Getting there & away
Long-distance transport for destinations south of the Niger River leaves from the Sogoniko gare routière, 6km south of the city centre. Also handy for Koulikoro, Timbuktu and Kangaba is the Gana Transport (221 0978) bus park at Place Point G.
Tickets can be bought in advance from the station office (222 8110). There’s a service from Bamako to Kayes (2nd/1st class US$12.50/21, 10 to 14 hours) on Sunday, Monday and Friday, returning the following day. There is also a Wednesday-morning service, which runs to Dakar via Kayes (2nd/1st/couchette class US$21/29/40).
The big boats leave from Koulikoro, some 50km downstream of Bamako.