General information about Senegal
Senegal is major agricultural and can be reached within 6 hours to fly from Central Europe. It is one of the areas in West Africa most opened for tourism, together with its small neighbour country Gambia. Hot climate all over. While in the North the heat of the desert (Sahel-Zone) dominates, the continental weather rules in the dry savannah. The vegetation in the South will be determined by tropical climate.
Except of the Cape Verde at the most western point of Africa the coast (up to 500 kilometre) is very flat. Petite-Côte and Cape Skirring in the South offer the most beautiful beaches of the region. Baobabs, flame trees, kapok trees and eucalyptus trees, as well as tamarinds and various palms define the different areas, while dense mangroves grow quickly within the rivers estuary areas.
More than half a million vacationers visit the french speaking Senegal per year in order to experience its various possibilities: culture in St. Louis or at island Goree as well as safaris in the national parks. Or also holiday at the seaside or sport vacation at the most beautiful beaches of the Casamance-region in the south of the country, but also a city tour in the main city Dakar.
History / Growth / Economy
There were several kingdoms in West Africa between the 9th and 16th century. First relations to European sailors were created in the 15th century. Within the second half of the 19th century the French nation colonised nearly the complete territory of North- and West Africa. For generations Senegal was said to be a pattern French colony.
In the year 1960 only the state gained its independence. Senegal is one of the most politically stable countries of Africa, but its natural resources are very poor and half of the country will be used agriculturally. The most important exported products are peanuts, fish and phosphate. The tourist is becoming more and more important and is today the fourth largest exchange earner of the country.
Senegal is a member of the currency union of West Africa. The local currency is the CFA (Communaute Financière Africaine). Until the end of 2001 it was linked to the French France (1 FF=100 CFA). For one Euro you will get 655,957 Franc-CFA.
Official language is French. It is taught at the schools and is the language of the educated upper class. The widely spread common speech is Wolof.
Throughout the year summerlike temperatures dominate during the day. In the interior it is very hot especially during the summer time. The best time to travel is from November until July.
Citizens of the EU only need a passport with a validity of 6 months.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for all travellers a yellow fever vaccination and a malaria prophylaxis. Further information as well as all up-to-date references are provided on the web page of the Foreign Office Senegal.