When you look at a map of Africa, Senegal is on the very westernmost tip of the continent.
- Dakar became the capital in 1960 at the time of Senegal’s independence from France. It is currently the 34th most expensive large city in the world.
- According to the Global Peace Index, Senegal scored an 80 – slightly better than Bolivia, Brasil, the Ukraine and… get this… the US!
- There is only one medical practitioner (like say, my husband) per 10,000 people.
- Officially, Senegal is the République du Sénégal, and it is home to about 13.7 million people (approximately the population of Illinois) in a land area of 197,000 km² (almost the size of South Dakota).
- Senegal has around 20 ethnic groups, among which are the Wolof (43%), the Pulaar (24%), and the Serer (15%). We learned the Wolof language, which is spoken across the country – as well as French. In our home we speak a mix of English, French and Wolof that we call “Franglof”.
- 95% of the population is Sufi Muslim and Senegalese citizens are rated as the eighth most religious, worldwide. The two largest Islamic brotherhoods are Tidjane and Murid.
- The climate is tropical with two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. But we tend to think of them as ‘big puddles’ and ‘lots of dust’. If you’re coming to visit, January thru April is our recommendation.