Cheap Flights to Mali

When gold and salt are brought together in one statement, Mali would likely be the subject. This country in Africa is famous for being the third's largest exporter of gold and salt, which contribute to its above-average economic standing. However, this is not experienced by the majority of the population, as many live below the poverty line. The political and military unrest is largely responsible for this, as Tuareg ethic militias started a rebellion in the northern part of the country in early 2012. Soldiers were not up to the task as they focused more on overthrowing Amadou Toumani Toure from his hold on the presidency.

Intensive mediation efforts by neighboring countries in the region of West Africa have brought relative stability in the political front. The civilian government was returned with Dioncounda Traore as the temporarily appointed president, while regiments were sent into the northern countryside to rout the rebels from their strongholds. This heralds a start in turning the chaotic situation around, as most of North Mali has now been retaken with a new president taking oath in the later months of 2013.

What to see & do

Once peace in Mali was restored, there are many sights for tourists to explore. The first landmarks to see are the old towns of Djenné, which is one of the strategic routes in the trans-Saharan gold trade. Those who are passionate with architecture or archeology will find the area fascinating due to the use of packed earth in its buildings. The mosque is a particular example of the ingenuity of the ancient builders, as it went through extensive restorations to preserve its original appearance. Travelers will find the sight fascinating due to the Sahel-style mud-brick structure that became a symbol of Djenné's richness and significance ever since it was built in the 12th century.

Travelers will also be intrigued to see Timbuktu, which appears as amazing as its name. This part of the country is a spectacular for its historical and cultural importance, due to the presence of grand mosques – Djingareyber, Sankore, and Sidi Yahia. These structures became influential in spreading Islam to the region, as pilgrims flock to it through the years. From here, one can visit the Tomb of Askia, a 17-metre pyramid that exemplifies the power and riches of the Asia Mohamed's empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. Guides will tell the guests about its value as one of the most highly regarded mud-brick structures in the West African region. 

Those who want to see a native village dating back to the ancient times can visit the Cliff of Bandiagara, which is romantically called the 'Land of the Dogons.' The houses, communal meeting areas, and other structures were built in the sandy plateaus that rose from the cliff landscape, which make an impressive sight. It can also bring to mind the exceptional genius of the people who sought to adapt in the rough lands with their strength and skills in building. 

How to get around

Travellers eager to explore Mali will have to prepare for time-consuming modes of transport. Riding a boat is often the best option during high tide, as it will be easier to go around the historical sights by water than on land. One will have to bargain about the fare, so one should not board immediately without settling the amount. Road travel can also be bumpy due to the lack of well-paved paths in the countryside. Major towns and cities are connected with an organized road network, which makes it easier to ride buses in these areas. 

Those who want to see the countryside will have to look for 4WDs that accept passengers for a ride. Train service is minimal as well, with the only route going between Bamako and Kayes. Second-class carriages can be cramped, making a first-class reservation necessary.

How to get there

Travelers going to Mali can board flights to Senou International Airport in Bamako. Airlines serving here are Aigle Azur, Air Algérie, Air Burkina, Air Côte d'Ivoire, Air France, ASKY Airlines, Douniah Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Interair South Africa, Kenya Airways, Mauritania Airlines International, Royal Air Maroc, Sénégal Airlines, TAP Portugal, Tunisair, and Turkish Airlines.

Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.