Category Archives: Mali

Guide to Bamako

Getting There: Kenya Airways has direct (7-hour) flights to Bamako on Sundays and Wednesdays. Ethiopian Airlines also comes to Bamako but through Addis Ababa, and these cost about $1,000 – $1,200.

Getting Around: The airport is small and hence has low traffic. Most people get visas upon arrival at US $40 and a taxi from the airport to the hotel is about $50.

Motorbikes are the main mode of transport and they are driven both by ladies and men. There are old Ford model matatu-like minibuses with benches, but no doors or windows – and people crowd in there with their goods.

This is a French-speaking country with the local language being Bambara

Hotels: Most hotels offer and charge for bed-only, no breakfast.

Shopping & Sight-Seeing: Popular tourist buy items are local fabrics called Bazin. However, the market is not for the squeamish, as among the foods, fabrics, and artisans selling their wares, you may also find people skinning & selling monkeys, snakes lizards rats and dogs – mainly for voodoo. Also influenced by Benin, dogs are sold & eaten.

Odd sights: There are many instances of double births, and you see women begging on the streets with small kids, who are twins.