The capital of Mali is Bamako and the name is derived from a Bambara word which refers to a crocodile’s back. It is the largest city in Mali. In the year 1908 Bamako became the capital of Mali which was then called French Sudan. Bamako is located in the Southwest of Mali on the Niger River floodplain. There is evidence of settlements in the area from as far back as the Palaeolithic era. Bamako has a plentiful supply of food owing to the fertile land in the Niger River Valley.

Mali became an independent nation in April 1960. Bamako then had a population of 160,000. Since then, the population has grown more than tenfold. By 2009 there were about 1,800,000 inhabitants in Bamako. Many people still migrate from rural areas to Bamako in search of jobs. The unchecked growth has brought with it many challenges including traffic snarl-ups, inadequate access to clean water and other sanitation problems including air, water, soil, and noise pollution.

Bamako is home to a number of historic tourist attractions. Some of these include Musee National park, Park national du Mali, botanical gardens, zoo and the Maison des Artisans. Tourists also visit the Bamako Grand Mosque, National Museum, Le Marché Artisanale de Ngolonina, Le Marché aux Gris-Gris, Muso Kunda Museum, Les Maquis among many others. However, there have been security concerns for many tourists following several incidences of crime and terrorism.


The climate in Bamako is a tropical climate, and rainfall is higher in summer compared to winter. The temperature on average is 27.80 degrees Celsius while rains on average are 953 mm per year. The highest temperatures are experienced in May while the lowest on average are experienced in December. In January there are the lowest amounts of rainfall recorded with an average of 0 mm. The highest amount is experienced in August with an average of 290 mm. There is a variation of 258 mm between the wettest and driest months. Temperature variation is around 5.1 degrees Celsius.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018