Lush and green, rice fields or fruit orchards, Casamance is abundant with natural resources. From Dakar, either an overnight ferry or a day long car trip will get you to Casamance, the region situated at the southern most end of Senegal, between Guinea Bissau and the Gambia.
For Senegalese, Casamance is known as the country’s bread basket, rich with the gifts of nature and fertile soil. For tourists, it has long been a destination of choice, with its fine combed sand beaches, ancestral cults, and traditional villages of complex architecture and two story huts.
Casamance certainly deserves its title as breadbasket for the country: close to 80% of the population practice an active agriculture on 80,000 hectares of land, over half dedicated to rice. Other crops include peanuts, cashews, black eyed peas, corn, sorghum, mangos, bananas and grapefruits. Whether Christian or Muslim, the region’s majority ethnic group, the Diola remain quite proudly tied to their animistic roots. Spirits are omnipresent and protect each element of nature. For the Diola, nature contains essences of the Divine, and respect and human protection for nature are fundamental.
Want to learn more about the Casamance, the Diola and their green culture? Contact Augustin, champion of his ecopark project. He’ll be happy to share!