Bamako Journals

Bamako, the friendly city

A travel journal to Bamako by sociolingo

Bamako Photo, Bamako, Mali More Photos
Quote: Bamako, an African capital city that is small enough to be friendly to the stranger and yet big enough to supply most of the things you need. I first came to Mali in 1999 when I spent seven weeks, setting up research into mother tongue education in schools. I went back in October 2000 and stayed until March 2001. We lived in Bamako the capital and worked in a school on the outskirts of town. We loved the country and arrived back here to live and work recently. In these pages I will try and give you a little taste of life here. I'm still finding out more about the country I live in and as I do, I'll post more pictures and information.

Bamako, the friendly city

Overview

Bamako Photo, Bamako, Mali
Quote:
Bamako is known for its markets and one of the best things to do is .. to SHOP. The well known market of Dibida is in the centre of town, but the best market is the one the tourists don't find .. Medina Coura. This is where local people shop for quality material, clothing, ironmongery, in fact almost anything anybody needs. People are very friendly and enjoy it if you take time to stop and talk, or even take a glass of tea. This is an experience to savour, not rush.Quick Tips: Learn a few greetings in Bambara, the language which most people in Bamako speak. You will be rewarded with smiles and a whole different atmosphere. Greet people with 'I ni se' (E nee chay). Best Way To Get Around:...Read More

Grand Hotel

Hotel

Grand Hotel Photo, Bamako, Mali
Quote:
A large rather old-fashioned hotel built in the 1950s and renovated in the 1980s. There is a swimming pool which is among the best in Bamako. You can just go and swim and eat in the restaurant. (I think a swim is about $5) There are 84 rooms, 4 suites and 3 studios with a kitchenette, climatisés, télévision et téléphone direct.

2 Restaurants - 2 Bars - 2 Piscines
2 Courts de Tennis éclairés

There is a good range of shops outside the hotel. the bookstore which is inside the hotel lobby is excellent and has a good range of French and local language books.

The beauty parlour does a good pedicure for 6,000 cfa ($10). You can even have your feet henna'd there too.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 2, 2004

Grand Hotel
Bamko
Bamako, Mali

Medina Coura Market

Attraction

Medina Coura Market Photo, Bamako, Mali
Quote:
Imagine a riot of colours and aromas. Street calls, and a jovial atmosphere. That's Medina Coura Market. You won't find this in the tourist books but this is the real Bamako. You'll also find amazing prices for wonderful fabrics. Do I sound enthusiastic? Well, believe me, this is one of my favourite places, not just to buy, but to meet people and to enjoy the sights and sounds. You'll need to ask a taxi to take you to the market. Once there, plunge into the covered market past the fetish stalls, the ironmongery and look for the materials area. Here you will find a small selection of 'shops' selling hand-dyed material in a wide variety of colours. Rest your feet and sit down for a while and look ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 2, 2004

Medina Coura Market
Medina Coura
Bamako, Mali

Bamako Hills and Caves Photo, Bamako, Mali
Quote:
From the city centre get a taxi out towards the zoo and ask the driver to take you to the caves near Point G. The taxi driver will probably ask 3-4000 to take you there because its way out of town. Don't go to the zoo, it's a sad sight and will only upset you. Here you will follow a very bumpy road and you will wonder where on earth he is taking you. Be patient, hold on to your seat, it will be worth it, I promise you! The caves have been inhabited from early times. Recently attempts have been made to make them more attractive to tourists and you will find new placards telling you a little about them. Look for the wall paintings. Spend a little time looking at the view. You will be abl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 2, 2004

Bamako Hills and Caves
Bamako
Bamako, Mali

Traffic roundabouts

Attraction | "Go and see the traffic roundabouts!"

Traffic roundabouts Photo, Bamako, Mali
Quote:
One thing you cannot miss if you visit Bamako are the traffic roundabouts! Now, if you thought that roundabouts are roundabouts are roundabouts, then think again. In Bamako they are a talking point, the best way to find your way around the city, and a source of local pride. I can only give you a few in these pages, but everyone has their favourites and there are more being added all the time.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 2, 2004

Traffic roundabouts
Throughout Bamako
Bamako, Mali

Sights of Bamako

Story/Tip

Bamako Photo, Bamako, Mali
Quote:
The town of Bamako combines traditional architecture, colonial and modern architecture. Apart from the modern roundabouts, which I've described in another journal page, there's lots to do and see in Bamako.The town is surrounded by high hills. Out towards Kati (another town) there are two 'tourist roads' (la piste touristique de Koulouba). These not only take you up to the old caves but give you a chance to view the city from a high vantage point. It's also considerably cooler there and there are several very nice picnic spots.Below the Koulouba tourist road is the Parc Zoologique.Other sites you may like to visit in that are...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

Cinemas

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Cinemas in Bamako"

Quote:
If you like to go to the cinema to see the latest films, there are a number of cinemas dotted around Bamako of varying degrees of comfort. Last week we went to see the new Harry Potter at the Babemba cinema here in Bamako. This cinema is a good option if you want to see one of the latest American/European films. It's not far from the centre of town, near the French Cultural Centre so you should be able to get a taxi take you there easily. The seats are comfy, although you do tend to sink into them. It's also air-conditioned. The films start in the big auditorium (500 seats) for the first week and then move to the little one (50 seats). They start from Tuesday at 9pm with the newest film. Wednesday has...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 9, 2004

Cinemas
Bamako
Bamako, Mali

Quote:
The Republic of Mali is a completely landlocked, enormous country in West Africa. It has an area of 1.2 million square kilometers and is surrounded by Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The population is 10.67 million, who live mostly in the south. It is mostly desert or semi-desert. The climate is subtropical and arid in the north. Most of the north of the country is desert and only nomadic groups live there. The principal ethnic groups are the Bambara, Peul, and Tuareg. French is the official language, but there are over 35 indigenous languages. Mali is one of the most democratic of African states. People are encouraged to take their part in the politic...Read More
Quote:
The security situation in Bamako has changed drastically in the past few weeks. Violent crime has increased dramatically and 40 prisoners escaped from Kati prison on 23rd July and only 2 have been recaptured. These prisoners included murderers, robbers and rapists. The Police have cautioned that these individuals should be regarded as highly dangerous and capable of securing weapons. The crime rate has escalated even more since this mass escape. The main areas affected are around the hotels in central Bamako, particularly the Hippodrome area and outlying areas where foreigners tend to live such as Badalabougou. The majority of reports suggest most of these activities occur between the hours of 2300-06...Read More