Full of natural beauty, cultural diversity and remnants of ancient African civilizations, Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa that offers tourists diverse monuments, landscapes and experiences. However, due to conflict in the region, most travellers do not have access to the places that make the country a unique tourist destination.
Most of the country lies within the Sahara Desert, and 90% of the population lives in the southern part of the country, near the capital of Bamako. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa, and the country remains protective of its natural resources. Whether you are visiting family or want to explore the country as part of your trek across Africa, travel insurance coverage gives you the confidence in knowing you can get assistance if you run into issues during your trip.
Travel advice for trips to Mali
To enter the country, all Canadians must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond their departure date. Tourist, business and student visas are required.
Since there are potential threats to both travellers and locals, it is recommended that you check the travel advisories on the Government of Canada’s website before travelling to Mali. Large-scale political demonstrations, kidnappings, fraud and other crimes are known to occur. If you plan to travel to the country, exercise extreme caution at all times.
Dress and behave conservatively, and respect all religious and cultural customs at all times.
The country’s currency is the West African CFA franc (XOF). Credit cards are accepted only at major hotels, and if you plan to carry traveller’s cheques, make sure they are in US dollars or euros. The official language is French, but Bambara is also commonly spoken by locals. In total, over 40 languages are spoken by various groups.
The best time of the year to visit is between November and January. It is recommended that travel be avoided during the rainy season (June to October), as torrential rainstorms and sudden flooding are likely to occur. Dust storms and sandstorms occur throughout the year.
Top places to visit in Mali
The capital city of Bamako is the heart of the country. Here you will find local musicians playing to crowds. However, when you travel outside the capital, you will see villages where people live as though they are in ancient times. There are a number of must-see destinations in Mali, including Parc National du Mali in Bamako, the Cliff of Bandiagara in the Dogon country, the National Zoo of Mali, the National Museum of Mali, Fort de Médine in Kayes Region, the Tomb of Askia, the Great Mosque of Djenné and the Old Towns of Djenné. Don’t forget to check out the local markets, especially the Bamako city centre market, and take a trip to see the Niger River.
Buy travel insurance for Mali for a worry-free trip
Still haven’t purchased travel insurance for your trip? Before you board the plane to Mali, make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance plan to provide you with the added protection you need when you’re abroad. From theft or loss of travel documents, legal issues, trip interruption or even post-trip help, Blue Cross is always here to provide great travel assistance – 24/7, 365 days a year. Get a free, no obligation travel insurance quote today.
|Population (2012):||14,853,572||34,754,312 (2012)|
|Diesel (2012):||1.25||1.23 (2012)|
|Gasoline (2012):||1.41||1.23 (2013)|