Mali: travel information
How do you get to Mali?
There are direct flight connections to Bamako from Paris and Brussels. Ethiopian Airlines fly from Frankfurt via Addis Ababa to Bamako.
An air-conditioned train with sleeping and dining cars travels twice a week from Bamako to Dakar in Senegal. It is also possible to drive this route by car (duration approx. 35 hours).
Car and bus
From Mali there are also road connections to Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea, Niger and Mauritania. Driving the Trans-Sahara route to Algeriahowever, is considered unsafe. Long-distance buses run from Kankan in Guinea to Bamako, from Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso to Segou and Mopti, and from Niaméy in Niger to Gao. Another bus connection runs from Côte d’Ivoire to Mali.
Travel in the country
A bus network connects all major cities. Ferry connections Mali has around 1,800 km of navigable waterways. In the months of July to December, ferries operate weekly on the Niger between Bamako via Timbuktu to Gao, from December to March only between Mopti and Gao. For the route between Timbuktu and Mopti you can also rent river boats with and without a motor (pirogues and pinasses).
Roads and rental cars
Mali’s road network covers around 16,100 km, of which around 2,000 km are asphalted. The overall quality of the roads in Mali is not very good. The main road leads from Sikasso in the south to Bamako, Mopti and Gao. During the rainy season, the road between Mopti and Gao is impassable. In Mali you should only drive on main roads and, if possible, in a convoy. Overland journeys at night are to be avoided because of the risk of assault. There is a general warning against driving on the roads north of Mopti.
International license plate
According to Abbreviationfinder, Mali’s international license plate is:
Mali: entry and exit regulations
Formalities and visas
Tourists from EU countries need a valid passport, a visa and a return ticket to enter Mali. A valid yellow fever vaccination must be proven upon entry.
Visa department of the Embassy of Mali
Tel: 0049 (030) – 319 98 83
Fax: 0049 (030) – 31 99 88 48
Honorary Consulate of Mali in Hamburg
Tel: 0049 (040) – 227 80 39
The national currency of Mali is the CFA Franc
1 CFA franc = 100 centimes
Mali is part of the West African Economic and Monetary Union. The ISO 4217 code of the Franc CFA here is XOF.
The CFA franc (Communanté Financiére Africaine) is the currency in 14 African countries that were usually French colonies in the past: Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Chad, Central African Republic, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoite, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. It is tied to the euro.
The exchange rate of the euro and the CFA franc is always the same as the CFA franc is pegged to the euro (it was pegged to the franc before the euro was introduced). For countries that belong to the West African Economic and Monetary Union, the fixed exchange rate is:
1 Euro (€) = 655.957 CFA Franc (XOF)
Import and export of foreign currency
- Local currencyThe import and export of the local currency is unlimited.
- Foreign currenciesThe import and export of foreign currencies is also unrestricted, there is an obligation to declare amounts in excess of 25,000 CFA-Fr.
Cheap goods, souvenirs
Popular souvenirs in Mali are combat masks of the Bambara, Dogon and Malinko tribes as well as wood carvings, gold and silver jewelry, woven fabrics, mats and copper items. The Ségou region is famous for its pottery and earthenware.
Timbuktu produces excellent iron and copper goods such as swords, daggers and traditional household items.
The following articles can be imported into Mali duty-free:
– 1,000 cigarettes or 250 cigars or 2 kg tobacco
– 2 bottles of alcoholic beverages and
– perfume for personal use.
Cameras and films must be declared on import and export. An import permit is required for sport rifles and plants. A certificate from the National Museum in Bamako must be obtained for the export of archaeological objects, especially from the Niger River valley.
You can also buy beautiful glass beads in Mali.
Mali: travel medicine, vaccinations and warnings
In Mali, the following infectious diseases, which are not or less common in Germany and Central and Northern Europe, are to be expected:
- Malaria: There is a high risk of developing malaria nationwide, including in cities, all year round. About 85% of the infections occur with the very dangerous malaria tropica, the rest with malaria tertiana.
- Schistosomiasis – there is a risk of infection nationwide
- Intestinal infections from contaminated food or water, including amoebas, lamblia, salmonella, shigella, worm infestation and all kinds of viruses and bacteria
- Yellow fever: The country and especially the regions south of the northern 15th parallel are considered to be yellow fever infection areas
- Guinea worm infection
- Hepatitis A and B
- Kala-Azar, nationwide
- Lassa fever
- Leishmaniasis, nationwide
- Polio, polio
- Plague – Occurrence in some areas
- Sleeping sickness
- Tick bite fever
- Diphtheria – a vaccination against diphtheria should always exist, also in the home country.
- Hepatitis A and B
- Polio, polio – vaccination against polio should always exist, also in the home country.
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Tetanus – a vaccination against tetanus should always exist, also in the home country.
- Rabies – but only for high-risk travelers who can come into contact with the vector animals.
- Typhoid – but only for travelers who can come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.
All persons older than one year are required to be vaccinated against yellow fever.
Yellow fever vaccination of children
There were a number of side effects with vaccinations against yellow fever, for example encephalitis. Around two-thirds of those affected were children under six months. Therefore, under no circumstances should children under this age be vaccinated. But children under one year of age should also not be vaccinated if possible. If in doubt, yellow fever infection areas must then be avoided. Any vaccination against yellow fever may only be carried out in specially authorized yellow fever vaccination centers!
When traveling to the country it is strongly advised to avoid malariato undergo prophylaxis. However, if the side effects seem questionable, you should at least have a “stand-by preparation” with you.
Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany
Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 2000
Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 51000
Travel events to Mali
The following tour operator offers professionally organized trips to Mali – and a number of other African countries.
The pictures of Mali used by us were kindly made available to us by the sales manager Mister Roberto Cerea of the organizer.
Trans Africa Horizon LTD
00223- 22 42 111 (Mali)
0049 – (0) 228 – 914 40 71 (Germany)
Mali: Diplomatic missions
Visit Countryaah for a full list of Mali embassies and consulates in each country around the world.
German representations in Mali
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bamako
Badalabougou Est, rue 14, porte 334
Tel: 00223 – 2070 0770
Austrian representations in Mali
The Federal Republic of Austria does not have an embassy in Mali, but is represented by an honorary consulate. The embassy in Senegal is responsible
Embassy in Senegal
18, rue Emile Zola
Tel: 00221 – (0) 33 – 849 4000
The Austrian Embassy in Senegal is still responsible for:
- Burkina Faso
- Ivory Coast
- Cape Verde
- Sierra Leone
Honorary Consulate Bamako (without passport authorization)
Korofina Sud, 96 x 830
Tel: 00223 – 2024 1567
Swiss representations in Mali
Switzerland has no representation in Mali. The embassy in Senegal is responsible
Embassy of Switzerland in Senegal
Rue René N’Diaye Intersection Rue Seydou
Tel: 00221 – (0) 33 – 823 0590
Fax: 00221 – (0) 33 – 822 3657
The Swiss The embassy in Senegal is still responsible for:
- Cape Verde
Representations of Mali in Switzerland
Embassy of the Republic of Mali in Geneva
Route de Pré-Bois 20
1215 Geneva 15
Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 710 0960
Fax: 0041 – (0) 22 – 710 0969
Consulate of the Republic of Mali
St. Jakobs-Strasse 30
Tel: 0041 – (0) 61 – 295 3888