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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Take Polaroids and Become an Instant Celebrity

    by zrim Updated Jan 9, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: My friend Alison had the foresight to bring along a Polaroid camera. In the rural villages many, if not most, of the people have not had the opportunity to pose for a photo and actually see the result. Invariably people were delighted to see their images come to life on the polaroid film. Naturally, you would expect the children to be excited about such things (and were they ever) but even the village elders were amused upon receipt of a Polaroid.

    However, there was an unexpected hitch to the Polaroid plan. The kids would all pose in groups of five, six, seven or even ten or more. And while it was hard enough for them to wait patiently while the photo slowly appeared on the film, it was next to impossible to choose which child would ultimately land possession of the prized photo.

    My own circumstances were far easier. I would take digital photos and then show the kids their images on the back of the camera. They were happy enough and since I was not about to give away my camera, I did not have to choose which child would be the lucky recipient of the photo.

    Alison showing the Polaroid snapshot
    Related to:
    • Photography

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    There is hope...

    by tini58de Updated Aug 3, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: .
    .
    Unfortunately Mali is rapidly being swallowed up by the desert, and is still suffering the aftershocks of an enormous drought. This has made it one of the five poorest countries in the world with a high infant mortality rate, extensive malnutrition, low levels of literacy, and a short life expectancy.

    There are quite a few organisations that are trying to help improve the living conditions - but it is a very long process!

    It might be good news, that just recently there has been a discovery of deposits of gold potentially huge enough to lift the country from its economic difficulties....

    Let's just hope for the best!

    Woman of Mali
    Related to:
    • Desert

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    Desertification

    by tini58de Updated Aug 3, 2004

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    Favorite thing: About 65% of Mali is now desert or semi-desert and it is getting more and more. The rapid desertification of Mali is due to on-going droughts, over-grazing, topsoil erosion, harsh desert winds, and the scavenging of trees for firewood.

    in the Malian desert
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    • Desert

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    Climate

    by tini58de Updated Aug 3, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In the north of Mali - which is the desert - it is hot, hot, hot! It cools down a little toward the end of the year, but still it stays hot and there is almost no rainfall!

    The humid rainy season is June to September although this really only applies to the south. In the Sahel the rainfall is variable. Often there are the dusty Harmattan winds blowing off the desert between December and February.

    Malian village

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    People

    by tini58de Updated Aug 3, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The largest ethnical group in Mali is the Bambara, who occupy many of the civil servant positions. The Dogons and the Tuareg live a more traditional life.

    The Tuareg, or 'blue men of the desert' (named for their indigo robes and turbans) are an ancient nomadic tribe.They are a proud race of people, famous for their fighting abilities and artwork. Drought and government policy are threatening their traditional way of life now.

    The Dogons are very busy farmers living on the edges of a long narrow escarpment in the inland delta. Their homeland, the Dogon country, has been designated a World Heritage site because of its cultural significance. The Dogon are also famous for their artistic abilities and wonderful masks.

    Tuareg girl in Mali

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  • grets's Profile Photo

    The children

    by grets Updated Jul 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: As with most places I visit, it was the people who captivated me most: The Dogon with their complicated lifestyle and animaist beliefs, the beautiful and majestic Fulani, the poor but friendly Bozo, the mysetrious and veiled Touareg.

    The children were happy and carefree and always approached us for bonbons,cadeaux and bics, but more often than not just wanted to say hello and shake you hand.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Desert

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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Learn the numbers in Bambara.

    by sachara Updated Sep 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: A t the local markets, of course you can speak French, but it's nice to know the numbers in Bambara and who knows ... maybe it gives you some advantage, when you are shopping.

    1 kilin
    2 fila
    3 saba
    4 naani
    5 doeroe
    6 wohroo
    7 wohroon wilah
    8 seeki
    9 koonontoo
    10 tan
    20 moekan
    30 bi saba
    40 bi naani
    100 kehmeh
    1000 waa
    en anni/ni

    example:
    1120 waa kilin ani kehmeh kilin ani mugan

    ( the numbers are phonetic in dutch)

    market

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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Learn some words Bambara

    by sachara Updated Sep 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In Mali it's easy , if you can speak French.
    But if you travel around or visit small villages, it makes more fun to learn some Bambara words:

    Hallo -I ni tjee.
    Answer: M baa, i ni tjee (man), M see, i nitjee (woman)

    Good morning - I ni sohgohma
    Answer: M baa or M see, I ni soghoma

    Good afternoon ( 12-16 hour) -I ni tillee
    Answer: Mbaa or M see, I ni tillee

    Good afternoon (16-19 hours) -I ni woellah
    Answer: Mbaa or M see, I ni woellah

    Good evening - I ni soe
    Answer: M baa or M see, I ni soe

    Goodbye - Kan boe foo (if you stay yourself)
    Answer: Oe naa mehn.

    Thank you - I ni tjee

    Ja/ nee - ohwoh/ aj

    What's your name? - I tohkow

    Today/ yesterday/tomorrow - bi/koenoen/sini

    Where is... ? - ... beh mi?
    House/hotel - soo/ otelli
    Postoffice/ busstation - Biro de post/ bus gari

    Bread - boeroe
    Drinking water- mieniedji

    (words are phonetic (in dutch), not in the official orthography)

    compound deep south

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    Women

    by tini58de Written Jun 18, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Poverty in Mali is worse for women in both urban and rural settings. Young girls are often denied access to education. They marry early, and one out of every 10 women will die during childbirth. Many spend their lives bearing and rearing children. Genital mutilation ist still a common practise in Mali.

    This was a reason, why I wanted to sponsor a GIRL in Mali. Fatoumata does not attend school either, but at least I hope, that the general living conditions will improve, so that maybe HER daughters will lead a better life!

    Women of Mali

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    Facts about Mali

    by tini58de Updated Jun 17, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: .
    Population: 11.4 million
    Capital City: Bamako
    National Language: French
    Per capita income: US$ 240/year
    Life expectancy: 51 years
    Access to safe drinking water: 65%
    Adequate sanitation facilities: 69%
    Under 5 mortality rate: 233/1,000 live births

    (Source: State of the World's Children 2002)
    .

    Fondest memory: The women we met! They were proud and pretty and were laughing so much - despite the difficult life they have to live!

    Women of Mali
    Related to:
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  • Petit_Prince's Profile Photo

    Of Sand and Water

    by Petit_Prince Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The best thing to do in Mali is meeting people: Dogon carvers at their villages, fishers, traders at the lively markets, thousands of children, touaregs at Timbuktu... People, people and people, and may be through them re-discover the humanistic part of you, so dfficult to hear in our big cities.

    Fondest memory: A little girl who took my hand at a village near Mopti and remained like that all along the visit.

    Being surrounded by children in a little village that repeated all that I said at once. It was magical

    Children on the way from Timbuktu to Mopti
    Related to:
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  • Chacco's Profile Photo

    Travelling with Aliou

    by Chacco Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you come to Mali, you defenitly will need a guide to get to the interesting places. I was very lucky to find ALI, a nice guy, sincere, speaking english and with the highest social competence I ever met in the world. He showed me many interesting places in Bamako and other parts of Mali. We were hiking through DOGON land and had some nice days in Mopti.
    You will have much fun with him and please, say hello from me.

    Aliou - my friend
    Related to:
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  • seratonin's Profile Photo

    Mali - general

    by seratonin Updated Dec 17, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Mali, a landlocked country in westafrica would be almost completely covered by the Sahara desert if there wouldn`t be the Niger river, which flows from west to east trough the country.
    Along this river you`ll find most of the touristic spots of Mali. In this region is Bamako, the relaxed captal. Further east there is Djenne, Mopti and the nearby Pays du Dogon, the once mysterious village of Timbuktu as well as Gao, near the border to Niger.
    Travelling off the beaten path can be difficult in this sahel country. Transportation is sometimes very low and roads can be in poor conditions.
    This is not the case if you are bound to the main routes, as the paved road from Bamako to Mopti and further to Gao.

    Fondest memory: The friendliness and enormous hospitality of the people

    Bamako, Malis capital

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  • seratonin's Profile Photo

    Mopti - next to some of the main attractions

    by seratonin Updated Dec 17, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you are visiting Mali, there is a great chance that you will spend some days in Mopti.
    Mopti is situated where the Bani river meets the Niger. Comming from Bamako, it takes about 7 hours by bus to go there.
    For travellers, Mopti is situated in a excellent position within Mali. It is the good leaving point for visiting Bandiagara (~4-5 hours by shared taxi) and the pays du Dogon, as well as Djenne (~3 hours by shared taxi) or Timbuktu (~2-3 days by piroge).
    Be aware of some hassle on Mopti's bus station, as there are plenty of touts and will-be-guides!

    Fondest memory: The mosque and the piroge port at the shores of the Bani.

    Mopti`s mosque

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  • seratonin's Profile Photo

    Mali

    by seratonin Written Nov 15, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Up on a camel near Timbuktu, the mysterious city in the desert.... It'sometimes not easy to reach, and even harder to leave this city behind ;-)
    The best season to go to Timbuktu is after the rainy season, from october to january, when the Niger has enough water to go by boat to this town.
    The other touristic areas like Djenne or Bandiagara and the pays du Dogon are more easy to reach. You can use busses or taxi brousses.

    Fondest memory: The friendliness and enormous hospitality of the people

    Up on a camel, near Timbuktu

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Mali Hotels

See all 15 Hotels in Mali
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako

    ACI 2000, Hamdallaye, (formerly Radisson SAS), Bamako, 2566, Mali

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Hotel Mirabeau

    Quartier du fleuve - rue 311, Bamako, BP E 3506, Mali

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Le Relais Hotel

    Le Relais is a three star hotel on the Koulikoro road in the Hippodrome area of town. Behind it's...

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