Ziguinchor is the seventh largest city in Senegal.
According to tradition, Ziguinchor's name and meaning comes from the time when Portuguese traders and explorers came to the region to form a trading post, and derives from Portuguese Cheguei e choram, "I came and they cry".
The town includes markets, a cathedral and an airport.
There is a daily one-hour flight to Ziguinchor from Dakar, which sometimes continues to Cap Skirring, the main coastal resort.
The Aline Sitoe Diatta Ferry links Dakar with Ziguinchor. It is an overnight ferry ride, taking about 16-hours. It leaves Dakar Tuesday and Friday afternoon. Making the return trip (Ziguinchor - Dakar) Thursday & Sunday. The boat has 'pullman' style seating (CFA 15.500), as well as shared cabins of 8, 4, & 2 (expect CFA 60.000). Book as early as you can, especially in the travel season, it is frequently sold out. There is a restaurant on board as well as a small bar which also sells snacks.
ALL passengers are required to show their original passport or other form of identification when purchasing their ticket at either the Dakar or the Ziguinchor terminals.
From Dakar, one can also drive to Ziguinchor via the Transgambian highway, crossing the Gambia River at the Farafenni ferry. This 280 mile (450 km) trip can be covered in one day. Sept places depart from Dakar early in the morning (be at the gare routière before 06:00 am). They charge CFA 8.500 plus CFA 500 per bag. The trip will last 8 hours if everything goes smooth, plus the waiting time at the Farafenni ferry which typically largely exceeds an hour. Expect very bad roads from Kaolack all the way to Gambia's border with Casamance. It is more comfortable to take the road via Kaolack in Senegal to Banjul in the Gambia. When crossing the border in Gambia, officials will stamp your passport. If you are white and have a European or US passport, they will most likely try to charge you for the stamp, anything from 1.000 to 10.000 CFA (this especially happens at Farafenni). Demanding for a proof of payment and threatening to contact the embassy in Banjul will probably get your passport back without having to pay. In any case, it is evident that remaining polite and showing respect will be the most effective way to communicate with border officials.
A single stop taxi ride (regardless of the number of passengers) costs 500 CFA anywhere within Zig. The cost for a donkey-cart to transport one bag of cement or rice is 200 CFA.
Take a stroll around the overgrown government buildings downtown. Check out the boat builders down by the port. Ziguinchor is MUCH bigger then most people's original impression. Feel free to explore the sandy streets further afield, and hey, make a friend or two!
The best known market is the Marche Saint Maur des Fosses, named after the French town with which Ziguinchor is twinned. The Artisan Centre also attracts many visitors looking for souvenirs typical of the region.
There is a Guinea-Bissau embassy in Ziguinchor that issues multiple-entry visas in a single visit. It cost's 20,000 CFA and requires one photo. This is MUCH cheaper then the equivalent visa in Dakar (and certainly much more relaxed)!