Top things to do

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 gates…
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 the…
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 par…
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. They d…
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, the…
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 instrume…
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 mud…
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 alcohol, b…
Mosque in Timbuktu

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 the …
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. Frenc…