kayaking oussouye casamance senegal 1



red king

Near Ziguinchor, the capital of the Casamance region, lies a collection of villages that constitute the Oussouye  subdivision. This tiny commune, shoved between the border of Guinea-Bissau and the Casamance river, is one of the most unique in the entire region. The scenery is typical of the Casamance. Rice fields breach lush forests; cows, goats and sheep roam as well as green monkeys dart across the road; palm trees and fromager trees form a natural skyline. 

The social fabric and community organization is remarkable. You won’t see any kids begging with empty tins. You also won’t see anyone who is mentally or physically handicapped wandering the streets. Families care for their own, and when they can’t, they approach the King (only in the evening, as it is considered shameful to ask) and he intervenes.   This department culturally, may be the most fascinating place in Senegambia. There is a King, chosen by a multi-village council, who acts as a political leader as well as an intermediary between the Jola (or Diola) God Ata Emit and us earthly beings. While there are many Christians (and to a lesser extent Muslims) in Oussouye, nearly everyone acknowledges and participates in the Animist initiation ceremonies and rites of passage.

Quick Facts

Ossouye Cassamance

Short drive from Ziguinchor 

Animist kingdom in Oussouye subdivision in Casamance

Sandwiched between Guinea Bissau and the Casamance River of Senegal

The kingdom constitutes several villages within the suburb.

There is a ruler crowned as King