Senegal in detail

Getting Around


Groupe Transair flies between Dakar, Ziguinchor and Cap Skirring.


Senegal is fairly flat, and outside of urban areas and off the main highways, traffic can be manageable. Roads are in fair to poor shape, though the situation has improved in recent years with the repaving of some roads. Give yourself plenty of time – movement can be rather slow getting between towns in the tropical heat.

Make sure you bring all the spare parts and tools you might need. A good lock is also essential.


A regular ferry service travels between Dakar and Ziguinchor. There are currently four departures heading in each direction per week (see the latest times and prices on All are operated by COSAMA. Plan ahead as tickets can sell out in advance. Unfortunately, you must buy tickets in person, though some guesthouses will do this for you.

There is a regular ferry service that travels between Dakar and Île de Gorée. Senegal's other islands can be visited by pirogue, including Île de N'Gor, Mar Lodj and Île de Karabane.

The Bou El Mogdad is a luxury boat that travels in the north of the country on six-day voyages between Saint-Louis and Podor along the Senegal River.

Bus & Sept-Place Taxis

The quickest (though still uncomfortable) way of getting around the country is by sept-place taxi – battered Peugeots that negotiate even the most ragged routes. Slightly cheaper, but infinitely less reliable are the minibuses (Ndiaga Ndiaye or grand car), carrying around 40 people. Vehicles leave from the gare routière (transport station) when they're full, and they fill up quickest in the morning, before 8am.

Prices are theoretically fixed, though there's an extra, negotiable charge for luggage (10% to 20% of the bill).

In Dakar, long-distance transports arrive and depart from the Gare Routière Baux Maraîchers in Pikine.

Car & Motorcycle

You can hire vehicles in Senegal (Dakar's airport is the best place for this). However, driving here is not for amateurs, with little road signage, reckless motorists and battered bitumen. There are myriad obstacles. Out in the countryside, slow down: you'll be sharing the road with errant goats and cows, bicyclists, pedestrians and overloaded, slow-moving vehicles – with oncoming vehicles swerving wildly into your lane as they pass. It's dangerous to drive after dusk, when you have to contend with the same challenges – plus unlit vehicles – but in the darkness.

To rent a vehicle, you'll need your home license and technically an international drivers license (though this isn't always asked for).

For less of a headache, you can often hire a car with driver for about the same price of a self-drive (starting from around CFA30,000 per day). Most guesthouses can help arrange this.


In the past there has been an unreliable line between Dakar and Bamako (Mali), but this has been out of commission since 2009. There is talk of one day restoring the line.