Mali is the crown jewel of West Africa, a destination that has all the right ingredients. The country occupies the heart of an area that once supported large empires in Africa and is rich with historical resonance. This history bequeathed to Mali some of its most spectacular attractions – the legendary city of Timbuktu (Tombouctou), the name has never lost its appeal to travelers, the gloriously improbable mosque of Djenne, and the bustling river port of Mopti are just three among many others.
Mali’s history has always been a story of its deserts and rivers. The lucrative trade routes of the Sahara, once made the region among the richest in the world, and Niger, one of the great old rivers of Africa, remains the soul of the country, to travel along the river route Niger (preferably on a slow boat to Timbuktu) is one of the great adventures of the continent. Not far from the river, the extraordinary Falaise de Bandiagara rises from the plains, and harbors one of the most fascinating people of West Africa – the Dogon villages and complex cultural rituals still cling to the edge of the rocky cliffs . If you can visit a place in Mali, go to Dogon Country: it is absolutely unforgettable.
But all of Mali is filled with a fascinating cultural mix of peoples, the Tuareg nomads of the Sahara to the Niger fishing societies of Bozo. As a result, everywhere you go there are fascinating ceremonies, world famous musical traditions with strong roots in local soil, and traditional cultures such as access to travelers than any you’ll find in Africa
Gao, the ancient capital of the Songhai Empire, is one of the most important cities of the illustrious past of Mali. Like Timbuktu, but Gao feels like the end of the earth, a group of nomadic settlements inserted on the banks of the River Niger in the Sahara desert that dominates north. Expeditions in the desert are a highlight of a visit here, as is the bustling harbor. Apart from everything else that has been passed from Timbuktu 350 km Cachet traveler wins pretty big points.