NEW YORK -- Arranging a journey on the road to Timbuktu has become
easier with the opening of a U.S. booking office for Mali-based
Bambara African Tours.
Headquartered in Bamako, the Bambara specializes in culturally
rich, risk-free adventure expeditions to sub-Saharan Africa for
small groups of four or more people.
According to Bambara's director, Thiemoko Dembele, "While our
company has explored in depth most of West Africa -- Burkina Faso,
Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo -- our home base country of Mali offers
U.S. travelers a fascinating one-stop destination, which we have
packaged into itineraries lasting from seven to 11 nights.
"We are marketing Mali directly in the U.S. through Waterfall
Communications to make our exotic destination more accessible to
agents, who will find that Mali offers U.S. travelers a uniqueness
found nowhere else," said Dembele.
The company's marketing tools include a brochure on Mali, a Web
site at www.discovertimbuktu.com that introduces both the
country and Bambara African Tours' products and services and a
series of travel agent fam trips.
Bambara's 11-night itinerary includes all accommodations, meals
and overland transportation. The land cost is $2,700 per person for
four or more persons and $3,100 for two people. Group bookings of
11 participants earn a 12th passenger a free tour.
Tour guests will visit the Ahmed Baba library for a general
overview of the mysteries of legendary Timbuktu; see the town's
Sudanese mosques and Buktu museum along with meeting Tuareg
artisans, and hop on a camel ride to a Tuareg tribal encampment for
tea, accompanied by a local dance and music performance.
The itinerary starts in Bamako, following a flight aboard Sabena
from the U.S. to the Mali capital with a connection in
After a tour of Bamako's lively markets, colonial buildings and
ethnic museum, travelers continue by air-conditioned desert cruiser
to Segou on the Niger River. This was once the royal residence of
the Bambara emperors and is now the takeoff point for Dogon
The Dogon is a community whose people live mostly in the Homburi
Mountains near Timbuktu. The inhabitants are famous as artisans who
express themselves with wooden masks, ritual figures and
elaborately carved doors.
Visitors also tour this region's 90-mile escarpment, the
Bandiagara Cliff, a spectacular setting for the villages and cave
dwellings -- some dating to the 14th century -- that are built into
From Dogon, visitors travel to the colorful market in Djenne,
where the tribes of the Niger Valley come weekly to trade. Here are
the majestic adobe structures created by the Songhai known as the
The visit continues from Djenne to Mopti, known as the "Venice
of Mali" due to its many riverfront canals.
Along the Niger river banks are many examples of Sudanese
architecture, and travelers will take a river boat trip to visit
For further information, contact Waterfall Communications in New
York at (877) GO-2-MALI or via e-mail: [email protected].