- Reviewed: 14 January 2020, 12:49 NZDT
- Still current at: 24 February 2020
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Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the Casamance region, except for Cap Skirring, Zinguinchor and the main road connecting these two cities due to armed banditry and clashes between separatist groups and the Senegalese army.
Exercise increased caution
Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Senegal due to terrorism and crime.View Larger Map Close/Open map
The security situation in the Casamance region (between the border area of the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau) of Senegal is highly unstable. Armed bandits operate in the area and have been known to ambush cars and buses resulting in injuries and death. There are also continuing clashes between the Senegalese Army and armed separatists groups in the region, despite violence waning after a ceasefire agreement in 2014.
All road travel in the Casamance region should be avoided, except for direct road travel between Cap Skiring and Ziguinchor, and along the main road between Sao Domingos and Ziguinchor. The area to the West of Kolda is particularly dangerous. Any travel that is undertaken should be on well-used roads and only during daylight hours as the threat of banditry increases at night.
Landmines are an additional concern in the region, particularly on the Ginea-Bissau border and in Basse-Casamance. As demining operations are ongoing, New Zealanders should seek local advice and stick to paved roads.
There is a threat of terrorism throughout the Western Africa region, and there have been several recent attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who has claimed responsibility for these attacks, has shown the intent to conduct further attacks in the region.
There is a threat of kidnapping in the wider Sahel region. You should take particular care in remote regions, to the east of Podor as far as Kidira, and in areas bordering Mauritania and Mali where jihadist groups are active.
New Zealanders in Senegal are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. Follow any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercise vigilance in public places including potential targets such as beach resorts, hotels, cafes and restaurants which are frequented by foreigners.
Demonstrations and protests occur regularly in Senegal. New Zealanders in Senegal are advised to avoid all political gatherings, protests and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent.
Street crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching is common in Senegal, particularly in urban areas such as Dakar. There has been an increase in violent crime, including robberies and muggings at knifepoint particularly in the run up to religious festivals.
New Zealanders are advised to be conscious of their personal safety and avoid walking in isolated places or at night. You should be particularly security conscious along the Corniche road, especially on East Corniche (Petite Corniche) and on Corniche d’Ouest, the Gorée pier, around the Place de l’Independence and at Dakar's Leopold Senghor International Airport.
When arriving at the airport do not accept offers of assistance with your luggage and make sure the person greeting you at the airport is genuine by checking they have your arrival details already written down.
Many forms of commercial and internet fraud are common in West Africa. New Zealanders should be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true, as they may be a scam. For further information see our advice on Internet Fraud and International Scams and Internet Dating Scams.
General Travel Advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Senegal, the ability of the government to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited.
We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Senegal should consider.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Senegal should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Senegal are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand Embassy Paris, France is accredited to Senegal
Street Address 103, rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France Telephone +33 1 45 01 43 43 Emergency Telephone In France: 01 45 01 43 43, from abroad: +33 1 45 01 43 43 Email email@example.com Web Site www.mfat.govt.nz/france Hours Mon 10:30-13:00, 14:00-17:00, Tues-Fri 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00
See our regional advice for Africa
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Accredited New Zealand Embassy France
103, rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France
Telephone: +33 1 45 01 43 43
Emergency Telephone: In France: 01 45 01 43 43, from abroad: +33 1 45 01 43 43
Hours: Mon 10:30-13:00, 14:00-17:00, Tues-Fri 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00