There is extreme risk to your security in the northern provinces of Mali due to the activities of terrorist groups and significant risk of kidnapping and armed banditry and we advise against all travel. This advice covers all travel to the provinces of Kidal, Gao, Koulikoro (north of Mourdiah), Ségou (north of Niono), Tombouctou (including the city of Tombouctou (Timbuktu)), Mopti, and areas bordering Mauritania east of Nioro in the Kayes province.
There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Mali due to the threat from terrorism and we advise caution.
The terrorist group Al Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is active in northern Mali and has been involved in a series of kidnappings in the region, many of which have resulted in the murder of hostages.
New Zealanders in Mali are advised to maintain a high degree of personal security awareness at all times and avoid travelling at night. Particular care should be taken in crowded and public places known to be frequented by expatriates and foreigners. We recommend you monitor events through local media and adhere to any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities.
There is a significant risk of kidnapping in Mali, with Westerners often targeted. On 25 November 2011, one western tourist was killed and three others kidnapped in the city of Timbuktu. As a result of this kidnapping the local authorities evacuated all foreign nationals from Timbuktu. On 24 November 2011, two French nationals were kidnapped from the town of Hombori in Mopti province.
Kidnappers in Mali have recently targeted festival attendees. In 2011, the festival in Anderamboukane was cancelled due to security concerns. In 2009, a British national who attended this festival was kidnapped and subsequently murdered. We strongly advise New Zealanders in Mali against attending any of the major festivals due to the kidnapping risk.
General travel advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Mali to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Mali, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens who require consular assistance is extremely limited.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Mali should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Mali are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.