St. Louis is an old French colonial town on the Atlantic coast of northern Senegal, nestled at the outflow of the Senegal River on the border with Mauritania. Founded in 1659 by French traders, the town became the capital of colonial Senegal - from 1895 it was also the capital of French West Africa, until both were moved to Dakar in 1902. St. Louis was once one of the most important urban centres in Africa, and although its status has become more diminshed since the rise of Dakar it still exhudes a relaxed atmosphere and remains very popular with travellers.
The old town on the river's island of Ndar contains many atmospheric old streets and colonial buildings. The nearby Langue de Barbarie sand spit and Djoudj National Reserves are havens for some amazign birdlife such as pelicans and flamingos.