Filed Under (General) by Rob on 19-04-2008

Rob finally made it into the city centre of Bamako today and enjoyed his visit (apart from the blistering heat…)

(NB If you’ve not read the previous post and/or don’t know your African capitals, Bamako is not in Benin!!)

I caught a yellow VW Golf taxi over the River Niger and to the Artisan centre, where they had lots of great souvenirs, including plenty musical instruments:


Of course, there was the usual “Venez regarder, mon ami.” or “Ca fait longtemps!” from the sellers, but they were less agressive than in some places. In fact, at one point, one of the salesmen said to the others “Stop bothering the foreigner!” Unheard of!

The main streets are well paved and pothole free and there are some dual carriageways. Traffic flows fairly well, except for rush hour, when it’s total mayhem, I’m told. There are even decorative grassy bits inbetween carriageways and lots of nice monuments:


The absence of zemidjans is immediately obvious. Instead of motorbike taxis, Bamako has the only slightly safer “sotrama” minibuses. Here is a gaggle of them:


(“Sotrama” stands for Societé de Transports du Mali, or something similar).

The taxis are all yellow, then there are private cars too, of course.

(Wait a minute! Isn’t that a Merc and a BMW?! Bit posh, eh?)

If you want to know more about Mali, click here for a great account of journeys made here by an American lass. Also, here’s an exhaustive information page containing just about everything you’ll ever need to know about living in Mali. If you’ve got an hour to spare, it’s worth a read.

More malian musings next week…

Comments are closed.