In Bambara language Bamako means "crocodile". That's why they chose three caymans as the city symbol. You will find them at many places such as at the Arch of Bamako, Muzium of Bamako, at road intersection to Kouloba and Mayor’s office of Bamako.
However, caymans are not the only monuments of animals present in Bamako. Many other species are depicted in big sculptures as an homage and show of respect to the rich nature of this land. Visit this site to see some images.
This African tradition and the French cultural influence after years of colonization produced an extraordinary rich cultural mix. In the 90's, Bamako became well known worldwide due to its diversity of artistic manifestations, but above all because of its music boom. With musicians as great as the vocalist Salif Keita, the singer-guitarist Ali Farka Touré or the couple Amadou and Mariam, Bamako achieved international fame and acknowledge to its local art scene.
Moreover, the city has been recently the subject of some films. Two examples are the critically acclaimed film 'Bamako' (2006), directed by Abderrahmane Sissako and 'Mali, The Hope of the Earth' (2009), a documentary shot by the Spanish director Alfonso Domingo.