Currency

Dalasi (D)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than D1500

  • Room in a budget guesthouse: D800
  • Sandwich or shwarma (kebab): D200
  • Soft drink: D80
  • Local bus ride: D20

Midrange: D1500-3500

  • B&B room near the beach: D1600
  • Lunch at an oceanfront restaurant: D450
  • Bottle of beer: D100
  • Short shared taxi ride: D100

Top End: More than D3500

  • Boutique hotel room: D3600
  • Dinner for two at a high-end restaurant: D1800
  • Glass of wine: D120
  • Three-hour river cruise: D2600

Bargaining

Bargaining is expected in markets. Most vendors will quote a much inflated starting price, anticipating buyers will negotiate before committing. There's no real rule of thumb – some say start at one-third of the asking price and negotiate your way up.

Bargaining is also in order when it comes to private taxis. Always agree on a price before getting in.

Money

The local currency, dalasi (D), fluctuates strongly. It's best to have hard currency (British pounds, euros or US dollars) on hand and exchange it as needed. ATMs exist on the coast, but are not practical.

Exchange Rates

AustraliaA$1D34
CanadaC$D33
Europe€1D50
Japan¥100D41
New ZealandNZ$1D31
SenegalCFA100D7
UK£1D59
USAUS$1D45

Tipping

  • Restaurants Tipping isn't expected at smaller local restaurants; at more touristic places, a 10% tip is fairly common.
  • Guides At many reserves and parks, guides will be available – sometimes even included in the admission price. Regardless, it's always polite to tip the guide. While it's hard to give guidelines, D50 or more per hour is a benchmark.
  • Bumsters Don't tip people who hassle you or harass you for money.

Changing Money

There aren't any official changing points at the border, just very persistent black-market changers. You'll be fine using CFA, though, until you get to the coast, where changing money is easier. Many hotels can recommend an informal changer, though the rates may be similar to those the banks propose. Many hotels will accept UK pounds sterling.

ATMs

There are ATMs around the coast, but relying on them is impractical with such low daily withdrawal limits (D5000). There are no ATMs up-country; it's best to chnage all the cash you think you'll need at the coast.