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Visas are required by everyone. If there’s no Malian embassy in your home country, it’s possible to get your visa on arrival at the border. It costs US$27 and you’ll need to bring passport photos. The visa is valid for an initial period of five days and must then be extended at a police station (no charge), whereafter it is valid for one month. However, we would still advise you to get your visa in advance, because travellers who arrive without visas routinely report hassles from border officials keen to make a little extra money on the side.

At Malian embassies in West Africa, you’ll usually pay US$36 for a one-month single-entry visa.

Visa extensions

One-month visa extensions cost US$9 per month, require two photos and are only available at the Sûreté buildings in Bamako and Mopti. There’s a fine of US$27 per day for every day you overstay, and border officials will delight in extracting this from you.

Visas for onward travel

You can get visas for the following neighbouring countries in Bamako:

Burkina Faso Three-month visa US$45; three photos; same day.

Côte d’Ivoire One-month visas US$54; two photos; three days.

Ghana One-month visa US$22; four photos; 48 hours.

Guinea One-month visa US$84-145, depending on nationality; two photos; 24 hours.

Mauritania One-month visa US$29; three photos; 48 hours.

Niger One-month visa US$36; three photos; two-three days.

Senegal One-/three-month visas US$5.40/12.60; two photos; two days.