Monday, December 19, 2011

Guide to Bamako

Getting There: Kenya Airways has direct (7 hour) flights to Bamako on Sundays and Wednesdays. Ethiopian Airlines also comes to Bamako but through Addis Ababa, and these costs about $1,000 - $1,200.

Getting Around: The airport is small hence has low traffic. Most people get visas upon arrival at US $40 and a taxi from the airport to hotel is about $50.

Motorbikes are the main mode of transport and they are driven both by ladies and men. There are old Ford model matatu-like minibuses with benches, but not doors or windows - and people crowd in there with their goods.

This is a French-speaking country with the local language being Bambara

Hotels: Most hotels offer and charge for bed-only, no breakfast.

Shopping & Sight-Seeing: Popular tourist buy items are local fabrics called Bazin. However, the market is not for the squeamish, as among the foods, fabrics, and artisans selling their wares, you may also find people skinning & selling monkeys, snakes lizards rats and dogs - mainly for voodoo. Also influenced by Benin, dogs are sold & eaten.

Odd sights: There are many instances of double births, and you see women begging on streets with small kids who are twins.

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