Mali Tourist Attractions site.

    DOGON

    Since the XIV century the Dogon people live mainly in the Dogon Plateau, near the Bandiagara Fault, one of the most impressive sceneries of the country. For years they have succeeded to keep their culture virtually free from foreign influences, transmitting it orally from one generation to the next. Declared World Heritage by UNESCO is one more magical place in Mali.

    The walls of the Fault used to be home of the Tellem people, Bandiagara’s former inhabitants. It is said that they would access their dwellings climbing through the countless creeping plants that covered those walls. Currently, those dwellings are used by the Dogon people to bury their deceased.

    Dogon people are mostly animists, although a small number of them have adopted Muslim and Christian religions. They devote themselves to agriculture, particularly to the production of millet, their daily staple.

    While visiting the Dogon country we will have the opportunity to be acquainted with some of their traditions, to listen to their magical accounts, and to know their houses, formed by a series of dwellings built around a central patio where they perform their daily duties. Also we will get to know their barns, crowned with a conical thatched roof, where women and men keep their belongings separately; the house of the word, or toguna, meeting quarters of the elders that join there to speak, debate or take decisions about the village, with low roofing to facilitate a quiet discussion; the houses of the menstruation, where women retire during their menstrual periods; and the house of the hogon, the tribal chief who is in charge to transmit all his knowledge to his successor.

    TIMBUKTU

    The name of this city referes to the first Tuareg settlement around the well (tim) that was watched over by female keeperBuktú(big navel) when the Tuaregs were away.

    Mythical city at the margins of the Sahara desert, iIt was said in the XIX century that it was paved in gold; currently is an isolated city undergoing a difficult economical situation.

    The city enjoyed its most prosperous times during the XVI century when it was the most important center of the trans-Saharan traffic, where salt was traded by gold. It also was one of the most important centers for Islamic studies where great thinkers like Ahmed Baba were formed.

    At the XIX century there was nothing left of this splendid past, but the legends about the city continued to attract Europeann travelers who tried to reach this mythical place accessible only to Muslims. Among those adventurers, Mungo Park, that had to abandon his efforts after falling sick; Gordon Laing, murdered by the Tuaregs; and René Caillié, who made it into the city disguised as a Muslim.

    Tuareg revolts for Independence, dutiong the first years of the 1990, ended in 1995 with the signature of several agreements. The Place of the Peace Flame boasts a monument built as a symbol of peace with the Tuaregs.

    Between October and March, Tuareg caravans coming from the salt mines of Taoudenni keep arriving to the city.

    Distinguished by the UNESCO as World Heritage, Tombuctu continues to hold its magical charm.

    Sites of particular interest that are worth visiting: The Djingareiber Mosque; the Sankore Mosque; the Sidi Yahia Mosque; the houses of early explorers, Gordon Laing and René Caillié, the Great market, the Tuareg Market, the Buktu well, and the Ahmed Baba Center for Historical Documentation and Research.

    DJENNE

    City of unique adobe architecture boasting the biggest adobe Mosque in the world: Komboro Mosque, built by King Komboro at the end of the XIIIth century and rebuild in 1905. at the back of the Mosque stands the tomb of Tapama Djenepo, a girl sacrificed for the prosperity of the city.

    Other places worth visiting are: the colorful Great Market; Koranic schools where children write the Koran on wooden tablets; the archeological site of Djenne Djeno and the Cultural Museum.

    MOPTI

    For its central location and busy harbor it is a meeting point for virtually all the ethnical groups of Mali.

    Of particular interest is Mopti’s busy and animated river port crowded with boats arriving and leaving with all kinds of products, people buying and selling, and market stalls where you can find the most eclectic variety of goods. Here we will visit workshops where the river boats called "pinasses" are built and repaired.

    We will also visit the craft market, and the old city (Komoguel), where the Sougouni Market and Great Mosque, dating from 1935, are located.

    SEGOU

    Once the capital of the bambara Kingdom, it is a quiet city with a particular charm; ideal to stroll along the shore of the Niger River and under the shade of the numerousbalanzansor butter trees that are so abundant in this area. Adobe houses alternate with colonial style buildings.

    Recommended visits are the market and its "bogolan" (cotton fabrics dyed with organic pigments over designs outlined in mud of various colors) and bambara pottery workshops.

    BAMAKO

    Bamako is the capital of Mali, a genuinely African city of great contrasts: traditional and modern, quiet and full of activity, with busy markets, chaotic traffic, luxury cars along with some very old wrecks, paved roads and dusty paths, magnificent mansions next to very humble dwellings.
    Two bridges join the city’s North and South areas, which extraordinarily facilitates to get oriented in the city: the old bridge, called Pont des Martyrs, and the new bridge, called Pont du Roi Fhad.

    Among other places of interest worth visiting: the Great Mosque, the Cathedral, the Great Market, the crafts market, and Bamako’s National Museum.






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