Bamako's Busy Streets


Bamako is the capital of Mali and home to quite a large number of people. It is a dirty and crowded city but with secluded havens away from the hustle.


  • Best views of the city are from the top of Point G. The guidebook says to get there you can walk up past the museum and zoo then take the “tourist” path marked. I would suggest you get local transport instead since it is QUITE a walk.

Bamako from Point G

  • The museum is very good with a few well laid-out exhibits though you should be aware that the price is NOT 500 CFA but now 2,500 CFA to get in plus another 500 CFA for a guide.
  • Use the local bâchées as they MUCH cheaper than a taxi if you are going to a particular area of the city
  • Internet access in some of the nicer hotels can be cheaper than an Internet Café! Be sure to check out their prices.

The Train

Bamako Station

One of the unique attractions of Bamako is the fact that you can catch a train here to Dakar. The train is supposed to leave on Wednesdays and Saturdays but this may not be the case depending on whether there have been any mechanical problems. The trip to Dakar takes about 36 hours but could take more than 48. If you want to get tickets be sure to go to the station at LEAST two days ahead of time (preferably early in the morning) to check availability and the current method of purchasing tickets (for the Wednesday train we were told to be there on Monday at 9:00 am to get your name on the reservation list then return on Tuesday to buy your ticket – this MAY have changed).

Another option to the train to Dakar is to take one of the daily trains to Kayes (leaving first thing in the morning) then travel on using bush taxis/buses from there.


The dining options in Bamako are not all that good though the hotels have some good restaurants the options on the streets are not as good.


I would strongly suggest paying a bit more for accommodation (though the prices of the Grand Hotel are absolutely ridiculous, even by European standards) – Avoid the lowest price hotels (such as Chez Fanta).

Further Information

For further information, please see: