The road leading to Ségou from Bamako 

Ségou is a city in south-central Mali, northeast of Bamako on the River Niger, in the region of Ségou. It was founded by the Bozo people in 1620, on a site about 10 kilometres from the present town. With 100,000 inhabitants, it is the third largest city in Mali. Ségou region has frontiers with Burkina Faso at the south-east, Mauritania at the north, Mopti, Mali at the east, Koulikoro, Mali at the west and Sikasso, Mali at the south. Ségou is situated 240 km from Bamako, on the Niger River and has a surface area of 64 947 km².

Baobab tree. A landmark of Ségou that you would not missed

Another landmark of Ségou

Ségou Region’s population was about 1,769,201 in 1998. With a rural population that is largely nomadic semi-sedentary or sedentary, their population consists of many ethnic groups such as Bambara, Bozo, Soninke, Malinke and Toucouleur. Bambaras are mostly farmers and are the most numerous ethnic group. Their language is Bambara or Djoula. The Bozos are the second most populous ethnic group. They near the border with Niger, in small towns of small houses. The Bozo economy is based on fishing. Bozo people have a monopoly on the transport system because of their knowledge of the river near Niger, and are regarded as the masters of water.

One of the street in Ségou

Segou is situated by the riverside of Niger river

Handicraft Promotion Office in Segou

Capital of the Bambara Empire in the past, Ségou is now the capital of Mali’s fourth largest administrative region of Ségou. It is known also as the city of “Balanzan”, named after the local tree acacia albida.

Normal daily acitivities at the riverside

Ségou seemed much less busy than Bamako. Donkey carts hauling sacks of grain were quite common on the streets. Fewer cars and mopeds were present. Especially near the wharf and river, there were several small shops and vendors selling arts and crafts.

Another popular mode of transport in Segou that have not sighted in Bamako

Agriculture plot been ploughed. A normal sight in Segou

The city prospered after Biton Mamary Coulibaly became king in 1712 and founded the Ségou (or Bamana) Empire. The empire gradually declined and was conquered by El Hadj Umar Tall’s Toucouleur Empire in 1861, then by the French Army Colonel Louis Archinard in 1892.

Tomb of Biton Coulibally, the fouder of  Ségou

Traditional Sahel Architecture of Segou 

Traditional mosque at the riverside of Niger river in Ségoukoro 

The most famous Segou handcrafts are based on pottery, weaving (blankets, wrappers and carpets), manufacturing of Bogolan (a distinctive variation of Mud cloth), painting and sculpture. Segou is also regarded as the capital of Malian pottery with a large pottery district in Kalabougou situated on the left bank. Women make the pottery by hand with the clay coming from the Niger River and bring the finished works to the local Monday market. Segous also do weaving and it includes tapestries

Another mosque built from mud in Ségoukoro

Infront of the village chief’s house.  The “blon”  (verandah) is the normal features in every house

Children pounding corn at Ségoukoro, traditional village in Segou

At Ségoukoro, a traditional village in Segou

Segou town has two architectural styles. The first style is the French colonial style, the second is traditional architecture; Sudanese and neo-Sudanese. It was the capital for French occupation, the location for the Office du Niger. This project sought to provide France with raw materials such as cotton. Although a dam was built, the irrigation canals supplies water for agriculture such as rice, cotton, sugarcane, corn, millet.

Floating hotel at Niger river during Festival le sur Niger 2008

Festival le sur Niger 2008.  Forum, seminar, exposition, musical and traditional concert, handicraft etc were organised during the festival

The main economic activities of the Segou region are agri-business, cattle farming and fishing. The Segou people apply essential traditional farming methods. Segou produces the major part of Mali’s food including sedentary cattle farming. Commerce consists mostly of the small scale exchange and sale by of products from the primary sector, sold weekly at the large Segou market, drawing customers from far outside of the city. The main products sold are vegetables, pottery, cotton, gold, leather, fruits, ovens, cattle and cereals

Festival le sur Niger 2008.  The festival is organised annually on every first weekend of February

Browsing the touristic and interesting places to visit at Tourism Board’s stall

Ségoukoro is a small village about 10 km away from Ségou along the road to Bamako, Ségoukoro is the original site from where Bambara kings ruled a kingdom that stretched for thousands of kilometers across West Africa in the 18th century. A typical Malian Bambara village, composed of walled mud brick houses, the village still only has 1500 people.

Relax and having lunch at Hotel Independance, Segou



  1. Assalamu’alaikum Uncle Awang

    Kelihatan macam didunia asing. Asing kerana kita tidak biasa dengan rupa dan bentuk yang wujud di sana. Tetapi oleh kerana kita dijadikan berlainan rupa adalah untuk saling kenal mengenali dan belajar dan mempelajari. Alangkah indahnya bagaimana alam ini diwujudkan sesuai dengan makhluknya………
    Terima kasih


  2. Dear KBGuy

    It looks different because they are located in different (certain things) continents especially the climate, sub-sahara temperate. But certain things looks similar and familiar to us. Thanks for visiting


  3. Assalamualaikum Pak Fathersez

    If want to know who is the important looking person, you may ask Pak Coulibally. He the one captured the photographs, so he may know all what he captured. Anyway Pak Coulibally coming back here for short holiday, and will be arrived by morning of 1Nov08. Thanks


  4. Assalamu’alaikum, Pak.

    Looks like you have a very important looking person with you in the photos. Siapa dia…..hehe

    Thanks for the memories.


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