Top 5 Things to Do in Dakar

Pelican on the beach at the westernmost point in Africa in Dakar Senegal
La Pointe des Almadies in Dakar

There is no shortage of things to keep people busy in Dakar when they are visiting Senegal. Here are is my list of the top 5 things to do in Dakar:

1. Take a ferry to the Ile de Goree. The beautiful architecture and rich history of the island make it one of the top places to visit when you are in Dakar. The ferry ride is another highlight, as it offers passengers great views of both the city and the Ile de Goree.

2. Go to the westernmost point in Africa. La Pointe des Almadies is as far west as you can get on the continent. There is a great beach there from which you can watch the sunset, and the sand is lined with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. Going to the Pointe des Almadies is not only one of the top 5 things to do in Dakar, but one of the top things to do in all of Africa.

3. Take a day trip to Lac Rose. Not far from Dakar is the famous pink lake, which is so named because in a certain light the water looks rose colored. Visitors can go there for lunch, participate in adventure sports, or go shopping at the craft stalls by the water’s edge.

4. Experience the nightlife in Dakar. The city has some of the best nightlife in West Africa, and no trip is complete without a visit to a bar or club. Dakar also has a vibrant music scene, and going to a live show is a great way to experience the Senegalese culture.

5. Take a day trip to the Village des Tortues. The turtle conservation center is a great place to see large and small turtles alike. It is located near Lac Rose, and can easily be combined with the lake on a day trip. Visiting the two destinations is definitely one of the top 5 things to do in Dakar.

Malaria in Senegal

Waves on the beach in Dakar Senegal

Malaria in Senegal is a serious risk to all travellers. If you are planning to visit Senegal, you should make sure to take the necessary precautions to minimize your risk of contracting the disease.

The entire country is a high risk area for malaria, so you will need to protect yourself wherever you travel in Senegal. It is good to be prepared when you arrive so that you can be safe and healthy during your entire trip.

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes that come out at dusk and stay active throughout the night. As such, make sure to use plenty of insect repellant in the evenings and wear long sleeves and trousers as well as shoes and socks at night. Most hotels have mosquito nets over beds, but if yours doesn’t, make sure to bring one with you when you travel to Senegal.

Additionally, you should get antimalarial pills from your nearest travel health clinic before you travel to Senegal. Pills like Malarone should be taken one to two days prior to visiting Senegal, then taken throughout your trip and for seven days after you leave the country. Taking antimalarials will help prevent you from contracting malaria, but no pill is 100% effective. You will still need to use insect repellant, wear appropriate clothing, and sleep under a mosquito net to avoid getting malaria in Senegal.

Senegal Visa and Passport Requirements

Pelican on the beach in Dakar Senegal
Dakar, Senegal

Senegal visa and passport requirements vary from country to country. The good news is that most people can travel to Senegal with a visa that is easy to acquire before arrival.

Travelers from most countries can obtain a Senegal visa through a third party website. All you have to do is fill out your personal information and pay a fee via credit card. Once you’ve done so, you will receive a PDF with a scannable code on it. Print out the PDF document and bring it with you to Senegal. When you arrive, hand the paper to the border officials, who will then stamp your visa into your passport.

Regardless of whether you need a visa for Senegal, you should get a Yellow Fever vaccination before you travel.

Remember that Senegal visa and passport requirements are subject to change at any time. For the most up-to-date information, check your country’s Senegal consulate website.