Never aim you video camera within the vicinity of ANY embassy.
We were almost mobbed (no matter that we went in the midst of a coup!)
Don't speak French?...Don't speak at all if you can avoid it
(hire an interpreter)
Change your money ONLY at your hotel, not on the street or in an alley shop.
Dress down, blend in as much as possible.
DO NOT tell strangers you are American.
If you buy ivory, wrap it to look like a roll of duck-tape or likewise conceal it OR it will be confiscated at their airport.