Senegal is a country located in West Africa. The country was named after Senegal River that borders the eastern and northern part of the country. There is an approximate 13 million people living in Senegal. When you travel to Senegal, you will experience a diversity in its landscape. It also features a tropical climate, which is divided into the dry and wet (or rainy) season.
There have been various ethnic groups that invaded Senegal throughout its pre-historic era. In fact, slave trade was prevalent in Senegal during the earlier times. The European colonialism during the 15th to 16th century definitely helped to shape the country to what it is today. Its most recently history of colonialism was from the French during the 19th century. Senegal just recently gained independence from France in 1960.
The rich natural resources and production of basic commodities has helped establish stability in the economy of Senegal. Among the country’s basic economic industries include fishing, petroleum refining, ship construction and repair, phosphate mining, production of construction materials, fertilizer production, and many more.
Currency: CFA Franc
Official Language: French is the official language of Senegal.
Wi-Fi Availability: You can get free Wi-Fi at the airport. Although good and reliable internet connection is available in Senegal, you would have to pay for it. There is limited availability in terms of free Wi-Fi hotspots.
Airport/s: The Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport in Dakar is the main hub for international flights that travel to Senegal.
Visa Required: All visitors who travel Senegal must obtain a visa prior to travel to Senegal. This rule exempts those traveling from visa-exempt countries or those that can process their visa upon arrival. You can check this for the corresponding list of countries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Senegal
Driving: The citizens of Senegal drive on the right side of the road.
International Driver’s License Accepted? Aside from your foreign issued driver’s license, you need to obtain an international driving permit before you are allowed to drive in Senegal.
Crime: Dakar in Senegal is a high-crime city, due to the number of crimes and violence within the city. But as a country, overall, Senegal has a relatively low crime rate especially when compared to other civilized countries in Africa.
Electrical Adapters: The electrical outlets in Senegal are powered by 220-240 volts running at a frequency of 50 Hertz. Meanwhile, they use D and C plug types.
Trivia: Islam is the dominant religion of Senegal with nearly 94% of the population. The remainder of the population is made up of Christians.
For the most part, the cuisine in Senegal is very traditional in the West African standard. However, it has several influences from North Africa, French and Portuguese cuisine that adds to the diversity and uniqueness of the dishes served in Senegal. There are also several ethnic groups in the country that has infused their own touch into traditional dishes.
The access to the Atlantic Ocean also provides Senegal with a bounty of seafood catch. Hence, fish is an integral part into the Senegalese cuisine. You will also find that they like to use lamb, egg, chicken and beef in their cuisine. However, pork is not very popular in Senegal due to the majority Muslim population.
Peanuts are widely grown in Senegal; hence, you will find they use this ingredient a lot in preparing traditional and modern dishes. Other popular ingredients used in the Senegalese cuisine are mango, ginger, bissap, white rice, sweet potatoes, couscous, lentils and black eyed peas.
Travel to Senegal: Top Attractions
House of Slaves – This is a museum that commemorates and displays artifacts related to the Atlantic slave trade that took place in Goree Island. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Goree Island – This Island is one of the 19 districts that make up Dakar in Senegal. This island is famous as being the destination of the slaves during the Atlantic slave trade.
African Renaissance Monument – This 49-meter tall bronze statue is located atop the twin hills of Collines des Mamelles. This monument is one of the most notable landmarks in Senegal.
Niokolo-Koba National Park – This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a natural protected area located close to the Guinea-Bissau border.
Lake Retba – This natural lake is located at the northern side of Cap Vert Peninsula in Senegal. It is commonly referred to as the Pink Lake of Senegal due to the varying shades of pink color on the lake, which changes according to the season.