Having traveled this route through West Africa, I am lucky enough to have visited all eleven countries on the coast from Dakar to Lagos.
Using my Top 10 destinations in South East Asia as a template, I will using the following criteria.
These places/countries are judged on:
- - Natural beauty / Historical wonders
- – Unique Experiences offered
- - The Chill-out Factor (Off the beaten track, smoke etc.)
- – The Craic! (Irish term meaning fun or entertainment)
- - The Girls (the real X factor)
So here they are…
TOP 10 Spots in West Africa!
10. Cap Skirring, Senegal
In a word: Moo.
Meeting random cows on the road and the Beach. Enjoying fresh fish by the sea where you effectively rent the whole restaurant. The atmosphere is enhanced when the owners come out with the Djembe drums.
Bottom Line: The best that Senegal has to offer, but that’s ain’t saying much.
9. Senegambia, The Gambia
In a word: Simple.
Good Restaurants and wild nightlife (but only one or two options). Check out my Gambian Coast guide for info.
Bottom Line: Better than Senegal, but local guys can be pretty bothersome.
8. Labadi Beach, Ghana
In a word: Slick.
Bottom Line: Wicked hang-out. I’d score it higher if wasn’t surrounded by crappy Accra.
7. Lake Aheme, Benin
In a word: Juju.
A 5 star set up with no tourists. Smoke available. Grab a beer lakeside and enjoy. The lake is the perfect getaway from the capital Cotonou.
Bottom Line: For me, West Africa’s ultimate chill out spot.
6. Togo (in general)
In a word: Pleasent.
Lome has a laid back vibe but it hosts West’s Africa’s biggest nightclub! Check out the Lomé city guide to get a better feel for the nightlife.
Bottom Line: A breath of fresh air on the road from Accra to Lagos.
5. Monrovia, Liberia
In a word: Threesome?
Liberia by night is truly an adventure. Check out my Monrovia City Guide for more info.
Girls in Liberia love to f**k. I never had to refuse so much sex in my life as I did here. The only problem is knowing who to trust. But dam, Liberian girls are a little addictive. Hence the high ranking.
Bottom Line: West Africa’s most off the beaten track country is well worth it.
4. Lagos, Nigeria
In a word: Chaos.
Arguably the best looking (and friendliest) girls in Africa. You’ll understand if you read my Lagos City Guide.
Bottom Line: You haven’t been to Africa if you haven’t been to Lagos.
3. Cote d’Ivoire (in general)
In a word: Magnifique!
Nightlife in Abidjan is mega. Biking from the Liberian border is also an epic jungle trail.
Bottom Line: For many who visit the region, this is their favorite country in West Africa.
2. Guinea (in general)
In a word: Unexpected.
The Journey from hell. Ultimate jungle treks. Having to put on hoody because the chill in the mountain air (a welcome temperature change).
Conakry has a pretty decent nightlife and displays great variety. The beach parties are a blast too.
Bottom Line: Reminded me of Ethiopia… my favourite country in West Africa.
1. Freetown Peninsula, Sierra Leone
In a word: Heaven?
Wild nights, every night. Options are limited, but the venues are Grade A. Beers are cheap too. Freetownians really know how to have a good time. Check out my Freetown city guide for more info.
Bottom Line: Beautiful scenery, loose women, weed and cheap beer in clubs = awesome. Easily the best location in West Africa!
I decided to only include places I’ve actually been in the top 10. As such, the list above only covers countries on the coast from Dakar to Lagos. I contacted some fellow globe-trotters to give their top 10 on the route as well. Here are some other picks from fellow travellers…
- Robertsport, Liberia
- Goree Island, Senegal (I’ve been here. Good escape from Dakar but very small.)
- Ganvie, Benin
- Kokobrite, Ghana (Been here. It could have made the list if I had went on the weekend)
- Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal
- Bissagos Islands, Guinea Bissau (nice place, but get out of Bubaque and explore further)
Check out my my West African City Guides!
Please share your favourite places! Leave a comment below!