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Air

Dakar is one of Africa's transport hubs, with links across Africa, Europe and America.

Airports & Airlines

Dakar's current airport, Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport, is slated to close once the new airport opens – which might be as early as 2018. Groupe Transair is the only carrier making domestic flights inside Senegal, with service between Dakar, Ziguinchor and Cap Skirring.

Some major airlines service Senegal, many with offices in Dakar:

Air France

Brussels Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines

Kenya Airways (www.kenya-airways.com)

Royal Air Maroc

South African Airways

TACV Cabo Verde Airlines

TAP Portugal (www.flytap.com)

Departure Tax

Departure tax is included in the price of a ticket.

Land

Senegal shares a border with five other countries, including the Gambia, which essentially bisects the country in half. It's possible to cross into any other country overland, though you'll need to make sure your documents (ie visas) are in order before you make the long journey to the border.

Border Crossings

The Gambia

From Dakar there are sept-place taxis south to Karang (CFA7000, six hours, 250km) at the Gambian border, where you connect to Barra and then via ferry to Banjul.

From southern Senegal, sept-place taxis run regularly between Ziguinchor and Serekunda (CFA5000, five hours, 145km), and between Kafountine and Brikama (CFA3600, two hours, 60km).

In Eastern Senegal, sept-place taxis go from Tambacounda to Vélingara (CFA2500, three hours, 98km), and from there to Basse Santa Su (CFA1500, 50 minutes, 27km).

Guinea

Coming from the north, head to Tambacounda, where you can usually find Guinea-bound transport, down through Kalifourou and on to Koundara (Guinea).

If coming from the Casamance, your best bet is by sept-place from Diaoubé (Senegal). The enormous market on Wednesday makes it the ideal day to find transport out.

The road is generally in fair shape in Senegal, but deteriorates rapidly when you cross the border.

Guinea-Bissau

Sept-place taxis leave every morning from Ziguinchor for Bissau (CFA6000, four hours, 147km), via the main border post at São Domingos, and Ingore. The road is sealed and in good condition.

Mali

Sept-place taxis leave regularly from Tambacounda to Kidira (CFA4000, four hours, 190km), where you cross the border to Diboli in Mali; from Diboli long-distance buses run to Kayes and Bamako. If you're brave, you can do Dakar–Bamako by long-distance bus (CFA25,000, 24 hours, 1400km); buses leave from Gare Routière Baux Maraîchers in Dakar.

The legendary Dakar–Bamako 'express' train hasn't run in years, though there is talk of one day restoring the line.

Mauritania

Sept-place taxis run regularly from Dakar to the main border point at Rosso (CFA7500, seven hours, 384km), a crowded, hasslesome place, where four daily ferries (free for passengers, CFA5000 for a vehicle) cross to Rosso-Mauritania.

If you have your own wheels, it's less hassle to cross at the Maka Diama dam, 97km southwest of Rosso and just north of Saint-Louis, where the border crossing is swift and largely free of hustlers.

Sea

There are no scheduled ferry services to Senegal from other countries. A handful of cruise ships – such as those offered by MSC Cruises, Holland America Line and Oceania Cruises – dock briefly in Dakar on some multi-week voyages.