Senegal: In the Shade of the Baobob Tree (Summer Abroad)
97% Rating
(3 Reviews)

Senegal: In the Shade of the Baobob Tree (Summer Abroad)

You never know what might happen in Senegal. Enter a fortuneteller’s hut and ask a question about your future. Spin and dance with Sufi mystics. Discover fluent Spanish speakers on a mangrove island. Speak with a young man preparing to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to find work in Spain. This country is a collision of influences: French, Islamic, African, and increasingly, American and Chinese. Renowned for its hospitality and tolerance, Senegal makes room for all. We delve into pressing modern social issues while immersing ourselves in deep culture. As we sink into the rhythm of Senegalese life, we see that this place has much to teach us about community, global issues, and our own humanity.

We offer comprehensive, personal home visits so that we can answer your questions in person. One of our expert staff members will present on our program options and share stories from their own formative Where There Be Dragons program. To request a home visit in less than 2 minutes, fill out this form.

  • Discover Senegal's rich artistic heritage, explore Sufi mysticism, and learn more about 'teranga,' Senegal's culture of giving.
  • Engage with gender issues and children’s rights, immigration and unemployment, desertification and climate change, public health and education.
  • Explore unique variations of West African Islam, Catholicism, and animism.
  • Spend a week with a family in an individual rural village homestay with very rugged amenities, another week in a semi-urban homestay, and stay in additional group homestays almost everywhere we go in Senegal.
  • Learn about how our Senegalese hosts serve the environment through reforestation efforts in mangrove swamps and chimpanzee habitats. Give back to communities by dispelling stereotypes and assisting your home-stay families with farm chores.
Africa » Senegal
Program Categories
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
Host Family
Age Min.
Starting Price
Price Details
The land cost for Senegal: In the Shade of the Baobab Tree is 7,020$ for 4 weeks. Flight costs are estimated at $2,185. Need-based scholarships are available.

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Program Reviews (3)

Default avatar
21 years old
Green Bay
University of Minnesota

We're Not So Different After All


Spending a month long cultural immersion trip in West Africa would be a trip expected to full of new experiences, peoples and rituals that one could only attempt to fathom. In my experience in the beautiful country of Senegal, I would have to say I didn't necessary find this misleading. To a small amount of sincere surprise, in my trip to Senegal, I gained comfort in the 'new' world my fellow Dragons explorers were submerged in.

In my time with my host family on the third week of the trip, I got the opportunity to connect more personally with the the way of life that the people in the island of Niodior thrived in. There I was welcomed to spend time with the family of Souleman, a boy who reminded me of myself when I was his age. Souleman is an attentive, sincere and fearless kid that pretty much had my back the entire time I stayed at his home. When I would socialize and chill with the older men of Souleman's family I felt as I was hanging around my cousins and uncles back home in Mexico. The conversations were relaxed and the night carried our conversation as we venture to talk about romance, future and religion. These kind of connections gave me the impression that the culture I so intrinsically wondered about was not so different than mine. The traditions, foods and tongues were different, but the people who lived this way are just human, as am I.

Learning what I did in the manner I did sprawled a sense of global citizenship in my identity. A gift that gives me the duty to travel more and more. I believe its a gift which I still carry to this day, engraved in the passport God has given me.

Default avatar
18 years old
Santa Barbara

Spiritual Ice Bath


At the time I committed to a 4-week Summer Program to Senegal I was ready to experience something other than North American and Western European culture. I ran from materialism and superficiality and when I looked down I was in Senegal with 8 like-minded people. Meeting people with such different beliefs and practices was essentially a mental/spiritual ice bath. I held hands with boys I met in streets and walked with a smile and received non of the venomous looks I would expect from home. Singing was encouraged and self-consciousness seemed not to exist.

The trip simply opened my eyes to the vastness of the world and all of the cultures and histories it (reluctantly) still holds. I am more interested in life and in people. I cannot imagine what it would be like to never have seen Senegal.

How can this program be improved?

I wish it were more of an individual experience. I forged amazingly tight bonds with the 8 people I went with, but I'm afraid that those bonds came at the cost of a bond with Senegal. I wish I had read more literature and poetry of the place and that there were less forced group activities.

Default avatar
19 years old
Los Angeles

Nights in the Casamance


Often, the problem with telling stories is one's inability to capture the feeling of the moment in words. We can say the facts, say there was an electricity in the air, but that electricity is lost in translation. This is why it has been so difficult for me to explain why one of the happiest times of my young life took place in the tiny village of Sare Cene, in the Casamance region of Senegal. Why? I am asked so often, and while my answer has been refined, it always falls short. Why? Well, every night, all the young people of the village and I danced well past the time when the moon reached its zenith, illuminated only by the light of a dying campfire, the moon, and the vast multitude of stars. Even with my prettiest language, I fail. I can not convey the energy, the joy, and the laughter. I can not describe the feeling, or the reason I am smiling so wide in all of my pictures. The best I can do is to refer them to Where There Be Dragons, and say "Why don't you find out for yourself."

How can this program be improved?

I would have loved for the trip to have been extended from four weeks to six weeks.

About The Provider


Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel,