Why Mali? This was the first question of each of my friends when I was planning this trip. Well, the answer wasn’t an interesting culture or oriental climate because every single place in the world has its own super-specific interesting culture, helpful or dangerous people, crazy customs blah blah blah. The real reason why I went to Mali this tis time is the music which in Mali is something above all.
Indeed, people in Mali give a huge importance to music. They sing a lot. Every celebration they pass cannot be without singing. Apparently Mali today’s music form is derived from the ancient Mande Empire.
Anyways, Mali’s motto is “One people, one goal, one faith”. The country is the 7th largest one in Africa but it’s territory. The capital of Mali is Bamako and it is inhabited by 2 millions people.
My trip to Mali was following. On the 1th of Jun I flew from San Diego to the Mali’s capital. The flight was extremely long so I had a lot of time for reading – I have read all the guidebooks about Mali I had in my handbag. I stayed two nights in Bamako and the rest of my journey I spent traveling around the country. The first 2 nights in Bamako I was hanging out with associates from the cauchsurfing portal. They show me around the city and took to a great cafe with live music.
The band performing played combination of modern jazz and local folklore. And trust me you have never heard such combination! It was awesome. Even sitting in the cafe I already couldn’t wait to go to some next concert and listen to typical Mali music. During the next days aa was moving a lot. I’ve been to a few more restaurants, bars, clubs with live music and I loved it! I have been also to Great Mosque of Djenne and the Land of Dogons and so on. Going through such villages like Mopti, Hombori, Douentza, Kona and Sevare I have met many intriguing people.
Mostly I was sleeping an somebody’s couch or a few times in cheap local hostels. Unquestionably, the most breathtaking place I visited during this trip were mountains of La Main De Fatma. From there I went to Timbuktu which is called the “mysterious city”. Unfortunately I didn’t discover anything super-mysterious or impressive but I had a great time anyways. However my plans included taking a tour to Sahara – so I did it. I was traveling to the desert by some old pick-up with 8 other strangers.
The trip lasted for 21 hours! Officially I can say it was the world, the most terrible and exhausting trip I have ever done. But finally, when we were on the place, I was so impressed by the views that I must admit that the desert was worth travelling in the worst ever conditions. At the end I can say that Mali is a great place to go if you don’t want spend fortune on vacation. Mali is pretty cheap place. The only problem may be getting there. I mean, it’s not like there is hard to get no no there are a few possibilitires. You can get there by car or by plane but going by car is quite long, and on the other hand flights are really expensive, unless you catch a bargain.
If you’re planning vacation in Mali then good luck. Don’t forget to share your experience with me in comments!