There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Dakar each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday) Twelfth day of the third month of the Hijri calendar: Mawlid (Birth of the Prophet, national holiday)
This festival celebrated on the twelfth day of Rabi'al-Awwal commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and is one of the most important days on the Islamic (or Hijri) calendar. Senegalese Muslims use this opportunity to recall the values advocated by the Prophet. It is also a day when families gather to share a traditional meal in a festive atmosphere.March 8: International Women's Day (celebrated nationwide)
Many events are organized on this day in Dakar and across Senegal by women's associations: conferences, exhibitions, village shows, etc.April 4 : Independence Day (national holiday)
Senegal's independence on this day in 1960 is celebrated with official ceremonies, street parades including school children as well as the military and policemen, singing and dancing.May 1 : Labour Day (national holiday) Ninth month of the Hijri calendar: Ramadan (celebrated nationwide)
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Fasting begins each day at sunrise and ends at sunset. For the entire month, Dakar operates at a slower pace during the day and stirs into action at nightfall.First two days of the tenth month of the Hijri calendar: Korité (Eid al-Fitr, national holiday)
This two-day festival marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims in Dakar take this opportunity to visit with family members living outside the capital.August 23 : Infantrymen's Day (celebrated nationwide)
This day commemorates the “Tirailleurs Sénégalais”, the Senegalese soldiers who fought on behalf of the French from 1857 through the first half of the 20th century, including extensive service during the two world wars. Highlights include official ceremonies, a review of the troops, and a sound and light show at Iba Mar Diop stadium.Tenth day of the last month of the Hijri calendar: Tabaski (Eid al-Kabir/Eid al-Adha, national holiday)
This festival celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu'l-Hijja honours Ibrahim's proof of his obedience to Allah. Allah asked him to sacrifice his son Ismael, but just as Ibrahim was about to make the sacrifice, Allah told him to offer a ram instead. Traditionally, to remember Ibrahim's offering, each family sacrifices a sheep on Tabaski morning and the remainder of the day is spent in prayer and celebration, feasting on the roast mutton and sharing the meat with others.December 25: Christmas (national holiday)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||18/64||25/77||2/0.08||Not the best period to go|
|February||18/64||25/77||1/0.04||Good period to go|
|March||18/64||25/77||0/0.00||Good period to go|
|April||19/66||25/77||0/0.00||Good period to go|
|May||21/70||26/79||0/0.00||Good period to go|
|June||24/75||28/82||8/0.31||Good period to go|
|July||25/77||30/86||35/1.38||Not the best period to go|
|August||26/79||30/86||117/4.61||Not the best period to go|
|September||25/77||31/88||86/3.39||Not the best period to go|
|October||25/77||31/88||19/0.75||Not the best period to go|
|November||23/73||30/86||0/0.00||Not the best period to go|
|December||21/70||27/81||3/0.12||Not the best period to go|
The Blaise-Diagne International Airport is located in Diass, about 47 kilometres (29 miles) southeast of Dakar's city centre.
Getting around Dakar is relatively easy. Various modes of transport are available in the Senegalese capital, covering the entire metropolitan area.
25 Dem Dikk bus lines (yellow mustard) operate through town. Destination is indicated in front of the vehicle. One-way ticket is about XOF 150.
With a capacity of about 20 people, these vehicles are ubiquitous in Dakar. Minibuses are certainly not the fastest way to get around, but they are inexpensive and make regular stops, which can be very useful. Expect to pay about XOF 75 for a short trip and XOF 150 for a longer one.
Official yellow-and-black taxis are equipped with meters and fares are regulated. Trips within the city centre cost around XOF 2,500.
Renting a car is an interesting option for getting around Dakar.
Upon your arrival in Dakar, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.Dakar Tourist Office
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Dakar counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
It is recommended to carry an International Certificate of Vaccination, as it could be required by custom authorities. No vaccination is mandatory to enter Senegal, but the following vaccines are nonetheless recommended before you leave home:
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
To maintain good hygiene, it is recommended:
It is recommended to drink bottled water in Dakar.
As a general rule, foreign nationals must be in possession of a visa to enter Senegal. To find out if you will need one and for further information, visit the country's official website:
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Dakar, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Dakar a little easier:
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning)
Good evening: Bonsoir
Goodbye: Au revoir
No, thank you: Non, merci
Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup
Please: S'il vous plaît
I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas
Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?
What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ?
Excuse me: Excusez-moi
Train station: Gare
I'm (…): Je suis (…)
I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)
How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?
Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?
Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?
I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)
In Dakar, it is customary to leave a tip at the city's restaurants. A good rule of thumb is about 10% of the bill if you are satisfied with the service.