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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 28 Jul 2010
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New rules for Mali?

I hear travellers bringing their own car to Mali now have to leave a huge amount of money (hundreds of euro's) at the border, which only is given back when leaving the country. Somebody can confirm this? And what about Mali visa? Is it possible to get one at the border coming from Senegal?
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Old 29 Jul 2010
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This is the first I have heard of this mentioned. Do you have the source for this information you could share?
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  #3  
Old 29 Jul 2010
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I read it in a posting on Lonely Planet thorn tree. It seems to have started this month.
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  #4  
Old 29 Jul 2010
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Found it:

Warning to those transiting Mali w/ own vehicle - Lonely Planet travel forum

Thanks! Looks like a big change of plans for me...
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  #5  
Old 29 Jul 2010
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confirmation?

Seems some confusion:

"Actually they don't give the Carnet de Passage anymore here, AT ALL" - sorry?

No laissez-passer is very significant, not accepting the Carnet would be a real shame too. The cost and simplicity was a real advantage.
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  #6  
Old 29 Jul 2010
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The Lonely Planet post seems to make the current situation pretty clear:

Quote:
This is to any people wishing to transit or visit Mali with an outside vehicle. I've lived here for 7 months (American) and recently bought a car in Togo to bring here to use. In April there was a new "law" passed regarding Douane border fees. It is now not possible to get a "less de passe" (the spelling is no good, sorry). Instead, they now think that all cars coming into the country are coming to be sold (big business here). Unfortunatley for us "tourists" this means we get caught in the shuffle. The Douanes on the border now estimate some bogus cost that they find in a catalogue they use for reference (don't know what book or where they got it). I bought a 1999 Honda CRV and the fee I was required to pay was 645000 CFA, thats about $1200 US. I did not have any sort of money like this and it was pretty devastating, but they refused to let me in to the country with the car. Their options were to have a realative wire money to me or to leave the car at the border and get it later. Supposedly if you pay this fee and leave the country via any other border crossing you will get the money back. So if you have the money, it could work if you plan to leave. But if you plan to come and stay you won't see the money again as it will go towards registering the car in Mali.

I debated whether or not to post this for the last few months. But now I am working again in my hotel (Sahel Vert) and we have people frequently coming in who have this problem. Some of them have to wait for 8-10 days on the border before they can come up with the cash. A Spanish guy came yesterday and he had 3 cars he was transiting to Cote D'Ivoire, he had to pay over 2 million CFA (around $4000 US) and waited 9 days at the border of Senegal/Mali. He was pretty pissed off. I was only able to get the "less de passe" because my husband's friend is the head Douane in Bamako and he called through and talked to the border Douanes. This is not common at all. I tried crying, saying I was a tourist, all of it - nothing worked except the call my husband arranged.

Not sure how many of you this will affect (if any) but I thought I would mention it just in case. I'm not joking about any of this, so it's not a scare tactic, just advice from one traveller to another.
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  #7  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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I do not think the normal tourist will have problems. Maybe people who live in Mali are obliged to pay the importation fee, like is the case in Morocco. Or people that want a "laisser passer" for three cars. As long as you are really transiting the car I suppose there will not be a problem. (Although a confirmation of somebody that recently entered Mali in his or her own car would be nice)
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  #8  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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Last year we used our Carnet de passage, but they were not that happy about it. Is it not possible even with a carnet anymore?
We will be transiting Mali with three cars in december and januari.
I really hope this doesn't affect tourists, "only" the malian citizens!
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  #9  
Old 6 Aug 2010
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money bond mali borders

Does this apply to motorcycles also
Planning to go thru and back in nov this year
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  #10  
Old 6 Aug 2010
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Hi,

We will see...i want to travel trough Mali with my own bike in november as well coming from Southafrica...

LG
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  #11  
Old 10 Aug 2010
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Hi guys, I'm in Burkina now, fresh out of Mali, and had no trouble whatsoever clearing to bike for Mali. The carnet is not valid there (neither in Burkina), and a laisser passer can be obtained at the first police station (learned this from fellow travellers, was not necessary for the bike). I crossed inyo Mali north of Nioro (the road from Ayoun in Mauritania).

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  #12  
Old 10 Aug 2010
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My impression in February was that the coming changes were aimed only at Malians and foreign residents in Mali, not affecting tourists. Sounds like this may be true then-
Rising visa costs and then perhaps also vehicle costs will make travelling more difficult. Let's hope Ecowas will work something out to facilitate tourism.
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  #13  
Old 12 Aug 2010
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Just my 2 cents: we just crossed Mali, coming in from Senegal (Kidira border post), at the end of July with a 2006 Land-Rover Defender. Apart from finding the boss (who was away at the mosque) and obtain his approval, establishment of a "laisser-passer" was no trouble at all. The carnet was used to copy the owner and vehicle data, but not stamped.

We subsequently used the carnet in Burkina, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon at no cost and without any sort of trouble (except for sometimes explaining how to fill it in without suggesting the official was unknowledgeable or stupid, a good exercise in diplomacy).

Hope this helps - safe travels

Georges
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  #14  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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Hi gternes,

Did you get your Mali visa at the border?

Thanks
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