In order to understand the fascinating Malian culture and its colourful mosaic of traditions and peoples, it is necessary to go back to its deepest roots, which originate in the green hills of the Pays Manding, a land steeped in history and ancestral spirituality. But also by immersing oneself in the chaotic contemporaneity of Bamako, with its cultural ferment, its contradictions and its ‘imaginative’ urban decadence. Two sides of the same coin.
A journey into the Malian ancestral culture, between divinations with the throwing of cauris, propitiatory dances of the valiant Bambara hunters and ancient legends sung by the griots. Historical places where Soundjata Keita and General Kamandjan Camara, in the Middle Ages, pronounced the first human rights charter in Africa and performed their heroic deeds, among sacred caves and miraculous rock arches. Enchanting landscapes and waterfalls hidden among the cracks in the rock, valleys of mangoes and wild plants with therapeutic powers, small mud villages where the inhabitants are said to still possess the occult power to transform themselves into lions.
But also a trip to Bamako, with its incredible cultural attractions, from the Musée National, which houses priceless artefacts from the Djene-Jeno site and votive statuettes from the Tellem era, to the bustling Grande Marché, where you can lose yourself for hours; from the picturesque fetish market, amidst bones, animal skins and lucky charms of all kinds (gris-gris), to the recycling market, amidst an acoustic horror vacui, which brings recycled metals back to life; or the meeting with the marionette player/artist Yaya Coulibaly, who guards the largest collection of marionettes in Mali and passes on this ancient theatrical, sculptural and therapeutic art around the world.
In addition, on this special departure, we will attend the Dogon Ogobagna Festival, where we will see traditional wrestling and mask dances, and the Festival on the Niger in Ségou, with live concerts, vernissages and pirogue races.
Day 1 : Thursday 25 January 2024
Outward Flight/Bamako (BKO)
Day 2: Friday 26 January 2024
Bamako (Dogon Festival)
The treasures of the national museum, a pinasse excursion on the waters of the Niger River and the Ogobagna Festival events.
Day 3 : Saturday 27 January 2024
Bamako (Dogon Festival)
The lively markets of the capital, the encounter with puppeteer Yaya Coulibaly and the Dogon mask dance at the Ogobagna Festival.
Day 4 : Sunday 28 January 2024
In the heart of the Pays Mandingue, among donso hunters, masks and divination with the cauris.
Day 5 : Monday 29 January 2024
The magnificent natural arch of Kamandjan, the village of Djoulafoundo and the Djendjé waterfalls.
Day 6 : Tuesday 30 January 2024
The traditional gold mines of Dabali and the sacred house of Kangaba.
Day 7 : Wednesday 31 January 2024
An encounter with griot storytellers and giant baobabs in the village of Kela.
Day 8 : Thursday 01 February 2024
Bamako/Ségou (Festival on the Niger)
Bambara villages and the events of the Festival sur le Niger.
Day 9 : Friday 02 February 2024
Ségou (Festival on the Niger)
The art of bogolan, pirogue races and concerts at the Festival on the Niger in Ségou.
Day 10 : Saturday 03 February 2024
The royal palace of Biton Coulibaly in Sekoro and the pottery kiln in Kalabougou.
Day 11 : Sunday 04 February 2024
Bamako (BKO)/Return flight