Bamako Travel Guide

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by hannette
  • time for playing
    time for playing
    by hannette
  • time for studying
    time for studying
    by hannette

Bamako Things to Do

  • Musée Nationale des Arts

    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!

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  • BCEAO Tower

    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...

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  • Roundabout Monuments

    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...

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Bamako Hotels

See all 15 Hotels in Bamako
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako

    ACI 2000, Hamdallaye, (formerly Radisson SAS), Bamako, 2566, Mali

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Hotel Mirabeau

    Quartier du fleuve - rue 311, Bamako, BP E 3506, Mali

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Laico l'Amitie Hotel

    Now Libyan owned and abandoned by the Sofitel hotel chain, the lobby in the late afternoon and...

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Bamako Restaurants

  • Best grilled food in Bamako

    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...

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  • Best Place Ever!

    3 hectares of Gardens, a wonderfull pool, a very nice restaurant... it is just an escapade from the croud and busy life in Bamako Taste the Tomato Tarte or the Carpacio the Bar: best ever + The best Grilled steak in Town

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  • The best Western food in Bamako

    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...

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Bamako Nightlife

  • Pub

    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...

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  • Bla Bla

    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...

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  • Best night club of the country

    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....

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Bamako Transportation

  • Sotrama

    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...

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  • From Tambacounda Senegal to Bamako

    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...

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  • Plane from Timbuktu

    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.

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Bamako Shopping

See all 5 Shopping in Bamako
  • Hand-crafted items

    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...

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  • Markets are everywhere

    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...

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  • Batik

    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...

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Bamako Local Customs

  • Bamako Fashion

    This collection at a tailor shop shows his work and the fashion in Bamako at the time (2006).ps: tailoring is done - as in many African countries - by men.

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  • Participate in Id al-Adha

    If you happen to be in Mali during Id al-Adha, at the end of the Ramadan, it is a huge event to slaughter sheep, visit your neighbours, etc. I 'd recommend participating in it as much as possible.

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  • Mali is a Muslim Country

    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...

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Bamako Warnings and Dangers

  • Malaria

    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...

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  • Security warning! Please read

    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...

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  • Health: Malaria

    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...

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Bamako Tourist Traps

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    by SirRichard Written Sep 28, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Bamako street
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Bamako What to Pack

  • mi5chelle's Profile Photo

    by mi5chelle Written May 27, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Backpack, simply

    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.

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Bamako Off The Beaten Path

  • The waterfalls of Lafiabougou

    During and after the rainy you find waterfalls in the district of Lafiabougou (northeast in Bamako).People gather here to take a shower, do laundry and relax....When you climb the rocks, you also have a great view over the district of Lafiabougou.

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  • volunteering in an ngo

    I did an internship in the ngo Mali-Enjeu during 3 months. It is located in 'Zone industriel'.There are plenty of other ngo's operating in Mali and if you are into it, I can only recommend this experience.

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  • Visit Mali on the RIver

    The history of Mali is dependent of the river Niger. All main towns are alongside the river, among which Bamako. Go with a fisherman or with an organised tour on the river, you cannot miss that in Mali

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Bamako Sports & Outdoors

  • ZeekLTK's Profile Photo

    by ZeekLTK Updated Jan 26, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Stade Modibo Keita Mali vs Guinea at Stade Modibo Keita Stade Modibo Keita Fans watch from the cliffs above the stadium Mali 1 - 0 Guinea
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Bamako Favorites

  • Try local food

    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...

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  • Strolling through the hustle of Bamako !

    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...

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  • The post office

    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...

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Explore Deeper into Bamako
Green Vans
Transportation
Taxi Cabs
Transportation
Not to be missed
Restaurants
Artisans in Bamako
Things to Do
Supporting Bamako's Arts
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Supporting Bamako's Arts
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National Museum
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San Toro
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Ghost train to Dakar
Transportation
The Cathedral
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Driver in Bamako
Transportation
beautiful art and food
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Fast food it's not - but it's good value
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National Museum
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The National Museum of Bamako
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Pizzeria
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L'Olympien
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Malian restaurant
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Cinemas
Things to Do
Eat and swim
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THE African restaurant in Bamako
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Soukhothai
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Malian school
Favorites
BCEAO Tower
Things to Do
market street
Shopping
Making the drum 3
Things to Do
Making the drum 2
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Making the drum 1
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Food in the streets
Warnings and Dangers
Art Center
Things to Do
Le Marché Rose
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How to find the cave on the point G(GPS c.)
Things to Do
Bamako - Segou
Transportation
The Museum
Off The Beaten Path
Neolithic caves
Off The Beaten Path
Malian jewellery
Off The Beaten Path
A touch of Belgium
Restaurants
Donkeys
Transportation
Muslim traditions
Local Customs
WC_
Local Customs
Map of Bamako

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