Fly To Dakar, Senegal
Dakar is the capital of Senegal, and the pride of the Senegalese people. Their reputation for “teranga”, or hospitality, is particularly evident here, and the locals are incredibly friendly and helpful.
Situated on the Cap-Vert Peninsula, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, Dakar is the western-most city on the African continent, and played an important role in Trans-Atlantic and European trade throughout history. Colonised primarily by the Dutch and French, slaving was prominent in the area until the early 1800s. It was the booming peanut trade thereafter that really contributed to the expansion of Dakar.
These days, Dakar is arguably most famous for the off-road endurance rally that bears its name. It’s highlighted some of the poverty issues that still plague Senegal, and has brought Dakar into the spotlight on the international stage.
Book your flights to Dakar using our search tool above, and choose from the cheapest flights available on all the major airlines to the Senegalese capital.
Visa Requirements and SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders do need a Visa to visit Dakar, Senegal, even if you are only transiting through the country. Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and don’t forget to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 3 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- The South African Embassy to Senegal is in Dakar. Mermoz Sud, Lotissement Ecole de Police, Dakar. Phone: + 221 33 865 1959. Website: sasenegal.org.
See and do
While the Dakar Rally certainly draws the crowds, there’s plenty more to see and do in this coastal town. The African Renaissance Monument is certainly the most controversial. It’s a colossal statue dedicated to the emergence of Africa from the oppression of the European regimes. Its intention was to be a majestic display of African pride and accomplishment, but having been made in North Korea, some argue that it is more of an ironic commentary on the dependency of African nations.
Goree Island is a more genuine tribute, being the original base for the slave trade in Senegal. Its colonial architecture (mostly in ruins) and the House of Slaves Museum are a poignant reminder of a dark part of Dakar’s past. The contrastingly vibrant atmosphere and thriving restaurant trade that now pervades the area is a wonderful example of the resilience and determination of the local people.
Dakar has some very exclusive stores specialising in couture made from traditional embroidered cloth in West African Muslim designs. If you can’t afford the tailor-made items, pick up some of the fabric instead. Marche HLM market has many fabric vendors to choose from, and the colourful cloth makes a wonderful souvenir.
Dakar’s bus system is relatively dependable, but doesn’t have much in the way of route information, so you may need to ask a friendly local for a bit of help planning your way. Car Rapides are another public transport option, but these blue, yellow or white mini-buses play a little loose with the rules of the road. Taxis are probably a safer bet, even if they don’t look in the best of repair. Check the prices with a local before you get in, though, as the drivers like to take advantage of foreigners who don’t know better.
Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport – DKR
Food and beverage: Le P’tit Zinc Bar and Restaurant, and Transit Bar.
Currency Exchange: There is a bank offering foreign exchange services in the lobby of the main terminal.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Report items lost or found within the airport terminal to the left luggage counter in the main lobby, or speak to security who will direct you appropriately.
Airport Hotels: Hotel Sogepres is located on the first floor of the terminal and has 15 air-conditioned rooms for short term stays at Dakar Airport.
Car Hire: Africars, Avis, Budget, Ets Sarr & Frères-Sénécartours, Europcar, Hertz, Intercar Senegal, La Sénégalaise de l'automobile, National, Noprola, Société Mass, Sénégalauto, Via Sénégal Voyages.
Airport Hub: Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (code DKR) is a hub for Senegal Airlines.