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Bamako, Mali

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Road Conditions and Safety: We recommend that you exercise extreme caution when traveling by road. Travelers after dark on roads outside of urban centers are subject to attack by kidnappers and terrorists, and more commonly regular banditry, as roads are poorly lit or seldom traveled. Road travel between Gao, Kidal, and Menaka, and outside Timbuktu, should be avoided as they are common sites for improvised explosive devices (bombs) and ambushes by armed assailants.

  • Remain alert and vigilant while driving.
  • Do not make any unplanned stops.
  • Do not drive alone at night.
  • Keep car doors locked and windows up, even if the need arises to speak to someone outside of the vehicle.
  • If you are forced to stop, do not resist the demands of would-be assailants, as they may be armed.
  • Avoid using motorbikes, van taxis, and public transportation.
  • Many vehicles are not well-maintained, and headlights are either extremely dim or not used at all, while rear lights or reflectors are often missing or broken.
  • Driving conditions in the capital of Bamako can be particularly dangerous due to limited street lighting, the absence of sidewalks for pedestrians, and the number of motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles.

Mali has paved roads leading from Bamako to most major cities in the south and east. During the rainy season from mid-June to mid-September, some unpaved roads may be impassable. Four-wheel drive vehicles with spare tires and emergency equipment are recommended. Professional roadside service is not available. It is imperative to carry sufficient quantities of drinking water and food. Drivers should ensure that their gas tanks are at least half-full at all times, as gas stations are not widely available.

Drivers travel on the right-hand side of the road in Mali. Speed limits range from 40-60 km per hour (25-40 miles per hour) within towns, to 100 km per hour (60 miles per hour) between cities. Road conditions often require much lower speeds.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Mali, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Mali?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

The U.S. government has warned about the risks to civil aircraft operating into, out of, within, or over Mali due to hazards associated with ongoing fighting involving military forces and extremist/militant groups. The FAA advises U.S. civil aviation to avoid flying below a certain altitude in the airspace over Mali. For further information on FAA flight prohibitions, see the Federal Aviation Administration?s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices

Bamako, Mali
Bamako, Mali
Bamako, Mali
Bamako, Mali

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