Goree Island (Ile de Gorée ) is a very pleasant place to visit and an easy day trip from Dakar. However, aside from its quaint charm and laid back atmosphere, this island also holds a strong relevance to the dark history of the Atlantic Slave Trade.
This small island located off the coast of Dakar is a major tourist attraction for its symbolic relevance to the history of slaves’ trading. A lot of African-Americans come here to pay their respects and reflect upon their ancestors’ past.
Thow La maison des esclave (The House of Slaves) was the house of a rich woman, Anna Colas Pepin who was a woman trader and sold some slaves. The house is now a memorial dedicated to the Atlantic Slave Trade, it was the place where for many years, slaves were brought before being put in ships headed to the Americas.
Built by the Dutch in 1776, the slave house has been preserved in its original state. Other interesting places here include the church, the picturesque ruins of Fort Nassau, Saint Michel (the Castle), and the Historical Museum in the old Fort Estrees.
I loved wandering around the little streets of Gorée, looking at the tumbledown colonial houses. Gorée evokes many emotions, from joy because of the people and architecture to peacefulness with the beauty of the ocean.
Regular ferries leave from the main port in Dakar between 6am to 11pm. The ferry trip takes only 20 minutes.