Pirogue is a generic term for small native boats, particularly dugouts, in regions once colonised by France and Spain – which is a lot of places. It is a French word and is derived from the Spanish piragua, meaning canoe, although it covers a very wide variety of small boats across the globe.

Pirogue 4
Pirogue 5

In West Africa, in countries like Senegal and The Gambia, the term pirogue tends to be predominantly used to describe the very colourful, banana-shaped fishing boats seen both along the coast and on rivers.

Pirogue 1
Pirogue 2
Pirogue 3

Pirogues have traditionally been propelled by paddles, although more and more are being equipped with outboard motors these days. Some of these boats are also punted along in shallow waters using long poles and sails are also common in many areas and regions.

Pirogue 6
Pirogue 7
Pirogue 8

The smaller dugouts and canoes are carved out of a single log and are both quick to make and relatively cheap.

Pirogue 9
Pirogue 10

Local river fishermen getting their boats ready…

Pirogue 11
Pirogue 12

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.