Phare des Mamelles

Built in 1864 on the higher of the two hills of the Mamelles, at an elevation of 126 meters, the Lighthouse of the same name is considered the most powerful Lighthouse in Africa, along with the one of Cap de Bonne-Esperance. It is also one of the oldest symbols of Senegal’s national heritage.

At the top, a historic building of 16 meters height host «the great lamp», a Fresnel lens rotating on a vessel of Mercury at the speed of 5 seconds per rotation. This lens acts as an amplifier and gives it a range of 53 km. More than 150 years ago, this luminous code told the boats that they were approaching Dakar by illuminating the dark with white glow every 5 seconds.


Phare des Mamelles is the first landing lighthouse in this part of Africa. At the beginning of the 20th century, it served as a guide for airmen from the Aéropostale who landed here, such as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or Jean Mermoz. Phare des Mamelles is still a valuable landmark for the many canoe fishermen who go out to sea several miles from shore every day. A true strategic point facing the vast blue Atlantic, Phare des Mamelles is the culmination of Dakar, offering an exceptional panorama on the Cape Verde peninsula. To the north one sees the tip of the Almadies, the western extremity of the continent. When the weather is clear, you can see the beginning of the Petite-Côte and the other side of Hann Bay, more than 50 km away.