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—  Sub-prefecture and town  —
Kankan Kabada health center
Kankan is located in Guinea
Coordinates: 10°23′N 9°18′W / 10.383°N 9.3°W / 10.383; -9.3
Country Flag of Guinea.svg Guinea
Region Kankan Region
Prefecture Kankan Prefecture
Population (2009)
 - Total 207,790 [1]

Kankan (in Maninka: Kánkàn) is the largest city in Guinea in land area, and the third largest in population at 207,790 [2] (2009). The city is located on the Milo River in eastern Guinea and lying about 345 miles east of Conakry.

The population of the city is largely from the Mandinka ethnic group. Kankan serves as the capital and largest city of Kankan Prefecture and Kankan Region.



Kankan was founded by the Mandinka people in the seventeenth century and became capital of the Baté Empire and an important trading centre, particularly for kola nuts. It was conquered by Samory Touré in 1881 and occupied by the French in 1891. The population of the city is predominantly from the Mandinka ethnic group and their language is widely spoken throughout the city.


The town is known for its university (Université de Kankan), for its religious scholars and its mango trees. It is home to the Kankan Airport. It is an eleven hour drive from Conakry. It also has one of the oldest mosques in West Africa. The Mandingo cultural site Gberedou/Hamana is located about 40 km to the northeast.


Kankan is the terminus of the lightduty narrow gauge railway from Conakry. The N1 highway connects the city with Nzerekore in the south. In addition, the town is served by Kankan Airport.


Coordinates: 10°23′N 9°18′W / 10.383°N 9.3°W / 10.383; -9.3

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Kankan is a city in Guinea.


Often called the second city of Guinea, after Conakry, however some believe in fact the second city is Labe while others give that title to N'zerekore! Either way, Kankan can't be missed since it is strategically located on relatively decent road from Conakry to Bamako, Mali. Under normal road conditions, it is around an 11-12 hour journey to Conakry and roughly 5 hours to Bamako. The town also boasts the 2nd largest public university in the country(Universite de KanKan) which is even equipped with an American Reading Room! Kankan still has no electricity or running water so don't be surprised if you find the city in total darkness. Don't expect much at all in the form of luxury (i.e. supermarkets, shopping malls, etc). Most decent hotels (especially Hotel Bate and Hotel Villa) have electricity (at night) and running water. Kankan is famous for the world renowned Mamaya dance which many people come to celebrate as part of the post Ramadan Tabaski celebration. The Milo River is also a nice place to visit. Additionally, it would be interesting to pay a visit to the Universite de Kankan. Another worthwhile option is to hire a moto-taxi (taxi-motor) driver to give you a tour of centre-ville(downtown) and a few underlying areas. Your driver (sans helmet) can take you through the many dirt roads to get a glimpse of the traditional style huts, the market and so on. Generally, however, isn't a whole lot to see or do in KanKan. Many people stop through Kankan in transit between Bamakao and Conakry and beyond. The heat from March-May is relentless and prove as the least comfortable time to vist. If you like to dance, club Sarata is your best bet (as of mid 2008). You will be treated to some of the most popular Guinean (also Ivorian, Malian and Senegalese) music selections. The cover charge is very cheap, usually less than 1 dollar depending on the exchange rate! Although you may run into some English speakers, it's best to have at least a basic knowledge of French, although many people will only speak the local language, Malinke.

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