Kaolack is a city in Senegal.
Kaolack is situated on the Saloum River about 100 kilometers from its mouth. It is the successor city to Kahone, historic capital of the kingdom of Saloum. Kahone, originally a place marked by a sacred tree on the right bank of the Saloum River facing the island of Kouyong, became capital of the mostly Sereer kingdom of Saloum in the early 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries it consisted of a number of distinct neighborhoods separated by open fields, each of which was under the jurisdiction of a different dignitary or official. One of these wards, Kaolack (eight km down river), was founded by two Sereer princesses from Baol. Another, Maka Kahone, was inhabited by Muslims and administered by clerics. Otherwise, the population of the town practiced traditional religion and court ceremonies centered on the river bank, Kouyong Island, and various monumental baobab trees.
Kaolack is the transport hub of the country. You can get to any point in Senegal in a day's travel. There are two transport stations serving the city. Garage Dakar services areas to the West and North such as Dakar, Thies and St. Louis. Garage Nioro services the South and East with locations including Tamba, Kolda and the Casamance.
Most people get around Senegal by sept-places but there are buses that pass through here heading from Bamako to Dakar and vice versa. There are also minicars which tend to leave only when full but are a cheaper option.
Taxis (between 700 and 800 FCFA) are the main way to get around Kaolack or you can take a moto if you are brave enough.
Most of Kaolack's glory is in its past as it is rumored to have had some of the best mangroves in Africa but any evidence of these has long since disappeared. According to Lonely Planet, Kaolack has one of the biggest covered markets in West Africa. The market has a good selection of wax fabrics as this is where smaller buyers come from around the region to purchase fabric. You can easily get 2 meters for 1500 CFA or 6 meters for 3500. Another site to be seen in the market is the "gris-gris" market where vendors sell everything from skins to shells for the local charm makers.
There are plenty of NGOs (or ONGs as they say in French) with offices in Kaolack. If you are looking to volunteer, there are plenty of options. Being able to speak French is always a plus.
You can visit the Village Artisianal to find a selection of arts and crafts. As mentioned earlier, Kaolack has a great selection of Wax fabric available in the covered market. Most of the fabric sellers are located in the outer ring of shops.
The Auberge Baoab is pleasently French in style and has clean and safe rooms. 9000 CFA for one, 13000 for two people.