Mali is a large country situated in western Africa. The Sahara, Africa’s great desert, covers the northern half of the country. Rolling grassland spreads across most of the rest of Mali. France ruled Mali from 1895 to 1959 and became an independent nation in 1960. Its name in French is Republique du Mali (Republic of Mali).
The country’s best-known city is the fabled Timbuktu, in ancient times the powerful, wealthy centre of Mali’s Mandinka Empire, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mali has three seasons. Its weather is hot and dry from March to May, warm and rainy from June to October, and relatively cool and dry from November to February. Average annual temperatures are between 80 and 85 °F (27 and 29 °C) in much of the country. In the Sahara, temperatures may rise to more than 110 °F (43 °C) during the day. But at night, Sahara temperatures may be as low as about 40 °F (4 °C).
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
POPULATION: 12.3 million
LANGUAGE: French, Bambara
CURRENCY: CFA Franc BCEAO
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +223
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +0
We advise against all travel north and east of the Niger River (along the line Timbuktu, Gao, Ansongo and Labbezanga), apart from to the cities of Timbuktu and Gao, and against all travel to the north and west of Timbuktu, and towards the western border with Mauritania. This is because of the increased risk of banditry and kidnap in these areas. See Crime and Local Travel sections for more details.
Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk