Senegal

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Senegal is a country in Western Africa. It is the most developed country in West Africa and has the best road network; most major roads are now paved.

Senegal is a sub-tropical paradise for nomads. People are very very hospitable, it is normal if they come up to you and ask you if you need any help.

In overall, there are about 5 to 6 local languages spoken in different regions, but almost everyone speaks French. If you are familiar with only European French, you might take a little time to fully understand Senegalese accent. In the capital Dakar, you might get to meet expats who also speak English, but no one in the countryside does.

When traveling in Lower Casamance, be aware of the ongoing armed conflict there, it might be unwise to walk between towns on your own or even to accept ride offers of strangers. Check the situation before you set out.

People never say no to help foreigners. (but ethically it should not be a reason for the tourists to get fed all the time by Senegalese country people who work really hard and long hours for the little money they get)

Transport

Find info on hitchhiking at Hitchwiki.

Buses are very cheap, hitchhiking is very chill and fun, especially if you speak at least a bit of French.

In Dakar and Ziguinchor there are city buses where a ticket costs either 100 or 200 CFA.

There is a boat that goes Ziguinchor-Dakar and vice versa about 2 times a week.

It might be possible to boathike Atlantic from Dakar towards Brazil, passing Cape Verde, during the winter months.

Hitchhiking experience of gotitbro (July-August 2015 ) [1]

"I hitchhiked all around Senegal sometimes with my partner I introduced drivers as my boyfriend and sometimes solo for one and a half month around Senegal as a white-looking, 18-year-old Turkish girl, with a basic French, with nothing on me that looks expensive and a basic observation on the culture. I hitchhiked mostly with a loose headscarf on my head because the sun was strong. Senegal was the country I felt the safest to hitchhike in as a solo girl! We had a lot of fun both together and separately. When I was solo, some guys flirted with me saying 'Tu es belle (You are beautiful)' or 'Tu veux etre ma coupine/femme? (Do you want to be my girlfriend/wife?)' Don't get nuts if someone tells this to you on the minute they start talking to you, just ditch them. You can say "Je ne veux pas" (I don't want) or "Je suis marié" (I am married). If they understand you, they would stop flirting and then you can have your nice hitchhiking conversation! If they don't (never happened to me), just tell them that you want to get out (Je veux sortir) Never heard of any tourist getting physically forced to anything, the culture's dynamics don't allow that. Once in a village in Casamance at around midnight, I lost where my partner was and hitchhiked by the middle of the desolate local road and there were barely any street lights. The middle-aged guy who stopped took me in his car and helped me with finding the way with no expectations. "

Companies

{{#ask: Transport type::bus Connects country::Senegal|intro=* Bus: }} {{#ask: Transport type::train Connects country::Senegal|intro=* Train: }} {{#ask: Transport type::plane Connects country::Senegal|intro=* Airline: }} {{#ask: Transport type::ferry Connects country::Senegal|intro=* Ferry: }}

Accommodation

Find info on hosp ex at Couchwiki.

You can put a tent anywhere in the countryside, and you can use couchsurfing for Dakar. There are 2 seasons: Dry and wet, and on the wet season, it rains a lot. Sometimes the police might want to check your passport as you camp and even take you to the police station for that, tell them that you are not an illegal person in their country until they understand it. Don't give them money if they ask you, they don't have the right for that.

Meet fellow travellers on hospitality exchange networks: Trustroots, BeWelcome

Food

Find info on dumpster diving at Trashwiki.

In the countryside there are local restaurants (there is no restaurant sign written on them but they look like a small cottage where 3-4 women cook inside and there is one table where customers can sit) where you can get a sandwich (tapa lapa bread filled with 1 of 3 choices of legumes) for 200 CFA, or a legume plate for 300 CFA. Also in cities, there are Thiéboudienne (or Ceebu jën) in restaurants, which is a plate of rice, veggies, sauce and fish for 500 CFA.

Dakar: You can find many things in supermarkets. In some small touristy villages or islands, there might be only touristy restaurants and no markets and the cost of plates can be 10 times more expensive than local ones, be prepared. You can always negotiate though, and say that you won't eat at their place if they don't drop the price.


For the countryside: Noone has fridges, so everything fresh is sold in small amounts in open air bazaars or small stands (marché) with veggies. There is no fresh milk in those, though expensive canned ones. Local people sell delicious roasted peanuts (arachides grillées) in little plastic bags, the smallest starts by 25 CFA. A ripe mango

Connectivity

There aren't a lot of wifi spots outside touristy places, most of the cafes don't. In NGO buildings you can ask people for WIFI password. (pronounced wee-fee in French, not way-fay)

In Dakar there are really cheap internet cafes called cyber cafes (pronounced si-ber, not say-ber like in English)

Also you can get an Orange SIM card and get really cheap internet packages.

Busking

add information about busking

Visa

It's not easy to obtain visa at the embassy in Rabat but in the Consulate in Casablanca it should be easier.

Be sure about your visa situation, as some policemen might claim you need a visa even when you don't, just and make you pay for a visa. Insist that you don't need a visa, tell them to call your embassy for verification.

Cities

{{#ask:In country::Senegal}}

add a city

Travel destinations

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add a location

See media related to Senegal.


If you don't have Senegalese looks, you might get approached with a "Bonjour" by street vendors and beggars who want to sell you their goods for a lot higher price than its local prices. If you are interested in buying from them, always start negotiating for 1/10 or even 1/100 of the price they tell you. They could be a room of people getting very much in your personal space, touching you and talking loudly to you, rushing towards you to get to talk to you. Don't get afraid and just walk away with a "No, merci"

There might be kids who stare and laugh at you, calling you "Toubab", a white person, just ignore them for seeking attention like that.

In Dakar, it might be dangerous to swim in the ocean as there are currents sometimes. Always ask a local before you swim or swim at places where everyone swims.

Personal experience, Dakar, September 2015: One guy started talking to me out of nowhere in the street (this can happen a lot and most of the time they are just friendly locals) and asked and answered personal questions and reacted really friendly to everything I said. Then she gave me a pair of earrings that are in golden color, saying that he wanted to give this gift to me because of my positive attitude and because it was his marriage anniversary with his deceased wife who had passed away and the rings belonged to her. I felt very emotional and believed him at the beginning knowing how kind and spontaneous Senegalese people are. And then he asked me if I can give him just a little bit of donation for having given me such expansive golden earrings. It is a scam in Dakar, some local people later have told me, and you should just walk away if that happens.