Mali & Burkina Faso Circuit
Neighboring Countries & diverse Cultures
Start / end Bamako
This tour combines what must be the two most culturally diverse countries in Africa perhaps worldwide. It is a big claim, but both Mali and Burkina Faso have long been on the crossroads of the great trading routes between the Sahara and the ancient kingdoms of West Africa. Here there has always been trade between Touareg, Mossi, Fulani, Dogon, Lobi, Bozo and a myriad of other ethnic tribes. Each of these peoples have their own identities and the slow pace of Africa has meant that a lot of their customs and traditions remain intact. Mali is well known for the cultural splendors it has to offer, and Burkina Faso is a land that has slipped the tourism net. Combining these countries, making a loop starting and ending at Bamako is a fantastic way of discovering the hidden cultural treasures that this reqion has to offer.
Day 1: Bamako. Arrive Bamako. Meet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 2: Segou. Morning visit to the National Museum and the market, lunch at the Hotel de l’Amitie to see the view of Bamako from the 14th floor. After lunch drive to Segou (approx. 4 hours drive) to arrive in time to watch the atmospheric sunset over the Niger River. Overnight, Hotel Independence. Breakfast included.
Day 3: Djenne. Riverside walk to the pottery market and then a visit to the old colonial section of town. You will also visit a Bogolan factory to see how the traditional cloth is made using the mud method. In the afternoon drive to Djenné a 14th century trading center on the Bani River dominated by the largest mud mosque in the world. For much of the year Djennéis an island, since it lies on the confluence of the Bani and the mighty Niger River. Afternoon tour of Djenne. Overnight at the Campement Djenne. Basic campement rooms. Breakfast included.
Day 4: Mopti. After breakfast, visit the Monday market, having plenty of time to look around and take in the bustling atmosphere. Around lunchtime we will head for Mopti and take a pirogue trip on the Niger to visit the villages of the Bozo fishermen and the nomadic Fulani. Overnight, Hotel Le Flandre in Severe. Breakfast included.
Day 5: Dogon Country. Morning tour of Mopti visiting the riverside markets, the mosque and the bead museum at Severe. After lunch we drive to Bandiagara, the gateway to pays Dogon. Overnight at either the Chevel Blanc or the Hotel La Falaise. Breakfast included.
Day 6 & 7: Dogon Country. An early start for the drive to Dourou in the heart of Dogon country. We start our hike to Nombori, following the escarpment with stunning views of villages, gardens and sand dunes – an interesting mix! We spend the next two days trekking through Dogon villages and you will have a more in-depth tour around several of the villages including Tireli village, known as the village of masks. Your guide will explain the local customs and legends. The walk between villages is leisurely. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.
Day 8: Ouahigouya region. We enter Burkina and depending on progress, overnight in Ouahigouya – vulture city – or sleepy Djibo, the entry point of Burkina northern Sahel region, with its weekly lively cattle market and jewellery craft work. Breakfast included.
Day 9: Oursi. Continuing in this charming, remote region we continue on to Oursi, in its fantastic setting of lake and dunes, and on to Gorom Gorom the gem orf this northern region. On market day (Thursday) the Fulani cattle herders meet and do lively business with the Touareg traders and Mossi merchants, all making for a colourful spectacle to witness. Breakfast included.
Day 10: Kaya. Continue on exploring the region stopping off at Doris market and Bani en route to Kaya. Bani has a distinct character with its unique mud mosques crowning its hilltops and fanning out around the town. We arrive in Kaya in time to browse around the leathercrafts at the Hall des Artisans and overnight. Breakfast included.
Day 11: Ouagadougou. After breakfast, we continue on to Ouagadougou , and make a tour of the town visiting the National Museum , Moro Naba Palace, the crocodile lagoons of the urban Bangr-Weoogo Park and the craft markets where quality crafted items as well as the more mundane souvenirs can be purchased. Breakfast included.
Day 12: Deux Bales Forest / Bobo Dioulasso. We depart towards Bobo, stopping en route at the pond of sacred crocodiles at Sabou, and continue on to Boromo for lunch in the campement. In the Deux Bales forest we will try to see dome elephants before continuing on to Ouahabou to see its Suanese style mud mosque. Then we stop off at the picturesque Koro before arriving at Bobo Dioulasso. Breakfast included.
Day 13: Bobo. Bobo-Dioulasso is Mali second city, and the place to see or buy local art and crafts. It a fun place to eat, drink and generally chill out. Today we visit the market - Bobo beating heart, and wander around the pottery and craft markets to see the bronzes, masks and the well crafted Lobi statuettes. The Great Mosque of Dioulassoba is a very impressive Sudanese construction. Dinner and overnight at Bobo. Breakfast included.
Day 14: Sikasso. Today we pass through the most fertile, bread- basket regions of both Burkina and Mali, passing mango and tea plantations, cotton, millet and cornfields en route. It is an area rich both agriculturally and ethnically, with Bambara, Peul, Bobo and Minianka present as well as the majority Séopufo. It is a region curiously devoid of tourists probably due to the must-sees of other Mali regions, so that in itself makes for an interesting visit. Breakfast included.
Day 15: Bamako. A last day drive along good highway takes us back to Bamako. On the way you can reflect on the sights and sounds of the previous two weeks, having visited one of the most culturally diverse regions in Africa if not in the world. Arrive Bamako in the afternoon for some rest or last minute souvenir shopping in the market before being transferred to the airport for your flight.
PRICE: (excluding international flights) On request.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
Local airport taxes, insurance, beverages, visas, gratuities, and all personal costs.
Visas are required for this tour. We can take care of most Visas please contact us for the latest information.
The local payment together with the tour price forms the overall price of the tour. The local payment is paid in Euros cash to your tour leader on day 1 of the tour rather than being prepaid with your tour price. In some cases this is used for a specific purpose, but in most cases it is used to cover a proportion of the local operating costs whilst in the bush where it may be difficult to obtain hard currency.
Comfortable 3 star accommodation, occasional 2 star/ campement when in the bush / Dogon village.
Breakfast in hotels and campements (12 nights). Full board 2 nights in Dogon villages.While we endeavour to cater for special dietary requirements we do ask clients to be flexible. The choice of food available is often limited. Please advise us at the time of booking of your special dietary needs.
TWIN SHARE OR SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
Accommodation is based on twin share. Single travelers are required to pay a single supplement. If you are booking as a single but would prefer to share we will try to match you with another single traveler of the same sex. If we find a suitable sharing partner for you the single supplement will be refunded.
HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
Mali – Tours of Bamako Segou- Djenné- Mopti boat trip – trekking in Dogon country -Burkina – Ouahigouya – Dori – Sahel region - Ouagadougou Deux Bales Forest – Bobo Dioulasso. Entry fees as per itinerary.
Travel by road in a region without sophisticated tourist infrastructure. Fairly comfortable, but with a need for the traveler to be flexible regarding the itinerary/timings etc. Can be hot and dusty at times. The rewards are being in countries that remains well off the beaten tourist track, and being extremely rich in diverse cultures.
4 x 4.
English speaking guide.
4 to 12. Private tour for 2 persons can be taken.
Request Only, Contact For More Information.
Royal Air Maroc or Air France.