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Dogon village in Mali
Dogon people
Dogon village in Mali

Dogon people

Dogon village in Mali

Mali flag

Mali Travel Information

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Key facts




interior Western Africa, southwest of Algeria, north of Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso, west of Niger


Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF)


1,240,192 sq km


20,137,527 (July 2021 est.)


French (official), Bambara 46.3%, Peuhl/Foulfoulbe 9.4%, Dogon 7.2%, Maraka/Soninke 6.4%, Malinke 5.6%, Sonrhai/Djerma 5.6%, Minianka 4.3%, Tamacheq 3.5%, Senoufo 2.6%, Bobo 2.1%, other 6.3%, unspecified 0.7% (2009 est.)


Muslim 93.9%, Christian 2.8%, animist .7%, none 2.5% (2018 est.)



Tel Code:


Things to Do

Mali is a landlocked country located in West Africa, known for its rich history and diverse cultural heritage. From the bustling streets of Bamako, the country's capital, to the desert landscapes of Timbuktu, Mali offers a wide range of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Here are the top 10 things to do when visiting Mali:

1. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Timbuktu

Timbuktu is an ancient city that was once a center of trade and learning in West Africa. Visitors can explore the city's many mud-brick buildings, including the famous Sankore Mosque, and learn about its rich history and cultural heritage.

2. Discover the Art and Culture of Bamako

Bamako, Mali's capital city, is a vibrant and bustling hub of culture and creativity. Visitors can explore the National Museum of Mali, which showcases the country's rich history, art, and culture, or visit one of the many galleries and cultural centers in the city.

3. Explore the Dogon Country

The Dogon Country is a remote region of Mali known for its unique cultural heritage and stunning landscapes. Visitors can explore the traditional villages of the Dogon people and learn about their customs and traditions.

4. Visit the Djenné Mosque

The Djenné Mosque is a stunning mud-brick building that is considered one of the most beautiful architectural examples in West Africa. Visitors can explore the mosque and learn about its rich history and cultural significance.

5. Take a River Cruise on the Niger River

The Niger River is a major waterway that runs through Mali and is a major source of life and commerce for the people of the region. Visitors can take a river cruise and experience the beauty and diversity of the region.

6. Visit the Segou Festival

The Segou Festival is an annual event that celebrates the cultural heritage of Mali and its people. Visitors can enjoy traditional music and dance, food, and arts and crafts in this colorful and vibrant celebration.

7. Explore the Beautiful Landscapes of the Bandiagara Escarpment

The Bandiagara Escarpment is a stunning landscape that offers breathtaking views and unique natural features, such as the Dogon villages and the Togu-Na waterfalls.

8. Visit the Palace of the Asantehene in Kangaba

The Palace of the Asantehene is a beautiful traditional building that was once the seat of the Asantehene, the king of the Asante people. Visitors can explore the palace and learn about the history and cultural heritage of the Asante people.

9. Experience the Cultural Diversity of Mopti

Mopti is a bustling market town that is a melting pot of cultures, religions, and traditions. Visitors can explore the town's vibrant markets, learn about its rich history, and experience its diverse cultural heritage.

10. Enjoy the Nightlife in Bamako

Bamako is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of bars, nightclubs, and cultural centers that stay open late into the night. Visitors can experience the city's lively atmosphere and enjoy its rich cultural heritage.



Mali has a tropical climate, with hot temperatures throughout the year and two distinct rainy seasons. The rainy seasons occur from June to September and from November to February. During the dry season, which is from March to May and from October to November, temperatures are hot and there is very little rainfall.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Mali is during the dry season, from October to May. During this time, temperatures are comfortable, and the weather is dry, making it easier to explore the country and enjoy outdoor activities. However, it is important to note that some areas in the country may still be affected by drought during this time, particularly in the northern regions.


Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:


Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.


Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.


Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.


Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Mali Closed
Not required

Check Visa Requirements


      Mali offers a range of accommodation options for travelers, from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels. Some popular options include:

      Budget Accommodation

      Budget-friendly options in Mali include guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels, which offer basic facilities at an affordable price.

      Mid-Range Accommodation

      Mid-range options in Mali include hotels, lodges, and guesthouses, which offer comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and a range of amenities.

      Luxury Accommodation

      For those looking for a more luxurious experience, Mali offers several high-end hotels and lodges, which offer comfortable rooms, excellent facilities, and first-class service.


      For those who prefer a more adventurous experience, camping is also a popular option in Mali. There are several camping sites located throughout the country, which offer basic facilities and stunning views.


      Visitors to Mali have several transportation options to choose from, including:


      Mali has several airports, including Bamako-Sénou International Airport, which is the main international gateway to the country. From here, there are regular flights to several other cities in the region, making it easy to travel around the country.


      Mali has a good road network, with well-paved roads connecting the major cities and towns. Taxis and private vehicles are widely available for hire, and there are also shared taxis and buses that run between cities.


      Mali has a limited rail network, with trains connecting the capital city of Bamako with several other cities in the region.


      Mali has several waterways, including the Niger River, which is an important means of transportation in the country. There are several ferry services that operate on the river, connecting towns and villages along the banks.

      Camel Trekking

      For those looking for a unique and adventurous experience, camel trekking is a popular option in Mali. This mode of transportation is often used to travel through the desert regions of the country, and provides a great way to explore the remote areas and traditional nomadic cultures.


      Money Tips for Travel

      • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
      • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
      • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
      • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
      • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
      • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
      • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
      • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
      • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
      • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

      ATM and Credit Cards

      • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
      • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
      • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
      • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
      • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
      • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

      Exchange Rates

      • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
      • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
      • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
      • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
      • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.


      Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

      Medical Coverage

      Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

      Trip Cancellation and Interruption

      Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

      Lost or Stolen Luggage

      Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

      Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

      Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

      Liability coverage

      Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

      Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.


      When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:


      Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

      Dual SIM phone

      If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

      Extend your home plan

      Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

      Keep your primary SIM

      With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.


      There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

      Facebook groups

      There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.


      Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.


      Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.


      Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!


      Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.


      LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

      At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

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