A wonderful country on the west coast of Africa, Senegal is known for its French colonial heritage and stunning natural landscapes. In its capital city, Dakar, you’ll find the ancient Médina district and the celebrated Musée Théodore Monod, with its myriad of African art. Saint-Louis, formerly the capital of French West Africa, has beautiful and striking colonial architecture. Go on safari, chill out on a beach or wander around countless markets – whatever you want from an African holiday, you will find it in Senegal.
A visit to Senegal's capital city will not disappoint. Visit the striking Dakar Grand Mosque, or the impressive Dakar Cathedral with its huge domed roof and twin bell towers. A must-see in Dakar is the famous Village-des-Arts, a large local art complex. There is also the Hann Park and Zoo, featuring a wide variety of Senegalese plant life and over 130 animals. Another must-see is the colossal African Renaissance Monument which, from base to top, reaches higher than the Statue of Liberty.
When you visit Saint-Louis, with its beautiful colonial architecture, horse-drawn carts and small town charm, you could be forgiven for thinking that you had stepped back in time. The old town centre sits on an island in the Senegal River and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is also home to the most internationally renowned jazz festival in West Africa, held annually in early May, attracting jazz musicians from around the world.
Hit the beach
The best beach in Senegal can be found in Cap Skirring, and there’s a thriving tourist industry here because of it. Just a short drive away from the Cap, the tourist bustle gives way to smaller villages, and the golden beaches here are much quieter. Relax on beautiful sandy beaches surrounded by coconut palms and lovely warm waters.
Go on safari
It is hard to think of a holiday in Africa without contemplating a safari. Fathala Reserve offers a three-hour mini safari which you can take in your own car, or in a 4x4 car hired at the reserve. There are many beautiful animals to see in their natural habitat, such as giraffe, rhino, eland, antelope and well over 10,000 birds across more than 300 species.
Food and drink
The official dish of Senegal is ceebu jen, simple rice and fish. You can find it in two varieties, red and white, which are named for the different sauces. The Senegalese people absolutely love ceebu jen and will often ask if you've ever tried it, so it’s only polite to do just that!
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Cost of living in Senegal
|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£6.00|
|Water (0.33 litre)||£0.00|
|One way tube ticket||£0.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£1.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£16.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£21.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£127.00|