West African franc (CFA)

French, Bambara, Fulfulde, Tamashek, Dogon and Songhai

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to the provinces of Tombouctou, Kidal, Gao and Mopti, and parts of the provinces of Kayes, Koulikoro and Segou. All but essential travel to the rest of Mali is also warned against. Click here for more information.


Cafe in Timbuktu

Bar Restaurant Amanar

Our favourite restaurant in Timbuktu, Amanar has a mellow atmosphere with a soundtrack of Malian blues (think Ali Farke Touré and Tinariwen), chilled and friendly waiters and a small and intimate garden....

North African in Bamako

San Toro

The décor here is charmingly African and the specialties are quality Malian dishes (the poulet au coco is especially good), which can take a while to appear, but are always worth the wait. There's no...

French in Bamako

Le Compagnard

Top marks for this place. High-quality French cooking, French wines and a switched-on ambience ensure plenty of regular customers among the expat community. The salad bar is a nice touch, and the wood-fired...

Cafe in Gao

Bellàh Rôtisserie

Around the Grand Marché you can get coffee and bread in the mornings, and street food in the evenings (check out the excellent local sausages). Rotisseries are found all over Gao - Bellàh...

European in Bamako

Café Restaurant la Casa

In Bamako Coura, this is a fine, relaxed backpacker hang-out opposite the Mission Catholique; their spaghetti, couscous and ragout dishes contain the freshest ingredients, but if you want meat you'll need to...