ON THE GO
Traveling by plane
Air Sénégal International (DS) flies to the larger cities in the country (Ziguinchor, Cap Skirring, Tambacounda, Saint Louis).
On the way by car / bus
The network of paved roads covers around 3000 km and connects the larger cities on the coast. The road network in the interior of the country (around 10,000 km) is less good and often impassable during the rainy season. There are often speed controls at the entrances and exits of the villages, penalties must be paid immediately.
Buses (“grand car”) travel shorter distances; Minibuses (“petit car” or “car rapide”) are cheaper, but not as efficient. Long-distance buses run as required.
TaxisThere are taximeters in most cities. It is cheaper to stop a taxi in the street than to have it come to the hotel. From midnight to 6 a.m. the tariffs are twice as high. Bush taxis and station wagons are ideal for trips inland.
Rental cars are available in Dakar and in the major cities.
Documentation: International driver’s license. Green insurance card.
Traveling in the city
Buses and minibuses operate in Dakar.
On the go by train
There is a daily train from Dakar via Hann, Thiaroye and Rufisque to Thiès (“Train Bleu”). The train from Dakar to Bamako (Mali) makes stops in various Senegalese cities. The rail network is currently being modernized and expanded.
Children under 3 travel for free, children between 3 and 9 travel at half price.
Out and about by ship
A ferry operates between Dakar and Ziguinchor (travel time: 20 hours).
Shuttle ferries run regularly from Dakar to Gorée Island (travel time: 20 minutes).
L’Express du Senegal connects Dakar, Banjul and Ziguinchor, the prices are rather expensive.
Country-specific safety instructions
An Islamist terrorist threat has existed throughout the Sahel region for years.
As a country located in Africa according to militarynous, Senegal has responded to the recent attacks in the region by strengthening and increasing the visibility of its own security apparatus.
Travelers should exercise particular caution towards suspicious persons or objects. It is also recommended to avoid stadiums and generally large crowds.
Travel over land / crime / terrorism
Travel to remote border areas with Mauritania and Mali is not recommended.
Greater caution is advised when visiting Saint Louis, Podor and Tambacaounda and surrounding towns.
Overnight stays in the open air and driving in the dark should be avoided in Senegal.
The ferry across the Gambia River near Barra to travel to Gambia is considered unsafe and overcrowded; use is therefore not recommended.
Due to an improvement in the security situation in Casamance, it is possible to travel to this region with increased attention. When driving, the main traffic routes, especially the Transgambienne between Ziguinchor and Sénoba via Bignona and between Ziguinchor and Cap Skirring, are to be preferred. It is not recommended to drive at night. The border areas between Casamance and Gambia and Guinea-Bissau should be avoided.
Although most of the mines in the region have been removed, demining in the border areas and especially in the forests is not yet fully completed. Therefore, the asphalt roads should not be left.
The region, enclosed by the coast, the Cap Skirring-Ziguinchor road and the Casamance River, is still open to visitors. There are no particular dangers in the hotel area in Cap Skirring.
When traveling on the national roads Ziguinchor-Banjul and the “Transgambienne”, which connects Ziguinchor to Dakar via the ferry in the Gambian Farafenni, long waiting times must be expected. In addition, the N1 road from Fatick via Kaolack to the Gambian border is in very poor condition.
As in many urban centers around the world, in Dakar – in the center, but also on the beaches – there can be aggressive harassment by hawkers, beggars, pickpockets and self-appointed tourist guides, as well as criminal attacks such as pickpockets, but also violent attacks. Strollers should not visibly carry any valuables (watches, rings, chains) with them and should refrain from carrying bags. It is highly recommended that you only move around the city by car at night and avoid some unsafe neighborhoods and disadvantaged suburbs of Dakar.
In Dakar, criminal attacks on the Corniche have recently increased. These attacks target pedestrians as well as cars and two-wheelers.
Kidnappings and blackmail
Attention is drawn to an increased risk of kidnappings and blackmail in connection with love relationships initiated via the Internet. Recently, several Germans who wanted to visit their Senegalese Internet acquaintance were held by alleged family members or friends of the woman, sometimes for several days, and only released again on payment of considerable sums of money.
There are some hotels of international standard in Petite Côte, a stretch of coast with beaches between Dakar and Joal. Luxury holiday complexes were built in Casamance. Accommodation in Dakar should be booked in advance during the high season from December to May. Most of the rooms have air conditioning, but the prices are quite high.
We strongly advise against wild camping. The state campgrounds (Campe Apartments) some beds available, but no bedding. In the more remote regions, facilities are simple. Sometimes bungalows and African huts are also available.
Other accommodation options
Village huts: Sometimes you can stay in village huts, but you should bring your own sleeping bag.
Missions: The Catholic missions only accept visitors in exceptional cases.