- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, what formerly made up the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 with a transitional government and in 1992 when Mali's first democratic presidential election was held. After his reelection in 1997, President Alpha KONARE continued to push through political and economic reforms and to fight corruption. In keeping with Mali's two-term constitutional limit, he stepped down in 2002 and was succeeded by Amadou TOURE.
Source: CIA World Factbook
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal.Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites. All travelers to West Africa, including infants, children, and former residents of West Africa, are at risk for malaria. All travelers should take one of the following drugs (listed alphabetically): atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine (in special circumstances).
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended and may be required for entry into certain of these countries. If you travel to West Africa, the easiest and safest thing to do is get a yellow fever vaccination and a signed certificate. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in the region. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at least 46 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- Meningococcal meningitis, for travel to most of these countries from December through June.
- Yellow fever.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 1112 years who did not complete the series as infants.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an absolute 1-micron or less filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. Absolute 1-micron filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
- Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
- Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
- DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
SAFETY AND SECURITY:
The U.S. Embassy in Bamako advises American citizens to avoid travel to Mali's
northern regions beyond the cities of Timbuktu and Gao, and to exercise caution
when traveling in any isolated areas within Mali. U.S. Government employees
serving in Mali, including those on temporary duty, are required to have approval
from the Chief of Mission prior to traveling to areas north of the Niger River.
Some of the towns included in this requirement are Kidal, Tessalit, Lere,
Goundam, Essakane, and Menaka.
Mali's northern regions have become a safe haven for the Group Salafist for Prayer and Combat (GSPC), a terrorist group seeking the overthrow of the Algerian government. In February 2003, a GSPC faction moved into Mali's far north with 15 European hostages; one died and 14 were subsequently released to Malian authorities. The continued presence of the GSPC and other armed groups presents potential dangers to travelers. Northern Mali hosts several annual music festivals in the desert, including one north of Timbuktu at Essakane, one outside Kidal, and another near Menaka. These are official Government of Mali events. The greatest caution should be used in any decision to attend these music festivals, given their remote location within regions where the GSPC has operated. Americans who plan to attend these festivals or otherwise travel to the northern regions of Mali despite this caution are urged to notify the Embassy about their plans by phone or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sporadic banditry and random carjackings have historically plagued Mali's vast desert and its borders with Mauritania and Niger. Banditry is not seen as targeting U.S. citizens specifically; however, acts of violence cannot be predicted.
Flying or traveling by boat to Timbuktu and other northern locations is considered to be safer than driving; local carriers provide such services. Travel overland is best done in convoys with several vehicles and with some type of long-range communications capability. When traveling into less frequented areas and off paved roads, the Embassy suggests that you provide an itinerary to a reliable friend whom you can notify of your arrival. The Embassy strongly urges all travelers to avoid traveling by car at night outside urban centers for reasons of road safety; all travelers are urged to limit overland travel to daylight hours and to avoid dirt track and unimproved roads. The roads around Timbuktu, and from Gao to Kidal and Menaka, are essentially desert tracks with long isolated stretches and travelers must be prepared to repair their vehicles should they break down or become stuck in the sand. Travelers should also carry plenty of food and water.
Instability in Cote d'Ivoire has resulted in security incidents in Mali along its southern border and travelers should maintain heightened vigilance in those areas. Throughout Mali, U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
CRIME: While violent crime in Mali is infrequent, petty crimes, such as pick pocketing and simple theft, are common in urban areas. Passports and wallets should be closely guarded when in crowded outdoor areas and open-air markets. Individuals traveling on the Bamako-Dakar railroad are advised to be vigilant for pickpockets, especially at night. There are sporadic reports of nighttime robberies occurring on the roads outside of the capital; tourists should not drive outside of Bamako at night. Travelers should stay alert, remain in groups and avoid poorly lit areas after dark.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are the victim of a crime overseas, in addition to reporting to the local police, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of the local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
U.S. citizens may refer to the State Department pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad" to find useful information on safe-traveling and personal security while abroad and in the region in general. Pamphlets are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
subtropical to arid; hot and dry February to June; rainy, humid, and mild June to November; cool and dry November to February
Source: CIA World Factbook
Mali's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Please note: Not all electrical sockets in this country provide grounding. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required. All travelers must have international vaccination cards with a current yellow fever immunization. Travelers should obtain the latest visa information and entry requirements from the Embassy of the Republic of Mali, 2130 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 332-2249. Internet: http://www.maliembassy-usa.org. Overseas, inquiries should be made at the nearest Malian embassy or consulate.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The time zone for Mali is 0 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Mali would be 5:00 pm
The unit of currency in Mali is the Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States.
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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