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Travel -

Travel Diaries: Behind our latest surf expedition in Senegal with Tanika and Emma

We caught up with Tanika Hoffman and Emma Smith to give us an inside scoop on their surf expedition in Senegal, Africa.

Dive in below:

What was your favorite part of the surf adventure?

  • Tanika: Our Senegal trip had so many highlights! From exploring the local town and trying delicious local meals, to boat rides to N’gor island and surfing multiple different spots. One of our most beautiful and memorable surfs was on the last day of the trip, we had just started packing to get ready to leave for the airport when we heard about a fickle wave which happened to be breaking. We jumped into the van and rushed off to a majestic left which broke in front of the magnificent Mosque de la Divinité. Surfing in the beautiful little horseshoe bay with the grand Mosque backdrop was the perfect end to our trip
  • Emma: So hard to pick my favourite part, but I think to experience true Africa was a highlight even as a South African. Senegal is such a special place full of culture, hospitable locals, waves and sheep everywhere! I loved that every time we went down the road we felt like we were in a completely different place (except that every place included sheep on the beach). Every surf mission was an experience of its own—from walking through camels, driving on the beach, dodging urchins, and the crazy boat trips to the surf! 

 

Funniest moment during the trip? 

  • Tanika: Senegal is known for its abundance of sea urchins… literally the most I've ever seen! The main topic of our surfs was how we were going to make our way in and out of the water urchin free. I did what I call “starfishing” as I got washed up the rocks, to ensure I didn't touch the bottom until I was ankle deep and hit the shore. On one occasion a local man stood in the shallows shouting, “you can stand, you can stand”, but I wasn't prepared to risk it!
  • Emma: Probably watching Tanika and I carrying around our airplane sock bags filled with leftovers from the breakfast buffet to feed the sheep on the beach before every surf! Or watching us freaking out and falling over in the little boats to the surf, while trying to act "calm" for the shot! haha

Any fun facts about Senegal?

  • Tanika: I found Lake Retba/Lac Rose quite interesting, we drove about an hour along the coast and got to a little palm tree oasis which surrounded Lac Rose, a pink lake which is pink due to a certain type of bacteria found in the lake, it has an unusually high salt content (saltier than the Dead Sea). 
  • Emma: There are urchins everywhere! Even if the spot you're going shows 10km on the maps it will probably take you an hour. Senegal's most popular sport is Laamb (wrestling) and you'll see kids wrestling on the beach and streets everywhere. The locals are the kindest people ever and I'd go back anyday!

 

Out of all the product you wore, which one is your favorite to surf in or must-pack item?

  • Tanika: It’s hard to choose, the Adventure Division range is so great to surf in, the bikini ties help the bottoms to stay in place, and the tops are all so practical. My favorite is probably the all black one piece, it’s SO comfortable! The only good thing about getting a set on the head is not having to worry about losing your bottoms.
  • Emma: I loved surfing in camo adventure division sports bra and draw strong bottoms! It was perfect for the walk and missioning to far surf spots, so comfy in the water, and did not fall off and move around while surfing! It was actually very hard to choose one, every item was PERFECT for an adventure! Whether it was getting to the surf, an adventure on land, or in the water... the items were made to be worn, adventured in, and extreme sports. Everything also dried super quickly!