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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 Dec 2011
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Southern Mali

Hi there,
I'm currently in northern Cameroon, heading north. Mali was on my plan, and although it's not easy to get news here I do have read about the Tombouctou abducting. Now before that it used to be that North of the Niger was tricky, but south of the Niger was OK. Is this still true or can we now assume the whole country is no-go ? (I assume the 2 French "barbouze" abducted in Hombori is a different matter and has more to do with what they came there for).

Thank you for anybody who could be in Mali right now or knows things first-hand.

Of course I can ride around through Burkina, but I want to know what are my options.

Thx,
Laurent
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  #2  
Old 1 Dec 2011
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My impression is that southern Mali is not no go - and if it is then you can include Burkina too.

For the last 10 years all hostages get taken to north Mali desert. There has been talk recently of AQIM operating in Burkina and keeping hostages there. I don't know the county but that sounds more difficult to pull off than the Sahara. The Agache strip on the Burkina-Mali border has been mentioned.

Ch
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Old 1 Dec 2011
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The latest warnings from Algeria concerned Mauretania, Burkina and northern Nigeria.

In Mali, you should be ok as long as you stay south and west of Mopti/Sevaré.
I would like to say that Pays Dogon is safe, but if they can snatch you in Hombori, further east, they can surely do it in the falaise also, or across the border in N Burkina.
If you go say Sikasso - Bamako I don't see how anything could go wrong.

Mauretania is where the algerians warned the next episode would take place - but where? The mauri army is better prepared. The other day they had the largest army parade ever in Nouakchott. A few days before they arrested a bunch of islamists.
Nouakchott affiche sa puissance militaire
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  #4  
Old 1 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
The latest warnings from Algeria concerned Mauretania, Burkina and northern Nigeria.

In Mali, you should be ok as long as you stay south and west of Mopti/Sevaré.
I would like to say that Pays Dogon is safe, but if they can snatch you in Hombori, further east, they can surely do it in the falaise also, or across the border in N Burkina.
If you go say Sikasso - Bamako I don't see how anything could go wrong.
We were up in the Pays Dogon area April this year, we only hung around for 2 days near Bandiagara. There were very few other westerners in this region. Various sources at the time advised us that Dogon was ok but further north was a no-go. Hombori is not that much further NE (maybe 150miles?).

The above suggestion seems sound (Sikasso-Bamako) and you get to see the better part of Burkina while your passing through

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  #5  
Old 2 Dec 2011
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Thanks all. I was planning on going Niamey - Gao - Mopti, I think now I'll go instead to Benin - BF, then Ouaga - Mopti, this way I'll get to visit the Dogon - without the French crowd. And I'll have time to think about Festival au desert (saw the other thread).

Laurent
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  #6  
Old 22 Dec 2011
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Mali - our experience

Hi Laurent

You seem to be doing our trip but in reverse ;-) We posted our GPS track, route and waypoints at Latest news / About us - Langebaan Sunset - Stonehenge UK to Cape Town SA - 2010/11 so you can see our route through Southern Mali.

We had no problems as we wanted to avoid the possibility of issues in Mid / Northern Mali. Recent news obviously shows that the kidnap risk is still real with recent activity we have seen. We opted not to go to Dogon region because of this but that's a personal choice you have to make at the time.

As you head further North - security on the main road in Mauritania was good all the way. Northern Senegal from Rosso to St Louis had a few corrupt police stops - watch out around the entry to St Louis North of Zebra Bar - some very "keen" police there!!

HTH

Nick
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Old 19 Jan 2012
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I'm back from 3 weeks Mali, it was really quiet, no problem at all. Dogon people are devastated by the lack of tourism - all the better for us. On the other hand the touts are really insistent because of that. I've met a few bikers in Bamako, it was actually pretty crowded in Sleeping Camel, with an overlanding truck and many cars. Then most of them headed out for Timbuktu and the festival. It seemed really wrong (I mean, a Western-style and -priced music festival in that country), and quite far away, so I skipped it.

I barely noticed the police, everything is nice and easy. No hassle at all. Now back in Burkina Faso.

Laurent
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