Mali, Africa - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Mali

Mali

Capital: Bamako

Official Language: French

Population: 17 million (2015)

Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)

Driving Side: Right

Calling Code: +223

 

Mali is one of the countries in the world with fascinating and intriguing cultural landscapes. One cannot talk extensively about Mali without mentioning the cultural civilization of Timbuktu and Mansa Musa- arguably the richest man in history.

Timbuktu, a historical and still-inhabited site is an internationally recognised centre of knowledge: its libraries contain seminal notes on astronomy, mathematics and philosophy dating back to the 16th century. The town also became known for its influence in gold, salt, ivory and slave trade around that period.

Close by is another historical town- Djenné. Known the world over for its adobe architecture, in particular the Great Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest mud-brick building in the world. The capital city- Bamako, offers a more urban setting with its distinct nightlife and the rest.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

The Great Mosque

The Great Mosque of Djenné is the largest mud brick building in the world. Located in the city of Djenné, Mali on the flood plain of the Bani River, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. Along with the entire city of Djenné it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

Gao

An important town on the Saharan trade routes, Gao was the capital of the Songhai Empire in the 15th Century. In Gao, you will find the Mosque of Mansa Musa- who is considered the richest man that ever lived- and also the tomb of Askia.

Mount Hombori

Located in Mopti region, this flat topped mountain is the tallest in Mali. It is a significant ecological and archaelogical site. Due to the inaccessibility of the summit, its flora and fauna has been preserved from pasture and agriculture.

Business

With a GDP of US$11.8 billion (2016 estimate), Mali's economy is almost entirely agricultural and its one of Africa's largest producer and exporter of cotton and gold. Marble, salt and phosphates are also being exploited; there are also known reserves of iron ore and uranium.

Its essential to be able to speak french to do business here. For smart meetings, you need to dress formal- suit and tie. 

Office hours are; Monday - Thursday: 0730-1230 and 1300-1600 while Friday: 0730-1230 and 1430-1730.

The country depends of importation for food, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and textiles.

Communications

For internet, there are many internet cafes in the major towns and cities of Mali while most large hotels also offer this service. For mobile phone communications, roaming agreements exist with mobile phone operators all over the world.

 

Getting Around

Most cities are connected by a moderate road networks. They drive on the right side of the road and you can make use of the taxis and cabs in major cities to get around. The fares are cheap and affordable

Language

The official language is French while there are a number of local languages.

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