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Women shopping at a market in Dakar
Women shopping at a market in Dakar


Women shopping at a market in Dakar

Street scene in Saint-Louis
Street scene in Saint-Louis


Street scene in Saint-Louis

Senegal flag

Senegal Travel Information

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Key facts




Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania


Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF)


196,722 sq km


16,082,442 (July 2021 est.)


French (official), Wolof, Pular, Jola, Mandinka, Serer, Soninke


Muslim 95.9% (most adhere to one of the four main Sufi brotherhoods), Christian 4.1% (mostly Roman Catholic) (2017 est.)



Tel Code:


Things to Do

Senegal is a West African country that offers a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy. From its vibrant cities to its lush national parks and pristine beaches, Senegal is a destination that has something for everyone.

Here are the top 10 things to do when visiting Senegal, with more detail:

1. Explore Dakar

The bustling capital city of Dakar is a hub of culture, history, and commerce. Visitors can explore its vibrant streets, sample its delicious food, and visit its numerous cultural landmarks. Some of the top sights in Dakar include the Dakar Grand Mosque, the African Renaissance Monument, and the Dakar Artisanal Market.

2. Visit Gorée Island

Gorée Island is a small island located just off the coast of Dakar. It was once a major center of the slave trade and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can explore its well-preserved colonial architecture, visit its museums, and learn about its rich history.

3. Stroll Through the Dakar Grand Mosque

The Dakar Grand Mosque is one of the largest and most important mosques in Senegal. Visitors can admire its impressive architecture, learn about Islam and its history in Senegal, and take part in daily prayers and events.

4. Visit the African Renaissance Monument

The African Renaissance Monument is a towering statue located on a hill overlooking Dakar. It is one of the tallest statues in Africa and offers panoramic views of the city and the ocean. Visitors can climb to the top of the statue for a view of the city.

5. Explore the Pink Lake (Lake Retba)

Lake Retba, also known as the Pink Lake, is a saltwater lake located just outside of Dakar. It is named for its distinctive pink color, which is caused by the presence of high levels of salt-loving algae. Visitors can swim in the lake, relax on its shores, and take in the unique beauty of this natural wonder.

6. Discover the Dakar Botanical Garden

The Dakar Botanical Garden is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. It features a wide variety of native and exotic plants, as well as bird and animal life. Visitors can take a guided tour, stroll through its lush gardens, and relax in its peaceful surroundings.

7. Visit the Dakar Artisanal Market

The Dakar Artisanal Market is a bustling marketplace located in the heart of the city. Visitors can find everything from traditional crafts and textiles to jewelry and food. It is a great place to find souvenirs and sample local food and drink.

8. Visit the House of Slaves

The House of Slaves is a former slave holding center located on Gorée Island. Visitors can learn about the history of the slave trade in Senegal and the experiences of those who were held there.

9. Enjoy the Nightlife in Dakar

Dakar is renowned for its lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Visitors can enjoy traditional Senegalese music and dance, or sample the local food and drink.

10. Explore the Dakar Wildlife Reserve

The Dakar Wildlife Reserve is a protected area located on the outskirts of the city. It is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, including antelopes, monkeys, and over 200 species of birds. Visitors can take a guided tour, go on a wildlife safari, or simply relax in its peaceful surroundings.



Senegal has a tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. There are two distinct seasons in Senegal: the rainy season and the dry season.

The rainy season lasts from June to October, with heavy downpours occurring most days. During this time, temperatures are still warm, but the humidity can make it feel quite oppressive. The dry season lasts from November to May, with warm, sunny weather and lower humidity.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Senegal is during the dry season, from November to May, when temperatures are pleasant and rainfall is minimal. This is the peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and more crowded attractions.

The shoulder months of September and October can also be a good time to visit, as the rain is usually not as heavy as in the peak of the rainy season, and the country is still lush and green. However, if you're planning on visiting the beaches, it's best to avoid this time as the seas can be rough.


Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:


Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.


Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.


Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.


Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Senegal Open
Not required
Not required

Check Visa Requirements


      Senegal offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Some popular options include:

      Hotels and Resorts

      Senegal has a range of international standard hotels and resorts, especially in the popular tourist destinations such as Dakar, Saly, and Gorée Island. These hotels offer comfortable rooms with all the amenities and facilities one would expect from a modern hotel, including air conditioning, Wi-Fi, swimming pools, and restaurants.

      Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts

      Guesthouses and bed & breakfasts are a popular option for budget-conscious travelers and those looking for a more authentic experience. These smaller, family-run establishments offer simple, clean rooms and often serve traditional Senegalese food.

      Camping and Caravanning

      Camping and caravanning are popular options for travelers who are exploring the country by car. There are several camping sites in Senegal, including those in Dakar, Saly, and other popular tourist destinations. These sites offer basic facilities, such as toilets, showers, and picnic areas.

      Private Rentals

      Private rentals, such as apartments and villas, are a good option for those looking for more space and independence. These rentals are usually located in residential areas and offer the comforts of home, including kitchens and living areas.


      Senegal offers several transportation options to help visitors get around the country. Some of the most popular options include:


      Taxis are widely available in Senegal and are a convenient way to get around the cities and towns. They are usually metered, although it is common to negotiate a fare in advance. Taxis are also a good option for longer journeys, as they can be hired for the day.


      Buses are a cheap and convenient way to get around Senegal. There are several long-distance bus companies operating in the country, and they offer regular services between the major cities and towns. Buses are usually well-maintained and comfortable, and offer air-conditioning on some routes.

      Cars and Motorbikes

      Cars and motorbikes can be rented in Senegal, and are a good option for those who want to explore the country at their own pace. Rental companies can be found in the major cities, and it is important to have a valid driving license and to take out insurance.


      Trains are a convenient and affordable way to travel between Dakar and other cities in Senegal. The trains are comfortable and offer air-conditioning, although services can be infrequent and slow.

      Domestic Flights

      Domestic flights are a convenient and fast way to travel between the major cities in Senegal. The national airline, Senegal Airlines, operates flights between Dakar, St Louis, and other destinations, and there are also several smaller regional airlines operating in the country.


      Money Tips for Travel

      • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
      • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
      • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
      • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
      • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
      • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
      • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
      • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
      • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
      • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

      ATM and Credit Cards

      • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
      • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
      • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
      • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
      • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
      • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

      Exchange Rates

      • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
      • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
      • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
      • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
      • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.


      Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

      Medical Coverage

      Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

      Trip Cancellation and Interruption

      Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

      Lost or Stolen Luggage

      Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

      Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

      Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

      Liability coverage

      Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

      Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.


      When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:


      Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

      Dual SIM phone

      If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

      Extend your home plan

      Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

      Keep your primary SIM

      With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.


      There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

      Facebook groups

      There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.


      Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.


      Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.


      Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!


      Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.


      LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

      At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

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