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SENEGAL – Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Senegal due to levels of crime.
Casamance region – Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the Casamance region, with the exception of the cities of Ziguinchor and Cap Skirring and the highways connecting them, due to ongoing military operations and armed banditry.
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Safety and security
COVID-19 – Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Foreign Representatives in Canada
Military operation in Casamance
On March 13, 2022, the Senegalese army launched a military operation against separatist rebel groups in the northern Ziguinchor region of Casamance. Thousands of civilians have fled the area due to the violence caused by the operation.
Members of rebel groups displaced by the military operation have been committing robberies on the RN4 (Trans-Gambia highway) and the RN5 highway leading to Ziguinchor city.
The security situation in the region is volatile and unpredictable. If you’re in the region:
- avoid areas where military operations are taking place
- exercise increased caution if travelling on RN4 and RN5 highways
- do not travel after dark
- follow the instructions of local authorities
- monitor local media for the latest updates
Casamance and border areas
The conflict in Casamance is historically characterized by clashes between the military and rebel groups. Periods of relative calm are followed by periods of conflict fuelled by mine explosions, direct or indirect attacks, robberies and attacks on businesses or villages.
Rebel groups operate sporadically on roads (often closed at night) and in areas close to the borders with Gambia and Guinea Bissau. Anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, as well as unexploded explosive ordnance are found in many areas (North Sindian, Niassya, South Oussouye, Niaguis).
- Only travel overland during daytime
- Stay on the main roads
- Travel in a convoy when you can
- Hire reputable carriers or tour operators
Areas close to the borders with Mauritania and Mali, where jihadist groups are active, are at risk, as they may harbour external elements due to the porosity of the borders.
Senegal has not suffered any recent terrorist attacks. However, in the context of the regional terrorist threat to West African countries, including Senegal, attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Stay at hotels that have robust security measures, including:
- metal detectors
- security cameras
Keep in mind, however, that even the most secure locations are not completely free of risk.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching are sometimes committed by thieves on motorcycles. The Gorée pier is a favourite spot for pickpockets. Remain vigilant when travelling, ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times, and avoid displays of affluence.
Don’t walk alone. Avoid walking along the Corniche road in the evening, especially on East Corniche (Petite Corniche) and on West Corniche. Avoid also lingering along the beach at the end of the day.
Home robberies and armed robberies occur frequently. In general, assaults take place early in the morning and after dusk.
Demonstrations and strikes
Strikes and demonstrations are common in larger cities. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
You must carry photo identification, as well as a certified copy of your passport, as authorities may conduct identity checks at any time.
Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it is lost or confiscated.
Main roads are in good condition, but travel after dark can be difficult because of poor lighting. Most secondary roads require a four-wheel-drive vehicle, particularly in the rainy season.
The presence of pedestrians and animals, bad driving habits and poorly maintained vehicles contribute to make local driving conditions difficult.
If you are involved in a road accident, stay at the scene and don’t move your vehicle until a police officer authorizes you to do so. However, if you do not feel safe or if there is a large crowd gathering, leave the scene and report to the nearest police station in order to avoid any conflict between the parties involved. The police may keep your documents for a few days, until the file is closed. It is therefore recommended that you carry certified photocopies that will be accepted by police.
- Avoid driving at night between cities
- Keep doors locked and windows closed
- Do not leave valuables in the vehicle
Taxis are often poorly maintained and the drivers may have poor driving habits.
- Use only officially marked taxis (yellow and black)
- Taxis do not have a meter. Negotiate fares in advance
- Avoid boarding a public transit vehicle if it appears to be overloaded or in poor condition
The Grand Magal of Touba
The Grand Magal of Touba is an annual pilgrimage that attracts a large number of pilgrims each year.
The next event should take place on September 14, 2022.
Before and during the pilgrimage, you can expect:
- higher volumes of traffic
- street closures
- transportation delays
- limited available accommodations
Be alert at all times if you travel to Touba during the pilgrimage.
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Cases of Internet fraud are reported. Be extremely vigilant, especially if someone:
- sends you an electronic request for funds
- makes you an online job offer
- offers you a business opportunity by email
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Safe-travel guide for women
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.
Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly on foot or at close range.
- Always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife
- Only exit a vehicle when a professional guide or warden says it’s safe to do so
- Only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
- Closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
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Entry and exit requirements
COVID-19 – Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:
- entry or exit bans
- mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
- suspensions or reductions of international transportation options
Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.
- verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
- consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
- monitor the media for the latest information
- reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator
The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
- Travel restrictions and health requirements – United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Senegalese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Senegal.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
- Canadian passports
Tourist visa: Not required (for stays of less than 90 days)
Business visa: Not required (for stays of less than 90 days)
Student visa: Not required (for stays of less than 90 days)
Canadians can enter Senegal without a visa for stays of less than 90 days. A traveller arriving in Senegal without a visa who wishes to extend his or her stay will have to leave the country and re-enter afterwards or contact the Foreigner’s Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security to obtain a long-stay visa.
Canadians planning on staying in Senegal for more than 90 days must apply for a visa at the nearest Senegalese embassy or consulate. The visa allows the holder to stay in Senegal for 90 days so that steps can be taken to obtain a “carte d’identité d’étranger” (foreign national identity card) before the end of the period.
Foreign national identity card
To stay in Senegal for more than 90 days, you must obtain a foreign national identity card from the Direction de la Police des étrangers et des titres de voyage.
Direction de la police des étrangers et des titres de voyage – Ministère de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité Publique (en français)
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
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Natural disasters and climate
The rainy season extends from July to October. Heavy rains and tropical storms during these periods can make roads impassable. Follow regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
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