Expedition to the heart of ancient African empires

MALI




April 30 to May 10, 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 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.

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: April 30 to May 10, 2021

Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Number of participants: 8 – 12


TEAM ENROLLED





TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO MALI


Day 1
(Friday 30 April): BAMAKO

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

* Recommended flight from Moscow with Ethiopian Airlines, flights ET-761 and ET-909 via Addis Abeba, departure at 21:30 on April 29, arrival in Bamako at 14:40 on April 30.

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus or similar
Meals included: dinner


Day 2 (Saturday 1 May): BAMAKO – SIBY (2h)

Breakfast in the hotel and drive to Malinke or Mandinga Country. The Malinke are descendants of Mali Empire that extended from present day Senegal to Niger. Reach Siby town, regional capital to explore remote villages and natural wonders such as the Arch of Kamadjan and the Consultation Cave. We will first meet the local chief and experience the local culture by visiting the adobe villages and organizing a traditional Malinke danse. Lunch (picnic) and in the afternoon excursion to one of the neighboring rocky hills to admire the sunset.

Accommodation: Hotel Kamadjan or similar
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 3 (Sunday 2 May): SIBY – BAMAKO

Breakfast and morning excursion to the Arch of Kamadjan and the Consultation Cave with local chiefs that will perform an Animistic ritual to honor the ancestors. We will then continue to Bamako for lunch. In the afternoon we will reach the shores of Niger River to see how local Bozo tribe extracts sand for construction.

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus or similar
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 4 (Monday 3 May): BAMAKO – TIMBUKTU

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for private 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. With a local guide we will explore the old city, its ancient libraries and the 3 historical Sudanese style mosques. 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. We will organize a traditional dance and have a local meal.

Accommodation: Hotel Colombe
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner



Day 5 (Tuesday 4 May): TIMBUKTU

Breakfast. Today we will explore the outskirts of the ancient city. We will reach the old commercial port and take a 'pinasse' long motor wooden boat to explore some Bella tribal communities. The Bella are the former slaves of Tuareg people that nowadays live in semi-nomadic camps rearing goats or fishing with neighboring Bozo people. Picnic lunch on the shores of Niger River (possible refreshing swim. In the afternoon we will return to Timbuktu for the lat visits around the old city.

Accommodation: Hotel Colombe
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 6 (Wednesday 5 May): TIMBUKTU – BAMAKO – SEGOUKORO - SEGOU (3h)

Breakfast and transfer to the airport for a private flight back to Bamako. From the capital, we will drive to Segou, Mali's former colonial capital, with its interesting mix of traditional and colonial architecture. Before reaching Segou city we will stop in Segoukoro, capital of former Bambara Empire where we will be received by the king and his court. Explore the small town with a couple of interesting adobe constructions and introduction to Bambara culture and traditions. Lunch in Segou and afternoon city tour to admire the French colonial heritage buildings designed in Sudanese style. Overnight in Segou.

Accommodation: Hotel Auberge or similar
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 7 (Thursday 6 May): SEGOU – SAN – DJENNE (6h)

Breakfast and early departure to Djenne. 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. Picnic lunch on the way. 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. 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, a real trip back in time.

Accommodation: Hotel Le Campement
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 8 (Friday 7 May): DJENNE

Breakfast. Today we will visit 3 tribal communities: Bozo, Peul and Rimaibe. We will start by crossing the Bani River with a boat to Sirimou village of the Bozo tribe. Bozo are fishermen and potters. From Sirimou we will drive to Senoussa, one of the biggest Peul villages with two beautiful adobe mosques. Here we will experiment a traditional Peul dance performed by tattooed women (some still have the gold nose piercings). We will have lunch (picnic) in Diablo village of the Rimaibe tribe, former slaves of the cattle herding Peul. The Rimaibe are renowned by their marionette dances. Farewell from Diablo and return to Djenné for last walking visits around the old quarter.

Accommodation: Campement Hotel
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 9 (Saturday 8 May): DJENNE – DOGON TRIBE - MOPTI (3h)

Breakfast and departure to Mopti, the "melting pot" of Mali, located between the Bani and the Niger rivers. Before reaching the city we will visit a community of Dogon people. The village we will visited is formed by several families that migrated from the Bandiagara Plateau during the ethnic conflicts. They have married with Bambara local people. 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. We will have lunch in the village (picnic) and we will continue to Mopti for an afternoon city tour of Mopti—see the Komoguel mosque, the fishing port (see pirogues being made by hand), and the bustling market where many of Mali's ethnic groups come to trade: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg and Songhay. Shop for gold or silver jewelry, hand-made cotton or wool blankets, or some of Mali's beautiful wood carvings (masks, statues, etc.). Overnight in Mopti.

Accommodation: Hotel Ambedjele
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 10 (Sunday 9 May): MOPTI – BAMAKO (9h)

Early breakfast and drive to Bamako for the PCR test (they send the results through email in the evening). Visit of the Central Market (colonial Marché Rose), the National Museum with some great Dogon masks and tribal textiles. In the afternoon we can visit the shores of the Niger River to see the process of artisan sand extraction.

* Recommended flight from Bamako to Moscow with Ethiopian Airlines, flights ET-908 and ET-760 via Addis Ababa, departure from Bamako at 11:00 am on May 10, arrival in Moscow at 8:15 am on May 11.

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus or similar
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 11 (Monday 10 May): BAMAKO – ADDIS ABABA

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. Departure at 11am.

Accommodation: no
Meals included: breakfast
Cost includes:

• All transport, transfers to and from the airport
• Coaster bus and 4x4 vehicles in Siby and Timbuktu
• Regular flight Bamako-Timbuktu-Bamako
• Accommodation in hotels based on double bed accommodation
• Full board meals
• Drinking water along the route (2 bottles * 1,5lts per person per day)
• Experienced English speaking guide
• All permissions and police papers
• Visiting museums, palaces, tribes and excursions, all payments to the tribes
• Visa support



Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

• international air ticket
• Medical insurance
• Pre-Visa and Visa fee on arrival at the airport (100 Euros)
• PCR test upon departure
• 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 opeт shoes,
• forehead torch,
• big backpack for luggage,
• small backpack for personal items and camera,
• sleeping bag for warm weather,
• 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),
• Certificate with negative result of PCR COVID test taken not more than 72 h prior to arrival in Mali
• yellow fever certificate,
• antimalarial pills (up to you)
• photo and video camera
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