Climate: Senegal has a dry and a wet season. During the dry season (from October to June) there is hardly a drop of rain and the pleasantly warm (30 ° C), but in the evening you need to wear a light sweater. The wet season (July to September) is much warmer with heavy rains most days.
Documents & Border formalities: The passport must have six months validity upon departure from Senegal. In the aircraft arrival cards must be completed. Upon arrival at Banjul airport there are people waiting to take your luggage – for money, so be aware and keep some small change if you wish for this. Make copies of your passport and ticket and store it separately from the original.
Money in Senegal: The currency of Senegal is the CFA Franc. 1 Euro is CFA 650 It is fairly easy to exchange euros in Abene’s shops. There are ATM’s for visa and mastercard in Bignona, one hour away, and Zuiginchor, 2 hours away. It is best to keep money and valuables in a money belt beneath your clothes.
Language: French is the official language in Senegal. However, people have their own tribal language, such as diola, and they also speak widely spoken national languages such as wolof and mandinka. A greeting is Senegalse Salam Malekoum meaning – Peace with you, when you answer Malekoum Salam, I’m fine.
Time difference: In Senegal, it is 1 hour earlier than in the Netherlands. In our summer time between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October, it is 2 hours earlier.
Health: Do not drink tap water Vaccination: check with your local doctor for the latest recommended vaccines.
Travel and Cancellation Insurance: A continuous or single travel insurance is recommended.
Clothing: Dress light, preferably with cotton.
Photography & filming: Like anywhere, not everybody appreciates it so just ask.
Electricity: 230 volts.
Food and Drink: Senegalese food is delicious and healthy. Fish is abundant and cheap. The national dish is theuboudjenne (rice with fish and vegetables). Yassa is rice and fish or chicken with a lemon and onion sauce. Maffe is another common sauce made from peanuts and dried fish.
Bissap is a delicious drink made of the hibiscus flower. Ginger and tamarind is also often drunk. Then there is the delicious milky ‘baobabsap “made of monkey bread, the fruit of the baobab tree, the “natural immodium, ” as is sometimes said. Beer: ‘Flag’ and ‘Gazelle’ are virtually available everywhere. Wine is also fairly easy to obtain, although not made in Senegal.
Telephone / Mobile / Internet: Internet is readily available in tourist and urban areas but often slower than in Europe and electricity blackouts are frustratingly common. Mobile phones are ubiquitous and you can purchase a local SIM card cheaply.