Travel Tips to Senegal:
Travellers from North America can use the following major airlines companies offeringflights to Senegal: Delta Airlines, South African Airways.
Travellers from Europe can use the following airlines companies to get flights to Senegal: SnBruxelles, Air France, Corsair,Iberia, Tap Air Portugal, Royal air Maroc.
Travellers from Asia can use the following air companies:Emirates Airways, Turkish Airways.
2. Phone calls.
Buy a local sim card for your international and internal calls. It is cheaper to use a local sim card for your calls than your own mobile phone. You will just have to insert it in to your mobile phone and buy some calling cards to make your calls. We can also provide you a mobile phone for use upon request.
It is better to buy things in local currency as it offers you better deals than if you buy things in foreign international currencies (USD, Euro).So make sure to make some money change into local currency for your shopping. In local art craft market rates are not set and you will have to ask some discount on the first proposed price. Usually you can get lower prices when you bargain but it can take some time. So be patient when shopping in local markets. This is unfamiliar for westerners but just keep it simple and try to fit yourself into the system. In supermarkets and some art galleries prices are set and shopping is easier as they usually accept payment by credit card.
Since Senegal is a French speaking country, most books are written in French language but you can have some insightful information on Senegal and West African reading the following books written by Mark Hudson:
Our Grand Mother’s Drums: A portrait of Rural African life and culture. (April 1991)
The Music in myhead(1st July 1999).This book features the influence, power and daily realities of African music, and is set in a mythical world that is instantly recognizable as Dakar.
A book written by a Senegalese writer is the ‘’Belly of the Atlantic’’By Mrs Fatou Diome.It deals with the complex issues surrounding African’s emigration to Europe.
For historical information about West Africa you can read Mungo Park’sbook: Travel in the interiorof Africa. This book explains the author’s expeditions to Gambia and Senegal up to the Niger River in the late 18th and early 19thcenturies. His descriptions of the musical performances by griots that are the West African praise singers and historians playing the role of keeping alive African memories and history, could still apply to their timeless art today.
Avoid taking pictures of people without their consent. Taking panoramic view pictures is advisable and allow a reasonable distance from your photo target. Greetings in local language and smiling at people is the best way to socialize with Senegalese people who are very friendly and this helps get acceptance for taking pictures from them. In most tourists attractions pictures are allowed. Ask for advice to your guide if you have some doubts in some locations.
6. Donations and gift:
After visiting a village you can make some donations or gifts to the head of the village or compound you visited as a way to thank them for welcoming you and giving you the opportunity to have a cultural experience with their village. The donations can be food and other commodities you can buy in a local shop (rice, soap, sugar, cookies…). The gift will be shared among the village people under the control of thevillage ‘s chief. So avoid making gifts to people or children at random so as to prevent people from getting the habit of begging tourists.
End of travel tips.
Enjoy your stay in Senegal.