This is a foreign exchange guide to Senegal, the West African Franc currency plus sending XOF transfers and travel tips.
In this Senegal currency guide we take a look at :
- West African Franc info - general info about the West African Franc
- West African Franc in the markets - recent XOF moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Senegal - currency & money saving tips
- Buying West African Franc cash online - travel money for Senegal
- Sending money to Senegal - save on West African Franc bank transfers to Senegal
- West African Franc exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.
West African Franc (XOF) general currency information
What is the West African Franc currency code and symbol?
The three letter currency code for the West African Franc is XOF.
Which countries use the West African Franc?
West African Franc (XOF) in the markets
The interactive chart below shows the USD to XOF exchange rate and trend for the previous 3 months:
Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Senegal
Though it’s one of West Africa's most stable countries, Senegal is far from dull. Perched on the tip of a peninsula, Dakar, the capital, is a dizzying, street-hustler-rich introduction to the country: elegance meets chaos, snarling traffic, vibrant markets and glittering nightlife, while nearby Île de Gorée and the beaches of Yoff and N'Gor tap to slow, lazy beats.
What currency to use in Senegal?
The currency used in Senegal is called the West African CFA Franc," pronounced "say-fa." This type of currency is available through money exchange offices, in banks, and through local automated teller machines (ATMs), which are available in Dakar. ATMs are difficult to find outside of the city of Dakar. Tourists normally try to utilize their credit cards while on vacation to make purchases because they are safe to use and the exchange rate with a credit card is usually very good. However, in Dakar , credit cards are usually only accepted in hotels and credit card fraud is very common.
Travel tips for Senegal.
The people who live in Dakar speak many different languages. The official language is French but other languages are spoken as well. Many people in Dakar do speak some English. Local languages include Wolof, Pulaar and Serer.
Senegal is a majority-Muslim country, but you don’t need to worry about covering your knees, head or shoulders in most areas. In larger villages and cities, most local women don’t wear a hijab, and you won’t be showing disrespect by not covering up like you might in parts of India, Malaysia or the Middle East.
While I’ll typically run from guided tours in most countries, it can be helpful to hire a guide if you plan to tour Dakar or take excursions, especially if your French is on the weak side.
Though a yellow fever vaccine isn’t required to enter Senegal, it’s recommended, as are malaria pills and a typhoid vaccine. Using a good mosquito repellent, carrying tissues (as toilet paper can be scarce in public spots) and wearing sunblock are all essential. It can also be extremely dusty during the dry season, so having allergy pills on hand can also be helpful.
How to get around in Senegal?
The quickest (though still uncomfortable) way of getting around the country is by sept-place taxi – battered Peugeots that negotiate even the most ragged routes. Slightly cheaper, but infinitely less reliable are the minibuses (Ndiaga Ndiaye or grand car), carrying around 40 people. Vehicles leave from the gare routière (transport station) when they're full, and they fill up quickest in the morning, before 8am.
You can hire vehicles in Senegal (Dakar's airport is the best place for this). However, driving here is not for amateurs, with little road signage, reckless motorists and battered bitumen. There are myriad obstacles. Out in the countryside, slow down: you'll be sharing the road with errant goats and cows, bicyclists, pedestrians and overloaded, slow-moving vehicles – with oncoming vehicles swerving wildly into your lane as they pass.
In the past there has been an unreliable train line between Dakar and Bamako (Mali), but this has been out of commission since 2009. There is talk of one day restoring the line.
Travel money for Senegal
Save money and time by Ordering your West African Franc online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the XOF cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in West African Franc otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Senegal Trip Checklist
Sending money to Senegal
When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Senegal you need to start with finding out the latest West African Franc foreign-transfer exchange rate.
Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).
Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Senegal
When sending money to Senegal it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or West African Franc amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted XOF amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Senegal.
Use our Send to XOF calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more West African Franc deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!