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Gouina Falls

Gouina Falls, Mali
Gouina Falls / Jacques Taberlet, / CC BY-SA 3.0

WorldBlue  In short

It seems – not much time is left to enjoy the beauty of the mighty Gouina Falls in Mali. It is planned to divert most of the water from the falls to a new hydroelectric plant.

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GPS coordinates
14.0151 N 11.1025 E
Location, address
Africa, Mali, western part of Kayes district, some 57 km (by road) west from Bafoulabé
Name in French
Chutes de Gouina
Alternate names
Diamo Falls (after the nearby village), "singing falls"
16 m
Tallest drop
15 – 16 m
˜ 500 m
Average annual flow
˜ 12 – 13 m³/s in dry season and up to 2430 m³/s in the rainy season
Sénégal River

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail


Gouina Falls have formed on the mighty Senegal River. The water here falls over the step of hard Precambrian sandstone forming some 15 – 16 m tall and approximately 500 m wide waterfall.

During the rainy season these falls become very powerful – up to 2430 m³ of water every second (or even 5000 m³/s) what is comparable with the most powerful falls in the world, but during the dry season the volume falls hundreds of times to meager 12 – 13 cubic meters per second. Thus the other nickname of falls – "Niagara falls of Mali" – are justified to some extent.

Gouina Falls, Mali
Gouina Falls/ Jacques Taberlet, Flickr / CC BY-SA 3.0

Above the falls in several places have formed large potholes – up to 2 m deep and 2 by 2 m large voids, which become visible during the dry season.

Hydroelectric plant

Next to the falls is ongoing construction of Gouina Hydroelectric Plant – the possibility of this plant was explored already in 1921-1922 (1). Unfortunately this plant will take away much of the power of this waterfall, leaving the rim of the falls almost dry – just as it happened to the similar Félou Falls downstreams.


  1. Y.Chaineau, L’usine hydro-electrique du Felou – La chute de Gouina. La Houille Blanche, Mars-Avril 1929. Visited in 4th January 2016.

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Introduce elementary and middle school students to the ancient African empire of Mali, and teach them about an amazing history–and about themselves. Mali, one of the most glorious but least known civilizations of the world, comes to life through vivid color photographs, timelines, maps…and the legends of the griots, or storytellers, who’ve preserved the past of Mali for millennia, handing down stories of brave kings from generation to generation.

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[…] datanglah ke Mali dan nikmati pemandangan yang menakjubkan. Air terjun terkenal di Mali adalah Air Terjun Gouina . Musim gugur ini sangat terkenal dan oleh karena itu mendapat nama kedua sebagai ” Air […]