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Best trails in Mali

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Explore the most popular trails in Mali with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
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Map of trails in Mali
Top trails (3)
#1 - Bamako Hill Walk
Dougourakoro, Koulikoro, Mali
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Length: 9.1 mi • Est. 4 h 13 m
This walk is over and along one of the hills on the south side of the Niger river. Depending on the season, it will be quite dry and you get a dessert feeling. There are many different ways to get to the starting point, but we recommend you start on the south side of the Sotuba bridge and follow the road along the canal. From there, follow the 5 indicated "via" way points to get to the parking. At the parking area, you'll find a few trees to park under. The hike starts at ground level and you walk a bit through the houses. After about 2.5 km, you will start with the ascent up the hill. In particular, you will need to use your hands and scramble up the hill, but later on, it will get easier. As few people make it up here, the track is not very clear. Just follow the direction indicated on the GPS. Later on, navigation will get much easier. The steep ascent is just 800 meter, over which you will gain 100 meter altitude. Although in the middle of Bamako, there are few houses on this hill. In particular the first part of the hill, you would almost forget that you are in Bamako. As you follow the track, you'll see that more and more people ventured all the way out here to build their houses. Only after passing the highest point of this trail, there are a lot of houses (planned). Even a mosque was built here in April 2018. After a bit of zigzagging between the (future) houses, the descent will start. From there, you get a nice view over the valley and rock formations of the hill. Near the foot of the hill, the track make a sharp turn to the left. if you want to shave off a kilometre of the track, you can opt here to continue straight. Now you are down the mountain, there are a lot more people. The rest of the trail, you will keep the hill on your right hand side as you pass through various small tracks. Just before you reach the car, you'll pass by a small local market. It's not open every day, but you may strike a bargain if you're lucky. Show more
#2 - Begnebougou and Mango Circle
Dogodouman, Koulikoro, Mali
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Length: 11.2 mi • Est. 5 h 5 m
Due to the temperature, hiking is a bit of a challenge around Bamako, but in early May, the mangoes are ripe and you will enjoy this track where you'll be able to eat so many mangoes that you'll have plenty of energy! Just bring water to drink and wash your hands as the mango juice will make them sticky. This track can be done all year around. In the late rainy reason, the water in the small stream will make it a pleasant view. Not only are there plenty of mango trees, there are also many agricultural fields along the way. Depending on the time of the year, you'll see everything from papaya, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes and peanuts. In general, the trail is easy enough to find, but there are a few places it diverts from the bigger trail, so keep an eye on the GPS to follow the track as published. You are, of course, free to divert from the track as there are frequently several parallel tracks, but they don't always stay parallel or abruptly end at a garden patch. To get to the trail head, follow the indicated way points. The track is not too difficult to find and Google Maps or may bring you there without any problems. But do note that it's all on dirt road of a very poor quality and I would highly recommend a 4WD and a driver to match. Although just a few kilometres, allow for about 45 min drive once you leave the asphalt road. At the indicated parking spot, you'll find food parking in the shade of some trees. You can also opt to park earlier on the way up, but that obviously add to the length of the track. Please remember to bring plenty of water and a snack as you'll not see any shops along the way.Show more
#3 - Mango Valley Hills
Dogodouman, Koulikoro, Mali
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Length: 5.6 mi • Est. 2 h 51 m
A nice walk through one of the hills along the mango valley. If well timed (April to June), you'll have plenty of mangoes to eat along the way. The track starts off with a reasonably steep climb, but the rest of the hike is not that heavy. So start the day early and you'll be back before it gets too hot. Just make sure to bring plenty to drink as you will not be able to buy any along the way.Show more