Senegal Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
The research for this website was carried out mainly in 2011 and 2012. Therefore there is a good chance that much of the information may now be out of date. This is particularly true of countries in the developing world, especially Asia and Africa where conditions can change often. Also, the political climate in many countries has changed a lot in recent years. Therefore the information on this website should be treated with caution. You should always check with your Government’s website or the UK Foreign office travel advice website before finalising plans to drive abroad.
Driving in Senegal-
Senegal, drives on the right-hand side of the road. Most main roads in Senegal are in relatively good condition for daytime driving, smaller roads are usually in poor condition. During the rainy season, many roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles. Service stations are generally available along main roads. You should avoid all road travel in the Casamance region to the west of Kolda, other than on the main road from Ziguinchor to Cap Skiring which is often used by groups of tourists during daylight hours.
Senegalese traffic tends to be chaotic, especially in Dakar where driving should be avoided if you can. Driving standards are poor – Drivers exceed speed limits, follow other vehicles closely, ignore lane markings, and attempt to pass on the wrong side of the road in the face of oncoming traffic. Many vehicles are not well-maintained and are poorly lit at night. As are the roads in and out of towns. Due to limited street lighting, pedestrians are difficult to see at night too, so you should avoid driving at night. In both rural and urban areas you should expect to encounter motorcycles, bicyclists, pedestrians, livestock, and animal carts on the road. Few will abide by any sort of road rules. Caution and defensive driving techniques are strongly recommended. You should expect to be stopped at police roadblocks throughout the country when driving abroad in Senegal, and your car and luggage will be searched. If you are stopped for a traffic offence the police officer will generally confiscate your driver’s license or ID card until the fine is paid. This is legitimate and you should comply with the request . However, many police officers will be attempting to elicit a bribe from you. You should be friendly and deferential and if you can get away with it, pretend not to understand what the police are saying (many Senegalese outside Dakar won’t speak French). It is worth carrying some small denomination local bank notes in a separate pocket though – if you have to pay you don’t want to reveal a large bundle of currency or the bribe/fine will increase significantly very quickly!
Senegal Car Rental –
Hertz, Europcar, National, Avis, Budget, all have branches in Dakar.Hertz also have an outlet in Mbour. Senegal also features on Car Rental broker sites such as Argus Car Hire.
These are local companies , though both websites are in French only
Senegal Self Drive Rules-
Most of the big companies will allow cars to be taken into Gambia but don’t offer one way rentals.