The plane landed to Bamako, Mali’s capital and also its richest and busiest city, in the middle of the night. I had not heard much about this city before so I did not have many expectations. Anyway that day we did not see that much apart from an airport which was a disaster.
Located on the shore of Niger River and founded during the XVIIth century, Bamako is nowadays a pleasant blend of French colonial buildings and busy African markets.
Mali was my first contact with black Africa so everything was new and very exciting to me. In addition to this, I found the city full of life. I enjoyed especially its markets, the craft center (nice wooden sculptures to buy and lots of souvenirs), the National Museum and the “G point “(the viewpoint of the city). Bamako was also interesting for its nightlife and live music too, with lots of pubs and terraces. We enjoyed some of them with our local guide.
The National Museum surprised me a lot. Its architecture (inspired by traditional Bambara forms) and general interior arrangement was very well done. I found its permanent exhibition about traditional Malian culture (local clothes, crafts etc) very interesting as well. In fact this museum is considered one of the best museums in West Africa. Don’t leave without visiting its gardens, with some open air sculptures and scale models of the main mud mosques in the country. Well done!