If you have enough time, take an afternoon to visit the Musée National des Arts :you can find a lot of beautiful masks and other objects from different groups in Mali.They also organise some events (theatre, folklore,...) now and then so keep an eye on their website (posted below).Enjoy!more
The BCEAO Tower sits right in the heart of Bamako, along the Niger River, and is really a nice site to behold. It's the Malian headquarters of the Central Bank of West African States, and has some ATM machines outside. I never went in, and I'm not really sure if there is anything to do inside besides banking, but the building itself is something to...more
Something to keep an eye out for as you as making your way around the city is all the monuments that are scattered around Bamako, usually in the center of a roundabout.The types of monuments vary greatly, ranging from war memorials to a soccer mascot (built for the 2002 African Cup of Nations, which Mali hosted). There are some pretty interesting...more
ACI 2000, Hamdallaye, (formerly Radisson SAS), Bamako, 2566, Mali
Good for: Couples
A large hotel built in the 1950s and renovated in the 1980s. There is a swimming pool which is among...more
Now Libyan owned and abandoned by the Sofitel hotel chain, the lobby in the late afternoon and...more
San Toro is the most original and interesting restaurant in Bamako. With excellent fish, meet and sauces, the food is simple, well presented and delicious. The decoration is amazing! I've never seen something like this! Presenting African food in a luxurious setting is genius. Much better than badly copying French food in Africa...if you know what...more
Amandine is a great restaurant in Bamako. Although it is owned by Lebanese men, the menu is more similar to what you might find here in the United States. They serve all kinds of great foods ranging from pizza to steaks, and all kinds of stuff. It's a "typical" Western restaurant, except it happens to be in the middle of Africa.They also had a...more
L'Appaloosa has two parts, one for the restaurant, described in my restaurant tips, and one for the bar.The bar can remind an American ranch with wooden parts and decorations, some flags, etc.The long bar is well furnished in a lot of different alcohols and wines, some local beers. The choice of cocktails is large. On Wednesdays, they organise a...more
The place to be during the weekends. You will meet expatriates and the golden boys of Mali. Wealthy Malians come to show their money and their girlfriends.You have the choice between the large ventilated terrasse and the small airconditionned bar inside.Decoration is made of local material.Large choice of cocktails and wines, the bar is also a...more
Le Byblos is probably the best night club of Bamako. From 12:30 till done everyday, you can enjoy both local and international music. Mali has well known international artists, the most famous being probably Salif Keita. They can mix Salif Keita directly between Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, which could be surprising in Europe and very normal there....more
Definitely a must to get into the local life: use the local green buses, called Sotrama.They get you everywhere for less than a dollar, depending on the distance. They have fixed stops; so ask around where you need to get which bus to go where. For getting out on the next stop, you make yourself heard by knocking on the inside of the bus with a...more
There are through buses from Dakar to Bamako (30? hours) but at the moment they are not allowed to pick up passengers in Tambacounda. Its best to go to the Gare Routiere Tambacounda in the early morning, take a Sept Place (shared taxi) to the border, 5000 CFA about 4 hours, take then a taxi (the stamp out of Senegal is not done at a distance from...more
On my way back from Timbuktu I took a MALI AIR EXPRESS plane to return. Getting to Timbuktu is hard enough, so I thought coming back by plane would be a good idea. And it was!One way ticket: 150 eurosYou can reserve in anticipation at their website http://www.malipages.com/mae/ and pay once you are in Bamako. They don't accept credit cards.more
There are a ton of craftsmen in Bamako, and they make some really neat things to sell. Spend some time looking around the Artisan, or even any other local market you come across, and you'll find plenty of these items.Hand-made items for sale can range from large furniture to small decorative souvenirs. The quality is really good too - I bought a...more
Bamako has tons of markets scattered throughout the city. At these markets you can literally find and buy whatever you need/want. Clothes, food, electronics, shoes, jewelry... you name it, someone is selling it.There are no fixed prices either. Everything is negotiable. Keep in mind that if you are easily recognizable as a foreigner, the price that...more
Malians wear traditional clothes that look between the coloured African dressing and the Arabic one. Batik is a Malian fabric you can find at different prices in the boutiques of Bamako. Curiously, the best qualities are imported from Europe, but you can find local "imitations" at very good prices. Buy the fabric in a shop and ask a taylor to make...more
For some reason, people seem to be surprised to find out that Mali is a Muslim country: 90% of the population identifies as Muslim, while 9% practice indigenous religions, and only 1% are Christians.So when visiting, you should keep in mind that most things revolve around Islamic traditions - for example Friday is generally the day everyone has off...more
Unfortunately, Mali is right in the middle of the "Malaria Zone" of Western Africa. Because of this, you should exercise extreme caution to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, which is the most common way of contracting the disease.What this means is to wear adequate clothing (jeans instead of shorts, long sleeves instead of short sleeves, high calf...more
The security situation in Bamako has changed drastically in the past few weeks. Violent crime has increased dramatically and 40 prisoners escaped from Kati prison on 23rd July and only 2 have been recaptured. These prisoners included murderers, robbers and rapists. The Police have cautioned that these individuals should be regarded as highly...more
NB: This section is for information only. If you worried you may have Malaria please see a doctor as soon as possible.Mali is a developing country and care should be taken to guard your health. The biggest problems for travellers are Malaria and stomach bugs.Malaria is caught from parasite infected mosquitoes who bite you and transfer the parasite...more
If you wander around the market area in Bamako you will meet many young men coming to you with the classical "Hello my friend", "I just wanna talk to you" etc, that always end up in "come to my shop, only look", "I can be your guide, no big money"...
If you really want a guide, take the first one, he will keep the others apart.
If not, just be polite and say "no, thanks". You will have to say it many tims before they go, but ignoring them is the best way. If you start talking, you will have them with you for a loooooong while.
Luggage and bags:
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: One of the best things about Mali and West Africa in general is that you can quickly, cheaply and enjoyably get clothes made to order, there on the trip. You blend in better to the country and make friends along the way. Quick skirts, pants and shirts are inexpensively made in a day or two.
Stade Modibo Keita is the second largest stadium in Mali and host to several events. It is the home of local club AS Real and also hosts some matches that the national team plays. The listed capacity is 30,000.
Tickets are very cheap. For a match that I attended in 2006 the prices were 1000 CFA (about $2) for a seat on the "sunny side" (the stands that have no cover and are directly under the sun) and 2000 CFA (about $4) for a seat on the "shady side" (the stands that do have a cover over them).
There are also cliffs adjacent to the stadium, so if you are really pinching pennies, or just want a more aerial view of the field, you can watch for free from up there, as several locals do.
The stadium also has a track around it, so most likely it hosts athletic events as well. Although I can't comment on that as I only attended a soccer game there.
We often ate local food sold at little stalls in the street in our neighbourhood or just on the street: meat satés, rice dishes, 'beignets', salads, peanuts, ... Rice dishes with sauce can be spicy. Little meat 'satés' are delicious in my opinion, though watch out that they are properly grilled, because you know what they say about raw meat. My...more
It 's quite an adventure walking around through the city, because it is very busy, with little stalls everywhere, not the best pavements in the centre, but it's the ideal way to get to know the local life.Certainly don't forget the Marché National des Arts, where you can find plenty of beautiful souvenirs at a quite low price in general.Success and...more
There are no postmen in Mali, there are no addresses. If you want to receive mail, you need to have a PO BOX in a post office.Addresses are all lie BP and a number or BP E- and a number. BP is for Boîte Postale or Postal Box and the "E" is for "étage" when you box is on the first floor of the post office. Post is very slow, it takes more than one...more