Travel Tips for Senegal, Updated Intl. Guide – Travel Medicine, Inc.
Cart 0


Capital: Dakar

Time Zone: 0 hours. No daylight savings time.
Tel. Country Code: 221
USADirect Tel.: 810
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz). European Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plug D, F, K.



Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest incidence of insect-transmitted diseases, such as malaria, and all travelers need products to prevent mosquito and tick bites. I recommend all travelers use a combination of DEET or Picaridin repellent on their skin and Permethrin fabric insecticide on their clothing for greater than 99% protection against mosquito and tick bites.



World Health Organization
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office


• U.S. Embassy
Avenue Jean XXIII
Consular Section:
Tel: [221] (33 )823-4296 ext. 2702

• Canadian Embassy
45, av. de la République
Tel: [221] 823-92-90
Fax: [823] 87-49

• British Embassy
20 Rue du Docteur Guillet
Tel: [221] 33 823 7392
[221] 33 823 9971
Email: British Council


HIV Test: Not required.

Required Vaccinations: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travelers >1 year of age arriving from infected areas or from any country in the Yellow Fever Endemic Zones that they have transited in the preceding 6 days.


Passport/Visa: Senegal is a developing west African country. The capital is Dakar and French is the official language, although Wolof is the most widely spoken language. Facilities for tourists are widely available but vary in quality. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Senegal for additional information.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. For U.S. passport holders, a visa is not required for stays of less than 90 days. Current yellow fever, cholera, and meningitis vaccinations are required if the traveler is arriving from or has recently traveled to an endemic area. Travelers unable to provide proof of vaccinations may be required to pay for and receive vaccinations at the Dakar airport. Travelers should obtain the latest information on entry requirements from the Embassy of Senegal, 2112 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 234-0540, and at the Senegal Tourism Authority’s official web site, Overseas, inquiries should be made at the nearest Senegalese embassy or consulate.


Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers at potential risk for acquiring this infection. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; when receiving non-sterile medical or dental injections, or unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact between open skin sores. Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Meningococcal (Meningitis): Vaccination with a quadrivalent conjugate vaccine is advised for those travelers anticipating close contact with the indigenous population, especially during the dry season, November to June.

Polio: A one-time dose of IPV vaccine is recommended for any traveler >age 18 who completed the primary childhood series but never received an additional dose of polio vaccine as an adult. Available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine).

Rabies: Recommended for travelers spending time in remote locations, or in rural areas where there is an increased the risk of animal bites. Pre-exposure vaccination eliminates the need for rabies immune globulin in the event of a high-risk animal bite, but does not eliminate the need for additional treatment with rabies vaccine.

Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The new Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.

Typhoid: Typhoid vaccine is recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in sub-Saharan Africa, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi. Travelers should practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.

Yellow Fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travelers >1 year of age arriving from infected areas or from any country in the Yellow Fever Endemic Zones that they have transited in the preceding 6 days.


All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers’ diarrhea or other infections; they should bring drugs for malaria prophylaxis, if needed according to their itinerary. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country—the equivalent drugs may not be available; may be of dubious origin; may be counterfeit, or of unreliable quality.
• Travelers are advised to obtain travel insurance that provides for medical evacuation to more advanced medical facility in another country in the event of serious illness or injury.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a listing of hospitals and doctors at:

Private clinics in Dakar include:
• Clinique du Cap
Avenue Pasteur
Tel: 889-0202

• Clinique de la Madeleine
18, Ave. Des Jambaars
Tel: 821-9470/76/78/79

• Clinique Casahous
5, Rue de Thiong
Tel: 821-30-30
Emergency: 821-54-36, 821-36-14

L’Hôpital Principal de Dakar
1,avenue Nelson Mandéla
Tel: [221] 839-50-50

• SOS Medecin
1, Ave. Pasteur
X Rue Mermoz
(Near German Embassy)
Tel: 821-3213 or 889-1515 (staffed 24 hours)
Mobile doctor service that will come to your home. They can provide care for relatively minor problems at home. If necessary, they will transport a patient to a local hospital.


A Country Profile: Senegal, located on the coast of West Africa, is a politically stable, predominantly Muslim country. Senegal is often presented as the success story in the developing world for preventing the spread of HIV, with an estimated prevalence of just 0.5 percent. It is unlike most sub-Saharan African countries in that HIV-2 levels are higher than HIV-1. It faces demographic challenges of a rapid (2.9 percent) annual population growth, high total fertility rate of 5.6 births per woman, and an under-five mortality rate of 139 deaths per 1,000 births. Other challenges are Senegal’s high unemployment rate, deteriorating natural resource base, and the disparities in economic development levels between urban and rural sectors.
Several factors have been identified which are associated with the low HIV prevalence in Senegal:
• Conservative sexual norms, notably a low percent (20) of adolescents who have sexual encounters.
• The Government of Senegal created a national safe blood supply in the 1970s, which was reinforced in 1987 to test for HIV. 100 percent of blood donations are tested.
• Since 1969, registered commercial sex workers are required to have annual checkups and treatment for curable sexually transmitted infections.
• The National AIDS Control Program has a strong program of condom promotion and distribution.
• The Government of Senegal began relatively early (1989) to collaborate with religious and community organizations to develop an AIDS prevention strategy.
• Comprehensive information, education and communication programs have targeted high risk groups.

Senegal has a relatively low TB case notification level for Africa (79 per 100,000 population). All of Senegal’s population lives in a geographic area serviced by health facilities, which implement the TB control practices consistent with WHO recommendations. BCG has vaccinated 89 percent of the target population. Senegal is considered by WHO to be in the routine phase of implementing DOTS (Directly Observable Treatment – Short course), with more than 90 percent of its population covered by the strategy.
Malaria is currently a more serious health problem in Senegal than either HIV/AIDS or TB. In 1996 Senegal reported 600,000 cases of malaria, resulting in 5,000 deaths. A National Malaria Control Programme was established in 1995.

AIDS/HIV: Heterosexual contact is the predominate mode of transmission. Although the over-all HIV prevalence rate is <1%, the HIV-1 prevalence rate of the high-risk urban population is estimated at 2.3%, while HIV-2 prevalence is reported at 10%. Unofficially, up to 40% of commercial sex workers may be HIV-positive.
• The development of AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with another person’s body fluids or blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes. Important safety rules to follow are 1) Do not drive at night, 2) Do not rent a motorcycle, moped, bicycle, or motorbike, even if you are experienced, and 3) Don’t swim alone, at night, or if intoxicated.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

African Sleeping Sickness (Trypanosomiasis): African trypanosomiasis is a low, but potential risk in scattered areas throughout the country. Travelers should take measures to prevent insect (tsetse fly) bites.

Cholera: Multiple cholera outbreaks are reported. Although widespread, but the threat to tourists is low. Cholera is an rare disease in travelers from developed countries. Cholera vaccine is recommended primarily for people at high risk (e.g., relief workers) who work and live in highly endemic areas under less than adequate sanitary conditions.
• Many countries, including Canada, license an oral cholera vaccine. The oral vaccine is not available in the United States.

Hepatitis: All travelers should receive hepatitis A vaccine. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
Hepatitis E is endemic, Hepatitis E is transmitted primarily by contaminated water. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B carrier rate in the general population is estimated as high as 18%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person.
The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic.

Influenza: Influenza is transmitted year-round in the tropics. The flu vaccine is recommended for all travelers over age 6 months.

Insects: All travelers should take measures to prevent both daytime and nighttime insect bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include a DEET-containing repellent applied to exposed skin, insecticide (permethrin) spray applied to clothing and gear, and use of a permthrin-treated bednet at night while sleeping.

Lassa Fever: Cases of Lassa fever occur sporadically, but rarely. Transmission is through contact with the infected urine or dried feces of rodents, especially in rural areas.

Leishmaniasis: Risk of cutaneous leishmaniasis occurs in the northwest (Keur Moussa in the Theis Region) and has been reported in the northeast along the Mauritanian border. Sporadic cases occur annually among Peace Corps volunteers stationed countrywide. Visceral leishmaniasis has not been reported. This disease is transmitted by sand flies, which bite from dusk to dawn. Travelers are advised to prevent sand fly bites. Contrary to what their name suggests, sand flies are not found on beaches. They are usually found in forests, the cracks of stone or mud walls, or animal burrows.
• Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin, permethrin (spray or solution) to clothing and gear, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated bednet.

Malaria: Risk is present year-round throughout this country, including Dakar and other urban areas. There is less risk in the Cap Vert vicinity and northern Sahel regions from January through July. Risk is highest in the central and southern areas of this country, but is also increasing in the north due to the construction of dams which afford mosquito breeding sites. Risk is elevated during and immediately after the rainy season (May–October in the south and July–September in the north). P. falciparum accounts for 90% of malaria cases. Chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria is reported.

A malaria map is located on the Fit for Travel website, which is compiled and maintained by experts from the Travel Health division at Health Protection Scotland (HPS). Go to and select Malaria Map from the Senegal page on the Destinations menu.

• Prophylaxis with atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone), mefloquine (Lariam), doxycycline or primaquine is recommended.
• Malaria is transmitted via the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Anopheles mosquitoes feed predominantly during the hours from dusk to dawn. All travelers should take measures to prevent evening and nighttime mosquito bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin, applying permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated bednet at night.

Meningitis: Quadrivalent conjugate meningitis vaccine is recommended for those travelers anticipating living or working closely with local people. The risk of meningitis is greatest in the dry season, from November to June. All travelers venturing into epidemic regions at any time of year should consider vaccination.

• Areas in sub-Saharan Africa with frequent epidemics of meningococcal meningitis are found at:

Other Diseases/Hazards: African tick typhus, brucellosis (from consumption of unpasteurized dairy products), chikungunya fever (mosquito-borne; reported in cyclic outbreaks; recently reported in French tourists), dracunculiasis (endemic along the eastern border with Mali and Mauritania), West Nile fever, Rift Valley fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (tick-borne), filariasis (mosquito-borne), Lassa fever (slight risk may occur in the southeast near the border with Mali), leprosy, leptospirosis, meningitis, murine typhus (flea-borne), onchocerciasis (black-fly-borne; contracted near fast-flowing rivers), rabies, tick-borne relapsing fever, trypanosomiasis (no new cases of sleeping sickness since 1978), tuberculosis (a major health problem), and intestinal worms.

Rabies: Sporadic cases of human rabies are reported countrywide. All animal bites or scratches, especially from a dog, should be taken seriously, and immediate medical attention sought—Rabies vaccination may be required. Although rabies is rare among tourists,there is risk. No one should pet or pick up any stray animals. All children should be warned to avoid contact with unknown animals.
• Rabies vaccine is recommended for those persons anticipating an extended stay, for those whose work or activities may bring them into contact with animals, especially when in a remote location where medical care is not readily available, or when extra protection is desired. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals and may not report bites.
• Pre-exposure vaccination eliminates the need for rabies immune globulin, but does not eliminate the need for two additional doses of vaccine. Prompt medical evaluation and treatment of any animal bite is essential, regardless of vaccination status.

Schistosomiasis: Risk of urinary schistosomiasis is present in the Senegal River Valley along the Mauritanian border; in the west-central regions of Dakar, Thies, Diourbel, and Fatick; and in the southwestern and southcentral areas. Intestinal schistosomiasis occurs in scattered areas.
• Schistosomiasis is transmitted through exposure to freshwater streams, rivers or lakes during activities such as wading, swimming, and bathing. Schistosoma larvae, released from infected freshwater snails, penetrate intact skin to establish infection. All travelers should avoid swimming, wading, or bathing in freshwater lakes, ponds, or streams. There is no risk in chlorinated swimming pools or in seawater.

Travelers’ Diarrhea: The cities of Dakar, Saint-Louis, Kaolack, Thies, and Ziguinchor have municipal water systems and public taps, but these systems may be contaminated. Travelers should observe all food and drink safety precautions. A quinolone antibiotic, or azithromycin, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of acute diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to treatment with an antibiotic, or chronic diarrhea, may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis, amebiasis, or cryptosporidiosis.

Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis a major health problem in this country. Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted following inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets. Most travelers are at low risk. Travelers at higher risk include those who are visiting friends and relatives (particularly young children), long-term travelers, and those who have close contact with an infected individual. There is no prophylactic drug to prevent TB. Travelers with significant exposure should have PPD skin testing done to evaluate their risk of infection.

Typhoid Fever: Typhoid is the most serious of the Salmonella infections. Typhoid vaccine is recommended for all people traveling to or working in Senegal, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi. Travelers should practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.

Yellow Fever: Two fatal cases of yellow fever were reported from the district of Goudiri in October 2005.
Yellow fever is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours.
• Fellow fever vaccine is recommended for any person over age 9 months who travels outside urban areas.
• Yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers arriving from endemic areas.