Tourism in Mali, 10 Reasons to Visit Mali. Tourism in Mali is not well developed and tourism is slowly growing due to infrastructure problems. In early 2002, Mali saw improvements in tourism, but all major tour operators withdrew their services because of the North’s financial conflict and the threat of terrorism. There are four UNESCO World Heritage Listings in the country including Timbuktu. Over 100,000 tourists visit the country during the year. The most visiting country of Mali is France. Countries following France in order are; Côte d’Ivoire, United States, Burkina Faso, Guinea, China, Netherlands, Congo, and Ghana.
The capital of Mali is the center of Bamako. Bamako is also home to about 90% of the country’s population. It is the most important administrative, political, commercial, cultural and economic center of the country. It is among the most valuable regions of the continent in terms of financial, religious, tourist and historical places. Here are 10 reasons to visit Mali.
1. Great Mosque of Djenne
The mosque, which is named after the city of Djenne, was built on the remains of a historic mosque built in 1200 years. The highest point of the mosque completed in 1907 is 16 meters. This structure is very important both for Mali and Africa. The magnificent mosque, which is included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO, is adversely affected by wind and rain. So, after the rains, the people of the region are mobilized to paint the mosque again. The mosque, which is the most valuable worship place of Muslims living in the city of Djerne, is the destination of Mali’s sightseeing.
2. National Museum of Mali
It is a museum hosting archaeological and anthropological remains in the capital Bamako. The museum, opened in 1953, displays permanent and temporary exhibitions of Mali history as well as ritual objects related to musical instruments, dresses and Mali’s various ethnic groups. In addition to this, the museum is like a mirror of Mali history and culture.
3. Boucle du Baoule National Park
The area designated as a national park in 1982 covers a total area of 25,330 square kilometers. The park in the Kayes and Koulikoro Regions in the west of Mali is extremely rich in animal populations. It is home to many creatures such as lions, giraffes, baboons, antelopes, rhinos, ostriches, and is also famous for its prehistoric rock art and graves. The national park, which was added to the UNESCO Temporary World Heritage List on September 8, 1999, is one of the most preferred areas for safari buffs.
4. Mount Hombori
It is a mountain near Mali’s Hombori town. The peak at 1,153 meters is extremely important in terms of being the highest point of the country. There is an archaeological site established about 2000 years ago in the region. With each passing day the contribution of tourism increased. Mount Hombori is one of the places attracting trekking and mountaineering enthusiasts.
5. Grand Mosque of Bamako
The capital of Mali is an imposing worship place located at one of the most central spots of Bamako. The Grand Mosque of Bamako was set up in 1970, when the country’s mudbrick construction was built before the colonial period. The place of worship, financed by the Saudi Arabian government and awarded to Malaysia, reflects Arabic architecture, not regional architecture.
6. Djenne Djenno
It is an old residential area in the Niger River Valley and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The area is one of Africa’s most famous archaeological sites. Famous archaeologist Roderick McIntosh obtained more detailed information about the ancient city. The region where horse, snakes, human figurines are, is famous for its amazing terracotta figures. You should visit this historic site.
7. Djinguereber Mosque
Built in 1327 in Timbuktu, the historic mosque was established as a learning center. 200 kg of gold was donated by the Mali Emperor for the design and construction of the mosque. In 1960, the place of worship was further fortified with limestone blocks. It is made up of earth, straw, fiber and moss, with a capacity of 2,000 people. The mosque also has many kinds of important marriages. The mosque is in the UNESCO’s list of endangered World Heritage Sites since 2012.
8. Mali National Park
It is one of the decent resting places where the people living in the capital relax. Located in the heart of the city, the park is a complete peaceful area with walking paths, fountain pools, grass fields. There are also areas where children can play in the park.
9. Bandiagara Escarpment
There are many tribes in Africa. One of them is Dogon Kabiles. It draws a lot of attention with his different lifestyles. The area where this caretaker life is in Bandiagara Escarpment. These rocks, which are 150 km long and about 500 m high, are in the world heritage list since 1985.
10. Medina Koura Bazaar
Medina Koura Bazaar, located in Bamako, Mali’s largest city and capital, is known as ‘Pink Market’ by local people.