open residency




Waaw offers simple self-catering accommodation, workspace as necessary, wifi access and initial orientation.


You can take classes in Senegalese Sabar dance and drumming, and according to the availability of the teachers, glass painting, ceramics, textile dyeing and Senegalese cookery. Classes are held in French with additional explanations in English as necessary. Language tuition in French and Wolof, at all levels, is also offered.

As a general rule, the price is 5,000 francs cfa (7,50 euro) for one class of 60 minutes - but it may vary due to the subject and the number of participants. Detailed information will be provided in good time before the residency.


Would you like to draw, paint, write, play, compose, record, film? Depending on your area of interest and the time frame, we can help you find materials and make contacts in Saint-Louis for carrying out a creative project.


Residents are selected on the basis of applications. Priority is given to people participating in classes and/or doing creative work which is linked to the Senegalese setting.


Waaw offers no grants, but those selected will be issued a letter of support for individual grant seeking. If you are a professional artist, you may consider applying for our regular artists' residencies, which are project-focussed and assisted. More information here.

There are three spaces (between 10 and 38 sqm) intended for work - including a workshop for messy work. Please be prepared to share. There are no computers available at Waaw, so bringing your own laptop is advisable. End-of-residency exhibitions - at Galerie Ethiopiques, for instance - are possible. You will cover costs for materials and equipment and contribute to gallery costs.

Take a creative break in Africa!


For part of the year, Waaw is open to anyone who wishes to explore Senegalese culture or doing art and other creative work. Waaw will host open residencies from 2 December 2017 to 10 February 2018. The minimum residency time is two weeks; stays of one month or longer are encouraged.


You can arrive on the following dates:

2 December (for a stay of 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 weeks)

16 December (2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks)

30 December (2, 4 or 6 weeks)

13 January (2 or 4 weeks)

27 January (2 weeks)


The 7 simple bedrooms (12-16 sqm) contain palmwood beds, a desk and storage facilities. Fans are available. Beds are fitted with mosquito nets. Bed linen and towels are provided. Bathrooms (with hot water) are shared. At your disposal are also two shared kitchens, equipped with refrigerator, gas cooker and kitchen utensils. A washing machine can be used for 2,000 fcfa / €3.00 per wash. There are several restaurants just around the corner where meal prices start at 1,500 fcfa/ €2.30.

We arrange transfers from and to Dakar, including pick-up at the airport and accommodation for one night in Dakar (price for the whole package ranging between € 50 and € 200, depending on accommodation option). Excursions in and around Saint-Louis can also be organised: walking tours and boat tours in town, excursions to the Djoudj birding area, beaches, the Lompoul desert and fishing tours, for instance. Bikes can be rented in town.

Rates for our Open residencies


2 weeks

single room 260 000 fcfa / € 400

double room, per person 160 000 / € 250


4 weeks

single room 400 000 fcfa / € 600

double room, per person 250 000 / € 375


6 weeks

single room 500 000 fcfa / 750 €

double room, per person 310 000 / 470 €


8 weeks

single room 600 000 fcfa / € 900

double room, per person 375 000 / € 560


10 weeks

single room 730 000 fcfa / € 1 100

double room, per person 460 000 / € 685


If agreed beforehand, family members are welcome to stay in your room for an additional 13,000 fcfa / € 20 per night.


A non-refundable registration fee of € 150, which counts towards the total amount, should be paid to Waaw upon acceptance onto the programme. The payment of balance should be made three months before the start of the residency. We will also ask for a deposit of € 100 (to cover any damages to equipment etc), which is normally paid back at your departure.


Additional fees for classes and workshops, to be paid on arrival


Sabar drumming (3 classes a week): 5 000 f / € 7.50 per 60 min.

Sabar dancing (3 classes a week): 5 000 f / € 7.50 per 45 min.

Textile dyeing, glass painting, ceramics, cookery (minimum 2 hours): 5 000 f / € 7.50 per session of 60 minutes, material not included

French individual tuition, depending on level and focus: 5 000-

7 000 f / € 7.50-€ 10 per 60 min.

Wolof individual tuition: 7 000 f / € 10 per 60 min.


These fees go straight to the local teachers. Waaw will charge no commission.


What is special about a residency at Waaw?


The atmosphere is inspiring: peaceful and picturesque but still rough around the edges. Saint-Louis is a gentle version of urban West Africa, with an interesting historical dimension. See our Facebook page for pictures.

How to apply


Please send us an informal application letter by email. It should include the information mentioned here. The address is open(at]




The first selection has already been made. Due to cancellations, we sometimes also have places available at short notice.





A stay at Waaw is not just a holiday. You are encouraged to take courses or private classes in local crafts, drumming and dance and/or as language classes (French, Wolof, Pulaar).

Working with local artisans is also possible. Traditional craft trades like woodwork, metal work, jewellery and tailoring are well represented in Saint-Louis. At least you should consider having clothes made to measure while in town.


As regards art, there are rather few actual artists in town. Don't expect much in the way of an avant garde contemporary arts scene.

I am coming to Saint-Louis for just a few days. Can I stay at Waaw?

For shorter stays, we recommend

Hotel Siki,

Au fil du fleuve and Maison Jamm

Can I visit Waaw?


Waaw is not a cultural centre open to the general public. If you are interested in our residency activities, you are welcome to book a visit in advance. For tourist services in Saint-Louis, we recommend the guide Djiby Mbaye (speaks some English)!louis_1

Out of the Waaw guestbook ...


“They say you leave a piece of yourself where ever you go. I certainly feel I have left a piece here. A piece I might have to come pick up one day!”

- Sade


“Coming to Waaw has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ll be honest; I knew virtually nothing about Senegal before I came. I wanted to go somewhere that would challenge the way I think about the world and life in general and I can safely say that I am utterly confused in the best possible way.”

-Annie May


“What an inspiring, sparkling experience. Thank you for concentration, friendship, beautiful moments, strange events, laughter, joy, help, mystical learning and everything else.”

- Terhi



Especially if you stay for a month or longer, we encourage you to create yourself. When it comes to working methods, equipment and basic materials, please be prepared to improvise - this is Africa! Much that we take for granted may not be available, or costly - many stationery articles, for instance. You may have to bring any particular artists' supplies with you.


At Waaw, there is an easel, a sewing machine and basic woodworking tools at the disposal of the residents. Our little library contains 350 books on Senegal and Africa, mainly in English and French.