Dakar is the capital of Senegal and its largest city. It is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland. Home to 2 million people in the greater metropolitan area, it is a major administrative centre, including the Senegal National Assembly and the Presidential Palace.
Dakar is a dizzying introduction to Senegal. Perched on the tip of the peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, it is a lively, cosmopolitan city where the elegance of its heritage meets the clamour of this colourful city. A symphony of the past and the present, it is a kaleidoscope of panoramic landscapes, historical sites, cultural attractions and curiosities. Modern buildings stand side by side with impressive colonial architecture, bustling markets are scattered throughout the city, as are museums, such as the IFAN Museum of West African Culture. Gorée Island is just off the coast and clifftop walks and beaches are accessible in abundance. Whether you want to mingle with the trendsetters of urban Africa or be alone with your thoughts and the sounds of nature, you will find your place here.
Dakar is a member of the Organisation of World Heritage Cities. Cheikh Anta Diop University (also known as the University of Dakar) was established in 1957 and maintains a reputation as one of Africa’s most prestigious institutions.
Visit www.senegal-tourisme.sn for information on things to do and see during your stay in Dakar.
Dakar’s climate is generally warm, with a short rainy season and a lengthy dry season. It enjoys sea breezes year-round.
The weather in May is usually pleasantly warm with daily temperatures around 24-27°C (75-81°F), and night-time temperatures of 17-20°C (63-68°F).
The international calling code for Senegal is +221
Internet access is widely available in Dakar, and most hotels, apartments and hostels offer free WiFi or wired internet access.
WiFi is available at the congress venue for registered delegates.
Currency, Credit Cards and Exchanging Money
The currency of Senegal is the West African CFA Franc (XOF), which is divided into 100 centimes.
Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) are generally accepted in many shops, restaurants and banks, and it is advisable to get some local currency for a stay in Dakar. CFA Francs are available through money exchange offices, in banks, and from local automated teller machines (ATMs).
The electricity supply in Senegal is 230V/50Hz.
Electrical sockets take standard European two-pin plugs:
British, North American and other non-European tourists should bring adaptors.
The official language of Senegal is French, but many people, especially in the hospitality sector, speak at least some English.
The language of the congress is English.
Senegal lies in the GMT time zone. The clocks do not change for summer time (GTM+1).
Please click here to view the current local time in Dakar.
Visa & Entry Requirements
Your passport must be valid, and with an expiry date at least three months after the end of your stay in Senegal.
Nationals of European Union member countries, ECOWAS countries, USA, Canada, Japan and certain North African countries do not need a visa. Citizens of certain countries need to arrange a visa to enter Senegal and you should check with your nearest Senegalese embassy, consulate or representative office if you require a visa.
Your vaccination certificate must be updated and is compulsory for travellers. The yellow fever vaccine is required for entry to Senegal. Visitors should also take anti-malarial medication. It is strongly recommended that you consult your GP before travelling as each person travelling may require a different preventive treatment depending on their health.