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traveling in Mali

Brooklyn, New York
2 posts
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traveling in Mali

Can anyone comment on whether it would be safe in general for 2 women to travel together through Mali (without any fellow travelers who are men)? What is the situation there in general?

Toronto
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26 posts
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1. Re: traveling in Mali

It would even be save for just one woman to travel through Mali. Despite of what you might have read on the net, it's one of the safest country I know. As with every place just trust your instincts and you'll be fine.

If you have any more question about Mali, feel free to contact me.

Brooklyn, New York
2 posts
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2. Re: traveling in Mali

Thanks for your response -- that's very helpful. I would love to hear anything more that you can tell me about Mali -- especially the logistics of getting around. (Like, did you go by bus to get from one city to another?) Part of my trepidation, I think, is that I would want to visit some rural areas, too -- I have the book 'African Canvas,' and I have fallen in love with the rounded, adobe houses in it, but they do all look as though they are in remote areas. ?

Best regards, Deborah E.

Toronto
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26 posts
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3. Re: traveling in Mali

Oh there is a lot to tell about Mali. Do you have an idea yet when you gonna go there?

I usually take the bus to get around, and cramped "bush taxis" (think of sardines in a can), donkey/bull carts, motorbikes,...

The closest to the rounded adobe housesyou probably saw in the book (checked it out on amazon) you'll find in the Pays Dogon. You have probably seen pictures on the net somewhere. I know about beautifully painted houses in northern Ghana though.

California
6 posts
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4. Re: traveling in Mali

Hello,

I have a NGO, and I travel alone all the time. I am a woman, and I have not hit rock bottom yet. I travel every six months looking for chidlren to care for internationally. I have traveled to approximately 14 countries. February I traveled to Sierra Leon, and I am preparing to travel to Mali. My organization is in Kenya, and I am an American.

At this time, I am completing my application for a visa, but I don't have an address in Mali. If you know of a hotel, please share with me.

Thanks!

California
6 posts
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5. Re: traveling in Mali

I will be traveling Sept 18th to Mali. What can you share with me? I am going to locate children to care for.

Thanks!

Edited: 13 September 2011, 20:22
Los Angeles...
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22 posts
36 reviews
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6. Re: traveling in Mali

BEWARE OF DOUGOU DOUGOU TRAVEL: After making all arrangements through their website for a first-class luxury tour, we arrived in Bamako to find that we had been given an old SUV with non-functioning AC, non-functinoning 4-wheel drive, and an inexperienced drive who got us stuck in sand three times and THEN ROLLED THE CAR OVER ON THE HIGHWAY BACK FROM TIMBUKTU. They booked us into substandard rooms (we ended up rebooking on the run and paying double for those nights). The owner (Soulimane Coulibaly) claims he was cheated by one of his employees who diverted our money, but the owner refuses to accept responsibility.... refuses to pay for any of our medical bills (my wife had a head injury, I fractured a clavicle), and now refuses to answer emails. YOU BOOK WITH DOUGOU TRAVEL AT THE RISK OF YOUR LIFE. i would be happy to share all correspondance and photos with anyone who needs proof.

Columbus Ohio
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41 posts
155 reviews
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7. Re: traveling in Mali

I am so sorry to hear of your ill fated trip to Mali. My husband and I were in Mali Oct. 19-Nov 4 and all went well for us. We used Toguna Adventure Travels and Karen did a brilliant job for us. You are not alone about having a SUV without air. We met two American women in TB2 who had traveled from Bamako to TB2 without air. The temps were in the low 100's They had to continue on to Mopti, again in the same vehicle.

It is so important to chose the travel company for Mali with care. It takes a ton of research, lots of emails and time spent online checking out each tour company. I am just sad that your trip did not turn out well as Mali is a beautiful country. We loved our trip and glad that we made it to TB2 especially in light of the recent news from there.

Thanks for posting your warning to others as it will save someone else from booking with this tour company.

Los Angeles...
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22 posts
36 reviews
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8. Re: traveling in Mali

We were sooooooooooo sorry we did not use Toguna. We met several travelers who used them, and all were very pleased with their trip. We loved Mali, but felt totally ripped off (not to mention almost killed) by an unscrupulous operator. We reported this to the official Mali Tourist Bureau... to the centrall government... to the U.S. Embassy.... and THEY ALL DID NOTHING.

Fresno, California
1 post
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9. Re: traveling in Mali

Thanks for your reply. If you had to start over, what would you do?

Los Angeles...
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22 posts
36 reviews
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10. Re: traveling in Mali

If I were starting over, I would use a top U.S. company like Wilderness Travel or Geo Expeditions. Although these companies tend to use the same major operators, the tour operators are much less likely to pull these shenanigans on them because of the volume of their business. My wife and I generally prefer to book independently, but in a country like Mali -- corrupt, dangerous, isolated, non-responsive to the external world -- a U.S. operator would have been better. It might cost a little more (not much), but you don't have to worry about being robbed (or nearly killed) by an irresponsible operator like Dougou Travel. Having said that, I must tell you that we did meet some travelers who booked directly with Toguna Adventures, and they raved about the service they received.

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