Discover the Historical and Geographic Significance of Gorée Island

November 18, 2011
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Gorée Island in Dakar, Senegal is infamous for its role as a major slave trade post between the 16th and 19th centuries. And while most known for its historical and cultural impact, Gorée’s geological history may also be of interest to those seeking nature travel experiences while exploring this country.

Stretching 88 acres just south of the Cape Verde Peninsula, Gorée Island is made mostly of barren volcanic rock. However, its position in Dakar's harbor made it a perfect location for the lucrative, albeit brutal trade of human beings being shipped to a fate of slavery in the Americas.

The island's name means "good harbor," and the town of Gorée is nothing but picturesque today. Visitors can learn about the ways in which the Dutch, Portuguese and French fought over control of the island, which was coveted for its small size that made it easy for merchants to control slaves.

Today the UNESCO World Heritage Site hosts narrow alleyways, colonial architecture and various museums dedicated to educating visitors on the slave trade and women's issues over history.


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