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Mali

 
 
 

Visitor Information

Climate | Latest Travel Advice | Visas & Immigration | Money | Local Time | Getting Around | Public Holidays | Electrical Power | Travel Insurance


CLIMATE

Mali is made up of two climatic regions, Sudanese and Sahelian, with the city of Keyes roughly the meeting point. Average annual rainfall in the south of the Sudanese regions is about 55 inches and in the north, where it borders the desert, only 8 inches. In the Sahelian region there are considerable variations of temperature, especially in April, May and June, the period of maximum heat, and in December, when the hot, dry harmattan blows. The average temperature is 30°C (86°F). Continuing north through the Sahelian regions, one gradually enters into a Saharan climate marked by the virtual absence of rain and an extremely dry atmosphere. Over 40% of the country is, in fact, desert, and unsuitable for agriculture. The year is divided into three main seasons varying in length according to the latitude: November - February, cool and dry; March to May, hot and dry; and June to October, a season of rains characterised by lower temperatures and an increase in humidity

Climate Chart for Bamako
Climate Chart

For today's weather forecast see     CNN - Africa Weather   Forecasts



LATEST TRAVEL ADVICE

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (London)
US State Department - Travel Warnings



VISAS & IMMIGRATION

Visas are required by all visitors except nationals of Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia provided you are in possession of a valid ID. Passports must be valid for at least 3 months from the date of entry.

Embassies do NOT always update us when they change their entry requirements - we strongly advise you contact your nearest embassy to find our the lastest information.

Listing of Mali Embassies and/or Consulates located around the world



MONEY

Official Currency:    Communaute Financiere Africaine franc
Current Exchange Rate:    Today's Exchange Rate

Travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks. Commission rates are vary depending on currency and are in some cases can be quite high. Only a few international hotels in the Bamako accept credit cards. Cash advances are only available from BMCD. Banks are notoriously slow in processing transactions.


BANKING & BUSINESS HOURS

Banking:    Monday to Thursday: 0800-1200 and 1330-1500 and Friday: 0800-1230


LOCAL TIME

Mali has the same time as GMT


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TRANSPORT & GETTING AROUND

Air:

International Flights

Air France - Flights from Europe to Bamako

Domestic Flights

Domestic flights are available between Bamako and Gao via Mopti and Timbuktu.

Public Transport:
A reasonable bus services run between all the main towns. On shorted route bush taxis operate and are cheaper than buses.

River Boat:
During the raining season between August and November large passenger boats operate a passenger service on the Niger River. A weekly service runs between Koulikoro and Gao, via Mopti, Kabara and Timbuktu. The journey from Koulikoro to Mopti should take 3 days and from Mopti to Goa four days. Do not limit yourself on time as very often it takes longer. First class cabins are available but need to be booked in advance. Pirogues (canoes) can also be hired between Timbuktu and Mopti. Between December and March, when water levels are low, it may only be possible to travel between Mopti and Gao.


Self Drive / Hire Cars:

Map & Atlases for Sale

Roads in Mali are in a poor state and on main roads there are many police and customs checkpoints, many of them corrupt and looking for a bribe. Between Mopti and Gao travel is slow and difficult during the raining season.

Driving is on the right hand side and and International driving licence is recommended although not a requirement. There are a few Car Hire companies in Bamako.


PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

1st January New Year's Day
20th January Armed Forces Day
1st May Labour Day
25th May Africa Day
7th July Prophet's Birthday
6th August Baptism of the Prophet
22nd September Independence Day
25th December Christmas Day
Variable holidays: East Monday and Islamic holidays

ELECTRICAL POWER

Electric Power is 220V running at 50Hz. The Plug types used are :
Round pin attachment plug - view
Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin - view
 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

If you need medical care whilst in Mali, it is best to be aware that medical providers may not accept payment through your insurance company. In these circumstances you will have to pay in full after your treatment and file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement. Therefore you should have access to cash, either from a credit card or by wire transfer. If you need assistance contact the country's local embassy or representative.

To be compensated you must be treated by licensed medical personnel and provide your insurance company with proper documentation and receipts.

It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.

You can check out the following websites which specialise in long term travellers, adventure travellers, backpackers and workers based abroad.

Insure and Go - UK Travellers
whether it's for a one off holiday or if you travel many times over the year, if you're off backpacking before university or you're retired and looking to explore the world; if you're after winter sports cover or if it's for a business trip, a wedding abroad or a golfing weekend away, we have a policy at the right price to ensure you have the peace of mind that you are covered for the unexpected while you're away.
 
InsureMyTrip - USA travellers
A trusted resource that serves millions of customers worldwide, our licensed customer services representatives help travelers find the right insurance plan, offering one of the industry's largest customer ratings and reviews forum and a unique customer advocacy program that provides one-on-one assistance to travelers before, during, and after their trip.
 


Downunder Insurance - UK - Australia and New Zealand Travellers
offers travel insurance to travellers and residents in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Our cover ranges from basic to highly comprehensive, with affordable policies aimed at backpackers and gap-year students, but with cover available to travellers and holiday makers up to 55 years of age.

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