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Expat guide to Mali

Expat guide to Mali

Living in Mali

Famous for the iconic Timbuktu, Mali has played host to historical African empires, whose deep cultural inflections are still resonant today. It also gave the country a marvelous skyline, dramatic landscapes the celebrated its rich history. Despite being plagued rebel situation, Mali’s deep-rooted tradition and customs still shine through, endearing tourists and expats. If you’re taking a trip out to Mali, take a look at some useful information we’ve collected.


Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Mali and most expats communicate online through websites such as ExpatWoman.com.

International Schools 

American International School of Bamako
The American International School of Bamako is a small international school with a very strong sense of community, educating students aged 2 - 18 years old. Students in the high school have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The language of instruction is English and all students also learn French.

Curriculum: American
Address: U.S. Embassy, B.P. 34, Bamako, Mali
Tel: +223 2022 0348, +223 2022 4738
Mobile: +223 7096 09 86, +223 7292 71 05
Fax: +223 2022 08 53
Email: aisb@aisbmali.org
Website: www.aisbmali.org

Local News in English

All Africa Mali
AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic.
Website: allafrica.com/mali/

Country Information 

Location: Africa
Capital City: Bamako
Other Important Cities: Djenne, Mopti, Ségou Timbuktu
Currency: CFA franc
Language: French
Calling Code: +223
Internet TLD: .ml
Electricity: The country runs on 220V 50Hz.
Country Information

Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from these countries may enter Mali visa free: Algeria, Benin, Burkina, Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau. Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia.

Citizens of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka must obtain a visa from a Malian embassy or consulate. The rest, may obtain a visa upon arrival. There are two kinds of visas: tourist visas, strictly for leisure, and business visa which allows the expat to participate in business meetings, trade shows and exhibitions.

Documents required:
  • A valid passport, minimum 6 months
  • Two (2) recent passport size photographs (Please glue them on the application forms)
  • Two (2) completed application forms
  • A copy of the yellow fever certificate.
  • Visa fees
For more information please visit: www.maliembassy.us/index.php/consular-services/visas

The US government has issued a travel warning to Mali:

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Mali, given continuing aspirations of terrorists to conduct attacks.  We strongly warn against travel to the northern parts of the country and along the border with Mauritania, particularly in areas that are not patrolled and where there is little to no security presence.  There remains ongoing conflict in northern Mali and continuing threats of attacks on and kidnappings of westerners and others.  While the security situation in Bamako and southern Mali remains relatively stable, the potential for attacks throughout the country, including in Bamako, remains.  There are also ongoing security concerns and military operations taking place in the northern and western parts of the country.  Mali continues to face challenges including food shortages, internally displaced persons, and the presence in northern Mali of extremist and militant factions.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mali dated July 18, 2013.
-          From US Passport and International Travel >>


The country’s capital, Bamako, one of Africa’s rapidly growing cities. Estimated at about 1.8 million residents, the city serves as Mali’s administrative center, with commercial and industrial establishments headquartered within the city proper. Areas in Bamako are divided into communes and neighborhoods. The most populated one, at 400,000+ is Commune 5 and 6, while Commune 3 has only 100,000+ residents. Commune 3 is Bamako’s administrative center and hosts the two largest markets in the capital. Cost of living is also relatively cheap, 1 bedroom apartments are rented between $100 - $200 per month, while 3 bedrooms go for $200 - $400 per month. It’s important to note that most rentals are unfurnished.

Driving License

Foreigners may use their domestic and international licenses to drive legally in Mali. However, driving in the country should be done with caution, especially during night time. The rebel situation in the country has prompted police checkpoints and other safety and security measures. The rainy season also renders the roads dangerous to traverse. Four-wheel drive vehicles are the preferred vehicle as deep, sandy areas are prominent across the country.


The facilities and services in Mali are limited and are not up to Western standards. Medication supply is mostly European brands. Precautionary vaccinations that include Hepatits A and B, typhoid and malaria are recommended. Vaccination certificate against Yellow Fever is required. It is highly advised to obtain a health insurance that can cover medical evacuation.

Insurance Companies
Cigna Global Health Options
Cigna provides international insurance coverage for expats. International medical evacuation is also available in cases where emergency treatment must be sought outside of the host country.
Website: www.cignaglobal.com/
Koutiala Hospital
In May of 2006 The Koutiala Women's and Children's Hospital, built on a 8 acre campus just outside the city of Koutiala in southeastern Mali, opened its doors providing full maternity services to the city and surrounding areas. The Hospital is a part of CPAM (Center Protestant for Assistance Medical) an NGO that also supervises 8 rural clinics within a 150 mile circle surrounding Koutiala.
Website: www.koutialahospital.org/
Hopital Gabriel Toure
Address: Medina Coure, BP 267, Bamako, Mali
Tel: +223 222 27 12
Clinique de Farako
Address: Badianlan 3 Pres du Pont Richard B.P. 813, Bamako, Mali
Tel: +223 222 5387
Fax: +223 221 5249
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire du Point G
Address: BPE 2193, Bamako, Mali
Tel: +223 222 5002, +223 222 5003
Fax: +223 222 9790

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