Saga Tours of Mali - West Africa Adventure Travel
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Mali Times tour – 8 days
Bamako · Segou · Djenne · Mopti · fabulous Dogon country

An unforgettable week in magnificent Mali !

7 nights hotel, no camping

Every tour is private, scheduled on dates of your choice, beginning and ending on a Saturday in Bamako, MALI; 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 Saturday: 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).

Day 2 Sunday: Bamako - Mopti (640 km; ~8hrs)
After breakfast, we depart Bamako at 08h00 AM for a long but scenic drive through the heartland of Mali, along the Niger River, all the way to the port city of Mopti; with sightseeing en route; we will arrive in time to enjoy a sunset stroll along the banks of the Niger River; overnight in Mopti (Hotel Kanaga, or similar).
with Breakfast

Day 3 Monday: Mopti - Djenne (one-way 130 km; ~1½hr) - Mopti
Today we embark on our day-trip to Djenne, ancient sister-city of Timbuktu, on its colorful weekly market day — 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. 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; we will visit the Djenne museum on our way out of town, back to Mopti for overnight (Hotel Kanaga, or similar).
with Breakfast

Day 4 Tuesday: Mopti - Dogon country (120 km; ~2hrs)
Breakfast, then 08h00 AM onward drive 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 Songo village on the plain, renowned for its circumcision grotto with rock paintings, then continue to the edge of the escarpment, to Sangha where we check into our hotel. We will have an interesting walking tour of Sangha, where we will see many examples of the classic traditional Dogon architecture and contemporary fetishism. Overnight in Sangha (Hotel Campement Guina, or similar).
with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Wednesday: Dogon country - Mopti / Niger River (120 km; ~2hrs)
Today we visit beautiful Dogon villages on the Bandiagara escarpment: Banani, Ireli, and Amani (see the sanctuary of sacred crocodiles); we will have the option to witness a traditional Dogon mask dance. After lunch, we will return 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).
with Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6 Thursday: Mopti - Segou (405 km; ~5hrs)
After breakfast, we have our city tour of Mopti, also known as the Venice of Mali, on its weekly market day: see the beautiful Sudanese-style 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—shop for gold or silver jewelry, hand-made cotton or wool blankets, or some of Mali's beautiful wood carvings (masks, statues, etc.). At mid-day, we begin our return drive to Segou for overnight (Hotel Independance, or similar).
with Breakfast

Day 7 Friday: Segou - Bamako (235 km; ~3hrs)
Today we explore 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; then visit another women's cooperative that makes traditional millet beer. In the afternoon, we will visit Sekoro village, which was the original Segou and former capital of the Bambara kingdom; we will meet the village chief, who is a descendant of the King Biton Coulibaly. Then onward drive to Bamako for overnight (Grand Hotel, or similar).
with Breakfast

Day 8 Saturday: Bamako - final departure
And today we visit Bamako: over-view of this sprawling city from Point G, with a visit of the ancient grotto and rock paintings. Then onward to the National Museum (see 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 also visit the city market, the artisans' village, and the fetish market for traditional medicine. In the evening, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
with Breakfast

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 airfare to/from Bamako; Mali visas; non-specified meals, drinks/bottled water; optional Dogon mask dance; tips and personal expenses.

Option: traditional Dogon mask dance - upon request

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.

Before reserving, please see our Terms and Conditions.