Day 1: Arrive in Dakar, Senegal. International flight arrives Dakar. You are met, assisted and transferred to your hotel. Day at leisure to relax and refresh. Overnight at Hotel Djollof Dakar or similar.
Day 2: Dakar. Breakfast (on your own), refresh and relax until your early afternoon city tour of Metropolitan Dakar. Visit the colorful markets including Tilen Market, famous for a variety of medicinal herbs and traditional healers. Visit the picturesque residential district of Medina. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast Overnight at Hotel Djollof Dakar or similar.
Day 3: Goree Island. This morning visit the famous/infamous Goree Island, a World Heritage site. Observe the “Door of No Return”. The tour includes a visit to the ethnographic museum and a lecture by the curator on the history of Goree Island. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast Overnight at Hotel Djollof Dakar or similar.
Day 4: Pink Lake - St. Louis. After breakfast, depart to Saint Louis located in the north of Senegal. En route take a tour of Pink Lake, a rare natural phenomenon caused by a unique combination of microorganism and high concentration of salts which gives the lake its pink color. Interact with the women harvesting salt, visit the Fulani village where you will be welcomed by the Chief and his wives. Continue to Saint Louis. In the afternoon, city tour of Saint Louis including a visit to the fishing village of Guet Ndar. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel du Cap or similar.
Day 5: St. Louis - Dakar - Bamako. Tour of St. Louis. Explore the narrow streets flanked by houses with carved wooden balconies and verandas. Visit the National Bird Sanctuary which has a vast array of birds including pelicans, ducks, flamingos, among others. Continue to Dakar where you will board your two hour flight to Bamako, Mali. Arrive in Bamako where you will be met, assisted, and transferred to your hotel. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast. Overnight at Le Grand Hotel or similar.
Day 6: Bamako City Tour. Bamako is situated on the Niger, one of Africa’s great rivers which flows through Mali. The city was founded in 1640, but didn’t really start to grow until the French colonial period began in 1898. Mali is a country of many tribal peoples, each with your own exuberant styles of clothing and jewelry. There is nowhere better to see this colorful diversity than in the streets and markets of Bamako. Bamako has a large art and craft centre where sculptors, weavers, leather workers, jewelers and metal workers exhibit your wares and skills.
Another highlight of your tour is the Grand Marche, or ‘Great Market’, where you can spend hours exploring the hundreds of stalls. From carvings and cassettes, to fabrics, beads, brass and gold, the variety of goods is staggering. One area of the market is devoted entirely to traditional African medicines. Here you’ll find the freshly shrunken heads of birds, monkeys and crocodiles along with lizard skins and other gruesome treatments. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast. Overnight at Le Grand Hotel or similar.
Day 7: Timbuktu. Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Timbuktu. Timbuktu city tour. Visit the ancient mosques, the city market, the explorer’s houses, the artisans center. In the afternoon, enjoy a camel ride on the dunes around Timbuktu. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast. Overnight at La Colombe Hotel or similar.
Day 8: Mopti. Depart to Mopti, the Venice of Mali, nestled between the Niger and the Bani rivers. Mopti city tour including the beautiful mosque, the fishing port and the bustling market. Enjoy a sunset sail on the Niger River in a traditional pirogue. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast Overnight at Hotel Ya Pas de Probleme or similar.
Day 9: Djenne. After breakfast, drive Djenne, Timbuktu’s ancient sister city. Visit Djenne on its weekly market day, when Djenne is at its colorful best. Stroll around the market stalls, spread out before the magnificent Grand Mosque, which is the world’s largest mud brick architecture and one of Unesco’s World Heritage sites. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast Overnight at Hotel Ya Pas de Probleme or similar.
Day 10: Dogon Country. Visit Sangha, comprised of 10 distinct Dogon villages – some are traditional animist and others have converted to Islam. Descend the Bandiagara escarpment and visit the village Banani. You will see ancient Tellem cave dwellings in the cliff face; continue to the villages Ireli, Tireli, and Amani, site of a sanctuary for crocodiles which are sacred to the Dogon people. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight at Hotel Cheval Blanc or similar.
Day 11: Segou. Travel to Segou, Mali’s second largest city and former colonial capital; also visit Sekoro village, the “old Segou” and capital of the Bambara kingdom. See the tomb of King Biton Coulibaly. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast Overnight at Hotel Esplanade or similar.
Day 12: Segou - Bamako. Depart. After breakfast continue the city tour of Segou and vicinity. In the afternoon return to Bamako where you will have a day room to refresh and relax before your onward flight this evening. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast.
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