Mali cultural vacation

Departure information

Departs every Saturday throughout the year
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Traveling with a local operator

This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your vacation to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mali cultural vacation

Community
We work hard to ensure positive impacts to the local communities and surroundings that we encounter, and encourage travelers to contribute items that are inexpensive and easy to pack, such as pens for schoolchildren and recycled clothing. Our group sizes typically range from 5 to 9 people, which we believe minimizes impact to the environment and allows our travelers to gain more insight into their surroundings through more individual attention from our guides.

We derive ultimate satisfaction from teaching our guests about Malian culture and keeping our traditions and heritage alive through carefully-planned, sustainable, developing tourism. Local community interaction is at the heart of this trip. Travelers have a unique opportunity to see local Bozo fishermen, visit local villages and witness the smoking of fish, roaming livestock, and petty trade, and spend an evening with local Tourag family.

We employ 100% local guides, drivers and cooks. Guides are selected who already have special knowledge about the areas they will introduce to tourists, have numerous local contacts, and constantly seek to increase their knowledge and have a passion for teaching tourists about their environments. With visits to local fruit and spice markets, a local women’s cooperative selling pottery & eating in local restaurants, this trip helps to stimulate the local community.

Environment
In Mali, key tourist destinations are spread far throughout the country, and we plan tours carefully so as to maximise ride sharing. We make sure to arrange transport that accommodates maximum capacity while still maintaining comfort for our guests. Mineral water is safest for tourists and we always offer empty bottles to children and adults along our journeys who will continue a long cycle of re-use for the bottles. Mali currently is working to reduce large amounts of plastic bags that are not properly disposed of throughout the land, and travelers are quickly made aware of this and encouraged to individually do their part to dispose of any waste in designated facilities.

Reviews of Mali cultural vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I can now say that I have been to Timbouctou and back! I particularly enjoyed the three day trip on a Pinasse traveling down the Niger from Tombouctou to Mopti. Everything was very well organised, the food throughout the trip was fantastic, and not just the fish purchased from fishermen along the banks of the Niger! I loved the contrasts and the colours, from desert to rice fields along the river. Special!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


November is a great month to see Mali, but as soon as the sun goes down it can get cold, so make sure you bring a warm sleeping bag and clothes. Also, Aly takes you to villages along the way, and he had advised to bring T-shirts and pens along. Take quite a few, as we ran out quickly, the coloured pens were particularly popular.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


There are lots of interesting things to buy, I wish I had bought a home made t-shirt in Timbouctou. We saw lots of nice things, from masks to pottery, jewellery to carved statues. I did feel that the money spent would be used for local families and villages. And of course buying fish from the fishermen direct was great. You have to barter of course, so check beforehand what a good price would be.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I have been in a few places in Africa, and normally we go local, this time with Aly organising everything for you, I had the most luxurious trip with fabulous hotels and great food all the way... I would highly recommend booking with Aly. In fact I'm thinking of going to some of the neighbouring countries with Aly next.

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Meeting the locals. They were friendly and welcoming.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for long afternoon breaks, usually from 1300-1600 hrs, due to the heat.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. Local businesses were used and water bottles were recycled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


One of the best vacations I've taken. The itinerary was well thought out and the guests were well taken care of.

Reviewed on 02 Dec 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Exploring the exotic markets.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Start very low when haggling in the markets - they expect a bit of bartering - and don’t buy if you’re not totally satisfied.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - we dispersed gifts among local villages, which were received with great excitement, be it sweets or pens/crayons. By donating our used water bottles, the villagers could recycle them as containers for their own purposes. Through souvenir purchases we encouraged the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Awesome experience. Everything I expected and more.

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