Mali is at the heart of West Africa. This geography allows it, with more than 10 million people, as a crossroads of civilizations and wealth, be they cultural, scenic or humaines.carte of Mali.
The Mali as we know it today is the result of a long checkered history that has affected much of West Africa.
Indeed, Mali is named after the old Mandingo Empire, which had its heyday in the fourteenth s, but other great empires have successively - of Ghana, Songhai, Bambara, Macina, and Senufo Toucouleur - for control of Niger Delta area of trade gateway to the desert. It is through them that the myth of Timbuktu was born, that is where aboriginal peoples have chosen to settle, as the Dogon.
After strong resistance, this area became a French colony in 1898. From "Sudan" to "Western Provinces" and the "French Sudan", Mali has regained its independence in 1960.
After two military regimes, the population of Mali has reversed the situation to enable the transition to democracy March 26, 1991.
Politics and Economy
The elected president in the 2007 elections is Amadou Toumani Toure, for his second five-year, in an office very close to the French Fifth Republic.
The country is divided into 8 areas (Kayes, Sikasso, Koulikouro, Segou, Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal) and 1 district (Bamako, the capital). The decentralization policy has risen sharply since 2000.
Mali is a country where growing urban population lives mainly small service, which allows the sectarian tertiary claim the employment of more than 90% of the population of Mali.
The exploitation of natural resources include agriculture (especially cotton, but also a lot of food production: millet, rice, peanuts, ...) and then with a strong livestock exports to neighboring countries (cattle, sheep and camels) and then mineral resources (such as gold, iron, phosphates and marble).
Geography and Climate
With an area of 1,240,000 km2 and many neighbors - Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger - Mali is a country of relief:
The historical Manding Mountains south-west, the Dogon Plateau in the west - Macina Hombori, with a backdrop of Monument Valley, which rises to over 1150m.
But we must not forget that it is crossed by a river of life, the Niger, with its delta and its many tributaries. Flowing from south to north, it irrigates much of the country. On its shores that are the largest cities and bases of ancient empires.
In the plains, they found a mosaic of landscapes: deserts of the Sahara to the north and the plains of Sahelian savannas before the start of the rain forests: mango, ling, caïlcédrat, Balanzan, tamarind, Roni, ...
Regarding the fauna, we can cross various animals in Mali, if you know where to find elephants, hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, warthogs, lions, panthers, ...
These animals migrate seasonally which sometimes extreme conditions of rain or heat.
The tourist season is included in the period between October and March soft: after the rains start in June but before the hot weather in April.
Peoples: languages and religions
The number of peoples and ethnic groups in Mali shows the number of languages or dialects charged.
Thus the official language is French, then the majority languages are Bambara, Peul, the Songhai, Arabic ...
We can name most of the people, in alphabetical order:
Bambara, Bozo and Somonos, Diawara, Dogon, Khassonkés, Malinke, Moors, Fulani, Sarakolle, Senufo, Songhai, Tuareg, Toucouleurs ...
In these ethnic groups, religions are divided with 90% of Islam, infused with animism, which is actually practiced by 1% of the population, just as Christianity.
Some ethnic groups are very localized, such as the Dogon and other completely scattered as Sarakolle. And if the Bambara are very prevalent in the south, we find instead of Moors, Tuareg, Songhai and Fulani of the north.
This brings many diverse cultures that coexist and mixed easily with the practice of kinship: a cultural practice that encodes the relationship between two people who meet, based on their ethnicity or their family name. Many quarrels can be avoided because defused by the social game, characteristic of Mali.
Cultures and Traditions
All these cultures have developed the arts in all fields:
The peoples each have different crafts. Some ethnic arts to reserve these castes (such as blacksmiths) or families, while others allow everyone to produce handicrafts.
Related to lifestyles and beliefs, they are all forms in a variety of materials: wood, stone, clay, fabric, leather, metals, semi-precious stones, fiber basketry ...
They are objects of beauty and decoration, or take a mystique for sacrifices, invocations of gods or magic.
One of the recognized specialties of Mali is Bogolan: woven strips of cotton, then stitched together and embellished with motifs with dye, the traditional fabric is a real wealth of expertise in Mali.
Architecture is a true wealth of historical heritage of Mali. Earth, stone or nomadic traditions mix of lifestyles and provide opportunities still used now. The traditional construction therefore takes its place for its qualities, such as mud, earth construction particularly suited to the climate.
Malian cuisine is built around two basic foodstuffs such as rice and millet. Accompaniments (sauces, vegetables, spices, meat, fish) vary according to regions or ethnic groups or even the time of the year.
Traditional recipes are marked in some ethnic groups. For example, the fakouwoye (sauce made of green leaves) is consumed in Songhai, although it is well appreciated by Tamasheq too. Tô okra sauce or baobab leaves is consumed more in rural Bambara in any other. The Malinke generally prefer food containing peanut paste. Couscous coated with red sauce or peanut butter is the business of Khassonké and Soninke.
In Mali, customized trips
Beyond travel on this site, the customized travel offers another opportunity for those who prefer to leave the family, with a small group of friends who want to choose their departure date and duration of their trip.
Feel free to contact us, our expertise and our ideas are to serve your wishes.