Climate of Mali

Climate of Mali

Where is the country of Mali located? Mali is a country in western Africa. Mali is completely surrounded by other countries such as Algeria, Niger and Mauritania. It has no direct access to the sea. The country lies between 10 and 25 degrees north latitude, which places it partly in the south of the Sahara and partly in the Sahel. Mali consists for a large part of desert landscapes, dry grassy plains and savanna in the south. The desert is gradually advancing from the north, causing the Sahel to slowly dry up and take on a more desert-like character. Mali has a warm desert climate in the north (type BWh), the central part in the Sahel has a warm steppe climate (type BSh) and the southern regions of Mali have a tropical savanna climate.

Rainy season

Large parts of Mali have a negligible amount of precipitation. About 70% of the country has so little rainfall that there is insufficient water for agriculture or drinking water. The uncertainty regarding the availability of drinking water makes increasingly larger parts of the country difficult to live in. In the winter months there is hardly a drop of rain in all of Mali. From March, the chance of precipitation increases in the south, after which the all-important rainy season starts in mid-June. The intense rain showers can fall until the beginning of October, after which the rainy season quickly turns into a dry period. During the rainy season, the River Niger regularly floods, providing the Niger Inner Delta with plenty of water.


Mali has no frost, snow or cold days. In the winter months it is warm; summers are very warm to downright hot. In the south, the rain ensures that temperatures are tempered in the summer months. For example, the mercury in the capital Bamako drops from around 40 degrees in April to slightly above 30 degrees in July and August. In the desert, the copper plod, together with the drought, ensures that maximum temperatures reach between 40 and 45 degrees.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

Maximum temperature Minimum temperature Hours of sunshine per day Days of rainfall per month
January 33℃ 18℃ 9 0
February 36℃ 20℃ 9 0
March 38℃ 23℃ 9 1
April 39℃ 25℃ 8 3
May 38℃ 26℃ 8 6
June 35℃ 24℃ 8 11
July 32℃ 22℃ 7 16
August 31℃ 22℃ 7 18
September 33℃ 22℃ 7 14
October 35℃ 22℃ 8 6
November 34℃ 20℃ 9 0
December 33℃ 17℃ 9 0

Best time to visit Mali

The Republic of Mali is a country located in western Africa. Most of the country lies below the Sahara. The northern regions of Mali do belong to the Sahara. Below that, the landscape changes into the transition area we know as the Sahel. Originally this central strip through Mali consists of savanna landscape, but due to climate change this is increasingly becoming desertified. The southern regions of Mali consist of grasslands and savanna. More rain falls here than in the arid troughs of the country, where annual rainfall has been reduced to almost zero. In the Sahel, where the climate changes from a warm desert climate to a warm steppe climate, If you want to travel to Mali, you have to look at two things when it comes to the weather: is the rainy season (southern Mali) and is it not too hot? Rain falls in Mali in summer. The winters are dry to bone dry. In the tropical south, quite a lot of rain can fall in the period from July to September.

Best weather

The best time to travel to Mali is from December to February. During these winter months it is dry, the sun often shines and the afternoon temperatures are usually around 25 to 35 degrees. The north is then the ‘coolest’, while the south is the warmest. There the maximum temperatures in February already rise to an average of 34 to 38 degrees Celsius, so it might be better to limit travel to the south to December or January. From March/April it gets too hot throughout Mali for a holiday.

Traveling to Mali

We base the best time to visit Mali based on the climatic conditions and the weather. If you want to travel to Mali, first check the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the most current situation in the country in terms of safety and other matters that may play a role.