Fly To Dakar, Senegal

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Situated on the Cap-Vert Peninsula, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, Dakar is the western-most city on the African continent, and played an important role in Trans-Atlantic and European trade throughout history. Colonised primarily by the Dutch and French, slaving was prominent in the area until the early 1800s. It was the booming peanut trade thereafter that really contributed to the expansion of Dakar.

These days, Dakar is arguably most famous for the off-road endurance rally that bears its name. It’s highlighted some of the poverty issues that still plague Senegal, and has brought Dakar into the spotlight on the international stage.

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Why visit Dakar

  • Visit Les Mamelles for a once in a lifetime experience that features breathe taking views of the Atlantic Ocean alongside the famous bronze statue Le Renaissance Afriquaine which is a symbol of hope to Africa.
  • Explore Lac Rose which is one of the most popular places in this city, with rose coloured water it is a unique attraction that every visitor should see at least once on their trip.
  • Many tourists are surprised when they find out that the most photographed beaches in the world come from this country, so there is even more reason to unwind along the many beautiful beaches like Toubab Dialao beach for the day.
West African CFA Franc
Time Zone:
SUTC +0 (Dakar is two hours behind South Africa).
Dialing Code:
00 + 221 + Local Number
Drives on the right
Type C, D, E, and K (Voltage: 230V- Frequency: 50Hz)
Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport – DKR

The best time to visit Senegal would be between November and March. During these months the weather is cooler than other months, making it pleasant for sightseeing when visiting.

The most spoken language in Dakar is French.

  • Senegal’s national flag consists of three colours: red, yellow and green. These colours are the official Pan-African colours and the star on the flag represents universal unity.
  • IFAN Museum in Dakar is one of Africa’s oldest museums.
  • The Sandaga Market is the biggest market in Dakar.

While the Dakar Rally certainly draws the crowds, there’s plenty more to see and do in this coastal town. The African Renaissance Monument is certainly the most controversial. It’s a colossal statue dedicated to the emergence of Africa from the oppression of the European regimes. Its intention was to be a majestic display of African pride and accomplishment, but having been made in North Korea, some argue that it is more of an ironic commentary on the dependency of African nations.

Goree Island is a more genuine tribute, being the original base for the slave trade in Senegal. Its colonial architecture (mostly in ruins) and the House of Slaves Museum are a poignant reminder of a dark part of Dakar’s past. The contrastingly vibrant atmosphere and thriving restaurant trade that now pervades the area is a wonderful example of the resilience and determination of the local people.

Dakar has some very exclusive stores specialising in couture made from traditional embroidered cloth in West African Muslim designs. If you can’t afford the tailor-made items, pick up some of the fabric instead. Marche HLM market has many fabric vendors to choose from, and the colourful cloth makes a wonderful souvenir.

Dakar’s bus system is relatively dependable, but doesn’t have much in the way of route information, so you may need to ask a friendly local for a bit of help planning your way. Car Rapides are another public transport option, but these blue, yellow or white mini-buses play a little loose with the rules of the road. Taxis are probably a safer bet, even if they don’t look in the best of repair. Check the prices with a local before you get in, though, as the drivers like to take advantage of foreigners who don’t know better.

The cuisine found in this city is West African cuisine which is influenced by North African, French and Portuguese flavours. Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean making seafood a very important staple in their diet, due to the fact that there is such a big Muslim population most of the dishes in restaurants do not have pork in it.

  • La Fourchette
  • La Calebasse
  • Jardin Thailandais
  • Restaurant Farid

Religion plays a big role in the daily life of the nation of Senegal. Most of the locals in Dakar are Muslim with a few also affiliating themselves with the Christian faith.

It is advised to remain vigilant at all times as petty crime in Dakar is relatively high. Visitors should avoid beaches at night, and when sightseeing avoid wearing any outwardly expensive items of clothing or jewellery. In most cases the Senegalese are not violent, they are incredibly friendly and hospitable who are interested in talking to you.

South African Passport holders do need a Visa to visit Dakar, Senegal, even if you are only transiting through the country. Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and don’t forget to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 3 blank pages available for entry stamps.

Address:Mermoz Sud, Lotissement Ecole de Police, Dakar

Telephone: + 221 33 865 1959


Item Cape Town Johannesburg Dakar
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R 90.00 R 100.00 R 114.53
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) R 22.00 R 20.00 R 34.36
Cappuccino (regular) R 19.00 R 20.00 R 32.07
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 12.00 R 22.91
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35.00 R 35.00 R 15.05

Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport – DKR

Food and beverages:Le P’tit Zinc Bar and Restaurant, and Transit Bar.

Currency Exchange:There is a bank offering foreign exchange services in the lobby of the main terminal.

Lost luggage:Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Report items lost or found within the airport terminal to the left luggage counter in the main lobby, or speak to security who will direct you appropriately.

Airport hotels:Hotel Sogepres is located on the first floor of the terminal and has 15 air-conditioned rooms for short term stays at Dakar Airport.

Car Hire:Africars, Avis, Budget, Ets Sarr & Frères-Sénécartours, Europcar, Hertz, Intercar Senegal, La Sénégalaise de l'automobile, National, Noprola, Société Mass, Sénégalauto, Via Sénégal Voyages.

Airport hub:: Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (code DKR) is a hub for Senegal Airlines.

The information on this page is correct as of August 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.

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