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What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Dakar

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  • Daiki Saito

    Only a motorsports rallye? As an expat, I learned a lot about Senegal's green energy sector: InterNations lets me share my knowledge.

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Relocating to Dakar

About the City

The Senegalese are a proud people. They have an internationally renowned reputation for “teranga“, or hospitality. As a result, expect a warm reception from Dakar locals, most of whom will be absolutely thrilled to see you there. Furthermore, Senegal is among the most stable governments in Africa, which is great for commerce, safety, and family life. If you’ve always fancied an exotic, international lifestyle, look no further than Dakar.

Dakar is the capital of Senegal and boasts a population of roughly one million people (2011). It possesses a unique mix of clean-cut contemporary architecture and historical houses from its rich and colorful history. The place is filled with vibrant culture, including beautifully chaotic markets, quaint cafes, a diversity of hotels, as well as an outstanding local music scene, and all the incredible nightlife that goes along with it.

And if that wasn’t enough, Senegal prides itself on a stunning coastline, multiple big game parks, and an almost endless supply of outdoor, adrenaline-fueled activities. In that sense, it provides the perfect blend of cultural and outdoor experiences.

The Climate in Dakar

Love the sun and heat? Dakar won’t disappoint. For the majority of the year, Dakar has a very pleasant, manageable heat. But from July to October, the heat really kicks in – it’s roasting hot and highly humid. Some love it, others find it too intense, but nevertheless, you won’t need to bring a jumper during these months. From November to April however, it is drier warmth, and the humidity dissipates considerably before returning in May and June, with the approach of rainy season. It’s also important to note that for some expats, the refuse on the streets and the Saharan sands can become a little too much. So it’s good to bring lots of water with you and take regular breaks when exploring the city.

Finding Accommodation

Crucially, before signing any forms and agreeing to rent a place, demand the end-of-contract receipts from the former tenant. This is the only concrete way to make sure the final utility bills have been successfully paid off. Sadly, there are certain unscrupulous individuals who will attempt to take advantage of you as an expat. Don’t fall for it!

In recent times, Dakar has undergone something of a property boom. The cost of accommodation has risen substantially; in just a decade, prices have as much as quadrupled. For expert advice on this topic, use the services of an estate agency, of which you’ll find many located in Dakar.

The western part of Dakar has many districts that are considered safer and more appropriate for expats. These include places such as Mermoz, Ouakam, Fann, Ngor, Sacré-Coeur and Amitié. Make sure you have signed a contract and received the full inventory of fixtures before paying your deposit.

May 17, 2024, 9:00 PM
18 attendees
Hello friends, Let's get together and unwind in one of the well-known spots in Dakar with a beautiful view on the ocean. Bring friends and colleagues, just make sure to send them the link to the get
Apr 12, 2024, 9:00 PM
24 attendees
Hi everyone, Come enjoy the best burgers in Senegal! Remember to cancel your attendance in case you can't make it. See you there!
Mar 15, 2024, 9:30 PM
37 attendees
Let's relax and welcome the weekend next to the ocean. Drinks and conversation.
Let's welcome the new year with great Indian cuisine!

See all upcoming events for expats in Dakar

Our Global Partners

  • Daiki Saito

    Only a motorsports rallye? As an expat, I learned a lot about Senegal's green energy sector: InterNations lets me share my knowledge.

  • Lastri Sasongko

    As an expat in West Africa, I appreciate Dakar's contemporary art exhibitions -- I love making discoveries with my InterNations friends.

Our Global Partners

Like-Minded Expatriates in Dakar

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