A country of western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. The coast was settled by Wolof and other West Atlantic peoples, while the interior formed part of the medieval empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. Coastal trading posts were established by the Portuguese (mid-1400s) and by the Dutch and the French (1600s). Senegal was awarded to France in 1815 by the Treaty of Paris and became a French colony in 1895 as part of French West Africa, with full independence being won in 1960. Senegal joined with Gambia in the short-lived confederation of Senegambia (1982–1989). Dakar is the capital and the largest city.
SENEGAL, a river of West Africa, entering the Atlantic about 16° N., some io m.
North of the Senegal the Sahara reaches the coast, and for over moo miles no river enters the ocean.
Versant of the hills which here form a narrow divide between the basin of the Senegal and that of the upper Niger.
The eastern headwaters of the Senegal thus drain a large area adjacent to the upper Niger.
Through a valley bordered on either side by hills which throw out rocky spurs, over which the Senegal descends in a succession of falls, those of Guina (160 ft.) and of Felu (50 or 60 ft.) being the most important.
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