Sitting at the continent’s western-most tip, Senegal also marks the fusion point of Africa’s Arabic north, with the diverse and colourful cultures of the region’s southern gulf.

Hemmed in by the ever-encroaching sands of the Sahel, the waves of the Atlantic and the dense jungle of the Casamance, Senegal often seems to work a beat and rhythm all on its own. Emphatically Muslim, yet exuding French undertones, it evokes both the best in colonial-era architecture and the worst vestiges of the slave trade. It’s a nation of novelty, where the melodies of home-grown international music maestros are played alongside the latest local hip-hop sensations, and first-rate baguettes are hawked from the back of horse-drawn carts.

Our Senegal trips

13 Days From 2415

Discover the wildlife and wetlands of Senegal and The Gambia on a 13-day Expedition...

Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Articles on Senegal

Senegal travel highlights

Senegal holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit Senegal

Geography and environment

Top 5 Senegal Festivals

Health and Safety

Further reading

Senegal travel FAQs

SENEGAL:

Currently, visas are not required in advance for travel to Senegal for citizens of the United Kingdom and the United States. For other nationalities, please see list below. It is advised that all nationalities should check with a Senegal Embassy for up to date information.

 

Australia: Yes - In advance

Belgium: Yes - In advance

Canada: Yes - In advance

Germany: Yes - In advance

Ireland: Yes - In advance

Netherlands: Yes - In advance

New Zealand: Yes - In advance

South Africa: Yes - in advance

Switzerland: Yes - In advance

UK:  Not required

USA: Not required

 

You must obtain a double entry visa and this should be obtained prior to your arrival and you may require a guarantee letter / hotel confirmation letter from Intrepid as part of your visa application.

 

Australia and New Zealanders should use the Senegalese embassy in Malaysia as their closest option. For other nationalities the embassy in the UK may be the most convenient and you may require a guarantee letter from Intrepid as part of your visa application.

Tipping is only expected from well-heeled locals and foreigners. At established restaurants a 10 to 15 per cent service charge is usually included in the bill; where it’s not, 10 per cent is the acceptable gratuity. Although tipping at other eateries isn't mandatory, a rounding up of the bill will be much appreciated given the low wages that Senegalese workers are typically paid. Setting aside a small amount for porters, guides and drivers is also a good idea.

Internet cafes, with relatively fast and reliable connections, can easily be found in Senegal’s cities and major towns.

Mobile phone coverage is good in Senegal’s large cities and towns, but less so in rural areas. The major local telephone companies are Alize, Sentel, Orange and Tigo. Ensure that you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you plan to use your mobile phone.

Squat/pit toilets are generally the standard in Senegal, although western-style flushable toilets are often found in large hotels and other modern buildings. Carry your own supply of soap and toilet paper because this is rarely provided.

Sandwich = 1000 CFA
Litre of bottled water = 700 CFA
Shwarma = 1500-5000 CFA
Bottle of beer in a local bar = 500-1000 CFA

Tap water isn't safe to drink in Senegal. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, bring water purification tablets or ask your leader where filtered water can be found.

Credit cards are generally only accepted at top-end hotels, some restaurants and a few shops. American Express is the most widely accepted, followed by Visa, Diners Club and Mastercard.

Banks with ATMs are found in all cities and large towns across the country, but are rarer in small towns, rural areas and villages. Not all ATMs will accept foreign cards or be in working order, so be sure to have other payment methods available when venturing out of the cities.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 4 Apr Independence Day
  • 17 Apr Easter Monday
  • 1 May Labour Day
  • 25 May Ascension Day
  • 5 Jun Whit Monday
  • 25 Jun Korité / End of Ramadan
  • 15 Aug Assumption Day
  • 1 Sep Tabaski / Feast of Sacrifice
  • 30 Sep Tamkharit / Ashura
  • 1 Nov All Saints' Day
  • 7 Nov Magal de Touba
  • 30 Nov The Prophet's Birthday
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Senegal go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/senegal/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Woman drinking from reusable water bottle

Top responsible travel tips for Senegal

1. Be considerate of Senegal’s customs, traditions, religions and culture.

2. Only use your right hand when dealing with locals. The left is used for ‘unhygienic tasks’.

3. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

4. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered and shoes removed when entering places of worship.

5. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water or use water purification tablets.

6. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive and supports the local community.

8. When bargaining, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

9. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

10. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

11. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.