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Mali is not high on Nightlife as we know it, and no-one in their right mind would go there for that reason. People watching with a glass of beer in one hand at one of the small bars, or as here, just gazing out on the sunset over Bani River (a tributary of Niger) at Mopti is all you need to end another amazing day!
Updated Jul 30, 2004
In Djenne we asked around for live music and found it at an outdoor restaurant, the name of which I don't remember. The town is very small, so it's pretty easy to follow the ears to a drum performance. Anyway, the spontaneity of watching the young men drum traditional beats and young women entertain with a dance competition was simply delightful. The venue in our case was also an outdoor restaurant and hotel, and so we ate dinner and enjoyed the performance. As I recall, their wasn't a concrete or tile patio, and the dancers danced on the gravely surface that was beneath our table. The In Africa, there's no need for any other instrument than the drum--really! These things are highly chance driven in terms of scheduling though so if you are concerned about keeping to a itinerary, you better ask around as soon as you arrive in town. More formal festivals are also a possibility...
Dress Code: Relax, this is Africa, but otherwise dress conservatively. Be prepared for possible mosquitoes, as this was an outdoor venue.
Updated Dec 14, 2006
This is more a maquis than a restaurant, quite small and intimate. Food is not bad with portions that unless you're famished you won't finish. Practically every night night there is a local group playing, balafon, djembé and other local instruments. It really warms up when the colection hat goes round and the drummers follow it. All good fun.
Dress Code: Very casual.
Updated Jan 18, 2008
Address: Rond - point de la Pirogue.
Phone: 00 223 232 06 98
A terrific setting in a lovely garden for this restaurant - bar where they have live music as of Friday through to Sunday. The atmosphere is more cultured than the "Golfe" but the local band, using koras as well as the drums and balafon starts warming up the clientele from about 23.00 onwards.
You can eat here beforehand and then get your boogie feet on to dance until the early hours. Count on a kilometre walk from the riverfront.
Dress Code: Slightly smarter than the "Golfe" but t-shirts no problem.
Updated Jan 18, 2008
Phone: 00 223 232 09 50
When in Segou, check out the Jardin Mombaso across the street from the Petit Marche and next to Farafina Bogolan. This bar might be the best in Mali, it was absolutely rocking every night during the African Cup, with players, press, and fans from all over Africa dancing there. On Friday and Saturday nights there is usually a live band playing. Some of the musicians are some of the most reknown in Mali. I saw Ali Farka Toure and Oumou Sangare perform here. The bar is outdoors surrounded by an overhang with fans. Beers are freezing which is nice after a day in the hot sun. For food there are brochettes and frites, but you have to try the PIGEON. Yes I know its pigeon, but its delicious really good. For those Americans out there, think of buffalo wings, really really good. The place doesn't get going until midnight, but it doesn't really slow down until 4 or 5 am. Every night of the week there is usally at least a DJ there, playing African music, mostly Congolese and Malian, and playing some hip-hop also. Its just a cool place to hang out and meet some local folks too.
Dress Code: Casual, but nothing too revealing, its Muslim around here too.
Written Aug 24, 2002
An intersting evening was spent with the Touareg around a camp fire being entertained by various dances - many involving daunting mock swords fights. No audience participation there!
Updated Jul 30, 2004
modern little night club with a DJ; 20 and 30-something crowd mostly.
Dress Code: dress to impress; I didn't see any traditional dress though.
Written Aug 26, 2002
Not typical but... with air conditioning !!! When the outside temperature is above 40, you appreciate !!
Written Aug 25, 2002
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