Saint Louis du Sénégal, Marrakech

Aerial view of Saint Louis du Sénégal, a beautiful, somewhat decaying old colonial town built on an island on the Senegal River.The protected waters separated from the ocean by a narrow strip of sand is an ideal location for a seaplane base. It was used by Aeropostale (later Air France) for their first commercial flights over the South Atlantic.

I had the great honour to sleep in Jean MERMOZ's room #219 in the famous 'Hotel de la Poste', which has been in continuous operation for the last 150 years. 

Saint Louis du Senegal

Mermoz Memorial in St. Louis, Senegal

The French aviator Jean MERMOZ made the first commercial crossing with airmail in May 1930 between St. Louis du Sénégal and Natal, Brazil with a single engine Laté 28 seaplane 'Comte-de-La Vaulx'. 

He had far more problems with the return flight from Natal to Saint Louis than we had: Airborne after 56 take-off attempts in Natal, the aircraft was forced to land (major oil leak) in the open sea about 550 NM short of Dakar. Airmail and crew were recovered by a safety ship, but 'Comte-de-La Vaulx' was lost. 

A monument has been erected at the seaplane base near St. Louis in memory of the great aviator. This was the departure point for the transatlantic seaplane crossings to Latin America. 

Jean MERMOZ disappeared on 7th of December 1936 during his 25th crossing of the south Atlantic in the seaplane Laté 300 'Croix du Sud', almost exactly 60 years prior to our departure from Geneva, Switzerland.


Even though I have been many times to Marrakesh, Morocco I always enjoy the ever changing scenery of the 'Jema el Fna' square. Snake charmers, story tellers, magicians, musicians, etc.

Late afternoon the numerous food stalls are being put up for the evening. It was during 'Ramadan', so everybody was looking forward to sunset!

Jema el Fna Square, Marrakesh

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© Flemming PEDERSEN, Armand F. PEREIRA and John F. MILES 1997

This Page Last Updated: 24 November 2000