The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and US CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Senegal is a developing nation classified as low income. Located in western Africa along the Atlantic Ocean (north of Gambia and Guinea), the climate is classified as humid equatorial (long dry season).
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
An official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary. Vaccination is usually recommended if you’ll be traveling in areas where there is risk of yellow fever transmission.
- Requirement: A certificate proving yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers aged ≥ 9 months coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. This also applies to all airport transit stops (no exit through immigration checkpoint) in risk countries.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against COVID-19, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2018) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the entire country. There is less risk from January through June in the central western regions.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum >85%, P. ovale 5%–10%, P. vivax rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or tafenoquine.4
3 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
4 Primaquine and tafenoquine can cause hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Patients must be screened for G6PD deficiency before starting primaquine or tafenoquine. See Tafenoquine Approved for Malaria Prophylaxis and Treatment for more information.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Community sanitation and food safety measures are generally inadequate. Some itineraries (e.g., remote destinations, austere accommodations) and activities (e.g., ecotourism, eating street or local-market food) further increase risk.
Travelers should observe food and beverage precautions, which reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
African trypanosomiasis, chikungunya, dengue, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick-bite fever, West Nile virus, Zika may pose a risk. Personal protective measures are important.
Other Disease and Health Risks
Additional concerns include air pollution, anthrax disease, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, helminths, hepatitis C, leptospirosis, Marburg virus disease, marine hazards, schistosomiasis, sexually transmitted infections, snakebites, tuberculosis.
The material below includes information from the US Department of State (DOS), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to ongoing security concerns, Australia (DFAT) advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to Casamance Region (except the towns of Cap Skiring and Ziguinchor and the main roads between them). UK (FCO) has a more limited warning. US (DOS) and Canada (GAC) have no current warnings.
Risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in areas bordering Mali and Mauritania. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Moderate risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, and assault) and moderate risk of petty crime exist throughout the country, especially in Dakar (particularly in areas surrounding the Place de l'Independence, Petite Corniche, Corniche d' Ouest, and at Leopold Senghor International Airport) and in other cities, especially before religious festivals.
Scams involving false identity (such as criminals posing as prearranged drivers at Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport) have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations frequently occur throughout the country, especially in cities, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
A dangerous security environment exists, landmines and other unexploded ordnance are present, and armed groups are present in Ziguinchor Region (historically known as the Basse Casamance Region).
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries.
Drunk driving laws are poorly enforced.
Structural standards for vehicles may not meet international standards.
The rainy season is from July through September. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Senegal
- United States: [+221] 33-879-4000; sn.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+221] 33-889-4700; senegal.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+221] 33-823-7392; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-dakar
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Senegal.
Senegal's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: ambasenegal-us.org
- In Canada: ambsencanada.org
- In the U.K.: [+44] 020-7938-4048
- In Australia: [+61] 03-9348-0466
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.