Day 1: Bamako. Arrival to Bamako International airport. Welcome by your guide and transfer to the hotel for the night. Briefing with the guide. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Bamako - Segu. Breakfast and depart to Segou. Visit to Bambara and Bobo villages on road. Discovering of traditional ways of production of Shea butter. 15 minutes to Segou, stop to visit Ségoukoro 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.
Check-in at hotel. Lunch. In the afternoon a short city tour including the pottery market along the Niger River banks and the "Colonial Quarter". Admire the beautiful Sudanese-style colonial architecture and visit the local art galleries. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Segu - Bandiagara. Breakfast and depart to Dogon Country. Across the Sahel heading to Bandiagara, we will have our lunch on route and visit 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. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Bandiagara - Kani - Teli - Ende - Bandiagara. Early breakfast and transfer to the Dogon cliff for a full day sightseeing. Visit to Kani Kombolé 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.
Day 5: Bandiagara - Daga - Tireli - Bandiagara - Daga - Tireli - Banani - Sangha. 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.
Day 6: Sangha - Niongono - Nando - Djenne. Breakfast and depart to Djenne. On route visit to Dogon villages located on the plateau, like Niongono village, located on a peak and Nando village with its small mosque, the only mud-made structure in the village. Picnic lunch at Nando and continuation to Djenne. Arrival followed with a visit to the museum. Check-in at hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Djenne - Mopti. Breakfast followed with the city tour. 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 Mopti after your lunch. Arrival and check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Mopti - Konna - Mopti. Breakfast and embark on a motorized riverboat for one day sailing on the Niger River. During the sailing you will visit Bozo fisher men’s villages and nomadic Fulani camps along the way. Lunch on board. Arrival to Konna harbor and transfer to Mopti for the city tour: 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 in a typical restaurant of the town and overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Mopti - Timbuktu. Breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Timbuktu. Arrival followed with 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 "Center Ahmed Baba" for its ancient manuscripts and books. Lunch and relax. At sunset, a camel ride will lead us to the sand dunes around Timbuktu. Welcome by tuareg people. Menu: Tea party, traditional dinner and overnight under Tuareg tent on the sand dunes.
Day 10: Timbuktu. Full day visit of Timbuktu and surroundings Breakfast at the hotel and visit to a Tuareg village in the desert of Timbuktu surroundings. Full day with a Tuareg family. Meet with people and learn about their traditional activities and story: the doors makers, the jewelers, the Tuareg blacksmiths, the tanners. Lunch followed with discussion on Timbuktu story. Free time for relax: in the afternoon drive back to Timbuktu. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Timbuktu - Bamako. 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. Dinner, in a typical restaurant and overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Bamako. Departure. Breakfast. Free time for last minutes purchases. Lunch and leisure at hotel till the dinner. Transfer to the airport for your final departure.
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Africa Mali Local Culture Cultural Journey Crafts Tours
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