I only spent five days in Senegal’s St. Louis, but I saw a lot. The heart of the old colonial town, located on a narrow island at the mouth of the Senegal River, was established in 1659 by French traders. It owes much of it’s individuality to the Metis (merchant communities) of the 17th and 18th centuries, who created a distinctive culture of public festivities and entertainment.
St. Louis continues to be an important centre for cultural exchange in the region — the town has many resident artisans striving for recognition and holds West Africa’s most important jazz festival, along with numerous other music events throughout the year. This year’s festival will be held May 20-23.