Bakaara is one of the larger maps in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It is set in an urban environment of the shore with many buildings that can be accessed. There are multiple streets and back ways that contain medium to long lines of sight. The streets have many crashed vehicles on them, offering decent cover. The two main spawns are at the top of the hill (at a gentle slope) that this map is set on, and at the docks on the other side of the map. Near the middle of the map is a courtyard with a crashed Black Hawk which has a mounted minigun that can be used to hold down that area of the map, but is wide open to enemy fire. Tactically, the minigun is risky. It offers a considerably decent field of fire on the main approach, but one can easily be killed without team support. The minigun is not present in Infected, however, for balance reasons.
There are four teddy bears on this map, three of them being ripped in half. One is on the floor in the small building next to the B flag in Domination, while the other two are located on shelves in a small blue building overlooking the middle road, near the Africa Militia spawn. One is also located in the blue-rimmed building on a shelf in the middle of the map.
There is 2D smoke located near the port, located outside the map.
When playing Infected, attempting to camp on top of the downed copter's blades will automatically kill the player. This was done to stop players from hiding there indefinitely.
Various sound effects can be heard around the map, including a dog barking, heavy weapon fire, and jets occasionally flying overhead.
The crashed helicopter is a reference to Black Hawk Down, as there is also the bakaara market next to the crash, and the fact that is a black hawk and not a hind like in the campaign mission Return to Sender.
Despite the fact the helicopter is a US Military helicopter, the factions are African Militia and PMC, due to the PMC being present in Return to Sender.