La Maison des Esclaves
La Maison des Esclaves
4.5
About
This centuries-old house served as a processing center for African slaves.
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Top ways to experience La Maison des Esclaves and nearby attractions

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,569 reviews
Excellent
794
Very good
550
Average
181
Poor
30
Terrible
14

kathywood
Essex257 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Business
Went with an English Guide and was horrified to find halfway through the tour he was publicly lambasted by the Curator who had been giving a loud talk in French to everyone. He didn't like our guide trying to speak to us in English. The Curator was so unbelievably rude in front of so many people. It's about time this place moved with the times and started to label pictures and information in English and if they don't like English guides at the sane time, they allocate specific times for them.
Written December 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zara D
London, UK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Goree island is must see when you’re visiting Senegal. Rich in history and culture, family friendly also. The ferry boat is a short fun ride from Dakar port. Don’t forget to carry some form of ID to buy a ticket, and keep in mind the departure times to leave the island (ferry service isn’t available 24hrs).
Written April 28, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

leciel83
Toronto, Canada358 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Solo
I think this is a must visit if you are in Dakar! This is a historical site and it is an important past that we need to understand and need to avoid this history from repeating in the future. The site is small, however I left with a heavy heart. Learnt what happened here and the people that went through that kind of salved experience was sad and horrified. Yet, this piece of history is important to shape our current society. Thus, it is a must visit.
Written December 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

browngirl06
Greater London, UK360 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Amazing experience, make sure you get an English speaking guide. So emotional and glad I got to experience it. I highly recommend this tour guide who we went with. Contact him on what’s app and tell him Raymar London recommended 🤩
Malick WhatsApp +221773651716
Written October 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vijay66610
Chennai (Madras), India49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Business
To witness the memoirs of sad part of world history, One should take the time to learn and imagine what would have happened in this land .
I was accompanied by my local friend Mr Madar who explained to me about this slave house patiently and emotionally .From the center of the "house" is the final opening passage to the sea where enslaved human beings took their last look of their native place. So sad that many revolted to their deaths at the wall rather than step onto the ship. People were held here for months to receive training to bring a higher price. Of the many million taken, the majority actually went to Brazil.
You can walk through the town which is beautiful and meet people who are kind and friendly people with local handicrafts at sale and few good restaurants around.
Carry your passport you will be checked by cops in port entrance.
yes i didnt but managed by bribing...
Good day...
Good Luck...
Written February 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

liverpool1023
London, UK1,141 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
Grab a taxi to the ile de Goree ferry terminal at Dakar port. The ferry cost is 5200 CFA for adults and 2700 CFA for kids. The ticket has a bar code which needs to be scanned at the turnstile. There is an ID check at the entrance - don’t forget your passport.

Weekday departure times from Dakar port 0615, 0730, 10.00, 11.00, 12.30, 14.30, 16,00, 17.00, 18.30, 20.00, 22.30, 23.30, 00.45. Sunday’s and holidays 07.00, 09.00, 10.00, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00, 17.00, 18.30, 19.30, 20.30, 22.30, 23.30. This is up to date at the time of writing.

The return to Dakar port is 06.45, 08.00, 10.30, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.30, 18.00, 19.00, 20.30, 23.00 for weekdays. Return from Goree on Sundays and holidays is 07.30, 09.30, 10.30, 12.30, 16.30, 17.30, 19.00, 20.00, 21.00, 23.00.

It takes around 20 minutes to reach the island: a scenic trip which takes you around one end of the island that is marked by a drum shaped fort built in the 1830s. There is a good view back to Dakar.

On arrival a small tax of 500 CFA is payable at a blue painted small booth about 50m for the landing pier. A minimum amount of time needed to see all the island is around 1.5 hours. Bring you own refreshments (water etc) as the island is extremely expensive. There are a couple of cafe/restaurants near to the pier.

Guides are common around the port and when reaching the island. They are administered through the Syndicate d’initiatives et de tourisme de Goree. A ticket will cost 8000 CFA. Tips are expected. It is recommended that you take a guide in this instance; you will get more out of the visit. We had a guy called Pape Fall that had reasonable English and a ready sense of humour.

The island is small around 300m by 900 m. There are unsealed roads and no traffic meaning the place is extremely peaceful after the bustle of Dakar. Narrow streets with many colonial buildings are common often draped in vibrant flowering bougainvilleas. Walking up hill, the higher part of the island has WWII gun emplacements ending at basalt cliffs. Some of these fort buildings have been converted by artists into workshops. There is no real hard sell, the majority of the artists and sellers of tourist merchandise and amiable and engaging.

Goree is infamous for its role in the Atlantic slave trade. It has attracted a succession of African and international politicians for the last forty to fifty years. The Maison des Esclaves is open between 10 to 1 pm and 2.30 to 6 pm Tuesday to Saturday. The entrance costs 500 CFA. It is really worth reading about this site as it has huge significance and considerable symbolism related to evil commodisation of human beings conducted by various European powers over a very lengthy period.

It reminds us the abolitionists slogan still has resonance today: “I’m I not a man and a brother?”
Written October 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Damian120
Galway, Ireland6,813 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
It's a must visit for anyone. How wonderful to see the previous quests included Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Not too forget Nelson Mandela. Easy to reach via the ferry from downtown Dakar. Visit early to beat the crowds.
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steph C
Chicago1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Words cannot describe the life changing experience you feel once you stand in "the door of no return." It is the most bone chilling, eerie feeling and yet most spiritual feeling I have ever experienced in my life. This is where it all started, this is where I came from. To look into the vast blue ocean and come to the realization that my ancestors passed through this door, never to return home again is just awesome. As I stood in the chamber where the women were held captive and the innocent children were separated from their parents and held captive in a cold forlorn, brick chamber, I felt the pain, suffering, lonliness, abusiveness, the treacherous, coldness, misery, gut wrenching feelings they endured. And yet, inspite of it all,a nation of strong, beautiful people survived and made it. I come from Africa and I am so proud of my people to have the strength to endure this harshness.
Written July 2, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eusabia3
New York City, NY45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Friends
When I read the negative and complaining reviews, I felt compelled to set the record straight.

This isn't a "tourist attraction", it's a tribute to the hundreds of thousands (close to a million) Africans who lost their lives, family & culture to slavery.

Yes, buildings on Goree Island are in need of repair because the island is treated as a historic landmark; nothing can be altered or built on the island.

Yes, you do have to pay to take the ferry to the island and residents pay less than non-residents, just like college tuition in most states. Your fee is $5200 CFA - $10 US.

The fee to tour The Maison des Esclaves, the slave masters house that holds The Door of No Return, is $500 CFA - $0.91 U.S. It's emotional to see the small rooms where the Senegalese were crammed in and held like cattle.

There are unofficial tour guides-residents of the island-who will befriend you and give you a tour with the expectation that you tip them or visit their stall in the marketplace to make a purchase. They are extremely knowledgable. Use their services. Even if you gave them $2,000 CFA, you only paid $3.64 U.S. for a guided tour.

So all in all, you just paid under $15 U.S. to visit a museum/historic landmark.

The merchants are residents of Goree Island, selling their wares is their livelihood, and they are persistent. There are beautiful batiks and artwork to be had. You will come away with one of a kind pieces. If you choose not to make a purchase, you must be firm in your answer as you will be followed and strongly encouraged to "just take a look". Learn the Wolof phrase dedet (pronounced day-day) which means no.

The Maison des Esclaves is an emotional place to visit. You can feel the misery of those who were held there when you take the tour. It's a vital part of history, and should be part of your visit to Senegal to fully understand the country and people.
Written January 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travelinfo7
Long Beach, CA43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
I strongly recommend taking a quick ferry from Dakar to Goree Island to visit this dungeon. Out of everything that my wife and me did in Senegal, this landmark was clearly the highlight of our tour. Prior to tour this site at Goree Island, we were in Ghana's Cape Coast Castle the week prior and both dungeons have a different feel & setup. In other words, just because you've been to one dungeon in West Africa, you shouldn't discount not visiting another.

As an African American, I had the opportunity to visit this site with a native African distant cousin that I found through a DNA testing company. This distant native African cousin matched the dna test results of both my father and me and he just so happened to live in Senegal. This made the trip even more special and sentimental in knowing that our common grandparent (approximately 5.5 generations away) was possibly separated from West Africa at this site or one close by. Regardless of your ethnic background & past family historical discoveries or the lack thereof, this is a must do tour if you are ever in Senegal.
Written July 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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La Maison des Esclaves - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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