Saga Tours of Mali - West Africa Adventure Travel
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Mali Express Tour – 6 days
Mopti · Djenne · Dogon country · Segou · Bamako
See the basic sites in Mali even if you have only 6 days
5 nights hotel; no camping
Every tour is private, scheduled on dates of your choice; 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 partyprices are digressive, so a better value per person for a party of four than a party of two, etc.
Day 1: 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: Bamako - Mopti (640 km; ~8hrs)
Breakfast, then 08h00 AM departure from Bamako; today we will drive through the heartland of Mali, following the Niger River, all the way to the port city of Mopti; sightseeing en route. Overnight in Mopti (Hotel Kanaga, or similar).
Day 3: 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 for gold or silver jewelry, hand-made cotton or wool blankets, or some of Mali's beautiful wood carvings (masks, statues, etc.). We end our day with a relaxing private sunset sail on the Niger River in a traditional river boat. Overnight in Mopti (Hotel Kanaga, or similar).
Day 4: Mopti - Djenne (130 km; ~1½hr) - Dogon country (230 km; ~3½hrs)
Breakfast, then 08h00 AM departure on our excursion to 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. 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, as we drive to Mali's fascinating Dogon country.
We 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 (Hotel Campement Guina, or similar).
Day 5: Dogon country - Segou (505 km; ~6hrs)
This morning we have breakfast at 07h00 AM, then we will descend the Bandiagara escarpment to visit the village Banani, reputedly one of the most beautiful of the cliff villages. On our depature from Dogon country we will visit the village Songo, 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 are historical representations of noble Dogon families. Onward drive to Segou for overnight (Hotel Independance, or similar).
Day 6: Segou - Bamako (235 km; ~3hrs) - 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 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.
Onward drive to Bamako, where we will visit the National Museum (see www.mnm-mali.org) 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. 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.
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:
- 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 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; optional items, tips 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.
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.
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