We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

desert guide

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
37 posts
19 reviews
Save Topic
desert guide

HI All,

Does anyone have Mohammed Ag Hamid's email address - as I was unable to get through with either of the phone numbers posted on this forum. I prefer email anyway.

I am curious about a quote for some Tuareg desert time in Mali in July or August 2012.

Anyone have any suggestions for a week itinerary with the Tuareg at that time? I know nothing of the region except I love the dunes, camels, heat and am interested in nomadic cultures cultures. The chance to participate or just hang out would be my ultimate goal...

Thankyou very much !

12 replies to this topic
Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: desert guide

I have two names you could try:

Mamayti - amamayti@yahoo.fr

and

Bouj - bouj15@yahoo.fr

Both very reliable, and good natured. Both Touareg based in Timbuktu - but able to meet you anywhere

Say I gave you their names

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
37 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: desert guide

Thanks Caroline T !

Are you or anyone else aware of any al quaeda threats in Mali at the moment ? A dogon operator told me that he was relocating his family because of the increase in threats in the area.....

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: desert guide

Hi there

Yes, I am so aware that I have not gone out. I am in the UK. I cancelled at the last minute. I am sad but releived.

I am aware that some people are more carefree than me, more resilient. I'm not. That's why I responded to you. Also I feel uncomfortable letting dowm those guys - who are so in need of some income - we had been Skype-ing for years about this trip.

I was there in 2005 - and even then the area was dodgey. I went to Kidal and then on east to a Touareg gathering in Essouk (not on all maps). There were 12 Europeans there in total, and the Touareg leader there was so touched we had ignored government warnings he lent us his satellite phone to ring home and assure our relatives we were ok.

A female Touareg I met then - now living in Lichenstein - was the final blow to my longing to go out again this time. I could tell she was very concerned. Very worried for me. `me - a single, female backpacker. She told me not to do this, not to do that, not to do the other - and said that the situation out there now is nothing like it was in 2005. Her alarms really frightened me.

It is not only AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Maghreb), it is also Gaddafi stragglers in Kidal - disenfranchised, nowhere to go, in need of cash; and the thousands of unemployed youth with no work and no future.

I thought that a single, female, backpacker travelling on a happy little holiday all by herself in the area was foolish. There are way too many Kalashnikovs in the area; way too many desperate people. The practise is to abduct, and then sell on to more heavy-duty ransomers. Death would not necessarily be on the agenda - but ... well, I'm female. Lord knows.

There is not that much about the area in the English press - but if you Google search in French there is so much out there.

I don't know how resilient you are - I know (through contacts) that there are a few tourists out there - but few. In 2005 1,000s of tourists visited Timbuktu - last year there were apparently 625! It is a disaster for an area that depends heavily on tourism - I would have been an even more valuable catch.

On that grim note - I wish you clear thinking.

I have given you my point of view - it is different for men.

All the best

Barcelona, Spain
4 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: desert guide

Azima Ag Mohamed Ali has been a professionnal guide for many years.

With him, you'll discover Mali not as tourists but as travellers. He is able to manage big groups but also small ones. We travelled with him a few years ago with my husband and our 15 years old son. Just the 3 of us. This has been the most wonderful trip we've made. Splendid moments in the desert in Arraouane, great talks in Timbuktu, a boat trip on the Niger river (the most wonderful New year's Eve you can imagine)... Mopti, Djenné, The Dogon country.

Azima is also able to be your guide and friend at the at the Festival at the Desert, each winter near Timbuktu.

Here is his own website: http://keltamasheq.zymichost.com/

and mail: azimaali@hotmail.com

and tel. 00 223 76 02 35 47

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
37 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: desert guide

thanks caroline - your thoughts are very helpful. I am hoping however, to still make the trip if possible, adn will need to wait a couple more months to be sure...

in the meantime, i did make contact with maymati and wondered if you could tell me more about him. the other 2 guides i was interested in have numerous references with excellent reviews but i have nothing about this guy. is he someone that i am going to be able to reply like i might with the others? he seems very nice and would like to go with him since he has a community school that i want to work with (i work in child protection here). thanks, kk

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: desert guide

Hi there

Mahamyti is the cousin of someone I met when I was last out there. I also have a Touareg friend now living in Luxembourg who knows him. And an English guide who works out there knows him. This is important to me - a single female travelling alone - I needed to know he was not a wild card.

I had been Skyping him for several months before December - small talk.

He came across as consistent and reliable - but I did not actually travel with him.

Mamayti is about 31.

Last time I travelled there I was with a very sweet, very straight guy - but dull. Very silent. I had a million questions in my head, and he couldn't really answer one. Later I travelled with another guy who was a mine of information - encyclopeedic. He knew all about everything! I'm talking about Malian flora and fauna. I regret not having met him earlier.

The first guide was more politically orientated - which was interesting - but he was very reserved.

I had also planned to spend time with Bouj. He came across as less pushy, less sophisticated - but perhaps more in touch with the environment. I thought each one would provide a different experience.

Hope this is useful

Here is my email cstreadwell@hotmail.com - if you want to chat further.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
22 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: desert guide

AVOID DOUGOU DOUGOU TRAVEL.... BAIT AND SWITCH TOUR OPERATOR Paid for luxury tour, got stuck in cheap rooms, driven in car without AC, nearly killed by incompetent driver. Owner is a con artist. Government of Mali won't do anything. Official travel agency for goverment Omatho promised to investigate and we never heard from them again. These guys are crooks. Would never go back to Mali.

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: desert guide

You were in Mali - what do you mean 'cheap' rooms - What did you expected? I stayed with a wealthy family, and got a mattress on the floor, my bathroom was a hole in the floor and a bucket of water - and they were one of the fortunate.

I've travelled for several years in Mali and never had aircon - do you have any idea how expensive aircon is to buy - let alone run - buy filters etc? If you move in ambassadorial circles OK, but a bog-ordinary guide can't afford that.

Nearly killed - but you weren't.

You sound like an over priviledged tourist who's never stepped out side of wealth. Your ignorance is shameful.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
22 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: desert guide

My goodness, gracious. You need some anger management. You have a right to sleep on the floor whenever you want to. So do I. I just climbed Kilimanjaro and slept on the ground every night. But we also have a right to get what we pay for, so when we do purchase a luxury tour from an operator, we should get what we were promised. Don't you think so? You are right. I did survive, with only a fractured clavicle, and my wife survived because the meningeal tear in her skull healed by itself, sparing her the need for surgery. Does that make it right that they sent us out in a mechanically defective car with an inexperienced driver? I don't think, but your childish, petulant response suggests that you do. Travel safe.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
37 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: desert guide

Sir, you have been politely asked before to stop reloading the same message on every thread running on the Mali forum since your unfortunate experience but you have not even responded to them, and continue to post the same message everywhere! This excess and lack of interaction with the rest of us suggests to me as a psychologist that you are responding to your own upsetness rather than assisting others on these threads - which is what the forums are supposed to be all about. Whilst it it has already been empathised that your holiday was ruined by a dodgy tour operator - and thankyou by the way, for the tip - this does not mean that Mali, its government, and people make for a horrible place since dodgy tour operators and unsupportive police and govts can be found across the globe. I myself, have had bitter experiences so far in China and Turkey. Perhaps you are a well meaning person but you may not be aware that you are coming across as a very arrogant Westerner, which is understandably upsetting to myself and others. I would suggest that instead of getting defensive (and consequently sounding even more arrogant) it would be great if you could take the hint and stop posting the same message. When someone expressed anger towards you in a post, it would have been better to re-read what you wrote - it may have assisted you in understanding why that person was upset rather than write that she needs anger management skills. I for one, certainly get the hint - I will not be using Dogou Dogou Travel - if you are worried that someone will not see your post, I can assure you that it will be read by all, as you have posted this message everywhere. Please stop.

Edited: 04 March 2012, 22:18
Reply to: desert guide
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Timbuktu
Recent Conversations