6 Days Tribal Experience tour itinerary for mali: Delve Deep Into African Cultures & Art Explores
Bamako, Djenné, Mopti, Segou
Sightsee the Sudanese styled Komoguel Mosque, enjoy a traditional riverboat rides on the Niger river, stand at the beautiful Banani cliffside village and shop at local markets where Bambara, Bobo, Bozo and other tribes trade their goods. Also watch out for ancient Bamanan, Dogon and Senoufo sculptures at Bamako National Museum.
Arrival in Bamako
International flights arrive in Bamako in the evening; I will meet you in the Arrivals hall of the Bamako airport, and provide your hotel transfer.
Overnight stay will be in Bamako.
Bamako – Mopti (640 km; ~8hr)
After breakfast, at 08:00 am, depart from Bamako for a long and scenic drive through the heartland of Mali. Pass by the Niger River, and all the way to the port city of Mopti. Enjoy local sightseeing en route.
Overnight in Mopti.
Mopti / Niger River
Today we spend the day exploring Mopti, the "melting pot" of Mali, located between the Bani and the Niger rivers. We will see the Sudanese-style 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 here for gold or silver jewelry, hand-made cotton or wool blankets, or some of Mali's beautiful wood carvings (masks, statues, etc.).
End our day with a relaxing private sunset cruise ride on the Niger River in a traditional riverboat.
Overnight in Mopti.
Mopti – Djenne (130 km; ~1½hr) – Dogon country (230 km; ~3½hr)
After breakfast, at 08:00 am, depart towards Djenne, Timbuktu's historical sister-city. 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.
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 XIIIrd century, this is one of Unesco's World Heritage sites.
Visit the Djenne museum on our way out of town, as we drive to Mali's fascinating Dogon country.
Arrive in Sangha and enjoy a walking tour of this large agglomeration of 10 distinct villages, including Ogols and Bongo; see the traditional women's house, and the fetish altar of the Hogon, the Dogon people's traditional and religious leader.
Overnight in Sangha.
Dogon country – Segou (505 km; ~7hr)
This morning we will have breakfast at 07: 00 am, then we descend the Bandiagara escarpment to visit the village Banani, reputedly one of the most beautiful of the cliff villages.
On our departure from Dogon country, we will also visit the Songo village on the Dogon plateau. Songo is 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 here are historical representations of the noble Dogon families.
Onwards drive to Segou for overnight stay.
Segou – Bamako (235 km; ~3hr) / final departure
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 also visit the market and the Kasobane boutique for it's high-end traditional and contemporary textile arts.
Stop by the Nieleni cooperative, that makes hand-woven high-quality wool rugs.
Onward drive to Bamako, where we will visit the National Museum for its impressive collections of textiles from the 11th to the 20th century; ancient Bamanan, Dogon and Senoufo sculptures, terracotta objects from archaeological sites and contemporary African paintings and sculptures. As time permits, we will try to squeeze in a visit to the artisans' village before it closes, for some last-minute shopping.
In the evening, transfer to the airport for final departure.
5 nights hotel, double occupancy, with breakfast.
Private ground transportation by air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle, with driver and fuel.
Sunset sail on the Niger River by private river boat.
Experienced English-speaking Malian tour guide throughout.
airport transfers upon arrival and departure in Bamako.
All hotel taxes and local tourism taxes.
All sightseeing, excursion and entry fees, as per tour program.
Tour package does not include: international travel to/from Bamako; Mali visas; non-specified meals, drinks/bottled water; tips, optional items and personal expenses.
NB: Day-room is optional, not included, in Bamako on Day 6; please specify if you would like to include a day-room.
Mali entry requirements: (1) visa; (2) yellow fever vaccination.
1 km ~ 0.6 miles; driving times are approximate, depending on local conditions and stops.
NB: Hotels subject to availability of reservations; see Proposed Hotels description.
Bamako, Djenné, Mopti, Segou
Type of Tour
This tour is offered throughout the year.
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