Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) is an indigenous underutilized legume that has the potential to improve food security in semi-arid Africa. So far, there are a lack of reports of controlled breeding populations that could be used for variety development and genetic studies. We report here the construction of the first genetic linkage map of bambara groundnut using a F3 population derived from a "narrow" cross between two domesticated landraces (Tiga Nicuru and DipC) with marked divergence in phenotypic traits. The map consists of 238 DArT array and SSR based markers in 21 linkage groups with a total genetic distance of 608.3 cM. In addition, phenotypic traits were evaluated for a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis over two generations. A total of 36 significant QTLs were detected for 19 traits. The phenotypic effect explained by a single QTL ranged from 11.6% to 49.9%. Two stable QTLs were mapped for internode length and growth habit. The identified QTLs could be useful for marker-assisted selection in bambara groundnut breeding programmes.