Trading is common. Souvenirs include wooden carved game boards, masks and statues, musical instruments and metalwork, traditional fabrics, embroidery and clothing, pottery, ceramic necklaces and wooden jewelry. Opening hours of the shops: varies, mostly Mon-Sat 08.00-12.00 and 14.30-18.00. Some shops also open on Sunday mornings, others are closed on Mondays.
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Traditional festivals take place throughout the year. There are several nightclubs in Dakar and a casino on the road to N’Gor. The cinemas show the latest French films.
Specialties include chicken au yassa (chicken with lemon, peppers and onions), tiebou dienne (rice and fish), dem à la Saint-Louis (stuffed mullet), maffe (chicken or mutton in peanut sauce) and accras (a type of fritter). Table service is common and Islamic table manners prevail. You eat with your right hand, especially if you have a local host; however, cutlery is provided in western-style restaurants. Drinks: Some hotels have bars and clubs that serve alcoholic drinks. Peppermint tea is traditionally drunk. The palm wine of the Casamance region is drunk either fresh or fermented.
There are some international standard hotels in Petite Côte, a stretch of coast with beaches between Dakar and Joal. Luxurious holiday complexes were built in Casamance. During the high season from December to May, accommodation in Dakar should be booked in advance. Most rooms have air conditioning, but prices are quite high.
Wild camping is strongly discouraged. Some beds are available on state campsites (Campements), but no bedding. In the more remote regions, facilities are basic. Sometimes bungalows and African huts are also available.
Other accommodation options
Village huts: Sometimes you can stay in village huts, but you should bring your own sleeping bag. Missions: The Catholic missions only accept visitors in exceptional cases.
94% Sunni Muslim; 5% Christian and 1% animist minorities.
Social Rules of Conduct
You shake hands when you greet someone, even if you have met the person in question several times that day. Anyone wishing to visit a village and stay overnight or visit the surrounding area should pay a courtesy call to the village chief or school teacher. They often serve as translators and are helpful guides. Accommodation is often offered as a friendship gift, and no payment is desired. However, a small gift such as medicine, food or money for the village community is appropriate. Everyday clothing is accepted everywhere. Swimwear belongs on the beach or in the swimming pool. Some public buildings, especially mosques, are non-smoking areas. Tip: 10-15% for service will be added to all hotel and restaurant bills. Taxi drivers are not usually tipped.
Best travel time
December to May (dry season) is the best time to travel, when trade winds cool the coast down. Following the dry season, hot monsoon winds blow from the south, bringing with them the rainy season and hot, humid weather. Most precipitation occurs in the Casamance region and in the south-east.
Area (sq km)
16,657,759 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
Main emergency number