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1. Posted by Namaste (Budding Member 46 posts) 7y

Hello,
I want to go to Mali in december, especially to visit the Dogon. Does anyone have any experience with local tour guides? Who are you recommending me? Is it safe enough for a single women to travel alone there?
Any information is welcome!
Thx

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I haven't been, but I have been looking at going to Mali for quite some time. From what I know it is generally safe to go there as a single female as long as you keep your wits about you. But you might want to check for recent travel warnings for Mali, IIRC I looked at a recent one for Mali from the German government last week.

3. Posted by vickim (Full Member 125 posts) 7y

I would love to go to Mali too and really hope to go someday. I am not sure right now is the best time for anyone though as there have been some uprisings. I am not one to stay home in safety because I think live is to be explored but I am not sure right now os the best time for Mali. I am not sure what travel advisories other countries have out but this is what Canada warns their citizens travelling to Mali:

Regional Warning
Avoid all travel

OFFICIAL WARNING: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel to the regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal due to the presence of armed groups and the threat of banditry and kidnapping. Caution should be exercised at all times. Travel to these regions by road is advised against in particular between the cities of Gao and Kidal. There have been reports of an increase in banditry in the Kidal region and the vicinity of Tizaouatene. On January 22, 2009, four European tourists were kidnapped near the border with Mali and Niger, close to Menaka. Two of these hostages have been released, but one has reportedly been killed and the fourth one remains captive. There is a significant risk of carjackings and four-wheel-drive vehicles are especially targeted. Landmines have also exploded near the border with Algeria. Canadians who choose to travel to these regions despite this warning should consult local authorities to determine if a military escort is required.

There have been several clashes between various armed groups and the Malian army in the northern part of the country, resulting in a number of deaths, injuries and hostage takings.

In May 2008, armed Tuareg rebels attacked a Malian army post in Abeibara in the Kidal region, where over 30 people were killed and another 30 or so were injured. Some soldiers were also taken hostage.

4. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

Please, if you go with the advice of travel warnings put out by governments all the time then you would never travel anywhere! I have been to Mali quite a few times and its always been just wonderful from start to finish. Such friendly people and incredible wildlife outside of the towns. I have been more scared in some Canadian cities at night than in Mali. Yes there are places where we were told not to go and so we didnt go to them. I was driving most of the time and as long as we had plenty of fuel we took our chances and went where we liked within reason. As far as African countries go it was one of the safer ones that I have done.

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I agree - if you always head the travel warnings you never get to go anywhere truly interesting. But these travel warnings for Mali are pretty new and reacting to recent events. Wait a bit and see, Mali will still be there next year.

6. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

I agree totally with t_maia says. If you read every label on every can and packet of food, you would probably be worrying all day about either what you have just eaten or whether you will still be alive tomorrow morning.
Mali was just wonderful. To say that it is an unsafe country is like saying so is The Bronx. They both have their problems and crime happens.
I was in Miami and saw a cop lying on the pavement as I past in a car. I have also been to Zimbabwe and not seen any problems at all. Put in the coin and pull the handle I say.

7. Posted by vickim (Full Member 125 posts) 7y

Really? You "have been more scared in some Canadian cities at night than in Mali". Which ones would those be? You must be really scared of things.

I agree that you can't stay home all the time in fear. I have travelled to almost 40 countries so I know my way around and have had plenty of experiences. This person is asking for advice about travelling in Mali alone as a female.

Don't be an idiot and make comments that it is more safe for her than Canadian cities. If she arrived in Mali alone with no travel experience she could have a horrible time. Think about it. I agree with the previous post. Mali will always be there and there will be a better time. There are plenty of exotic and interesting places in this world that are safer for females travelling alone.

Or at least give her constructive advice on how to get around, a good tour company or whether she should wait to find a travel campanion.

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

If she arrived in Mali alone with no travel experience she could have a horrible time. Think about it.

Considering where Namaste has already been I am not too worried about her.

9. Posted by arif_kool (Travel Guru 1757 posts) 7y

A friend of mine and his wife had visited Mali recently and there were quite satisfied with the experience and did not report any difficulties whatsoever. I am pretty confident, Nathalie would navigate her way through Mali, seeing her travel experiences.

'Namaste' is a traditional greeting very popular in India practised by the majority Hindu community, i wonder how Nathalie took this screen name when she has not visited India till now

10. Posted by aidni (Respected Member 33 posts) 7y

Hey Namaste!
Don't be afraid go to Mali alone, it's an absolute must! I have been traveling alone through Africa for 8 months, never felt in danger or anything like this. Mali i perfectly safe if you are not wandering around the border with Niger, and it is one of the most beautifull countries I have ever seen.
When it comes to the Dogon country it is a jewel apart, it is Africa from our childhood tales! Having a guide is a good idea, as you will not understand anything from the Dogon culture wich is incredibly complicated and rich. If you do not speek French, I can recommend you a very good guide, who is now a little bit also a friend of mine. His name is Seck Dolo and he speaks very good English, he is also a very honest man and knowlegable about the Dogons. I can give you his e-mail if you are interested.
If you want to know anything about solo girl traveling and Mali feel free to ask me, I spend there 5 weeks, cause I loved it so much that I couldn't leave!!! One more thing! In wonderful, georgous Mopti stay in Y A PAS DE PROBLEME hotel - resonable prices and amazing atmosphere.
Cheers
alex:)