Senegal Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Dakar tourist information, Senegal food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Dakar Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Senegal Travel Guide



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Full country name: Republic of Senegal
Area: 196,723 sq km
Population: 13,711,597
Capital City: Dakar
Language: French
Religion: 90% Muslim, 10% Christian
Government: Semi-presidential republic
Time Zone: GMT+0
Dialing Code: 221
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: CFA franc (XOF)

Money & Costs:
Average yearly salary: USD 1,600

Meals:
Budget: $5-7
Mid-range: $10-15
High: $20-25+
Accommodation:
Budget: $15-50
Mid-range: $100-200
High: $250-300

Geography: Senegal is located in western Africa, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The country borders Mauritania, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and surrounds the tiny Gambia in the center. The Senegalese terrain consists mainly of the rolling sandy plains. The country also has numerous rivers, the most prominent being the Senegal River, the Gambia and the Casamance Rivers.

Climate: Senegal has a tropical climate with very well defined dry and humid seasons. The dry season (December – April) features a hot and dry wind, whereas the humid season (June – October) is dominated by rainfall and temperatures ranging from 24 C to 30 C. The temperatures from December to February average from 18 C to 25 C.

Recommended clothing: Lightweight summer clothes, such as shorts, t-shirts, dresses and thin trousers, are recommended. A hat, sunglasses and sun protection lotion are advisable. If you are planning to go on pelagic tours, pack a waterproof jacket, as you will be traveling with open boats in high speed.

Food: Since Senegal is by the Atlantic Ocean, fish and other seafood are widely available. Various meets, such as chicken, lamb or beef are also used in Senegalese cooking, except for pork, due to the large population of Muslims. The most common ingredients in Senegalese dishes are: peanuts, crop, couscous, white rice, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, lentils, and various other vegetables. Senegalese desserts are a combination of native ingredients with the style and extravagance of the French cuisine. They are usually served with fresh fruit and followed by coffee or tea.

Drink: A lot of water should be drunk if intending to visit the arid area of Senegal. However, tap water should be avoided, drink bottled water instead. There is a huge variety of fresh juices to choose from. The most popular juices are made from bissap, ginger, Buy (pronounced bouy), which is the fruit of the baobab tree, mango, etc.

Health: You should consult a doctor and plan the required vaccinations ahead, since some of them cannot be given at the same time. Health insurance is essential. Malaria exists throughout the country, therefore it is extremely important to avoid mosquito bites and to take tablets to prevent the disease. Its recommended to drink 3 to 5 liters of water a day to avoid dehydration.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
26 Feb Prophet Mohammed's Birthday
4 Apr Independence Day
5 Apr Easter Monday
1 May Labour Day
13 May Ascension
24 May Whit Monday
15 Aug Assumption
11 Sep Korite (End of Ramadan)
1 Nov All Saint's Day
17 Nov Tabaski (Feast of the Sacrifice)
7 Dec Tamkarit (Islamic New Year)
16 Dec Tamkharit (Ashoura)
25 Dec Christmas Day

Note: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Korité (Eid al-Fitr), Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Korité itself. Korité and Tabaski (Eid al-Adha) may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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