Kayes is a city in western Mali on the Sénégal River. 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 420 kilometres northwest of the capital Bamako.
Mali may presently have no passenger rail service, but this three-day festival still takes place each June in Kayes, the "City of Rails." Train conferences and debates are held alongside dance performances, concerts, cycling races, and wrestling matches throughout Mali and neighboring Senegal.
The climate is subject to the West African Monsoon with all the rainfall occurring between June and October. August is the wettest month. There is almost no rainfall during the other seven months of the year. The total annual rainfall is around 650 mm. 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. The town has been described as the hottest continuously inhabited town in Africa. The average daily high temperature in the city is 37 °C (99 °F), with temperatures usually peaking in April at an average of nearly 44 °C.
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