Cheap Flights to Senegal

Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa bordered by Guinea-Bissau to the south, Guinea to the southeast, Mali to the east, and Mauritania to the north. It is located westernmost in the mainland of the Old World or Eurafrasia. It experiences a tropical climate with two seasons, dry and rainy. The country covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 square miles), with approximately 13 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Dakar. French is the official language spoken (Senegal was a colony of France in the 19th century), while Wolof, Soninke, Serer, Fula, Maninka, and Jola are the recognised regional languages. Its major industries are fish processing, phosphate mining, fertiliser production, petroleum refining, construction materials, and ship construction and repair.

What to see & do

Check out Dakar, the country’s capital, which has plenty to offer. There’s the famous Village des Arts complex, which houses works of photography, painting, and sculpture by some of Senegal’s most promising and established artists in a large garden space. At the centre of Dakar is Place de l'Indépendance, which serves home to countless cars, 1960s concrete blocks, and colonial buildings. The spectacular Musée Théodore Monod serves testimony to African art and culture with its more than 9,000 objects on display. The bustling Medina is home to the city’s 1664 Grande Mosquée. Also check out the Palais Présidentiel (presidential palace); Layen Mausoleum, a shrine to the founder of the Layen Muslim brotherhood; and great live music at Just 4 U. Other noteworthy places to visit include the beaches of Cap Skirring, which are among the finest in West Africa; the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saint-Louis, which boasts colonial architecture, horse-drawn carts, and has its distinct historical atmosphere surrounding it; Île de Gorée, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, a quaint city with a meditative calm surrounding it; and the 16,000-hectare Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj, home to almost 300 species of bird, and is one of the world’s most important bird sanctuaries. It is best explored by pirogue.

How to get around within Senegal

SOTRAC (Société des Transports en commun de Cap Vert) maintains several transport systems in and around Dakar. These include taxi, taxi-brousse, taxi-clando, car-charette, and transport commun (cars rapides), and bus lines. There’s also car hire available in Dakar and sometimes, in M’Bour and Saly Portudal. The main method of travel around Senegal is by sept places, which are somewhat questionable station wagons that pack seven people. A more comfortable option is to rent one, especially if you’re travelling by group, although it’s more expensive. Driving a car is possible, but not recommended, as there are few street signs (mostly speed limits), many one-way streets, and almost no stop signs.

How to get there

For air transit, Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport is the airport that serves Senegal’s capital, Dakar. It is served by several airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, which flies to Dakar on most of their US-Africa services; South African Airways, which offers direct flights to and from New York and Washington-Dulles; European airlines including 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; and from African destinations, via Arik (Lagos), Kenya Airways (Nairobi), Air Ivoire (Abidjan), and others. Other ways are by car, if staying for a short period only, but is not guaranteed; and by train, via a railway between Dakar and Bamako.

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