Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in Western Africa, the westernmost in the mainland of the Old World or Eurafrasia. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Guinea-Bissau to the south, Guinea to the southeast, Mali to the east, and Mauritania to the north. It has a land area of approximately 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi), and an estimated population of about 13 million, most of which are Sufi Muslims or nondenominational Muslims. Its capital and largest city is Dakar. Its official language is French. The country is named after the Sénégal River, which borders it to the east and north.
What to see & do
Make the most out of your trip at Senegal by visiting some of its beautiful attractions. There’s of course Darak, the capital. Go on an arts tour at Village des Arts, which features the country’s most promising and established photographers, painters, and sculptures; visit Place de l'Indépendance, located at the heart of the city and home to stunning colonial buildings, as well as the Gouvernance (governor's office) and the Chambre de Commerce (chamber of commerce); the fascinating, bustling quartier of the Medina; and the Layen Mausoleum, a shrine to the founder of the Layen Muslim brotherhood. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island of Saint-Louis, which is the first French settlement in West Africa. Go on a trip to the historic and quaint Île de Gorée, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll experience a deep sense of calm, with its absence of sealed roads and naturally, cars – only arrow alleyways, colonial brick buildings, among other things. And don’t forget to go to the beaches in Cap Skirring, which are among the best and the finest this side of the world.
How to get around within Senegal
SOTRAC (Société des Transports en commun de Cap Vert), which is managed by a private company called Dakar Demm Dikk, operates and maintains several types of transport within and around Dakar like taxis, taxi-brousse, taxi-clando, car-charette, and transport commun (cars rapides) Buslines. If you wish to rent a car, you can do so either at the city proper or as soon as you land at the airport. MBour and
Saly Portudal are where you can hire a car. The main method of travel around Senegal is by sept places – which are literally station wagons where seven people are crammed in each wagon.
How to get there
All travellers, except citizens of an African country, who wish to visit Senegal must obtain a biometric visa before entry. If you’re getting in from another country, you can book a flight to Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport. Delta Air Lines flies to Dakar on most of their US-Africa services while South African Airways flies direct from New York and Washington-Dulles. Meanwhile, other airlines operate European routes such as Brussels Airlines (Brussels), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), Air Senegal International (Paris-Orly), Air France (Paris-CDG), Alitalia (Milan), Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca), Iberia (Madrid, Gran Canaria), TAP (Lisbon), and others. There are also flights from various parts of Africa operated by Arik (Lagos), Kenya Airways (Nairobi), Air Ivoire (Abidjan), and others. Other ways of getting in are by car or train.
Images by Flickr/ho visto nina volare
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