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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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Old 27 Sep 2006
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TMBK2 - Bamako

Hi,
can anyone give me a recent journey time? (bikes and 4X4)
Also, road conditions and any opinions on route.

What is the ferry situation likely to be in November/December?

My understanding is that the road to Douentza and Mopti is reasonable during the dry season and then there is good tar between Mopti and Bamako.
Is this still the case?

much appreciated, Richard
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Old 27 Sep 2006
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Hi there. It will take you about 5 hours to get from Tombouctou to Douentza. The piste is good and has been recently improved but you may have to wait for a while for the ferry. The wait depends on how many boats (1 or 2) are working and the amount of traffic. If no traffic you may have to 'hire' the whole ferry if you can't wait which will cost about 25,000CFA. Less if you share.

Dounentza to Mopti is about 200km and Mopti to Bamako is 646km. From the above you will see that it simply isn't do-able in a day. Timewise Douentza to Bamako is 12+hours (without breaks) though it is tar all the way.

Hope that helps

Q
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Old 27 Sep 2006
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Thanks Quintin that's spot on, sounds like a 2 - 2.5 day job.

Do you know if the ferry runs throughout the year?

(I seem to remember reading somewhere that the water levels can drop right down during the dry season.)
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Old 28 Sep 2006
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Hi Richard

The ferry does run all through the year though if the river is very low there may be problems. Certainly the big boats which travel from Mopti to Tombouctou can only do the journey when the river is high but I've never known the ferry stop. The ferry (one boat is bigger than the other) is rather like a open sided, flat bottom landing craft which draws very little water. In November/December you'll have no problems as the river is still fairly high and the rains have been OK this year.

If you leave Tombouctou early (don't attempt the piste in the dark) you could get as far as Savare in a day where there is a pretty decent hotel called La Savana run by a fairly dotty French woman called Jacqui, otherwise it's Douentza then another overnight in Segou.

Hope this helps.

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Old 30 Sep 2006
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Smile many thanks

looking forward to it already!
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