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Mali has its capital city Bamako located on the south western quadrant of the country. Bamako rises among urban cities in Africa with having one of the fastest paces when it comes to development. The original identity of the city is derived from the Niger River which flows beside Bamako. Historical artefacts, elements of heritage, and archaeological information can be ascertained at the Musee National de Bamako. Other interesting institutions are the Muso Kunda Museum, dedicated to the role of women and the cultural lifestyle they maintain, and the Bamako Regional Museum. The Parc National du Mali is the federally administered green area established in the city, along with the Bamako Botanical Gardens being the second official green area. Local commerce can be seen thriving on a daily basis at the city centre market. Other markets like the Rose Pink Market, the Bamako Artisan Market and the Gris Gris fetish market. With the ethnic tribal diversity residing in and around Bamako, there are designated places for musical performances consisting of music halls and outdoor cafes in either the main commercial areas or neighbourhoods, known as Maquis. The BCEAO tower stands as the urban hallmark dominating the city's skyline, ad primarily operates as the state banking institution for multiple countries across West Africa. The Cathedral is one of the archaic buildings surrounded by gardens and trees. Other important religious sites include the Grand Mosque of the city. Educational institutions are also present in the area, such as the main National Library of Mali, with media-based collections also present alongside the expansive book collections. The library itself exists from the French colonial era. The local limelight on arts is present on a small local artist gallery like the Fere Kene, and the National Arts Museum, focusing on theatre, sculpture exhibitions and other visual arts. The National Zoo of Mali exceeds expected standards, having separate enclosures for all kinds of gigantic and small birdlife, reptiles, herbivores and the big cats. Important landmarks established in and around the major urban area are the Pont des Martyrs, Al Quoods Monument, Obelisk Ideograms Monument, Independence Monument and the statue of Gustave Borgnis. The Souvenir Pyramid is an artistic landmark set along one of the main avenues. In case tourists are interested to have a look around for the older, natural version and the original settlements in the area, the Bozo village consists of an indigenous tribe which lives off fishing along the banks of the Niger River. Red-skinned, with houses of mud made from the red earth of the surface, this particular tribe is a prominent attraction representing the culture of the country. Another such landmark is the Point G hill, accessible via a trek through the plains to reach rock paintings preserved among the caves from older times.
Leading airlines hosted by the Bamako Airport include Air France, Royal Air Maroc, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways and TAP Air Portugal.
It takes approximately 9 hours to reach Bamako by air from the UK.
There are currently no direct flights for this destination.
The Senou Airport is approximately 14.05 kilometres away from the city centre.
Taxis and taxi motorcycles are used to travel to and from the airport.
With cramped roads and complicated road signs, its best to either hire a taxi or a motor cycle to get you to your desired destination. There also exists a train which crossed through Bamako, bringing passengers in from West Africa. The city also offers bus services to help people in and out of the city. Along the Niger River, there are small scale ferries and boats for ferrying locals across banks. The Sotrama bush taxis consist of mini vanes to cater for multiple commuters along the same route, while on certain routes towards the outskirts, they are replaced by bache pickup trucks, with benches to house passengers in the back.
During the months of December to March the Bamako weather is ideal for visitors, sporting pleasant weather with moderate temperature.
Bamako offers a variety of accommodations to choose from, be it hotels, guest accommodations or bed & breakfast, it offers it all. The general accommodation trend seems to have taken influence from the French culture, with elaborate designs of architecture present among the doorways and balconies. The top cadre is competitive too, with basic amenities like swimming pools, outdoor seating arrangements alongside lawns or gardens. Top preferences from hotels include the Radisson Blu Hotel offering spacious rooms, outdoor pools and top notch restaurants. If self-catering is your preference, choose the Appart’Hotel Le Babema offering rooms with balconies with spectacular views. To get away from the city centre, choose La Venise Malienne bed and breakfast, located just 7 km away to enjoy a calm, peaceful atmosphere. Majority of these hotels are having a few rooms and suites, instead of spreading along floors upon floors of rooms.
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