Any suggestions as to (or whether) which tour operator to book with for the Festival au desert ?
Yes, I could recommend a company. You could either book a trip bu y pinasse, which takes 3 day and 2 nights (I loved that), and then be taken to the Festival in the Desert by FWD (4x4). Or you could chose a drive to Tomboctou. Doing this one your own is rather expensive, but Alkaye will put groups together himself, so you all can share the costs. Or he will arrange for you to be added as a member of another group, in order to travel less expensive.
So, have a look at his website: www.alkaye.com or contact him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
hi Josephine, Have you had any success organising your trip?
I am also hoping to go from the UK probably 30/12 until 17/1.
There are a few independent guides recommended I was wandering whether you would be interested in sharing one?
Does anyone have info or recommendations regarding Palace Travel for th 2010 Festival? Or any other tour operators for that matter?
Does anyone have info / experience w/ Palace Travel for the Timbuktu festival? Or any other for that matter.
Can't be of a great help except to say that if you read reports on Tripadvisor about Palace Travel, they come up with a very mixed reponse. Maybe you have to read the good and the bad and then take your decision. Some of the local agents seem to come up with very good reports. You need to do some back reading to find adresses for these local agents. Palace travel and some other non Mali companies seem to just act as a middle man between you and the local tour operators. They add on their profit for the service. If you can deal with the local companies direct, it should be cheaper but with no difference in quality and service. Enjoy your holiday.
Are the tickets even out yet? We can't seem to find them anywhere online!
Greetings! There are a number of reputable people locally that could set this up for you.Ask at the Hotel Hendick Khan or Le Colombe they could find you something.There is little accomodation in Timbuktu.
A knowledge of basic "French" will take you quite a ways in Timbuktu & Mali to speak of.Mali is primarily a "cash only" type of country.Euro is the prefered currency.There is one atm in Timbuktu that you can get cash advance with a visa card.Unless your debit card has a "visa" logo on it ....forget it.The bank staff themselves will not do cash advances.There is just one atm/bank in Timbuktu which is next to the Air Companigne Malien (National airline).January I hear is a good time of year to go yet prepare to tent/camp as The festival is quite popular.
You can actually set up tent at the outskirts of town just ask somebody whom lives there they will be delighted to help.Note: There has been many reports of banditry in the area north of Timbuktu where the Festival is held so seek local advice.
Airline tickets to Timbuktu can be purchased thru "Alternative Airlines " website.They are in the U.K. They do charge a service fee yet you need paper tickets in order to check in.They'll mail them to you as they deal with the airline direct so it's the tickets are issued by the airline if you have any problem there .It's worth the fee rather then trying to deal with them direct if you even get a response from the Air Compangnie Malien.There are no e-tickets available.They fly from Bamako on Thursdays & Saturdays.
I plan to go to Mali for the festival also. I can't find festival tickets either and the offical website seems to be taken over by a US based group! Only UK tour operators seen to have them. Am going to check out the local operators recommended here - let me know if you have got any further with your search?
I am going to the Segou Festival on the Niger which happens a month after the Festival in the Desert. For all of you people out there in UK - I have decided to hook up with Guy Lankester's tour co fromhere2timbuktu.com. Guy is based in UK part of the year and he has a tour for the Festival in the Desert also. If you e-mail him he'll send back a phone number. Decision based on gut feeling. If there is anyone out there interested in the Segou event lets get in touch.