Presentism Travel: The Grand Magal, Senegal

NG
Neema Githere
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Duration: 12 days
Group size: 1 - 12
Presentism Travel: The Grand Magal, Senegal
Senegal

Neema Githere
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified

$NaN
Duration: 12 days
Group size: 1 - 12

About this trip

Presentism Travel is an endeavor to support people who are committed to traveling for the purpose of tracing their lineage and familiarizing themselves with the history & struggles of Black and Indigenous people, globally.


Senegal, the westernmost country in Africa, is home to a layered history of pre-colonial stature, Transatlantic exploitation, and Pan-African resistance. This trip is designed to explore Senegal beyond linear narratives that plague global understandings of Africa. Senegal is an incredibly peaceful nation, and this trip will place emphasis on highlighting the Senegalese spirit of teranga (hospitality).


Beginning with 7 days exploring Dakar and Joal-Fadiouth* (the birthplace of Leopold Senghor, Senegal's founding father) the first half of this journey will be oriented towards situating Senegal both within and beyond its relationship to the Transatlantic slave trade and Pan-African freedom struggles. We will visit the Door of No Return - the site from which 20 million Africans were trafficked between the mid-1500s and mid-1800s - and spend intentional time processing each leg of the journey. 


The central highlight of this trip will be a voyage to Touba to experience the Grand Magal. The Grand Magal of Touba is a national holiday in Senegal observed on 18th Safar in the Islamic calendar - this year it falls on September 15th. This day sees the largest pilgrimage in West Africa as hundreds of thousands of Sufis make their way to the holy city of Touba. While this trip is geared towards providing an immersion into West African Sufism, people of all faiths are invited and encouraged to join.


Ultimately, this trip aims to serve as an exploration of how to encourage inter-diasporic, inter-faith exchange while addressing the political complexities that complicate such an endeavor.


*Itinerary subject to change depending on final trip size. 

Additional Info


Financial Subsidy: A limited amount of discounted slots will be made available for first-time Black diasporic participants to join the trip. Please contact me directly to inquire about how to secure one. Travelers who have the means to support this subsidy program are invited + encouraged to use the "Pay it Forward" add-on on the trip booking page. 


First-Time Travel Consideration: The Grand Magal will be a transformative experience; however, due to the large influx of people to Touba at that time, it could potentially be overwhelming for first-time travelers. A trip option that excludes the Magal is available. Anyone who is interested in coming to Touba but is unsure of whether it would be a good fit are encouraged to reach out to schedule a call with myself and the local trip guide, Samba, to ask any questions they might have. 


Accommodation: In Dakar, we will be staying in AirBnB(s). In Joal-Fadiouth, we will stay in a local hotel. There are no hotels in Touba, and our days there will be spent at the homes of locals. Travelers can expect to share a room with one other person - those who would prefer private individual accommodation can select that option as an add-on. 


Language: Senegal is a French and Wolof-speaking country. An introductory proficiency in French is encouraged, but not necessary; we will be accompanied by a translator and local guide for the duration of the trip. Travelers who are interested in practicing French and/or Wolof in the lead up to the trip are welcome to reach out and participate in group lessons. 


Dress and Culture: Our primary local guides are queer-friendly. That being said, Touba is a relatively conservative city and modest dress is expected. There will be opportunities to discuss any specific safety concerns one-on-one prior to the trip for all participants. 


Participation Confirmation: An introductory call will be scheduled with each participant in the week following their booking. The deposit will be refundable until after the call, pending mutual confidence that the trip is a good fit. 

What’s included

  • Cultural Syllabus
    Curated pre-trip syllabus including reading and viewing materials to prepare for the trip
  • Accommodation
  • Local Transport
  • Food
    Brunch and Dinner each day - Breakfast on select days
  • Translator/Local Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • Photography
    All of the promotional visuals for this trip were shot by me on-location
  • International Airfare
    An add-on is available for participants who would like support in booking their air travel to Dakar
  • COVID Test Fee
    $45 in Dakar
  • Tips
    Between $10 and $25/day
  • Visa Fees
    If applicable (Not required for American/British/European passport holders)

Available Packages

Full Trip: Days 1
Available until 25 days before departure

For travelers who would like to join for the entirety of the journey, including Touba. The Grand Magal will be a transformative experience; however, due to the large influx of people to Touba at that time, it could potentially be overwhelming for first-time travelers. 


Anyone who is interested in coming to Touba but is unsure of whether it would be a good fit are encouraged to reach out to schedule a call with myself and the local trip guide, Samba, to ask any questions they might have. 

$2,250
Deposit: $450
Option 1: Days 1-8 Only (9/6-9/13)
Available until 21 days before departure

For travelers who would prefer to only join for the first half of the journey, excluding Touba. 

$1,950
Deposit: $300
Pay it Forward Only

For contributors who are not able to attend the trip but would like to help subsidize someone else's trip. People who select this option will be given access to the pre-trip syllabus and French or Wolof classes if they choose to participate. 

$555
Deposit: $100

Available options

Pay it Forward
$222

For travelers who are able to pay extra to go towards subsidizing someone else's trip who can not afford to pay the full amount. 

Language Practice
$150

French and/or Wolof classes in the 3 months leading up to the trip. 

Int'l Airfare Support
$200

For travelers who would like support in booking international airfare. 

Private Accommodation
$400

For travelers who would prefer a private room. It is not guaranteed that a private room will be available in Touba. 

$NaN


Itinerary

Day 1-3
Welcome to Dakar

Our first day in Dakar will begin with a group intention-setting activity to set the tone for the rest of the trip. In the following two days, we will visit: Gorée Island, the site at which 20 million Africans were held captive and trafficked through during the Transatlantic slave trade; the Museum of African Civilizations; Ngor Island "the island of Spirits"; and the African Renaissance Monument.

Your Organizer


NG
Neema Githere
In 2015, I made a challenge to myself to visit 20 countries before my 20th birthday. In the years since, I have traveled to 30 countries across 5 continents. My favorites have been Brazil, Madagascar, Vietnam, and Senegal. Presentism Travel is an endeavor to support other young people of color who are committed to traveling for the purpose of tracing their lineage and familiarizing themselves with the history & struggles of Black and Indigenous people, globally.