Flag of Senegal


The Republic of Senegal is a country south of the Sénégal River in western Africa. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. The Gambia lies almost entirely within Senegal, surrounded on the north, east and south; from its western coast, The Gambia's territory follows the Gambia River more than 300 km inland. The Cape Verde islands lie some 560 km (348 miles) off the Senegalese coast.

Dakar, the capital, is a bustling modern city and major port with good restaurants and shops. St Louis, once Senegal's capital, is a French fortified settlement from the days of slave trading, which is now home to some good beaches. A cruise lasting several days can be made up the Senegal River from here. Between Dakar and St Louis is a strip of shifting dunes, and south the capital there are shallow estuaries along the coastline, fringed by palm trees. There is also an interesting boat ride to Gorée Island, a former slaving station.

There are six national parks and four reserves in Senegal, particularly rich in birdlife. The best time for viewing is usually winter: Niokolo Koba and Djoudi are especially recommended. Senegalese dishes include chicken au yassa (chicken with lemon, pimento and onions) and dem à la St Louis (stuffed mullet). Traditional Senegalese festivals are held throughout the year. Cinemas tend to show the latest French language as well as local films.

Map of Senegal