Ready to learn some interesting facts about Senegal?
Whether you’re traveling to Senegal soon or just want to learn more about this Western African country, this article has just what you’re looking for!
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting Senegal facts:
1. Senegal is the westernmost country on Africa’s mainland. This makes it also the westernmost country in what is considered the “Old World,” or the Afro-Eurasian landmass.
2. There’s a pink lake in Senegal. Lake Retba, known also as Lac Rose (“Pink Lake”), has a thick pink color due to the algae Dunaliella salina and its high salt content.
3. French is the official language of Senegal, but Wolof is the lingua franca. As with many African countries, Senegal was formerly ruled by the French, so the French language has stuck as its national language. Wolof is a language spoken by the Wolof people, an African ethnic group spread out around Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania. The word banana, in English, probably comes from the Wolof word banaana!
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4. Dakar is the capital of Senegal and its largest city. It has a population of just over 1 million people, but its metropolitan area includes about 2.5 million people, about 15% of the total Senegalese population of 16.7 million.
5. Senegal tried to stop the Sahara from spreading further by planting the Great Green Wall. The Great Green Wall was to be a massive project, planting a band of trees 10 miles (16 km) wide and 4,350 miles (7,000 km) long, from Senegal all the way across Africa to Djibouti. Unfortunately, the wall didn’t work, due to creeping desertification, but the project was a success in another way. The Great Green Wall project stopped its tree-planting efforts and instead became an initiative to fight desertification, degradation of land, and drought through sustainable land use practices.
6. Senegal has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of these 7 world heritage sites, 5 are cultural, and 2 are natural. They are:
- Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes (cultural)
- Island of Gorée (cultural)
- Island of Saint-Louis (cultural)
- Saloum Delta (cultural)
- Stone Circles of Senegambia (cultural)
- Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (natural)
- Niokolo-Koba National Park (natural)
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Well, that’s all our Senegal facts for now, and we hope you’ve found this post interesting and informative! Do you have any questions, feedback, or other facts about Senegal we should include on our list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!