Getting there & away
Numerous buses leave Bamako’s Sogoniko gare routière daily for Ouagadougou (US$27, 20 hours) via Bobo-Dioulasso (US$21, 15 hours). A daily bus links Koro with Ouahigouya (US$4.50, up to four hours), from where there’s onward transport to Ouagadougou.
Travel to Côte d’Ivoire was unsafe at the time of writing and the volume of cross-border transport has dropped off to a trickle. However, there are still daily buses to Abidjan (US$41, 36 to 48 hours). Transport for Côte d’Ivoire also leaves from Sikasso.
Peugeot taxis or minibuses run most days from Bamako’s Djikoroni gare routière to the border at Kourémalé (US$6.30, three hours) and then on to Siguiri (US$10.80). A once-weekly bus continues all the way to Conakry (US$45).
Battered 4WDs and trucks are the usual transport. There are daily departures from Kayes to Sélibabai (US$22, eight hours), and from Nioro to Ayoûn el-Atroûs (US$32). The latter option gets you onto the paved road leading to Nouakchott.
The train between Bamako and Dakar is one of Africa’s great epics. In theory the train departs Bamako for Dakar (2nd/1st/couchette class US$46/63/95) at 9.15am Wednesday, and from Dakar at 10am. It could take forever but, if not, around 50 hours, and could conceivably depart any day of the week.
Numerous airlines fly into Bamako and those with offices there include the following:
Afriqiyah (8U;223 1497; www.afriqiyah.aero ; Ave de la Marne)
Air Burkina (2J;221 0178; www.air-burkina.com ; Ave de la Marne)
Air France (AF;222 2212; www.airfrance.com ; Sq Lumumba)
Air Mauritanie (MR; 223 8740; www.airmauritanie.mr ; Sq Lumumba)
Cameroon Airlines (UY;222 9400; www.cameroon-airlines.com ; cnr Ave Kassa Keita & Ave de l’Indépendance)
Ethiopian Airlines (ET;222 2208; www.flyethiopian.com/et/ ; Sq Lumumba)
Ghana Airways (GH;221 9210; www.ghana-airways.com ; Sq Lumumba)
Interair (D6; 221 9210; www.interair.co.za ; cnr Ave Kassa Keita & Ave de l’Indépendance
Point-Afrique (223 5470; www.point-afrique.com ; Ave de la Marne)
Royal Air Maroc (AT;221 6105; www.royalairmaroc.com ; Ave de la Marne)