Segou – Mali

Segou is an important city in Mali, an important port, lying in the south-central part of the country. It is the third largest city in Mali and is definitely worth a visit.

The Bozo people, also known as the master of the river, first inhabited Segou. But now the Bozo people are now more popular as residents of the Bozo Village, a small fishing village where foreigners and locals alike take their fresh catch. Aside from the Bozo, Segou is also now being inhabited by other ethnic groups such as the Malinkes, the Soninkes, and the Bambara people.

Location and How to Get There

Segou is in the south-central region of Mali. It is in the north-eastern part of the country capital Bamako, about 240 kilometers away, on the Niger River.

To get to Mali, you have to either take a taxi, a bus, or a ferry. The easiest way to get there, however, is through the Niger River.

Getting around Segou is by walking and riding taxis. Some of the main attractions are only walking distances apart but there are also others that can only be reached by taking a taxi.

What to See There

One of the most notable things about Segou is its architecture. The fantastic structural designs of their buildings and other establishments are sights to behold. Other than that, there is also a craft center located at the Mopti road.

In January or early February, a festival called Sur Le Niger is being held. This is a music and dance festival celebrated each year to showcase the talents brooding on the town.

If you have a heart for shopping, you can buy a lot of souvenirs in Segou. There is the unique bogolan cloth or mudcloth, masks, carvings, and other Malian crafts that you can purchase from several shops and street vendors.

There are also different food joints in Segou. The Soleil de Minuit is a notable place to enjoy a meal because it is known at the center of town for serving excellent food.


The Segou empire was founded by King Biton mammary Coulibaly in 1712. The empire was later conquered by different colonists thereafter. It was in 1860 when Islamic faith became popular among the residents of Segou. El Hadj Oumar Tall converted them to Muslims although not all of them became part of it. Some were able to keep their animist traditions.


Traveling through Segou costs only a few dollars. For one, it costs only over a dollar to avail a guided tour through the famous Craft Centre, located along Mopti Road. For another, just walking can do a trip from one tourist attraction to another. Otherwise, you can take a cab for less than a dollar to one.