Home to a formerly great empire and the richest man in history (Mansa Musa). This landlocked country is situated in west Africa. Its neighbouring countries are Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Niger, Mauritania and Senegal. The capital is Bamako with the local currency being the Central African Franc (CFA).
Fun Fact! Mali is one of the hottest countries in the world!
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So let’s break this country up into PARTS.
Malians are very diverse and some of the biggest ethnic groups include the; Bambara, Fulani, Sarakole, Senufo, Malinke, Dogon and Sonrai.
French is the official language, though 40 other languages are spoken within then country also.
In Bamako there is so much to see; The National Park is a great place to start with its beautifully maintained gardens and tranquil nature.
Great Mosque of Djenne; the largest mud building in the world and a UNESECO World heritage site. This is a testament to Malian culture and civilisation and an architectural splendour.
Visit Timbuktu; once the scholarly capital of the world located in the north of Mali. Explore this ancient city. The Djinguereber Mosque is a good place to start. This UNESECO World heritage site was one of the four Madrassas of the university of Timbuktu.
Climb Mt Hombori; the highest point in Mali. Located in middle of the country, this mountain is worth the climb.
Baoule National park is a park with a twist. With a diverse range of wildlife such as leopards and girrafes, the park also is home to some prehistoric rock art scattered around the park
Partay! The country has a lot of festivals drawing international musicians to perform; some are the festival of the Desert and The Festival of the Niger.
Rituals and Culture
The majority of Malians practice Islam with the second largest religion being animist religions. Rice and corn are some of the country’s staple foods. Some specialties include Jollof rice (Rice cooked with tomato sauce and red palm oil), tigadge (a peanut stew) and the national drink is sweet tea.
– Protect your skin! This country’s makeup is mainly desert and so you can imagine how hot the country can get. Remember to stay hydrated and pack lots of sunscreen on.
– Modesty is a must, especially as a woman. As the country is a Muslim country, foreign women and men should dress modestly to respect the culture.
– Learn the language. It may be useful to learn a little French as English is not commonly spoken in smaller cities.
– Once the sun goes down in the desert, it can get very cold, so make sure you take this into consideration when booking your tour.
– Eating with the left hand is seen as highly improper