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Old 5 Nov 2003
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Mali - How much fuel - and other costs?

I am in England and am negotiating to organise some walking with camels from north of Timbuctou. Can anybody help with the costs which I have been quoted by an operator in Timbuctou.

1. We need vehicle transport to reach the start point. This is approx 150km drive. The drive is across unsurfaced desert, but not through deep sand for the most part. I have been quoted a fee of $120 for vehicle hire for a day (fairly costly, but probably the going rate in Mali) plus 250 litres of fuel, from an operator based in Timbuctou. Can soembody give me a guideline as to how many km one might get to the litre - it surely can't be only just over half a km, as this quote suggests.

At least the price per litre sounds sensible - 400CFA - but if anyone can confirm the rough price of petrol in Mali, I'd be grateful.

2. Camels for the walking seem more reasonable - 4 camels with guide at a total of 60,000 CFA per day - again, if anybody has any experience of this, please let me know.

3. Lastly the food and water costs seems massive - a total of 200,000 CFA, or $300, for 2 people plus guide for 7 days. This is of course excessive - what are thoughts for what is normal?

Thanks in advance for your advice - Simon
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Old 5 Nov 2003
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A guy whose just left Tim for another trek paid for 40 days CFA600,000 (approx $US1000) including the use of camels, a guide, food and water, regardless of the number of days in 2001.
$120 a day plus 400 l of fuel sounds a bit steep. A diesel 4x4 would do 5kpl at very worst, a petrol maybe 3-4.
Petrol is 400/L last i heard but Tim is remote and expensive and had much higher prices last time I was there (ages ago).

I can pass on a local contact (email) for camels in Tim if you want it.

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Old 6 Nov 2003
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Chris - I suspect that I know the person who is going for 40 days - we have been mailing each other, having made contact via this website. If it's the Australian guy who has just set off from Timbuctou two or three days ago, then I know him.

However, it is the same outfit in Timbuctou who are taking him who are giving me this huge quote. (It's the vast amount of fuel, plus the 200,000 CFA for 6 days food for three people which is particularly absurd - but I guess he's expecting me to bargain and so is just starting high).

If you have a mail address for your contact in Timbuctou, that would be great (it may or may not be the same outfit).

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Old 6 Nov 2003
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Hi Simon, its the same guy. I guess they are trying it on - it is something that is best done person to person.
The last report in my book is of a guy who went TO Tim from Douentza in '98 and paid just $20 a day + kit, food, etc.

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