Senegal is a West African country named after the Senegal River, which flows along the country’s eastern and northern sides. Because the country was under French rule for a significant period, French became the official language of the country.
The indigenous people of Senegal belong to the Wolof community, and a huge percentage of the population is Arab. With so many languages spoken here by people of diverse backgrounds, Senegal has a very rich multicultural history.
A trip to Senegal will allow you to explore these diverse cultures as well as explore the natural beauty of the country, complete with beaches and hills. It is a great location for an exotic vacation. As you are planning your trip, make sure to buy
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
for protection against any unexpected illnesses, accidents or injuries.
Things to Do for Travelers in Senegal
These things should be on your to-do list while you are in Senegal.
- Exploring Dakar: Dakar is the capital of Senegal and is a bustling and colorful city. The IFAN Museum is a must-visit if you are interested in traditional Senegalese and West African masks. There are many traditional African musical instruments on display as well, along with countless handmade statues. Head to Tilene’s Walk, where you will find local markets lining the streets with all kinds of knick-knacks. Madeleine Island is a little way off the beach and is a great picnic spot.
- Salt Harvesting at Pink Lake: Yes, the waters of the Pink Lake indeed appear pink because of the presence of certain natural substances in the salty water and a variant of bacteria. The waters seem to change color under the sun at various times of the day. It looks spectacular at sunset. The one-hour drive from Dakar is worth it, and you will find traditional salt harvesters at work here.
- Visiting French colonies: If you want to explore the French colonies of Senegal for their history, then head towards St. Louis. It is a fishing town, but at a time, almost all the European squires resided here. The buildings here have French architecture, with the oldest church built in 1828.
- Nature walk at Popenguine: This small town is far from the main city and is a lesson in sustainable living. The people living here derive almost everything from nature. Utensils are made from husks and clothes are stitched from natural fibers. There are many trails here and you can hike up to the Cape of Naz for birdwatching. You can also enjoy a mesmerizing view of the Atlantic from here.
- Safari at Saloum Delta National Park: The natural reserve is located on the Saloum Delta, one of the largest in Africa. It is home to many kinds of birds, butterflies, and mangrove forests. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the diverse form of life it sustains. The best way to explore the park is on a pirogue, a traditional African boat.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Senegal
Senegal is a relatively safe country to travel to as compared to some other African countries. Nevertheless, keep an eye out for the following.
- Scams: Scams in Senegal are quite common and even youngsters posing as beggars will throng you until you give them money. They can be very aggressive, and while you try to deal with them, their partners tend to rob you. Be very careful while buying wood figurines, as regular wood is often given a boot polish and sold as ebony.
- Landmine explosions: While travelling from one place to another, stick to the highway and do not try to take short cuts. You might inadvertently arrive at a landmine zone like in Casamance. While they are meant for poachers and intruders, it could lead to serious accidents if you are not careful. As long as you stick to main roads, you should be perfectly alright.
- Insect-borne diseases: Senegal has a hard time dealing with insect-borne diseases, and it has claimed several lives in the past. Make sure you do not roam around without putting on a mosquito repellant spray.
- Harmattan: These are strong dust winds that blow over Senegal and the surrounding countries between November and May. The wind is very dry, and the dry dust could cause acute respiratory problems and can even cause damage to cameras and binoculars. Make sure you cover them in casings while you travel.
Senegal Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
With travel medical insurance, there will be no need for you to pay for medical expenses in Senegal if you are stricken ill or injured by a covered reason in the policy. The insurance company can take care of it.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Senegal?
Travel medical insurance in Senegal is not mandatory. However, if you have it, you can bet that if a medical emergency were to come up, you probably wouldn’t have to bear the full cost of treatment.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Senegal?
A Senegal travel medical insurance plan can cover the cost of treatment, hospital stay, ambulance services, and even medical evacuation if needed. It is always difficult going beyond your budget during a vacation, and with insurance, you can be covered for treatment in a foreign country.
Senegal Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Trip cancellation insurance ensures that you can be reimbursed if a part or the entire trip is cancelled due to any natural calamity or man-made reasons that are covered in the policy. You can be reimbursed for any non-refundable, prepaid expenses you might have put down if you have to cancel for a reason explicitly listed in your policy’s certificate wording.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Senegal?
Senegal trip cancellation insurance could help make sure that if any of the tour operators cancel your arrangements, or if there are flight delays or cancellations, you may not have to pay for a failed trip. While that will upset your plans, you may not lose money for delays or cancellations on top of it. The insurance company can cover the costs of the arrangements and bookings you had made if the trip is cancelled due to an approved reason according to the policy wording.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Senegal?
Senegal trip cancellation insurance can cover the following:
Loss of baggage
Nature walk cancellationTrip interruption due to local unrest
Hotel booking cancellation
Safari cancellation at the national reserve
Car rental cancellations
Flight delays or cancellations
Before You Travel to Senegal - Do This
Read the local news daily to know about any acts of violence by religious extremist groups which might jeopardize your trip.
Get vaccines for malaria, typhoid, yellow fever, and cholera, among others. Always carry a bug and mosquito repellent spray.
Carry masks to protect your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears against the strong Harmattan winds.
Find out about the exact route your driver will take to drive you around so that you can avoid landmine-prone zones. Acquire a good knowledge of highways and roads for safety.
Make sure you are carrying luggage bags with proper locks and clasps to avoid thefts when you are not looking.
Get travel insurance for Senegal, and you will be able to roam the country without any worries regarding medical emergencies or accidental injuries.