Russian MFA: Senegal and Sierra Leone on the Rise as Popular Tourist Destinations

13 February

West African countries such as Senegal and Sierra Leone are emerging as popular destinations for Russian tourists, Vsevolod Tkachenko, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Africa Department, told in an interview with TASS.


"Historically, Russian tourists have traveled to East African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Mauritius, and Seychelles. Interest is growing in Namibia and Ethiopia, with promising potential in Senegal and Sierra Leone," Tkachenko explained.


The diplomat further highlighted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia had found a novel travel hub in Gambia. "Gambia proactively implemented a visa-free policy for Russians, permitting them to stay in the country for up to  90 days without restrictions. This initiative was mirrored by Angola in September  2023," Tkachenko noted.


Rise in tourist traffic


Overall, at the end of 2023, the influx of Russian tourists to Africa surpassed the previous year's figures by  30%. However, Tkachenko acknowledged that Africa is not yet a primary vacation spot for Russians. "While the continent boasts a distinctive natural beauty and rich cultural history, there remains a lack of extensive 'resort' tourism typical for Russians. Nevertheless, island destinations like Zanzibar in Tanzania, Seychelles, and Mauritius are gaining traction among  tourists," he noted.


Senegal and Sierra Leone


For Russian visitors, Senegal offers visa-free entry, making it accessible for travel. The country is home to numerous natural parks and reserves, with Niokolo-Koba National Park being one of Africa's largest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In contrast, Sierra Leone requires a visa for Russian citizens, though it can be obtained online. The country's banana islands with sandy shores serve as the primary attraction for tourists.



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Based on materials from TASS