Senegal is known for its surfing, good beaches, coral formations and abundant marine life. The high density of fish is one of the main attractions of the area and tourists cannot miss out the shoals of tropical fish filling the coral reefs with an ever-changing spectrum of colour. The sightings of dolphin, whale shark, hammerhead shark, manta ray and potato bass are also common. Located at the westernmost point in Africa, Senegal boasts of many topographical features. Beyond the beautiful coastline, the country terrain is mostly low-lying and becomes semi desert towards north and northeast. It also has its share of fertile plains too by the banks of Senegal and Casamance River in the north and south respectively. The latter one also complements a dense tropical forest in its surrounding regions.
Senegal experienced several foreign influences starting with arrival of the Islam in the 11th century. Surviving brief Portuguese and British occupation, Senegal was taken over by France in 19th century and became part of French West Africa in 1895. After becoming a protectorate, Senegal declared independence within a federation with Mali on June 20, 1960. The federation collapsed in four months and Senegal emerged as a republic.