The Senegal Portal

Senegal (/ˌsɛnɪˈɡɔːl, -ˈɡɑːl/ (About this soundlisten); French: Sénégal; Wolof: Senegaal), officially the Republic of Senegal (French: République du Sénégal; Wolof: Réewum Senegaal), is a country in North West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal also surrounds The Gambia, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River, which separates Senegal's southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Senegal's economic and political capital is Dakar.

It is a unitary presidential republic and is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World, or Afro-Eurasia. It owes its name to the Senegal River, which borders it to the east and north. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 16 million. The state was formed as part of the independence of French West Africa from French colonial rule. Because of this history, the official language is French. Like other post-colonial African states, the country includes a wide mix of ethnic and linguistic communities, with the largest being the Wolof people, and the Wolof language acting as a lingua franca.

Senegal is classified as a heavily indebted poor country, with a relatively low Human Development Index. Most of the population is on the coast and works in agriculture or other food industries. Other major industries include mining, tourism and services.

The climate is typically Sahelian, though there is a rainy season. However, climate change has led to a consistent decline in rainfall and projected increase in temperatures. Impacts of climate change and other environmental concerns are expected to greatly impact the economy and population. Read more...

Location of Senegal
Senegalese life, the well regarded baobab tree, and a lion

Selected article - show another

Prostitution in Senegal is legal and regulated. Senegal has the distinction of being the only country in Africa to not only legalise prostitution but also regulate it. The only condition that it is done discreetly. Prostitution was first legalised in 1966. UNAIDS estimate that there are over 20,000 prostitutes in the country. The average age for a sex worker in Senegal is 28 years old and female.

There are reports of police and security forces extorting money in return for overlooking infringements of prostitution regulations. Sex workers report that they are targeted by police for bribes or free sex whether they are registered or not. Read more...
List of selected articles

Selected images

Selected quotation - show another

Symbol support vote.svg Recognized content - show another Cscr-featured.png

Entries here consist of Good and Featured articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards.

An 1890 map of the island

Carabane, also known as Karabane, is an island and a village located in the extreme south-west of Senegal, in the mouth of the Casamance River. This relatively recent geological formation consists of a shoal and alluvium to which soil is added by accumulation in the branches and roots of the mangrove trees which cover most of the island. Along with the rest of Ziguinchor Region, Carabane has a tropical climate, cycling between a dry season and a wet season. The island was once considered an arid location where no useful plants were likely to grow, but it now supports several types of fruit tree, the most common of which are mangos and oranges. Although the nearby Basse Casamance National Park and Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve have been closed for years because of the Casamance Conflict, Carabane has continued to attract ornithologists interested in its wide variety of birds. Various species of fish are plentiful around the island, but there are very few mammals.

The earliest known inhabitants of the island were the Jola, the ethnic group which is still the most populous on the island. The Portuguese were active in the region from the 16th century onwards; however, they did not linger on "Mosquito Island", the mosquitoes and black flies convincing them to establish their trading post in the town of Ziguinchor instead in 1645. On January 22, 1836, the island was ceded to France by the village leader of Kagnout in return for an annual payment of 196 francs. A series of treaties between the French and the leaders of the local peoples ensued; however, the inhabitants of Carabane did not recognize the authority of the treaties imposed upon them, resulting in lootings and abductions among French rice farmers by the Karoninka people. In 1869, Carabane became autonomous, but it merged with Sédhiou in 1886. Since World War II, the population of the island has gradually declined for a variety of reasons including periods of drought, the Casamance Conflict and, more recently, the sinking of the ferry Joola in 2002. Much of the village's ability to trade and receive tourists was lost until 2014, when MV Aline Sitoe Diatta resumed ferry services to the island. Read more...

Selected biography - show another

Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Fa Ndeb Joof, also known as Kumba Ndoffene Joof II or Bour Sine Coumba Ndoffène Fandepp Diouf, was a King of Sine (in present-day Senegal). Maad a Sinig (also: Mad a Sinig or Maad Sine) translates as "King of Sine", Maad meaning king in the Serer language. The surname Joof is the English spelling in the Gambia. Diouf is the French spelling in Senegal (see : Joof family).

There is no consensus regarding the exact date that Maad Kumba Ndoffene Fa Ndeb succeeded to the throne. According to some, he reigned from 1898 to 1924 which correlates with the written sources available at the time. Other historians propose that, he reigned from 1897 or 1898 to 1923. This version agrees pretty much with the oral tradition of the Serer people. According to Serer tradition, the king was very ill before his death and ruled for 27 winters (27 years) before his successor - Maad a Sinig Mahecor Joof succeeded to the throne. When the King died, there was a period of mourning and it took a little while to prepare for the Coronation ceremony of Maad a Sinig Mahecor Joof according to Serer custom and tradition. Maad Mahecor Joof ascended to the throne in 1924, more precisely, according to some, on 28 January 1924. Regarding the year Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Fa Ndeb Joof died, there is consensus that it was in 1923, more specifically on 21 December 1923 at Diakhao. Read more...

General images

The following are images from various Senegal-related articles on Wikipedia.

Did you know - show another

DYK question mark


Flag of Senegal.svg You are invited to participate in WikiProject Senegal, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Senegal.
Africa satellite orthographic.jpg WikiProject Africa

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides



Things you can do


Purge server cache