How Safe Is Senegal for Travel?

Safety Index:

Senegal is a country located in Western Africa, that shares its borders with Guinea-Bissau to the south, Guinea to the southeast, Mali to the east, and Mauritania to the north, and it has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Senegal has a reputation of being West Africa’s most stable country, but that doesn’t make it a boring destination, though.

Expect to have a wild time in the capital’s dizzying atmosphere and vibrant nightlife, and then just sink into the relaxing life and serenity of nearby Île de Gorée and the beaches of Yoff and N’Gor.

In northern Senegal, the gorgeous city of Saint-Louis, known for its unique colonial architecture is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

It is also very nearby Senegal’s picturesque national parks, and this isn’t something you’d want to miss as one of the things Senegal is actually known for is its astounding biodiversity, including hundreds of bird species.

Warnings & Dangers in Senegal

Overall Risk


Generally speaking, Senegal is not the safest country to visit. It has extremely high crime rates, of both violent and petty crime. You should be vigilant and take all possible precaution measures in order to minimize the risk of something wrong happening.

Transport & Taxis Risk


It is advised that you avoid public transport in Senegal due to high levels of crime and armed robberies in crowded places such as bus or train stations, and on public transport as well. Always opt for hiring a taxi from a reputable company instead of hailing one on the streets.

Pickpockets Risk


There is an extreme threat of petty crime in Senegal, as in the majority of countries in West Africa. Never carry your money in a purse or a back pocket. Never carry all your money in the same place, or flash your credit cards around ATMs. Many thieves have a tactic of grabbing you by your leg while the other one takes your wallet out of your pocket, so if you feel someone grabbing your clothes, focus on the person on the other side.

Natural Disasters Risk


As for natural disasters, Senegal is susceptible to many natural disasters like flooding, drought, land degradation, rising sea levels, and locust infestation.

Mugging Risk


Violent crime is common in Senegal so be extremely careful on the streets. Robberies and armed roadblocks are also known to happen. You might run into violent street vendors who will follow you for a few blocks. Be wary of people claiming that they have met you before. Many tourists have been led somewhere else and then robbed.

Terrorism Risk


Terrorists are likely to try and carry out attacks in Senegal, as Senegal contributes to the UN peacekeeping initiative in Mali, which makes it a legitimate target by terrorist groups including Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) and their associated groups. You should be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk


Be extremely careful with your cash while bargaining. There have been cases of street vendors quickly taking the cash out of your pocket and then claiming it is theirs. You have no way to prove that they're lying so this is a particularly tricky situation. Be wary of people trying to distract you in order to steal from you and of taxi drivers overcharging you for a ride.

Women Travelers Risk


Senegal isn't the safest place for a woman to be visiting alone. If you do, you should know that women are often targeted when alone on the streets or at beaches. Avoid remote streets as much as you can, both during day and night. Stay out of the streets at night and be vigilant for any possible dangers at all times.

So... How Safe Is Senegal Really?

Apart from the fighting going on in the Casamance region of Senegal, between the government and the MFDC or Mouvement des forces démocratiques de la Casamance, which is why it would be wise to avoid this area, there is serious reason to be extremely vigilant on the streets of Senegal, as petty theft and violent crime are a severe issue in this country.

As for petty theft, pickpocketing, purse-snatching, and theft have been known to happen both on the street and in taxis, but you should be wary of pickpockets as such incidents can turn violent.

Violent crime is also something Senegal is notorious for and many tourists have reported being victims of an armed robbery at knifepoint.

Here, basic precaution rules apply: never flash your valuables and be vigilant in large crowds and markets.

When it comes to the places where crime is most prominent, you should be extremely careful on the streets of Dakar and the airport as well as areas such as Place de l’Independence, the Western Corniche and the central part of the Plateau.

Apart from those, Dakar’s restaurant district, called La Petite Corniche, and St.-Louis’ restaurant area, are all known for muggings and robberies.

Travelers are strongly advised against going out alone and must be extremely cautious of suspicious-looking strangers.

How Does Senegal Compare?

CountrySafety Index
United Arab Emirates79

Useful Information

  • Visas - Most countries don't need a visa to travel to Senegal. If you're planning on staying in Senegal for longer than 3 months, you'll need to register with the local authorities in order to obtain a 'Carte d'Etranger'. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - West African CFA franc is the official currency in Senegal. All major towns have banks with ATMs while US dollars and euro are the most common currencies exchanged in the country.
  • Weather - Senegal has a tropical climate, characterized by hot and humid weather. It has a rainy season that lasts from May to November, during which you can expect strong southeast winds and a dry season that lasts from December to April, and is dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind.
  • Airports - Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport is the busiest international airport serving Dakar, the capital of Senegal. It is located near the town of Yoff, north of Dakar.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Senegal, since it covers not only the costs medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Senegal Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 22° C
Feb 22° C
Mar 22° C
Apr 22° C
May 24° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 28° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 25° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

14 Reviews on Senegal

  1. Z
    Zhanette says:

    Senegal stop

    Our plane broke down there on a routine fuel stop. We all had to disembark with locals bringing personal pickup trucks to take our luggage somewhere. We knew not where. It was very sketchy and scary. The city folks eyeing us suspiciously as we were transported to a local hotel (which had such potential for uniqueness and beauty if only it had been clean! Yucky bathroom and spiders! ). I have to say tho … that the beach was simply gorgeous and the food very good. Getting back on our plane was a nightmare with the security folks throwing their weight around. Checked through all our suitcases two different times making us all feel like criminals. It took hours … Extorting money for fees and more. I was nervous the whole time and couldn’t wait to leave

    However, I realize If I was visiting locals it might’ve been a better experience all around.

  2. K
    Katherine says:

    Wonderful and safe country to visit

    I’m not sure which Senegal this article is about?! I’ve been to Senegal many times as a solo female traveller. I’ve never had any problems, I always felt safe. People are very friendly and helpful. I’ve walked on my own at night, taken taxis on the street – yeah the taxis are probably dangerous in that they never have seatbelts and road safety is pretty bad. But I’ve never witnessed any of this crime the article describes. The airport was also very professional, no harassment or any problems

    1. Thanks
      I really appreciate your honest input.

    2. thank you for sharing. Nice to hear a personal experience

  3. Safe and wonderful country

    Ok first of all, this website is completely incorrect and exaggerated. I am American and have been living in Dakar for 7 years and I feel safer walking around here at night than I do any city in the US. I live immersed in the Senegalese community (not the expat community) and everyone knows each other and I’ve never been mugged or felt unsafe or been out at knifepoint. This website makes Senegal look like a super dangerous country and it’s not at all. Just take basic precautions like you would in any city. I’d say the most “dangerous” thing that happens is some people take advantage of tourists who don’t understand how things work and overcharge them or pick pocket them. But I’ve never seen really violent crimes here. Watch the Anthony Bourdain episode on Senegal for a better representation of the country!

    1. Where is the best and safe place in Senegal for a first time visitor who’s an expatriate ?

  4. M
    Manadou says:

    Senegal is Not Dangerous

    This article I feel like is covering a country they know nothing about. If you know Senegal and visited, you would make it seem this bad and dangerous. People that have never been here, will automatically assume this is a bad country to visit based off this review and it’s not at all. I was born there and went back for vacation and never witnessed all of the negativity mentioned in this article. Every country has issues and stuff but I would say the U.S is far more dangerous than living in Senegal.

  5. Senegal is amazingly safe and beautiful and friendly

    This Person who wrote this is really misinformed and probably has never spent over a few days in Senegal!!! I was born and raised in the USA and lived in many states and have traveled to many countries and Senegal was the safest ive felt out of anywhere ive ever been!!! Not only are the people friendlier but literally night or day whether i was in Dakar , St Louis , Walo, Mbour , Saly , Popenguine, Nianing i was safe and the people were always so friendly!! Local bars were amazing and i even went to a few strangers houses after to smoke weed in Saly it was so much fun walking through there neighborhood at night and seeing the way they lived was an experience worth having!! This person was writing about a war torn country or something !! Maybe they mixed Senegal up with Somalia or something either way two thumbs down for whoever wrote this!!! I love Senegal its amazing and i reccommend every person go visit there and buy land there !!!

  6. z
    zhouzhou says:

    For African country it’s not that bad. crime exists everywhere in the world

  7. E
    Eddie D. David says:

    Love for Senegal

    I have never been to Senegal before but I love Senegal as my best country in Africa and the second best in the world.
    I hope to visit Senegal this December, 2022 along with my family. (Wife and daughter)

  8. S
    Stefanie says:

    Negative Experience

    It is true that crime happens everywhere but it is important to share our experiences to avoid other people going through the same situations. I have lived in Senegal for a year and, overall it has been a great time. Unfortunately, there is a high probability of getting robbed. Specially people breaking into houses. Someone broke into my house two months ago and stole all my devices, money, and other valuable things. Police did nothing. The officers themselves said that is a common crime in the city and it isn’t surprising that houses get broken in. IMPORTANT, if you are planing to travel to Senegal make sure the place you rent is secure and never leave any valuable item out of sight. Also double check that doors and windows are locked when you leave your apartment day and night.

    1. C
      Chouette says:

      That also happens in French cities too, honestly. They adapted this “lax on thieves” approach that the French have for whatever reason

  9. A
    Adja Ly says:

    I have been investigating this country for 20 years. In this country, thieves and swindlers are innumerable and some of them are protected judicially and in the media.

  10. A
    Anonymous says:

    Stay safe !

    Hello, If you are a foreigner, we advise you not to set up a company in Senegal. If you are a Senegalese or a foreigner and if your Senegalese company makes profits and if you don’t give money (in cash) to powerful politicians, you will have big problems with the tax authorities and with the justice system and with the thugs. Best regards, Iba.

Rated 3.93 / 5 based on 14 user reviews.

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