MALI

MALI

MALI

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Name: Great Mosque of Djenné
Location: Djenné, Mali
The Great Mosque of Djenné is a large banco or adobe building that is considered by many architects to be one of the greatest achievements of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali, on the flood plain of the Bani River. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As well as being the centre of the community of Djenné, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. Along with the "Old Towns of Djenné" it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

The entire community of Djenné takes an active role in the mosque's maintenance via a unique annual festival. This includes music and food, but has the primary objective of repairing the damage inflicted on the mosque in the past year (mostly erosion caused by the annual rains and cracks caused by changes in temperature and humidity). In the days leading up to the festival, the plaster is prepared in pits. Men climb onto the mosque's built-in scaffolding and ladders made of palm wood and smear the plaster over the face of the mosque.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_Djenné
Name: National Museum of Malí
Location: Bamako, Mali
The National Museum of Malí is an archaeological and anthropological museum located in Bamako, the capital of Mali. It presents permanent and temporary exhibits on the history of Mali, as well as the musical instruments, dress, and ritual objects associated with Mali's various ethnic groups. Concrete models of several important cultural landmarks, such as the mosques of Djenné and Timbuktu are displayed outside on the grounds of the museum.

The National Museum began under French colonial rule as the Sudanese Museum, part of the Institut Français d’Afrique Noire (IFAN) under Théodore Monod. It was opened on February 14, 1953, under the direction of Ukrainian archaeologist Y. Shumowskyi. Archaeologist Y. Shumovskyi had worked in the museum for nine years, gathering a significant portion (nearly 3000) of the holdings.

With the independence of the Republic of Mali in 1960, the Sudanese Museum became the National Museum of Mali, with the new objectives of promoting national unity and celebrating Malian traditional culture. However, lack of financial means and absence of qualified personnel caused some deterioration in the museum's collections.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Mali
Name: Bandiagara Escarpment
Location: Mopti Region, Mali
The Bandiagara Escarpment is an escarpment in the Dogon country of Mali. The sandstone cliff rises about 500 meters above the lower sandy flats to the south. It has a length of approximately 150 kilometers. The area of the escarpment is inhabited today by the Dogon people. Before the Dogon, the escarpment was inhabited by the Tellem and Toloy peoples. Many structures remain from the Tellem. The Bandiagara Escarpment was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1989.

The Cliffs of Bandiagara are a sandstone chain ranging from south to northeast over 200 km and extending to the Grandamia massif. The end of the massif is marked by the Hombori Tondo, Mali's highest peak at 1,115 meters. Because of its archaeological, ethnological and geological characteristics, the entire site is one of the most imposing in West Africa. Today, local guides escort tourist groups along the escarpment to visit Dogon villages. A series of trails runs along the cliffs, and hostels in each village provide food and lodging. The host villages receive income from the hostels and the tourist tax. Large increases in tourism to the area are expected, as a new highway is constructed, putting pressure on local, traditional cultures.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandiagara_Escarpment
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN MALI / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO MALI.
FACTS:
Official Languages: French
Currency: West African CFA Franc (XOF)
Time zone: GMT (UTC)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +223
Local / up-to-date weather in Bamako (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Mali travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Mali, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO MALI.

The currency of the country is the West African CFA franc, denoted CFA (ISO currency code: XOF). It’s also used by seven other West African countries. It is interchangeable at par with the Central African CFA franc (XAF), which is used by six countries. Both currencies are fixed at a rate of 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.

ATMs:

All Ecobank ATMs in Mali take Mastercard and Visa card for cash withdrawal. A list of locations is shown on their web site.

BY BUS:

The main cities along the paved road into the north are connected via bus (Bamako, Segou, San, Mopti, Gao). A separate paved loop runs through the south (Bamako, Bougouni, Sikasso, Koutiala, Segou) There are many different companies with different schedules but they all have more or less the same prices. Normally a ride to Mopti (600km, half the way up), endures approximately nine hours; a ride to Gao at least 12. All times are very rough, however, and few bus companies will even give you an estimated arrival time as different drivers drive different speeds and it is not improbable that the bus breaks down and needs a repair or stops to help another bus. It is usually possible to make a reservation several days before, recommended during the tourist season, though one rarely has a problem just showing up 30-60 minutes before the bus leaves. More reliable companies include Bittar, Bani and Banimonotie (Sikasso region) among others.

Bus companies:

  • Bittar Transportation

BY TAXI BROUSSE:

To get around one can take the “Taxi – Brousse”, the bush taxis. They are the main connection between towns which aren’t connected via bus. They are very slow and they sometimes break down or stop to help other broken down taxis. So sometimes the ride takes longer than expected. Unlike the buses, these rarely run on a set schedule, so you generally just need to show up at the station (in a larger town) or sit by the roadside (in smaller villages) and wait for the next to come along – locals may be able to give you some idea what to expect.

BY TAXI:

In any larger city, taxis will be plentiful and are usually an easy way for the tourist to get where they are going without trying to figure out the local public transport system (if one even exists). Be prepared to bargain, as they will generally try to overcharge you – in Bamako CFA1,000 should get you anywhere in the city during the day (or up to CFA1,500 at night), while crossing the river will be CFA1,500-2,000. Also, tell the driver clearly if you do not know the location of the place you want to go, as they are rarely forthcoming about admitting that they don’t know it and will often expect you to give directions, especially if it is not a popular or common destination.

BY PRIVATE CAR:

A good option for a larger group or travellers who value comfort over economy is to rent a private car. A 4×4 is strongly recommended if you will be leaving the main highways (this includes the trip to Timbuktu). There are very few asphalt roads, and they are all single-carriageway outside towns, though most are in good condition. One leads into the North of the country (Bamako, Segou, San, Mopti, Gao), another branches off after Segou to cross the Niger at the Markala dam and goes as far as Niono, while another goes from Bamako to Sikasso and on into Ivory Coast. There are private people who rent out their 4×4 cars for a ride (in which case make sure you’ve got insurance and a carnet de passage, and plenty of petrol), but generally renting a car means renting a car and driver. This is strongly recommended as Malian roads and drivers can be unpredictable and the vehicles unreliable (better to have the driver figure out what that loud rattle is or why the engine started smoking!).

Travel within Bamako can be difficult for the business traveller and leisure tourist alike. One of the best options is to rent a car with a chauffeur. This can be done on a by-day basis and is an enormous help for someone that is new to the city. When trying to visit numerous places in one day, it becomes difficult to rely on the local taxi system. The chauffeur is a local resident and will know most of the names of the places that you need to go. There is no hassle in finding a parking spot as the chauffeur can wait for you while you attend to the business at hand.

For the tourist, this option can be your solution to seeing the city of Bamako in a care-free manner. Trips out of the city are available as well, although the fare can be somewhat higher than intra-city rates. Gas is an additional cost to the renter. A distinguished man by the name of Aldiouma (pronounced al-Jew-ma) Togo runs a classy operation is open to negotiation for rates. Usually around CFA25,000-30,000 per day for intra-city use. Slightly less than double that fee for extra-city travel. His info: Aldiouma Togo: Cell: +223 642-6500 Home: +223 222-1624 togoaldiouma@yahoo.fr

BY PLANE:

It is possible to travel across Mali by plane, as numerous companies have sprung up. It is possible to fly (usually from Bamako) to cities such as: Mopti, Timbuktu, Kayes, Yelimané, Gao, Kidal, Sadiola, and others.

The planes, typically, are Czech turboprops (LET-410s) and small Russian jetliners (Yakovlev YAK-40s). Air travel in Mali is fast but, compared to a bus ride, expensive. It is not, however, foolproof – often you are at the mercy of the carrier, who may choose not to fly on a certain day if too few passengers show up! You can generally get tickets at the airport before flights, however the best bet is to book a ticket in advance.

Société Transport Aerienne (STA) and Société Avion Express (SAE) are the two most popular, and most reliable, carriers.

BY BOAT:

It is possible to travel around Mali by boat, however this is very seasonal. The most common option, only really possible in the wet season, is a barge to/from Timbuktu. There are also very small boats, “pirogues” in French, which are available to be hired almost anywhere – they are essentially large canoes. When the big boats are not running you can still charter a pinasse (like a big, motorised pirogue). Or use one of the public pinasses. These will run for another 3 months or so before the water levels being too low for them as well. You can navigate the river all the way from near Bamako to Gao, though the level drops more rapidly in the portion between Bamako and Mopti.

BY TRAIN:

Rail services in Mali are limited to a twice- or thrice-weekly train between Bamako and Kayes.

EAT:

The most universal Malian dish is rice with sauce, often peanut “tiga diga na,” tomato/onion/oil or leaf/okra based which is usually served some fish or meat if purchased or prepared for guests. “To”, a gelatinous corn or millet food served with sauce, is another Malian classic, though more a village food than something most tourists would encounter. In the north, couscous is also quite common.

In the largest cities, decent “western” restaurants can be found, charging near western prices. Bamako even has good Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, Lebanese and more. In smaller places, the standard Malian restaurant serves chicken or beef with fries and/or salad – usually edible and affordable, but boring and not particularly Malian. The better places in the more touristy areas may also have some local specialities. “Street food” is a lot more fun (and super cheap) – breakfast will be omelet sandwiches, lunch is usually rice with a couple sauces to choose from, and dinner presents many options including beans, spaghetti cooked in oil and a little tomato, potatoes, fried rice, chicken, meatballs, beef kebabs, fish, and salad. You can find little tables along the roadsides and near transport centers.

Snacks you may find for sale include little cakes (especially in bus stations), various fried doughs (either sweet or with hot sauce), peanuts, roasted corn if in season, sesame sticks, and frozen juices in little plastic sacks. Fresh fruit is widely available and always delicious. Some of the best are mangoes, papaya, watermelon, guavas, bananas and oranges – the particular selection depends on the season.

Of course, as in any tropical, underdeveloped country, food borne disease is a major concern for the traveller. The main culprits for diarrhea are untreated water (especially in rural areas) and fruits and vegetables which have not been peeled or soaked in bleach water – salads (even in fancy restaurants!) are likely to cause problems. Food, especially meat, should be thoroughly cooked; this is likely more an issue with Western food in restaurants than with Malian foods which are usually cooked for hours. Drink bottled water, and consultant a doctor about bringing an antibiotic like cipro to treat diarrhoea that is severe or does not improve over a couple days.

DRINK:

Treat tap water with suspicion. It is often so heavily chlorinated that one suspects few bugs could possibly survive in it. But short-term visitors will be safer with bottled water. There are several cheap local brands, but be warned that they are only drunk by foreigners and wealthy Malians: don’t rely on finding bottled water in shops patronised by “ordinary” Malians. Soft drinks such as Coca-Cola or Fanta are more widely available and safe . Street vendors sell water and home-made ginger and berry drinks in little plastic bags. They are often iced which makes them very refreshing in the heat. Generally, you shouldn’t drink these without treating them first.

However, one which is called “bissap” in French and “dabileni” (“red hybiscus”) in Bambara, is made from hibiscus flowers that are boiled during preparation, and so generally is safe to drink. It is a particularly delicious non-alcoholic drink you shouldn’t miss. In Bamako, it is possible to purchase at most corner stores treated water in small plastic bags for CFA50; these are much cheaper, and of course more environmentally friendly, than bottles. The bags are marked with a brand name; be careful not to mistake them for the tap water that is sold in unmarked plastic bags by street vendors. Also widely sold in this way is sweet milk and yoghurt, which are normally clean because the bags are industrially filled. Fresh milk can also be bought from buckets at the roadside in some villages, although it should always be thoroughly boiled before drinking as it can carry tuberculosis bacteria (often Malians do this before selling, but it is safer to do it yourself or at least ask).

There are various types of accommodation options of various prices and qualities. You will pay USD60-100 per night (and up) for a what would be a decent to nice hotel by western standards. At the other end of the spectrum you can pay about USD5-10 per night for a bed or mattress, usually with mosquito net and sheets, in a room or on the roof. Such places will usually have toilets and showers in a shared facility (think camp site camping with less gear). All tourist areas have hotels or auberges and many places will also have homestays. Sleeping on the roof terrace, if available, is not only the cheapest option but also usually the coolest and gives you the pleasure of sleeping under the stars, which are incredibly bright outside of Bamako because there is so little light pollution. However, use a mosquito net and be prepared to wake to prayer call at 05:00.

There are plenty of crafts in Mali. Various ethnic groups have their own, trademark masks. There are some great musical instruments; blankets; bogolas (a type of blanket); silver jewellery, and leather goods. The Touareg people, in particular, produce attractive silver and leather goods, including jewellery, daggers, spears, swords and boxes. Buying some local music also makes good souvenirs.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mali
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Great Mosque of Djenné
Location: Djenné, Mali
The Great Mosque of Djenné is a large banco or adobe building that is considered by many architects to be one of the greatest achievements of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali, on the flood plain of the Bani River. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As well as being the centre of the community of Djenné, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. Along with the "Old Towns of Djenné" it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

The entire community of Djenné takes an active role in the mosque's maintenance via a unique annual festival. This includes music and food, but has the primary objective of repairing the damage inflicted on the mosque in the past year (mostly erosion caused by the annual rains and cracks caused by changes in temperature and humidity). In the days leading up to the festival, the plaster is prepared in pits. Men climb onto the mosque's built-in scaffolding and ladders made of palm wood and smear the plaster over the face of the mosque.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_Djenné
Name: National Museum of Malí
Location: Bamako, Mali
The National Museum of Malí is an archaeological and anthropological museum located in Bamako, the capital of Mali. It presents permanent and temporary exhibits on the history of Mali, as well as the musical instruments, dress, and ritual objects associated with Mali's various ethnic groups. Concrete models of several important cultural landmarks, such as the mosques of Djenné and Timbuktu are displayed outside on the grounds of the museum.

The National Museum began under French colonial rule as the Sudanese Museum, part of the Institut Français d’Afrique Noire (IFAN) under Théodore Monod. It was opened on February 14, 1953, under the direction of Ukrainian archaeologist Y. Shumowskyi. Archaeologist Y. Shumovskyi had worked in the museum for nine years, gathering a significant portion (nearly 3000) of the holdings.

With the independence of the Republic of Mali in 1960, the Sudanese Museum became the National Museum of Mali, with the new objectives of promoting national unity and celebrating Malian traditional culture. However, lack of financial means and absence of qualified personnel caused some deterioration in the museum's collections.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Mali
Name: Bandiagara Escarpment
Location: Mopti Region, Mali
The Bandiagara Escarpment is an escarpment in the Dogon country of Mali. The sandstone cliff rises about 500 meters above the lower sandy flats to the south. It has a length of approximately 150 kilometers. The area of the escarpment is inhabited today by the Dogon people. Before the Dogon, the escarpment was inhabited by the Tellem and Toloy peoples. Many structures remain from the Tellem. The Bandiagara Escarpment was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1989.

The Cliffs of Bandiagara are a sandstone chain ranging from south to northeast over 200 km and extending to the Grandamia massif. The end of the massif is marked by the Hombori Tondo, Mali's highest peak at 1,115 meters. Because of its archaeological, ethnological and geological characteristics, the entire site is one of the most imposing in West Africa. Today, local guides escort tourist groups along the escarpment to visit Dogon villages. A series of trails runs along the cliffs, and hostels in each village provide food and lodging. The host villages receive income from the hostels and the tourist tax. Large increases in tourism to the area are expected, as a new highway is constructed, putting pressure on local, traditional cultures.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandiagara_Escarpment
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN MALI / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

Global Immigration Leader, Big 4

“Manny. You have really gone the extra mile in supporting the US Business Visitor Service. You have demonstrated real commitment and energy, working a late shift night while we try and find others to fill the position. I know that the other night you stayed until 4am. You are always so positive and your cheerful disposition and attention to detail has resulted in excellent client feedback. On Monday the key client came to London and she was effusive about the service. This is largely due the cover you provide.”

Internal stakeholder, Big 4

“Manny is a big reason why the move from (external provider) to the UK firm’s passport and visa provision has been so smooth. He’s an extremely likeable honest hard working guy who takes his role very seriously. We’re very fortunate to have him leading our dedicated team”

External client, Private practice

“Most of my contact was with Manpreet Singh Johal. He did the best job someone could imagine. Extraordinary service from his side.”

Team member, Big 4

“Working on two priority accounts is naturally pressurised especially where he has also been responsible for billing on both accounts; yet Manny delivers every time and this I believe is an exceptional quality.”

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