Senegal Facts: 39 Facts About Senegal

Last updated on March 3rd, 2020

Facts about the Senegal river

21. The Manantali Dam in the Senegal River has become a “poster child” of bad dams. It has become a classic case study for things that can go wrong in dam-building.

22. In the year 2016, twenty-five fishermen were mauled to death in the Senegal River. The killer is the most unusual suspect of all the peaceful hippopotamus.

23. An ancient Greek guy, who’s quite famous on Wikipedia, Pliny the Elder named the Senegal River, “Bambotus”, which simply means hippopotamus. Though “Bambotus” is way better a name than “Pliny”.

24. The “Gateway to Africa” tag was earned due to the presence of the Senegal River, due to which the Portuguese and the French were able to make inroads to Sudan and Central Africa.

25. The Senegal River is dotted with a number of ethnic tribes each distinct by their animist beliefs, practices, and ceremonies, dressing styles, dances, music, food, etc.

26. The Senegal River was a major link in the Great Trans-Saharan trade across the vastness of Africa. It helped develop contact between the Morocco and the Ghana Empire in the Middle Ages.

Five interesting facts about Senegal

27. The common lingo of Senegal has a word called, “Teranga”. It has a very sweet and hospitable meaning and has become the identity of Senegalese people. It means helping a person to come to your land and settle down.

28. Senegal has two prominent nicknames; the land of Teranga and the gateway to West Africa. The equator passes through Senegal and hence it is one of the most humid places on earth. The weather is same throughout the year; scorching sun during the day accompanied by thunderstorms in the evening.

29. The “madd” fruit is native to Senegal and sells well in the international market. Have your full share if you ever land at Senegal.

30. Dakar is home to the tallest statue in Africa. The African Renaissance Monument built in 2010, stands at an impressive 49 m, but still a meter short of a half-century.

31. Forget your conventional dance moves and learn the native Senegalese “Sabar” dancing. It will burn your calories faster than the speed of light.

Senegal on the map

Facts about tourism, sports, Dakar and more

32. Senegal has the honor of having the westernmost point in the whole African Continent. It’s called Pointe des Almadies, and also happens to be a surfing hot-spot.

33. Rap God, Akon was born and brought up in Senegal.

34. Music is the lifeblood of the Senegalese people. In fact, indigenous musical instruments like kora and balafon, are mentioned in the very first line of Senegal’s national anthem.

35. Senegal has unwantedly won the “worst non-military disaster in maritime history” tag, when “MV Le Joola”, a Senegalese government ferry capsized, killing 1,863 people.

36. A Senegalese wedding is an elaborate affair. First, the groom goes to the bride’s place with Kola nuts and not rings. If the bride accepts the nuts, the proposal part is over. Next, the bride goes to the groom’s family to get married with money, rice, sweets, fruits and the humble sheep…never forget the sheep in Senegal.

37. Senegal’s grasslands have given the country its two national symbols, the baobab tree, and the red lion.

38. The official language of Senegal is French. There are native languages like Wolof, Soninke, and Mandinka.

Senegal fans during the Fifa World Cup
Senegal fans during the Fifa World Cup Russia 2018, Group H, football match between POLAND v SENEGAL in Spartak Stadium in Moscow.

39. Senegal is a paradise for footballers. Many prominent players like El Hadji Diouf, Henri Camara, Ferdinand Coly, Bouna Coundoul, etc. have been inducted into the European League from this country.

Senegal – country at a glance

Independence4 April 1960 (from France); note - complete independence achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960
Capital CityDakar
(14°40′N 17°25′W)
Largest CityDakar
(14°40′N 17°25′W)
Total area196,722 sq km
Literacy ratetotal population: 51.9%
Population17,923,036 (2022 est.)
Official LanguageFrench
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
National anthem"Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons" (Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons)
National symbollion
National holidayIndependence Day, 4 April (1960)
National colorsgreen, yellow, red
BordersThe Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Mauritania.
CurrencyCFA franc (XOF)
Life expectancy at birth69.96 years (2022)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Government typeSemi-presidential republic
PresidentMacky Sall
Terraingenerally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast
Mean elevation69 m
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest pointunnamed elevation 2.8 km southeast of Nepen Diaka 648 m
Climatetropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind
Natural resourcesfish, phosphates, iron ore
Agricultural land46.8%
Birth rate31.51 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate5.08 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio0.97 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
Industriesagricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, zircon, and gold mining, construction materials, ship construction and repair
Exports$5.29 billion (2018 est.)
gold, refined petroleum, phosphoric acid, fish, ground nuts (2019)
Imports$8.96 billion (2018 est.)
refined petroleum, crude petroleum, rice, cars, malt extract, clothing and apparel (2019)
Time ZoneGMT (UTC+0)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,300 (2020 est.)
Internet country
Calling Code+221
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedAugust 12, 2022