The Author


When Katharina heard the haunting sound of a Fula flute during a London concert, her fate was sealed. She headed straight to Guinea in West Africa, where she ended up studying the instrument for a year before writing a PhD on its origins. She then decamped to Senegal, a country that she'd fallen in love with during one of her many travels to West Africa in her role as a music journalist. Katharina has worked on other Lonely Planet titles, writes for various world-music magazines including fRoots and Songlines, and produces world-music features for radio stations including the BBC and WDR. She currently divides her time between Dakar, Cologne and London.

My Favourite Trip

Travelling for me has always been about music - which explains why I've settled in Senegal, one of West Africa's most buzzing music scenes. Dakar, with its dazzling live-music scene (p161), is hard to leave if you love music. Only in May does the northern town of Saint-Louis rival Dakar's nightlife with its spectacular jazz festival (p206). Podor (p217) in the north is the place to hear Fula music, perhaps during Baaba Maal's Festival du Fleuve. For the really rootsy stuff, Salemata (p226), with its vibrant Bassari culture, and Kartong (pi 19), site of a bustling festival, are my destinations of choice, while Ziguinchor in Casamance is best visited during its carnival (p235), and Abene (p250) during its reggae-fuelled New Year's festival. And for a gentle comedown, Brikama is the place to indulge in some masterful kora playing (p124).

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