Saga Tours - Travel to Mali and West Africa Bamako, Mali
West Africa
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Bandiagara escarpment


Dogon ancestor shrine


Hogon


Dogon toguna


Dogon village children


welcome to Mopti


Djenne mosque

Mali tour / Dogon Country Trek

9-day tour with 3 days trekking, plus Mopti, Djenne, Segou and Bamako

9 days / 6 nights hotel, 2 nights camping
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Every tour is private, scheduled on dates of your choice; there are no fixed-date group departures.

Contact us for prices. Groups of any size are welcome. Be sure to specify the month/year of travel, and 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 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 Bamako – Sevare (630 km; ~8hrs)
Breakfast, then at 08h00 AM, we begin our journey with a scenic drive through the heartland of Mali, towards Dogon country; en route we will visit Terekongo, a Bobo village with a sacred well. Overnight in Sevare.
Hotel Flandre, or similar Breakfast
Day 3 Sevare – Dogon country (110 km; ~2hrs)
Today we have only a short drive onward to Mali's fascinating 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 visit the village Songo with its renowned rock paintings and circumcision grotto. Circumcision ceremonies are held here every three years, and the rock paintings are historical representations of noble Dogon families. Then we continue to Sangha, a large agglomeration of 10 distinct Dogon villages. We will check into our hotel, then take a walking tour of Sangha, Ogols and Bongo; see the traditional women's house, the sacrificial altar of the Hogon (the Dogon people's traditional and religious leader); visit a Dogon seer and optionally have a divination ceremony performed. Overnight at our Sangha hotel.
Hotel Campement Guina, or similar Breakfast
Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 Dogon country trek
Today we begin our trek along the magnificent Bandiagara escarpment; depending on everyone's stamina, we will visit the villages Arou, Koundou, Ireli, Banani, Ibi, Yuga Na, Yuga Pili and Yuga Dogourou; overnight camping in a village on nights 4 and 5; overnight at the Sangha hotel on night 6.
camping x2;
Hotel Campement Guina, or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner x3
Day 7 Dogon country – Mopti (120 km; ~2hrs) / Niger River
Today we depart Dogon country and drive to Mopti, also known as the Venice of Mali, because it is sometimes completely surrounded by the waters of the Niger and Bani rivers. City tour of Mopti, including the Komoguel Mosque, the fishing port, and the bustling local market where many of Mali's ethnic groups come to trade: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg and Songhay. At day's end, we will enjoy a relaxing sunset sail on the Niger River in a traditional pinnace (motorized river boat). Overnight in Mopti.
Hotel Kanaga, or similar Breakfast
Day 8 Mopti – Djenne (130 km; ~1½hr)Segou (332 km; ~4½hrs)
Breakfast, and 09h00 AM departure for Djenne, the historical sister-city of Timbuktu and one of Unesco's World Heritage sites. We will visit the old town and see the magnificent Great Mosque—originally constructed in the XIIIth century, it is the largest mud-brick architecture in the world. We will also visit bogolan artisans (makers of traditional mudcloth) in their workshops. In the afternoon, we will drive to Segou for overnight.
Hotel Independance, or similar Breakfast
Day 9 Segou – Bamako (235 km; ~3hrs) / depart
On our last day in Mali we will visit Segou, Mali's former colonial capital, with its interesting mix of traditional and colonial architecture. We will visit the market and the Kasobane boutique with its high-end traditional and contemporary textile art; we will stop by the Nieleni cooperative, which makes hand-woven high-quality wool rugs.
Onward drive to Bamako, where we will visit 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. As time permits, we will try squeeze in a visit to the artisans' village before it closes, for some last-minute purchases. In the evening, transfer to the airport for final departure.
(no hotel) Breakfast


1 km ~ 0.6 mile; driving times are approximate, depending on local conditions and stops

NB: camping is no frills, sleeping on a ground mattress in a small tent; there are no campgrounds, so no running water, no latrines. Camping in Mali is not recommended for inexperienced campers.

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

Day-room optional in Bamako on Day 9; please specify if you would like to have a day-room.


Tour package includes:
  • 6 nights hotel, double occupancy
  • 2 nights camping; travelers should bring sleeping bags
  • 14 meals as outlined above: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners (excluding drinks)
  • private ground transportation by 4x4 vehicle, with driver and fuel
  • 3 days hiking in Dogon country
  • sunset sail on the Niger River by private river boat
  • experienced, English-speaking guide throughout
  • local guides and porters as needed, while trekking
  • airport transfers upon arrival and departure in Bamako
  • all hotel taxes and local tourism taxes
  • all touring, site visit, and village entry fees, as per tour program

Tour package does not include: international travel to/from Bamako; Mali visas; non-specified meals, drinks/bottled water; sleeping bags, optional Dogon mask dance, optional day-room in Bamako, tips and personal expenses.

Option: traditional Dogon mask dance performed in a village - upon request



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


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