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Born Free Safaris and Tours
Safaris, Tours and Travel to Africa for 35 Years
Series: Spirit of Adventure, Odyssey
Location: Mali
Length: 9 Days
Accommodation Comfort: Simple Pleasures, Expedition Class
Priced From: $3694.00

Grand Hotel
Hotel Kanaga
Hotel Hendrina Khan
Hotel Campement Guina
Hotel Independence

Dogon Country

Message a Safari Specialist

Complete a Safari Planner


Mali – the Land of Timbuktu


West Africa is an area of mysterious, exotic and historic countries. Discover the many cultures, visit ancient and historic cities, travel through deserts and meet voodoo priests. Art is abundant and the beauty of the human spirit is striking. Travel to one or several of the culturally-rich countries that make up this region. Born Free Tours offers a true “West Africa Mosaic”. Choose to take one of our special scheduled departure group tours, or we will create a special-interest mosaic with segments to Senegal, the Gambia, Ghana, Benin and Mali on a custom itinerary. Many trips are built around the fabulous festivals of each country.

This Spirit of Adventure journey takes you to mystical Timbuktu, the Sahara Desert and down the Niger River. Step back in time as you visit unusual villages and meet the colorful people. This destination is truly for the adventurer; our associates are excellent but the country does offer challenges. Hotels are clean and comfortable but little should be expected. Drives are long and dusty, and plans may have to be changed at the last minute. If you are ready to explore this region, we can guarantee you a unique and fabulous journey!

Explore mystical Timbuktu

Take an excursion to the Sahara Desert

See the ancient cliff-side homes in a Dogon village

Float down the Niger River at sunset on a private river boat

Visit a nomadic Tuareg camp

Day 01: Bamako
Day 02: Segou – Mopti
Day 03: Mopti – Djenne
Day 04: Timbuktu
Day 05: Timbuktu
Day 06: Dogon Country
Day 07: Dogon Country
Day 08: Segou
Day 09: Bamako / Your Journey Onwards

Full Itinerary


DAY 1 Bamako

Welcome to Bamako, Mali’s dynamic capital city. On arrival you will be warmly welcomed by our representative and driven to your hotel. Here you can relax and become accustomed to your new surroundings.

Grand Hotel or similar

DAY 2 Bamako To Segou To Mopti

Today you begin your Born Free discovery journey of Mali! Stop in Wolodo to meet local craftsman, famous for making traditional mud cloths. There will also be demonstration on how the cloths are woven and dyed. Stop in the former colonial capital of Segou and visit the excellent pottery market located on the scenic waterfront. Drive through the heartland of Mali to Mopti, “the Venice of Mali”, for the night.

Hotel Kanaga or similar (Breakfast)

DAY 3 Mopti To Djenne To Niger River

Spend the morning exploring Mopti: visit the Komoguel mosque, the fishing port to see pirogues being made, and the bustling market where many of Mali’s ethnic groups come to trade. Take a fascinating excursion to Djenne, ancient sister-city of Timbuktu, on its colorful weekly market day. Djenne is home to the magnificent Great Mosque, the world’s largest mud brick structure and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Return to Mopti for a relaxing sunset sail on the Niger River.

Hotel Kanaga or similar (Breakfast)

DAY 4 Mopti To Timbuktu

Travel onward to the legendary city of Timbuktu, gateway to the Sahara Desert, a 6 hour drive. The road passes through the interesting Sahel ecosystem, the transitional zone that runs between the Sahara desert and the savannah.

Hotel Hendrina Khan or similar (Breakfast)

DAY 5 Timbuktu

Explore the legendary city of Timbuktu: see the ancient mosques, former universities, museums, archives of ancient Islamic manuscripts, explorers’ houses, and the market which receives salt caravans from the desert. In the afternoon, depart on an exciting camel caravan into the Sahara to visit a Tuareg camp; the nomadic Tuareg people are known as the Princes of the desert.

Hotel Hendrina Khan or Similar (Breakfast)

DAY 6 Timbuktu To Dogon Country

Drive back across the Sahel to Mali’s fascinating Dogon country, with a lunch break and sightseeing en-route. Overnight in Sangha, located at the edge of the Bandiagara escarpment.

Hotel Campement Guina or similar (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 7 Dogon Country

Visit the Dogon villages along the escarpment, another UNESCO World Heritage site; many examples of the traditional Dogon architecture and contemporary fetishism can be found in this fascinating area. Descend the escarpment to Banani, one of Mali’s most beautiful cliffside villages. Visit the Dogon seers, and there is also an option to witness a traditional Dogon mask dance.

Hotel Campement Guina or similar (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Dogon Mask Dance

DAY 8 Dogon Country To Segou

Visit another traditional Dogon village today – Songo, renowned for its circumcision grotto and rock paintings. Traditional architecture and fetish houses can also be seen in the village. Travel back to Segou for the evening.

Hotel Independence or Similar (Breakfast)

DAY 9 Segou To Bamako And Your Journey Onwards

Return to Bamako and take a tour of the city: visit the National Museum, the city market, the artisans’ village, and the fetish market for traditional medicine. A convenient dayroom has been arranged. In the evening, transfer to the airport for your onward international flight – or choose to continue your West African Mosaic tour!


Senegal & The Gambia

Born Free Safaris 2013 Tariff Rates per person, US dollars

Season Double Occupancy Single Occupancy Solo Traveler*
All Seasons $3694.00 $4232.00 $5678.00

Rates are based on current conversion rates and subject to change.
Rates are for land arrangements only. International airfare not included.
The Born Free Travel Desk will assist in the coordination of the most cost-effective air schedule.

* Solo Traveler rate is for a guest traveling alone, not joining a group.
Holiday surcharges may apply.

Contact the Born Free office for departure dates.

All departures are guaranteed, once confirmed. Due to the unsophisticated nature of infrastructure in Mail, there are times that hotels and schedules will need to be changed. We will do our best to keep the itinerary confirmed. If we cannot, options will be offered and may be subject to additional cost.

Not to worry. Born Free will customize your trip. Custom does not mean more expensive – in some cases, it may even be less. Custom means doing what you want, when you want, in the style you want. A Born Free specialist will listen to your ideas and/or advise you of hidden gems that you may not be aware of. Call 800-372-3274.

Meet and greet services at the airport; All transfers to and from airports and hotels; Accommodations as specified in the itinerary (subject to confirmation); Meals as specified in the itinerary; Comprehensive touring; Professional English-speaking tour guide; Entrance fees; Ground transportation & driver (4×4 Vehicles with air conditioning); Hotel & local tourism taxes

Born Free is Fully Insured * U.S. Bank Account * Assistance with Visas and International Airfare

Travel insurance; international airfare; passport and visa fees; airport departure taxes, unless noted; excess baggage charges; meals and beverages other than those specified in the itinerary; optional activities; personal expenses such as laundry and communication charges.

Gratuities are not included for local guides and are at the traveler’s discretion; gratuities should be based on the level of satisfaction of the services received. Recommended guidelines for each safari will be provided with the Born Free pre-tour documentation.

Call the Born Free office at 800-372-3274 to request space availability and departure dates. We will also assist in coordinating the best airfares or guiding you on how to use your points or mileage. If you are planning to make your own air arrangements please request a suggested flight schedule from us first.