Currency and costs
The CFA franc is currency used in twelve formerly French-ruled African countries.
The ISO currency codes is XOF for the West African CFA franc.
The exchange rate for 1 USD Dollar is 478.274 (XOF) CFA Franc BCEAO (from oanda.com)
Although Central African CFA francs and West African CFA francs have the same monetary value against other currencies, West African CFA coins and banknotes are not accepted in countries using Central African CFA francs, and vice versa.
- Be careful with food prepared by the road, as it could be cooked in unsanitary conditions. Western-style meals are available and can be found at restaurants in various parts of Dakar, Thies, Saint Louis and other towns and near the big hotels in the Petite Côte and in some other touristic regions of the country too. If you really want to try the genuine Senegalese food you can buy it at restaurants serving Senegalese dishes or alternatively, you can make it yourself with the food gathered fresh from the markets or supermarkets.
- The official dish of Senegal is ceebu jen (or thebou diene) -- rice and fish. It comes in two varieties (red and white -- named for the different sauces). The Senegalese love ceebu jen and will often ask if you've ever tried it, and it is definitely part of the experience. Even better if you get the chance to eat with your hands around the bowl with a Senegalese family! Keep your eyes out for the delicious, but elusive ceebu jen "diagga" which is served with extra sauce and fish balls. Other common dishes are Maafe, which is a rich, oily peanut-based sauce with meat that is served over white rice. "Yassa" is a delicious onion sauce that is often served over rice and chicken, "Yassa poulet" or with deep fried fish "Yassa Jen."
- If you intend to explore the arid area of Senegal (Saint-Louis & Ferlo), you need to drink several liters of water a day. Even in Dakar, dehydration is possible during warmer months if you do not drink enough water each day.
French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
Voltage, Frequency and Plug/Outlet Type in Senegal
Electricity in Senegal is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Senegal with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.Outlets in Senegal generally accept 1 type of plug:
Muslim 94%, indigenous beliefs 1%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic)
Timezone / Calling Code
UTC / +221
Tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind; Natural hazards : lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts