The exuberant capital of West Africa's Senegal was once a French overseas territory. Friendly Dakar is a thriving seaport on Cape Verde Peninsula (the westernmost point of the African continent). It is a city where today's skyscrapers are mixed with old colonial buildings, animated street markets, and excellent museums and art galleries. You'll find French the common language, but with a wealth of tribal dialects much in evidence. Goree Island, the former primary assembly point for slave shipments to the New World is a mere ferry ride away and features a fascinating museum and elegant colonial mansions. Within easy reach, too, are some excellent Atlantic beaches, and nearby N'Gor offers good snorkelling.