Timbuktu Tourist Traps

  • Me with the blue scarf
    Me with the blue scarf
    by SirRichard
  • The Bouctou well, Timbuktu
    The Bouctou well, Timbuktu
    by SirRichard
  • Bush taxi in Timbuktu
    Bush taxi in Timbuktu
    by F_Meignant

Most Recent Tourist Traps in Timbuktu

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Ethnological Museum

    by SirRichard Written Sep 29, 2008

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    The Bouctou well, Timbuktu

    Some might find it interesting, but I found it a little OVERPRICED. This museum is just a room with a few old B/W photos and a courtyard with a well that is, supossedly, the original place around which the cuty was founded. I doubt it very much that THAT was the original dwell, but even then, 7 EUROS for the entrance seems a bit too much!! (El Prado Museum in Madrid costs only 5 and it's "a little" bigger)

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    The blue scarf

    by SirRichard Written Sep 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Me with the blue scarf

    If you join one of those desert trips, the guys at the start will offer you the touareg blue scarfs for the trip. You can buy them or hire them (for about 1-2 euros).
    They might be useful IF THERE IS A SUDDEN SAND STORM, but that is very rare, so it's more a tourist trap than a useful thing.
    Anyway, it makes a good souvenir photo, so maybe you don't care after all for 1-2 euros...

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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  • F_Meignant's Profile Photo

    Leaving Timbuktu...

    by F_Meignant Written Oct 20, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bush taxi in Timbuktu

    Timbuktu is in the middle of nowhere. It's not easy to reach. It's even more difficult to leave... It's reknown as a "cul de sac". A gap... a trap...

    Very often, independant tourists have to pay incredible amounts (I heard up to 150 € but I don't know if it's true!) to get a simple place in an uncomfortable and overcrowded "taxi brousse" (bush taxi: see picture).

    Unique Suggestions: So in a way, Timbuktu IS a tourist trap...
    Several solutions to avoid being trapped there or having to pay too much:

    1/ Go with your own car. Preferably in convoy: several cars may help each other in case of breakdown. Keep in mind that there are no petrol stations between Timbuktu and Douentza (300 km);

    2/ Organize you way back in advance with a guide from Mopti, Gao or Douentza;

    3/ Go with an agency.

    For the 2 last solutions, always be SURE that everything is fixed: the price, the date of the trip, water and food...

    Fun Alternatives: It has to be said that it's possible to leave Timbuktu by a pinnace on the Niger River that can take you to Mopti (sailing 3 to 5 days) or Gao (3 days).

    The pinnaces carry passengers AND freight. Not comfortable at all but magical... They leave from Korioumé (Timbuktu's port), 15 km South.

    It's IMPORTANT to organize this trip before you come to Timbuktu : there are several CROOKS in the city who sell expensive tickets on pinnaces... and let you with nothing to eat and drink. In those condition, 3 or 5 days are long and you will not keep a good "souvenir" of your trip....
    THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS...!

    Again, whatever you choose, always be SURE that everything is fixed: the price, the date of the trip, water and food... and if possible, pay after you came back.

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Adventure Travel

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Timbuktu Tourist Traps

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