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Dogon Country, Mali.

Mali Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights via Air France, Kenya Airlines, or Royal Air Maroc to Bamako-Sénou Airport

What to see:
Bamako, Timbuktu, Mopti, Dogon country and the Bandiagara escarpment

Currency: CFA franc

Official language(s):
French, Bambara

TRAVEL ADVISORY: As of this writing in 2017, Mali continues to be listed as a "no-go" in many international travel advisories due to extremist attacks. Now, and in the near future, those planning to travel to Mali would be wise to monitor Mali travel advisories closley especially in the northern regions of Gao, Kidal, and Timbuktu.

Although not on many top lists of African countries to visit even times of peace, Mali has its own unique charm and culture with a friendly disposition and welcoming people.

Add to that stunning desert views, hikes along the world-renowned Bandiagara Escarpment, and camel treks from, of all places - the legendary Timbuktu!

The largest country in West Africa, Mali is officially French speaking - especially in and around its capital city, Bamako - where the Musée National, the colorful markets, zoo & botanical gardens and the Maison des Artisans provide a colorful introduction to the country.

About halfway from Bamako to the fabled Timbuktu lies Mopti, the "Venice of Mali" and a center of tourism made up of three islands (pack the mosquito repellent) at the junction of the Niger and Bani Rivers.

A lively and colorful market town, Mopti also serves as a jumping-off point to Dogon Country, home to the original settlers of the Niger river valley and where villages are built into the cliffs of the breathtaking 125-mile long Bandiagara escarpment, today declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Of course, no visit to Mali would be complete without an excursion to Timbuktu which, despite its reputation for lying near the ends of the earth, is very accessible to the modern traveler. Once a major center along the Saharan trade route and a great seat of Islamic learning, Timbuktu not only holds "bragging rights" for having visited there, but architectural attractions including exquisitely beautiful mosques and tombs dating to the medieval era.

More about Mali travel & tourism around the Web:

Lonely Planet - Mali Travel Guide
- Find excellent insider tips for when and where to travel, safety tips, maps, and special looks at Timbuktu & Gao.

Mali travel guide - Here's more detailed information from Wikitravel with a list of major attractions, advice on getting around by car, train or boat plus insider safety & travel tips, maps & pictures.

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