Dangers & Annoyances
Do not travel in Mali without good reason and careful consideration.
Almost every Western government advises against all travel to the northern two-thirds of the country, and against all but essential travel to the southern third. You should heed this advice. Not just is the risk very real, but your travel insurance will probably be invalid.
- Check the situation very carefully before travelling to Mali.
- Avoid demonstrations and areas popular with expats, diplomats and NGO workers.
- Do not travel anywhere after dark.
- Carry your passport with you at all times.
- Do not try to photograph police, military or sensitive sites.
Government Travel Advice
The following government websites offer travel advisories and information on current hot spots.
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (www.smartraveller.gov.au)
- British Foreign Office (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)
- Canadian Government (https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/mali)
- French Department of Foreign Affairs (www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays)
- US State Department (http://travel.state.gov)
Travel in Southern Mali & the Dogon Country
Despite the travel warnings, a trickle of tourists are passing through southern Mali, mainly in order to transit between Guinea/Senegal and Burkina Faso, and in late 2016 organised overland trucks also started taking this route for the first time in a number of years. If you decide to travel to southern Mali, do your research thoroughly beforehand (the forum on www.lonelyplanet.com often has fairly recent updates from travellers on the ground here) and understand that you are taking a risk.
The current situation in Dogon Country is a little uncertain. Western governments advice against all travel to the Dogon Country, but again a tiny number of tourists are visiting without problems. Take local advice and local guides.
Emergency & Important Numbers
|Mali's country code||223|
Entry & Exit Formalities
Despite the troubles within the country Malian tourist visas are being issued with minimal fuss. As long as you have a visa, getting in and out of the country via any of the main southern border crossings is fairly painless. Do not attempt to enter the country via Mauritania, Algeria or Niger.
Everyone but citizens of other West African countries needs a visa.
- Visas are not available on arrival.
- Visas are easy to get in most neighbouring countries.
Mali is a part of the West African CFA zone. (For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.)