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Getting there & away



Burkina Faso

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.

Côte d’Ivoire

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.


SNTV (282 0395) depart for Niamey (US$15.50, up to 30 hours) on Wednesday and Saturday at 5.30am from its office east of the centre of Gao; coming the other way costs US$21.


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.

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Mali’s main international airport is Sénou International Airport (220 4626), although Point-Afrique also flies into Mopti and Gao.

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)

Air Sénégal (V7;in Bamako 223 9811; www.air-senegal-international.com ; Ave Modibo Keita)

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)

Point-Afrique flies from Paris to Marseilles to Mopti, Gao and Bamako, usually for much less than longer-established airlines.

Within West Africa, expect to pay around US$157 from Bamako to Dakar, or US$196 to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), for example.

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