General Information

Mali, most of which lies in the Sahara desert, is a landlocked country with the only fertile area being in the south where the Niger and Senegal rivers provide the water.

The capital of the country is Bamako and can be a little overwhelming with its crowds of people, cars and mopeds.  The hotels and accommodation here are excellent as is the vibrant nightlife and restaurants.

Mali has three World Heritage sites : Timbuktu, Djenne and Bandiagara, which are popular with tourists to the country.  Recently there are various projects underway to develop and increase tourism in Mali, including an increase in the number of car rental companies, finance and insurance institutions.

Mali has a diverse and interesting ethnic and culture group with approximately 23 different groups, each having their own beliefs, languages and social etiquette.

The climate in Mali ranges from tropical in the south to arid in the north.  The country’s rainy season is June to December when it receives most of its annual downpour.  This often results in flooding from the Niger River.  The rest of the year sees Mali dry with frequent droughts.

The country has considerable natural resources and is estimated to have in excess of 17,400 tonnes of uranium.  Rice and millet are the bases of Malian cooking.

There are many natural wonders to Mali from the Sahara in the north to the greenery of the south to the legendary city of Timbuktu to the mudbrick mosque at Djennè, to name but a few.

Some Things to Do

There are two music festivals held each year : the Festival in the Desert and the Festival sur le Niger, with January being the tourist-high season.

Trek through Dogon Country for some interesting history and culture.

Musèe National – national museum

Grand Marchè – Bamako market

If Africa is your destination, make Mali one of your stop-overs…it will be well worth the trip.