Travel to Kayes – Important City in Western Mali

Kayes is a pleasant city in western Mali, located 510 kilometres north-west of Bamako. Its name comes from the Soninké word “karré,” which describes a low humid place that floods in rainy season. Thanks to its French colonial style architecture, its calming atmosphere and some interesting sites, Kayes is well worth a visit if en route to Senegal.

Kayes was a small village before the French colonial expansion. Its location on the path of the future Dakar-Niger Railway, and the French need for trade centres, led to the creation of the Kayes market town in 1881. The town remains a transport hub, primarially for Senegalese trade. In 1892, Kayes became the capital of the French Sudan, later to be replaced by Bamako on October 17, 1899.

Kayes offers several sites to visitors. Among them there is the Fort du Médine, the Falls of Félou, the Falls of Goulina, the ‘Tata’ (fortification) of Koniakari constructed by El Hadj Umar Tall. Other attractions include Magui and Doro lakes, the mysterious Kita Gourou hill and the Manantali Dam.

Consider a visit to the gold fields south of Kayes, visit nearby towns or perhaps travel on to Dakar in Senegal.

  • Kayes has a relaxed, easygoing, and hassle free atmosphere.
  • Explore a city that still bears the images of French colonisation.
  • Take a trip out of town to visit the Félou Falls.


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