Moving to Dakar

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What to know if you're moving to Dakar

The city is most famous for the Dakar Rally, but actually it is an underrated pearl of Africa: it has a vibrant music scene and a multicultural atmosphere, which all expats will enjoy from the very first day. Moreover, it is strategically located on the Atlantic Ocean. Check out more with the InterNations GO! Guide!


All about Senegal

Moving to Senegal can be difficult without sufficient knowledge: the InterNations GO! Guide provides you with useful information about moving to this African country, its land, people and climate, in order to ease your relocation. So read on and get prepared!
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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.

InterNations GO!
by InterNations GO!
06 December 2018

Living in Dakar

As the capital of Senegal, Dakar is home to a population of over one million people. Living in Dakar can be challenging, but at least it's adventurous. Expats should prepare properly before going to Dakar. Find more information about living in Dakar in the InterNations GO! Guides.
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Working in Dakar

The agriculture, tourism, and information technology sectors have been an important part of Dakar’s economy and offer expats employment opportunities. UMOA (West African Monetary Union) members and member citizens do not require a work visa or permit. Check out the InterNations GO! Guide for more information.
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