Public Transportation in Senegal
Public Transportation in Senegal Reviews
Public Transport in Senegal Mar 14, 2011
All transport from one city to another involves departing from one garage and arriving in another. Garages are loud, crowded and smelly places. People will hassle you, pick your pockets and try to rip you off. They will grab your baggage before you even get out and then expect to be paid for their "help." That being said the garage is survivable if you keep a close eye on your things and be firm with the grabbers and pushers.
DO NOT pay your pass until the car is full and ready to depart and be sure to check with other passengers to make sure you don't get ripped off.
If you have a lot of baggage you will be asked to pay for it, but NEVER pay more than 500cfa per bag for a large suitcase/traveling backpack and 200 for anything smaller.
Most cars aren't labeled and the only way to know where they're going is to ask. Ignore the people that are asking you where you want to go and look for the chief du garage, the guy holding a long piece of cardboard and a pencil.
The little boys with the yellow bowls are Talibe...students at local koranic schools that are sent out by the imams to beg. Its a personal choice to give, but be aware that most of the money they get goes right into the imams pockets, not towards feeding or clothing the kids. If you want to give I would encourage giving them something immediately useful like food, drink or clothes.
TYPES OF TRANSPORT:
Taxi- Pretty cheap within the city but can get extremely pricey to go from place to place. Drivers will start at two or three times the fair price so the key is to be firm in your bargaining. The good news is taxi's are a dime a dozen here so you can afford to walk away from quite a few of them until you find a good price.
Moto Bike- Pretty cheap but not a very good idea if you don't want to test out the Senegalese health care system.
Sept Place- 80s station wagon that seats seven people. Cheaper than a taxi, safer than a moto (relatively), slightly more comfortable than an alham. Your best bet for traveling long distances at a fair price. The pass is a fixed price so find out what the other passengers paid, then negotiate for your baggage to be loaded on top.
Alhams and Mini Cars- big VW busses with Alhumdulillah painted on the front. Cheapest form of transport, you can easily get on or off of one anywhere on the road. They pack them tight so its not ideal for long journeys but for trips of less than 2 hours its survivable and super cheap. Be aware of pickpockets and be prepared to have to put your luggage on top with the goats, there's no room inside.
Charettes-Horse drawn carts found mostly in rural villages and smaller cities...cheap, but extremely slow and bumpy.
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