Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together an A-Z guide of useful information which will help answer common questions often asked by our customers before travelling to Senegal. 

If you have any other questions that are not covered in this section, please do not hesitate to contact our reservations team on 0845 330 2080 or email your question to us »

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Q: What effect does Ebola have on my holiday?

2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa

At present Ebola will have no effect on your holiday or travel plans. However, we recognise that people will have concerns and questions about travelling to Senegal. Hopefully, we can address some of these concerns below.

  • There are no cases of the Ebola Virus Disease in Senegal.
  • There are no restrictions on travel between Senegal and the UK.
  • There have been multiple cases of the Ebola virus in three West African countries - Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The confirmed cases in Nigeria and isolated case in Senegal have now been discharged and no further cases have been confirmed during the disease incubation period of 21 days. Nigeria and Senegal are therefore now Ebola free.
  • Currently, there are no restrictions on European travel to and from Senegal. As of the 21st August, land borders between Senegal and Guinea have been closed.
  • 'Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animal, all unlikely exposures for the average traveller.' (WHO, Aug 2014)
  • The Senegal Experience team are monitoring the World Health Organisation updates and updates on the Foreign Travel Advice website. Our UK team and agent in Senegal are also working closely with the Ministry of Tourism in Dakar to keep up to date with the situation and we will endeavour to advise all clients if there are any updates that will affect your trip to Senegal.
  • At The Senegal Experience, we have a regularly updated Major Incident Procedure which would come into effect if there was a suspected case in Senegal. We also have crisis management insurance with Plexus Law who would assist us in best handling the situation.
  • If the FCO advise against travel, then we will be able to reschedule your trip or offer you a full refund. (There is currently no FCO advice against travel to Senegal, our cancellation policy is as per our standard terms and conditions.)

Further information
World Health Organisation - http://goo.gl/35Vxbs
Foreign Travel Advice, Senegal - http://goo.gl/hqAikI

Map of Ebola cases as at 3 October 2014

Confirmed Cases

Date published - 09/10/14

Q. What happens if there is a change to my flight?

Scheduled flight services can be subject to time changes, however where possible we will do our very best to notify you prior to travel. If you need to speak to anyone regarding your flight while you are at the airport or whilst in transit, please go to the Tap Air Portugal desk.

Occasionally, despite the best efforts of all concerned, flights are delayed for reasons beyond our personal control. If a long delay occurs, we or the airline, will do our very best to provide a snack or meal when appropriate and in the case of an overnight delay, suitable accommodation. Please note that the choice of accommodation for flight delays is made by the airline and is not part of your original package holiday.

Q. What about travel insurance?

Holiday insurance is a must. We feel it is so important that we insist you either take our special holiday insurance or arrange a policy yourself at the time of booking which must provide cover equal to our own standard policy.

If you have taken our insurance and have booked online or have received an email invoice from us, the insurance policy will appear as a PDF link within your emailed invoice. If you receive a posted invoice, the insurance policy will be in the form of a booklet. In both cases your booking reference acts as the policy number and your invoice is the insurance certificate.

Q. What form of payment do you accept?

Debit cards (no handling charge)

  • Switch/Maestro
  • Visa Electron (through our call centre)
  • Delta

Credit cards (will incur a 2% handling charge)

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Amex

Unfortunately we are not able to accept Solo cards

Cheques made payable to The Senegal Experience and your holiday reference added to the reverse of the cheque along with your name and address.

Bank transfers

  • Account number: 06019129
  • Sort code: 60-18-46

Please quote your booking reference number on all bank transfer transactions

Q. What is my baggage allowance?

Your luggage allowance with TAP Air Portugal is 46kgs per person, comprising of 2 bags up to a maximum of 23kgs each. The dimensions of each piece must not exceed 158cm (length, width and height). Only two bags of hold luggage are permitted per person. Each piece of hand luggage may not exceed 115cm and weigh more than 8 kgs. Please ensure that you only carry one piece of hand luggage.

If you are staying at Hotel Keur Saloum or Domain Les Palétuviers, the flights will be chartered in to Banjul, The Gambia, so the luggage allowance is 20 kgs per person and hand luggage is 5kgs per person.

 

Q. Is English widely spoken?

French is the official language in Senegal, although a little English is spoken in hotels.

Q. Do I require a visa to visit Senegal?

The Senegalese Government introduced a visa for all tourists travelling to Senegal for visits of under 90 days on 1st July 2013. Prior to 1st May 2015*, all tourists travelling with a tour operator are exempt from paying for a visa and therefore we will apply for a visa exemption on your behalf. As of 1st May 2015*, tourists travelling to Senegal will need to personally apply online for a tourist visa prior to travel. The cost is €50 per person and details will be sent with your ticket pack. For further information please consult Visa Senegal.

* The visa exemption was extended for another year following an Inter-Ministerial Council on Tourism in Dakar on Friday 14th February 2014.

 

Q. Are transfers included?

Yes, between Dakar Airport and your hotel. Some transfers to the Sine Saloum Delta area may be along unlit, bumpy tracks. All transfers will be in air conditioned 4x4 vehicles or mini buses. Please contact us if you wish to upgrade to a private or tailor made transfer. Please note that due to the late arrival of your flight and the long transfers involved to Hotels Domaine les Palétuviers and Keur Saloum in the south of the Sine Saloum Delta, we will arrange for your first nights acommodation to be in Dakar so you can transfer next morning in daylight. We will also arrange this for guests staying at the Hotel Delta Niominka because of the boat transfer not operating at night.

Q. When will I receive my tickets?

These can be expected 2 weeks prior to your date of travel and will include our information booklet 'Your Guide to Senegal' which we hope you will find useful. If you are travelling as part of a tour, your tour itinerary will also be included in this pack.

Q. Who do I tell about special requests?

If you have any special requests for your holiday accommodation or flights, please ensure they are requested at the time of booking as procedures for flight requests vary from airline to airline and they require as much notice as possible.

We shall be pleased to pass on your request to the airline or hotel, however we cannot guarantee that they will be met.

Q. How do I go about changing my booking?

Any amendment will be subject to availability, amendment charges, plus any difference in costs. Further details should be obtained from our Administration Department on 0845 330 2083 or at admin@senegal.co.uk

Q. Do you need vaccinations to visit Senegal?

We advise that you consult your doctor prior to booking as certain medications may be recommended.  No vaccinations are compulsory to visit Senegal from the UK, however we strongly suggest you take anti malaria tablets. We have joined forces with the Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor so you can now purchase your malaria tablets on line and have them delivered direct to your door. Any commission we receive from sales will be donated to our School Development Fund. Please click the following link to access the service: Lloyds Pharmacy - Online Doctor

Under International Health Regulations, a certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required from travellers over 9 months of age travelling from The Gambia to Senegal or vice versa. Although no inoculations are compulsory if travelling from the EU, you may be asked to show a yellow fever certificate if passing between The Gambia and Senegal.

Q. What is the local currency?

The local currency is the West African CFA Franc, although Euros are also accepted in hotels. Please be aware that travellers cheques are not widely accepted. Credit cards are generally accepted in hotels and restaurants, however you should always ask about surcharges. Some hotels may not accept credit cards but this will be indicated on your paperwork.

Q. What is Advance Passenger information (API)?

As a result of UK Government legislation, we are required to collect Advance Passenger (passport) Information from all customers (including infants) travelling to and from the UK by air. If we do not receive this information, tickets cannot be processed.

When did it start?

  • It applies to all flight travel from 1st November 2009.

What information is needed per passenger?

  • Full name, as per your passport including any middle names.
  • Your date of birth.
  • The travel document 'type' eg: passport.
  • Your nationality.
  • Passport Country of Issue.
  • Passport number, issue date and expiry date.

When is the information required by?

  • Either at the time of booking or at least 21 days before travel in order for your tickets to be processed in time. Failure to do so will prevent tickets from being issued. Any API details received within 7 days of departure will result in a Ticket on Departure being arranged, for which you may be charged.

How can I provide this information?

  • Please visit our API page on our website where you can input the information. Alternatively you can call Administration on 0845 330 2083.

What if I book late?

  • Our website will not confirm a booking within 7 days of travel, unless you input your API details, so please have them to hand.
  • Ticket on Departure information will not be provided until we have your API details.
Q. Is it safe to walk about?

A. There is very little crime against tourists in Senegal but as with any foreign destination, we advise you to exercise caution and not show off valuables or large amounts of cash when out and about, particularly in crowded areas.

Q. What are the beaches like?

A. Saly has glorious white, sandy beaches – why else would the French call it Senegal’s Côte d’Azur?  Set in a bay, the waters are calm and clear, perfect for swimming and water sports. The resort of La Somone is also set beside a sandy beach and benefits from the sea on one side of the beach and the lagoon on the other.  In the Sine Saloum Delta, some of the hotels are set on rivers, although there are still small sandy beaches at frequent intervals. Caution should be taken though when swimming in any deep water, as there can be strong currents.

Q. Is there a problem with electricity?

A. There can be problems with electricity, however hotels have their own back-up generators. Any slight disruption in supply may affect the efficiency of air-conditioning and supply of hot water. The current is 220V and round 2 pin adaptors are needed.

Q. Do UK mobile phones work in Senegal?

A. Most UK mobile phones do work, however it is best to check with your provider before you travel. You can also buy a prepaid SIM card for your phone in Senegal and will be given a local mobile number.

Q. How can I get out and see more of the country?

A. We offer a full excursion programme to enable guests to explore the area around the resorts, which can be arranged through your representative or hotel reception. Trips include: Île de Gorée, from where slaves were transported to the New World and Le Lac Rose, also known as the Pink Lake or Lac Retba, which is the final destination of the Paris-Dakar Rally and gets its name from the way the lake shimmers in shades of pink due to the water’s high mineral content.

Q. Will one of your representatives visit our hotel?

A. In Senegal we work with a local handling agent, who arranges our transfers from Dakar International Airport to our hotels. (If you are travelling from The Gambia, our resort office in Banjul will arrange your transfers). An agent representative will also visit the hotels in Saly regularly but there are no visits in most of our hotels in the Sine Saloum Delta (we do have a representative in Le Royal Lodge), however in these smaller hotels you will be well looked after by the hotel staff who will be happy to answer any queries and arrange excursions for you.

Q. What is the food like?

A. Excellent. Most of the hotels are French owned and / or employ French chefs, so food is of a particularly high standard, with a variety of international and also local dishes on offer making the most of fresh seafood and local produce.

Q. Can I go on safari?

A. Senegal has no migrating wildebeest, giraffes or any of the large animals commonly associated with Africa, however in Saly you can visit the Bandia Nature Reserve where you can see up close and roaming freely; giraffes, rhino, zebra, ostrich, antelopes, buffalo bush pigs, impala etc. In the Sine Saloum Delta you can also see a breathtaking variety of birdlife, in addition to monkeys, baboons, hyenas, lizards, dolphins and manatees.