The Great Trek to Timbuktu


Arrive in Bamako at 2:30. Transfer to your hotel. Enjoy breakfast in your hotel. Relax by the pool. Adjust to the time change. After breakfast you will receive a tour of the capital city, Bamako, situated on the Niger, one of Africa's greatest rivers. Meet participants in the Bamako Scholarship Project, sponsored by Legend Treks. Overnight in Bamako.


Breakfast in your hotel. Free time to explore Bamako. Visit the National Museum. Visit a fishing village alongside the Niger River. Observe the process of hand making wooden boats, little changed for hundreds of years. Watch men and women preparing beautiful cloth for which Mali is famous. Overnight in Bamako.


Breakfast in your hotel. Visit the city market, walk through the large arts and crafts center where sculptors, weavers, leather workers, jewelers and metal workers exhibit their wares and skills. Walk through the fetish market where you will find traditional African medicines. Also, you will see freshly shrunken heads of birds, monkeys and crocodiles. Overnight in Bamako.


Breakfast in your hotel. We will travel by air conditioned 4 x 4 to Segou, the second largest city in Mali. We will walk along the quiet riverbank enjoying the pottery market and the mud clothes fabric centers. This is a pleasant change from the hectic pace of Bamako. Overnight in Segou.


After breakfast we board our 4 x 4 again for the journey to the unique city of D'Jenne. There we will walk the mysterious alleys of the oldest continuously occupied city in Africa. We will see the magnificent Grand Mosque, the largest mud-brick building in the world, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites. During the afternoon we will depart for Sevare where we will overnight in a truly unique establishment, Mac's Refuge, where rooms are individually styled to reflect the culture of Mali's many ethnic groups and the food is legendary.


After a wonderful breakfast we will drive the short distance to the enchanting riverside city of Mopti. This is a wonderful city, full of energy and excitement. Walk along the harbor front and see goods from all over Mali, destined for countries throughout West Africa. See the salt blocks brought by camel caravans from salt mines deep in the Sahara. You will find bargains in cloth products and precious stones. We will overnight in Mac's Refuge. You may want to explore Mac's reference library after the banquet dinner meal.


After breakfast we will board local bush taxi transport and set out for the Dogon country. With its fascinating rocky, Sahelian landscape, the Dogon country is considered to be one of the most extraordinary places on earth. The Dogon are best known for their culture which is surrounded in mysticism and intrigue, from an astonishing knowledge of the solar system to the unique structure of the Dogon villages. Our first stop is Nombori, the trail head of our three day trek. Tonight we will sleep in one of the village campements, a collection of mud brick buildings which are centered on a courtyard. Most campements have rooms. Yet sleeping on the flat roof under the stars can be a wonderful experience.


Our breakfast today will be tea, homemade bread with jam and cheese. We will meet the Dogon people and begin to learn some of their mysterious ways. We will climb to ancient cliff side structures built by the ancient Tellem, the mysterious people who preceeded the Dogon on the escarpment. We will over night in the village of Treli. Our evening meals will usually be rice with a sauce of vegetables or meat.


Today we will awake in the cool of the desert air and resume our trek after a filling breakfast and a hot cup of coffee. As we pass through each village we will stop to hear ancient tales which have been passed down orally through many generations. As we become more familiar with the Dogon people we will be able to assess needs that could be met through Legend Treks' Trailside Community Action Program. You will be able to have a direct impact on decisions made that will have a positive impact on Dogon lives. Tonight we will overnight in the Banani campement.

DAY 10

We awake to begin our last day in Dogon Country. We trek to Sanga, one of the largest Dogon villages. It's a fascinating place to explore. Of particular interest is the Ogol Da section, which is full of temples, fetishes and shrines. After lunch we will begin our return trip to Sevare by private 4 x 4. We will enjoy a final evening at Mac's Refuge. This might be the perfect time to experience Mac's talents as a qualified masseur.

DAY 11

Following another of Mac's famous breakfasts, we will transfer to the Sevare airport for our flight to Timbuktu. After a tour of this legendary city we will journey into the Sahara by camel and visit a Taureg desert camp and return to Timbuktu for dinner and overnight stay in the famous Hotel La Maison. You experience why the food here is famous throughout Mali.

DAY 12

After a relaxed breakfast, we transfer to the Timbuktu airport for our flight to Bamako. Now that you have seen much of Mali culture, you will enjoy returning to the Great Market and search for great deals in precious stones and African crafts. Overnight in one of Bamako's premier hotels.

DAY 13

Our last day in Mali. Now you are much more comfortable as an explorer in this part of Africa. You have time to return to sites which have captured your interest and imagination. We bid farewell to the children of the Bamako Scholarship Project and enjoy a delicious dinner on the bank of the mighty Niger. We have a late night departure for New York via either Paris or Casablanca.


The cost of this trek is available on request. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates and seasonal factors must be considered when you finalize your itinerary. In addition, your cost will vary, based on features you may choose to add or subtract from the above itinerary. Legend Treks does guarantee, however, to beat the cost charged by any other major provider, for the same itinerary. Legend Treks can include international airfare advice and/or include the airfare in the final cost package. We look forward to hearing from you. We assure you this will be a life changing adventure.

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