Due to ongoing conflict in Northern Mali, non-essential travel is not advised. Mali is known for its natural landscapes, culture, and historical cities and towns. Popular sites include the La Grande Mosquée of Djenné, the ancient city of Timbuktu, and the Tomb of Askia.
The standards for patient care and medical services in Mali may differ from your home country. Mali has a public, decentralized healthcare system funded by the government as well as donors and foreign aid. The healthcare system is under-funded and under-staffed. Access to care is limited, especially in rural regions where facilities are only able to provide basic care and are severely under-staffed. The country’s national hospitals provide the best care, but even in these facilities the equipment is out-of-date, medical supplies are limited, and wait-times are long.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals and private practitioners in Mali typically require upfront payment, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation – possibly to Western Europe – may be required for medical emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Mali.
It may be difficult to find prescription medicines in Mali, especially outside major cities. Make sure to pack a sufficient supply of essential mediation for the duration of your trip.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Mali’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Main roads in Bamako and other major cities are paved, but roads in rural areas are often unpaved and many may be poorly maintained. Potholes and ditches are also common. During the rainy season, many roads may be impassable. Travel on Mali’s desert roads is discouraged for visitors due to the threat of conflict, violence, and kidnapping. Seat belts are required in vehicles at all times. Helmets should be worn by motorcycle drivers and passengers at all times.