1. It’s actually the Parc Forrestier et Zoologique de Hann, but many Anglophone toubabs call it ‘Hann Park’ because, well, it’s a park located in Hann neighborhood.
2. It’s green and leafy all year long. And your soul desperately needs green and leafy when you live in Dakar.
3. Tip: Walk with your eyes looking upward and ahead. Then you see the trees swaying against blue skies and birds swooping… not the trash and animal poop. On second thought, do look down occasionally.
4. Bicycles, scooters, strollers… YES! Bring them all.
5. There is also a rather rusty playground area. With barbed wire around it. #passonthat
6. The little pond is beautiful and has a small restaurant and bar, some shady spots (that’s ‘shady’ in the good sense) and a dock.
7. The zoo is an animal lover’s nightmare, but if your kids were born here like mine were, they’ll probably think it’s pretty cool.
8. Runners will appreciate the low-traffic paths in the shade all year long.
9. You can bring a mat and picnic under the trees.
10. The Park is 60 hectares and receives an average of over 1100 visitors daily – mostly athletes and students.
11. You’ll probably spend 75% of the time soaking up the greenery and appreciating the sounds of birds in nature and the other 25% horrified by the trash that is just everywhere.
12. Entry to the Park is free. Woohoo! The zoo fee is 350cfa and it is open Tuesday-Sunday mornings and afternoons
13. Birdwatchers will want to bring their binoculars and birding books.
14. The path that loops around the Park is cleared off enough for vehicles to pass through and not super sandy, but it’s long enough that comfortable walking shoes are best.
15. Sunday afternoons at the Park are pleasantly busy but not crowded. Makes for a great family outing.
16. If you are driving from across town on a Sunday, take the Corniche towards Plateau and go left at the big monument with the guy playing a trumpet (future post idea: names of landmarks you should know after living here for five years). Then take the autoroute to Hann.
17. Taxis will know the Park so you can get there easily even if you don’t know the area.