Commune and city
Men cross a busy street in Kayes, 2006.
|Elevation||20 m (68 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (GMT)|
Kayes (Bambara Kayi, Soninké Xaayi) is a city in western Mali on the Sénégal River, with a population of roughly 100,000 people. Kayes is the capital of the administrative region of the same name. The name "Kayes" comes from the Soninké word "karré", which describes a low humid place that floods in rainy season. The city is located 317 miles (510 km) north-west of the capital Bamako.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Kayes is nicknamed the "pressure cooker of Africa" due to its extreme heat; the town is surrounded by iron-rich mountains which contribute to the temperature. Kayes is often described as the hottest continuously-inhabited town in Africa. The average daily high temperature in the city is 35 °C (95 °F), with temperatures usually peaking in April and May at an average 46 °C (115 °F).
Prior to French colonial expansion, Kayes was a small village. Its location on the path of the future Dakar-Niger Railway, and the French need for trade centers, led to the creation of the Kayes market town in 1881. It remains a transport hub, primarily for Senegalese trade, to this day. In 1892, Kayes became the capital of the French Sudan; Bamako replaced it as the capital, first of the state of Haut Sénégal-Niger on October 17, 1899, then as the capital of all of French Sudan in 1908.
Economy and transport
Different sites found in and around Kayes include:
- Fort du Médine
- the falls of Félou 4 kilometres (2 mi)
- the Gouina Falls, 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the southeast on the Senegal river
- the tata (fortification) of Koniakari, constructed by El Hadj Umar Tall, 70 kilometres (43 mi) to the northeast
- Lake Magui and Lake Doro
- the Manantali Dam
Kayes contains a postal office. Telephone and electricity services are available for residents of the town.
- Columbia International Affairs Online Data Provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
- "Previsions de desserte des communes pour la periode de 2001-2005" (PDF). Mali Reforme Telecom. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
- Portions of this article are a translation of French language Wikipedia's Kayes.
- Colonial history of Kayes, from Web Site of Dr. Jim Jones, "African History Since 1875", West Chester University Department of History.
- View of Sénégal River Bridge at Kayes: Kidira Border Crossing into Mali, December 16, 2004 by NKOverland.