Overland Journeys: West Africa Overland

Mali is perhaps the greatest of West Africa’s countries for travellers. It is a country steeped in history and intrigue, with the towns of Djenne and Timbuktu still evocative of the old empires that controlled the trans-Sahara trade routes. The tribal groups of Mali can be encountered by visiting villages whilst trekking through the Dogon lands of Bandiagara or taking a Niger River cruise to Timbuktu. Mali is also a country to enjoy bustling markets, great West African music and a visit to the world’s largest mud brick building – the Grand Mosque of Djenne. Explore in depth highlights of Mali.

Travel Information for Mali
Time zone:GMT 0 (Greenwich mean time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Bambara, French
Other languages:Dogon, Fulfulde, Soninke, Sonrai, Tamashek
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF)

1 = CAF655, $1 = CAF0.00, £1 = CAF781

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.mlInternational Dialling Code:    223

For help planning your trip to Mali including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Mali trip planning page.

Further information on Mali

Discover more about Mali - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of mali

Total area: 1,240,000 sq km (20,000 sq km under water)

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Neighbours (border lengths): Algeria (1,376km), Burkina Faso (1,000km), Guinea (858km), Ivory Coast (532km), Mauritania (2,237km), Niger (821km), Senegal (419km)

Climate: Climate ranges from subtropical to arid. There are three seasons, hot and dry from February to June, rainy, humid, and mild from June to November and cool and dry from November to February.

Highest mountain: Hombori Tondo (1,155m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Mali from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldPartly Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 83/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 119/179
Press FreedomDifficult situation 116/179
ILGA LGBT rightsLimited rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 115/174
Overall Ranking:    113/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Republic of Mali     Status: Independent Country

Population: 16,455,903 (rank: 66/196)     Density: 13.2 people/sq km (rank: 178/196)

Ethnic groups: Mande 50% (Bambara, Malinke, Soninke), Peul 17%, Voltaic 12%, Songhai 6%, Tuareg and Moor 10%, other 5%

Religions: Muslim 90%, Christian 1%, indigenous beliefs 9%

GDP (PPP): $18.9 billion       GDP per capita: $1,100 (rank: 185/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.