Best things to do in Mali
Find out more about those top places in Mali
Welcome to Bamako, Mali’s capital and largest city - with a population of over 2 million, it is the nation’s economic and cultural center. The French-speaking nation located on the Niger River is one of the most visited cities in West Africa.
Known for its stunning landscape, colonial architecture and buzzing nightlife - it is one of those cities that makes time fly. Some of its attraction include Grand Mosque of Bamako, Medina Market and its numerous monuments scattered around the city.
As its name suggest the Grand Mosque of Bamako is a spectacle, built on the former grounds of precolonial brick mosque – it is the most sacred place in the capital. Visible from most parts of the city, it is one of Bamako’s tallest buildings with its construction at the end of the 1970s aided by the Saudi Arabian government, which may explain its similarities with Saudi Arabian structures. Visitors are welcome to worship and sightseer as long as they are properly dress in accordance to the Islamic rules.
Bamako is often said to be the “Capital of Monuments” in Africa, due to the fact that there is bound to be a monument at every turn you make. The most impressive and significant of all is the Monument of Independence meant to symbolize Mali’s fight for independence from colonial masters, another important one is the Monument of Peace built to commemorate the peace agreement signed with the Touareg on 6 January 1991. You can also see the Tower of Africa, Hommage aux Martyrs and many more. A good way to spend your time in Mali’s capital is by going monument hunting.
Not the biggest of museums, but still represents the best opportunity to learn about the culture and heritage of the Malian people. Established on 14 February 1953, it is an anthropological and archaeological museum with most of its exhibits centered on the various ethnic groups of Mali. Its exhibitions include carvings, ancient textile, wooden masks, instruments and various ritual objects. Look at for the museum’s gift shop for souvenirs and its mini café.
Located just off the National Museum is the Mali National Park set up by the Government as part of its increase urban development scheme. Covering over 17 hectares, it is a stark contrast of life in most part of the city and is an epitome of serenity and tranquility. It offers a good place for picnics and outdoor exercise – you would also find lots of cafes and restaurants around.
If the national Park was a contrast to life in Bamako, the Medina market is a direct description of how Bamako is on a regular day. The market is a bit chaotic and might be overwhelming at first, but after a while you are likely to find your feet and enjoy all it has to offer. You will find items ranging from second hand shoes to jewelries.