Traveller's guide: Bamako, Mali



GETTING THERE

Bamako is served by Afriqiyah Airways (020-7631 1840; www.afriqiyah.aero) from Gatwick via Tripoli and by Air France (0870 142 4343; www.airfrance.com) from Paris with connections from various UK airports.

Tour operators offering trips to Mali include Bales Worldwide (0845 057 1819; www.balesworldwide.com) and Footloose Adventure Travel (01943 604 030; www.footlooseadventure.co.uk). A 10-day trip with Footloose costs from £1,060, including B&B accommodation, some meals, all transfers, excursions and guide. International flights and visas are excluded.



STAYING THERE

Hotel Mande, Bamako (00 223 221 1993; www.mandehotel.com). B&B from €82 (£63).

Hotel Sofitel L'Amitie Bamako (00 223 221 4321; www.sofitel.com). Doubles start at €€139 (£107), room only.

VISITING THERE

The next Festival au Desert ( www.festival-au-desert.org) takes place in January 2009.



RED TAPE AND MORE INFORMATION

Britons require a visa to enter Mali, obtainable for €30 (£23) plus postage from the Embassy of the Republic of Mali, Avenue Moliere 487, 1050 Brussels, Belgium (00 322 345 7432).

The Foreign Office (0845 850 2829; www.fco.gov.uk) warns: "We advise against all travel to the north and west of Timbuktu, the north and east of the Niger River along the line of Timbuktu, Gao, Ansongo and Labbezanga and towards the western border with Mauritania and eastern borders with Niger and Algeria. This is because of the increased risk of banditry and kidnap in these areas."

For information see the website www.malitourisme.com (in French)






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