The biggest threat in Dakar and across Senegal is traffic incident e.g. Road Traffic Crash. The US State Department says: ‘Vehicle accidents are the main threat to U.S. travelers. Risk of vehicle accidents increases at night. Poor traffic markers; changing traffic patterns; the presence of animals or people in the road; and random, unannounced road construction confuse even the most experienced drivers. Many local drivers are aggressive, unpredictable, and untrained. Local vehicles may be in poor working conditions and often do not meet U.S. safety standards’. OSAC State Department
Opportunistic street crime, both violent (mugging) and non-violent (pickpocketing, and snatching) are extremely common. Criminals use mopeds to steal from pedestrians in all neighborhoods of Dakar. Scams are frequent.
Terrorism in West Africa is an overarching risk and currently Senegal is rated as a Medium Threat. The UK FCO summarizes the risk of terrorism as follows:
‘Terrorist groups in West Africa have demonstrated their capability and intent by mounting attacks in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali since late 2015 and 2016. Targets have included leisure facilities, beach resorts, hotels, cafes and restaurants visited by foreigners. Be especially vigilant in these locations. Senegal contributes to the UN peacekeeping initiative in Mali (MINUSMA) and is therefore considered a legitimate target by terrorist groups including Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) and their associated groups. JNIM mainly operate in the Sahel.The Sahel region includes Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad but the threat may extend to other neighbouring countries, including Senegal, and the wider region due to the porous nature of the borders and the desire from these groups to demonstrate capability and influence across the wider region’. UK FCO