Official Travel Advice for Mali
Summary: Update on risk of terrorism in Bamako
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 22 May 2019.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- the provinces of Tombouctou, Kidal, Gao and Mopti
- parts of the provinces of Kayes, Koulikoro and Segou, as shown on the map
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Mali.
There is a heightened risk of terrorist attack in Bamako. You should be aware that hotels and restaurants that are used by westerners may be targeted. You should remain vigilant when travelling to Bamako and while in your hotel or visiting restaurants.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mali, including kidnaps. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning. You should be vigilant, especially in places such as hotels, restaurants, clubs, and at events and places of worship, keep a low profile and follow the advice of local authorities.
During public holidays and festivals, including New Year celebrations, security measures in Mali can be heightened due to the ongoing threat posed by terrorist organisations. During such periods you should exercise increased vigilance and avoid large gatherings. If you think a particular venue would present a good target for terrorist activities then you should consider whether you need to visit it. You should exercise caution and limit your movements during holiday and festival periods.
On 18 June 2017, there was a terrorist attack at Le Campement Resort, Kangaba, which resulted in multiple casualties.
On 9 June 2017, the US Embassy in Bamako issued a security message warning of an increased threat of attacks in Bamako.
In November 2015, there was a terrorist attack against the Radisson Hotel in Bamako in which a number of hostages were killed.
There’s a threat of terrorist attacks against large gatherings, including music festivals and sporting events. The Festival au Désert in Timbuktu was cancelled in January 2017 due to security concerns. Festivals in other parts of the country are vulnerable to attack. See Terrorism
On 24 October 2018 the Malian government extended the state of emergency that has been in existence since November 2015 by a year, until 31 October 2019. You should expect a robust security presence including police patrols and possible police security checks on restaurants and hotels. There are likely to be more vehicle and personal security checks during this time and nobody will be exempt.
Recent public demonstrations in Bamako have encountered a strong police and security force presence. You should stay away from all political demonstrations and any blockades set up by the police and security forces.
You should maintain several days’ stock of food and water in case disturbances take place. You can monitor daily developments in English through the BBC World Service (88.9 FM in Bamako).
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is severely limited in parts of Mali, especially outside Bamako.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Mali
Drive on the: right
Visitors/Tourists: 160,000 in 2011
Bamako (also largest city)