FESTIVAL IN THE DESERT TOUR : January 4-15, 2012
12-Days: Bamako-Segou-Mopti-Dogon Country-Djenne-Niger River Boat-Timbuktu-Festival
in the Desert
Day 1, Jan. 4, 2012: Welcome
Arrive at Bamako Airport; welcome and transport to hotel for
Day 2, Jan. 5, 2012: Bamako - Segou
Depart for Segou, through savanna and stop in Old Segou, the
Bambara Kingdom's capital with unique ochre architecture.
Meet the village chief and learn about the village's history.
Arrive in Segou for lunch, then stop at an artists' cooperative
where they make mud-cloth, visit colonial houses, watch the
sunset at the spectacular port. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3, Jan. 6, 2012: Segou-Mopti
Depart for Mopti passing through San, capital of the Bobo
people; arrive around noon. Check-in at the hotel, have lunch,
then tour Mopti, the Venice of Mali, intersection of two vital
African rivers. Mopti means"meeting," and all of Mali's ethnic
groups are here. See the mosque, old city, spice market,
wooden boat builders, and fish market. Finish the day at the
port and watch the sunset on the Niger River, dinner and a
Day 4, Jan 7, 2012: Mopti-Dogon Country
Depart to Dogon Country, with a stop in Songho, a Dogon village famous for its grotto where you
will see rock paintings created every 3 years for the circumcision ceremony, also see a panoramic
view, then drive to Bandiagara- Sangha for lunch. In the afternoon trek and visit
Sangha-Banani-Irely, then overnight in the Dogon campement of Irely, a night with a million
Day 5, Jan. 8, 2012: Dogon Country (Irely-Amani-Tereli-Bandiagara)
Start your trek (or by car) to Irely and learn about the unique Dogon culture of animism, full of
history, legends, and mythology, visit amazing mud houses built high into the cliffs by Tellem
people in 7th-8th cent., used today as Dogon tombs. Continue to Amani to see the sacred
crocodile pool, lunch in Terely , where Mali Experience Tours will welcome you with a Dogon
ancestral mask dance - not to be missed! then drive to Bandiagara for overnight.
Day 6, Jan 9, 2012: Bandiagara-Djenne-Mopti
Depart to Djenne for market day to experience the town at its liveliest. Visit the grand mosque, the
world's largest mud building, the sacred well of Nana Wangara, and explore the colorful market,
then lunch. In the afternoon drive to the archeological site the old town of Djenne then drive to
Mopti for overnight at the Hotel Y'a Pas de Probleme.
Day 7, Jan. 10, 2012: Mopti-Boat trip on Niger River
Embark on the Niger River cruise to Timbuktu, stopping to visit villages along the way of the
Bozo fishermen and the Fulani cattle traders who are similar to the Masai people. After a
spectacular day, camp at the river banks with dinner and overnight under tents.
Day 8, Jan. 11, 2012: River tour continues
Depart in the morning and visit the bird sanctuary in Lake Debo, so impressive where you can see
more than 130 varieties of migratory birds and hippos as well. Then continue the boat ride and
overnight near Niafunke, home of one of Mali's most beloved musicians, Ali Farke Toure. Sleep
under tents and a star-filled sky.
Day 9, Jan. 12, 2012: River Trip to Timbuktu-Festival
In the morning continue your trip, passing through the majestic sand dunes of the desert then
arrive at the port and transfer to the city, where you will get an introduction to Timbuktu then
drive 5 minutes to the festival venue, and enjoy a night of Malian and world music in the desert.
Overnight under tents with a million stars.
Day 10, Jan. 13, 2012: Festival and Tour of Timbuktu
After breakfast, tour the mysterious and legendary town of Timbuktu. Visit the old mosque and
former university, the museum, the Ahmed Baba Institute which displays ancient manuscripts, the
explorers' houses, and the city market which receives salt caravans from the desert - historically,
salt from the north was traded for gold and slaves from the south. After lunch, drive or walk back
to the festival for more live music for the whole night. Overnight in tents under stars.
Day 11, Jan. 14, 2012: Festival-Timbuktu
During the day, soak up more music, dancing, sword-play, poetry, arts and crafts, camel races, and
more. In the afternoon the Mali Experience Team will transfer all your luggage to the Hotel du
Desert, then you will enjoy your live music until the end of the festival, then drive to the hotel for
Day 12, Jan. 15, 2012: Timbuktu-Bamako (by air)
Transport to the airport after breakfast, and arrive in Bamako at 9:45 a.m., transfer to a day-use
hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum and free afternoon to lazy around the pool, then
transfer to the airport for farewell.
Contact us for prices here.
Prices do not include: International airfare, bottled water or other beverages, tips.
African Travel & Tours
Mali Experience Tours
African Travel & Eco-Tours
tel/fax: +223 2143 1409
cell: +223 7621 3283
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