Expedition to the heart of ancient African Empires and to Sanke Mo Fishing Festival in San


June 4 – 13, 2024
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 Dogon people and smashing festival of Sanke Mo, famous adobe mosques in Sahel style and extraterrestrial landscapes of Malinke Empire, the majestic Niger River and the African Venice of Mopti that has preserved its culture through the centuries, animistic rituals and fascinating mask dances.

On this expedition we will meet representatives of the Mandinka, Bobo, Bozo, Fulani, Senoufo, Songhai tribes and witness the famous Dogon, Mandinka, Senoufo and Bambara dances, as well as visit the iconic fishermen festival in San.

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.


Dates: June 4 – 13, 2024

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost per person:
– 2 940 EUR subject to 11 – 12 participants,
– 3 140 EUR subject to 10 participants,
– 3 340 EUR subject to 8 – 9 participants
– 3 600 EUR subject to 7 participants.

Cost per person FOR SHORT 6 DAYS PROGRAM (June 4 – 10, 2024):
– 2 390 EUR subject to 11 – 12 participants,
– 2 590 EUR subject to 10 participants,
– 2 850 EUR subject to 8 – 9 participants
– 2 990 EUR subject to 7 participants.

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Bamako roundtrip
- international medical insurance,
- lunches and dinners,
- Mali visa (to be obtained at the consulate in Moscow or another city for 50 EUR. The cost may change).

Estimated cost of the flight Moscow – Bamako – Moscow: 1000 – 1300 EUR (usually purchased on your own. We advise on purchasing tickets)
Estimated cost of the flight Istanbul – Bamako – Istanbul: from 600 EUR (usually purchased on your own. We advise on purchasing tickets)
Estimated cost of the flight Paris – Bamako – Paris: from 600 EUR (usually purchased on your own. We advise on purchasing tickets)

Single supplement: EUR 400 (provided throughout the entire itinerary)

Single supplement FOR SHORT 6 DAYS PROGRAM (June 4 – 10, 2024): EUR 250 (provided throughout the entire itinerary)


Day 1. June 4, 2024 (Tuesday). Bamako

Arrival in Bamako with international flight, pick-up from the airport transfer to the hotel for rest. There is nice swimming pool in the hotel to fresh yourself after the long way.

* Recommended flights from Moscow:
— Turkish Airlines, depart from Moscow at 15:00 on June 4, stopover in Istanbul 1 hour 5 minutes, arrived in Bamako at 0:20 a.m. on June 5, or
— Royal Air Maroc, departs from Moscow at 7:35 am on June 4, layover in Casablanca 10 hours 55 minutes, arrival in Bamako at 1:05 am on June 5, or
— Air Algerie, departs from Moscow at 4:10 am on June 3, layover in Algiers 13 hours 25 minutes, arrival in Bamako at 23:40 on June 3 (in this case extra night in Bamako needed), or
— any other flight with arrival in Bamako anytime on June 4, or in the night from June 4 to June 5.

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus
Meals included: no

Day 2. June 5, 2024 (Wednesday). Bamako – Sekoro – Ségou – San

Morning drive to Segou. Visit the ancient village of Sekoro (Segoukoro) on the way and get a look at the beautiful adobe mosque of Biton Coulibaly's mother, as well as his own tomb and former Palace. At midday the sun rays blaster the space of the palace and you will take your best pictures. We will start our visit of Sekoro with the meeting the king (chief).
Arrival in Segou, visiting the bagolan factory and French colonial heritage buildings designed in Sudanese style.
Sunset walk across on the Niger quay where you can catch beautiful pictures. The final activity is a dinner and musical evening in the hotel in appropriate atmosphere after an emotional day.

Accommodation: Hotel Santoro
Meals included: breakfast

Day 3. June 6, 2024 (Thursday). Sanke Mô Festival in San

After breakfast, we participate at this interesting annual festival Sanke Mo, which normally takes place in early June when locals from different areas come with their own baskets to catch the biggest fish in the drying.
After lunch at restaurant terya, we visit the big mosque in afternoon, the local market and village around. In evening, we assist local traditional dance organized by the local people in the village of San.

Accommodation: Hotel Santoro
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4. June 7, 2024 (Friday). San – Bla village of Bozo – Ganga village of Bobo – Mopti

After breakfast, departure to Mopti with Short stop on the bridge over the Bani river in the village of Bla, where we can meet Bozo people – traditional fishermen of Mali.
Halte in Ganga village. Here we will get into acquaintance with Bobo people, who are pejoratively called "dog eaters". Being animists, Bobo live in traditional dwelling built among beautiful granaries, hidden graveyards, mud brick common houses and mighty baobab trees.
Arrival in Mopti well before sunset and drive directly to the harbor area. Boat trip along the Bani and Niger rivers until sunset. We will see Sudanese style mosque made of banko in one of the small villages on the opposite bank, and thousands of traditional boats. Today you will come up with an idea why we call it "Malian Venice".
Late swim in the pool, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Hotel Flandre or similar
Meals included: breakfast

Day 5. June 8, 2024 (Saturday). Mopti – Dogon mask dance

After breakfast, early check-out from our hotel and short drive to the Mopti city center, before it gets hot.
Visit Mopti – «the melting pot» of Mali. This beautiful city attracts many visitors with its river port which remains an inevitable crossroads for trade. Visiting canoe workshops and see the process of making pirogues by the local's hands. Walking across the river port and the bustling fish market where many of Mali's ethnic groups come to trade: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg and Songhay. Visit to the Djuma Mosque of Mopti – one of the fines examples of adobe architecture. We can also see it from one of the neighboring roofs of the local houses.
After lunch we will attend the Dogon mask dance in a small village or on the hillside near Sevaré.

Accommodation: Flandre Hotel or similar
Meals included: breakfast

Day 6. June 9, 2024 (Sunday). Mopti –– Koutiala – Sikasso

After breakfast departure to Sikasso.
Halte in Koutiala to visit the local market and people with possibility to eat local food.
Continue to Sikasso, second biggest city of Mali, arrival and check-in in hotel, visit the big market of Sunday.
In evening, we attend Balafon concert with the troops of the son of the famous artist Neba Solo. That day you will see exactly how the balafon is danced in the middle of the Kenedougou.

Accommodation: Hotel Cinquentenaire
Meals included: breakfast

Day 7. June 10, 2024 (Monday). Sikasso – Gnagasso – Bambara mask dance in Dogodouma – Bamako

After breakfast, visit to the royal vestibule, the Senoufo museum and continuation to Bamako. Lunch in Bougouni, then departure to Bamako. Arrival and transfer direct to Dogodouma for Bambara mask dance. Dogodouma, a small village around of Bamako where we will organize the traditional mask dance of Bambara during 1-2 hour. The organization of this event will coincide with sunset which can allow you to take beautiful pictures before returning to the hotel in the early evening around. For those who finish their trip on a short program, transfer to the airport.

— Royal Air Maroc from Bamako to Moscow with departure at 02:05 on June 11, transfer in Casablanca 15 hours 55 minutes, departure from Casablanca at 22:15 on June 11, arrival in Moscow at 06:25 on June 12, or
— Turkish Airlines departure from Bamako at 01:30 on June 11, transfer in Istanbul 2 hours 55 minutes, departure from Istanbul at 14:10 on June 11, arrival in Moscow at 18:00 on June 11, or
— or any flight departing from Bamako no earlier than 23.00 on June 10.

Accommodation: Hotel Colombus
Meals included: breakfast

Day 8. June 11, 2024 (Tuesday). Bamako –Tiébletié dance in Fanssira village – Bamako

After breakfast at hotel in 8:00 a.m., we start our day with walking tour around the hotel in direction of peace and independence monument. Continuation to the national museum of Bamako, arrival and visit with local team of museum. After, we stroll to famous fetish market and the artisanal market for masks and other souvenirs.
Lunch in Bistro or another place in the city around 1:30 p.m. After lunch we will reach very photogenic place – the shores of Niger river in the suburbs of Bamako to see how local Bozo tribe extracts sand for construction in a traditional way.
Then we drive to the north from the capital, to Beledougou district, where the village of Fanssira we will witness Tiebletié dance. This dance is not that old, but is performed in masks and based on great acrobatic techniques. The villagers get around in the shade under the huge tree to stare the dance and listen to traditional balafon music.
Back to Bamako late in the evening, chance to have best ice cream in Mali.

Accommodation: Hotel Colombus
Meals included: breakfast

Day 9. June 12, 2024 (Wednesday). Bamako – Siby – Yuguba mask dance

After breakfast, we drive to Siby. Reach Siby town, Malinke (or Mandinka) Country. The Malinke are descendants of Mali Empire that extended from present day Senegal to Niger.
Check-in in the hotel Kamanjan with basic conditions (AC and private bathroom available) and take a walk in the village.
While lunch, between the Mandingo Mountains and the mango tree, you will have the opportunity to learn the history of the king who founded the empire of Mali.
After lunch, we explore natural wonders, such as the Arch of Kamadjan and the Consultation Cave. We do small hike to the arch, the panoramic point, and the sacred caves under the arch of Kamadjan.
We will attend the Yuguba mask dance of Mandinka people. This dance will be performed in front of famous Arch of Kamadjan until sunset, with the possibility of taking best panoramic photos.

Accommodation: Hotel Kamadjan
Meals included: breakfast

Day 10. June 13, 2024 (Thursday). Siby – Bamako – Return flight

After breakfast, comeback to Bamako, arrival and transfer to the airport for return fight.

Accommodation: no
Meals included: breakfast

* Recommended flights to Moscow:
— Ethiopian Airlines, departs from Bamako at 11 am on June 13, stopover in Addis Ababa 2 hours 50 minutes, arrives in Moscow at 7:40 am on June 14, or
— Air Algerie, departs from Bamako at 0:40 a.m. on June 14, stopover in Algiers 2 hours 50 minutes, arrives in Moscow at 15:00 on June 14, or
— Turkish Airlines, depart from Bamako at 1:30 am on June 14, stopover in Istanbul 2 hours 50 minutes, arrives in Moscow at 18:00 on June 14,
— or any other flight which depart from Bamako to any city not earlier than at 11 am on June 13.

* The operator reserves the right to change the order of executions, visits and activities of the program subject to keeping of all activities if possible. It would mainly depend on the flights schedule, weather conditions, actual security situation, as well as market days, ceremonies and festivals availability (if any).
Cost includes:

•Accommodation in air-conditioned hotels based on TWIN/DBL occupancy
• Breakfasts
• Drinking water along the route
• All airport transfers
• All transportation according to the program along the entire route: Bus Toyota Coaster in case of 9 participants or more, Toyota Hiace in case of less than 9 participants, with working AC and experienced driver
• All boats according to the program
• Experienced English speaking guide
• Russian and English speaking team leader
• All permits and police documents
• All dances and performances with masks according to the program
• Visits to museums, palaces and excursions, all payments to the local communities
• Visa support

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

• International air ticket to Bamako roundtrip
• Medical insurance
• Mali visa (to be obtained at the consulate in Moscow or another city for 50 EUR. The cost may change)
• Lunches and dinners
• Beverages
• Tips for 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 (or bag or small suitcase) for luggage,
• small backpack for personal items and camera,
• sunblock set (cream, sunglasses, cap),
• 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, but recommended)
• no special COVID requirements exist (requirement may change)
• photo and video camera
• powerbank

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