City Guide, Bamako
Bamako is the capital city of Mali in West Africa. Bamako lies on the banks of
the Niger river. It's a sprawling city, filled with life, outdoor markets, music,
pollution, dust and mud (depending on the season). The name Bamako means "crocodile
river" in the local language, Bambara. Besides Bambara, you'll hear plenty
of French spoken in Bamako.
Bamako became the capital of Mali when Mali gained its independence from France
in 1960. The city of Bamako has been experiencing radical urbanization since. As
a result, the growth of the city and the actual increase of its population have
been significantly larger than what was planned in the revised Master Plan. The
current population of the city is over 1 million.
The tourist attractions of Bamako attract hundreds of travelers from around the
world. One of the major tourist spots in Bamako is the National Library of Mali.
This library holds more than 60,000 works including periodicals, audio documents,
videos, software and many more. These are available to the public for free or can
be borrowed with a minimum subscription. The famous National Museum is one of the
major Bamako attractions. This anthropological and archaeological museum exhibits
the history of Mali. It allows a glimpse into the musical instruments, dress and
ritual objects used by the various ethnic groups of Mali.
The Muso Kunda Museum and the Bamako Regional Museum are the other two museums
in the city. The Muso Kunda Museum displays traditional clothing and everyday household
objects used by the Mali women. The Bamako zoo has a staggering variety of animals,
which can amuse and entertain the tourists. The Bamako Botanical Gardens is a treasure
trove of a wide variety of trees. Some are unique to this region. The Point G hill
is another major tourist attraction in Bamako where primitive caves contain rock
Culture and entertainment
Music is the main part of Culture of Mali. The music is renowned outside of Africa
for kora virtouso Toumani Diabaté. The late roots and blues guitarist like Ali Farka
Touré and his successors are famous instances for the music. Afel Bocoum and Vieux
Farka Touré including lot other Afro-pop performers like Salif Keita, the duo Amadou
et Mariam, and Oumou Sangare are famous for all.
Art and Craft are the most outstanding parts of Culture of Mali. The Culture
of Mali are portrayed in traditional architecture of woodcarvings, wicker creations,
brass carvings, mud cloth textile decorations, gold jewelry, dance, bead bracelets
and music. Mali is also well known for authentic mud cloth with hand-print decorations
using the conventional techniques that have been brought here many centuries back.
Food and drink
There is a varied choice, from pastry shops to restaurants offering African,
Asian or international cuisine. Several of the hotels have restaurant and bar facilities
of international standard, serving international dishes, and most towns have small
restaurants serving local and north African dishes. Hotel restaurants are open to
non-residents. Alcohol is available in bars (with very late opening hours), but
since the majority is Muslim, there is a good range of fresh fruit juices. Most
people tend to drink fruit juice rather than alcohol.
While Shopping in Bamako you can purchase a lot of clothes. You can buy ready
made dresses from specialist shops which are pretty expensive. You also have the
option of buying materials and then getting them stitched by a tailor. The 'European
fabric store' is a favorite destination for those you do a shopping in Bamako.
While Shopping in Bamako stop by the "Bag Shop". You can buy excusive
kinds of bags here bags are made with material imported from Senegal and Ivory Coast.
You can shop for traditional boubou (kaftan), pagne (wrap-round skirt) and headtie
in Bamako ready made shops.