How to get to Mali

By | May 4, 2022


Mali is a country in Africa according to ehealthfacts. With its enormous mud mosques, villages carved into the cliffs and huge caravans of camels crossing the desert, Mali is a stunning, unreal place. Mali is developing rapidly, especially in the larger cities, and tourists will find both accommodation and food of a high standard. Interesting and colorful markets, vast desert landscapes and historic tombs and relics are just waiting to be explored. Despite this wealth, Mali is one of the poorest countries on earth. Mali was once a French overseas territory and gained its independence in 1960. It is today, despite its poverty,

Getting there

Arriving by plane

There are no direct flights to Mali from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Air France (AF) flies to Bamako from Frankfurt/M., Dusseldorf, Munich, Vienna and Zurich via Paris. Feeder flights to the non-stop flights of Air France (AF) from Paris are offered by Lufthansa (LH) from German airports, Austrian Airlines (OS) from Vienna and Swiss (LX) from Zurich.

Flight times

Frankfurt/M. – Bamako: 8 hrs 25 mins; Vienna – Bamako: 9 hours 45 minutes; Zurich – Bamako: 8 hrs 10 mins (journey times vary depending on length of stops).

Departure fee


Arrival by car

From Europe, Mali is accessible by land on paved roads via Gibraltar, Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania. There are also roads from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Gunea, Niger and Côte d’Ivoire to Mali. Long-distance buses to Bamako run from Dakar (Senegal) (journey time: 22 hours), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) (journey time: approx. 13 hours), Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) (journey time: approx. 21 hours), Niamey (Niger) (travel time: approx. 24 hours) and Accra (Ghana) (travel time: approx. 29 hours). Toll: There are toll stations on some roads. The amount of the fee depends on the vehicle type. If you pass through the same toll station several times in one day, the fee is only due once upon presentation of the receipt. Documents:

Arrival by train

No cross-border rail service is currently available.


Traveling by plane

There are no domestic scheduled flights.

Traveling by car/bus

The entire road network of Mali has a length of approx. 23,000 km. The main roads connect Sikasso to the south with Bamako, Mopti and Gao. If possible, do not leave the main roads and carry spare parts with you. Driving in a convoy is recommended, and driving at night should be avoided entirely. Toll: There are toll stations on some roads. The amount of the fee depends on the vehicle type. If you pass through the same toll station several times in one day, the fee is only due once upon presentation of the receipt.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

Approximately 5,500 km of the entire road network is paved. During the rainy season, many roads are difficult to drive on or completely impassable. The use of vehicles with four-wheel drive is generally recommended.

Road classification

Mali’s road network is divided into national roads, identified by the letters RN and a number, regional roads beginning with an R, and local roads beginning with an L.

Car rental

In Bamako, chauffeured and chauffeured car rentals are available at the airport and in the city. Most car rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old and have held a driver’s license for 1 year. Additional charges may apply if drivers are under 25 or over 70 years old.


Taxis and shared taxis can be found in all cities. However, shared taxis usually only set off when they are fully occupied, which can lead to longer waiting times. Places that are not served by buses can also be reached by shared taxis.


There are regular bus connections between larger cities.


Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰; – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free system. Speed ​​limits: – urban: 40-60 km/h; – on country roads and expressways: 100 km/h.

Roadside Assistance

The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.


In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is recommended. Travelers with their own vehicle need a so-called “Carnet de passage”; the automobile clubs provide more detailed information on this.

Traveling in the city

Shared taxis are available everywhere in the cities at inexpensive flat rates. Tipping is not customary.

Locally on the way by train

Trains run twice a week between Bamako and Kayes on the route to Dakar (Senegal) (journey time Bamako-Kayes: 10 hrs 30 mins).

Traveling by ship

From July to December, the Compagnie Malienne de Navigation (COMANAV) offers weekly ferry services on the Niger between Bamako via Timbuktu to Gao (journey time: 5-6 days). From December to March, ferries only operate between Mopti and Gao. Pirogues and pinasses (river boats) are also available for hire from Timbuktu and Mopti.

How to get to Mali