The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Mali is a developing nation in the lowest 25% of the world's economies. Located south of Algeria in western Africa, its climate ranges from subtropical to arid. Desert climate in portions of this country may aggravate respiratory conditions
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for all travelers aged ≥ 1 year.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2013) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the whole country.
- Recommended prevention: A – Very limited risk of malaria transmission. Mosquito bite prevention only.
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: High.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum > 85%, P. ovale 5%-10%, P. vivax rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to terrorism and violent crime, U.S. (DOS) and Canada (GAC) advise avoiding all travel to this country. U.K. (FCO) and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by domestic and/or transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in Bamako, and Gao, Kidal, and Tombouctou regions. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
From 2016 through 2017, attacks targeted areas frequented by tourists, including resorts, hotels, and restaurants. A state of emergency is in effect through late October 2018.
High risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists throughout the country (including Bamako), especially in northern regions and areas bordering Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, and Mauritania. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery and carjacking) and petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in Bamako and other cities, and in northern areas.
Kidnappings by criminal groups may occur throughout the country.
Scams involving a wide range of financial activities, credit cards, and extortion have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in Bamako, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Caution should be exercised at all times in Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal due to the presence of armed groups and the threat of banditry. Do not travel to these regions by road, especially between the cities of Gao and Kidal.
There has been a history of ethnic tension in some parts of the country, particularly in the north.
Land mines have exploded near the border with Algeria.
Significant risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is > 24 per 100,000 population, the highest risk category. Carefully assess the safety of transportation options before any road travel. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
The rainy season is from June through October. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur, especially near the Niger River.
Sandstorms and dust storms occur from March through June.
Extreme heat (which can lead to heat-related illness) occurs from March through June.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Mali
- United States: [+223] 20-70-23-00; ml.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+223] 44-98-04-50; mali.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+223] 44-97-69-13; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-bamako
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Mali.
Mali's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.maliembassy.us
- In Canada: www.ambamali.ca
- In the U.K.: www.mali-consulate.org.uk
- In Australia: [+61] 03-9600-0511
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.