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The best time to travel in Senegal

The best time of year to visit Senegal is the dry season – that is to say, between November and May. The climate is mild: not too hot, but not too much rain. This advice applies to the whole country, with the exception of the region of Casamence, where you can visit all year round.

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The best time of year to travel to Senegal is between November and May, during the dry season. Throughout this period, the temperature tends to be around 25 degrees Celsius. However, between June and October, precipitation is very frequent and the temperatures sometimes 30 degrees Celsius or above. Of course, you can also travel during this period too – the rain showers do not tend to last longer than a couple of hours during the day, and the flora is magnificent. The only drawback of travelling during the rainy season is that certain roads, especially those leading to parks and nature reserves, are often closed.

The centre

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The centre of Senegal is the country's religious and economic heart. You can visit the Great Mosque of Touba and, if you visit during the Grand Magal, witness the yearly Mouride pilgrimage. The main desert region can also be found in the centre of the country. Travel there during the dry season and you will benefit from a pleasant climate, which is not too hot. You can also discover the beautiful Lompoul dunes.

The North

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In the Senegal's North you will also find the river of the same name. This marks the border between the country and Mauritania. The dry season is the best time to visit this area, but you can visit throughout the year. In this region, you will find the historical city of Saint-Louis. Visit the city, which beats to the rhythm of jazz, before heading to Morfil island, where you can discover former French forts and mosques.

The East

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Visit the East of Senegal to admire the waterfalls and lush mountains. This is the country's only mountainous region: make the most if this by going walking and discovering the splendid landscapes. The trail from Tambacounda to Kédougou passes through the Niokolo-Koba National Park, the country's largest national park. Here, you can see wild animals before setting off on a boat trip on the Gambia River. The best time to visit this part of the country is during the dry season. Find out more about the Bassari and Bedick people, who have retained their traditional way of life, and discover their villages and cultures.

Casamance

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This region of Senegal stands out in many respects: the landscapes are different to those found elsewhere in the country and the culture is unique. Here, you are surrounded by dense vegetation, which is in fact rare in Senegal. Every September, the King of Oussouye is worshipped by his people for almost a week towards the end of the rainy season. You shouldn't miss out on these festivities. You can visit during the dry season or the rainy season: if you choose the latter, this is the best time to see the vegetation, which plays an important role in the country's most fertile region. Do not miss out: go kayaking on the streams in Oussouye, before getting up close with the dolphins in Cachouane.

Trip to see the flora and fauna

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Except in the region of Casamance, Senegal's landscape is largely just a dry savannah. Here, you can find coconut trees which sometimes measure as high as 35 metres, as well as baobabs, acacias, palm trees and Ceiba pentandra. In the national parks and nature reserves, you will also be able to watch the birds at your leisure. Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is one of the most well known. Here, you will also find many baboons as well as some elephants and hippopotamuses. You can also take in the sight of dolphins and crocodiles at the river mouth. The dry season is the best time to visit most of the country, but you can also travel to Casamance throughout the year, in order that you do not miss out on the lavish vegetation that grows in the region at this time of year. 

Dakar and Thiès

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During the dry season, the average temperature in Dakar is 25 degrees Celsius: there is no better time to visit the city while the climate is pleasant. You are sure to be enchanted by Dakar, a mix of modernity and authenticity, development and tradition. Walk through the bustling markets among the crowds, and experience this animated city which is never still. Make a detour to the beautiful Gorée Island and discover Thiès, the country's second-largest city. Avoid the rainy season as the combination of precipitation and heat might make the city seem stifling...
Tiphaine Leblanc
78 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018
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