Mali (Bamako, Siby)
Two day tour of Mali that highlights the fascinating Mande area and the bustling capital city of Bamako. Also enjoy an evening cruise on the Niger River.
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Day 1 Bamako to Siby (Mande area)
Travel to the mountain village of Mandé in the Western region of Mali (55 Km). Here you will learn about the history of Soundiata Keita, the legendary former king of the ancient Malian Empire. Several of Mali’s ethnic groups including Dogon, Bambara, Malinké, Kassonke, Minianka, Sénoufo, and Bobo originate from this area. In Mandé you will see the Fanfamba Grotto (the former meeting place of the village elders), the cave of Kamadian, with compartments for artisans including blacksmiths, hunters, traditional fortune tellers, and chiefs. There is a small sacred pool where sacrifices are made in an effort to achieve wealth and prosperity, better health and protection against evil. See a Donso, traditional hunter in his clothes. Visit the center where local women produce butter and soap with “Chi tree” nuts. Return to Bamako. In the afternoon, experience a 2 hour sail on the Niger River in a traditional pinasse.
Meal(s) Included: No
Day 2 Bamako
Today we explore the capital city of Bamako situated on the Niger River, Africa’s 3rd longest. Mali is a country of many tribal peoples, each with their own exuberant styles of clothing and jewelry. There is nowhere better to see this colorful diversity than in the streets and markets of the capital. In the city’s craft bazaar we shall see sculptors, weavers, leather workers, jewelers and metal workers exhibiting their wares and displaying their skills. One area of the market is devoted entirely to traditional African medicines. Here you’ll find the freshly shrunken heads of birds, monkeys and crocodiles, along with lizard skins and other gruesome treatments. Later we will visit the National Museum, providing an excellent introduction to the ethnic diversity of the country. We will also have a tour of the Musokunda Museum where you will see the different types of women’s clothing by ethnic group. Time permitting we will visit the recycling market of Bamako where local artists turn one man’s trash into another’s treasure.
Meal(s) Included: No