Travel Diaries

Follow the @AfricaRizing team as we travel outside the urban environments of Accra, Bamako, and Dakar to experience the culture & history of some of West Africa’s most interesting, sometimes off-beat, places and spaces in our Travel Diaries series.

The weirdest place I’ve ever been, and why I loved it

From the road, Kayes is the first city outside Senegal in neighboring Mali. It’s 12 hours north east of Bamako and 16 to 25 hours from Dakar, depending on whether the fruit sellers who board the public transport every other village actually get off. The dry, gritty red earth kicked up by the backs of sandals and motorbike tires gives the entire place an airbrushed effect. The city is divided in two by the Senegal river but Kayes is really a region spanning 28 communes.