Senegal Guide

Senegal Guide

Senegal is a country in West Africa. Common borders with Mauritania – in the north, with Mali – in the east, with Guinea, Guinea-Bissau – in the south.

The capital is Dakar. The official language is French. Currency – CFA franc BCEAO (XOF). Religion – Islam.

The temperature is about +25*С. On the territory of Senegal, lowlands prevail, in some places the height is up to 50 0 m. The climate is subequatorial, in the north – dry. The main river is the Senegal. The country is dominated by savannas, swamps and rainforest in the southwest.

The territory of Senegal was alternately part of Ghana, Tekrur, Mali, Jolof. In the 11th century Islamization begins, 15th century – the penetration of Europeans and the slave trade. During the 19th century Senegal was captured by France, since 1904 – the privileged colony of Senegal in French West Africa. In 1958 – an autonomous republic, and in 1960 gained independence, remains a member of the French community.

Interesting facts

The capital of Dakar is the traditional place of the finish of the Paris-Dakar rally.

The basis of the economy of Senegal is the cultivation and processing of peanuts, as well as cereals, cassava, and cotton. An important role is played by the collection of gum arabic, livestock breeding, fishing, and the extraction of phosphorites. The main port is Dakar.

Country data

Location: West Africa

Time zone: CET – 1 (during summer time: CET – 2)

Total area: 196,722 km²

Land area: 192,530 km²

Water area: 4,192 km²

Length of the state border: 2,640 km

Bordering countries:
Gambia: 740 km
Guinea: 330 km
Guinea-Bissau: 338 km
Mali: 419 km
Mauritania: 813 km

Coastline: 531 km

Capital: Dakar

Regions: 14
Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kedougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, Thies, Ziguinchor

Telephone code: 00 221 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: 581 m


Population: approx. 13.6 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 2.5% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 69

Life expectancy: 59 (male), 63 (female)

Official language: French


  • 94% Muslim
  • 5% Roman Catholic
  • 1% other


The tropical climate of Senegal is very difficult to bear for Europeans, especially in the rainy season from the beginning of July to the end of November.


At temperatures of over 30 ° C (even at night) and a humidity of over 90%, the circuit often collapses.

From December to June it is very dry (no rainfall), with daily maximum temperatures of up to 45 ° C. Here, too, it only cools down a little at night.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: CFA franc (XOF)

ATMs: Available in larger cities.

International credit cards: Are accepted in larger shops and hotels.

Regulations: Foreign currencies can be imported up to an equivalent value of 1,000,000 XOF. The export is allowed up to an equivalent of 500,000 XOF. There is an obligation to declare.

All payment and exchange receipts should be kept until you leave the country.

Undeclared foreign currency is confiscated even if there is suspicion of foreign exchange smuggling.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

We strongly advise against traveling to the border areas with Mauritania and Mali.

Behavioral advice

Petty crime (pickpockets and fraud) has increased particularly in the big cities. You should therefore not openly wear or show valuable jewelry and cash.

During a car journey (also by taxi) you should lock the doors and window panes from the inside.


The economic situation of Senegal depends on the weather and the world market price for peanuts, as most foreign currencies are generated from this main export good.

Fishing was able to develop as an important branch of the economy. The rich fishing grounds supply the local markets.

Industries: ore mining, fishing, agriculture, food production, light industry

Natural resources: iron ores, fish, phosphates

Land use:

  • Usable land: 12%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 16%
  • Forests: 54%
  • other: 18%


Only a few plant and bush species grow in the dry semi-deserts in the north of the country.

To the south the flora turns into fertile savannah areas and then into dense forests.


In contrast to many other African countries, Senegal’s fauna is still diverse.

Monkeys, lions, pigs and many different small animals are particularly at home in the huge forest areas that take up over half of the country.

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