Senegal Overview

Senegal is the westernmost state on the African continent, located on the Atlantic Ocean. The country borders the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Mauritania.

Capital: Dakar
Biggest city: Dakar
State: republic
Language: French
Religion: Islam
Surface: 196 190 km²
Population: 13.5 million (2013)
Population density: 70 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 59 years
Illiteracy: 61%
Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
1 CFA franc = 0.01 kr
GDP per capita: $ 1,800 (2010)
Time difference: -1 hour
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: April 4
Country area code: 221
2-Letter country abbreviation: SN (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 81%, service sector 13%, industry 6%
Climate: tropical, with rainy season from June to October

Senegal flag

In south of Kaolack there are stone tomb monuments that testify to a high culture during the first century AD. From the 300s to the 16th century, the interior of Senegal belonged to various powerful West African kingdoms such as the Ghanaian kingdom, the Mali kingdom, the Songhai kingdom and various small kingdoms. During the ninth and ninth centuries, there was an ugly kingdom in the coastal country that introduced Islam into the area. In the 14th century, a woolen kingdom liberated itself from the Mali Empire and existed in various forms until the 17th century.

In 1445, the Portuguese came to the area and settled on the island of Gorée outside Dakar. Somewhat later, Dutch people also arrived in the area. In order to compete with the Portuguese, in 1659 the French founded the Saint-Louis trading post on an island at the mouth of the Senegal River. Between 1758 and 1815, the French possessions in the country were several times in British hands.

In 1815, Senegal was recognized as a French colony by the Congress of Vienna. During the 1850s, the French began to expand their control of the area so that it would also include the hinterland. This was met in part by armed resistance by local and religious leaders. In 1857, Dakar was founded, which soon grew past the then capital of Saint-Louis. In 1895, Dakar became the seat of the Governor – General of all French possessions in West Africa. At the same time, Senegal became part of French West Africa. During colonial times, Dakar was the most important port for transporting slaves to America. On the island of Gorée, about 20 minutes from Dakar, are the remains of the dwellings that housed slaves during colonial times. Gorée was the last outpost for the slaves sent to the United States, Cuba and South America.

In 1958, Senegal gained autonomy and in 1959, together with French Sudan, formed the Mali Federation. The Mali Federation became independent from France in 1960. The federation was dissolved later that year, and then Senegal became a completely independent state.

In 1982, Senegal and the Gambia formed the Confederation of Senegambia, but the integration of the two countries was never carried out and the union was dissolved in 1989. However, Senegal still has great influence over the smaller neighboring country. Despite peace talks, a separatist group in the south of the country, called Casamance, has been fighting sporadically against government troops since 1982.


The following objects in Senegal are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Goréeön (1978)
  • Niokolo Koba National Park (1981)
  • Djoudj Bird Sanctuary (1981)
  • Saint-Louis Island (2000)
  • The Stone Circles of Senegambia (2006)
  • Saloum deltat (2011)
  • Bassari’s cultural landscape (2012)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Senegal

Voltage: 230 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: C, E, K

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.


Weather in Dakar

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 22 21 22 21 23 26 28 28 28 28 26 24
Day °C 26 26 26 24 25 28 30 30 30 30 29 27
Night °C 17 16 17 18 20 23 25 25 25 25 23 20
Rain (mm) 10 10 10 10 10 20 50 150 150 20 10 10
Rainy days 2 1 1 0 0 2 7 14 10 4 1 1
Soltim / day 10 10 11 12 12 11 9 8 9 10 10 10

Senegal 2


According to Countryaah, Dakar is the capital of Senegal, and has 2.4 million residents (2005). The city is known, among other things, for being the final destination for the long-distance rally Paris-Dakar rally.

From the 16th to the 19th century, Dakar was the shipping port for the slave trade to America. Nowhere else were so many slaves shipped out as from there. The Fort D’Estrees on the island of Gorée, where the slaves were sent from, is today a museum. The Cape Verde Peninsula, where Dakar is located, is formed by a now extinct volcano.

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