Senegal — Visas and Vaccinations
A valid passport and biometric visa are required for travel to Senegal. The government of Senegal has launched an online pre-enrollment program, which enables you to provide all of the required information for a Senegalese visa online, so that upon arrival at the international airport in Dakar you can simply have your biometric information (facial photograph and fingerprints) taken and the visa can be issued. Learn more about Senegal's online pre-enrollment program.
Senegalese visas issued upon arrival are generally valid for 3 months and allow a single entry. It is possible to extend the visa once in Senegal, or a new visa must be obtained for the next visit. As the visa requirements page on Senegal’s official government website (http://www.gouv.sn/Entree-au-Senegal.html) is only in French, people should check with the Senegalese embassies of their home countries for more specific information about visa requirements. Yellow fever, malaria, cholera, and typhoid vaccines are recommended before visiting Senegal in addition to the standard vaccines given in Western countries. However, no vaccination cards are required unless visitors are arriving from areas with yellow fever or typhoid epidemics.
Health and Safety
Senegal may be one of Africa’s most stable countries, but visitors should nonetheless watch out for pickpockets and other street crimes, especially in Dakar. Some aggressive Dakar street vendors follow foreigners for several blocks, while other vendors grab money directly from foreigners’ hands to their own pockets. Not holding cash while bargaining and wearing untucked shirts with secure pockets are the best ways to avoid these scams. Visitors, especially women, should be cautions of friendly-seeming people offering to guide them as many of these people take visitors to remote locations and rob them. Although Senegal’s Casamance region appears to be now stable, visitors should nonetheless get the latest updates on the separatist situation before venturing into this sometimes-volatile area.
In order to stay healthy in Senegal, visitors should receive all necessary vaccines before arriving, take anti-malarial drugs, and avoid drinking tap water or eating any food prepared with tap water. Senegal’s Kirene bottled water brand is cheap and commonly found across the country. Visitors should also carry rehydration salts or a mix of sugar and table salt in case of dehydration. Medical care in Dakar is far superior than elsewhere in the country, but health insurance is essential for any type of medical care in Senegal.