Republic. Gained independence from France in 1960.
Head of state:
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita since 2013.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Moussa Mara since 2014.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Larger towns in Mali have their own locally generated supply. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.
With its giant mud-built mosques, villages carved into cliff-sides and massive camel caravans traversing the desert, Mali makes for a stunningly surreal destination.
Rapidly developing, particularly in the main cities, tourists can find high standards of accommodation and cuisine on offer. Intriguing and colourful markets, vast desertscapes and ancient tombs and relics are all waiting to be discovered. All of this makes it hard to believe Mali is one of the world's poorest countries.
Once an overseas territory of France, Mali gained independence in 1960, and today it is one of the most politically and socially stable countries in Africa.
Last updated: 24 January 2015
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
the provinces of Tombouctou, Kidal, Gao and Mopti
parts of the provinces of Kayes, Koulikoro and Segou, as shown on the map
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Mali.
The situation in Mali is still volatile. You should maintain a high level of vigilance, keep a low profile and stay alert to local political developments. You should maintain several days’ stock of food and water in case disturbances take place. You can monitor daily developments in English through the BBC World Service (88.9 FM in Bamako).
The Malian authorities have closed the Clinique Pasteur in Bamako and are seeking to trace all those who may have been in contact with the patient and the nurse, including clinic staff, family members and associates of the two deceased men. The authorities are also seeking to establish whether the death in Bamako of an associate of the patient was also due to EVD.
On 15 January 2015, the Malian Ministry for Health, in co-operation with the United Nations, declared the country free from Ebola.
Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Although the chances of being infected remain very low, there are measures you can take to prevent catching Ebola. You should follow the health advice issued by the National Travel Health Network and Centre. If you are concerned that you might have been exposed to Ebola, or are showing symptoms, seek immediate medical advice. If you are in the UK, call NHS 111.
The Malian authorities have established a number of special telephone lines in country for queries about Ebola. The numbers are (+223) 80 00 88 88 (Malitel) and (+223) 88 00 77 77 (Orange).
There is a high threat from terrorism including kidnap in Mali. Following the French/African military intervention which began in January 2013, there is a high threat of retaliatory kidnap against Western interests. There is a heightened threat of kidnap in Mali, especially in areas north of Mopti. Further attacks are highly likely in northern Mali.
The ability of the British Embassy to deliver consular services is limited, especially outside of Bamako. The British Embassy telephone number is +223 2021 3412.