Living in Senegal

By | March 23, 2021

Senegal Everyday life

Senegal Everyday life

Currency: Franc CFA (XOF)

Exchange rate: 656 FCFA per € 1 (fixed exchange rate)

Time zone: UTC ± 0

Country code (phone): +221

Climate (for capital): subtropical

Entry and residence regulations

To protect against the corona virus, the state of emergency has been in effect in Senegal, one of 16 countries located in Western Africa according to holidaysort, since March 23, to facilitate the implementation of measures against Covid-19. It started with a night curfew, restrictions in local public transport and since March 20th. with the cessation of international passenger air traffic and the closure of land borders for passenger traffic. As of the turn of the year 2020/21, air traffic will take place again, the national border is only open to Gambia. However, comprehensive entry restrictions still apply to EU citizens. Tourist trips are excluded.

At the beginning of May 2015, the visa requirement for citizens of the European Union was abolished and all you need for stays of up to three months is a valid passport. If you want to stay in the country continuously for more than three months, but do not settle for longer, you must apply to the Ministry of the Interior to extend your visa. However, those who stay in the country for a longer period of time must apply for a Carte Nationale d’Identité Etrangère at the Ministry of the Interior (contact point: Police des Etrangers in the Dieppeul district). The German embassy in Dakar has summarized the most important information.

The Senegalese embassy in Berlin and also the various honorary consulates can provide further information.

Housing and supply

City map of Dakar with zoom function

A life in Dakar and a life in the country or in a small town could hardly be more different. While restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, banks and new houses and villas are sprouting up in Dakar and you can find almost everything your heart desires (albeit at appropriate prices), there is only a very limited one in the province Range of consumer goods. Here are some tips for life in Dakar. If you want to take a short break from the desert and noisy business activity of Dakar, you will find the necessary peace and comfort on a day trip to the nearby Île de Gorée.

In the cities and tourist areas there are mostly 1-2 supermarkets or larger shops (mostly run by Lebanese), otherwise the offer is limited to seasonal fruit and vegetables, fish, meat and corresponding types of grain. Fruit and vegetables are the cheapest on the market. Consumer goods bought and used by the general public are very cheap compared to Europe; Imported goods, toiletries, electrical appliances and the like, however, are a lot more expensive.

A typical Senegalese shop, called Boutique

A typical Senegalese shop, called Boutique

They are often run by Mauritanians

They are often run by Mauritanians

Supermarket in Dakar with western offerings, inaccessible distance for the general public

Supermarket in Dakar with western offerings, inaccessible distance for the general public

Modern office and shopping complexes next to colonial buildings

Modern office and shopping complexes next to colonial buildings

The real estate prices for properties for sale as well as rental properties in Dakar have increased steadily in recent years and affect all levels of living and residential areas.

Outside Dakar and the touristy Petite Côte, property prices are much lower.

Money and money transfer

Franc CFA

Franc CFA

The West African CFA franc is pegged to the euro at the fixed exchange rate of 655.957.

There are now many banks in Dakar where you can withdraw money with debit and credit cards. Payment by credit card is also possible in many hotels and selected shops in Dakar. Outside the capital, there are ATMs only in larger cities.

With Western Union and MoneyGram you can have money transferred almost anywhere, but the fees for this are very high.

When importing foreign exchange amounts over 1,500 euros, it is advisable to submit a foreign exchange import declaration; this declaration and proof of exchange must be presented when leaving. Foreign currencies may only be exported up to approx. € 750. Undeclared foreign currency will be confiscated if foreign currency smuggling is suspected. Francs CFA may only be executed in the amount of 20,000.

Stay healthy

Before leaving, you should seek advice from tropical medicine. The travel medical information service provides initial information, and the medical information from the Federal Foreign Office is also helpful.

General hygiene measures (frequent hand washing with soap, food hygiene) and a consistent mosquito repellent to protect against malaria and other diseases transmitted by insect bites are important.

Medical care is good in Dakar, but very poor in the rest of the country. Some special treatments or examinations are not carried out in Dakar and should be programmed in Europe.

In addition to many private medical practices, there is a well-functioning emergency medical service who makes house calls. When looking for suitable doctors and hospitals, the American Embassy also placed the focus on mastering the English language on its list.

The pharmacies are well stocked and the drugs available on the street are not advisable as they are often counterfeit.