Remembering the Dogon Trek, Mali

Hi all. I am planning a post for tips on Dogon Trekking as it seems a few people have been interested by my posts on this amazing place. That should be coming during the next week!

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For now I will continue on with Saturday’s theme of reminiscing. What follows is my one and only post on my time in the Dogon Country, Mali, when I visited it in 2007. The reason I only posted once, and that was after the trek itself, is that in 2007 internet in Mali was diabolical. I doubt it’s all that much better now, and I’d be surprised if there’s coverage in the Dogon area at all – it’s essentially without electricity after all. BUT it’s probably likely you can get a mobile phone signal, so who knows. Nevertheless this post was bashed out in a small internet café in Bandiagara on the last day of the trek. The town for the most part was very ramshackle (although the hotel was surprisingly nice) and mostly made of posts and corrugated iron. The internet was unbelievably slow. I was lucky to be able to post at all.

House in the cliffs and below.

House in the cliffs and below.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dogon trekking, Across the universe

Here I am in Mopti, Mali. I am sorry for the lack of recent postings but it just hasn`t been possible.
A week ago I left Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and took a bus to Ouigouyah in the north. My friend Paul and I met a couple of Irish girls and we teamed up to visit the Dogon country, along with Timbuctu this country’s premier tourist attraction.
The Dogon Escarpment stretches for some 150 kms, basically a large long cliff. Tribes live both below and above this escarpment. We found a guide, and from Bankass in Mali we set about trekking some of this area.
Starting at a village called Kani-Kombelai were walked along the bottom of the escarpment to villages Ende and Teli. We slept on the rooves under the stars and enjoyed the hospitality offered; even though there was no electricity and the food was basic.
The next day we climbed the escarpment to Begnimato. It’s all very rural but the scenery is just breathtaking. Ok; so they have coke for sale. The heat is bad so a coolish drink never goes astray. Much of the village life hasnt changed much for ages.
Another rooftop night, and then we were driven to Bandiagara the next day. Then yesterday to Mopti.
Paul and myself took a trip on the Bani river yesterday which was great; then today we did a day trip to the town of Djenne where the worlds biggest mud-brick structure, an amazing mosque, stands. We were guided around there for a while, another amazing place. tomorrow its onto a town called Segou….

A village from the cliffs

A village from the cliffs

From the top.

From the top.

THOUGHTS: So you can see, it was a really basic post, but one I am very happy to have as I no longer have my diaries from this and most trips as dedicated readers of my blog would know. I actually have a record of the towns that I visited which you know, I couldn’t recall just by trying to remember. Blogging from West Africa was never easy or expedient. It was a case of typing it all in Microsoft Word first so that when copied and pasted, and after I’d clicked ‘post’ I didn’t lose it if the thing timed out without posting!

Rooftop sleeping

Rooftop sleeping

So anyways, it’s great to look back and remember the actual route! Dogon Country is brilliant and recommended, if the situation is safe enough. More on that too soon! Take care and May the Journey Never End!

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4 comments

  • Judging by the images here, it looks like a very isolated place! There is positive side for not having internet during travels, then we focus more to enjoy the place we visited 🙂

  • After countless times of losing everything I’ve written, I’ve learned to write it all into a word document first and then copy to the blog for formatting. I guess you’ve clearly learned that as well, and I hope you didn’t lose too much valuable stuff each time. I know that can be frustrating. This trip, judging from your photos, looks like an amazing one. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and photos of the Dogon Trek, Andy. Great stuff man!

  • I was looking forward to reading this post and seeing the pics. What a fascinating place! Really out there.. hope to visit it one day 🙂

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