The Senegal region of Casamance extends along the Casamance river, featuring a lush countryside crisscrossed by channels, river islands, tropical forests, rice fields and mangroves.
The main ethnic group are the “diola”, who follow an animist and Christian tradition, and who cherish their culture and traditions. With a strong tie to their land, the practice of animism grants the natural elements and climatic events with a life force that is linked to creation and which transcends the human being and nature.
The Lower Casamance route invites the visitor to explore the traditions and customs of the diola, their lifestyle, history and culture, in a setting with great natural wealth, located in one of the most beautiful regions of Senegal.
Casamance, a beautiful and fertile region of the south of Senegal, extends alongside the river Casamance, in a territory full of canals, river islands, tropical forests, rice fields and mangroves.
The “Diola” ethnic group represent the largest group of residents, representing the main ethnic group of the Casamance, also present in the neighbouring Gambia and Guinea Bissau. With an animist and Christian tradition, the Diola cherish their culture and traditions, feeling a strong tie toward their land, which they consider to be vulnerable, while being respectful towards the ancestral values of their ancestors. In Casamance, the practice of the animist religion provides a vital force to the natural elements and the climatic events linked to creation, which goes far beyond the human being and nature.
For the Diola, rice is sacred, a symbol of prosperity and fertility. Rice cultivation guarantees a food supply to the villages, representing one of the identifying traits of an ethnic group with deep ties to agriculture. In Senegal, women contribute most of the labour during rice harvesting.
A typical characteristic of the Casamance region are the “Villageois Camps”, these are modest accommodations located in small populations far from the traditional tourist routes, managed by the communities themselves, these are constructed based on frameworks and strategies that seek to avoid the exodus of the youth of the cities by providing economic alternatives based on responsible tourism in the rural environment. The accommodations are managed by local committees and any profits are generally invested in improving the health or education services or the development of productive activities for the community.
The Lower Casamance route invites the visitor to explore the traditions and customs of the Diola, their lifestyle, history and culture, in a setting with great natural wealth, and located in one of the most beautiful regions of Senegal.