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Transportation in Senegal


Senegal has 906 km of railways in 2008, all owned by the government. The main lines run from Dakar to Thiès and thence to Kidira on the Mali border, and from Thiès to Saint-Louis. There are also branch lines from Guinguineo to Kaolack, from Louga to Linguère, and from Diourbel to Touba, serving the peanut-growing areas.

Of Senegal's estimated 14,008 km of classified roads in 2003, some 4,099 km were paved. There are modern roads from Dakar to Thiès, Saint-Louis, and Matam, and from Dakar to Kaolack and on through the Gambia to Ziguinchor in Casamance. In 2000, there were 70,700 passenger cars and 68,800 commercial vehicles in the combined territory, Senegambia.

Favourably located at the westernmost point of the continent and possessing up-to-date equipment, Dakar is one of the largest deepwater seaports on the West African coast, a major import-export centre and a port of call for freight and passenger ships. The port can accommodate ships of up to 100,000 tons. The Senegalese Maritime Navigation Company (Compagnie Sénégalaise de Navigation Maritime – COSENAM), a river and ocean freight transport line in which the government has an 84% share, was founded in 1979.

The Senegal River, which has a sandbar across its mouth, is navigable by shallow-draft vessels all year round from Saint-Louis to Podor (225 km), and between August and October as far as Kayes in Mali (924 km). It is closed to foreign ships. The Saloum is navigable by ocean-going vessels to the important peanut port of Kaolack, 114 km upriver. The Casamance River is navigable to Ziguinchor, although not without difficulty.

In 2013 there were 20 airports in Senegal, nine of which were paved. Dakar's Yoff International Airport, a West African air centre, is served by many foreign airlines. Air France, Air Senegal and Air Afrique maintain routes connecting Saint-Louis, Thiès, Ziguinchor, Kédougou, Tambacounda and 10 other towns with secondary air fields. Air Senegal is 50% owned by the government and 40% by Air Afrique, in which Senegal also holds a 7% share. In 2001, 5,500 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights.


Airports : 20 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways : total: 9

over 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runways : total: 11

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Pipelines : gas 43 km; refined products 8 km (2013)
Railways : total: 906 km

narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Roadways : total: 14,008 km

paved: 4,099 km (includes 7 km of expressways)

unpaved: 9,909 km (2003)
Waterways : 1,000 km (primarily on the Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance rivers) (2012)
Merchant marine : total: 1

by type: passenger/cargo 1 (2010)
Ports and terminals : major seaport(s): Dakar






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