Mali

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.

Top things to do

Architecture in Djenné

Grande Mosquée

Grande Mosquée

Djenné's elegant Grande Mosque was constructed in 1907, though it's based on the design of an older Grande Mosquée that once stood on the site. Famous throughout the world, the Grande Mosquée has...

Architecture in Timbuktu

Dyingerey Ber Mosque

Timbuktu has three of the oldest mosques in West Africa. While not as visually stunning as some in Mali, they're still extremely impressive and represent classic and well-preserved examples of the Sudanese style...

Market in Djenné

Grand Marché

Every Monday, the wide open area in front of the mosque is transformed into the clamorous Monday Market, which has barely changed since the days when Saharan camel caravans brought salt across the sands to the...

Waterfront in Ségou

Massina

From the pleasant Fula village of Massina, you can start a trip along the Niger by public pinasse (large canoe). A good first stop is Diafarabé, where vast Fula herds cross the Niger in one of West Africa's...

Museum in Timbuktu

Centre de Recherches Historiques Ahmed Baba

An amazing collection of ancient manuscripts and books are kept at the Centre de Recherches Historiques Ahmed Baba. Home to (at last count) 23,000 Islamic religious, historical and scientific texts from all over...

Hill in Gao

La Dune Rose

Gao's premier tourist attraction is a sunset trip to La Dune Rose, known locally as Koïma, a wonderful sand dune on the right bank of the Niger, visible from town. As it turns pink with the setting sun,...

Architectural in Timbuktu

Heinrich Barth's House

Heinrich Barth's incredible five-year journey began in Tripoli and took him first to Agadez, then through Nigeria and finally, in September 1853, he reached Timbuktu disguised as a Tuareg. He stayed for the best...

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....

Gifts & Souvenirs in Djenné

Pama Sinatoa

Djenné is famous for bogolan, or mud-cloth. Although the cloth is on sale all across town, the most famous female artisan is Pama Sinatoa, whose workshop is near the town entrance. The quality is top-notch,...

Museum in Timbuktu

Ethnological Museum

The Ethnological Museum occupies a hugely significant site near Sidi Yahiya Mosque, containing the well of Bouctou, where Timbuktu was founded. There's also a variety of exhibits including clothing, musical...

Architecture in Ségou

Ségou Koro

During the 18th century, the beautiful village of Ségou Koro was the centre of Biton Mamary Coulibaly's Bambara empire and the great man is buried here. Its crumbling Bambara buildings are interspersed with...

Historic Site in Gao

Tomb of the Askia

The Tomb of the Askia, north of town, was built in 1495 by Askia Muhammad Touré, whose remains lie within. It's an amazing building and a classic of Sudanese (Sahelian) architecture, with its combination of...

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...

Market in Mopti

Marché Souguni

At the Marché Souguni, to the southeast of town, traders sell fruit, vegetables, salt, fish and meat downstairs and art and crafts upstairs. A smaller market sells herbs, spices, traditional medicines and...

Mosque in Timbuktu

Sankoré Mosque

Sankoré Mosque

Timbuktu's three great mosques - all inaccessible to non-Muslims - are nothing much to look at, but serve as reminders of its great past. The youngest of the three, Sankoré Mosque was raised at the turn of...

Architecture in Timbuktu

Sidi Yahiya Mosque

Sidi Yahiya Mosque, north of Place de l'Indépendance, is named after one of the city's saints (it's said that 333 saints have lived in Timbuktu) and was constructed in 1400. Non-Muslims are not allowed to...

Architecture in Mopti

Misire Mosquée

The classic Sahel-style Misire Mosquée, built in 1933, towers over the old part of town. Just before the rains in May or June the lower, mud-covered part of the mosque is re-rendered. The mosque is...

Market in Bamako

Marché de Medina

The charm of this market is that few tourists reach here, so you're unlikely to be hassled. It's also a good place to buy second-hand clothes and if you have a few hours spare, you can get your hair braided or...

Museum in Bamako

Musée National

The Musée National is small but nevertheless contains some beautiful ethnographic pieces from many of Mali's ethnic groups, including wooden masks, carvings, contemporary marionettes and ancient textiles....

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...