Day 1: Bamako. Assistance for police and customs formalities and transfer to the hotel - 02h00. Arrival to Bamako International airport. Welcome by your guide and transfer to the hotel for the night. Briefing with the guide. Overnight at Lodge villa soudan.
Day 2: Bamako/ Segou. Breakfast and depart to Segou. On route we will make a stop to visit Segoukoro which means in Bambara language the "Old Segou". It is the location of Bambara Kingdom’s former capital. You can see the vestibule and the tomb of Mamary Biton Coulibaly, the Founder of the Kingdom and try to understand how Animism and Muslim were intimately bound. Arrival and check-in at hotel. Lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll go for a short walking tour of the town. This tour includes the pottery market along the Niger River banks and the "Colonial Quarter". Admire the beautiful Sudanese-style colonial architecture. The local beer fabric, the women shops for their beautiful bogolan and local art galleries. Dinner and overnight at hotel Auberge.
Day 3: Segou/ Djenne. Breakfast and early departure for a long way road heading to Djenne. Crossing of the sahelian typical landscapes. You have time to admire commercial activities in Bobo and Bambara small villages located all along the way. Lunch stop at San. Arrive to Djenne at the end of the day and visit to the town’s archaeological Museum of the "Mission culturelle" where you can see some pieces coming from the ruins of Djenne-Djeno, an ancient settlement that dates back to about 300. Check-in at hotel. A short walking tour will lead you to a local restaurant for the dinner. Overnight at Lodge Djenne-djenno.
Day 4: Djenne/ Bandiagara. Breakfast and go for a visit to the town. Sites to visit and to see: The town Sudanese architecture, the largest mud made mosque in the world, the chief’s house, the sacred well of Nana Wangara, the tomb of the young woman who was walled in alive to give the town prosperity, the market place. Most of the time this place is quiet but on Monday which is the market day, this place is packed with traders and customers coming from villages all around. This market has its origin back in medieval time. The barter economy is still used. Depart to Bandiagara after your lunch. On route, visit to Songho, a Dogon village famous for its series of symbolic carvings in a cave used for traditional circumcision ceremonies. Drive a short distance to Bandiagara. Arrival and check-in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel "la Falaise".
Day 5: Bandiagara/ Kani/ Teli/ Ende/ Bandiagara. Early breakfast and transfer to the Dogon cliff for a full day sightseeing. Visit to Kani Kombole village. See its beautiful small mosque. At Telly you will probably be impressed by the particular architecture of this village. Picnic lunch followed with visit of Ende. Meet the village chief and elders. Drive back to Bandiagara at the end of the day. Dinner and overnight at hotel La falaise.
Day 6: Bandiagara/ Daga/ Tireli/ Banani/ Sangha. Breakfast followed with your transfer with 4x4 to Daga. Today will require a bit of walking and stamina as we visit the picturesque Dogon villages along the World Heritage listed Bandiagara cliffs like Ireli, Amani and Banani…These villages are small and built out of local stone, again with the granaries being topped by thatched roofs. Prepare: hats for the sun, good walking shoes for the escarpments, comfortable clothes, small bag, sunglasses and water. During your trek towards the Dogon villages along the Bandiagara cliffs, you will see the "impure women’s" house, the tellem caves, and the fetish altar of the Hogon (The Dogon people’s traditional and religious leader).
As we walk from village to village we will get a good insight into lives of the Dogon as well as an appreciation for their arts and crafts. Picnic lunch at Banani. Continuation to Sangha, the cultural capital of Dogon Country. Before entering to Sangha, we will visit the Dogon Traditional Devin who in conformity to the tradition still predicts the future to Dogon people and visitors. We will then admire the Dogon masks dance. Dogon dancers are world-renowned and often consist of dances on stilts while wearing broad-brimmed hats and amazing facial decorations. Dinner and overnight at your hotel La Guinna.
Day 7: Sangha/ Mopti. Breakfast and depart to Mopti. Arrival followed with the lunch. City tour in the afternoon.This tour includes: the lively fishing harbor on the Bani River where you can still find slabs of salt for sale in a continuation of an age-old trade between Morocco and Mali; the artisans’ souks with traditional traders offering a variety of locally-produced commodities and beautiful artifacts; the traditional boat factory, the beautiful Sudanese-style mosque of Komoguel, and the bustling local market. Dinner and overnight at Lodge Ambedjele.
Day 8: Mopti/ Niger River. First sailing day on the Niger River. Breakfast and embark on a riverboat and begin sailing the Niger River heading to Timbuktu. During the sailing you will visit Bozo fishermen's villages and nomadic Fulani camps along the way. Lunch on board. Dinner and camping under tent on the Niger River shore.
Day 9: Niger River. Second sailing day on the Niger River. Breakfast and second day of sailing. Leisurely and lunch on board. Arrive to Lac Debo. Lac Debo is a big inland sea. Admire Mali's varied birdlife along the shore, and very likely see hippos in the river. Dinner and overnight under tent.
Day 10: Niger River/ Timbuktu. Last sailing day. Breakfast and depart for the last day of sailing heading to Timbuktu. Lunch on board. Arrive to Koriome harbour and transfer to the hotel. Free time in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at hotel La colombe.
Day 11: Timbuktu. Full day visit of Timbuktu. Breakfast and depart for a full day visit of the "mysterious town". This city tour includes: the market which receives the azalaïs, the salt caravans from the desert, the ancient mosques and former universities (Djingareiber, Sankore), the ethnological museum that contains a good variety of exhibits including clothing, musical instruments, jewelery, the explorers Gordon Laing, René Caillé and Einrich Barth houses, the "Centre Ahmed Baba" for its ancient manuscripts and books. Lunch and relax. In the afternoon a camel ride will lead you to the desert around Timbuktu. Menu: Tea party, traditional mechoui, introduction to history of Timbuktu and Tuareg dance. Overnight under Tuareg tent.
Day 12: Tmbuktu/ Bamako/ Departure. Breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Bamako. Arrival, check-in at hotel. Lunch. Bamako city tour in the afternoon: the market; the artisan’s and the fetish market; the art galleries (African arts center, Santoro; Indigo); the National museum with it’s over 4000 pieces relating the history of Mali people; you can see some traditional masks as well as funeral objects and handicrafts; the panoramic point of view from "Point G" hill. Drive back to the hotel. Free time for last minutes purchases. Dinner, in a typical restaurant of the city and transfer to the airport for your final departure.
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