Request Customer Support

COVID-19 Travel Guide: Everything you need to know to travel smart and stay safe. (View the Guide)

View all photos

Currency

p

XOF

About Dakar

Dakar is the capital city of Senegal, West Africa. It is a commercial, cultural, and political hub. So, many people throughout the country like to visit the city. It is situated between Senegal and Gambia rivers. The name Dakar comes from the tamarind tree Wolof name and Lebu village name.

The harbour of Dakar is well-known in West Africa. This harbour is protected through a breakwater system and limestone cliffs. This city is religiously plural and multi-ethnic as there are eleven ethnic groups, Catholic communities, communities of Islam, and immigrants of Europe, Lebanese, Vietnam, and more. People of all these communities have settled in the city for many generations.

Also, the city has a plateau, Grand Dakar, and Medina. Same as other cities of Africa, Dakar has been growing rapidly since 1960. Grand Dakar has a range of neighborhoods, rich to the poor. The Median is densely populated and popular for clubs and markets. When it comes to Plateau, it is a hub for business and formal administration.

Senegal’s official language is French, but Wolof is the first language or second of Dakar, spoken by many people throughout the city. You can listen to the Quranic verses chanting; hear djembe drumming rhythms at weddings to street parties, baptisms, and funerals, enjoy the African dance, European performances, Traditional Wolof rap, and much more.

Population

There is a steady growth in the population of the city from the year 1950-2021. According to the reports the current population of Dakar is approximately 3,230,000 with an increase of 2.87% from the year 2020.

History

In the early 1857 French constructed a fort at de l’Indépendance to protect the Goree residents and merchants. A breakwater on Dakar and a town on a limestone platform were constructed behind the beach by 1862. 

An export center was located 21km east of the peninsula to trade peanuts. In early 1886 the first railway was started in West Africa in between Saint-Louis and Dakar.

In 1902, Dakar became the capital city of West Africa. The port of Dakar grew important at the time of World War I. By 1930 Dakar became the leading peanut-shipping port in the country. In Dakar, development was delayed due to the rally of French West Africa to the Allies.

Peanut-oil refining became popular in the city during World War II as there is a requirement for vegetable oil. Even though many industries have developed in Dakar, the market has seen a quick downfall due to the split of French West Africa. From 1959 to 1960, it was the capital of the Mali Federation, later on, it became the capital city of Senegal in 1960.

After World War II, urbanization and industrialization started in Dakar. These days, Dakar is the leading trading center of many industries such as petroleum refining, fish canning, truck assembly, and more.

Weather

The climate of Dakar is semi-arid, so it is warmer and hotter throughout the year. The temperature in Dakar is moderate with cool ocean breezes because it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It ranges in the 80s from July to August. The rain was delayed in Dakar for a few years, so rains are sparse in the city. The average rainfall in Dakar is 173mm and the temperature is 27°.

The trees will not grow in the city due to droughts. Dakar is dry most of the days (nearly 308 days) with 7 UV-index and 69% humidity.

Best Time to Visit

You can visit Dakar at any time throughout the year as there will be warm or pleasant temperatures from January to December. The lowest temperature in Dakar is 22°C during February and the highest 29°C during October. The temperature of water lies in between 22°C to 30°C.

Based on the factors like precipitation chance, weather experience, and average temperature the climate figure of Dakar is 9.0. There will be little to no rainfall in the city, so if you want to enjoy the best Sun holiday with your family or friends, then r is the best place to visit.

Things to Do

Relax at the Ngor Island beaches 

Dakar has beautiful sandy beaches from tiny coves like Plage des Mamelles to Plage de Yoff’s endless stretches. You can feel the presence of a world different from the mainland by riding from the Ngor beach. Visit early to soak in the sun, relax in the freshwater, and put some fresh fishes on the beach.

Float in the pink Lake 

This lake is situated at a distance of 29 km from Dakar. The water of Dead Sea Lac Rose or Lake Retba is pink in color due to the high content of salt. Visit the place to take a dip in the colorful lake, wallow on the back, enjoy the food at a lakeside restaurant, and ride a quad bike or camel.

African art feast 

The city hosts an African art show once every two years Dakar Biennale for one month (from May 3rd to June 2nd usually). Also, Dakar is popular for art galleries and museums like Galerie Arte and the IFAN Museum of African arts. If you want to see the live art, visit Village des Arts as it is the best place for the artists to display their crafts and to work on.

Bargain at the local markets 

You can find everything in the local markets, from baobab trees to hibiscus, sandals to cosmetics, and much more. Also, there are specialist markets for groceries, fabrics, and more.

Plus, you can do other things like:

  • Experience the slave-trading center of the 18th and 15th centuries at Ile Gorée
  • Look at the stunning churches and mosques like
  • Plan your dinner at Popenguine (beachside), Oyster hunting, wander Toubab Dialao (old town) and catch waves at Petite Côte.
  • Visit the country’s tallest statue, lighthouse, and Mamelles of Dakar to gaze down from the rooftop.

Airport Information

You can book flights to Dakar at a fair price as there are 4 Airports nearby the city. They include:

  • Dakar Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport at 7.1 kilometers distance
  • Blaise Diagne International at 40 km away
  • Banjul International Airport at a distance of 173.5 km
  • Saint-Louis Airport at 184.1 km distance

On Trip Support, we can find a flight to Dakar within the budget. They are experts in vacation packages, Air-flights, and multi-day tours. Also, we offer a Book Now Pay Later option for customers to enjoy the trip in the meantime.

More Destinations to Explore

Find the Right Flight and Book with Confidence.

Sign up today, we’ve got deals to share!

Members access great rates and savings. Sign up to get email updates when restrictions change. And discover the best deals to get you there.