Just south of the Sahara Desert, Senegal is a country which has plenty to intrigue visitors. From the bustling streets of Dakar to the sparse plains surrounding Saint-Louis and Tambacounda, there’s a lot more to this part of the world than mile after mile of arid landscape. A trip to Nikalo-Koba National Park will prove it.
In Dakar, you’re able to see what Senegal is really like. While you can’t help but admire some of the colonial architecture from the days of French occupation, what catches the eye in the Senegalese capital is the amount of colourful market stalls operated by enterprising street traders. You can pick up the odd bargain or two if you’re lucky!
What are the roads like in Senegal?
By West African standards, actually pretty good. Most of the main roads linking the major towns and cities are paved with tarmac and are quite easy and comfortable to drive on. There are quite a few dirt roads which can be impassable during the rainy season, while road signs showing directions are hard to find.
What are the drivers like in Senegal?
Drivers in Senegal are known for being a little hurried, especially when the streets of Dakar, Rusfique and other major cities are gridlocked. Be prepared to wait as the flow of traffic in urban areas can be a little on the slow side. Some Senegalese drivers like to take a few risks, often darting into traffic in order to try and shorten their journey time.
What are the best times to drive?
Driving in Senegal should be avoided at night, as street lights range from being sparse to completely non-existent. Driving on the major highways during the day isn’t too much of a problem, and some of the minor roads should be fine in summer when rainfall seldom occurs. Avoiding early mornings is important.
What are the driving laws?
In Senegal, you need to bring your driving licence and passport as proof of ID. Insurance documents are also important, while it’s advisable to wear your seatbelt at all times. Until 2008, it was illegal to drive a car more than five years old, but this rule has recently been amended slightly.
When driving, you need to look out for livestock crossing the road, even in towns and cities.
The only road you should use when driving west of Kolda in the Casamance region is the main road from Ziguinchor to Cap Skiring.
There are a number of police roadblocks throughout Senegal, where they will search your car and luggage. This is perfectly normal here.