Mali Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by hannette
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by hannette
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by hannette

Mali Off The Beaten Path

  • MOPTI: Bozo villages

    Take a pinasse at Mopti’s harbour and go to visit the Bozo villages. Bozo people are basically fishermen who live on the shores of Niger River. (picture 2) Their poor and quiet villages contrast with the busy Mopti. But even if the constructions are poor, they don't forget those kind of details (sometimes it's only a touch of colour) that make you...

  • TUMBOUCTOU: river cruises

    I don’t like these touristy programs, I really don’t like them! But after seeing that 2-3 buildings there is nothing else to do in Tumbouctou and walking along the streets has no interest (and it is very stressful because of the Touaregs!) so I had to choose between the pinasse cruises to see the hippos or staying at the hotel. Mali is not a...

  • Djenné - Take the ferry.

    This is not recommended for the faint of heart and those that worry too much about their vehicle, as quite often the ferry has to stop 5 metres from the sand. Even with the runways down there are still a few heart-stopping moments as you wonder "Am I going to make it".Ferry cost is 2.500 cfa per vehicle and includes passengers. The return is also...

  • Village of Sofouroulay.

    This small village has the merit of being probably the cleanest I've ever seen on my travels in Africa. The streets are regularly swept, the houses painted and a real welcome from the village elders under their tree. We were asked by the Imam if we wanted to visit the new mosque, that had only recently been finished. The village chief was proud to...

  • Around Siby.

    On your way down to the gold fields near the border with Guinea is the town of Siby. We were welcomed into town by the village chief who gave us the tour of the market. The market here, takes place every Saturday. Near town you can visit the refreshing waterfalls of Danda and after a stiff walk, the Kamadjan arch. The area is renowned for its...

  • Go see the gold fields.

    Take a road trip from Bamako towards the border wirh Guinée, passing by Sibi (the road is south-west ) to see the antiquated way they find their gold in Mali. You will need an experienced guide to take you, as this IS in the wilds. The men dig pits, up to 5 metres deep, and then dig further tunnels to make the pits meet , then haul the earth to the...

  • Malian petrol stations

    There are only few petrol stations in Mali, all in the main cities. On the roads or in the villages, you have some people selling petrol in a bottle. You can buy a bottle of beer full of petrol.(Don't use this petrol, your engine will be angry with you!)

  • Djenne Villages are seemingly from...

    The villages that are near Djenne make this stop worth an extra couple of days. Hire a guide, rent a scooter, and off you go across an expanse of earth typically waterborne during the rainy season. I assume that these villages need pirogues to get there then. Some villages are muslim and have their own smaller versions of the great mud mosque....

  • The witch

    Hey look-that's me animating a classroom on the wonders of witchcraft in North America-every week, each group was host to an educational day, and ours was a comparison of witchcraft between here and Africa-Good thing I knew a little bit about the subject, there’s a lot of strange magic around these parts......

  • Where the streets have alot of names...

    This is one of the many streets that we walked on(so many times)Africa is a place of walking by the way.....I lost 20 pounds doing just that while I was there..... There's something to be said about a seeing rotting cow carcass or a burning pile of garbage..... Some of the things that affect you, some of the things you think about while on one of...

  • Children Everywhere

    It might seem hard- but life is just so simple over there, no microwaves or dishwashers, cell phones or nuclear war.....the children play OUTSIDE and theirs a joy of life rarely seen elsewhere

  • Scattered compounds north of Kayes

    In the area north of Kayes live Fulani, Soninke and Black Moor tribes. These nomadic tribes live in small communities scattered throughout the Sahel, usually many miles from each other. Not far north of Kayes we saw the first small villages with not more than one or a few compounds, scattered in the landscape far away from any facilities. The...

  • Dramatic landscape with baobabs

    The area north of Kayes is a grassy Sahel area, stretching along the southern part of the Sahara desert. There were no roads, only tracks, which we could not always recognize very clearly, because sometimes they were destroyed during the rainy season. The first part of the landscape north of Kayes was very scenic, even dramatic with so many...

  • North of Kayes, traditional villages

    From Kayes we went to the north to the Mauritanian border. Sometimes the tracks we followed, led into the narrow alleyways of a village. It gave sometimes a strange feeling, that we could enter so easily the intimity of a village and the local life of its inhabitants.The people reacted very friendly, allthough we had the feeling to disturb their...

  • Nuclear explosion on Ouéléssédougou

    Ouéléssédougou is a small town on the road between Bamako and Bougouni. In the beginning of the raining season 2004, I saw this incredible cloud on the town. I cannot tell the name of this cloud but It stragely looks like an atomic mushroom

  • Meeting at the well

    The moments I loved most, were going shopping in the local markets and fetching water at the local wells! People there were curious to watch us - and we were just as curious to watch them!Later I learnt, how bad the water situation in Mali is - women (or even young girls) having to walk for as much as 5 km one way to get water plus the water not...

  • Touraeg Camps

    The Touaregs are found throught northwest Africa and are descendants of the Berbers. They have a lighter skin than the majority of ethnic groups in Mali. Although they are often referred to as 'whites', the Tourag call themselves Tamasheq, after their language. Touaregs number ca. 500,000 in Mali alone.In 1990 a Touareg Revolt broke out in the...

  • Rural market

    As soon as you leave Bamako, you are directly in the bush. Only alongside the main road you will find electricity and sometimes phone lines. In the villages, no electricity, no phone, no water, just earthblock houses.In the "rich" villages you can buy modern equipment like plastic barkets.

  • Tour de France?

    Bike is very well used in the Malian villages, but be carefull, no lights, no brakes, just two wheels, two paddles and a frame...

  • Gold diggers

    Mali has become a gold producer for the past ten years. Major international gold companies settled in the country.However, gold is abundant and there are some places where the quantity is too small for a heavy exploitation, so local digger create their own mine. All Malian gold is exported, the jewelery you find in Mali is made of gold from...

  • Hombori mountains

    Most of Mali consists of low plains broken occasionally by rocky hills. In the south-east you will pass the Hombori Mountains, that rise to 1,155 m. There is this one rock formation called Fatma's finger and we crossed it during a sand storm, so this was rather eerie.

  • The Roof of the Djenné Mosque

    It was a fabulous experience to climb the roof of the mosque of Djenné, see this fantastic architecture and enjoy the view over the market - hard to discribe! You just have to see it yourself!

  • Dogon Country

    Due to limited time and money we spend in Dogon Country three days only. DAY ONE: After first night in Dourou on the top we made round trip excursion down to Nombori (some 5 km each way). Walking shoes are required. In Nombori apart from traditional stone granaries and houses we accidentally had opportunity to see mask dances performed for other...

  • I spent most of my time in...

    I spent most of my time in Bamako while I was in Mali, but I did get a chance to travel a little. Everyone knows the famed Tombouctou is in Mali. Well, as much as I wanted to go there, it wasn't a safe journey to make at the time due to reports of Tuareg road bandits. Instead we went to Djenne. This place was amazing.The largest fully-intact adobe...

  • It's a ways out there, but get...

    It's a ways out there, but get to Dogon country if you possibly can. The scenery aand hiking would be worth the trip in and of themselves, but add the fascinating Dogon villages and culture, and this place is truy unique. Unfortunately the negative impacts of tourism on the people are all too clear as EVERYONE greets you and immediately asks for...

  • HomboriThe village is located...

    HomboriThe village is located on the main road from Mopti and Gao. Arriving on Tuesday you can visit the cattle market, where Tuaregs go to sell their animals. The market is worth the entrance fee. Somehow, wandering around the market is the same that walking on the stage where a modern ballet, with a wonderful, colourful choreography, is being...

  • Tellem housesTellem where the...

    Tellem housesTellem where the former inhabitants in Bandiagara escarpment. You can see sandstone houses and granaries carved out of the cliff face. Nowadays Tellem buildings are used as tombs.


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Mali Off The Beaten Path

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