There have been incidents of armed banditry, car-jacking and kidnap in northern Mali. Bandits and smugglers are present along Mali’s northern borders and pose a risk to travellers, especially after dark.
The Malian authorities have provided the following numbers in case of emergencies:
- 80 00 11 14
- 80 00 11 15
- 20 22 13 35
- 20 23 95 15
- 20 23 95 11
Despite the presence of a UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA), the situation in the north remains tense. You should not travel in the north of Mali, including the regions of Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal
Landmines are used by groups operating in North and North East Mali.
Travel in Mali can be difficult and conditions are poor for overland travel. You should take all necessary safety precautions, especially outside of main urban areas, have confidence in your security arrangements and maintain a high level of vigilance.
In the case of an accident, go to the nearest police station to file a report immediately. If you remain on the spot you risk being taken to task, sometimes violently, by the local population. Medical help in the event of an accident is likely to be limited.
British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scams. Treat with considerable caution any requests for funds, a job offer, a business venture or a face to face meeting from someone you have been in correspondence with over the internet who operates in West Africa.
Night-time checkpoints sometimes operate in Bamako at various locations. Checkpoints are in place from approximately 9pm until dawn.
Keep vehicle and personal identification documents with you at all times while travelling by road. Approach security checkpoints slowly and comply with instructions given. There have been incidents late at night where people dressed as policemen have demanded money from drivers in Bamako. Ask to see identification. Don’t resist if the person is armed.
Road conditions off the main roads are often poor, especially in the rainy season (June to September). Other road users may drive dangerously. You should take particular care and attention when driving in urban centres.
A number of European and African commercial airlines operate services to and from Bamako Sénou International Airport.
There was a coup in Mali in 2012 and conflict in the north. Following a French-led military intervention, democracy was restored in 2013. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK) and his new government took office in September 2013, following national elections.