Bandiagara Things to Do

  • Dogon, catholic church
    Dogon, catholic church
    by chrisvandenbroucke
  • Dogon, Hotel On The Roof
    Dogon, Hotel On The Roof
    by chrisvandenbroucke
  • Dogon toguna
    Dogon toguna
    by chrisvandenbroucke

Best Rated Things to Do in Bandiagara

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    Dogon Logistics: Escarpment Descent

    by atufft Updated Jan 15, 2006

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    Local Van Destine for Escarpment in Bandiagara
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    In Bandiagara, it's recommended that a guide and encampmente package be worked out. Normally, a contract that includes food, encampement, and if necessary, donkey cart be agreed upon. The guides have albums of pictures and reference letters, which should be in the language you are familiar with. That is, some guides aren't capable enough in English because this is a nominally French speaking nation. There are several routes. In our case, we wanted to see the Telem architecture, so we arrange for a route that trekked along the northern, not southern Dogon country, as I recall. In any case, if you use the hotel recommended, much of this can be worked out with the help of the owner or staff available, to make sure everything, particularly the food, is clearly agreed upon. In general though its quite possible to take the van even closer to the escarpment, but food supplies are better bought in Bandiagara. It's necessary to walk down the escarpment, but packs and water are normally carried by porters hired for the job. So, adventurers need only carry their camera. At the floor of the escarpment, donkey carts are available to continue the trek from one village to the next, but I choose to hike. Drink lots of water, and don't exhaust yourself by keeping the guide's hurried pace. Slow the pace down, and if you see something to look at stop and do so! These are the things agreed upon before embarking...The alternative is to hire a package that includes a 4x4, but this will raise the costs considerably. Half the adventurers challenge bargaining with the locals anyway.

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    The Hike: Descending the Escarpment

    by atufft Written Jan 15, 2006

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    Beginning of Descent
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    At road's end, hiker's traverse first through a village with stone houses. There are few provisions here, so it's better to have these things purchased and brought from Bandiagara, as per previous tip. Walk through the village and proceed across shallow soiled agricultural plots and bare rock to the edge of the escarpment. The actual descent is a trail that drops through canyon land like rock eroded by wind and water. Generally, steps are well defined even down rocky expanses because the trail is also a thoroughfare for villagers to transport milk and other farm products up the escarpment to Bandiagara.

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    Arroyo floor below the escarpment

    by atufft Written Feb 7, 2006

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    Women farming in Dogon Country
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    At the bottom of the escarpment is a decent place to eat with a view from a shaded rooftop area. There are several vendors selling dusty old dogon artwork and they can be bargined for. The problem for the bigger souvenirs though may be transporting them out of the area. Make sure your guide is trustworthy for handling these precious items because the vendors don't have very good packing materials. The path along the bottom of the escarpment is mostly sandy, and in the hot sun one can easily get dehydrated, so stock up on water if you haven't already. This sandy region is farmed, mostly by hand. Note also the baobob trees which appear to have been circumsized. The purple robe like material harvested is used in making a particular mask and other handicrafts.

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    Dogon mask dance

    by flynboxes Written Jan 21, 2009

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    Spend a night out here and chances are you will be offered a chance to see a dance. Next to beer sales to tourists..this is probably the local villages/chiefs next most profitable source of income. The dance lasts 30 minutes or so and includes most of the folks in the village....Kinda touristy? Yes? Worth watching? Why not..you're in Africa. Your guide will probably ask you for $20 or so bucks to watch it and say that it is optional... You can negotiate the price but if you do it with the guide it will just mean less for the village or get you a sour look fro your guide.
    Since I am not independently wealthy nor do I work for Oxfam or USAID I would pay the chief or hogan directly since any money you give your guide will probably be skimmed a bit like everything else they do for you.

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  • chrisvandenbroucke's Profile Photo

    Dogon country; toguna

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon toguna

    Day 3 of 4
    After the hot trek, we could rest in a toguna. That's sort of an open air conference room for the village wise. The toguna is especially built very low so that the arguing can't be too fierce. If you jump up durin one of your arguments, you hit your head against the roof and... immediately cool off

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    Dogon Country, Telli - ladder

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon houses

    Day 2 of 4
    In the late afternoon, we walked to Telli.
    The wooden pillar you see standing there are the steps to the platform where you can sleep.
    I can assure you that, at night, it's not an easy climb down if you have to pee

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    Dogon country, the Hogon

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon Hogon

    Day 4 of 4
    Early this morning we went to visit the Hogon, that's a holy man who lives in seclusion high in the mountains. The villagers bring him food and drinks and he only comes down to speak justice.

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  • Excellent guide for Dogon Country, Mali tours

    by LRobishaw Written Apr 26, 2010

    Moussa Timbine' is an excellent tour guide in Mali. He lives in Bamako but will go all over the country. He is also Dogon, and a wonderful guide for seeing Dogon country. His English is excellent.

    He has trained extensively for his job, and has a good understanding of different nationalities and what they expect as tourists. He is therefore in a good position to give you an experience that will be enjoyable and rewarding.

    Moussa Timbine'
    cliffadventurer@yahoo.fr
    00223-79-07-49-35

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    Treking

    by flynboxes Written Dec 24, 2008
    Top of the plateau
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    From Bandiagara you will catch a cab or motorcycle to one of the trail heads. I think we stopped at Dourou for lunch and to visit the market prior to heading out on the plateau to Begnimato which is a 4 mile hike and probably the most fun as once you get down off the plateau it is pretty much flat and sandy. Here you will be able to do some rock jumping and get a few cool photos. At mile 2 there is a small village where you can get some water if you are a dumb ass like me and don't take enough due to the heat.

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  • chrisvandenbroucke's Profile Photo

    Dogon country, Benigmato

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon houses

    Day 4 of 4
    In this village, Benigmato ended our wonderful trek. It's was a great but tough experience

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    Dogon Country, first day -pt 1

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon, typical village

    Day 1 of 4
    We drove with a landcruiser from Mopti to the first Dogon village Dziguibombo.
    You see a picture of a typical mud structure village.
    LOvely sight

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    Dogon Country, first day - pt 2

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon, typical village

    Here you can see local village people walking in their 'streets'.

    It's very, very hot during the day and you better stay inside between 11 Am and 3 PM.
    And don't forget to drink

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    Dogon Country

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon, typical village

    Day 1 of 4
    The houses are in mud brick and very low - you can sleep on them.

    Your guide will certainly find a place for you sleep

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    Dogon Country, Catholic Church

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon, catholic church

    Day 1 of 4
    This was the only Catholic Church in Dogon Country - look at the banner of the Holy Year, 2000.

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    Dogon Country, Chameleon

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Dogon chameleon

    Day 2 of 4
    This was the first time in my life, I saw a real chameleon. The little animal was not very shy

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Bandiagara Things to Do

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