"Senegal" Top 5 Page for this destination Senegal by traveldave

Senegal Travel Guide: 528 reviews and 1,221 photos

The area that is now Senegal was originally settled by two different peoples who migrated from other parts of West Africa, the Wolof and Mandinka. Both languages are still spoken by their respective tribe members, in addition to French. The Wolof were the first to inhabit the area, and the Mandinka came later, bringing Islam with them from what is now Mali.

In the 1400s, Europeans, led by Portugal, began exploring the West African coast. The Portuguese established trading posts along the coast, trading in gold, slaves, and other commodities. Over the years, however, the French slowly began to establish trading enclaves along the coast and their influence and power increased in the area. The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 divided the African continent between the European powers. Most of western Africa was given to France and became the territory of French West Africa.

In the 1950s, independence movements began to arise in French West Africa. Although some African leaders supported the idea of a federation of all French territories in Africa, individual territories eventually became independent countries. Senegal became independent in 1960.

Nowadays, the French influence is still strong in Senegal. French is the official language, many French ex-patriots live in the country, French cuisine is featured in many restaurants, and French tourists flock to the country for its sunshine and pristine beaches.

My trip to Senegal was part of two-week birdwatching trip to Senegal and Gambia. My group entered Senegal from Gambia. We visited Kaolack, Saint-Louis, Richard Toll, and the wetlands of Djoudj National Park before returning to Gambia after a week in Senegal.


  • Last visit to Senegal: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Jun 21, 2012
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Reviews (18)

Comments (9)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2010 at 3:11 AM

    Have enjoyed your page muchly esp the bird tips and pics!Good info on that terrible Bilharzia!Thanks Dave....Dropped in to have another look - been wanting to get here for a while now!how did you get here and around?..transportation tips?Merry Christmas!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2007 at 10:33 AM

    Educational & interesting to learn new words such as "pirogues" and "Sahel". Of course I also learned about the dreadful bilharzia . The migrating birds information was outstanding. It's always so refreshing to read such dedicated, conscientious work.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2007 at 1:53 PM

    Dave, this page on your birding adventures really wowed me with the interesting places you saw and the great info in your tips! The various accoms sound like quite and experience too. I had a touch of 'bilharzia' in Zambia - hope those pills cured it!!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2007 at 5:42 AM

    Enjoyed this fascinating page on Senegal Dave. Looks like you saw some wonderful birds on this trip. Those Nile crocodiles sure are huge. Liked the tip on the pirogues and the charming hotel Le Gite D'Etape. Great page.

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2007 at 6:24 PM

    Yips! People eating crocs! I still would like to check the place out. Your page was very convincing as it was highly informative.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2007 at 11:16 AM

    Very interesting information on the Sahal, also a lot of very useful info. Glad to hear you enjoyed birdwatching, will you come to see Polish birds? Polish storks (white and black), eagles, cranes, woodpeckers and hundreds other bird species wait for you!

  • Hosell's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    I am sure that you had lots of fun here seeing all these new birds to add to your list! I liked all the pics,but especially the Mosque one,I am learning now a bit more about Islamic world and their mosques!! :-)

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2007 at 2:54 PM

    what an interesting page and great pics, Dave !

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2007 at 11:59 AM

    Detailed and very interesting description of such an exotic (for me) country. French influence from XVII century I think was very positive. A pic of birds from Djoudj National Park is great. May be you'll put other pics on your travelogue... Thanks David!

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