Segou, Mali, lies just under two hundred fifty kilometers northeast of Bamako, on the banks of the Niger River, on the long journey to Mopti along the RN6. It is the capital of Segou Region. in the seventeenth century when the Bambara migrated from Djenne, the Bambara kingdom's capital was founded at Segou-Koro, ten kilometers from Segou.
Segou is a melting pot of the different ethnic groups that make up Mali. Bambara, Fula, Malinke, Soninke, Bozo, and Toucouleur are all represented here. Each group has its speciality or niche in Malian society. The Bozos are mostly fishermen and river travelers, the Bambaras are usually farmers, and the Soninke are merchants.
There is always a hustle and bustle on the banks of the river especially around the market, which sprawls along the water's edge. Here is where you can find huge collections of pottery for sale. Pottery is a craft particularly associated with the Segou region. Monday is the big market day, with boats overloaded with people and goods, fighting for space on the river. Although most travelers push straight on to Mopti, four hundred kilometers further northeast, Segou is well worth a stopover, particularly on market day Monday. There are a few old French Colonial buildings still standing as well and the streets are filled with donkey carts. It's a charming town.
Segou offers the budget traveler a choice of accommodation, including options for a hostel in Segou, Mali, that has dorm beds. Your Segou, Mali hostel is found on the edge of town away from the bustling market; it's very basic, but serves its purpose of cheap beds with no frills. Your Segou, Mali hostel also offers food, but it's fun to eat out in the town with the locals, where you'll no doubt attract a lot of attention, as few Western travelers stop here.
There isn't a lot to do and see in Segou, but it gives the curious traveler an insight into Malian daily life outside of the more touristic towns. It's a fairly quiet place, except for on Mondays, and is very pleasant to walk around and maybe take one of the public boats along the Niger River to a few of the more isolated villages.
Hi, I'm Londonroad,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Segou hostels. Welcome.