Welcome to MaliWestern Africa | 1 Comment | July 6, 2010 at 10:09 am
Mali is a landlocked country; in the Sahel region in Africa. Mali is a third world country, but it is very beautiful as well. The country has four UNESCO World Heritage sites. Mali used to earlier be a part of the Ghana Empire, the Mali empire (which is where the country got its name from) and the Songhai empire.
The French later took over Mali and made it a part of French Sudan Later The Sudanese republic was renamed Mali. When Mali got its independence, it was ruled by one party for a long time until, a coup led to the nation of Mali becoming a democratic multi-party state. After the defeat of the Songhai empire by the Moroccans, Mali became an important trade route. Although when the Europeans found the sea trade routes, Mali lost its significance in this regard.
Mali is the twenty-fourth largest country in the world. And it is almost the size of South Africa. Mali is known for its music culture. Amadou and Mariam are famously known across the globe for combining their music with international artists.
Let us look at some places you could visit when you are in Mali.
Adrar Des lfoghas
This is a sandstone plateau which has rock paintings, salt mines and amazing wildlife.
You can take a trek into the villages which are adjacent to the cliffs. Do check out the Bandiagare Escarpment; which is a world heritage site.
This city is famous for its multi-storeyed mud buildings. This city used to be a religious and commercial competitor of Timbuktu.
Getting around in Mali is quite easy with the many buses that are available, in most large cities. There are many bus companies and these are regularly available throughout the day. You can book your reservations few days in advance as well. Some of the better bus companies are Bittar, Bani and Banimonnotie.
Taxis here are available in plenty. You can take them to go wherever a bus doesn’t. Also you should bargain with them as they would try and overcharge you. You should be clear to the cabbies if you aren’t familiar with the destination you want to go to; as they wont bother telling you if they don’t know the destination themselves. They would probably be expecting you to guide them, so you should be proactive.
If you’d like; hiring a four wheel driven SUV or something similar would be the best option, considering the terrain of the country.
You should visit the local markets and shop for the many musical instruments, blankets, silver and leather items. Things like daggers, spears, swords and other such articles are quite common to be found.
The music in Mali is very creative as some world class musicians are from Mali
The most famous Malian dish is rice with peanut sauce and some meat or fish. Also, gelatin corn served with sauce called ‘To’ is a famous dish here. You can get chicken or beef with fries and salad. You can also get Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian and Lebanese food here. Street shops are the best though. They are cheap and their food is quite fun.
So come to the wonderful land of Mali and explore African culture and hospitality.