Practical advice for Senegal

GENERAL

Democratic Status

Stable Democracy

Media Freedom

Respected

Religious Freedom

Respected

GETTING TO SENEGAL

Flights

Regular, mostly daily, flights between Dakar and Brussels, Dubai, Johannesburg, Lagos Lisbon, Paris New York, Madrid, amongst other destinations.

TRAVELLING WITHIN SENEGAL

By Road
  • The traffic in Dakar is heavy by day. By night, driving can be dangerous due to poor street and vehicle lighting.
  • Although many roads in Senegal are of a good quality, the rainy season (July-October) can cause difficulties when travelling in the form of possible floods and landslides.
  • Monitor the local security situation before travelling within the Casamance region.

GETTING AROUND DAKAR

Taxis

Cheap, safe and everywhere. Taxis do not have meters, so negotiate all fares beforehand. Back up your bargaining skills by first checking with a local what a fair price might be. Also, make sure your taxi has the right change before departing, and leave a tip only if you think the service was good.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Recommended Insurers: World Nomads www.worldnomads.com

SAFETY AND TRAVEL RISKS

Crime

Low risk, however incidents of petty crime and sporadic violent crime do occur.

  • Be wary of pick pocketing and street crime in Dakar: particularly, around Place de l’Independence, the central area of the Plateau, the Western Corniche, and at the airport.
  • Take all sensible precautions i.e avoid carrying valuables and walking alone after dark.
  • Credit/debit card fraud is a major concern. Credit card fraud and related scams are prevalent, and due care must be given.
  • West Africa is one of the world’s major hubs for internet scams. Be extremely cautious if you have received correspondence over the internet, i.e a job offer, a business partnership, or any request for a face-to-face meeting in Senegal – including from people who claim to be victims of various Western African conflicts (notably refugees from Sierra Leone) – or relatives of present or former political leaders.
Ethnic Violence

Very low risk

Terrorism Threat Level

A low risk is present in the remote regions and border areas.

Official Travel Warnings
  • Border Regions: anybody planning to visit the border regions of Senegal are encouraged to exercise additional caution.
  • Casamance: Avoid non-essential road travel to the Casamance region west of the city of Kolda, except for the main road from Ziguinchor to Cap Skiring, which is often used by groups of tourists, and the main road north of the Guinea-Bissau-Senegal border from Sao Domingos to Ziquinchor (N4 bis, otherwise known as Route National 4 bis)
  • Civilians living and traveling in the Casamance are sometimes targets of opportunity for bandits that operate in the area.
  • Landmine explosions continue to plague inhabitants of the Casamance.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Learn some basic phrases and greetings in Wolof, as perhaps not everybody will speak French.
  • Foreign women can expect to get many marriage proposals from Senegalese men. Handle this with a sense of humour – and caution.
  • Pull on your running shoes and join the crowds for a jog along the Corniche in the sea breeze. Enjoy stunning views of the ocean, mosque, cliffs (and many beautiful bodies)
  • Drink Attaya, Senegalese tea.

Immigration Essentials

VISAS
Visa Requirements Checklist:
  • Valid passport.
  • Visa Application form (online visa application: http://www.visasenegal.sn/?lang=en)
  • Passport photographs.
  • Transport information.
  • Proof of accommodation in Senegal.
  • Confirmation of travel health insurance.

 

 

Costs

Costs are dependent on visa type and processing time.

Contacts

Senegalese Embassy in Paris

Senegalese Embassy in Washington D.C 

Visa on arrival

There is an option of getting your visa on the spot at Dakar airport, however there can be long queues. NOTE: bring cash in Euros to pay the visa fee.

Health

DISEASES TO WATCH OUT FOR
Malaria:

Risk present throughout the country. Malaria tablets recommended and be sure to pack mosquito repellent.

Dengue Fever:

Low risk. As above, be armed with anti-mosquito products.

STAYING HEALTHY
Sun

Sun in Senegal can be very intense. Be sure to protect yourself at all times.

Drinking Water

It is not safe to drink water from the taps in Senegal. Always opt for bottled water.

Food

When eating street food, always stick to roasted foods and sealed fruits.

Vaccinations

Mandatory

A Yellow Fever vaccine, and documented proof of this, is required to enter the country. It is, however, not checked on a regular basis.

Recommended

Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Poliomyelitis; Tetanus; Typhoid.

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