Mali – Advice for trekking in the Dogon

I would rate trekking in the Dogon as the very best thing I did in West Africa, and probably in the top five things I did in the whole of Africa. I cannot recommend it highly enough.  The sights were amazing and the people were wonderfully friendly and welcoming…… my top tips! My favourite places …

Mali – in the ancient town of Djenne

Djenne a home of the world’s largest mud mosque, a famous Monday market and protected from the surrounding flood plains by a virgin sacrifice! What’s not to like! Djenne is famous for having the worlds largest mud mosque! It’s a lovely small town set in the middle of flood plains so depending on what time …

Mali – Day 4 in the Dogon, Neni, Ibi, Koundou, Youga Na, Youga Dogorou, Youga Piri, Yendouma (28k, 38 degrees)/ Day 5 to Tiogou, Sanga (13k, 40 degrees)

I got up early with the rain plopping gently on my face at five am. I hoped it would pour but it didn’t! The sky was dark and grey, the air heavy with humidity and not a breath of wind. I was so ready for the rain to come but it just wasn’t happening. We set …

Mali – Day 3 in the Dogon, Konshugo, Dourou, Nombori, Idyeli Na, Komokani, Tereli, Amani, Ireli (31k, 44 Celsius)

I woke up at three a little bit chilly, and I didn’t have a blanket so I grabbed another mattress and chucked it on top of me and went back to sleep until five. After breakfast of mango jam, laughing cow and bread we wandered along the stunning rocky escarpment to Konshugo. This is a …

Mali – day 2 in the Dogon – Soninghe, Ende, Yabatalou, Doundjouro, Aindelou, Begnimato (30k, 42 Celsius)

The donkeys started braying at 4am and the cocks joined them soon after. I hadn’t slept brilliantly but at least I was cool and had no mozzie bites. It was blissfully cool this morning. I started packing up at 5 as breakfast was scheduled for 5.30, and we were supposed to hit the road by …

Mali – day 1 in the Dogon, Kani Kombole, Kani Bonjon, Koro and Djiguibombo (20k, 38 Celsius)

After just one afternoon I was in love with Dogon country….where I was the first tourist in six years to visit one of the more remote villages! I can’t recommend a visit more highly!   The Dogon is a world apart from Mali, even more traditional, and I suspect many customs haven’t changed in hundreds …

Somaliland – Hanging out in Hargeisa

I am technically in Somalia – home of pirates.  I had planned to go to the capital of Mogadishu, but doing so requires hiring four armed guards for lots of money to look after you.  My husband sagely suggested that if they can be hired to protect you for $1000, then a motivated individual might pay …

Bouncing around Bangui, Central African Republic

Another full day of flying… Another day experiencing the delights of West African airlines.   Taking off from Niamey at 7am, and eventually landing in Bangui at 17.30 via Ouaga, Lome and Douala.   Happily, I only had one minor hiccup which involved a sprint through Lomé airport to get the Bangui flight, if I …

Meandering around Mauritania

Hubby was accompanying me on this trip, and he was delighted to see the french equivalent of the FCO had just downgraded the security risk on Mauritania from ‘advise against all travel’ to ‘advise against all but essential travel” – by my standards lately that is like visiting Disneyland.    We were heading to Nouakchott …

Which are the best countries in the world to visit?

Given my travel history, I regularly get asked which is my favourite country in the world….. Honestly, that’s easy. New Zealand every time! However, I do have a list of places that I highly recommend, many of which I  would go back to (or have gone back to) over and over again. Here it is: …