Mali in the heart of Africa is like a gem in an ocean, which is certainly the pride of the continent. With rich history regarding its deserts and rivers, Africa is blessed to offer some of the most notable tourist attractions in Mali. Can you recall the popular cities such as Timbuktu and Djenne? They are all here in Mali, Africa.
One of the most admired tourist attractions in Mali is its capital Bamako that is adorned with many hotels, restaurants, vivid markets, and best music. Here, Marche de Medina is the least thronged market for buying second-hand clothes along with one more market called Marche de N’Golonina. Bamako in Mali also is the home of interesting Musee de Bamako in the downtown where you will come across the stunning ethnographic items and postcards. Ladies will love the Musee Muso Kunda of Bamako in Mali as it is totally dedicated to the national women. Here, traditional clothing as well as daily use household items are on display. Other highlights are the Botanical Gardens, craft center at the Maison des Artisans, the zoo, and the Musee National housing appealing ethnographic items like carvings, wooden masks, and old textiles. This was all that I explored of Bamako in Mali.
Djenne was my next halt as it is off the main road from Bamako to Mopti on the Niger River Delta. This is among the top visited tourist attractions in Mali as it is called the ‘Jewel of the Niger’. Here, the main highlights are its beautiful Grande Mosque of 1907, the Grand Marche as the Monday Market in front of the mosque, the House of the Traditional Chief who is an arbitrator, and the Holy Well of Nana Wangara. From here at 3 km are the ruins of Jenne-Jeno, a settlement of 300 B.C, which used iron for the first time in Africa. Head towards the southern edge that holds Tapama Dienepo where a tomb of a young girl exists. She voluntarily sacrificed herself in the 9th century following a claim of the local religious leader according to whom the town was fraudulent.
Great Mosque of Djenne
The Old Djenne is also worth a visit at 5 km whose roots lies in 250 B.C. This is a Hertiage site where you can explore a market center, an Islamic spiritual center, and 2000 traditional houses on hillocks.
Mopti is one of the most visited tourist destination here. Visit the most famous market of Marche Souguni where merchants vend fruits, vegetables, art, crafts, salt, spices, herbs, and traditional medicines. Next, the Misire Mosquee is worth a look, which is erected in the classic Sahel-style whose mud-covered section is remade before the rains. Although the non-Muslims are not allowed within, you can have some great view here. From here, make a day trip to Bandiagara nestled on the southeast of Mopti in Mali, Africa. This is where the Dogons reside, the first folks to live on the Niger river valley. Their old beliefs still prevail indicating the ‘no-influence’ of the prevailing Islam. Check out here for the hamlets on the cliffs, which are World Heritage Sites. But, you need to greet these people with respect.
Timbuktu meaning remoteness is the legendary city in Mali, Africa known for its magnificent camel caravans that arrive annually from the Taoudenni salt mines for distributing goods. However, the historic regions of the city are in ruins. The main highlights here are Centre de Recherches Historiques Ahmed Baba housing 23,000 religious and scientific texts, Dyingerey Ber Mosque in Sudanese style and the Ethnological Museum close to Sidi Yahiya Mosque housing the Bouctou well where the town was discovered, attires, musical instruments, games, jewelry, and images of the old rock carvings at Tin-Techoun. Some more places of interest are Flamme de la Paix near the desert where 3000 weapons were burnt at the end of the Tuareg rebellion, Grand Marche for buying salt slabs, Heinrich Barth’s House showing popular Barth’s drawings and his writings, Sankoré Mosque, and Sidi Yahiya Mosque. In both these mosques, non-Muslims are not allowed to enter.
The best time to visit Mali Africa is from November to January as these are days of cold season. Do not plan to come here in September and October because of very high temperatures.