Travel to Senegal
Flying to Senegal
The national airline is Senegal Airlines (www.senegalairlines.aero), which flies within the continent. If travelling from the UK, options include flights with Air France (www.airfrance.com) via Paris, Iberia (www.iberia.com) via Madrid, Royal Air Maroc (www.royalairmaroc.com) via Casblanca, and TAP Portugal (www.flytap.com) via Lisbon. Delta (www.delta.com) operates direct flights from New York to Dakar.
The cheapest time to fly to Senegal is between January and February.
The building of a replacement airport 45 km (28 miles) inland, Aeroport International Blaise Diagne, started in 2007 and is due to be completed in December 2017.
In the past few years there have been reports of luggage going missing at the airport, so make sure you have travel insurance just in case you cannot recover your luggage. It’s also advisable to use locks on your luggage to avoid anybody tampering with your belongings when you arrive at Dakar airport.
From London - 8 hours (including stopover); New York - 7 hours 30 minutes.
Travelling to Senegal by Rail
Recent reports highlight that the Dakar-Bamako train is no longer running.
Driving to Senegal
It's possible to travel to Senegal from Europe by road, and many people do either by their own means or with a tour company. However, recently, because of instability in the north of Mali (one of the entry points to sub-Saharan West Africa) it is not advisable to take the Sahara route.
The following route is recommended if you are thinking of undertaking this adventure: Spain – Morocco – Western Sahara – Mauritania – Senegal. If you are driving straight through, without stopping, this itinerary should take you about a week to complete.
It's also possible to travel to Senegal by road from other countries in the whole of Africa. One of the most popular routes is to and from South Africa. Itineraries for this trip are varied, and it's advisable to enquire within a relevant forum for up-to-date information.
West African borders are sometimes known for being troublesome to cross for novices to overland travel. Make sure that you have valid multiple-entry visas for all countries you are to cross, as well as a valid driving licence, insurance and proof of vehicle ownership.
Another bit of advice would be to act confident and friendly when talking to immigration officers and border police, know a bit of conversational French and, even though we do not condone this, have a spare bit of cash if it comes to an officer asking you for a back-hander; it does happen unfortunately and it can speed things up tremendously.
Getting to Senegal by boat
Senegal’s main port is Dakar. It's one of the largest deep-water seaports along the West African coast. Other ports major commercial ports are found in Kaolack, Matam, Podor, Richard Toll, Saint-Louis and Ziguinchor.
There are several options if you want to travel to Dakar by sea. Cargo ships on their way from Europe offer passenger services and cruise ships run a regular service from various ports around the world.