Festival On The Niger

Mali (Bamako, Timbuktu, Mopti, Dogon Country, Djenne, Segou, Festival on the Niger)

This 11-day trip focuses on the exciting cultural event Festival on the Niger which features traditional music, dance, and story-telling as well as speakers and demonstrations. Also visit Timbuktu, Mopti, Djenne, Dogon country and the Bamako markets.

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  1. Day 1 Arrive in Bamako

    Arrive in Bamako; meet assist and transfer to hotel.

    Meal(s) Included: No

    Overnight at Hotel Mirabeau or Similar

  2. Day 2 Bamako

    After breakfast go on a city tour of Bamako which is 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 entirely devoted to traditional African medicines. Here you’ll find the freshly shrunken heads of birds, monkeys, and crocodiles, along with lizard skins and other items.

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel Mirabeau or Similar

  3. Day 3 Timbuktu

    After breakfast, fly to the legendary city of Timbuktu. Located near the River Niger, at the terminus of the great trans-Saharan caravan route, Timbuktu became fabulously wealthy in the 16th century. Loaded with blocks of salt and other trade goods, huge convoys of camels would spend weeks crossing the unforgiving Sahara to reach Timbuktu. It was here that they would trade salt, pound-for-pound, with African merchants bringing gold and ivory along the Niger from the heart of Africa. Wander the dusty streets of Timbuktu, admiring such magnificent mud-brick structures as the Djinguiraiber Mosque, the Mosque of Sankore, and the Palace of Bouctou. See the houses of the various 19th century European explorers who used Timbuktu as a base.

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel La Palmeraie or Similar

  4. Day 4 Timbuktu/ Mopti/ Dogon

    After breakfast, you will leave a place whose name is synonymous with somewhere unreachable, “Timbuktu”, and fly to Mopti. In Mopti you will be met and transported to Mali’s fascinating Dogon country. First stop in Songho, renowned for its rock paintings and circumcision grotto, then continue to the villages of Sangha, Ogols and Bongo to see the traditional women’s house, and the sacrificial altar of the Hogon (the Dogon people’s traditional and religious leader).

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Overnight at Campement Hotel Sangha (Sangha) or Similar

  5. Day 5 Dogon Country

    After breakfast, descend to the Bandiagara escarpment to visit the villages of Banani (noted for its ancient Tellem cave dwellings in the cliff face), Ireli, Amani (noted for its sacred crocodile sanctuary), and Tireli, where you may see a traditional Dogon Mask Dance. (min 6 needed to guarantee dance)

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Overnight at Campement Hotel Sangha (Bandiagara) or Similar

  6. Day 6 Dogon/ Mopti

    After breakfast, travel to Mopti. Afterwards go on a city tour of Mopti. You will see the fascinating mix of Malian cultures: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg, Songhay and Hausa. Visit the beautiful mosque, the fishing port and the bustling market, where you can shop for gold or silver jewelry, Tuareg leather work, or Fulani blankets of cotton or wool.

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel Ambedjele or Similar

  7. Day 7 Mopti/ Djenne/ Mopti

    After breakfast, drive to Djenne, Timbuktu’s ancient sister-city on the Bani River. See the magnificent Grand Mosque, the largest mud-brick architecture in the world and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. You also will visit the museum. Wander through the narrow streets of Djenne discovering this beautiful architectural city.

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

    Overnight at 3-star hotel

  8. Day 8 Segou, Festival on the Niger

    After breakfast, drive to Segou, Mali’s second largest city and former colonial capital. This drive takes you through varying rural villages where you can observe traditional ways of life. Along the drive you have the opportunity to stop and visit local markets. After arriving in Segou in the late afternoon, this evening participate in and enjoy the activities (concert, story-telling, traditional dances).

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel Independence or Similar

  9. Day 9 Segou, Festival on the Niger

    After breakfast, go on excursions to nearby cultural sites including: Kalabougou, the pottery village; and Sekoro, the old-Ségou, former capital of the Bambara kingdom. Activities include demonstrations, exhibitions, music and dance.

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel Independence or Similar

  10. Day 10 Segou, Festival on the Niger

    Continue excursions in Segou and surrounding areas.
    This evening enjoy the festival activities.

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast

    Overnight at Hotel Independence or Similar

  11. Day 11 Segou – Bamako – Depart

    After breakfast, complete your tour of Segou before returning to Bamako.
    In Bamako decide on your activities with the assistance of your driver and guide, in the evening, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast

Trip Includes:

  • Meeting and assistance upon arrival and departure
  • Roundtrip airport to hotel transfers and luggage handling
  • Hotel accommodation in the listed properties
  • Transportation in private vehicle
  • Experienced tour guides
  • Meals indicated
  • Admission to sites listed
  • Domestic airfare within Africa
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