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Senegal's climate is arid, meaning sunny and dry during most of the year (December - June), and hot and humid (July-November), with August-October being especially rainy and humid. There are increasing dust and pollution levels as the Harmattan dust is often trapped beneath an increasing level of smog in Dakar, especially between January and May.

Senegalese Culture

Senegal is known for:

  • It's national dish, pronounced "chep bu jen" (rice and fish),

  • "Pirogues (gal)" or colorful fishing boats,

  • "Car rapides" or colorful public buses,

  • "Talibe" or children begging on the street, in order to fund their Koranic studies,

  • Goree island, a historical island that was integral during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and tourist attraction,

  • ...and much more.

Artistic Scene

Dakar is fast becoming an artistic hub in West Africa, famous for art galleries, a vibrant local art scene, an Ecole des Beaux-Arts, street art, murals, graffiti, and two major city-wide local art expos called Parcours in December, and the Biennale in May.


Country Overview

Senegal represents the furthest western point of the African continent, with Dakar being its capital. About 16.5 million call Senegal home, with a dense population in and around Dakar. The country is home to 95% Muslims, which follow a variety local suffi customs, and there is a proud tolerance of all religions.

Ethnicities of Senegal

There are multiple ethnicities present in Senegal, such as the Lebou, Serer, Wolof, Djola, and Pulaar, with the largest group being the Wolof, also the widest-spoken language after the administrative language, French.

Cosmopolitan African City

French and Lebanese culture have been present in Dakar for generations, but the city is becoming more and more cosmopolitan. Older constructions and neighborhoods are giving way to modern high-rises, and more foreign investment and activity. The expatriate community is growing rapidly, and often the city infrastructure has a hard time to keep up.


Major Neighborhoods in Dakar

  • Plateau (Downtown)

  • Port / Bel Air / Zone Industriel

  • Hann Mariste

  • Medina

  • Soumbedioune (fish market)

  • Universite (Cheikh Anta Diop) - Fass/Gueule Tappe

  • Fann Residence

  • Point E

  • Amitie 2, 3

  • Mermoz

  • Sacre Coeur

  • Cite Keur Gorgui

  • Liberté (1-6)

  • Sicap Baobab

  • Ouakam/Mamelles

  • Yoff/Grand Yoff - Aéroport

  • HLM

  • Foire (Nord, Ouest, Sud)

  • Almadies/Ngor/Virage

​Culture & Manners

  • Address others with "Salam Aleikoum/Bonjour, comment ca va? Comment va la famille?" Or a number of salutations in Wolof. Never call someone by saying “hey."

  • Always greet the people you pass regularly in your neighborhood.

  • Avoid getting upset at all costs - try to always keep your cool.

  • Avoid a direct “No,” - try saying "Merci, la prochaine fois."

  • Avoid saying, “That’s not true," or implying someone is lying.

  • Never make statements, or pay special attention to a pregnant woman. You should never ask a pregnant woman, “When is the baby due?” as this is considered to bring bad luck to the mother and child.

  • Use only your right hand when shaking hands, handing something, especially money, to someone else - unless you are leaving on a trip, then you shake with your left!

  • Avoid pointing at people; or counting people by pointing.

  • Never look at other people when they are eating - if you do, you can say "Bon appetit!"

  • Never take a person’s picture you don't know.

  • Never walk in front of someone who is praying, or interrupt him or her. If you are at a store or need to enter a building, you will need to wait until they finish.

  • Never touch a person’s "gris-gris/téré." (This is a small leather pouch that is often worn on the arm or around the waist. It contains written pages from the Koran and is worn for protection).

  • Women - even non-Muslim women - should try to dress in light, modest clothing. In general, shorts and skirts above the calves, and tank-tops are discouraged.

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