Welcome to Senegal. To make your stay as smooth as possible, we have put together some useful information for you.
Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa. Senegal’s economic and political capital is Dakar. It owes its name to the Sénégal River, which borders it to the east and north. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about 13 million. The climate is Sahelian, but there is a rainy season.
Senegal has one Official language: French and six recognized local languages: Wolof, Soninke, Serer Fula, Maninka, Jola.
Senegal’s economy is centered mostly on commodities and natural resources. Major industries are fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials, ship construction and repair. Like most African nations, agriculture is a major sector, with Senegal producing several important cash crops, including peanuts, sugarcane, cotton, green beans, tomatoes, melons, and mangoes.
What You Should Know
Weather in March
The dry season (December to April) is dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind.
Senegal is safe. We, however, recommend that you avoid late night excursions on foot and use taxi cabs instead.
Senegal has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure, which is now digital. Cable, telex, fax, and Internet services are available. SIM cards and airtime (including internet bundles) can be purchased Orange or TIGO branches.
The currency used in Dakar is called the West African CFA Franc. It is available through money exchange offices, in banks, and through local automated teller machines (ATMs), which are available in Dakar. ATMs are difficult to find outside of the city of Dakar. Indicative rates can be obtained at this link from BCEAO. Travelers’ checks should be in Euros to avoid extra exchange rate charges. American Express is the most commonly accepted credit card in Senegal, but Visa, MasterCard, and Diner’s Club cards are also sometimes accepted.
Dakar is a cosmopolitan city with a rich entertainment scene. Here are some of the best restaurants and Bars:
- Lagon 1: Superb restaurant on stilts with an air-conditioned indoor dining and very elaborate boat atmosphere. The outer frame is equally beautiful with stunning views of the island of gorée, the beach and the eastern ledge.
- La Cabane Du Pecheur: Want fresh fish? Go to La Cabane du Pecheur. This restaurant with a nice view on the island of Ngor, has a very pleasant atmosphere.
- La Calebasse: La Calebasse is a must for intercultural exchange, impeccable service and fine cuisine, combining good food and African art.
- Le Ngor : Beach restaurant, Ngor welcomes you every day in its unique setting by the sea. The beach is not very big but the atmosphere is friendly.
- Just 4 U: If you love Live Music, don’t miss Just 4 U. The small stage of this outdoor restaurant has been graced by the greatest Senegalese and international stars, from jazz to rap to folk and reggae. There’s a concert on every day, and you often get to catch the big names.
For more info on restaurants click here
In addition to bars and restaurants there are a lot more to do in Dakar:
Visiting La Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) on Goree island and seeing the door of no return. You will have to take the ferry from Dakar. Please plan for at least 5 hours. More information here
Visiting the Monument to African Renaissance
Visiting Late Retba
Visiting Village Des Arts (Arts Village)
Visiting the African Art Museum
For more activities and places to visit, click here