Located at the western end of the African continent, Senegal is the land of “Téranga” – hospitality. The Senegalese take great pride in their reputation for welcoming visitors. The locals are extremely friendly and helpful. Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is a crossroads between Africa and the West. It is the economic and cultural center of the country and is currently undergoing strong economic development. Dakar is a major hub in West Africa, so there are plenty of flights to and from Europe, North America and other African cities.
Senegal is a country in West Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It shares borders with Mauritania to the north and north-east, Mali to the east and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. The Gambia is landlocked within Senegal.
- The capital of Senegal: Dakar, a peninsula at the furthest point of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Senegal is located in the intertropical zone and the time zone is GMT + 00.
November and December are generally dry months in Senegal. Temperatures are pleasant, with daytime highs generally reaching 25 to 30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Nights can be a little cooler.
- Rain is rare during this period
- Average temperatures in November 2023 are expected to be between 26°C and 27°C (78°F and 80°F).
- Daylight in Dakar in November lasts more than 11 hours.
- The sun rises around 7am and sets after 6pm.
- Official language: French,
- National language: Wolof, spoken by over 80% of the population.
Banks, money and foreign exchange and financial transactions
Senegal’s official currency is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) CFA franc, abbreviated XOF. It is used in common with several other West African countries. The exchange rate varies very often, but as a rough guide:
- 1 € ≈ 655 FCFA ;
- 1 $ ≈ 600 FCFA.
There are a number of banks with standard ATMs where you can make transactions using VISA, Mastercard or GIM UEMOA cards and pay by mobile phone (Orange Money, Wave, Free Money, Kpay, etc.).
Senegalese cuisine is rich and varied, influenced by local traditions as well as Arab and French influences. The national dish is Rice with fish or “Ceebu Jën” also known as Jollof (in the Nigeria and Ghana). In fact, the name Jollof is the name of an ancien Senegalese Kingdom. Jollof means the land of the Wolof (then name of the most spoken language in Senegal). Ceebu Jën Inscribed in 2021 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Other popular dishes include:
- Yassa (chicken marinated in onions and lemon),
- Mafé (meat stew with peanut sauce)
- Other fish and seafood dishes.
Tropical fruits such as mangoes, watermelons and papayas are also abundant.
Area code : + 221
Communication networks: mainly ORANGE, Free and Expresso.
Cost of telephone chips: CFAF 1,000, with compulsory identification with identity card or passport.
Mobile Internet: 4G, 3G and 2G available from operators
Wifi: Large venues (hotels, restaurants, etc.) offer free wifi connections to their customers.
- Tap water is soft and drinkable and is consumed by the locals without worry. We would highly recommend
- A wide range of bottled water is available for visitors
- Voltage: 230 V, 50 Hz, use transformers if you have appliances with different voltages
Senegal has a relatively well-developed transport network, including roads, railways and air links.
Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIDB) is located around 50 km from Dakar city center. As the rail link has not yet been completed, the AIBD is accessible by bus or taxi.
- AIBD – Dakar by bus: You can take the Dem Dikk AC bus from the airport (the buses wait just outside on the right as you exit the main terminal) which costs 6,000 CFA with a route that ends at the Grande Yoff terminal (location: 14°44’40.4 “N 17°27’16.1 “W) opposite the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor. From there, you can take one of the taxis waiting to take you to your accommodation in the city.
- AIBD – Dakar by Taxi: Expect fares of around CFA 20,000 per taxi. The journey takes less than 60 minutes in good conditions.
Always agree on the price before getting into a taxi in Dakar. All taxi fares are negotiated in advance and must be negotiated. If you are not Senegalese, it is best to ask the locals for an idea of fares. Make sure your taxi has the right change before you set off.