EXPEDITION to Mali February 2023

Feb 7th – Feb 14th (2023)
7 nights
Price: 1990€
FAQ
Itinerary
What’s included/what’s not

Why visit Mali

Despite an unfortunate, ongoing conflict that has sealed some of the most astonishing sites in the country from regular tourists, Mali is still out there, Malians carry on with their lives and, with a bit of planning, some of their human-made wonders can be visited without any complication.

From unspoiled villages to breathtaking man-made monuments and extraordinary landscapes, Mali might be the sub-Saharan African country with the biggest touristic potential, the highlight of our expedition being Djenné, today a raw, untouched city home to the largest mud building in the world, a jaw-dropping mosque that left me absolutely moved.

This is one of the most unique expeditions we have offered up-to-date.

Djenné is a jaw-dropping city to visit

FAQ

Is it safe?

Some areas in Mali can be dangerous but the riskiest areas are concentrated north of Mopti and in the Dogon country, and we are not going anywhere near there.

Regarding Djenné, we will visit it on a day trip from San, just to be safer.

Visa

There are two ways of getting a visa:

  • Via embassy: Many embassies can issue you a visa but note that they all have different rules and prices. Some embassies will issue your visa in only one day, while others take 2 or 3 days. Prices vary too, but they tend to cost up to 70€.
  • On arrival: Our team in Mali can get you a visa pre-approval, so you don’t need to collect it at the embassy but directly at the airport. The price of this service (with visa fees included) is 100€.

How to get there

The tour starts in Bamako, which has an international airport.

The most common connections to Bamako are via Paris (Air France), Morocco (Royal Air Maroc), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) or Tunis (Tunis Air). Dakar is a common stopover too.

Tour dates and Tour Leaders

The expedition will take place from February 7th to 13th – 7 days, 6 nights.

The expedition will be led by Joan Torres and an expert Mali local guide.

Remember that you can also combine it with:

7-day Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Bamako
Day 2 – Full day in Bamako
Day 3 – Siby area
Day 4 – Ségou
Day 5 – Ségou
Day 6 – San
Day 7 – Djenné and back to Bamako
Day 8 – Departure

Day 1 – Arrival in Bamako

Day 1 is the arrival day in the capital of Mali, a day which we will spend picking you up from the airport, as well as welcoming you, checking into the hotel, and having a few beers.

In the evening, we will all have a welcoming dinner, so we can start to know each other, while we talk about the upcoming adventure.

Overnight in Bamako.

Day 2 – Full day exploring Bamako

I like Bamako because it is as vibrant as chaotic, and home to kind-hearted Malians who will use any excuse to play some music and dance along the bustling streets.

Being a relatively new city compared to all historical sites found in Mali, Bamako lacks architectural gems as such but, from a cultural point of view, you will definitely love getting lost in the market lanes, checking out the vegetable gardens along the Niger River, or just strolling down the streets while dodging the endless scooters.

In Bamako, we will visit the medicinal market, the artisan market, the grand mosque, and the sand collectors.

things to do in Bamako
The sand collectors of Bamako

In the evening, we will look for a place with Mali music.

Overnight in Bamako.

how to travel to Bamako
Bamako is a busy city, but a great place where to start your Mali itinerary

Day 3 – Siby

Siby is an area 50km south of Bamako that belongs to the Manding Mountains, a highland area from southern Mali which stretches all the way to Guinea Conakry, and home to the Malinke people, one of the main ethnic groups in West Africa.

The area around Siby is a pretty scenic area for trekking, with vertiginous cliffs and peculiar rock formations like the arch of Kamadjan.

The arch of Kamadjan Siby
The arch of Kamadjan

We will explore some of its natural wonders, as well as check out the mango plantations. February is the mango season in Mali, and all mangos come from here so, if you like mangos, know that in Siby you have all-you-can-eat mangos.

Siby is also home to unspoiled villages barely visited by travelers, and we will be checking out a few.

Overnight in Siby.

Malinke people in Siby

Day 4 – Ségou

Early morning, we will head for Ségou, a laid-back town with a particularly chilled-out atmosphere, sitting on the shores of the Niger River, and a real highlight of this trip.

Upon our arrival, we will have our main meal, check out the local market, and then we will take a boat to sail across the Niger River.

Ségou Monday market
Ségou Monday market

I remember there was a pretty cool bar by the river in Ségou so that we can finish our day there.

Overnight in Ségou.

Ségou by the river

Day 5 – Full day in Ségou

There are so many things to do in this area, including an authentic textile workshop which we will visit, and villages like Koro, which we will visit as well.

Overnight in Ségou.

Day 6 – San

In the morning, we will take things slowly and then head to San, a small Malian city located around 3 hours from Ségou, and home to one of the most famous mud mosques in the country, after the one in Djenné and Timbuktu.

This is also our base for visiting Djenné.

We will have lunch, visit the mosque and enjoy the local life.

Overnight in San.

Day 7 – Djenné and back to Bamako

Very early in the morning, we will drive to Djenné.

Once an important commercial center that competed directly with Timbuktu along the trans-Saharan route, Djenné was also considered to be one of the most cosmopolitan towns in all of Africa but, unlike Timbuktu, Djenné went into decline much quicker, in the 16th century, and what used to be one of the most important centers for Islamic scholarship, is today nothing more than an agricultural, rural town.

Nonetheless, Djenné is absolutely photogenic, since the well-preserved town is entirely built of mud, typically a mix of sand, water and cow dung, making it very pleasant to your eyes.

In Djenné, we will visit the mosque, as well as Quranic schools and of course, we will get lost among its lanes.

After lunch, we will head for Bamako.

Overnight in Bamako.

Djenné

Day 8 – Back home and transfer

On the last day, we will take care of your airport transfer.

Tour cost

The total tour cost is 1990€ per person.

What’s included in the price?

  • Accommodation in the hotels mentioned below
  • Travel insurance that covers Mali
  • Breakfast + lunch
  • Private transportation and driver around Mauritania
  • Airport transfers
  • Local taxes and fees for all touristic sites
  • English-speaking, knowledgeable guide

Hotels we stay:

What’s NOT included?

  • Single supplement (140€)
  • Visa fees
  • International flights
  • Dinner
  • Extra drinks and entrance fees to places not listed in the itinerary

Payments

In order to secure your spot on the tour, we require a 500€ deposit.

How to send a payment:

  • Via a standard bank transfer to an EU bank in €

If you don’t have an EU bank, we also offer:

  • Revolut
  • Wise.com
  • Credit card payment via a secure form powered by Stripe. However, we do charge an additional 3% to cover Stripe fees
  • Paypal. However, we do charge an additional 5% to cover Paypal fees

The remaining amount shall be sent no later than 60 days before the beginning of the trip, so December 7th

Cancellation Policy

Is the 500€ deposit refundable?

If you cancel before 60 days, we will do our best to try to find you a replacement. If we find it, we will refund you with the whole deposit minus 100€, to compensate for the cost and effort of looking for another person. otherwise, the deposit is non-refundable.

What about the remaining balance?

  • 60 days or more prior to departure: full refund
  • 59-30 days prior to departure: 50% refund
  • 29-15 prior to departure: 25% refund
  • Less than 15 days: no refund

Do you have any further questions about the tour?