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 overnight.
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 peaceful sleep.
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 stars.

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 overnight.

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.
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Mali Experience Tours
African Travel & Eco-Tours
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Mopti, Mali
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