Level: Free shore access This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Gorée Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Senegal’s premier tourist sites. If the visit to the island, a place of remembrance and historical interest, is absolutely worth the detour, the small beach next to the landing stage is also one of the rare snorkeling spots in the country. In this well-sheltered bay, when the underwater visibility is good, many fish typical of West Africa, including parrotfish, surgeonfish, wrasse and seabream, can be spotted.
Ile de Gorée (Goree Island) is just a 2 km boat trip off the coast of Dakar. The island is very popular with tourists and it is easy to get there by ferry from the port of Dakar. A dozen round trips are available daily, and the crossing takes about 20 minutes. The snorkeling spot is at the foot of the landing stage, facing the small beach (called “Petite Plage de Gorée”) that you will see on the right when you disembark.
Get in the water directly from the sandy beach.
The recommended snorkeling area comprises the small swimming area facing the beach (delimited by a line of buoys) as well as the western part of the cove, bordered by rocks, concrete blocks and a pontoon. If you exit the bathing area (you certainly will, since the seabed facing the beach is sandy and very poor), stay close to the shore, use a dive flag, and watch out for boat traffic.
This location features sandy and rocky beds, as well as a pontoon and submerged concrete blocks around which many fish shelter. Different types of seaweed are also found. In places, you will see black sea urchins and small red sea anemones. Unfortunately, you will also see a lot of waste.
There is a great diversity of fish in Gorée, even if they are shy and quite elusive. If you are used to snorkeling in the Mediterranean, you will surely recognize the very familiar zebra seabream, two-banded seabream and salema porgy.
But this spot also allows encounters with more tropical-looking species, native from West Africa, such as the Guinean parrotfish, the Monrovia surgeonfish, the Atlantic rainbow wrasse, as well as the blackbarred hogfish. In total, about twenty different fish can be seen Gorée shallows.
Even though Goree is a bit far from the mainland, the underwater visibility is not always good enough to snorkel at this spot.
Goreé is very touristy and there are several restaurants and hotels around the beach and the landing stage.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Cliffs and rocky islets with a nice diversity of fish
Level: Free shore access
Sandy and rocky beds with a few fish
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
Wild and secluded rocky cove with fish, sea stars and stingrays
Rocky shore with fish and invertebrates
Rocky islets surrounded by seagrass meadows with a great diversity of fish