Posted in MALI, Sikasso, Travel


dscn6627a1Road from Bamako to Sikasso.  Travel to Sikasso take about 5 hours

Sikasso is the southern-most region of Mali. Sikasso is the 3rd largest city  and the capital city of the region. Sikasso is located 374 km from Bamako, 105 km from the Ivory Coast, and 45 km of Burkina Faso. Located in the south, it borders three countries: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Guinea Conakry.  The wettest area in Mali with a humid climate and an average annual temperature of 27°C

dscn6631Cotton, vegetables and fruits are major agriculture products of Sikasso. The villager plucking mangoes.

The history of Sikasso begins with the Kingdom of Wassolou with King Samori Toure and the Kingdom of Kénédogou of King Tiéba and King Babemba Traore.
Major ethnic groups include the Senoufo, known for masks and reverence for animals, the Samago, known for being Mali’s best farmers, and the main ethnic group in Mali, the Bambara people.

dscn6632Traditional village in Sikasso.  Wood is used as source of fuel especially for cooking.

dscn6633Wood also source of income.  The villagers sells its

Sikasso is divided into 7 cercles:

·         Bougouni

·         Kolondieba

·         Kadiolo

·         Koutiala

·         Sikasso

·         Yanfolila

·         Yorosso

dscn6638Missirikoro Cave

dscn6644A man find solace here and perfoms religious rituals

The city of Sikasso is known for a vibrant outdoor market which features fabrics, numerous vegetables and fruits especially mangoes, for which Sikasso is particularly renowned. Sikasso is an ethnic and linguistic melting pot featuring people from outlying villages and neighbouring countries

dscn6645A view from the top of Missirikoro Cave

dscn6648Traditional village at Missirikoro

The southwest corner of the Sikasso region is traditionally known as Wassoulou. This area is known for its unique music and strong tradition of hunting. The main city of Wassoulou is Yanfolila.  Other major cities in Sikasso region include Bougouni, a junction town en route to the capital of Mali; and Koutiala, in the northern Sikasso region, which is the hub of Mali’s highly productive cotton industry, which produces one of the country’s exports products.

Agriculture livestock, gold mining at Morila, Siama and Kalana and trans-border transport are the other main economic activities.

As city of cultural, Sikasso houses mask dances, the festival of triangular balafon, the manifestations, traditional music and expressions of Wassoulou.  Famous Malian female singer Oumou Sangaré is from here and named her owned hotel in Bamako after her birth place Wassoulou

dscn6649Le Tata

dscn6651Tea plantation at Farako.  Tea grows under the shade of mango trees

dscn6652‘Thé Farako’ originates from here

dscn6654Farako Waterfall

dscn6656Lower level of Farako waterfall

Interesting Sites and Places
1. Woroni Warefall: (65 km from Sikasso). The waterfall consists of the two water chutes falling off from 20 m high natural pool. A microclimate prevails around with the existence of some fruit trees.

2. Les Portes du Soudan: Located 4 km from the village of Woroni, a massive rock hill. This place called “door of Soudan marks the end of the forest and the beginning of the savanna. One of the hill blocks on the west side, resemble a mosque with its minarets. Local people visit this place and engage in ritual ceremonies

dscn6661New housing area in Sikasso

dscn6669Tomb of Tiéba Traore.  King of Kenedougou 1866-1893

dscn6670Remnants of ‘Le Tata’ and minaret of modern mosque at the background

3. Yanfolla (270 km from Sikasso) includes a museum of hunting and forest providing opportunities for ecotourism and tourism game (lions, antelopes, monkeys, wild boars etc)

4. Sélingué (168 km from Sikasso) is an eco-tourism area with its fishing villages and Hydroelectric Dam

dscn6671‘Le Mamelon’

dscn6674View from ‘Le Mamelon’.  Evening market in Sikasso city, showing a houseware made from some fruit (I forgot its name).  The fruit’s content and its seed were removed and then dried under the sun

dscn6679Historic mural of Tiéba Traore and Babemba Traore at the foothill of Mamelon

dscn6687Evening market in Sikasso city

5. Bougouni (316 km from Sikasso) is a place that offer the possibility of encounter with elephant herds 

6. Farako Village (28 km from Sikasso). Its waterfalls flow on a bed rock. Its strong tea, hectares of tea plantation under the shades of mangoes trees. There is also a processing plant tea.

7. Missirikoro Caves (12km from Sikasso): these rock hills about 80 meters high, is a place of worship and contemplation for different religions

8. Tintrike de Zoha. The place that you view remains of catfish and carp embedded in the rock.

dscn6688aGoing back to Bamako from Sikasso

dscn6690On my journey back to Bamako, I captured this view of traditional village, somewhere in Sikasso

9. Le Mamelon. Located on the top of lateritic hill, in the centre of the Sikasso city. At the hill top, King Tiéba built the palace, where he received his guests. Today the place is used as observation tower and gives a panoramic view of the Sikasso city.

10. The Palace of Kélétigui Korouma Berthé. The remains of palace built by Chief Army of King Tiéba then King Babemba that resemble of the Djenné architectural style.

11. Le Tata: This impressive wall that surrounded the town was built under King Tiéba Traore. Today remains a testimony to its past 

dscn6691Roadside food stalls.  We stop during the journey back to Bamako to buy cold drinks, American Cola not Coca-cola

dscn6693I saw something interesting.  Fish catching fiesta during dry season



Spent most of the life in engineering and project management. Now having the opportunity to see the world beyond my usual nest. Travel extensively to Third World Countries. Aaahh... now everything is possible

10 thoughts on “Sikasso

  1. Thanks for posting! I also traced my roots through mtDNA to Sikasso. This is the first site I have seen that really gives me a glimpse of the people there. I love that they love mangoes! and tea, and that they grow them together as companions! Also, the tomb (house) structure like in New Orleans, South America, Egypt, etc. The circular traditional community structure, glad you stumbled upon that for the pic. I do wonder if Jatropha would grow well there and be a sustainable biofuel crop instead of the wood currently being used. Please keep us updated with more pictures if you return. 🙂


  2. Hey I just came from Sikasso for vacation visiting my family I did spend my youth time there now live in New York for 15 years that was great those picts my kids took a lot


  3. Dear George Pope

    I felt happy and great to know that you are related to the “Traore”. I really hope that one day you will touch your foot to the soil of Mali.
    Thank you


  4. Hello Mamadou,

    Thanks for taking me home! I live in the United States but according to DNA tests, I am related to Sounkalo(born 1889) and Sitafa (born 1848) Traore’ of Finkolo, Sikasso, Mali. I hope to visit some day but your pictures took me there. Thanks again.


  5. Hi, I found your blog when looking for pix of wood collecting in Mali. I lived in Mali for quite a while but most of the time was too busy to take pix. I loved your pix. Very evocative.


  6. I’m doing a report for school, and I wanted to say thank you to whoever posted the pictures. They were very helpful!


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