Any suggestions as to (or whether) which tour operator to book with for the Festival au desert ?
BEWARE OF DOUGOU DOUGOU TRAVEL: After making all arrangements through their website for a first-class luxury tour, we arrived in Bamako to find that we had been given an old SUV with non-functioning AC, non-functinoning 4-wheel drive, and an inexperienced drive who got us stuck in sand three times and THEN ROLLED THE CAR OVER ON THE HIGHWAY BACK FROM TIMBUKTU. They booked us into substandard rooms (we ended up rebooking on the run and paying double for those nights). The owner (Soulimane Coulibaly) claims he was cheated by one of his employees who diverted our money, but the owner refuses to accept responsibility.... refuses to pay for any of our medical bills (my wife had a head injury, I fractured a clavicle), and now refuses to answer emails. YOU BOOK WITH DOUGOU TRAVEL AT THE RISK OF YOUR LIFE. i would be happy to share all correspondance and photos with anyone who needs proof.
Azima Ag Mohamed Ali has been a professionnal guide for many years.
With him, you'll discover Mali not as tourists but as travellers. He is able to manage big groups but also small ones. We travelled with him a few years ago with my husband and our 15 years old son. Just the 3 of us. This has been the most wonderful trip we've made. Splendid moments in the desert in Arraouane, great talks in Timbuktu, a boat trip on the Niger river (the most wonderful New year's Eve you can imagine)... Mopti, Djenné, The Dogon country.
Azima is also able to be your guide and friend at the at the Festival at the Desert, each winter near Timbuktu.
Here is his own website: http://keltamasheq.zymichost.com/
and mail: email@example.com
and tel. 00 223 76 02 35 47
AVOID DOUGOU DOUGOU TRAVEL.... BAIT AND SWITCH TOUR OPERATOR Paid for luxury tour, got stuck in cheap rooms, driven in car without AC, nearly killed by incompetent driver. Owner is a con artist. Government of Mali won't do anything. Official travel agency for goverment Omatho promised to investigate and we never heard from them again. These guys are crooks. Would never go back to Mali.
I don't think Tounga tours is operating any more, I think Ann has left the country. You could try Papillon tours which is a company operated Ibrahim Kassogue who was one of Ann's best guides papillonreizen.com/66-our-trips/25-festival/… Ibrahim is an excellent guide. He was our guide in a Festival of the Desert tour in 2011 and we used him last year to organise a trip for us to Festival sur Niger.
contact them to check out what they can do.
ibrahim kassoke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We give you a nice vacation.. Bamako Tourist Guide. West Africa Travel. We are located in senegal dakar. mali bamako. we give proper vacation to our clients coming to senegal dakar or mali bamako or other west africa country for holiday vacation and work. we guide our tourist through out his or her time or vacation time here in west africa with security and comfort. We give nice tour round dakar ville. bamako ville and other villages of our clients choice, through the beautiful areas and nice place for rest and to pass your time and vacation. Dakar, bamako and other west africa country and cities has nice accommodation and place to stay during vacations and also has nice beach and hostels too. The country currency is also of good rate( CFA ) and they also have items for good and cheap prize. vacation and life here in senegal Mali and other west africa country is very cheap and easy if you follow the right Africa Tourist for your travel guide. You can contact our Africa Tourist Guide at this address below and we pick our client and visitors from the airport as long as we are giving your arrival date and time. Contact Person: Mr Sekou Kone Email: email@example.com Tel: +223-70 29 06 78 / +223- 64 14 47 10 Language: English. French. Bambara. Nederlands Welcome Home To Africa Tourist Land Mali.Senegel.Benin.geuniue. liberal.togo.ghana.gambia
The Festival should be going ahead this year (Jan 2014) and www.fromhere2timbuktu.com will be offering its off the beaten track trip as usual and as the one company that has stayed loyal to the festival throughout the recent turbulent years.Edited: 1:18 pm, July 16, 2013
But how can this tour operator take anyone to the festival au desert when it hasn't been held for the last two years because of the situation in northern mali. In fact, no responsible tour operator is taking tourists to northern mali at the moment. It is too dangerous.