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Mali is a country that spans from the dry Sahara desert in the North to the more tropical climate closer to the equator in the south, in the subsahara. Mali experiences an extreme dry season followed by a rainy season, with more rain to the south. Weather in the North will typically be more consistent throughout the year, but more humid in the summer months.
The dry season occurs between November and May, and most precipitation occurs from July to September. The rains typically come in heavy downpours, often flooding many areas temporarily and making for a muddy travelling experience on many of the unpaved roads.
Although travellers typically prefer to visit during the dry season, tourists should be aware that this comes along with a lot of dust in the air and a very hot period in the middle of the day (with no cloud cover). Tourists should travel with a mask or scarf to cover their mouths in transit or when travelling by foot on busy streets. Sunscreen at all hours of the day is a must. Additionally, it is important to keep hydrated in this type of climate.
Temperatures in the dry season are cooler at night with lows reaching 5 degrees C in January and highs around 35 degrees C. The rainy/summer season is much warmer at night with lows between 18-25 degrees C and highs reaching 45 degrees C with the humidex.
Mosquitoes carrying Malaria are a problem in Mali, and are more numerous in the summer/rainy months, although still present in the dry season as well. Travellers should take a anti-malaria medication while in the country and sleep under a bug net to further prevent infection since the malaria-carrying species are typically only out in the wee hours of the night.
Flights into the Capital of Mali run on a daily basis from Paris, France year-round and are usually timely. When leaving the country, be sure to check in early at the airport because the security lines can be long and redundant.
A variety of local fruits and vegetables are grown and available in Mali but some are not available year-round and depend on the climate conditions of the previous crop.