Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin
attachment plugs are in use.
The official language is French, but there are six other
national languages spoken, including Wolof, which is the most
widely used, as well as numerous other dialects.
Larger hotels and restaurants usually include a service charge
of 10 to 15% . Taxi drivers are not usually tipped.
Most visits to Senegal are trouble-free, but street crime and
pick-pocketing, especially in Dakar, are common. Visitors are
advised to conceal valuables from the public eye. Travel by road in
the Casamance region west of Kolda is unsafe due to the activities
of separatist rebel groups and bandits, and should be avoided.
The majority of the population is Muslim and it is generally a
conservative society where dress and behaviour should be modest,
especially outside the main tourist areas. Public displays of
affection between men and women should be avoided, and acts of
homosexuality are illegal. Drunkenness is offensive. Religious
customs should be respected, particularly during the holy month of
Ramadan when eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited by the
Muslim faith; visitors should avoid eating and drinking in public
during this time.
In Senegal, it is expected of the visitor to dress formally.
Greetings are very important in Senegal and the visitor must ensure
that every member at the meeting is greeted and acknowledged at
least once. The shaking of hands is the standard greeting for men
and women in business. It is a good idea to be punctual even if the
host is not. Meetings can often take longer than anticipated and
patience may prove a virtue. Business is usually conducted in
French and a translator may be needed, although many Senegalese
businessmen will know some English. It is important to find out
beforehand how the contacts are to be addressed. Business hours are
generally 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken over
The international dialling code for Senegal is +221. The
outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
0027 for South Africa). No city/area codes are required. Senegal's
telephone system is one of the most developed in Africa, and there
are numerous telephone centres for making both local and
international calls. Mobile phone operators provide GSM 900 cell
phone coverage. Cybercafes offer Internet connections in the main
Travellers to Senegal over 18 years do not have to pay duty on
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco or tobacco products;
perfume for personal use; gifts to the value of CFA 5,000. The
import of spirits is not duty-free, but travellers are able to
import one bottle of wine.