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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Saloum Delta

Saloum Delta

The Saloum Delta is representative of a traditional coastal lifestyle of shellfish gathering and fishing. The site is marked by 218 shellfish mounds, some of them several hundreds metres long, produced by its human inhabitants over the ages. Several of them hold funerary sites (tumuli). The oldest shell mound dates from 400 BC, the creating of tumuli occurred between the 8th and the 16th century.

The area, which is also a Ramsar Convention site, lies within a 180,000-hectare biosphere reserve within the delta of the Saloum, Diombos and Bandiala rivers. Waters comprise 61,000 hectares of the park, intertidal mangroves and saltwater vegetation cover 7,000 hectares, and savanna and forest cover 8,000 hectares. It lies on the East Atlantic Flyway.

Map of Saloum Delta


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

Tony, Belgiƫ 03-May-14

We had our hotel in Toubakouta in the Saloum Delta. From there we did a bird walk along the river. Also a boat trip in the evening to see the birds come back to their sleeping place.

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Community Rating

Community Rating 4.50. Based on 1 votes.

Site Info

Full name: Saloum Delta

Unesco ID: 1359

Inscribed: 2011

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3   4   5  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2011 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Saloum Delta


The site has 19 connections.




  • River deltas
  • Sahel
  • On National Border: With Gambia: a. . The Wiki entry for Gambia's Niumi NP states "The park is contiguous with Senegal's Delta du Saloum National Park and Biosphere Reserve." b. The AB eval for Saloum states "it also includes the coastal marine area from the mouth of the Saloum River in the northwest,to the Gambian border in the south."
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Individual Rivers: Saloum River

Human Activity

  • Artificial Islands: "The numerous shell mounds in the Saloum Delta are generally well preserved and they sometimes have imposing dimensions. They are direct testimony of sustainable and very ancient socio-economic practices. Over the centuries, they have led to the formation of numerous man-made islets" (AB eval)


  • Built in the 11th century: "The creation of tumuli on certain large shell mounds ... started in the 8th century AD and developed through to the 16th century. Various populations occupied the islands in the Saloum Delta one after another: Fulani, Tukulor and Serer in particular. The latter arrived in the 11th century from modern northern Senegal fleeing the Almoravid conquest. They erected large tumuli and they are still the dominant ethnic group in Saloum."


  • Role of Women: Shellfish gathering and processing for trade is today performed by women, while the men devote their time to fishing, without it being possible to know when this division of labour occurred." (AB eval)
  • Cultural sites taking up an entire island: "Together with a great many bolons or brackish channels,they form a dense network encompassing over 200 main islands and islets" (AB eval)

WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process