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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.

Tourist attraction

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 paintings

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.

Bamako Map

City Office
City: Bamako
Country:Mali (Republic of)
Address: Square Patrice Lumumba, Bamako
Mailing address: P.O.Box 1841, Bamako, Mali
E-mail: BkoAm@ethiopianairlines.com
Working hours: Mon - Fri 0800Am - 1730Pm Saturday: 09:00 Am-13:00Pm

Airport Office
Airport: Senou
Address: Square Patrice Lubuma BP 1841 Bamako
Phone:00223 679 5819
Fax: 00223 222 6036
E-mail BkoAp@ethiopianairlines.com
Working hours Mon - Thu 08:00-12:30/13:00-16:30 Fri 08:00-12:30/15:00-16:30 Sat 09:00-13:00

Senou International Airport Map

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