Mali surprised me a little bit. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but I can’t honestly say it is what I found. The country is far more developed than I imagined. Despite being covered mostly by desert, Mali is much more lush than I had imagined it to be. And no matter how much I incredible I imagined walking up to the grand mosque in Djenne to be, it was even more spectacular. Sure, I only had the opportunity to visit about half of the places I would have liked to as a result of the current conflict in the country, however, what I did find was a beautiful country full of warm hearted people and some brilliant music. Surprises are rarely as special as Mali has been to me, and I’ll certainly miss it when I’m gone.
**Note** At the time of writing, Nov. 25th, 2012, it was currently save to travel to the Southern regions of the country. Anywhere north of Mopti is deemed not only extremely dangerous, but also impossible. Moreover, there was a kidnapping this week near the town of Kayes near the border with Mauritania. If you’re coming overland to Mali, I highly recommend that you avoid crossing from Mauritania to Mali.
Highlights: Music in Bamako, the Niger River, Djenne
Backpacker’s Budget: $35-45USD
General Mali Travel Advice and Tips
- Budget for Travel in Mali
- Getting a Visa for Nigeria in Bamako
- Getting a Visa for Burkina Faso in Bamako
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