Call 0330 880 3600 Calls may be monitored or recorded. Opening Times.

Blog Header

Need help?

UK Customer Services0330 880 3600

Open Open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm, Saturday 8:30am to 4pm and closed Sundays.
(Calls may be monitored or recorded)

Contact details can be found in your policy documentation

Available 24 hours a day, every day

Travel Insurance Senegal


Senegal Country Guide

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Republic of Senegal
Capital City: Dakar
Language Spoken: French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka

Senegal Travel Insurance

Get travel insurance to Senegal from Direct Travel Insurance. We offer low cost and high quality travel insurance to Senegal and most of the world.

Get a quote

Geographic data

14 00 N, 14 00 W

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 581 m

Land boundaries

total: 2,640 km border countries: The Gambia 740 km, Guinea 330 km, Guinea-Bissau 338 km, Mali 419 km, Mauritania 813 km

Natural hazards

lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts

Natural resources

fish, phosphates, iron ore

Land use

arable land: 12.51% permanent crops: 0.24% other: 87.25% (2005)

Environmental current issues

wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing


Senegal is favored by a warm climate. The dry season runs from December through to May with cool trade winds in coastal areas. Throughout the rest of the year, a hot monsoon wind blows from the south bringing the rainy season and hot, humid weather. Rainfall is heaviest in Casamance and in the southeast and slight in the Sahelian region in the north and northeast, where temperatures tend to be higher.

Time difference

time difference: UTC 0


11,987,121 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 40.8% (male 2,467,021/female 2,422,385) 15-64 years: 56.1% (male 3,346,756/female 3,378,518) 65 years and over: 3.1% (male 174,399/female 198,042) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 19.1 years male: 18.9 years female: 19.3 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.34% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

32.78 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

9.42 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 59.25 years male: 57.7 years female: 60.85 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.38 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

A lightweight suit is acceptable for business. Senegal has inherited French commercial traditions. Business practices, accounting methods and legal procedures derive from the French system. Business correspondence, catalogs and advertising materials should be prepared in French. French will also generally be needed for meetings. Appointments should be made and punctuality is expected, despite the fact that a Senegalese contact may be slightly late. Visiting cards are essential, preferably in French and English. Repeated personal contacts are often necessary to establish a working relationship with business partners. Office hours are normally 0800-1230 and 1300-1600 Monday to Friday. During Ramadan some offices open 0730-1430.


Street crime in Senegal poses moderate risks for visitors. Most reported incidents involve pickpockets, purse snatchers and street scam artists. Wallets, jewelry and other valuables are subject to theft, especially during times of international meetings or events that draw large crowds. In Dakar, there has been a relatively high incidence of purse snatchings and muggings in a popular restaurant area known locally as "la Petite Corniche", located along a three-kilometer stretch of coastal road in the southeastern part of the city. Road travel between Mauritania and Senegal is restricted to several designated border crossing points, and long delays at the border are normal. The Casamance area of southern Senegal should be avoided due to incidents involving Casamance separatists.


Dakar has business hotels of excellent reputation. There are several of international standards, and more development is under way, including a number of hotels on the Petite C?te (the stretch of beaches between Dakar and Joal). In Casamance some luxury resorts have been built. It is advisable to book accommodation in advance, particularly in Dakar. Hotels in Dakar generally have air-conditioning but tend to be expensive. Visitors may choose the floating hotel in the River Region.


Telephone IDD service is available to the country. The country code is 221 and the outgoing international code is 00. International calls to most countries can be dialed directly. The country code is 221. Cable, telex, fax, paging and Internet services are available. A number of cybercafes are located in Dakar. Cellular telephones are very popular.


is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 230 volts AC, 50Hz.

Plug Types


Food And Dining

Senegalese food is considered among the best in Africa. The basis of many dishes is chicken or fish, but the distinctive taste is due to ingredients not found outside Africa. This food is served in many restaurants in Dakar. Provincial rest houses serve less sophisticated but delicious variations. There are bars in some hotels and clubs. Although Senegal is predominantly a Muslim country, alcohol is available.

National specialties:
? Chicken au yassa (chicken with lemon, pimento and onions).
? Tiebou dienne (rice and fish).
? Maffe (chicken or mutton in peanut sauce).
? Dem ? la St Louis (stuffed mullet).
? Accras (a kind of fritter). National drinks:
? Toufam (a kind of yogurt thinned with sugared water).
? Mint tea, the first cup drunk slightly bitter, the second with more sugar and the third very sweet.
? Palm wine, which is drunk either fresh or fermented.
? Home-roasted coffee with pimento.

A service charge of 10 to 15 per cent is included in all hotel and restaurant bills. Taxi drivers are not normally given a tip.

There are several nightclubs and music venues in Dakar, playing mbalakh (the local modern music), as well as a casino on the route to N'Gor. There are many cinemas showing the latest French films. The Daniel Sorano National Theater in the Boulevard de la Republique is a popular venue for theater, concerts and other arts performances.

Entry departure requirements

* Please see visa section

Visa immigration information


Passport valid for at least six months after date of entry required by all.


Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of countries referred to in the chart above (except 1. nationals of Australia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia who do require a visa) for stays of up to three months;
(b) nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, C?te d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Taiwan (China) and Togo for stays of up to three months;
(c) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.


Applications from nationals of the following countries must be referred to the authorities in Dakar and will therefore take longer (up to 21 days): Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chile, China (PR), Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Guyana, Hong Kong (SAR), Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Korea (Dem Rep), Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Maldives, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russian Federation, S?o Tom? e Pr?ncipe, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Vietnam and Yemen.

Types of visa and cost

Entry: US$5 (up to 15 days); US$13 (15 to 30 days); US$18 (up to 90 days). Cheques are not accepted.


Three months from the date of issue for stays of up to three months.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information. The visa section at the Embassy of Senegal in London is open 1000-1330 for lodging and 1300-1500 for collection.

Application requirements

(a) Valid passport. (b) Two passport-size photos. (c) Two completed application forms. (d) Letter of invitation or confirmed hotel booking, if applicable. (e) Self-addressed, stamped recorded delivery envelope for postal applications. (f) Evidence of return tickets. (g) Company letter for business trips.


A WHO vaccination card, with current Yellow Fever and Cholera vaccinations, may be required if national is traveling from an endemic area.

Working days required

At least three. Nationals who must submit their applications to the authorities in Dakar prior to travel should submit their visa applications at least 21 days before the intended date of departure.

Temporary Residence

Enquire at Embassy (see Passport/Visa Information).

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax



Embassy of the Republic of Senegal in the UK

39 Marloes Road, London W8 6LA, UK
Tel: (020) 7937 7237 or 7938 4048.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700; 0930-1300 (visa applications).

Embassy of the Republic of Senegal in the USA

2112 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 234 0540 or 0541.

Most visits to Senegal are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Travelers are advised against road travel in the western Casamance, due to isolated incidents of banditry.
Pick pocketing and street crime is common in parts of Dakar. Travelers should take sensible precautions and avoid carrying valuables in public.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisaions for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.

US Department of State



CFA (Communaut? Financiaire Africaine) Franc (XOF) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of XOF10,000, 5000, 2000 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of XOF500, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1. Senegal is part of the French Monetary Area. Only currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Bank of West African States) is valid; currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (Bank of Central African States) is not. The CFA Franc is tied to the Euro.

Currency restrictions

Import of local currency is unlimited; import of foreign currency is unlimited but subject to declaration. Export of local currency is restricted to XOF20,000. Export of foreign currency is limited to XOF50,000; for amounts exceeding this, the declaration issued on arrival must be presented.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1100 and 1430-1600.

Currency exchange


Credit cards

American Express is the most widely accepted, although Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa have limited use. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available. Commissions are added for the use of credit cards. There are ATMs in Dakar.

Travellers cheques

Traveller's cheques are easy to cash in Dakar. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take them in Euros.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Dakar8+ 6 digits
Outside Dakar9+ 6 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Good quality dental care is available in Dakar. Avoid dental treatment elsewhere as the standards of care and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

Some international medication is available from the larger pharmacies and hospitals in the larger towns and cities. Pharmacists require a current licence to operate.

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe

Medical facilities

Several hospitals and clinics in Dakar can treat major and minor injuries and illnesses. There is inadequate inpatient psychiatric care, though there is very good office-based psychiatry. Public hospitals do not meet Western standards, but several private clinics are at the level of small European hospitals, and approach U.S. community hospital standards.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. (Government officials have announced plans to screen all of the nation's blood banks for the AIDS virus. They did not specify when the testing would begin. Donated blood is currently screened at Dakar's principal hospital and National Blood Transfusion Center, according to news reports.) Poisonous snakes exist, although they are seldom found in the city. Be especially sure to treat small cuts and wounds promptly with an antiseptic solution to prevent infection.


Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Meningitis: Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for travelers, particularly during the December-June dry season when epidemics are most likely to occur. Importance of vaccination increases with length of stay and/or exposure to crowded conditions. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination. Protection may be less effective for infants and children aged 3-23 months than it is for persons aged 2 years and older. Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Yellow fever: Vaccination is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going outside of urban areas. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases, including yellow fever, are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Loiasis - prevalent Malaria - prevalent Onchocerciasis (river blindness) - prevalent Relapsing fever - occurs Rift Valley fever - occurs in northwest Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs (human type - mainly in small, isolated areas - is reported) Tungiasis - prevalent Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Lassa fever - occurs (exists in some rural areas, and people visiting these areas should take particular care to avoid rat-contaminated food or food containers; but the extent of the disease should not be exaggerated) Schistosomiasis - common Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported, and cases of polio still occur regularly. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Meningococcal meningitis - occurs (risk is highest during the December-June dry season, when epidemics are most likely) Rabies - occurs Trachoma - prevalent

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from endemic areas.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

Clinique Casahous5 rue de Thiong Dakar
Clinique de la Madeleine18 Avenue de Jambaars BP3500 Dakar
Clinique Du CapAvenue Pasteur Dakar
Clinique PasteurAvenue Carnot Dakar
Hopital de Saint-LouisCHR Lt-Colonel Mamadou Diouf Boulevard Abdoulaye Mar Diop BP 401 Saint Louis
Hopital Principal de DakarDakar


Senegal's constitution guarantees freedom of the news media, although there are laws prohibiting reports that discredit the state or incite disorder. Still, the country has traditionally enjoyed a liberal media climate, and private media frequently criticize the government. In recent years, however, there has been a number of attacks on journalists, and a Radio France Internationale correspondent covering the Casamance issue was expelled in 2004. Publications must be registered, but foreign publications circulate freely and multichannel pay-TV is readily available.
Press: Le Soleil (website: is a state-owned daily, while Sud Quotidien (website:, L'Info, Wal Fadjri (website: and Le Matin are privately published.
TV: Radiodiffusion Television Senegalaise (RTS) is the state-run national broadcaster that operates the RTS1 TV channel.
Radio: The RTS also operates the Chaine Nationale and Chaine Internationale networks, the capital's 94.5 FM and Dakar FM, as well as four regional services. Sud FM is a private station available in Dakar and other cities. Radio Nostalgie is a Dakar-based private station. Sept FM is a private Dakar station operated by Groupe Com 7, while Walf FM is operated by Groupe Wal Fadjri. BBC World Service and Radio France Internationale are available on FM in Dakar.