Home to the Mali Empire succeeding the region after the decline of the Ghana Empire, Flights to Mali will lead you through a thriving blend of tradition and evolution. With a boatload of tourist attractions, you can make a memorable itinerary by going for hiking in Dogon Country, taking a dip in the natural pools of Gouina and Waroni waterfalls as well as viewing the architecture enriched in the old town of Segou Koro built entirely of red mud-bricks. Other landmarks to look out for include the 17 meter high tomb of Askia and the mosques or bird-watching on Lake Debo at the brink of Sahara.
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Regrettably, as of right now, there are no direct flights from any airport in Mali to an airport in the UK. Usually, passengers and travellers to Mali take an Air Algerie or a Royal Air Maroc flight to Mali. Tickets from these airlines are cheaper than tickets of Air France, although Air France operates more flights to Mali overall. African Based airlines have the added advantage of being midway between the UK and central Africa and are close to Mali, and thus can offer cheaper tickets.
The best time to visit Mali is in the months of December and January. These months are the coolest months of the year for a country that is partially covered by the Saharan desert. The temperatures, even in these months, can get warmer when the harmattan winds begin to blow from the desert towards the more habitable southern Mali, without warning. However, that is not always the case and when they do start to blow towards the greener south of the country, just stay indoors and get entertained by your great Malian hosts.
The cheapest time to visit Mali is in the hot months that are between May and July. These months might be hot, with temperatures reaching about 40°C but they also bring in some rain and with that the country gets greener and cooler after the parched searing months. So, keep hydrated, keep cool and enjoy the summer months in Mali, by paying half as much as other travellers usually pay who visit Mali in the winter.
The airport that handles all international flights coming to Mali is Modibo Keita International Airport (BKO) at Bamako city. Since Mali is a landlocked country, Bamako Airport has been the primary doorway in and out of Mali. The airport is only 15 kilometres away and the city centre is only 25 minutes away from Modibo Keita International Airport. Despite being in an isolated landlocked corner of Africa, the airport has assisted 1 million passengers in 2017.
British citizens require a visa to enter Mali. This visa can be obtained from the Malian Honorary Consulate in London. It can take about seven to twenty-one days to get the visa processed by the Malian authorities. The British government has advised its citizens going to Mali, to avoid travel at night time and to have their identification papers with themselves at all times. Mali is a vast country; however, the northern half of the country faces some instability, so travelling into those regions is not advised.
The word Mali comes from the Mali Empire which existed before the region was colonized by the French in 1905. Mali has the world’s third-largest copper and gold reserves which have provided Mali with significant development and foreign presence, especially in the south of the country. Malian culture is an amalgamation of Islamic, Arabic, Sudanese and African traditions with the added finesse of the European cultures brought over by the colonial presence.
Getting around in Mali can be somewhat of a challenge, but if the tourists stick to the more populous areas of Mali, getting around can be relatively easy. The country lacks in urban infrastructure and paved roads can only be found in administrative districts and key trade route cities. Since Mali is a landlocked country, its exports are shipped out through Senegal or Côte d'Ivoire. The rail routes and roads linking to these countries to the capital city of Bamako make it easier for travellers to move. Taxi services are largely privately owned. Motorcycle taxis are also available that can zigzag between clogged and damaged roads easily.
The recent developmental projects and the exploration into Mali’s gold reserves have encouraged businesses to establish five-star hotels in the country.