Travellers urged to check holiday insurance after parts of Mali ruled out of bounds
Holidaymakers planning trips to Mali in sub Saharan Africa are being advised to check if their travel insurance is still valid following a warning from the Foreign Office (www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan-africa/mali) that it is not safe to visit parts of the country.
The Foreign Office has advised against all travel to the provinces of Mali north of the River Niger from Mopti, including Timbuktu, and other parts of the country.
Once the Foreign Office declares a destination out of bounds, it is difficult to obtain travel insurance so holidaymakers are usually advised to alter their plans.
Those who had already booked trips to the out-of-bounds areas should speak to their tour operator or airline about the possibility of switching to an alternative destination.
Those who alter or defer their trip to Mali should be able to change or defer their travel insurance cover.
The warning from the Foreign Office follows the kidnapping earlier this year of a group of European tourists, one of whom - a British national - was later murdered.
A statement on the Foreign Office website reads: Terrorists have been involved in kidnaps in the region and we believe that further kidnap attacks are likely.
""Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.""
Some tour operators have already suspended tours to Mali but others - including Exodus - are selling trips next year. Exodus (www.exodus.co.uk) said clients would be offered a refund or an alternative holiday if the Foreign Office warning was still in place when they were due to travel.