Transportation - Get In
Bamako-Sénou Airport is roughly 15 km (30–40 minutes) from the city centre, with flights from Paris on Point Afrique (cheap) and Air France (less cheap). Flights to Europe are also offered by Royal Air Maroc, via Casablanca—the main drawback to this option is that the flight from BKO to Casablanca leaves at 03:35. Taxi rides should cost about XOF7000 from the city.
Passengers flying Air France should consider pré-enregistrement, or early check-in. This can be done at the Air France office on the day of the flight, between 10:00 and 17:00. The office is located at Square Lumumba. Luggage is dropped off and boarding passes issued right then and there, as would happen at the airport - minus the crowds and the hassle!
The airport has been undergoing massive renovations in 2009-10. On the plus side, the underwhelming and cramped upstairs waiting area is gone, replaced by a much larger and more modern room. On the downside, many parts remain incomplete. Expect to make your way through worksites. People with difficulty getting around will still find Bamako-Senou challenging, as there are less stairs than before, but a lot more corridors and construction to contend with.
Bamako is at the end of the railway line from Dakar in Senegal which used to transport passengers across western Africa. However since a few years back all cross-border traffic have stopped and the only remaining service is a thrice-weekly train from the western city of Kayes and a short commuter service from Koulikoro. There have been several announcements recently of a renewed service between Bamako and Dakar but no trains have yet materialised.
Bamako Railway Station (Gare de Bamako), Rue 340 Baba Diarra
Bus travel to Bamako is possible but often gruellingly slow. Some buses offers air condition, most don't. Segou and Mopti are common destinations, a journey time of about ten hours. International services are available from most regional capitals, with journey times of up to 40 hours it can be a very memorable, if quite unpleasant, experience.
Bamako has two major bus stations, with Sogoniko handling the most traffic.
- Sogoniko Bus Station (Gare Routière De Sogoninko), Avenue de L'unite Africaine OUA (South of the river, along RN7).
- Djikoroni Bus Station (Gare Routière De Djikoroni)
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