Saga Tours of Mali - West Africa Adventure Travel
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Dogon Express Tour – 5 days
Visit Dogon villages along the Bandiagara escarpment


all private ground transportation, and private guide

4 nights hotel; no camping


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.



Day 1: Bamako — Dogon country (695 km; ~9hr)
Meet your private guide, your vehicle and your driver in Bamako and enjoy the long but interesting drive through the heartland of Mali, all the way to Dogon country; there will be many photo opportunities along the way as we travel through rural villages and towns. Overnight in Bandiagara (Hotel La Falaise, or similar).
with Dinner


Day 2: 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 Songo village, renowned for its circumcision grotto with rock paintings. Traditional circumcision ceremonies are held here every three years for all Dogon boys aged 9-14 years; the rock paintings are historical representations of noble Dogon families. Then onward to Sangha, comprised of 10 distinct animist and Islamic quarters. We will take a walking tour of Sangha, where we will see many examples of the unique traditional architecture and contemporary fetishes; we will also visit Ogols and Bongo. Overnight in Sangha (Hotel Campement Guina, or similar).
with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3: Dogon country
7h00 AM breakfast, then we descend the escarpment, and visit several of the cliff villages: 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—this is an authentic reproduction of a traditional funerary rite, where the masks ask the spirit of the deceased person to depart the village, and rejoin the ancestors. We return to Sangha for overnight (Hotel Campement Guina, or similar).
with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 4: Dogon country
On this our final day in Dogon country we will drive to the southern end of the escarpment to visit the villages Endy and Teli: observe the ancient Tellem grottos in the cliff face, which are now used as burial chambers. Then we go to Nando to see the interesting mud-castle mosque, and onward to Niongono, perched on the cliff like a medieval citadel (NB: climbing is required to visit Niongogo). In the late afternoon we return to Bandiagara for overnight (Hotel La Falaise, or similar).
with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 5: Dogon country – Bamako (695 km; ~9hr) / final departure
Breakfast, then we return to Bamako, and transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
with Breakfast

NB: This program can be modified to do some trekking, and/or to visit other villages instead of these; let us know if you have any different villages in mind.

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

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


Tour package includes:

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



NB: Posted itineraries are subject to change, and quoted prices are accordingly subject to change; itineraries and prices are locked-in when a tour is booked.

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


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