The northern borders of Mali, consisting of eight territories, reaches right in the middle of the Saharan desert. So the population of the country mostly concentrate in the southern region and around the Niger River and Senegal river. The economy of the country is based on agriculture and animal husbandry; Gold, uranium and salt also have a economic value. The capital of Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, is Bamako.
Although 1 million of the estimated population of 12 millions inhabitants in the July 2007 census live in the capital Bamako, the people of Mali have usually settled in rural areas. This country which is supposed to have an average life expectancy of 49.5 years, has the highest infant mortality rate in the world.
90% of the country is Muslim, 5% is Christian and 5% belong to traditional animist religion. The official language is French and the local language is Bambaraca.
History of Mali
Mali's history is based on an average of a thousand years ago. Dead chambers and obelisks spreading around the Niger River and Caves of Telem carved into Cliffs of Bandiagara support this idea. Ibn 'Khaldun and Ibn' Batutta frequently refer to the Mali Empire, which take part on the date pages since the 11th century and is located on the banks of the Niger River. In addition, the book "History of Sudan" written in the 16th century mentions Mali's history which is full of resistance and wars.
Mali which constantly resisted the attacks coming from Moroccans from one side, from the minority tribes from the other side, was destroyed by the Sasso Empire in the 13th century. The Mali Empire, which revived again in the 15th century after two-hundred years break and Timbuktu City established at the intersection of trade routes, become a rich empire in Africa where Islam and its culture are taught.
In the recent past, the black leaders such as the El Hadj and Samory who showed the greatest resistance against the French colonial rule, make the biggest battles in this region. While Bamako was a small village surrounded by ramparts in the 19th century, it firstly became the capital of the Republic of Mali, which was founded in 1922, and later the French Sudan, founded in 1960.
In the nearest past, A group of soldiers leaving the army on 22.3.2012, explained that they have taken over the administration by making a coup because of the clashes with separatist groups in the legendary city Timbuktu on the north of the country. Traveling to Timbuktu, home to nearly twenty historical manuscripts, seems to be difficult on these days due to turmoil in the country.
When to Go to Mali?
Because the summer on Northern Hemisphere coincides rainy season of the country, it is not appropriate to go to Mali in summer. The most convenient months are December, January, February and March. If you can coincide the Desert Festival held in Timbuktu in January and the Music Festival held in Segou in February, you will be able to shoot two birds with one stone.
Tips For a Trip to Mali
Yellow fever vaccination is necessary in Mali. Do not forget to take your vaccine certificate.
As the malaria risk is available throughout the year, contact your Travel Health Centers ten days before starting your travel and start taking your malaria medicines.
Protect your photo camera from harmattan winds in the desert. Sand particles can damage your machine.
Eat off bottled water and do not eat raw vegetables.
Do not enter stagnant ponds and rivers. We recommend long-sleeved clothes and trousers against the risk of malaria.
Small things like pencil, trinket that you will present to the local people, will make you Mali's most popular tourist.
Do not step on areas that are regarded as sacred in the Dogon area.