Flights to Thies
East of Dakar, Thies is the third largest city in Senegal and a major industrial centre for the region. As such, it is not a common tourist destination though there are many interesting things to see there.
Flights to Thies arrive at the Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport (airport code: DKR) located 60km away in Dakar. There are regular buses and a train route between Thies and Dakar so it should be an easy trip. You can get a non-stop flight to Thies from South Africa with South African Airways, or have one transfer in Lagos with Arik Air. There is also a flight to Thies with Lufthansa, with connections in Frankfurt as well as in Brussels.
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The Tourist Attractions of Thies:
Though French is the official language of Senegal, it is not that widely spoken in Thies. Many business signs will have French and people in any tourist-related business will usually speak some of it (restaurants, hotels, banks, etc.) Otherwise, there are a number of other local languages spoken around the city. The most common one is Wolof.
Located in a restored old fort, the local museum is one place you should visit to see more about both the history of the Thies region as well as all of Senegal. Exhibits focus on many eras in history, including the more modern advances of the city and the impact of the railroad on Thies. Exhibits are made up of artwork, historical items, documents and photographs.
When in Thies, you should spend at least one afternoon wandering around the open marketplace. Vendors selling woven baskets are popular, but you can find fruits, vegetables, livestock, fabrics and tapestry. Like most markets in Africa, it is busy, noisy and full of life.
There are several protected forest areas near Thies, with the Foret de Pout actually coming up to the western borders of the city. To the south are the Foret de Thies and the Foret de Bandia, and to the north-east you can find the Foret de Pire Goureye. These areas are not maintained as national parks so you won’t find tourist facilities but they are regions of undisturbed forest that you can still see and enjoy.
Dakar is an easy drive to the west of Thies and would offer some additional things to see and do, as well as additional shopping and restaurant options. There are some good beaches right on the coast, and you can see carpenters building canoes in the Soumbedioune area to the north-west of the city. The Marche Kermal by the harbour is the best marketplace in the city, with souvenirs, seafood and lots of fresh produce. You can also get a boat ride out to the Ile de Goree island to see its quiet streets with colonial architecture.
When Should You Visit?:
Winters are the best time to see Thies because the weather is at its coolest and there is typically no rainfall at all. That would be from January until early April, when the days usually reach around 25C. The other months will be warmer, leading up to the most heat from July until October, when it will be at 30C in the daytime instead. There will also be more rain in Thies from late June until October.