The Bandiagara escarpment and Dogon country are reminiscent of the American Southwest and the ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings. The Djenne market and mosque are an excellent example of a culture that has changed very little in 500 years. Starting out in Bamako, we'll drive to Mopti, on the edge of the Bandagara Escarpment and Dogon country. The Dogon are famous for their complex and elaborate culture, their art forms, their multi-story houses, and their incredible knack for eking out a living under the harshest of circumstances. These are some of the most fascinating cultural experiences it is possible to have in West Africa. Attend the Festival in the Desert, near Timbuctu, and experience both traditional Malian music and dance, and the best of modern world music from musicians all over Africa - surrounded by the Sahara's desert sands!
Day 1: January 5. Bamako. Arrival at Bamako and transfer to hotel. Dinner on your own and overnight at Hotel Tamana. Includes: (B).
Day 2: January 6. Bamako-Mopti. Transfer to Mopti. Stop in Segou and visits (visits will be spread in day 2 and day 14). Dinner and overnight at Hotel Y a pas de Problèmes. Founded in 1852, Segou, keeper of one of the most ancient histories of West Africa, capital of the ancient Bambara kingdom, has an undeniable charm which is well worth discovering. Ancient kingdom of culture and tradition, Segou has inspired numerous writers and historians. Among the most famous is Maryse Condé. Segou is also the site where Mungo Park, the first European in modern times, gazed upon the Niger River. When he arrived he "fell to his knees, thanked God, and drank from the muddy water." (Mark Jenkins, To Timbuktu). Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: January 7. Mopti-Timbuctu (339 km, paved road). Transfer to Timbutku through Gourma Region. Hotel Azalai. The Gourma region spreads out between Douentza and Timbuktu, a region known for its desert steppes. Thanks to its micro-climate, protected by the Niger River which frames it for the 2/3 part, the region is a land of savannas mixed with dunes. In the Gourma region we could meet a lot of Fulani, Tuareg and Bella (ancient slaves) camps). When we reach the Gandamia Mountains, we will visit a tiny village hidden in the mountains. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 4-6: January 8-10. Essakane Festival. Visit Timbuktu and transfer to Essakane for the Festival. Free days to attend the festival. Full board overnight bush camp in tents. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 7–8: January 11-12. Cruise on Niger River. Transfer by 4x4 from Essakane to Nianfounke and cruise on pinasse (covered dugout pirogue) from Nianfounke to Konna. First overnight on bush camp, second overnight at Hotel at Mopti, Y a pas de problèmes, full board.
Day 9: January 13. Mopti–Dogon cliff. Mopti city tour. Transfer to the Bandiagara cliff. Dinner and overnight in tents at Campement. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: January 14. Dogon cliff, trekkings and Dogon dancing masks. Dinner and overnight in tents at Campement. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: January 15. Dogon flat land last trekking of Dogon cliff and exploration of Dogon villages on flat land. Dinner and overnight in tents at Campement. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: January 16. Dogon cliff–Bandiagara. Exploration of Dogon plateau. Hotel La Falaise. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: January 17. Bandiagara–Djenne. Djenne city tour. Hotel Campement or Maafir. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 14: January 18. Djenne–Segou. Stops on the way to visit Bobo and Bambara villages. Segou, end of city tour. Hotel Indépendance. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 15: January 19. Segou–Bko out. Breakfast and departure to Bamako city tour. One day use room for last shower. Transfer to airport and end of services. Includes: (B).
Guide: English speaking guide with deep knowledge of people and places to be visited. Local guides as mentioned in the program, in Djenné, Dogon cliffs, Douentza, and Timbuktu and Essakane.
Meals: Meals as stated in the program. French and international cuisine sometimes mixed with local dishes in the restaurants and hotels. In the desert the meals will be provided by our own professional cook.
Accommodation: As stated or equivalent in case of no vacancies during the bookings. Igloo tents in every camp. Tents and mattresses will be provided by the agency. The price includes all visits as stated in the program. The price doesn't include any additional flights orapt taxes, drinks, tips, or services or visits not mentioned in the program.
The weather will be dry and hot to cool during the day and cool to cold in the night, particularly in the desert. We suggest bringing a warm sleeping bag and some warm clothes for your stay in the desert. Don't forget a flashlight, hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and walking shoes, and a water bottle.
Notes: Mali single entry visa is required. Yellow fever vaccination is required. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended.
Prices and itinerary are tentative and subject to change according to Euro-USD exchange rates and any circumstances beyond our control.
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Africa Mali Local Culture Festival Tours