Destination Information for Mali
The African country of Mali is home to some incredible sights and scenery, as well as the famous historical city of Timbuktu. Its capital, Bamako, is the fastest growing city in Africa, and is known as the music capital of West Africa – some of the world’s best musicians hail from Mali. Situated on the banks of the River Niger and boasting a fascinating mix of various architectural styles, Bamako truly is the beating heart of Mali.
Timbuktu is famed for its intellectual history and a long tradition as a trading outpost dating back centuries and helping the then thriving trade in salt and gold. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and tourist destination thanks to its reputation and although it is perhaps no longer as grand as it once was, it still oozes history. You can see the three great mosques of Mali here, serving as reminders of the significance of Timbuktu’s history, although please be aware non-Muslims are not permitted entry to these mosques at this time. Timbuktu’s name has come to be a metaphor for distant, exotic and inaccessible places.
Don’t miss out on a visit to Dogon Country, a mysterious landscape of Cliffside villages, where the people have deliberately isolated themselves from the rest of the world and are completely unaffected by influences from other cultures. Visit in January to experience Mali’s Festival in the Desert, taking place on the sands north-west of Timbuktu. This unique event promised three amazing days of music, tents, camel racing, dancing and more!
There is no British embassy in Mali. Please contact the FCO for advice.