Bamako, the capital of Mali, is the city chosen to host the future AfWA congress. The city is located on the banks of the Niger River,also known as Djoliba "river of blood".Bamako is built in a basin surrounded by hills. It stretches over 22 km from the West to the East, and 12 km from the North to the South, covering an area of 267 km². In 2009, the city had a population of 1,809,106 inhabitants. Its urban growth pace is currently the highest in Africa (and the sixth in the world). In 2012, the population increased to 2,309,106 inhabitants.

Hamdallaye ACI 2000

Entry and residence formalities simplified
A passport with entry and residence or transit visa is required to enter Mali, except for nationals of the following countries: Algeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Andorra, Monaco Principality, Chad, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea Bissau, who require valid identity cards. In efforts to facilitate tourism, the Bamako airport police grants a 5-day entry visa to all visitors. Extensions and long-stay visas are granted by the General Directorate of the National Police in Bamako.    

Vaccination against yellow fever is obligatory, and the vaccination card should be presented. The recommended vaccines are: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, typhoid and meningitis. A vaccination service is available at any time at the airport, if necessary.

For protection against mosquitoes, you will find mosquito creams, insecticide-treated nets and insecticides on the spot. However, preventive anti-malaria treatment is highly recommended.

For your stay in Mali, bring along light long-sleeved clothes, walking shoes, and sunglasses.
Most of telephone calls can be made through SOTELMA/Malitel (Mali Telecommunications Company) and ORANGE MALI. The mobile phone network is booming: it covers all the major cities and touristic areas.
Airline Companies

The Bamako-Senou International Airport is located about 5hours 30 minutes flight from Paris and 1hour 30minutes flight from all West African capitals.

It handles flights by several airlines on regular and charter flights. The airports in Kayes, Mopti-Sevare and Gao also receive charter flights from Paris.

Regular flights are offered by : Air France (vol Paris-Bamako quotidien), Royal Air Morocco, Air Mauritania, Air Algeria, Tunis Air, Air Côte d'Ivoire, Air Burkina, Ethiopian Airlines, Aigle Azur, Asky, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Sky, TapPortugal, Kenya Airways, Air Senegal International...

Vue d'une route à la périphérie de Bamako

Road Network

All the major towns of Mali are linked to Bamako by tarred roads; the highways are maintained regularly. The road network is increasingly dense, and the road quality is improving. Access to Mali is possible by car from the following neighbouring countries:

  • Algeria, using the Trans-Saharan Highway (difficult road);
  • Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina-Faso (tarred roads);
  • Senegal, Mauritania (tarred roads);
  • Niger (tarred road);
  • Guinea (tarred road).

Distances KmKayesKoulikoroBamakoSikassoSégouMoptiTombouctouGaoKidal
Local Transport

Rental agencies also make it possible for visitors to rent any type of vehicle. Urban transport is by taxi, minibus, bus and pick-ups. Inter-urban transport is provided by minibuses and bus companies.

Sotrama, the leading means of public transport in Bamako


Trans Rail Company links Bamako to Dakar (Senegal). From Bamako, the train goes to the Malian towns Kati, Néguéla, Kassaro, Sébékoro, Kita, Toukoto, Oualia, Mahina, Galougo, Diamou, Tintiba and Kayes. It also goes to Koulikoro.

River Transport

Pinnaces, which are long engine canoes, continuously provide transportation for goods and people on the Niger River.

The Malian Shipping Company (COMANAV) has vessels operating during high tide of the NigerRiver, a nice way to discover Mali in six (6) days, from Koulikoro to Gao. The boat makes a stop in Segou, Mopti, Diré, Kabara (Timbuktu) and in large villages along the Niger River. The opening of sections of the river to boats varies according to the season: the Mopti - Gao section is generally opened and operational from the end of July to mid-January. The Koulikoro- Mopti section is operational in July-August. These sections operate on a weekly basis.

Hôtel Kimpeski on the shore of the Djoliba River

Bamako city has about thirty 3 to 5-star hotels, with over 2,500 rooms and about 3,000 beds, each with electricity, WIFI and, above all, good security. There are dozens of 2-star hotels not mentioned in our list. The Local Organizing Committee is negotiating favorable terms for the hotels. The list of major hotels is appended hereto.

Bamako city has several standards of restaurants that offer European, Asian and African specialties, and are mostly located near hotels and the conference venue. A list of top restaurants is appended hereto.

Balasoko Restaurant in the National Park

The Malian capital and its suburbs have many large touristic sites. During your stay, please try to visit them. The main sites are:

  • The Cathedral of Bamako constructed with mauve sandstone;
  • The Modibo Keita Memorial, in memory of the first President of Mali (1915-1977)
  • The African Tower,the symbol of African unity;
  • Liberty Square,dedicated to the Heroes of the Black Army;
  • The Mamadou Konaté Square, in memory of one of the Fathers of Malian Independence (1897-1959);
  • The Independence Monument;
  • TheKontron ni Saanè Monument dedicated to the Hunters’ Association;
  • Monuments dedicated to the 2002 African Nations Cup;
  • Kouloba Palace and monuments « Hill of Power ».
  • The big markets of Bamako;
  • Médina Coura market: colourful market with traditional drugs, recuperation materials, spices and others;
  • The pink market: a neo-sudanese style building which is really an Ali Baba cave;
  • The antiques market in N’golonina ;
  • The Handicraft Centre: a lot of jewelry, pottery, leather goods,cane baskets, woven items, sculptures ;
  • Gold and silver jewelry in Bamako-Coura;
  • Woyowayanko Park in Koniambougou comprises: the KéméBourama statue, one of the courageous Sofasof Samory, the mounds and tombs of the Sofas ;
  • The National Park covers an area of 17 haand has flora samples;
  • The zoo has savanna wildlife and flora specimens.
  • The National Museum of Mali, one of the most beautiful in Africa, is a space for admiring a collection of antiques, sculptures, paintings and other precious objects of Mali;
  • The Bamako District Museum, the old fort of Bamako,
  • ’MusoKunda’’ museum, the Women’s Museum;
  • The world of peaceful dreams in Bamako (Santoro restaurant, Hôtel le Djenné,and Amadou Hampaté Ba Centre) ;
  • Koulouba or Point G tourist track offers a panoramic view of Bamako. The prehistoric cave of Point G contains cave paintings;
  • Lithographic materials from the prehistoric cave of Point G are exposed in the Prehistory Garden of the National Museum of Mali;
  • The Submersible Road of Sotuba with Egrets Dam is a place for offerings, incantations and/orworship of spirits or djinns.
  • Prehistoric workshops in Magnambougou.
  • Bamako also offers interesting tourist opportunities in its suburbs :
    • Massala (40 km from Bamako) –fishing village;
    • Koulikoro (60 km from Bamako) to experience the mysterious story of the disappearance of the King of Sosso, Soumangourou Kanté, in Nianan hills;
  • Mande area:
    • Siby (55 km from Bamako) – Kamadian Arch, Dandan Waterfall, and the prehistoric caves of Kouroukorokalé,
    • Kangaba (96 km from Bamako) – capital of the Mandé with its Sacred Hut and historic clearing of Kouroukanfougaon which the Manding Charter was enacted;
    • Bancoumana and its Nautical Base;
    • Baoulé reserve (120 km from Bamako) ;
    • Sélingué artificial lake (140 km from Bamako).

Hunter's Roundabout in Niarcia

Sogolo Roundabout in Kalabancoura

Afric tower in Faladié