Mali Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Mali
As of July 2012, most governments, including UK, advise against all travel to Mali.
Attacks by Tuareg rebels have taken place since mid January 2012 in a range of areas across the north of Mali. Over the weekend of 31 March, further attacks by rebels resulted in the capture of Gao and Timbuktu from government control. Along with the capture of Kidal on 30 March, this has left northern Mali effectively outside of government control. Even if the situation in Bamako improves you should still avoid all travel to Northern Regions of Mali including the provinces of Kidal, Gao, Koulikoro (north of Mourdiah), Ségou (north of Niono), Tombouctou (including the city of Tombouctou (Timbuktu)), Mopti, and areas bordering Mauritania east of Nioro in the Kayes province. There is a high threat of terrorist activity and kidnap directed at westerners in these regions and most Governments advise against all travel to the area.
Aside from the current dangerous state of the country- The roads from Bamako to most major cities in the south are paved and in reasonable condition but during the rainy season from mid-June to mid-September, some unpaved roads may be impassable. Many roads outside of the capital are unpaved and deep sand and ditches are common. Four-wheel drive vehicles with spare tires and emergency equipment are recommended. Driving standards will be generally poor and you should take extra care in Bamako which has high volumes of motorbikes which seldom follow any rules of the road.
Mali Car Rental –
Europcar andAvis are the only international companies offering self drive. Both have branches in Bamako. Its unclear whether they are still functioning at the present time.
This is a West Africa based tour operator who can arrange self drive and quoted me the following in Aug 2011 – 4X4 vehicle: EUR 100.00 per day excluding fuel, car: EUR 77.00 per day excluding fuel
Mali Self Drive Rules –
Europcar mention restrictions on driving to certain countries but don’t say which countries.