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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 1 Aug 2008
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Donkey power!!

Hi all,
My sister and i are starting to hatch a plan to get to Segou, Mali for the Festival Sur La Niger next year. We've driven to Mali before and loved every second of it, however, this time we won't have the time to drive there and back.
Our favourite plan would be to jet into Bamako a week or two before and travel up to Segou with our own donkey and cart, seems like a crackin way of traveling a bit more slowly and hopefully getting to know the people & places a bit better as a result.
Which leads me to the point of this post.......maybe a long shot, but here goes!!! Does anyone have the first clue what the going rate for a donkey and cart would be around Bamako?????

Happy travels
Sam
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  #2  
Old 1 Aug 2008
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Have you tried Avis or Hertz?

Ok, that's the obvious humour out of the way. If you know Bamako you'll know donkeys and carts are no longer a common form of transport in town. You will have to get out to a village to start asking. Then you have a lot of bargaining to do.

Have you any experience of travelling with a donkey? How to feed it? What skin/hoof/intestinal problems to look out for and how to treat them? It is not quite as simple as maltreating a hire car.Think long and hard about the potential problems before going ahead.

Sorry to dampen your parade.

Dave
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  #3  
Old 1 Aug 2008
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Hi Dave, thanks for the reply
Don't worry, i'd certainly be treating it far better than any hire car i've ever had!!
I agree we'll certainly have a lot to learn, but learn it we will. We wouldn't want to be responsible for the misstreatment of any animal, let alone one we'd be relying on so heavilly.
The plan was to head out to one of the villages on the south bank of the river and try our luck there. Would be nice to have some idea what a local might pay for said beast before we turn up though, obviously i don't really expect to be able to bargain down that far, but it might give us half a chance of paying a fair price in the end.

Cheers
Sam
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Old 1 Aug 2008
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I've met two travelers who bought animals to travel with on a whim. One bought a horse in Guatemala and didn't know much about horses. The horse died. The other bought a donkey in Pakistan and really had a great time. YMMV.
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  #5  
Old 1 Aug 2008
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I certainly hope that by starting to plan 6 months in advance we will be able to avoid the 'buy it on a whim and end up killing the donkey' scenario.
My sister does have quite a few years of being responsible for various horses behind her as well, hopefully a fair bit of that experience should help
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  #6  
Old 2 Aug 2008
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Festival

I'm going to the festival

I'll give you a lift

My car looks like a donkey anyway

John
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  #7  
Old 2 Aug 2008
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sorry!

Hi Sam

Sorry for the above - silly comment!

But was partly serious, especially in light of your post of round africa in 2010

We were supposed to leave for the Cape this Nov, but have had to modify our plans to Mali. 2010 might be possible for cape

Would like to meet up at the festival to discuss

cheers

John
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  #8  
Old 2 Aug 2008
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Hi John, no worries
Would be cool to meet in Mali if its possible
Cape Town 2010 is def still on, we're just sorting what to do between now and then, unfortunately it needs to fit round work.
Will keep you posted on festival plans, but i would say its getting more and more likely by the day

All the best
Sam
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Old 2 Aug 2008
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Good!

Lets stay in touch

My email is kohipoint@gmail.com

Cheers

John
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  #10  
Old 3 Aug 2008
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Hi

To find a nice donkey go to the Saturday livestock market in Daral, 12 km north of Kati (which is 20 km north of Bamako). It has been years ago and one country away (Burkina) that I paid for a donkey. The price for a good one was +/- 35.000 fcfa, so in Mali in 2009 it should not cost more than 60.000 fcfa (less then 100 euro). A local harnass will be in the 10.000 - 20.000 fcfa range.
A donkey cart was 150.000 fcfa .... so 250.000 fcfa should be enough? The carts can be bought in Kati or Bamako (or any medium size town). I suppose it will be easy tofind a buyer for it in Segou.

I am convinced that you will threat the donkey better than most Malien-donkey-owners!!

Good luck!
detnol - Home
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  #11  
Old 3 Aug 2008
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John - Will keep you posted for sure

Detnol - Thank you, thats really helpfull, exactly what I needed to know. If we can do it for that sort of money I reckon its a goer. I'm sure we'll loose money on it, but i don't think it'll be too much. Donkey carts are everywhere in Segou, we'll just have to be as patient as we can, but ultimately take whatever we can get. Mind you, I wouldn't be suprised if we get to Segou, can't face selling it and end up carrying on to Burkina!!
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  #12  
Old 4 Aug 2008
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Hello Sam

This is the kind of cart you find around Bamako:
[IMG][/IMG]

Around Segou you find these:

Never understood why they use different types.

Personnaly I would prefer a horse with cart like you can find around Djenné (however a horse costs much more then a donkey):


What ever you choose, just dont overload it:


Have a nice trip
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Old 4 Aug 2008
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Haha, if ever there was a good reason to travel light, i guess thats it!!
I don't think the donkey looks to keen on the prospect of dragging that lot around whilst wearing stilts!!
It was the Segou style cart i had in mind, would have thought i'd be able to get one in Daral? What do you think?
Thanks for the pics they've really got me day dreaming
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  #14  
Old 4 Aug 2008
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I travelled about three miles on a cart like that flat bed segou one, while in Morocco. It was perhaps the most uncomfortable three miles of my life. Words cannot express how grateful I was to get off the bl**dy thing at my destination!

Good luck with it though, it's an original idea and I'm sure you will manage to sort some way of making it comfy(ish)!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 4 Aug 2008
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Hi
No carts in Daral, lots of cows, goats, sheep and also some donkeys.....
Carts: Kati or Bamako - if you order the Segou style I am sure they can make it specially for you. I have seen a few 4 wheel donkey carts in Kati (with a barel on it to empty cesspits) - they must be more comfortable both for you and the donkey. With two extra tires and an axle this might be slighty more expensive but worth it.
Give you a chance to spend a few days in Kati, one of the nicest no-touristic towns of Mali.

I dont know if you speak French (helpful when bargaining a cart....), Kati has a Hamburger restaurant (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) named Philidelphia with a very nice owner (Mr. Keita) who speaks English and I am sure he will be able to help you (just eat a few hamburgers to keep his bussines going).
I live in Kati but will leave in a few days time ..............

Last edited by detnol; 4 Aug 2008 at 19:30.
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