Expedition to the heart of ancient African empires

MALI




June 13 to 23, 2021
Tour Mali

expedition to Mali tour to Dogon Timbuktu Djenne mosque Mopti trip to Mali West Africa

tour to Congo, tours to Africa, trekking gorillas
The mysterious Timbuktu and the famous clay mosque in Djenne, the majestic Niger River and the African Venice of Mopti that has preserved its culture through the centuries, the sands of the mighty Sahara Desert, animistic rituals and ceremonies.
On this expedition we will meet representatives of the Mandinka, Bobo, Bozo, Fulani, Tuareg, Songhai tribes and witness the famous Dogon dances.

The mysterious Timbuktu and the famous clay mosque in Djenne, the majestic Niger River and the Dogon Country that has preserved its culture through the centuries, the sands of the mighty Sahara Desert, animistic rituals and ceremonies.
On this expedition we will meet representatives of the Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Fulani, Tuareg, Songhai tribes and witness the famous Dogon dances.

SCHEDULE AND COST:


Dates: June 13 to 23, 2021

Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Number of participants: 8 – 12

Cost per person:
- EUR 2 450 subject to 12 participants,
- EUR 2 650 subject to 10 – 11 participants,
- EUR 2 950 subject to 8 – 9 participants.

* If the expedition is finally carried out according to an alternative program (without Timbuktu), the cost will be reduced by 300 EUR per person.

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Bamako roundtrip
- international medical insurance,
- lunches and dinners,
- Mali visa (pre visa and Visa fee on arrival at the airport at 75 EUR)

Estimated cost of all flights – from Moscow to Bamako roundtrip: EUR 1000 – 1400 (Usually bought on your own)

Single supplement: EUR 350





TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO MALI


Day 1
. June 13, 2021. BAMAKO

International flight arrives in Bamako at 14:00 or 14:40, our staff will meet you in the Arrivals hall of Bamako airport and provide your hotel transfer. overnight in Bamako.

* Recommended flights from Moscow with Ethiopian Airlines, flights ET-761 and ET-909 via Addis Abeba, departure at 21:30 on June 12, arrival in Bamako at 14:40 on June 13.
Or Air France, arrival in Bamako at 13:55 on June 13

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus
Meals included: no


Day 2. June 14, 2021. BAMAKO – TIMBUKTU

Breakfast. In the morning, transfer to the airport and flight to Timbuktu, one of Africa's mythical desert cities. Today, like centuries ago the city is surrounded by a heavy mist of mystery. Almost no tourists get there anymore since the Tuareg started demanding their own independent country.
Arrival and reception by our local guide and city tour. Lunch at the restaurant or with local family (traditional dishes) with the our guide.
Overnight at the hotel Colombe.

Accommodation: Hotel Colombe
Meals included: breakfast


Day 3. June 15, 2021. TIMBUKTU

After breakfast, With a local guide we will explore the city of 333 saints, the great Djigareiber mosque and that of Sankoré, the Hamed Baba cultural center, Koranic schools and architectural houses of Timbuktu.
Overnight at hotel Colombe.

Accommodation: Hotel Colombe
Meals included: breakfast


Day 4. June 16, 2021. TIMBUKTU – BAMAKO

After breakfast, we will organize a morning of traditional Tuareg music under the tents before the time of the flight back to Bamako. You will attend with our Tuareg friends. In these days many Tuareg or Tamacek (the way they call themselves) live in the city and we will meet them to know their reality.
Then lunch with a traditional meal. Transfer to the airport and in the afternoon return to Bamako.
Arrival in Bamako and visit the city center, zoo, the artisanal market, fetish market. Overnight at hotel Columbus.

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus
Meals included: breakfast


Day 5. June 17, 2021. BAMAKO – SAN – DJENNE

Breakfast and departure to Djenne. Long drive (7 h). Lunch en route. Stop in San on the way to Mali's best well preserved historical city. In San we will visit the Sudanese style mosque near the market. Arrival in the adobe historical city. Djenne was one of the first commercial centers of the Sahel region: it was the meeting place of the nomads from the Sahara, the local farmers and cattle herders, and the fishermen from the inland delta of the Niger. Check-in at the hotel Campement.

Accommodation: Hotel Le Campement
Meals included: breakfast


Day 6. June 18, 2021. DJENNE

After breakfast, visit the Market. After exploring the market, we will stroll the ancient alleys and narrow streets, and see the oldest house in Djenne, dating from the 12th century. Also see the magnificent Great Mosque, the world's largest mud brick architecture, originally constructed in the 13th century, this is one of Unesco's World Heritage sites. We will walk around the narrow streets of the old city, meeting with the association of women who color the bogola, taking pictures in their dyeing workshop. A real trip back in time. We will see the tomb of Tapana Djenepo, the Koranic schools, the well of Nana Wangara.
Afternoon visit some Peuhl (Fulani) villages around Djenne. You will have the chance to meet the Fulani nomadic women with beautiful adornments and return to Djenne in the evening.
Overnight at the hotel Campement or similar

Accommodation: Hotel Le Campement
Meals included: breakfast


Day 7. June 19, 2021. DJENNE – MOPTI

Early morning walk and photography on the streets of Djenne. Breakfast and departure for Mopti, located 135 km from Djenne, between the Bani and the Niger rivers. Mopti – the "melting pot" of Mali and the Venice of Mali, it remains a beautiful city that attracts many visitors with its river port which remains an inevitable crossroads for trade. Arrival and check-in at the hotel Flandre. Lunch in a restaurant nearby the river. Visit canoe workshops (see pirogues being made by hand), the river port, the mosque Komoguel and the bustling fish market where many of Mali's ethnic groups come to trade: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg and Songhay. Possible ride by dugout on the Niger River at sunset with beautiful panoramic photos.
Overnight at the hotel Flandre or similar.

Accommodation: Hotel Flandre
Meals included: breakfast


Day 8. June 20, 2021. MOPTI – SEGOU

Road to Segou after breakfast (6 h). Arrival in Segou, Mali's former colonial capital, with its interesting mix of traditional and colonial architecture. Visit the bagolan factory, then check-in in our hotel Esplanade or similar. Taking beautiful photo of the sunset on the Niger quay and see French colonial heritage buildings designed in Sudanese style. A musical evening is organized at the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Esplanade
Meals included: breakfast


Day 9. June 21, 2021. SEGOU – SEGOUKORO – BAMAKO

Departure for Bamako (3 h)after breakfast. We make long stop in Segoukoro, capital of former Bambara Empire. Explore the small town with a couple of interesting adobe constructions (King Palace, Mosques) and visit the tomb of biton Coulibaly's mother. Introduction to Bambara culture and traditions.
Continue to Bamako, lunch in the restaurant. Taking the COVID PCR test. Overnight at the hotel Colombus or similar.

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus
Meals included: breakfast


Day 10. June 22, 2021. BAMAKO – NANA-KENIEBA – SIBY

After breakfast, we drive to Siby. Reach Siby town, regional capital, to visit the viewpoint of Koulouba, the craft market. Explore natural wonders such as the Arch of Kamadjan and the Consultation Cave. Small hike to the arch, the panoramic point, and the sacred caves under the arch of Kamadjan. After the visit, we will continue to Nana-Kenieba village for the Dogogo, Dogon traditional mask dance. While we are visiting the village, our organizers are getting ready for the mask ceremony, we will attend these cultural ceremonies for at least 2 to 3 hours with beautiful photos taken in the Mandingo mountains. The community of Dogon people who live in Nana-Kenieba village are those who recently re-settled back to their historical territory, from where they moved to Bandiagara Plateau some 500 years ago being pursued by Islamization.
The Dogon of this community still practice their Animist rituals and masquerades. We will attend a ceremony related to the worship of the ancestors and rain making.
Return to Siby in the evening. Overnight at the hotel Kamadjan or similar.

Accommodation: Hotel Kamadjan
Meals included: breakfast


Day 11. June 23, 2021. SIBY – BAMAKO – RETURN FLIGHT

Breakfast and further explore Siby, Malinke (or Mandinga) Country. The Malinke are descendants of Mali Empire that extended from present day Senegal to Niger. We will attend the mask dance of Mandinka people.
Return to Bamako for lunch in restaurant bistro. In the afternoon we will reach the shores of Niger River to see how local Bozo tribe extracts sand for construction. Transfer to the airport. Return flight late in the evening.

* Recommended flight from Bamako to Moscow with Air France, via Paris, departure from Bamako at 23:55 pm on June 23, arrival in Moscow at 18:55 pm on June 24.

Accommodation: no
Meals included: breakfast




* If flight from Bamako to Timbuktu will not be possible due to weather conditions or for any other reasons,
days 2 – 8 of expeditions will be performed according to the following alternative program
(the cost of the alternative program is lower by EUR 300):


Day 2. June 14, 2021. BAMAKO – SIKASSO

Breakfast and departure for Sikasso, We cross beautiful landscape towards southern Mali to the second largest city of Mali.
After lunch, visit to the city: the Tata, Kélétigui Residence, Mamelon, Common grave, Tièba Tomb, Senufo Cultural Center, the village of Missikoro and the famous mosque in the cave (with the animistic altar on the other part of the mountain). In the evening we will witness Balafon dance in Kenedougou. Overnight at the Cinquantenaire hotel.

Accommodation: Cinquantenaire Hotel
Meals included: breakfast


Day 3. June 15, 2021. SIKASSO – SENOUFO COUNTRY - SIKASSO

After breakfast, we drive to the border with the Ivory Coast to attend the Dozo traditional dance in the village of Woroni. Then continue to Kambo located 10 km from Kadiolo, where we will also attend the dance of the Senoufo masks in the countryside between banko houses with a magnificent landscape on the backstage. Picnic lunch, then return to Sikasso in the evening. Overnight at the Cinquantenaire hotel or similar.

Accommodation: Cinquantenaire Hotel
Meals included: breakfast


Day 4. June 16, 2021. SIKASSO – KOUTIALA – DJENNE

Breakfast and departure to Djenne, stop at Koutiala to visit the factory its traditional ginning workshops of cotton, and its traditional cotton spinning. Lunch possible at the hotel, then departure for Djenne in the afternoon.
Arrival in the adobe historical city. Djenne was one of the first commercial centers of the Sahel region: it was the meeting place of the nomads from the Sahara, the local farmers and cattle herders, and the fishermen from the inland delta of the Niger. Check-in at the hotel Campement.

Accommodation: Hotel Le Campement
Meals included: breakfast


Day 5. June 17, 2021. DJENNE

After breakfast, visit the Market. After exploring the market, we will stroll the ancient alleys and narrow streets, and see the oldest house in Djenne, dating from the 12th century. Also see the magnificent Great Mosque, the world's largest mud brick architecture, originally constructed in the 13th century, this is one of Unesco's World Heritage sites. We will walk around the narrow streets of the old city, meeting with the association of women who color the bogola, taking pictures in their dyeing workshop. A real trip back in time. We will see the tomb of Tapana Djenepo, the Koranic schools, the well of Nana Wangara.
Afternoon visit some Peuhl (Fulani) villages around Djenne. You will have the chance to meet the Fulani nomadic women with beautiful adornments and return to Djenne in the evening.
Overnight at the hotel Campement or similar

Accommodation: Hotel Le Campement
Meals included: breakfast


Day 6. June 18, 2021. DJENNE – MOPTI

Early morning walk and photography on the streets of Djenne. Breakfast and departure for Mopti, located 135 km from Djenne, between the Bani and the Niger rivers. Mopti – the "melting pot" of Mali and the Venice of Mali, it remains a beautiful city that attracts many visitors with its river port which remains an inevitable crossroads for trade. Arrival and check-in at the hotel Flandre. Lunch in a restaurant nearby the river. Visit canoe workshops (see pirogues being made by hand), the river port, the mosque Komoguel and the bustling fish market where many of Mali's ethnic groups come to trade: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg and Songhay. Possible ride by dugout on the Niger River at sunset with beautiful panoramic photos.
Overnight at the hotel Flandre or similar.

Accommodation: Hotel Flandre
Meals included: breakfast


Day 7. June 19, 2021. MOPTI – SEGOU

Road to Segou after breakfast (6 h). Arrival in Segou, Mali's former colonial capital, with its interesting mix of traditional and colonial architecture. Visit the bagolan factory, then check-in in our hotel Esplanade or similar. Taking beautiful photo of the sunset on the Niger quay and see French colonial heritage buildings designed in Sudanese style. A musical evening is organized at the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Esplanade
Meals included: breakfast


Day 8. June 20, 2021. SEGOU – KALABOUGOU – SEGOU

Breakfast and visit the village of Sekoro with the mosque and the tomb of Biton Coulibaly's mother, where we will have the chance to meet the king in Sekoro. After continuation to Kalabougou by a canoe, we will discover the most beautiful pottery of Mali with local women working there. Many beautiful pictures can be taken. Return in the afternoon and evening on the edge of the Niger river. Overnight at the Esplanade hotel or similar.

Accommodation: Hotel Esplanade
Meals included: breakfast


* The operator reserves the right to change the order of execution of the program subject to keeping of all activities.

Cost includes:

• All transport, transfers to and from the airport
• Toyota Coaster bus in case of 9 participants, Toyota Hiace in case of less than 9 participants along the whole route
• River transport (Mopti, Segou)
• Regular flight Bamako-Timbuktu-Bamako
• Accommodation in rooms air-conditioned hotels based on twin/double bed accommodation
• Breakfasts
• Drinking water along the route (2 bottles * 1,5 l per person per day)
• Experienced English speaking guide
• Russian and English speaking team leader
• All permissions and police papers
• All dances, mask performances according to the program
• Visiting museums, palaces, tribes and excursions, all payments to the tribes
• Visa support



Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

• international air ticket to Bamako roundtrip
• Medical insurance
• Pre-Visa (visa d'entrée) and visa fee on arrival at the airport (75 Euros)
• PCR test upon departure
• Lunches and dinners
• Beverages
• Tipping guides and drivers





To take with:

• Set of clothes fitting weather conditions, one warm set
• long sleeve wear set,
• repellents (is a must!),
• mosquito net for sleeping place (is a must!),
• comfortable closed shoes and open shoes,
• forehead torch,
• big backpack for luggage,
• small backpack for personal items and camera,
• sunblock set (cream, sunglasses, cap),
• sandblock set: desert glasses, buff/mask (up to you)
• personal hygiene items (toilet paper, towel, wet tissues, hygiene lipstick etc.),
• personal medical kit (analgesics, sanitizers, antibiotics, your personal medicine),
• yellow fever certificate,
• antimalarial pills (up to you)
• photo and video camera

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