a VirtualTourist member asked on Nov 22, 2010
I am a single traveler who has decided at the last minute to go to Mali for only 2 short weeks. I arrive this Saturday night/Sunday morning at midnight from Morocco. I am Canadian. I cannot afford to do any tour by myself. This is my second trip to Mali.
I realize most guided tours for people who are unfamiliar with the country and want to have a relaxing stress-free trip. Unfortunately the cost of such a trip is too much for me - a single traveler. If I had known that I was going to Mali 6 months ago I would have time to find fellow travelers and do such a trip. I have been to Mali before and understand the challenges that travelers face. For that reason I ask if anyone has a tour planned in the next 2 weeks and is looking for someone to help share costs.
For me my biggest challenge is getting from Mopti to Dogon country and back in a quick amount of time. If I had time I could easily spend a few days in Mopti or Sevare finding fellow tourists for a trek. I don't need guided tours of Djenne and Tombouctou. I've been there before and simply want to return to take beautiful photographs.
However in Dogon country I definitely need a guide because I do not know what is sacred or when I can take photos or where the guesthouse is. Comme beaucoup de canadiens je parle francais mais pas une langue Dogon ou Maliene.
I really am just in need of help to get from Mopti to the Dogon and back without wasting time trying to negotiate, plan a trek and find fellow travelers. I intend to spend a few days in Djenne and surrounding villages. i don't want a pinasse trip up the Niger to Tombouctou because this is time consuming and I did that back in 2001.
I was hoping I could see Djenne, Mopti, Dogon and Tombouctou in a 2 week period but as I remember from 2001 that is next to impossible unless I spend a lot of money for a 4x4. I don’t have enough time to arrange a group over the internet so I am sorry but I think my best plan will be to go to Djenne for a few days and HOPE insha’allah I meet a group going to Dogon that I can join. If not then I’ll go to Mopti and insha’allah see if there is anyone about to leave. If not, I’ll go to Tombouctou. I guess I will not see everything I want but I may return in another 10 years. I get the impression that you are based out of Bamako and the cost of a return trip from Bamako is quite expensive for me alone. Do you know of Dogon tour operators that are based in Mopti/Sevare that can give me a price that won’t charge we for transporting the vehicle from and back to Bamako? Or is my only chance to be extremely lucky and meet with an already organized trip in Djenne/Mopti/Sevare/Bandiagara that could use another paying tourist?
If insha'allah you know of people who need another person to join their trek then I am willing to be a member of a larger group in order to save time.
Please send any responses to BOTH of my e-mail addresses: phil_marion(AT)otpp.com and philmarion(AT)hotmail.com