Senegal

Senegal

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following provinces: Ziguinchor, Kolda, and Tambacounda

The Republic of Senegal is located on the western-most part of Africa between Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau with its western border on the Atlantic Ocean. The population is approximately 12.5 million people.

Although the official language is French, regional languages are also recognised, Wolof being the most widely used. Senegal's government is a republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

In addition to being known as one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in Africa, Senegal is unique in many ways. The country has been held up as an example of one of the most stable democracies in Africa, with peaceful transitions of power. The people consider hospitality so important that it has become part of their national identity. Senegal is also known for its music style, called mbalax, which is a mix of Latin, Caribbean, and African music.

Currency XCF: CFA franc
Language French
Capital Dakar
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Senegal. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a high risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Senegal through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Senegal.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Senegal, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of transmission of yellow fever throughout Senegal. This country requires all persons 9 months of age and older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a region where yellow fever is present.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in Senegal.

Malaria

All areas are at risk for exposure to malaria.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs in Senegal, especially in the northwest, and is usually more common in rural than urban areas. The risk of acquiring leishmaniasis is very low, however, the risk is increased in travellers who spend time outdoors in rural areas and at night, when sand flies typically feed.

Meningitis

Meningitis occurs in Senegal. Travellers who visit during the dry season or expect to have prolonged contact with the local population are especially at risk.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to Senegal are at risk for tuberculosis, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, if visiting friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya is a viral disease that occurs in Senegal. Outbreaks of this disease usually occur during the tropical rainy season, however, outbreaks can occur during the dry season as well.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Cholera

Cholera may occur in Senegal.

Zika Fever

Zika fever may occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Senegal.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age and older. This country requires all persons 9 months of age and older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a region where yellow fever is present.

Meningitis Vaccine

Because this country is located in the sub-Saharan meningitis belt, vaccination against meningitis is recommended if travelling during the dry season (December to June).

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Senegal.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Senegal

Emergency Numbers

33-821-2431 24-hour number
800-00-17-00 Police hotline
(221) 33 860-3810 Tourist police
821-3213
889-1515 Alternate ambulance number
824-7191 Service D'Urgences Medicales et D'Assistance

There is no main emergency telephone number in Senegal.

Personal Safety

Petty crime does occur, particularly in crowded areas, and foreigners are sometimes targeted. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Violent crime can occur in the cities, especially in Dakar. Be particularly vigilant around Place de l’Independence, the central area of the Plateau, the Western Corniche, and at the Leopold Senghor International Airport.

Travellers should avoid isolated areas and avoid walking at night. Do not show signs of wealth, (expensive clothing, jewelry, etc.) and ensure your travel documents and personal belongings are safe at all times.

Main roads are good, but other roads can be in poor condition and drivers may not adhere to safe driving rules. Some taxis and public transportation vehicles might not meet safety standards.

Carry photo identification with you at all times as authorities may conduct identification checks. Be cautious at the airport because strangers sometimes approach travellers, for example as a bogus greeter. There is a risk of abduction in Senegal. Travellers should ensure their accommodations are secure and reputable.

Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal and is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $2,500 (US dollars). A 2010 report by Human Rights Watch noted that there is widespread abuse of gay men, including torture, particularly by police.

Areas To Avoid

Travel to Casamance is discouraged due to looting, robberies, and clashes between Senegalese forces and rebels forces of the MFDC (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance). Land mines are still a problem in Basse-Casamance. Avoid road travel in the Casamance region in southern Senegal, except Cap Skirring, Ziguinchor and the main road between these cities. Cars and public buses have been ambushed and passengers robbed. If you travel to Cap Skirring or Ziguinchor you should travel directly by air, sea or only on the main road between the two locations.

Avoid travel to the border areas with Guinea due to military activity and potential for conflict.

Armed attacks against travellers have occurred on roads near the border with The Gambia, including the Sédhiou region. The border areas with Guinea-Bissau are also dangerous, including Ziguinchor, Nyassia, and Niagha. Avoid unnecessary road travel whenever possible since there is a risk of kidnapping in remote areas of the country.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations are common in this country. Avoid demonstrations and political gatherings as they are unpredictable and can become violent with little warning.

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