Blogs from Mali, Africa - page 5


Africa » Mali February 22nd 2011

Looking for a CD.... I was trying to track down a CD and this led to my wife, Denise & I heading off to "the end of the World" to the fabled city of Timbuktu. This is how it happened. In 2009 I was looking for African music for a photoshow of a previous trip to eastern Africa and found a track by Issa Bagayogo from Mali. In early 2010 after many failed attempts to find a CD by him in Sydney, I tried the internet and found it on a CD called "Tassoumakan". Scrolling through I looked at various Malian musicians and with the links became aware of The Festival au Desert at Essakane about 60kms from Timbuktu..held early January each year which suits my holidays...but how on earth could a couple of Aussies get ... read more

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Bandiagara February 17th 2011

Hello everyone, sorry for the delay in blogs but have been out of e-mail contact for last 3 weeks. In the last week of our travels in Ethiopia - lots to tell you all about but that will have to wait until we finish off Mali. Hope you are all well and safe. Regards, Roslyn. Date: 29/12/2010 Lunch: Teli.....Evening: Ende This morning we walked 4km from Kani Kombole to Teli - a reasonable sized village with Tellem dwellings. There is a well preserved Tellem village along the escarpment which is abandoned today but sometimes used for storage in the graneries and for burial sites. The Tellem people eventually moved out of the escarpment village and down onto the plain, however, it was a great experience to climb around this village and learn about the lifestyle - ... read more
Just keeping an eye on my bags...
Very easy on the eye while walking in the Dogon.

Africa » Mali » Centre » Djenné January 12th 2011

Djenne (pronounded Jenny) was the place that everyone was anticipating and we were anxious to get there - but the drive there and the l-o-n-g lunch break just seemed to drag the day out. We were nearly there and discovered that we have to cross the Niger River by ferry - and there was a line up of vehicles and people............but each trip across the river has been a real experience.......switch into African time and just enjoy.......we were soo close that we could see the town but we had to wait for our turn on the ferry and make our way through the barrage of trinket sellers......needless to say that we have purchased quite a few items and they all enjoy the opportunity to bargain with you. Djenne was founded in the 13th century and is ... read more
Loading onto the ferry
Djenne mosque
 Djenne mosque

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti January 12th 2011

We left beautiful dusty Djenne hoping to be reunited with our luggage sometime today - not sure what the plans are - but something will work out. We had to re-cross the Niger River again to continue onto Dogon country and we shared this experience with a lot of people still making their way home from the market. It appears that there is always a line up and quite a long wait to get across the river and we will do this many times in this trip. While waiting in line one 4 wheel drive vehicle pushed in front of everyone and a great scene developed as one of the guys that we are travelling with stood in front of this vehicle and wouldn't let them onto the ferry........this vehicle was trying to by pass lots ... read more
Dogon artifacts
Starting point Dogon country
Micheal checking out the way down

Africa » Mali » North-East January 11th 2011

Our trip actually started on Christmas Day when we left Bamako (still minus luggage and particularly worrying - Michael's medicine) and drove to Segou. It is about 240km east of Bamako and sits on the Niger River - the trip took us most of the day - a good opportunity for our group to get to know each other. We stopped for Christmas lunch on the side of the road and had bread, goat and watermelon. Merry Christmas - we all commented that we usually had watermelon for Christmas at home. It was a really quiet spot and slowly the kids from the village started to come closer to us. The boys are a bit more adventurous than the girls and as they became more confident, they crept closer and helped finish off our lunch and ... read more
Our hotel Segou
River view of Segou
Lazy trip up the river on Christmas Day

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 1st 2011

Firstly Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. We have not been in Mali for about 11 days - hard to keep up with the days and date....but we have power this am and hopefully internet later today so I will start at the beginning. We arrived in Bamako (capital of Mali) on 22nd December minus our luggage. The flights from Bangkok to Addis and then to Bamako made it a very long day - about 16 hours in the air, plus down time at airports and we lost about 11 hours in actual time. Thankfully we had a 20 hour stop over in Bangkok to catch up on some sleep otherwise I don't think I could have handled the lost luggage thing as well. I was only one of about 50 people who didn't ... read more
Bamako airport
local bus bamako
street scene bamako

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Bandiagara December 27th 2010

That afternoon we headed on our way to Bandiagara, where we would have a night before our Dogon trek started. At the ferry crossing (again pretty quick!) we managed to buy some water bottle carriers made from mud cloth. We didn’t really want them, but the guy kept following us and Ryan kept chucking out really low figures off-handedly and he actually finally agreed! Off we went to Bandiagara, to stay at the Auberge Kansaye owned by a friendly rasta guy. Usually at this time of the year, you need to book months in advance to get accommodation easily...... proof of the scare tactics by the Foreign offices is that we were the only people staying at the Auberge. Again, roof camping was the order of the day which we quite enjoyed. The afternoon was spent ... read more
One of the best sunsets we've ever seen - our photos dont do it justice
Awesome stuff...
Pretty cool statues

Africa » Mali » Centre » Djenné December 26th 2010

We headed off to visit Djenne and Dogon Country on Boxing day with Ian, Kirsten and Ryan – keeping in the kiwi tradition of road trips on Boxing Day and all that :-) We crammed all 5 of us into our Dogon guide’s car – Sori, a Dogon, who lives in Bamako and was going to take us up to Djenne and the Dogon Country and be our local guide throughout. After trying several patterns we found that it was best to have either Martin or Ian in the middle of the backseat with either myself or Kirsten crouched between, legs over the centre console, then someone either side of us and one in the front seat. Not the most comfortable of course but not that bad either – and saved taking a whole lot of ... read more
Sunset as we crossed the river to Djenne
Charming streets of Djenne
Colourful markets

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako December 20th 2010

We crossed into Mali at the Senegal border town of Kadira and first up had another three nights of bushcamps. The Boabab trees seem to be everywhere now, they’re such awesome looking trees! We stopped near a whole group of towering Boabab’s for lunch just after crossing through the border. However, a policeman from the border who had asked (and been refused) bribes from us drove up on his motorbike and decided to throw his weight around and tell us we couldn’t stop on this (albeit public) land. On we moved to the other side of a guard post... approximately 1km down the road..... which turned out to be outside of his ‘jurisdiction’ and therefore we could resume lunch without interruption :-). That day we stopped at Keyes, reputed to be the ‘hottest town in Africa’ ... read more
Us with Sheepy at a Malian village
Towering Baobabs
Bunny with the village children

Africa » Mali December 18th 2010

When I went to Mali I decided I would keep a journal. I knew that I wouldn't have internet access so I thought that if I took everything down on paper I could transcribe it up here upon my return. I kind of forgot about it for a while. This past week I was volunteering with Canada World Youth, helping facilitate a re-orientation session for a couple of groups who just returned from Mali. One group had lived in Karadie, the same village I did my program in. Before I started the presentation with another CWY alumni, a girl came up to me and said she recognized me from the photos in my blog, which she had found before her program and read. I couldn't believe it, I didn't even know it was still up. And ... read more
The beginning of the journey...
Sara and Teresa
Hey Sara, we're going to Mali! Today!

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