Tour to the most accessible destination located at the westernmost point of the African
continent. Travel to the peaceful sub-Saharan country for amazing wildlife opportunities and
dreamy beaches. Senegal is safe and offers an abundance of hospitality. It is a member of the
ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) and welcomes members from 14 member states
without a visa. Share platters of delicious thieboudienne cuisine, down a glass of refreshing
juice made from hibiscus and more. Head to the world-famous attractions and cities with plenty
of things to do in Senegal. We share a virtual guide of the destination to help you travel to
USEFUL INFO ABOUT SENEGAL
Map Referred: Africa
- Official Name: Republic of Senegal
- Form of Government: Unitary dominant-party presidential republic
- Capital & Largest City: Dakar
- Population: 15854323 (2018 estimate)
- Official Language: French
- Languages Spoken: Jola-Fonyi, Mandinka, Mandjak, Mankanya, Noon, Pulaar,
- Ethnicity: Wolof 41.3%, Fula 17.8%, Serer 15.7%, Mandinka 14.0%, Jola 3.7%,
Soninke 1.1%, Other 7.4%
- Currency: West African CFA franc
- Area: 196712 sq km
- Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean (0 m)
- Highest Point: Labe Kedougou (638 m)
- Coastline: 531 km
- Mauritania 813 km
- Mali 1168 km
- Guinea and Guinea-Bissau 268 km
- Atlantic Ocean 531 km
Famous For: Senegalese Culture | Wildlife | Beaches | Goree Island I IFAN
Museum I Pink Lake | Petit Cote | Saloum Delta National Park | Senegal River | Senegal Cuisine |
Lompoul Desert | Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary | Colonial Heritage | UNESCO World Heritage
Sites | Charming Towns
National Symbols: Coat of Arms | National Bird | National Mammal | National Seal
| National Anthem | National Flag | Motto | National Flower | National Fish | National Animal
Time Zone: GMT + 0
Driving Side: Right
Airports in Senegal: Blaise Diagne International Airport | Cap Skirring Airport
| Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport | Ziguinchor Airport
NETWORK / CONNECTIVITY
Internet services in Dakar and other towns are available through telecentres and internet cafes.
You can choose high-speed internet service from ADSL, 3G broadband and mobile Internet packages.
The country has one of the best internet coverages in Africa. Orange, Tigo, IT Arc, Expresso are
among the internet service providers. You can avail of the service by a visit to the relevant
branch with documents. There are free Wi-Fi hotspots that can be found in most places. The
airports are unequipped to provide Wi-Fi, so upon landing use a Wi-Fi Finder app to locate and
connect free Wi-Fi. While you make your way into town you will find free Wi-Fi cafes or you
could use a Wi-Fi Map to locate free Wi-Fi. Major attractions and tourist spots have secure
networks and free Wi-Fi. DAKAR SIM cards can be ready to use and even shipped to you before
boarding. PlanetRoam DAKAR SENEGAL SIM card works on almost all unlocked mobile phones. You can
buy an international tourism SIM card that even works in multiple countries.
Before the 15th century, Senegal was a part of kingdoms such as the Kingdoms of Djolof and Ghana. The
11th century saw Islam arrive in the country. However, many locals still put their faith in
animistic beliefs. The 16th century was when Europeans arrived and the Dutch purchased Goree Island.
The French started a factory on N’Dar, an island that became an old town of St. Louis. In 1677
the French took control of Goree Island and turned it into an active base for the slave trade.
In 1959 the Federation of Mali was created between Senegal and French Sudan and the country remained
a colony of France. In 1960 the sovereign nations of Senegal and Mali were formed as the federation
gained independence from France. The renowned poet and politician Leopold Sedar Senghor became the
first president of Senegal. He ruled for 20 years and the country has played a prominent part in
African politics. Diplomatic, economic and cultural ties remained with France. The confederation of
Senegambia was formed in 1982 between Senegal and the Gambia. However, the integration fell apart in
1989 and the federation was dissolved.
Senegal is a coastal West African country located just above the equator. The country is bordered by
Mali to the east, Mauritania to the north, Republic of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. It
completely encloses the confederated state of The Gambia. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the west with a
fabulous coastline. Senegal is part of the westernmost tip of Africa.
The country is made up of a terrain that is mainly low lying with rolling plains. The Senegal River
cuts across the northern border while the Casamance River runs along the south. The eastern border
is defined by the Faleme River. The southeastern portion of the country has low foothills. There are
pockets of tropical rainforest and mangroves that make up the savannah landscapes that dominate the
The country is about 1.5 times the size of Greece with an area of 196712 sq km. The country consists
of a hot desert zone in the north, a semi-arid zone in the center and a tropical savannah area to
Art and Music
Senegal in West Africa is just the place to be in to imbibe the art, music and culture of Africa.
Travel to witness the Dakar Biennale art festival that is a month-long. The Dak'Art Festival is yet
another platform for an array of creative forms. Underglass Painting is a popular Senegalese art
just as Naif Art that reproduces the daily scene of life. Look out for souvenirs in a large array of
Senegalese Art and Craft products such as jewellery, baskets, musical instruments, clothes and more.
Food and Drink
Discover the richest cuisines of West Africa in Senegalese cuisines. Traditional food is a fusion of
cuisine from France, Vietnam, the Middle East, Portugal and the Americas. People gather around a
single hearty dish with a spoon or a piece of bread. They share a meal that is hot and flavourful.
Fish is a choice cuisine that is cooked in various styles. Millet, rice and vegetables like
tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, cowpeas or cassava roots make up as ingredients for many Senegalese
Must-Try Senegalese National Dishes
Thieboudienne (fresh fish, dried fish with rice and tomato-garlic-onion-chilli puree), Chicken Yassa
(chicken marinated with lime juice, vinegar, onions, peanut oil), Caldou (meatballs with carrots,
dates, white beans, sweet potato and tomato sauce), Mafe (rice topped with peanut sauce, vegetables
and meat), Fataya (deep-fried pastry filled with fish yassa or chicken).
Must-Try Senegalese National Drinks
Bissap (juice from hibiscus flower), Dakhar (tamarind juice), Bouye (brew from baobab fruit),
Gingembre (ginger brew), Toufam (thinned yoghurt with sugar), Touba Coffee (coffee mixed with hot
pepper or fresh cloves)
Senegalese people are extremely friendly and Dakar city is filled with warm people. The country is
also known as âla terre de la terangaâ which means âthe land of hospitalityâ. It is a safe country
to travel especially for solo female travellers. Teranga reflects a way of hospitality with open
arms and includes the courteous sharing of a bowl of food. Travel to experience the most highly
regarded value of âgood hospitalityâ. Teranga is everywhere that is characterised by generosity and
warmth. It has helped shape the nation's identity.
Senegal Weather | SEN Climate
- To experience the colonial heritage and beautiful landscapes.
- Enjoy picture-postcard beaches with white sands, clear waters and a host of bars &
restaurants for a classic cocktail.
- Enjoy a meal of fish on the beach, sunbathe or catch the thrill of surfing the rolling waves.
- Explore St. Louis for its colonial buildings, a town located on a strip of land between the two
arms of the mighty Senegal River.
- Take an island escape to Goree Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Explore the Stone Circles of Senegambia which are four large groups of megalithic circles.
- Watch the pink coloured waters of Lac Rose or Lake Retba.
- Spend time witnessing incredible wildlife at Niokolo-Koba National Park.
- Watch the wonders of birdlife at the expansive wetland called Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary
with 1.5 million migratory birds.
- Witness the African Renaissance Monument, the tallest statue in Africa.
- To tour the capital Dakar with elegant architecture with several tourist attractions.
The best time to visit Senegal is between November and March when Dakar has a milder temperature of
26°C. This is when the Harmattan wind blows from the Sahara and reduces humidity. The winter dry
season with marginally milder temperatures is a better time to travel than the rainy season. June to
October sees the rains come when temperatures reach 30°C. Travel in May just before the rains to
be in time for the famous Saint Louis Jazz Festival. As Senegal is situated just above the equator
the country witnesses a warm and tropical climate. Senegal is hot all year round with wet and dry
seasons rather than hot and cold.
Visit Senegal with Family
Visit Senegal with Partner
- Watch the spellbinding Retba Lake well-known for its purple-pink colour water and salt content.
- Visit St. Louis which is the oldest French colonial town known as a fishing town.
- Take your family to Goree Island and witness the House of Slaves and the Fort d'Estress.
- Have a fun day at Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary situated in the Senegal River delta, a UNESCO
World Heritage Centre.
Visit Senegal with Friends
- Witness the splendid African Renaissance Monument, a 52m tall copper statue outside Dakar.
- Be among endangered animals in the Niolol-Koba National Park, a protected World Heritage site.
- Spend time at the splendid Dindefelo Waterfalls that is about 100m high.
- Escape to the great little island of Ngor with gorgeous beaches and beachside restaurants.
Visit Sudan with Kids
- Take a tour of the IFAN Museum in Dakar to see historic and contemporary African exhibits.
- Cap Skirring is the ideal place for a surf camp in southern Senegal.
- Wander the Guembeul Natural Reserve to learn about the efforts to conserve nature and wildlife.
- Witness the 19th-century mosque called the Great Mosque of Touba that can house 7000
What To Buy?
- Venture into the Amazon of Senegal in the maze of Casamance and lose track of time.
- Wander the colourful markets with boubous, wax fabrics, embroidered loincloths and more.
- Enjoy the sights of the Lengua de Barbarie Marine Park with lush vegetation and a meeting point
of the Senegal River with the Atlantic Ocean.
- Visit the Accrobaobab Adventure, an amusement theme park with lots of fun-filled experiences.
- Traditional Fabrics
- Musical Instruments
- Handmade Baskets
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Goree Island is a popular tourist spot as it has a history of slave trading. It is located off the
coast of the capital Dakar. This car-free destination has many narrow streets and colonial
buildings. Visit here for the 19th century Fort d'Estress. Also, see the IFAN Historical Museum for
the array of Senegal exhibits of the past.
Best Time to Visit: November to March
Entry Price: Based on the tour
This pink coloured lake is a top attraction located some 30 km from the capital Dakar. The waters are
pink in colour due to the Dunaliella salina algae. The lake also has a high salt content, an amazing
beauty of nature in Senegal. Lac Rose means Pink Lake that lies north of the Cap-Vert peninsula. The
colour is better visible from November to June during the dry season.
Best Time to Visit: November to June
Village des TORTUES
Entry Price: Based on the tour
The Village of the Turtles of Senegal is an ecological project that is worth visiting. The protection
centre introduces you to the Sulcata Turtle which is an endangered species. The village
rehabilitates the turtles with nearly 230 turtles in the Ferlo Reserve. Look out for six different
species such as Sulcata and the Kinixys belliana.
Best Time to Visit: Dry season
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary
Entry Price: $59.74
The national bird sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The wetland comprises beautiful streams,
ponds and backwaters. There are over 1.5 million birds such as the white pelican, the African
spoonbill, the cormorant among others. The Park is a 16000-ha wetland located in the Senegal River
delta. The oasis in the desert is the first migration stopover for Afrotropical birds after flying
Best Time to Visit: Dry season
Desert de Lompoul
Entry Price: $6.37 (adult)
Witness the orange dunes landscapes of a small desert in Senegal. It is a popular tourist attraction
in Senegal located 145 km south of St. Louis. The village of Lompoul is a settlement close by.
Festival du Sahel is a music festival that takes place in the desert, a great time to visit. Book
into Lompoul desert lodge right in the desert with tents and a restaurant by the dunes.
Best Time to Visit: Dry season
Entry Price: Based on the tour
The IFAN Museum showcases African arts and is the oldest African art museum in West Africa. It is
among the top attractions in Dakar, the capital. Watch the artifacts from the Ivory Coast, Guinea
Bissau, Burkina Faso and more. You get to know more about West African history from the ritual
masks, weapons, clothing, instruments and other artifacts. The prominent institution was founded in
Best Time to Visit: Dry season
If you can make time to visit a few other places in Senegal are,
Entry Price: $8
- African Renaissance Museum
- House of Slaves
- Niokolo-Koba National Park
- La Maison des Esclaves
- Ngor Island
- Accrobaobab Adventure
Most Popular Regions and Cities to Visit in Senegal
The splendid capital promises experiences of colonial architecture, beaches with surfing adventures,
wildlife opportunities in the remote riverine deltas and more. Visit the exciting city with plenty
of top attractions in Senegal.
Visit For: Ngor Island, Accrobaobab Adventure, Lompoul Desert, La Maison des
Esclaves, Island of Goree
The charming town is on the N'Dar Island on the northwest coast of Senegal. Visit Saint Louis for its
colonial architecture, Governor's Palace and the Musee du CRDS. The island is connected to the
mainland by the Faidherbe Bridge. It was designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel.
Visit For: Faidherbe Bridge, Musee de la Photographie de St Louis, CRDS Museum,
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Atelier des femmes
This is a famous holy city of Senegal. It is home to the colossal Great Mosque and is an important
pilgrimage centre for the Mouride order of the Sufis. Thousands visit Touba during the Grand Magal
to honour the Sufi scholar and teacher Shaikh Aamadu Bamba Mbakke. Visit the majestic mosque with
gorgeous arabesque interiors and the Lamp Fall.
Visit For: The Great Mosque, The mausoleums, Touba's cemetery, Mausoleum of Cheikh
The small town is a gateway to natural attractions in the protected Natural Reserve of Popenguine.
The place also welcomes you with a clean beach nestled beautifully between two headlands. Experience
the rock walls of the Cap de Naz that protrudes into the Atlantic Ocean. Birds of all shapes and
colours are a great draw throughout the year.
Visit For: Accrobaobab Adventure (5.7 mi from Popenguine), Plage Popenguine Beach
Enjoy the colonial character of the city with major sights such as the Marche Saint Maur des Fosses.
Get a feel of the earthy African aura at the Place Jean-Paul II and wander to see pastel-painted
Visit For: University of Ziguinchor, Ziguinchor Cathedral, Stadium Aline Sitoe
If you have time, some of the other famous cities/towns are,
Le Fanal Festival
- Joal Fadiout
This carnival-like celebration is a colourful festival in Saint Louis. It is based on a ritual by
rich families way back in the 18th century. People wear elaborate costumes and participate in the
festival. The gigantic lanterns float down the colonial streets of the city to give a decorative
Location : Saint Louis
St. Louis International Jazz Festival
Date : December
This is a popular and much-celebrated festival. A top jazz festival is a fantastic event where jazz
musicians perform from the world over. This is Africa's largest jazz event that was inaugurated in
1993. Over 250 globally renowned musicians perform on the main stage at Place Faidherbe. The week is
full of concerts, workshops and jazz talks.
Location : Saint Louis
Date : May
Dakar hosts this festival in May where contemporary artists meet. The entire month hosts around 200
exhibitions in a large industrial area. The capital also showcases artworks that display in art
galleries and hotels. Artists from Senegal and beyond display their talent.
Location : Dakar
St. Louis Festival
Date : May
People come together to explore culture, music and participate in lots of dancing. The three-day
festival sees a performance from 60 +acts throughout Grand Center. People gyrate to the music and
the festival is full of vibrant energy.
Location : Saint Louis
Goree Diaspora Festival
Date : September
The festival includes musical and dance performances that focus on the dark times of Senegal.
Conferences and meetings have prominent speakers that discuss the history of slavery. The festival
tells about the descendants of the slaves that were forced to leave Goree Island.
Location : Dakar
Other festivals/events celebrated in Senegal are,
Date : November
- Rapandar Festival
- Kaay Fecc
- Senegal Independence Day
- Abene Festival
- Senegal International Film Festival
All travellers must have a valid passport to apply for a Senegal visa. The passport needs to be valid
for a minimum of six months upon entry. Your passport must have at least two blank pages for visa
Senegal Visa-on-arrival/eVisa/Visa-free entry
A Senegal visa is required unless you are a citizen from the following countries. Travel to Senegal
up to 90 days with a visa-free entry permitted for the following countries;
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- The Central African Republic
- Congo DR
- Côte d’Ivoire
- The Gambia
- Sierra Leone
- South Korea
- Vatican City
e visa for Senegal can be applied online with relevant documents. The best time to apply for a visa
is at least one to two months before the travel date. Faster service is available at the embassy.
For longer stays beyond 90 days, travellers have to obtain visas directly from the Senegalese
Consulate before travel.
Types of Visa and Validity
A tourist visa for 90 days stay with a validity of 3 months is provided for citizens of countries as
mentioned above. To live or work in Senegal for more than 90 days foreign nationals will need a
residence permit. It is called carte d'identite. Residence permits are allowed for six months stay
that can be renewed.
The application fee for tourist, business, student and exchange visas is $160. The religious visa
application fee is $190.
There are domestic flights between Dakar to Cap Skirring and Ziguinchor. You can fly via Air Senegal
that takes around 45 minutes flight timings depending on your destination. Don't miss visits to Cap
Skirring for the beautiful beach of golden sands.
Hertz and Europcar offer car hire facilities in Dakar and main towns. Dakar Airport provides pick up
points. There are also many depots throughout the city. The road conditions for driving are not good
or safe. It is advisable not to drive at night as roads are not well lit. Traffic may be chaotic and
it is always better to hire a driver with the car.
Metered taxis are available in most towns. For longer journeys between towns sept-place which is
seven-seater taxis are available. The ride will be cramped and uncomfortable. Mini-buses called
Ndiaga Ndiaye are also available that provide a comfortable ride.
A great alternative to explore the towns is on a bike. Beach towns provide bicycles such as Cap
Skirring and Saly Portudal. Avoid hiring a bike in the rush of Dakar city. However, you could rent a
scooter or motorbikes in the capital. Always wear safety gear as roads are muddy and accident-prone.
There are no train services available.
There is a ferry line between Dakar to Ziguinchor and sea shuttles between Dakar to Goree Island. You
could also take the pirogues or boats that link Dakar to Ile de Ngor. There are strict safety rules
followed on board that come with life jackets.
Via Air Route
Air France, Emirates, Delta, Turkish Airlines are among the major airlines that fly to Dakar. The
national airline Air Senegal helps connect domestic routes. Dakar International Airport is a new
airport located 27 miles east of downtown Dakar that started operating in 2017.
Train services between Dakar to Niger and Dakar to Bamako are not running.
Overland tours are organised to travel by road to Senegal from Europe. You can drive from any of the
neighbouring countries such as Mauritania, Guinea and Guinea Bissau, the Gambia and Mali. Always
check the travel advisory for any political unrest that could endanger you en route. Valid multiple
entry visas are required as well as driving license, insurance and vehicle ownership proof.
Dakar is the main port of Senegal along the West African coast. Cruise ships operate both small and
large vessels from Canary Islands, Morocco and other African ports. The vessels dock at Senegal.
There are also ferry links from Mauritania between Rosso to Pont de Rosso in Senegal.
- Senegal is a majority Muslim country, and there is a need to dress conservatively and cover-up.
- The locals are friendly and petty crimes are very minimal.
- It is a good idea to learn a few French phrases as few locals speak English.
- Excursions in Senegal with a travel guide are always helpful.
- Traffic is maddening and it is best to hire both guides and drivers rather than hopping into
- Make earlier arrangements for airport pick-ups as international flights land at DKR Airport late
- Savour rice with fresh fish accompanied by African drum beats live, a relaxing and must-do
- Bargain at Dakar's markets such as Marche Sandaga for great deals on fabric, fruits, African
housewares and more.
- Carry relevant travel documents and keep a photocopy handy.
- Pictures of government institutions, embassies and buildings cannot be taken due to photography
- Carry identification at all times.
- Laws for possession of drugs are severe.
- Remain alert on travel advisories especially when commuting by road.
- Senegal is a safe destination, especially for solo female travellers.
- Be cautious of bad roads and only travel overland during the day.
- Check on the reputation of the car hire company before travelling.
- Travel in a group with a guide for safety.
- Senegal borders close to Mali and Mauritania are at risk for jihadi groups that may operate.
- Check hotel security before selecting your accommodation.
- Petty crimes such as bag snatching in Dakar are possible. So, be vigilant at all times.
- Keep your belongings safe including your passport and other travel documents.
What to Pack?
- Several vaccinations are essential that CDC and WHO recommend; Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B,
Typhoid, Cholera, Covid 19, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Meningitis, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella,
Tdap, Chicken Pox, Shingles, Pneumonia and Influenza.
- It is best to be prepared with a medical kit.
- Carry along insect repellents and anti-malaria drugs.
- Be aware of health and travel advisories before travel.
- Always drink bottled water and be careful of the hygiene aspects of street food.
- Invest in travel insurance for emergency use.
- Be aware of the strong winds called harmattan that can cause dust-related cough. Carry medicines
and clothes to adequately cover and provide protection.
Dress Code & Etiquette
- Travel Documents
- Modest Clothing
- Medical Kit
- Walking Shoes
- Money Belt
- All-Purpose Jacket
- Bathing Suit
- Sunglasses, Hat, Umbrella
Mauritania (813 km)
- The dress code is conservative as Senegal is predominantly Muslim.
- Men and women eat at separate tables and a washing basin is given to wash hands before a meal is
- Take a small gift such as a box of chocolates to give when invited to someone's home.
- Greetings vary as per the ethnicity and it is customary to ask courteous questions over a
- Formal table manners are followed and elders are given respect to start the meal first.
- Food is served in a bowl and only the right hand is used for eating.
- Leaving a little food in a communal bowl indicates that you are respectful of the host.
- Cross-gender touch may occur although the country is Muslim dominated.
Visit Mauritania for unusual attractions such as a journey across the Sahara Desert on the Mauritania
Railway. Witness the Richat Structure which is a geological bull's eye. Ouadane Mosque, The
Libraries of Chinguetti and more are other attractions.
Mali (1168 km)
The beautiful country offers blissful landscapes, spectacular mosques, pink sandstone villages and
undulating deserts. Mali is known for its salt mines and Timbuktu which is a centre for Islamic
learning. Visit to see the Tomb of Askia, the Great Mosque of Djenne and more.
Distance Between Places Of Importance In And Around Senegal
Guinea and Guinea-Bissau - 268 km
- Senegal is home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- It is the first African country to host the Olympics.
- Senegal's first president was a Catholic although the country is predominately Muslim.
- Laam or wrestling is the country's most popular sport.
- The Hajj of Senegal is an annual pilgrimage where over 1 million West Africans participate.
- There are over 20 ethnic groups in Senegal.
- You can find a pink lake in the country.
CALLING CODE: +221
EMBASSY Of UAE: + 221-33-869-8390 | For more info Embassy of UAE in
Fire brigade: 22118
Ambulance: 22133 889, 1515
The official currency of Senegal is the West African CFA franc and the currency code is XOF. The
Senegal currency symbol is CFA. The West African CFA franc is broken up into 100 centimes. The
currency exchange rate for some of the most popular currencies are;
1 XOF = 0.13 INR (West African CFA franc to INR)
1 XOF = 0.0018 USD (West African CFA franc to USD)
1 XOF = 0.0067 (West African CFA franc to AED)
1 XOF = 0.0015 (West African CFA franc to Euro)
West African CFA franc currency banknote denomination: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000
West African CFA franc currency coin denomination: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 250, 500
Please note that Travelers Cheques are NOT accepted in most places.
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