Senegal River

Boys playing in the Senegal River

Travel to Senegal River – Senegal and Mauritania’s Border

The Senegal River is formed by the confluence of the Bafin and Bakaye Rivers in Southwest Mali and is over 1 000 kilometres long running through four countries, respectively Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal, where it discharges through a delta, which forms a complex canal system into the Atlantic Ocean. The river was called Bambotus by Pliny the Elder (from phoenician “behemoth” for hippopotamus) and Nias by Claudius Ptolemy. There was probably trade from the river to the Mediterranean World, until the destruction of Carthage and its west African trade net in 146 BC.

The Senegal River basin covers an area of approximately 483 square kilometres; its main tributary is the Falémé. The local climate consists of a rainy season (from June to September), a cold dry season (from October to February) and a hot dry season (from March to June). Traditionally, the floods on the middle plain during June through October provide fertile land for growing crops such as rice.

In 1986, the Diama Dam was built 27 kilometres upstream from St. Louis in Senegal, which lies close to the coast, in an attempt to stop the intrusion of seawater in the dry season. In 1988, the Manantali Dam in Mali was built 1 200 kilometres upstream on the Bafing River, creating a reservoir to regulate the flow for irrigation and hydropower purposes, and also to make the river completely navigable all year round.

In 1972 Mali, Mauritania and Senegal founded the Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS) to manage the river basin. Guinea joined in 2005.

  • Explore nearby towns such as Rosso.
  • Take in the fantastic river-side views.
  • Fish and boat in the river.


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