelers to its lively streets—and into its tucked-away boutiques. Darrell Hartman shares his finds from a recent trip.
South African Airways offers nonstop, seven-hour flights from New York (flysaa.com). Travel agency Nouvelles Frontières organizes customized tours of Dakar, as well as a shopping itinerary. Lot 1, Mamelles Aviation; 011-221/859-4447; nfsenegal.com.
Don't miss the splashy designs—people in brightly hued gowns—spilling across glass dishes and bowls also decorated with baobab-branch motifs, giraffes, and Masai warriors at this boutique specializing in tableware and linens. Rue Birago Diop, Point E; 011-221/402-0176.
This tiny space bursts with color—radiant batiks, a gauzy orange skirt of Mauritanian cotton, and an indigo bogolan (mud-cloth) jacket with cowrie-shell buttons. 58 Fenêtre Mermoz; 011-221/860-1443.
Sous-verre (reverse-glass) painting is one of Senegal's best-known art forms. At his open-air atelier near the French Institute, Moussa Sakho sells some of the city's best—and makes the varnished metal frames himself. 89 Rue Joseph Gomis; 011-221/823-0320.
For tribal art, such as wooden masks from the Ivory Coast or a beaded votive figure from Togo, head to this shop in the Les Almadies district. Rte. du Méridien Président; 011-221/659-3717.