Today only a handful of people can see the unique country in the western part of Africa, a home life of the great Niger, a crossroads of the worlds in the south of the Sahara and mysterious native people of the Bandiagara Escarpment. Mali was once a prosperous kingdom. Now it is known for a blend of local peoples’ cultures, amazing architecture and, of course, Dogon country where the people of Sirius have still been living in the ancestral tradition. Different wars and the process of the colonization brought an end to the prosperity of this area. Nowadays this country is associated with constant droughts, rebellions of the Tuareg people, military coups and other problems of the modern world.
The dates and times: from autumn to spring, 12 days
The group: up to 5 people
The approximate cost of the tour is 1650€ per person;
The advance payment is 650€
Because of all the problems the travel agencies don’t organize the tours to Mali. There are almost no tourists there. But I’m in close contact with native and suggest your visiting the country without any travel agencies, tourists or overpayments. It’s your unique chance to communicate with the unique people and to see for yourself something that will vanish from the face of the earth.
The brief programme of the tour:
The town of Segou and its surroundings. The Bozo, the Somono and the Bambara people. Pottery and fishing villages. A boat trip on the river Niger. The town of Djenne is a perfect example of the traditional architecture. It’s included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The highest clay mosque of the planet is situated here.
The town of Mopti is a joint of the worlds and peoples. Blacksmithing, a market and, of course, a port.
Dogon country. A 5-day trekking on the Bandiagara Escarpment visiting villages of the Dogon people. A real immersion in the daily life of the people of Sirius.
The price includes:
— Transfer and a night in the guesthouse in Bamako on the departure and arrival days
— Bus tickets from Bamako to Segou and back
— Private transport along the whole route from Segou to Dogon country and back with all payments (fuel, a driver etc.)
— Local guides with a good knowledge of English
— All the trips to the villages around Segou, Djenne and Dogon country
— Guard where it’s necessary
— Food in Dogon country
The price doesn’t include:
— Flight to Bamako and back. The best flight for today with the transfer in Morocco costs 720€
— Visa fees. All the documents are prepared for you. A group application. Your presence in the consulate isn’t required. The cost of the visa in the consulate is 60€
— Food and transport in the point of transit. In case of Morocco it is the city of Casablanca. The visa to Morocco isn’t required. If we have loads of time, we can see the city (60€ per person is enough).
— Food along the route except Dogon country (100€ is enough)
— Travel insurance (you may purchase it where you want)
— Vaccination (obligative!)
— Malaria pills “Coartem” (obligative!). They are bought in Bamako. The cost is about 9€ for a pack
— Water and alcohol (according to your preferences)
Requirements and recommendations:
— Yellow fever vaccination with the international certificate of vaccinations
— Virus A and B hepatitis as well as enteric fever vaccination are recommended
— Only bottled water must be drunk. The cost of the 1,5 liter bottle is about 1€
— Your own mosquito net is preferable
— Typical for a Muslim country dress code
— Your own food for a trekking in Dogon country (if you like to eat, the food there is poor)
— Trekking boots or sandals
— Small torch
— Bedsheet (which you can throw away afterwards)
— If you want to spend nights in your own home during the trekking, take a tent and tourist mats
— Batteries for your devices for the trekking in Dogon country. There isn’t any electricity there!
— Sun cream with maximum protection
— The currency of Mali is West African CFA franc is fixed to the euro, because of it take no more than 100-euro bills with you (better 50-euro bills). Credit cards are useless!