The Best Places to Stay in Mali

Floods are submerging whole houses in Nigeria. At least 80 have died trying to escape.

A Nigerian man searches for his sister in a shelter that was submerged by the recent rains. Photo: Reuters

A man carries a baby during the heavy rains in the town of Alubo in Kaduna state, Nigeria. Photo: AP

Mali is the world’s third largest country, and the capital’s biggest city is the capital of the Bizkaï Department in the far south of the country. But this is nothing like most major cities of Mali – the capital Bamako is a maze of cobbled streets and narrow alleyways. No-one has quite thought to put in a drainage system. The most popular place to stay in Bamako is in the very centre, with water flowing almost everywhere, as if there is some kind of open sewer system.

Bamako is only a couple of hours drive from the capital city of Bamako. It is about an hour from a major town called Timbuktu (not ‘Timbuktu’ but ‘Bamako’) – one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. Bamako has the perfect climate for growing food – there is a dry season and a rainy season, with the latter usually lasting from May to October.

While I was in Mali, we saw a couple of rainstorms. There were two main ones and I saw both, we watched them from our hotel window. I saw the first one on the day before I left for Bamako. I was in a hotel in the capital, and the first rain that day had been predicted, but nobody on the street had predicted exactly when it would come.

There were no street signs and nobody knew how to get to the city centre. We saw people getting water into their cars for an hour until the rain arrived. It poured down all day long, and the roads were almost impassable. We were in the hotel at midday when we decided to check out. The rain had stopped by midday, but the next day, the rain finally came to an end.

I woke up early on the morning of the second day, when the

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