Residing mainly in Dakar and its immediate surroundings, the French community represents the largest foreign community in Senegal. There are more than 250 French companies present in all sectors of activity. Whatever your reason for going to Senegal, it is necessary to inform you about local life before you leave.
Security in Senegal
There is a regional terrorist threat to West African countries (including Senegal). Road and identity checks are thus reinforced, and expatriates are asked to comply.
It is not advisable to go to the borders with Mali, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau. Access to border forests is also strongly discouraged.
In Senegal, delinquency and crime are generally directed against belongings. The assaults are more numerous as the holidays approach (for example Tabaski). It is therefore recommended not to ostentatiously carry objects that could attract the attention of thieves.
In case of theft or burglary, give preference to your personal security over your belongings.
Road accidents are very common, and vehicles are rarely insured. Pay particular attention to the state of the roads and avoid driving during the rainy season (July to October).
The France Diplomatie website is regularly updated to answer all your security questions.
If you want to settle in Dakar, it is important to determine your favourite neighbourhoods. The recommended neighbourhoods are located west of Dakar: Plateau, Fann, Ouakam, Point E, Mermoz, Amaldies ... The less secure neighbourhoods, with lower rents, are those in eastern Dakar. This refers to the neighbourhoods of Colobane, Pikine, Parcelels Assainies, Grand-Yoff and Yarakh.
When estimating your housing budget, consider calculating your expenses. Water and electricity are the responsibility of the tenant. It should be noted that the price of electricity is 3 times higher than French tariffs. There are regular power cuts in Senegal. Therefore, it is recommended to use voltage regulators or inverters to protect your electrical devices.
Also, take into account the costs of guard company and the price of your home multi-risk insurance.
The deposit for the apartments generally varies between one to two months of rent.
After signing the contract, it must be notified by a police station or a notary. It must stipulate the rental period, the amount of the non-revisable rent, the charges included and excluded, the precise inventory, the amount of the deposit and the repayment period. Two tax stamps will be requested, each costing 2 000 FCFA (3 €).
How to find your home in Senegal?
The most common practice is to reach the elderly living in the desired neighbourhood. They will certainly ask you for a commission, generally lower than 20 000 FCFA (30 €).
You can also use real estate agencies. You will then have to pay the equivalent of one month's rent in agency fees.
In Senegal, education is provided in French. The education system is similar to the French system and schooling is compulsory from 6 to 14 years old. Students must pass a certificate of study at the end of primary, and then an entrance exam in 6th.
It is generally advisable to enrol your children in private schools. Indeed, public schools often suffer from overstaffing and poor quality material. The success rate at the end of primary school certificate is slightly higher than 50% in public schools. But it rises to nearly 90% in private institutions.
There are many French schools in Dakar. It is also found in Thies, Saint Louis, Ziguinchor and Saly.
The list of French schools in Senegal is available on the website of the French Embassy.
Unfortunately, some schools do not provide schooling until the final year. It is then possible to extend the learning of your child at CNED in middle and high school.
As an indication, at the French Lycée Jean-Mermoz in Dakar, tuition fees are as follows:
- For people of French or Senegalese nationality: € 2,735 / year in primary school, then € 3509 / year.
- For other nationalities: 4014 € / year in primary, then 5195 € / year until terminal.
School registrations are starting in May for a new start in September.
To go to Senegal safely, you should take international health insurance. You will be protected during your time in Senegal and also during your travels in the rest of Africa and the world (ex: return to France for a few days).
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