IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION FOR DAKAR
Visas and vaccinations
There are 125 countries exempt from a visa requirement to visit Senegal:
We have arranged through the Minister of Education that participants could receive their visas at the airport upon arrival. To do so, if you’re from one of the non-exempt countries, please send us a copy of your passport, which would be processed ahead of your arrival. You will be informed of the readiness of your visa to pick up through a special line at customs for participants of the conference.
A vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for participants outside of the tropics:
Many of us from the global south or those who have traveled to tropical regions often may already have the immunity built up or have had the vaccination. As a precaution, however, please make sure to confirm which vaccinations are required or recommended before you travel:
The conference is going on during the World Cup. This unfortunately drove up the price of airline tickets. Direct flights are the most expensive. Multiple connections are very cheap. Some of you may wish to spend time in other parts of the continent or use European connections to make a vacation out of the trip. What offsets costs is that the hotels are very affordable, the cab services are reliable and inexpensive, and we (the organizers) will be organizing a group of buses for transportation to some crucial places. We send updates with the schedules and locations.
Unfortunately most of the international airlines have consolidated, and what dominates flights to Senegal is the Sky Team Alliance: https://www.skyteam.com/en
There are several small European carriers and large Middle Eastern airlines that may have great deals as well.
As a courtesy, we will announce updates of the World Cup, given what soccer/football means to many of our participants.
There is a new international airport: International Blaise-Diagne.
Make sure that’s listed on your ticket. Old tickets list the former Senghor Airport. The former airport was 15 minutes from the center of Dakar. The new airport is 45 minutes to an hour. Should decide to take a cab, the cost should be about $40 USD. We (the organizers) are trying to arrange a series of buses that will pick up participants from the airport in the morning, afternoon, and early evening of the 15th and take them to the university. From there, it would be easy to walk or take a short cab ride to your hotels.
Senegal is still primarily a cash economy. The currency is the West African CFA franc. We don’t know what the rate would be at the time of the conference, but our experience in the past few years is that it has been fairly stable. To date, the exchange rate in USD is: 0.0019 CFA = 1$.
So, if you exchange $100 USD, you will receive approximately (because much depends on the ATM or money exchange you use) 53,400 francs.
Because it is a cash economy, nearly everything is negotiable in Senegal. It’s best to travel with someone who speaks French, if you don’t speak French, and preferably, someone who speaks Wolof and French. The cabs don’t have meters. So, you must negotiate the price before you ride. A ride for which someone speaking Wolof may negotiate 1,000 CFA may be 2,000 if negotiated in French and 3,000 in English. That would be about: $ 2 USD; 3 $USD; or $6 USD. If you’re with a group where it’s likely that you’ll have someone who speaks French, it means you should average—as a group—about $3 a cab ride to get around the city.
The restaurants are very affordable. Of course, hotel restaurants cost more. On average, we’ve found dinner for 2, including drinks, averages about $6 USD. A fancy place may mean you’ve paid, for 2, about $10 USD. And many other places (fast food, etc.) are very cheap, with an average of about $2 USD.
There are some dormitory rooms that would be available for those of very limited means. We’re asking for participants who could afford the hotels to use those so our most economically challenged participants could take advantage of the dorms.
You could contact the hotels directly or use one of the online sites, many of which may have great deals for those dates. We’ve noticed some excellent prices as of February 2018 (month of posting this information).
Here is a list (with information on distance). Again, you could find great deals through your travel agents or the online travel sites.
Radisson Blu (can walk to the hotel site). Expedia is showing $164 per night for those dates. This is great. That hotel is normally $264 USD per night. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Hotels averaging under $100 USD (some as low as about $30 USD)
Auberge Marie Lucienne (about 15 minutes walk): CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMAITON
Djoloff Hotel (can walk) : CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Le Ndiambour Hôtel et Résidence (averages $77, and 7 minutes cab ride without traffic): CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Maison de Lapesse
Residence Hôtelière Olympus ($53 USD, about 10 minutes walk): CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Wakola Hotel Fass Dakar: http: CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you wish to stay on campus, please contact SOSEPHI coordinator: Oumar Dia: email@example.com
Some of you may prefer to be in downtown Dakar and, as happens with many conferences, may only come to your sessions. If so, you may prefer to stay at the Ibis (in center of Dakar). It is a 30 minutes cab ride to campus. It’s now listing $89 each night. Bear in mind that the hotel costs will be cheapest between now and about the end of March.
Senegal uses the French 220 volts system. If you are coming from a 110 volts system, that could affect your electronic equipment. You may wish to check the adapters you are using and how they work in the French system. Additionally, when your equipment is fully charged, don’t continue charging since that could pose a problem as well.
Travel medical insurance
Some of you may already have travel and medical insurance through your universities or place of employment. There are very reasonable insurance plans. Because of Senegal’s historic relationship with France, the insurers proffered by the Schengen countries often have similar services in Francophone countries. Here are two sites you may wish to consult:
To give you an idea, $1,000,000 USD of coverage for 1 week under Atlas is $15 USD.