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“Amazing place - just go there and you will understand” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bandiagara Cliffs (Dogon Country)

Bandiagara Cliffs (Dogon Country)
Bandiagara plateau, Mopti, Mali
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Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Mopti
Type: Historic Sites, Hiking Trails, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Outdoors
Activities: Backpacking
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Attraction details
Owner description: The 150-kilometer-long sandstone escarpment has served as home to the Dogon people, believed to be one of the oldest surviving African cultures.
Russia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Amazing place - just go there and you will understand”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2011

I will not tell much about this amazing place - other people have already explained a lot about it (see previous reviews). I just decided to add more photos.

Visited August 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
NYC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“You won't see this often.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2011

We visited the Dogon country as part of a Lindblad/National Geographic tour. It is not easy to get to. We had to take vans from our Mopti hotel to a much more rustic hotel, then get into four-wheel- drive vehicles for an hour-long drive on roads that were often extremely bumpy. Luckily our driver had years of experience!
The highlight of our visit was a forty-minute show put on by the people of one town we stopped at. Seats were provided for us. Every participant wore a mask and a bright, pink costume; two performed in stilts, with the famous cliffs as background, to the beat of drums. Approximately thirty or forty residents of the village danced enthusiastically although temperature was over a hundred degrees and we saw them dripping with sweat. Afterwards, we were invited to circulate among the dancers, to listen to detailed explanations of what each one represented. All of us were dazzled, as we had never seen anything like this in its actual setting. No one could stop taking photos.
Other sights in the Dogon country, of course, include the cliffs, impressive with their built-in dwellings!

Visited April 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“One of the most beautiful experience of my life!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

We went there by motobike from Burkina Faso Ouagadougou.
It was a wonderful trip, people welcome you warmly, landscapes are amazing...

One can find guide in the villages, but if you need someone who speaks english, look here :
http://dogonguiding.com/AssamaDara/Home.html

We went with him, and he is really nice person you can really trust.

Guides are highly recommanded there as there are a lot of sacred places. It's also normal to pay a fee in each village you will cross.

Some accomodations are really really gorgeous.

You can check out here for pictures and notes in french.
http://allaroundzeworld.wordpress.com

Visited March 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“DOGON MASKED DANCE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2010

hi

just wanted to share this short film of a dogon masked dance, I traveled with maliymas and the experience was truly amazing, filmed in Begnemato it was truly amazing and spectacular to see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brwdlRHxqPw

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Enchanting 5-day guided trek in Dogon Country”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2010

Trekking through the Dogon Country was one of the main reasons we wanted to visit Mali. However, once we got to Mopti and met up with the guide that someone recommended to us, we were immediately discouraged by his prices, and nearly opted out of visiting the Dogon Country all together.

Whatever you do, don't give up! Visiting the Dogon Country was one of the most incredible adventures I've had yet. Ours is an example of one of the many cheaper (albeit slightly "rougher") options that can offer a most enchanting experience for those willing to go with the flow of local lifeways. If you enjoy hiking and camping and learning about different cultures first-hand, this is for you. If you are pressed for time, impatient, easily irritated, unwilling to trust strangers, have low stamina, or have difficulty hiking, there are several other options to visit the Dogon Country via air-conditioned 4x4s and can be arranged through any hotel in Mopti. If you're still interested in trekking, bring as little as possible: comfortable and lightweight backpack, good hiking shoes/boots, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, few clothing items, lots of change (CFA), some light-weight snacks, kola nuts (to give to elders), camera, few toiletries, and a few small gifts for locals (preferably things that don't quickly turn into non-biodegradable trash [baseball caps, t-shirts, flip-flops are some good ideas]). You'll have to purchase water as you go (roughly 1,000 CFA for a big bottle)--carrying enough water for 5 days is impossible.

Daouda Guindo was our guide. His small business is called "Dogon Vison." I highly recommend him. His prices are great, he is Dogon and lives between his home village and Mopti. He is incredibly informative, patient, speaks French and English, and has a positive attitude. Unfortunately Tripadvisor will not allow me to post his email or phone number here, but once in Mopti, if you go to "Bissap Café" or the hotel called, "Y'A Pas de Problème," ask for "Daouda" (pronounced DOW-dah) and they should have his card/contact information. I might even recommend calling these places in advance to see if they can give you Daouda's phone number so you can arrange the trip with him in advance.

Below is a short summary of our itinerary:
Day 1: Taxi brousse early in the morning from Mopti to Sêvaré. Wait a bit in Sêvaré for taxi brousse to fill up and then drive to Teli (the 1st Dogon village on our trek). Hike 1/2 hour and stop in a village for lunch. Rest a few hours (to avoid hiking in the hot sun), explore the village, and then continue on to Ende where we slept.
Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4: Wake up early, have breakfast and start hiking. Stop for lunch, rest a few hours, visit the village, hike to the next village to visit, relax, eat and sleep. Each day has roughly the same itinerary (though the hikes and sites to see and learn about are always different and there are always little stops along the way).
Day 5: The reverse of Day 1, arriving back in Mopti in the evening.

The best 2 pieces of advice I have for those unfamiliar with and traveling to Mali and the Dogon Country are the following: 1) Have patience (there are always unexpected delays, transportation often breaks down, so just sit back, relax and soak up the local way of life) and relatedly, 2) trust. Trust that everything will work out (in due time, it will). Don't be afraid to trust strangers. That said, don't act like an idiot and flaunt your money and belongings. Show that you're not gullible, but also go with your intuition. Once someone has demonstrated to you that you can trust him/her, chances are pretty good that you can continue to do so.

Have an amazing trip, and if you meet Daouda, tell him that Tim and Jonathan send their best!

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