The first inhabitants of the city were the Bozos, a people living from fishing. Later there were also the Soninkes, the Malinkes and finally the Bambara people in the 16th century.
In 2004 the region was inhabited by 1,887,100 people, of which nearly half younger than 15 years old.
You can travel by river easily to Mopti, continuing on towards Gao, Wednesday's are your best bet.
Segou is on the main road therefore it is easy to get buses on the route between Bamako(CFa 2000) and Mopti(CFa 4500). Timetable for buses in/out of Segou - click on the box "Horaires des Autocars".
You can easily walk around the centre of the town, but to reach some of the outlying hotels you can easily get a taxi ~250-500cfa.
The Bambara people speak the Bambara language.
The most impressive architecture in Mali is to be found in the colonial buildings in the government district, however being government houses it's best not to take photos of them. The port is fairly small compared to Mopti but still worth a visit as part of a walk along the waterfront from the government district.
Visit the Craft centre along the Mopti road, it's in a distinctive bright orange mud building set next to large mud quarries. For CFa 500 you will be given a guided tour and explanation of how Bogoan clothes are made and even have the chance to try your hand at creating your own masterpiece. They also have a shop with work that is generally of a higher quality than on market stands.
Take a walk along the waterfront from the government district to the port.
Festival sur le Niger , an annual music and dance festival in late January/early February.
Segou is famous for its bogolan cloth, or mud clothing (literally translated as "earth clothe" in the Bambara language), the craft centre is the best place to buy these from (note that the prices are fixed), but there are also plenty of street vendors selling them. Opposite the Hotel L'Auberge are several small shops and stands selling a variety of traditional Malian art and crafts including masks, bogolans, carvings, Tuareg boxes.
The Hotel L'Auberge and Hotel Indépendance both have good restaurants.