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Wonderful photo safari of architecture and people
Harassing, too many tourists...
In a nutshell
The best place to meet the history of Mali
chrisvandenbroucke Says: As the first clients, we could choose where to sit. Outside is nice but too many insects fell in our plates. Moreover it was too dark with only a small candlelight.Inside there was too much rumour because a big part of the village was looking at a footballmatch..Fish with...
Since Djenne is a tourist and market town, the evening entertainment can be quite good. There are various festivals throughout the year, the most notable of which includes the plastering of the great mud mosque. But, on any given night, hotels will allow drums and dancers to entertain an audience. This entertainment is informal but very exciting to watch. All one needs is a drum in an African band, and the dancing of the women is energetic.
Dress Code: No dress code. This is a hot part of the world, so forget the tie. I'd wear shoes and it's always worthwhile considering whether or not the mosquitoes will bite.
Written Aug 18, 2005
Address: Most hotels
The transportation problem for Djenne is that it's actually off the main highway between Segue and Mopti. So, the means if you take a bus to Djenne, the bus will ultimately drop you off on the way to Mopti. We arrived around midnight at the crossroads, which was pitch black except for the lights of the bus which was motoring to leave us alone in what appeared to be nowhere. Hungry bachee drivers wanted horrificly high prices for the 20 minute drive to Djenne, and by the looks of their vehicles, we wondered whether vehicle could survive the trip. Also, the drivers wanted to wait and fill up the vehicle, which meant that we might wait an hour or longer, something we didn't want to do considering we hadn't booked a hotel yet. Given the late hour, we decided to pay the price (which in terms of American dollars amounted to about $30- as I recall) and to our surprise cargo and people from everywhere suddenly loaded into the old rusty Peugot. The driver needed a push start and a knock on his headlights. Eventually, we reached the ferry and the town of Djenne. Arriving anywhere is always the hard part, but in the dark it's especially spooky. But, in the end, the personal danger doesn't seem to have been as great as we had feared.
Updated Aug 17, 2005
Arriving at Djenné by bus or bush taxi is a fight. They let you on the large square in front of the mosque.
There, a real horde of fake guides grabs at everything that looks like a tourist… Almost unbearable.
No danger at all of course: simply worrying. But so much worrying that I still wonder if the whole city is not a tourist trap...
Don't misunderstand: I'm used to this kind of things and I usually don't bother. But up to this extend, I've seen this only twice: in Djenné and in Dori (Burkina).
Unique Suggestions: Better to hire one of the fake guides to get rid of 30 others. Select him intuitively or at random, it does not matter…: anyway, they know almost nothing about their own city’s history, architecture, etc…
The one we chose (Malamy) was a good boy, 20 years old, good company, funny and even moving… but completely incompetent as a guide!
At least, we had peace.
Fun Alternatives: It’s probably better to come to Djenné with a group than as an independent tourist.
Written Oct 23, 2003