Mali Journals

Visions of Mali

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A February 2001 trip to Mali by Linda Hoernke

Djenne Mosque Photo, Mali, Africa More Photos
Quote: Mali has a history of great empires, kingdoms and people diverse in their way of life. Remote in its position, locked at its borders by land, Mali is a place of mystery and intrigue. From the capital of Bamako to the desert surrounding Timbuktu, come explore this land of enchantment.

Visions of Mali

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Overview

Dogon Village Photo, Mali, Africa
Quote:
Bamako is a large city with the true taste of Africa. Surrounding areas can be visited like the Saturday cattle market north of Kati. A place to view the different features and dress from cultures such as the Bamabara, Songhay and Bozo tribes. You can even purchase a sheep here if you want! The legendary city of Timbuktu skirts the edge of the Sahara. Visit the Tuaregs and ride camels to the camps of the "Blue Men." Hire a pinasse to take you down the River Niger, to explore the waters that bring life to the desert towns and villages that surround it. Hike the Bandiagara Escarpment into the lives of the Dogon people. Learn about a culture of resourceful, friendly and very special people.Quick Tips...Read More

Hiking Dogon Country

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Attraction

Tellem Ruins Photo, Mali, Africa
Quote:
Trekking through Dogon country is an amazing experience. In the village of Tirelli, we were treated to the Dance of the Masks. The dance is to purify the village and let the spirits of the dead move on in peace. All men from 15-45 take part in this colorful dance of carved masks, men on stilts and bright colored costumes. Yaye is a beautiful village situated under cliff overhangs. In the cliffs above the village, you will view the ancient homes and sites of the Tellem. They resemble some of the Anasazi cliff dwellings in the U.S. The Dogon now use these dwellings to bury their dead. The Dogon are friendly people. In the village of Tiogou we were entertained by the girls of the village ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2001

The Niger River

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Story/Tip

Niger River People Photo, Mali, Africa
Quote:
The Niger flows for 2600 miles through Western Africa, bringing life to countries with little rainfall. Life along the Niger serves as a source for farmers, fisherman and herders, bringing them together through this road of water. The Songhai, Peul and Tuareg tribes are but a few that travel and have formed a life on the banks of the Niger in Mali where it forms an inland delta. The bird life is abundant and between Novenber and March the lakes and ponds of the foodplain are full of wintering birds. The Niger contains nearly 200 species of fish, including catfish, African carp, Nile perch, lungfish and the delicious capitain. Hippopotamus and crocodile can be found, along with many lizards and ...Read More

Mali Accomadations

Story/Tip

Quote:
Bamako>Hotels> The Le Grand is in the heart of Bamako and is comfortable. It has a refreshing pool and good access for walking to sites nearby. The Le Monde sits on the banks of the Bani River. This was my favorite as you could sit poolside and watch the Malians go about their daily business on the river. Also had an open air dinner terrace to enjoy the African sunset. Campments> Campments can be found in Djenne & Sanga. Both campments have the basics with bed and shower (although cold). They are pleasant and offer a limited restaurant for food. Mopti>Hotel The Hotel Kanga is a good place to escape the bustle and crowded comdions of this market town. Electricity...Read More

Timbuktu

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Story/Tip

Tuareg Camp Photo, Mali, Africa
Quote:
Timbuktu, the Forbidden City. The city of wealth, exploration and lost lives. Of salt caravans and nomads. Of mystery and intrique. Timbuktu, the city of the desert, of the Sahara, of shadows and sand. The city of dreams. In the late 1700s there was a push to explore Africa, to enter Timbuktu and return with stories to unlock the mystery of a city with uncounted wealth surrounded by the sands of the Sahara. Many European explorers left for the dark continent in search of surveying, mapping and entering the famed city. Rene Callie, a young French explorer became the first European to reach the sacred city and return alive. Rene fell in love with the stories and after reading the published journal...Read More