Mar Lodj is an island in the delta that Sine and Saloum rivers create. We are located at about 150km to the South of Dakar, in the Fatik region. 
Mar Lodj is located inside the great Sine Saloum National Park, a huge delta of about 76,000 hectare that was declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2011. Its serpentine mangroves are ideal to see a great variety of birds, fish and flora. 
There are a lot of interesting places to discover in the area: you can visit the fishermen village of Palmarin, the island of Joal Fadiouth and its beautiful shells, the sea coming through at Djiffer… and, of course, the Islands of Saloum!
The Mar Lodj Island is inhabited by around 5,500 people who live on 4 different villages: Mar Fafaco, with a population of 2,500, Mar Lodj with 2,200, Mar Soulou with 500 and the islet of Wandjé where a whole family of 300 members live. The way to any of these villages is beautiful and interesting. There are many ways to get through these beautiful places: you can walk, ride a horse, travel on a horse car, and of course you can sail on a boat, but there are no roads or cars on the island.
The savanna landscape and the mangroves on the delta offer a beautiful view to everyone passing by. It does not rain much on the island, except for the rain season that starts on Mid June and can last up to Mid October.
People in the island grow rice, millet, peanuts and other vegetables. Some people also work as fishermen, farmers or live from tourism. 
Serere culture is the main one in Mar Lodj Island and three different religions coexist: Islam, Christian religion and Animism. 
There are 2 health centers, 2 maternity centers and 4 schools - 3 of them are public. There are also 2 kindergartens and one secondary education institute in Mar Soulou.

Mar Lodj village is where we live and it is also the first village that you reach when you come from the Ndangane pier. The village has two areas that are pretty different: the coast and the inland. These two areas are separated by a wide path of sand reserved for the cattle to pass by.

You’ll find a pier in the COAST, as well as some touristic accommodations and a few houses. The mood in the coast part of the village is quite and very nice: you will not find many people or houses in this area. The beaches are comfortable and very beautiful, with very fine sand and not too deep. The big trees that come down to the seaside make it ideal to relax. You can also find wilder beaches with a great variety of vegetation, it just depends on what you are looking for!

The INLAND part of the village is where most locals live. Most families that live here are Sereres and the village is organized as a traditional Serere village: wide sand streets, houses surrounded by cane fences, animals in the patios, horses and cars… and a big central square (Nguel) where awesome trees keep company to the mosque, the church and a small grocery store.

The NGUELis the heart of the village, the meeting point for everything and everyone: the vegetables and fish local market takes place here, people meet to have tea in the shade of the trees… There is also a small tam tam telephone cabin and a drum that was used to warn people that lived far away when something important was going on...

It is very interesting to walk through the small streets in Mar Lodj and get to know how its inhabitants live, to visit the handmade market of the Women Association and contemplate the three trees that have grown interlaced symbolizing the coexistence and harmony between Islam, Christianity and Animism. It is a place of peace and calmness that remains as the essence of Serere culture.

Our rural accommodation Nguel du Saloum is placed in a terrain of approximately 700m², only 200m away from the beach and near the pier in the coast area of the village. It just takes 2 minutes to get to the beach from home, and only 10 minutes to get to the inland heart of the village. 
We bought this land following the “traditional way”, looking for the approval of the local authorities that gave their consent for the construction of our home and made all the traditional necessary blessings to ensure everything will go well.

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