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Senegal

If you’re travelling to Senegal our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security Status

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Senegal.

Be especially vigilant in the Casamence region.

Emergency assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Senegal, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact our Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000. 

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Niger, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Other EU embassies

You can contact the Embassies and Consulates of other EU countries represented in Senegal for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and security

Senegal is a popular destination with tourists and most visits there are trouble-free. However, you should be careful of pickpockets in Dakar, especially at the airport, and in the areas around Place de l’Independance, the central area of the Plateau and the Western Corniche.

We advise travellers to be vigilant about potential scams, particularly business transactions offered over the internet which seem too good to be true or a slow-blossoming internet romance with sudden requests for financial assistance.

The Casasmance region in the south west continues to experience incidents involving armed bandits, separatists and clashes between the military and the MFDC (Movement of the Democratic Forces of Casamance). You should avoid all road travel in the Casamance region to the west of Kolda, other than daytime travel on the main Ziguinchor to Cap Skiring road or the Sao Domingos to Ziguinchor road. Always monitor the local security situation and local media for security developments. Land mines remain problematic in this area so ensure to stick to paved roads and to take local advice.

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal. 

Health

Travel Insurance

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

Vaccinations

Check with a doctor what vaccinations you may need for your trip at least eight weeks before you travel. You can find out more information about vaccinations on the HSE’s website.

Visas/Passports

Passports

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help.

What we can do:

  • Issue you a replacement passport that will let you finish your trip, or;
  • Issue you with an emergency travel document to get you home.

We’ll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time. Your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you. Is Ireland does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Senegal there may be additional complications in processing and application for a new passport.

You should contact the Irish Embassy in Abuja in Nigeria to find out what you need to do to apply for a passport. They will also be able to advise you on the fees which apply.