Saga Tours - Travel to Mali and West Africa Bamako, Mali
West Africa
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Tel +223.7641.7383
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Fulani women


shea butter processing


basket-weaver


Fulani herders


fetching water


Dogon elder


Dogon village


Fulani girl


local musicians












Tamira Tour

Mali & Guinea

Journey through the West African Sahel, to the coast and the Atlantic Ocean

13 days / 12 nights hotel, no camping
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Every tour is private, scheduled on dates of your choice, beginning on a Tuesday in Bamako, MALI and ending on a Sunday in Conakry, GUINEA; there are no fixed-date group departures.

NB: travel conditions can be especially difficult in Guinea; roads are sometimes very rough and severe muddy conditions often prevail (the rainy season is from May - February).

Contact us for prices. Groups of any size are welcome. Be sure to specify how many persons are in your party—prices are digressive, so a better value per person for a party of four than a party of two, etc.


ITINERARY
Day 1
Tuesday
Arrival in Bamako, MALI
International flight arrives in Bamako in the evening; our staff will meet you in the Arrivals hall of Bamako airport, and provide your hotel transfer; overnight in Bamako.
Grand Hotel,
or similar
(no meals)
Day 2
Wednesday
Bamako – Segou (235 km; ~3hrs)
Welcome to West Africa ! Begin your West African journey with a city tour of Bamako, Mali's vibrant capital city: over-view of this sprawling city from Point G. Then on to the National Museum (see www.mnm-mali.org), with its impressive collections of textiles from the 11th to the 20th century; ancient Bamanan, Dogon and Senoufo sculptures; terracotta objects from archeological sites; and contemporary African paintings and sculptures. In the afternoon we will visit the city market and the artisans' village, then we will drive through the heartland of Mali to Segou. Overnight in Segou.
Hotel Independance,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 3
Thursday
Segou – Mopti / Niger River (405 km; ~5hrs)
Morning tour of Segou, Mali's second city; see the interesting mix of colonial and traditional architecture. We will visit the Kasobane boutique with its high-end traditional and contemporary textile art; we will visit the Nieleni cooperative, which makes hand-woven high-quality wool rugs; and we will end our visit with stroll through the traditional pottery market on the waterfront. In the afternoon we will drive to Mopti, arriving in time to enjoy a relaxing sunset sail on the Niger River by private river boat. Overnight in Mopti.
Hotel Kanaga,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 4
Friday
Mopti – Dogon country (120 km; ~2hrs)
City tour of Mopti, called the Venice of Mali because it is surrounded by the waters of the Niger and the Bani rivers. We will 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.).
In the afternoon, onward to Dogon country! The Dogon tribe originated in the south of Mali, which they fled to preserve their animist religion from the spread of Islam. When they arrived at the Bandiagara cliffs, they found the Tellem people occupying grottos carved in the face of the cliff. They eventually displaced the Tellem people, and used the grottos to bury their dead—funerary rites are an important part of the Dogon culture.
We will enjoy a walking tour of Sangha, a large agglomeration of 10 distinct villages, where we will see many examples of the unique traditional architecture and contemporary fetishes; we may also have the opportunity to meet some Dogon seers. Overnight in Sangha.
Hotel Campement Guina,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 5
Saturday
Dogon country
Today we have a full day to explore the architectural wonders that are Dogon villages along the Bandiagara cliff: we will visist Banani (note the ancient Tellem cave dwellings in the cliff face), Ireli, Amani (visit the sanctuary of sacred crocodiles, totem animal of the Dogon people), and Tireli village, where we may (optionally) witness a fascinating traditional Dogon mask dance, part of the Dogon people's funerary rites. Overnight in Sangha.
Hotel Campement Guina,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 6
Sunday
Dogon country - Djenne (195 km; ~3hrs)
We conclude our Dogon exploration with a visit to Songo village, renowned for its circumcision grotto with rock paintings. Circumcision ceremonies are held here every three years for all Dogon boys aged 9-14 years old; the rock paintings are historical representations of noble Dogon families. Then it's onward to Djenne, historical sister-city of Timbuktu.
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. On our city tour we will stroll the ancient alleys and narrow streets, and see the oldest house in Djenne, dating from the XIIth century. Also see the magnificent Great Mosque, the world's largest mud brick architecture, originally constructed in the XIIIth century, this is one of Unesco's World Heritage sites. Overnight in Djenne.
Hotel Campement,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 7
Monday
Djenne – Bamako (570 km; ~7½hrs)
Breakfast, then we take in the colors and signts and sounds of the large weekly market, before our return drive to Bamako; overnight in Bamako.
Grand Hotel,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 8
Tuesday
Bamako – Kankan, GUINEA (350 km; ~7hrs)
This morning we depart sahelian Mali for the humid tropics of Guinea; cross the border at Kouremale and continue to Siguiri for a lunch break; then onward to Kankan for overnight.
Unihotel,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 9
Wednesday
Kankan – Kissidougou (190 km; ~3½hrs)
This morning we will visit the Kankan market, a good place to purchase some lovely Guinean fabrics. Kankan is also known for its wood sculptures as well as gold jewelry, due in part to the gold mines in this part of the country. We continue to Kissidougou, in the forest region, for a late lunch followed by a visit to the Kissidougou Museum. Overnight in Kissidougou.
Hotel Savanah,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 10
Thursday
Kissidougou – Kindia (390 km; ~6½hrs)
And onward toward the coast via Guinea's main road, with opportunities to stop in villages along the way; overnight in Kindia.
Hotel Flamboyant,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 11
Friday
Kindia – Conakry (120 km; ~2hr)
Today we enjoy an excursion to the Bridal Veil Falls, some 80 metres tall; the site also has some impressive teak trees. In the afternoon we pursue our journey toward the coast, with a stop in Coyah for a pirogue excursion in the mangroves. Continue to Conakry for overnight.
Hotel Novotel,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 12
Saturday
Conakry / Los Islands
City tour of Conakry in the morning; we will visit the National Museum, the Grand Mosque and the Ste. Marie Cathedrale, and the Botanical Garden. In the afternoon we take a boat excursion to Ile de Kassa, one of the Los Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Return to Conakry for overnight.
Hotel Novotel,
or similar
Breakfast
Day 13
Sunday
Conakry – final departure
Today is a well-earned day at leisure, to relax by the hotel pool. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for final departure.
day-room Breakfast

1 km ~ 0.6 mile; distances are approximate
Driving times are approximate, depending on local conditions, stops, and border crossings


NB: Hotels subject to availability; see proposed hotels description.


Tour package includes:

  • 12 nights hotel, double occupancy, with breakfast
  • day-room in Conakry on the final day
  • private ground transportation by 4x4 vehicle, with driver and fuel
  • sunset sail on the Niger River by private river boat
  • pirogue excursion to the Los Islands
  • experienced English-speaking guide throughout
  • airport transfers upon arrival in Bamako and departure in Conakry
  • all hotel taxes and local tourism taxes
  • all touring, excursion, site visit and entry fees as per tour program


Tour package does not include: international flights to Bamako, MALI and onward from Conakry, Guinea; tourism visas (Mali, Guinea); lunches, dinners, drinks/bottled water; optional Dogon mask dance; tips and personal expenses.

Option: traditional Dogon mask dance in a village — upon request

Hotel upgrade in Bamako available upon request.



Please note: Saga Tours does not handle international air reservations and ticketing.


Before reserving, please see our Terms and Conditions


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