Senegal River

Senegal River Ferry

Travel to Senegal River – West African Waterway

Forming the border between Senegal and Mauritania, the Senegal River runs for some 1790 km through West Africa. Formed by the confluence of the Semefé (Bakoy) and Bafing rivers in Bafoulabé, it is considered a sweet water river.

The Semefé and Bafing rivers have their mutual source in Guinea. The Bafing River flows through Mali and the Semefé flows on the Malinese-Senegalese border. The Senegal River has a drainage basin of 483,181 km² and an estimated annual discharge of 8 million km³.

The river has two large dams along its course, the Manantali Dam in Mali, and the Maka-Diama Dam on the Mauritania-Senegal border, near the outlet to the sea. The Manantali Dam was build as a reservoir. The Maka-Diama Dam prevents access of salt water into the inner country.

Approaching its mouth, the Senegal passes through Biffeche and the island on which the city of Saint-Louis is located, then turns south. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a thin strip of sand called the Langue de Barbarie before it pours into the ocean itself.

From Saint-Louis the valley of the Senegal River reveals a sequence of mid-19th century forts at Bakel, Matam, Podor and Dagana (in various states of repair). Rosso is the crossing point by public ferry to Mauritania. The richly irrigated area around Richard Toll is the centre of Senegal’s sugar industry.

Join a cruise on the ‘Bou El Mogdad’, relax and unwind and see daily life on the Senegal River go by.

  • Experience lush cultivated countryside around Richard Toll, the former colonial administrative centre.
  • Held annually in early March, co-incide a visit with the Festival du Fleuve, a music festival in the Fouta Toro region.
  • Spend a few days exploring Saint-Louis after a relaxing Senegal River cruise on the Bou El Mogdad.


Africa Travel Information