Senegal - Traveling
Diplomatic representations: List of the Senegalese embassies and Consulates abroad
Organizing your trip
Means of transport recommended in town
The only city in Senegal where taxis have a meter is Dakar (and its surrounding areas). However, despite the efficiency of the system, the taxi men have slowly abandoned the use of these meters in favor of bargaining.
Due to the rural exodus, there is a lot of utilization of the public transport and four out of five vehicles are intended for this purpose. In every city you can find a bus station that functions 24h/24. The bus station of Dakar is called "Pompiers" (firefighter). It is the biggest in the country. It offers a number of international national and international destinations. The choice of vehicles is also the best: 7-seater taxis, minibus, buses with 35, 45 or 55 seats. Travelers can find all the vehicles that they want. As the bus station is situated at the outskirts of the city center, it helps to avoid the mammoth traffic jams of the city center.
The train is a mode of transport that is in disuse in Senegal. Two railway lines dating since the colonial period were constructed: Dakar-St Louis and Dakar - Bamako (Mali). Today, only the following lines are used: Dakar-Bamako and the PTB (The Small Blue Train, the suburban line). Since the end of the 90s, the Dakar-Saint-Louis line has been stopped.
Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country
For more information, visit the Senegal transport website.
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Traveling by yourself
The most beautiful and safest highway is without doubt the stretch from Tambacounda to Kedougou that was redone at the start of the 90s and which has been less used. The few kilometers of highway that joins Dakar to Rufisque is used a lot and driving on it can be dangerous.
The settling of tar on the ground during the monsoon season has been the cause for the bad condition of certain roads. Since many years now, the government has changed its policy of transport in favor of tracks that are less expensive to construct and maintain and which with the lack of finances at present can be more used than those that are scattered with pot-holes.
Different forms of tourism
-Sine Saloum: the Saloum islands; Megalithic Sites.
-The Gorée island: the slave's house
- Cayar: the pink lake
- Touba: religious centre of the Mourides. Situated here is one of the biggest mosques of West Africa. The city is truly a place of pilgrimage.
- Joal et Fadiouth: beach of Jaol.
It is equally possible to take back filigreed jewelry in gold or in silver, wooden sculptures and masks, wickerwork baskets, wooden vessels, copper statues and simple paintings.
It is not advisable to buy bags, shoes and belts made of crocodile skin so as not to encourage poaching. Shops are open from 8h to 12h and from 16h to 19h30 during the week.
Health and safety
In order to avoid traveler's diarrhea, tourists should avoid risky foods such as: dishes prepared and then eaten cold, sea food, fish that is little or badly cooked, raw vegetables, as well as fruits that are not peeled by oneself. Tap water should be boiled, filtered and then drunk from bottles that are correctly sealed.
Since 2005, cholera is rampant throughout the country. Travelers should thus scrupulously follow the basic rules of hygiene. Another virus that is equally dangerous is the Appolo virus that is particularly rife during the month of September. This virus causes a type of conjunctivitis and it is found in all the countries of the region. Travelers should avoid touching their eyes with dirty hands and should wash their hands as often as possible.
Time difference and climate
Meat and fish are often served in a curry sauce. At every meal one can find chili and rice.
The national dishes are:
-Thieboudienne: fish with vegetables. In Senegal, this traditional dish is generally prepared with Tiof, a local fish. The hake is the most similar fish to it. Usually, the fish, the rice and the curry are served in separate dishes.
- Chicken Yassa : chicken is cooked in the flavor of lime, garlic, and clove. It is usually served with rice in a service dish which is placed in the center of the table and the dinner guests eat it with their fingers.
Coconut Cake: it is a kind of fritter.
Fish is the main ingredient of the daily diet, chicken, lamb or beef are sometimes included in the meals. Some gnu or wild boar grill can also be found in restaurants menus.
- The bissap : an infusion made from a decoction of red flowers
- Ginger : ginger decoction with mint and nutmeg
- The bouye : drink made from monkey bread.
- The ditakh : juice obtained from a fruit similar to the kiwi fruit.
- Palm wine : alcohol extracted from palm trees.
- Honey and nectar of the gods beer
- Mint tea : served everywhere, all the time.
- Beer : Flag and Gazelle