Overland Journeys: West Africa Overland

Senegal lies on the coast of West Africa and at the crossroads between the Sahara Desert on the north of the country and the tropical West African landscape in the south. Senegal's colonial history is seen in the French architecture of St. Louis, the former capital, and in the disturbing old slave trade centre in Gorée. On the mainland, the capital Dakar shows the vibrant and modern side of Senegal, where the rhythms of West African music can always be heard. Senegal's nature reserves provide excellent wildlife viewing, in particular for birdlife, with some of the best and most important bird sanctuaries in the world including Djoudj, Langue de Barbarie and Saloum Delta National Parks. Explore in depth highlights of Senegal.

Travel Information for Senegal
Time zone:GMT 0 (Greenwich mean time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:French
Other languages:Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka, Peul, Serer, Dioula
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF)

1 = CAF655, $1 = CAF0.00, £1 = CAF781

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.snInternational Dialling Code:    221

For help planning your trip to Senegal including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Senegal trip planning page.

Further information on Senegal

Discover more about Senegal - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of senegal

Total area: 196,190 sq km (4,190 sq km under water)

Coastline: 531 km (Atlantic Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Gambia (740km), Guinea (330km), Guinea Bissau (338km), Mali (419km), Mauritania (813km)

Climate: Tropical climate with hot and humid conditions. The rainy season from May to November has strong southeast winds while the dry season from December to April is dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind.

Highest mountain: unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha (581m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Senegal from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldFree -
Democracy IndexFlawed democracy 74/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 106/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 70/179
ILGA LGBT rightsNo rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 69/174
Overall Ranking:    95/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Republic of Senegal     Status: Independent Country

Population: 13,635,927 (rank: 72/196)     Density: 69.5 people/sq km (rank: 111/196)

Ethnic groups: Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 9.4%

Religions: Muslim 94%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1%

GDP (PPP): $27.72 billion       GDP per capita: $2,100 (rank: 161/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.