Fly To Bamako, Mali
Bamako is the capital of Mali and a vibrant city of colourful markets and energetic nightlife. With a population of 1, 8 million, it is also the largest and fastest growing city in Mali. Incidentally, it is the sixth fastest growing city in the world – at the time of its independence from France in 1960 it had only 160 000 inhabitants. Today the population of Bamako is at least 18 times what it was in 1960. The name “Bamako” comes from the word “Bambara”, which means “crocodile river” – indeed, Bamako is a river port situated on the Niger River.
Some of Africa’s most talented musicians and performers are to be found in Bamako. Experience the warm heartbeat of Africa by finding and booking the cheapest flights to Bamako on Travelstart.co.za – South Africa’s best resource for Bamako, Mali flights.
Mali Visa Requirements
- South African passport holders travelling to Bamako do require a Visa to enter Mali. Ensure your South African passport has at least 6 months remaining on it from your return date and that you have at least 2 blank pages available for stamps.
See and do
The Marché de Medina is a charming authentic market not usually frequented by tourists. Here you can get your hair braided or your hands and feet decorated with henna, as well as buy good-quality secondhand clothes. The Fetish Stalls, near the Maison des Artisans, is not for the faint-hearted, and offers anything from dried chameleons to monkey heads.
The small National Museum contains some beautiful relics from Mali’s ethnic groups, including wooden masks, carvings and antique textiles. The Musée de Bamako also has ethnic exhibits, as well as interesting enlarged photographs from the colonial period. The Bamako Grand Mosque and the Bamako Cathedral are both situated in the centre of town, near the central market.
Bamako really comes to life after dark, especially on weekends. Some of the best clubs include Starlight, Le Byblos, Montecristo and Bla Bla Bar. The Éspace Bouna is a lovely garden venue where you can find live music – Toumani Diabaté, Djelimady Tounkara and the Super Rail Band are some of the local acts you might catch.
Mia Mali is the trendiest boutique in Mali, and hosts the work of over 175 artisans. The Maison des Arisans also sells beautiful handmade goods, including leather goods, jewellery and woodcarvings.
Bamako-Sénou International Airport – BKO
The airport is situated 15 km south of Bamako, and was upgraded between 2007 and 2012. While passenger flights have increased in recent years, cargo flights have declined.
The airport is operated by Aéroport du Mali, overseen by the Ministry of Equipment and Transports. There is a free bus between the airport and the city three times a day. Taxi fare between Bamako and the airport is approximately US$ 15.