Mouth of Senegal River by Saint Louis16.0N 16.4W
The Senegal River is a 1790 km long river in West Africa that forms the border between Senegal (below) and Mauritania (above). It is formed by the confluence of the Semefé (Bakoy) and Bafing Rivers at Bafoulabé.
From Bafoulabé the river flows west and then north through the spectacular Talari Gorges near Galougo and over the Gouina Falls, then flows more gently past Kayes and through semi-arid land along the northern border of Senegal to the Atlantic.
Approaching its mouth, the Senegal passes through Biffeche and the island on which the city of Saint Louis is located, then turns south. Around Saint Louis, there are marshes – flood basins that form during the rainy season when the river overflows into the countryside, creating ponds and stretches of mangroves that attract birds like flamingos and pelicans.
By the coast and Saint Louis, the Senegal River is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a thin strip of sand called the Langue de Barbarie. The entire strip stretches 600km from Nouadhibou in Mauritania to Saint-Louis, of which a 25km section separates the Senegal River from the Atlantic Ocean. Its vegetation mainly consists of Filao trees, propagated to prevent soil erosion in sandy and salty soils.