Mali is a land of various cultures and creeds, a smattering of life and action, heritage and history, nestled between the rolling Sahel and the limitless sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.
There's everything from time-stood-still tribal villages to groaning camel caravans to experience here, from the salt-caked outposts of Taoudenni in the north to the throbbing market town of Sikasso in the south, the lion-spotted reaches of Boucle de Baoulé in the west to the protected swaths of Ansongo in the east.
Meanwhile, Bamako, Mali's capital, is unquestionably one of the continent's most fascinating cities. Between the congested streets, beer bars and local music dives spring up; bazaars and vibrant marketplaces spring up on the corners.
Oh, and don't even get me started on the enigma of Timbuktu! Unfortunately, recent conflicts have rendered this beautiful country in the heart of West Africa virtually inaccessible to would-be tourists. Skirmishes, conflicts, and political upheavals continue, putting Mali's great natural and human wonders in jeopardy.
Let's have a look at some of the top spots to visit in Mali: