Day 1: Bamako. You will be arriving at Bamako International airport in the evening. Welcome by our team. Transfer and check-in at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Bamako/ Timbuktu. After your breakfast, this morning we take a local flight from Bamako to Timbuktu. Arrival to Timbuktu. "Timbuktu was formerly a great commercial trading city and an international center of Islamic learning. The city was probably founded in the late 11th century AD by Tuareg nomads. Tuareg formed one of the most ancient tribal people of the Sahara. They speak a Berber language, Tamacheq, and have their own alphabet. In ancient times, the Tuareg controlled the trans-Sahara routes and substantially contributed in the expansion of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa even though they retained however some of their older rites.
Today, the Tuareg symbolize the mysteries of the Sahara and continued to be seen as the Masters of the Desert". Today we will visit the legendary city of Timbuktu, gateway to the Sahara Desert: 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. Lunch and relax. Tea party. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Timbuktu. A full day sightseeing. Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, meet with people and learn about their traditional activities and story: the doors makers, the jewelers, the Tuareg blacksmiths, the tanners. Visit to old traditional families which made Timbuktu story. Lunch followed with discussion on Timbuktu story. Free time for relax: In the afternoon, visit to the "Center Ahmed Baba" for its ancient manuscripts and books. We will end this magical moment in Timbuktu by a camel ride into the nearby desert followed by a Tuareg mechoui dinner under the stars. Overnight under Tuareg Tent.
Day 4: Timbuktu/ Douentza/ Mopti. Breakfast and early departure for a long journey heading to Mopti. Crossing of the sahelian typical landscapes. Lunch at Douentza and continuation to Mopti. Arrival to Mopti, check-in at hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Mopti/ Songho/ Bandiagara. Breakfast and departing to the Dogon country. On route, visit to Songho, a Dogon village famous for its series of symbolic carvings in a cave used for traditional circumcision ceremonies. Travel a short distance to Bandiagara. Arrival and check-in at hotel. Lunch. Leisurely afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.
Day 6: Bandiagara/ Kani/ Tely/ Ende. Early breakfast and transfer to the Dogon cliff for a full day sightseeing. Stop at Djiguibombo for its toguna built out of white stones. Visit to Kani Kombole village. See its beautiful small mosque. At Tely you will probably be impressed by the particular architecture of this village. Picnic lunch at Ende followed by the visit of the village. Dinner and overnight in Campement.
Day 7: Ende/ Begnemato/ Bandiagara. Breakfast and depart for a new day of discovering Dogon Country. Visit to the village of Begnemato "Eagle’s nest" because of its spectacular position on the peak. Admire the beautiful views of the plains. Picnic lunch and continuation to Bandiagara. Arrival, check-in at hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Bandiagara/ Tireli/ Banani/ Sangha. Today too, 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, like Daga, Tirelly, Amani, 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…We can also visit The Dogon museum in Nombori. Picnic lunch at Banani. Continuation to Sangha. Before entering to Sangha, we will visit the Dogon Traditional Devin who conformly to the tradition still predicts the future to Dogon people…and visitors. In the afternoon we will admire the Dogon masks dance (optional). 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.
Day 9: Sangha/ Mopti. Breakfast and depart to Mopti. Arrival followed with lunch. Mopti city tour in the afternoon. Visit to 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 the hotel.
Day 10: Mopti/ Konna/ Mopti. Sailing on Niger River: A full day excursion and transfer by road back to Mopti 55 Km – 01h00. Breakfast and embark on a motorised riverboat and begin sailing the Niger River heading to Konna. During the sailing you will visit Bozo fishermen’s villages and nomadic Fulani camps along the way; you will also see Mali’s varied birdlife along the shore, and very likely see hippos in the river. Lunch on board. Drive back to Mopti. Mopti city tour in the afternoon. Visit to 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 your hotel.
Day 11: Mopti/ Djenne. A half day sightseeing. Breakfast and depart to Djenne. Founded in the 4th century, Djenne has scarcely changed since the Middle Ages. In the 13th-15th centuries, Djenne was a rival of Timbuktu for the wealth of the Trans-Saharan trade. The city is located on an island in the inland Niger delta, and is surrounded by mud brick walls. As well as making a visit to the archaeological site of Djenne-Djeno that looks backward in time over a 1.000 years. Generation after generation, a guild of highly skilled master-builders, the Baris, have ensured Djenné’s architectural integrity.
The atmosphere in the streets brings the traveler back to medieval time, especially on Monday the colorful market day, the most important of the week for a Djenneka (Djenne resident). The market place is packed with traders and customers coming from villages all around. The barter economy is still used. Sites to visit and to see: The town architecture, the largest mud made mosque in the world, the chief’s house, the market place, the sacred well of Nana Wangara and the tomb of the young woman who was walled in alive to give the town prosperity. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Djenne - Teriyabougou. After your breakfast we propose to visit the town’s archaeological Museum. Drive to Teriyabugu. Arrival, check-in at hotel and lunch. Teriyabugu is quite a "paradise" where on can relax after 10 days of trip. Free time. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Teriyabougou/ Segu. Breakfast and visit Teriyabougou camping. Very quiet and shady, Teriyabougou is an example of Eco tourism. You can visit its mini zoo, and its botanical garden with almost 200 000 trees. Depart to Segou. Arrival and check-in at hotel followed with lunch. Segou is Mali’s second largest city and former colonial administrative center. In the afternoon, we will have the city tour that 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. Dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 14: Segu/ Bamako. Breakfast and depart to Bamako. 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. Drive to Bamako. Arrival followed with lunch. Check-in at hotel. Free time. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Bamako/ Departure. Breakfast followed with Bamako city tour: visit to the market; the artisan’s and the fetish market; the National museum (closed on Monday) 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. Lunch at Restaurant Santoro. Back to the hotel, free time. Dinner and transfer to the airport for your final departure.
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