Bamako is a bustling city perched upon the banks of the Niger River. With its population of over 1.8 million, it is the administrative capital of Mali, and seamlessly blends the modern and traditional. Learn the history of the city, and see the art of the Malian people, at its museums, or indulge in its buzzing nightlife.
And for a limited time, cheap flights to Bamako are now available; seize your chance to visit this bustling capital today! Bamako is home to Bamako's Modibo Keita International Airport (BKO), located approximately 25 minutes’ drive from Bamako itself, and serving a number of international airlines, including Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways. Transport into the city is primarily by metred taxis, though a free bus service also passes between the airport and the city three times a day.
Popular flights to Bamako
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Bamako
Alive at Night
Boasting several lively clubs and lounges, which frequently host performances by both local and international musical artists, Bamako is a city that never fails to come alive at night.
Arts and History
The history of the city, the art of the Malian people, and even ancient rock art are all preserved at Bamako’s various museums and institutions.
The sprawling greenery of the city parks and the flowing waters of the Niger River provide the perfect setting for outdoorsy strolls.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
West African Franc
1 ZAR = 47.59 XOF
Bamako's Modibo Keita International Airport
Type C, E
Best time to visit Bamako
Mali is a hot nation, and it’s like that throughout the year. Temperatures rarely drop below 20˚C except at their very coolest, and often they hover around the mid to upper 30s.
As a result, temperature has little bearing on when Mali’s guests tend to swing by; however, generally speaking, July to September tends to see lower rates of tourism, since it’s the country’s rainy season. It’s a good time to swing by should you wish to avoid the crowds and get the lower hotel rates, but you’d best remember to pack a raincoat. By contrast, November to February, when the country is at its driest, but not quite its hottest, tends to see the heaviest influx of visitors.
Weather & Climate in Bamako
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month
Rainfall (mm) 25
An administrative centre and bustling capital, Bamako is a city with modern and traditional elements that blend seamlessly together – with governmental hubs and booming, glitzy clubs existing alongside extensive open-air markets, centuries-old architecture of the Great Mosque, and the museums that preserve the history and the arts of Mali and its people. More outdoorsy pursuits present themselves in Bamako’s resident botanical gardens, its zoo, the lush shores of the Niger River, or the caves of Point G Hill, which preserve ancient rock paintings.
The Bamako experience is one that seeps through the centuries of the region; and it’s one that’s not to be forgotten.
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South Africans require a visa to enter Mali. Enquiries can be made at the Malian embassy at 876 Pretorius Street, Block B, in Pretoria. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months, and that you have at least two blank pages available for stamps.
The South African embassy in Mali is located at:
Tel: + 223 2029 2925
Mali is the site of a number of mosquito-borne infections, including yellow fever and malaria; and the Centres for Disease Control recommends that all travellers receive proper immunisation against them before departing, as well as ensuring that all their routine vaccinations are up to date.
Sadly, Mali has seen a recent rise in civil unrest and religious extremism, which has increased the general level of safety risk faced by travellers. Much of the unrest manifests further north than Bamako – which is generally considered more stable due to the greater influence of international consulates within it, although instances of violence have been reported in the capital itself. So, practise caution as you enjoy your time in Bamako.
Meal inexpensive restaurant
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
Despite the recent civil disturbances somewhat disrupting the accommodation business, Bamako still boasts a number of well-regarded establishments of varying levels of affordability and luxury, with fees ranging from under 21,000 to over 95,000 CFA Franc.
Despite its recent exponential growth, getting around Bamako remains very affordable. The chief and most popular form of transportation are the local minibus taxis, or sotramas – though finding a conductor who speaks English may prove something of a challenge. Individual cabs are also available, if ever so slightly more pricey. The local bus system is generally used chiefly for transport to other cities or towns.