Welcome to Senegal
Capital: San Marino
Senegal (/ˌsɛnɪˈɡɔːl, -ˈɡɑːl/; French: Sénégal), officially the Republic of Senegal (French: République du Sénégal [ʁepyblik dy seneɡal]), is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal also borders The Gambia, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River, which separates Senegal's southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Senegal's economic and political capital is Dakar. It is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World, or Afro-Eurasia, and owes its name to the Senegal River, which borders it to the east and north. The name "Senegal" comes from the Wolof "Sunuu Gaal", which means "Our Boat". Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about 15 million. The climate is Sahelian, but there is a rainy season.
Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times and has been continuously occupied by various ethnic groups. Some kingdoms were created around the 7th century: Takrur in the 9th century, Namandiru (wo) and the Jolof Empire during the 13th and 14th centuries. Eastern Senegal was once part of the Ghana Empire. Islam was introduced through Toucouleur and Soninke contact with the Almoravid dynasty of the Maghreb, who in turn propagated it with the help of the Almoravids, and Toucouleur allies. This movement faced resistance from ethnicities of traditional religions, the Serers in particular. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the area came under the influence of the empires to the east; the Jolof Empire of Senegal was also founded during this time. In the Senegambia region, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved, typically as a result of captives taken in warfare. In the 14th century the Jolof Empire grew powerful, having united Cayor and the kingdoms of Baol, Sine, Saloum, Waalo, Futa Tooro and Bambouk. The empire was a voluntary confederacy of various states rather than an empire built on military conquest. The empire was founded by Ndiadiane Ndiaye, a part Serer and part Toucouleur, who was able to form a coalition with many ethnicities, but collapsed around 1549 with the defeat and killing of Lele Fouli Fak by Amari Ngone Sobel Fall
U.S. tourists - often African-Americans - are increasing in numbers, drawn in particular by the historic slave trading post of Goree Island. Principal cities of interest include the capital, Dakar; Saint-Louis, an old colonial town; and the Mouride holy centre of Touba. Gorée Island, formerly a centre of the West African slave trade and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, draws many visitors. Most tourists from outside Africa are Europeans, especially French, and a hotel and resort industry centered on enclosed beach resorts, most at resort towns like Saly on the Petite Côte south of Dakar, have been created to appeal to this clientele since the 1970s. Resort vacations are often supplemented by wildlife and nature tours of areas like the Sine-Saloum Delta, the Grande Côte (north of Dakar), the Lac Rose, and Senegal River delta in the north (near Saint-Louis). Historic sites around Dakar, Gorée Island, Museums, and monuments draw visitors. To the north, the colonial island town of Saint-Louis is visited for its long history and colonial architecture. There are also safari trips offered to see wildlife, perhaps limited by east or South African standards.