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    Fly to Dakar, Senegal

    Lake Retba or Lac Rose.

    One of Dakar’s most surprising landmarks. The algae within it turn the lake a vivid pink that must be seen to be believed!

    Beaches of Senegal

    Unwind by the sea.

    Dakar is on the west coast of Senegal, so the Atlantic Ocean will literally be within your reach.

    Senegal tourism

    Beaches for miles.

    With over 500 km of coastline, you’ll have no trouble finding your perfect beach in Dakar.

    Flights to Dakar, Senegal

    Dakar is the capital city of Senegal, as well as its largest. It might have started out as a small collection of villages in the Cape Verde Peninsula, but Dakar has grown into one of the largest cities in West Africa. The city is almost completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, making it a popular beach holiday destination.

    However, its exceptionally long coastline is not the only thing that makes Dakar one of Africa’s best beach destinations. The Senegalese are known for their hospitality, or as the locals call it: téranga, which means treating strangers as if they were family. It’s the cornerstone of Senegalese culture, which you’ll no doubt experience when travelling to Dakar and beyond.

    Beautiful beaches, a vibrant nightlife, bustling markets, and friendly locals make the Senegalese capital a perfect beach holiday destination and more!

    So what are you waiting for? Book your flight ticket to Dakar today and discover Senegal with Brussels Airlines!

    Things to do in Dakar, Senegal

    1. Enjoy the beach: With more than 500 km of Atlantic coastline, you’ll easily find your perfect beach in and around Dakar. Some popular beaches are Yoff Beach, N'gor Beach, and the Plage du Virage, which is a popular spot for surfers.
    2. Take photos at Lake Retba (Lac Rose): This salt lake has an unusual pink colour, which is caused by the algae living in it. The colour intensity changes throughout the day - depending on the position of the sun – so make sure you spend plenty of time there.
    3. Unwind on N’gor Island: If you’ve had enough of Dakar’s hustle and bustle, this island just off Dakar’s northern shore is a welcome escape. Relax on the beach, visit the village, and enjoy Senegalese cuisine at one of the many waterside eateries.
    4. Visit the African renaissance monument: This Soviet-style monument commemorates Senegal’s 50 years of independence and is definitely worth seeing. You can also go inside the statue and walk all the way to the top to get a good view of the city. Given that it claims to be Africa’s tallest statue, it’s safe to assume that its viewpoint is well worth it.
    5. Discover Senegalese Art: Delve into Senegal’s traditional culture and art at the Théodore Monod Museum. It houses exhibitions of African art and culture, with more than 9,000 objects on display. For the latest Senegalese art, head to the Village des Arts, where you can find many promising and established Senegalese artists working in their studios.
    6. Visit Saint-Louis, the old colonial capital: it may be quite far from Dakar, but it’s well worth a visit. Saint-Louis is known for its beautiful French-style colonial buildings, its lively music scene, and the nearby nature parks where you can observe sea turtles, flamingos, cormorants, herons, and pelicans. The most important parks for birdwatching are Langue de Barbarie, Gueumbeul, and Djoudj.
    7. Enjoy the view at Les Mamelles Lighthouse: This photogenic lighthouse is located in the outskirts of Dakar. There’s an organised tour of the lighthouse, and you can also find food, drinks, and live music inside. The view is well worth the trip at sundown.

    Practical information for your trip to Dakar, Senegal

    • Brussels Airlines flights arrive and depart from Blaise Diagne international airport, which is 50 km from Dakar.
    • Current local time in Dakar:  
    • Currency: The currency in Senegal is the West African CFA franc (XOF), although some places also accept euros or US dollars. Make sure you carry enough cash with you; ATMs are easy to find in Dakar and other cities, but most don’t accept foreign cards. American Express is the most widely accepted credit card. Others are rarely accepted and some businesses don’t accept foreign cards.
    • Telephone calls: The dialling code for Senegal is +221.
    • Electric sockets: These have a standard voltage of 230 V and are type C (European standard). If you use American or British plugs, you’ll need an adaptor.
    • Travel information: A visa isn’t required for most countries. For more information, visit the website
    • Vaccination: You should be vaccinated against yellow fever; no other vaccinations are mandatory. You’ll also need to protect yourself from mosquitos, as malaria is present in Senegal. For more health information, visit the website

    What to do and not to do in Dakar, Senegal

    • Taxis are readily available; the price for a ride can be negotiated beforehand. You can also use the Dakar Dem Dikk buses in and around Dakar. The iconic and colourful Car Rapide is another popular bus in Dakar. However, the city is trying to phase out these buses, so they might not be available during your stay.
    • Senegal is a large country; don’t underestimate travelling from one city to another. Consider looking into domestic flights if you want to travel between Dakar and other cities, such as Casamance, Kédougou, Tambacounda, or Saint-Louis.
    • Showing affection in couples is not well accepted
    • Members of the LGBTI community should take care when travelling to Senegal. More info.
    • The official language in Senegal is French, although Wolof is widely spoken on the streets. Knowing a couple of words in Wolof will be appreciated by the locals.

    Basic Wolof vocabulary:

    • How are you? Na nga deef
    • I’m good (reply): Diam rek
    • Thank you: Dieureudieuf
    • We are together (popular language): Nio far
    • Please: Su la nexee
    • Thank you: Jai-rruh-jef
    • You’re welcome: Nioko bokk
    • Sorry/Excuse me: Baal ma
    • Yes: Waw
    • No: Deh-det

    Cultural events in Senegal

    Senegal is known for its love of music. You’ll find plenty of music venues and festivals in the country.

    • Saint-Louis Jazz Festival (every year in May): The most famous music festival of West Africa! This annual festival features both jazz legends and young talent. A must for every jazz fan.
    • Dak’Art – Biennale de l'Art Africain Contemporain (every two years in May-June): A major contemporary art exhibition with a focus on contemporary African art. The 2018 edition will take place between the 3rd of May and the 2nd of June 2018.
    • Dakar Fashion Week (every year in June-July): From high-end to street-style, discover Senegal’s sartorial scene during Dakar’s fashion week.
    • Where to find music venues in Dakar: For clubbing, head to the Routes des Almadies, a.k.a. the street that never sleeps. For concerts, go to the Place du Souvenir.
    • Senegalese wrestling (La lutte/Laamb): The Senegalese version of West African wrestling is immensely popular in the country. It mixes Greco-Roman wrestling techniques with pre-fight rituals and dance.

    When to travel to Dakar, Senegal

    There are two main seasons in Senegal; the dry season, which runs from November to May, and the rainy season, which runs from June to October. The average peak temperature in the dry season is around 25 °C. In the rainy season, the weather becomes more humid and average peak temperatures rise to between 30 °C and 35 °C.

    Most tourists visit Senegal between November and February, when the weather is cool and dry. If you want to visit the many music festivals, including the Saint-Louis Jazz Festival, travel between March and June. Some hotels and national parks close during the rainy season (June – October), although other hotels will offer big discounts during this time, making it a great option for budget travellers.

    What to eat in Dakar, Senegal

    You can’t visit Senegal without trying some of their best dishes! Try thiebou dieune (fish and fatty rice), yassa guinar (rice and chicken) or thiéré (tomato sauce with semolina balls). For dessert, try thiakry, a dessert made from milk and semolina balls.

    If the weather gets too hot, try a refreshing jus de bissap (hibiscus juice) or a jus de bouye (made from Senegal’s national symbol, the Baobab fruit).

    In general, you’ll find plenty of fish and seafood dishes from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. There are many wonderfully flavoured cuts of meat too, with the exception of pork dishes as Senegal has a large Muslim community.

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