How to get to Senegal

By | May 4, 2022


Senegal is a country in Africa according to ehistorylib. Senegal is a must-see for West Africa travelers for its long, white-sand beaches, interesting music scene, impressive if somewhat faded colonial architecture, abundant wildlife and incredibly friendly locals. Senegal is the perfect place to explore African culture or just get a feel for what the real Africa is. The music of Senegal – especially Mbalax – has become internationally known in the last decades, mainly thanks to musicians like Youssou N’dour and Baba Maal. Senegal gained its independence from France in 1960. Since then, the country has developed into one of Africa’s most exemplary democracies and has a well-functioning multi-party system and a civil legal system. The areas around Dakar and St. Louis, colonized in the 1840s, were among France’s first formal colonies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

Air Senegal (HC), Senegal’s national airline, flies non-stop to Dakar from Marseille and Paris, among others. Feeder flights from Frankfurt/M., Vienna and Zurich to Paris with Air France (AF) and the respective national airlines. Flight connections to Dakar are also offered from Frankfurt/M., Vienna and Zurich by Royal Air Maroc (AT) via Casablanca, Tap Air Portugal (TP) via Lisbon, Air France (AF) via Paris and Iberia (IB) via Madrid.

Flight times

Frankfurt/M. – Dakar: 8 hours 10 minutes; Vienna – Dakar: 9 hours; Zurich – Dakar: 8 hours 15 minutes (each with a stopover).

Departure fee


Arrival by car

The roads from Mauritania to Senegal are paved and well maintained, especially to the Rosso border crossing. The unpaved road from Guinea-Bissau crosses the border at São Domingos. A road leads from Mali via Kayes towards Tambacounda. The Gambia to Senegal Expressway includes a ferry service across the Gambia River. There is also a 5,500km road across the Sahara that runs from Algeria through Mali. Toll: The Dakar-Diamniadio motorway is a toll road. The fees are to be paid at toll stations. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license must be carried. A Carnet de Passages is required when entering the country with your own car.

Arrival by train

There is currently no cross-border rail traffic.

Arrival by ship

The country’s main port is Dakar. Both cruise ships and cargo ships with passenger services dock here. Other smaller ports are located at Kaolack, Lyndiane and Ziguinchor.

Cruise ships

Hapag Lloyd cruise ships coming from Hamburg call at Dakar, among other places. Shipping companies such as Phoenix, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea, which start their cruises in other European ports, also have Dakar in their program.


Traveling by plane

Air Senegal (HC) connects Dakar with Ziguinchor, Cap Skirring and Tambacounda daily.

Traveling by car/bus

The road network in Senegal has a total length of approx. 16,700 km and connects all parts of the country. Highways run east from Dakar inland to Touba. Numerous national roads connect the larger towns. Tolls: Motorways are subject to tolls in Senegal. The fees are to be paid at toll stations. Petrol stations: There are enough petrol stations in the cities and on the main traffic routes. It is advisable to start trips to smaller towns inland with a full tank.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

The cities of the country and the border crossings to the surrounding countries can be reached on paved roads. The roads to smaller inland towns are less passable and often impassable during the rainy season.

Road classification

The different road categories are each marked with a letter and a number. Motorways begin with the letter A, national roads with N, regional roads with R, departmental roads with D and city roads with VU.

Car rental

Rental cars are available in Dakar at the airport and in the city, as well as in the country’s major cities. The minimum age for drivers is 21 or 23 years, depending on the vehicle category; 2 years of driving experience is also required.


Taxis are available in most cities. The tariffs are fixed; nevertheless, it is customary to negotiate the price before starting the journey. From midnight to 6 a.m. the higher night rates apply. Bush taxis (minibuses) travel inland and to villages; they usually only start when they are fully occupied.


Bikes are most easily available in coastal towns such as Saly Portudal or Cap Skirring, or in tourist towns such as Kedougou or Tambacounda. It is not advisable to rent a bike in lively Dakar. For Dakar, scooters or small motorcycles are more suitable; the safety equipment (helmet, etc.) should be carried by travelers themselves.


Buses (“grand car”) and the cheaper minibuses (“petit car” or “car rapide”) serve shorter distances. Long-distance buses run irregularly.


Traffic regulations: – Telephoning while driving is only permitted with a hands-free device; – Seat belts are compulsory in the front seats; – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists. Speed ​​limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – on rural roads: 90 km/h; – on motorways: 110 km/h.

Roadside Assistance

The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.


In addition to the national driver’s license, an international driver’s license is required, as is a Carnet de Passages when entering the country with your own car.

Traveling in the city

Buses, minibuses and taxis operate in Dakar. The blue public buses run every 30 to 60 minutes during the day. The smaller white buses run more frequently but stop at fewer stations.

Locally on the way by train

There is currently no rail traffic in Senegal.

Traveling by ship

A ferry connects Dakar with Ziguinchor several times a week (journey time: approx. 15 hours). Shuttle ferries run regularly between Dakar and Île de Gorée (journey time: 20 minutes).

How to get to Senegal