Mali - Consular Information Sheet
October 3, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Mali is a developing West African
nation with a democratic government. Facilities for tourism are
limited. The capital is Bamako.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required.
All travelers must have international vaccination cards with a
current yellow fever immunization. Travelers should obtain the
latest information from the
Embassy of the Republic of Mali, 2130 R Street, N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 332-2249. Internet: http://www.maliembassy-usa.org/.
Overseas, inquiries should be made at the nearest Malian embassy
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Banditry and carjackings have historically
plagued Mali's northern regions and the Mauritanian border. There
have been several carjackings, robberies and murders in the Gao,
Kidal and Tombouctou regions involving U.S. citizens and other
foreign tourists. While banditry is not seen as targeting U.S.
citizens specifically, the rise in violent incidents has greatly
increased the risk to all travelers in the region. The U.S. Embassy
in Bamako urges U.S. citizens to avoid non-essential travel and
to exercise extreme caution while traveling in northern Mali (Tombouctou
region and points north) or to any isolated area within Mali.
U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street
demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
CRIME INFORMATION: While the level of violent crime remains
low, petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and simple theft, are
common. Occasionally, female travelers, in particular, have reported
being harassed in public places. There have been several incidents
of carjackings, armed robberies and banditry in Bamako and in
the outlying regions of Gao, Kidal and Tombouctou. Train travelers
are advised to be vigilant for pickpockets, especially at night.
Travelers should stay alert, remain in groups and avoid poorly
lit areas after dark.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. The pamphlets A Safe
Trip Abroad and Tips
for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa provide useful information
on protecting personal security while traveling abroad and in
the region in general. Both are available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are limited, and
many medicines are unavailable. Travelers should bring with them
an adequate supply of needed medicines.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via the
CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Mali is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Mali has a few paved roads that are in fair condition. U.S. citizens
traveling by road should exercise extreme caution. Poorly maintained,
overloaded transport and cargo vehicles frequently break down
and cause accidents. Undisciplined drivers render traffic movements
unpredictable. Construction work is often poorly indicated. Speed
bumps - commonly used on paved roads in and near villages - are
seldom indicated. Night time driving is particularly hazardous
as vehicles frequently lack headlights and/or tail lights. Mali's
unpaved roads vary in quality. Deep sand and/or ditches are common.
During the rainy season from mid-June to mid-September, dirt roads
often become impassable. Four wheel drive vehicles with full spare
tires and emergency equipment are recommended.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: Due to safety concerns, U.S.
government personnel are prohibited from flying on Air Mali until
further notice. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens
avoid traveling on Air Mali for the same reasons.
As there is no direct commercial air service by local carriers
at present, nor economic authority to operate such service between
the U.S. and Mali, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
has not assessed Mali's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance
with international aviation safety standards for oversight of
Mali's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers
may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at
tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at tel. 618-229-4801.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography is no longer restricted, except
for military subjects. However, interpretation of what may be
considered off limits varies. Other subjects may be considered
sensitive from a cultural or religious viewpoint. It is helpful
to obtain permission before taking photographs in Mali.
CURRENCY: Currency exchange facilities are slow and often
involve out-of-date rates. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide exchange
facilities for private Americans. Credit cards are accepted only
at major hotels, a few travel agencies and selected restaurants.
Cash advances on credit cards are performed by only one bank in
Mali, the BMCD Bank in Bamako, and only on a "VISA"
TELEPHONE SERVICE: International calls are expensive,
and collect calls cannot be made from outside Bamako.
EXPORTATION OF ARTIFACTS: Mali is signatory to the Treaty
on Cultural Property that restricts exportation of certain Malian
archeological objects, in particular those from the Niger River
Valley. Visitors seeking to export any such property are required
by Malian law to obtain an export authorization from the National
Museum in Bamako.
CRIME PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen
is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes
differ significantly from those in the United States and may not
afford the protections available to the individual under U.S.
law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in
the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Malian
law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Mali are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
and heavy fines.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children, international parental
child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues,
please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
EMBASSY LOCATION/REGISTRATION: U.S. citizens living in
or visiting Mali are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy
in Bamako at the intersection of Rue Rochester NY and Rue Mohamed
V, and to obtain updated information on travel and security in
Mali. The Embassy's mailing address is B.P. 34, Bamako, Mali.
The telephone number is (223) 22-38-33. The fax number is (223)