Mali + Niger + Burkina Faso + Benin + Togo + Cote d’Ivoire + Nigeria
Timbuktu, the Sahara, the herd of the Dogon – fairy-tale fantasy images become reality in the vastness of West Africa. We will visit many colorful markets and authentic villages, as well as the largest open-air laundry in Africa, learn about a variety of ethnic groups, the temples of the Dahomey Trail and fetish traditions, go on safari to the best national parks in the region, see the world’s largest cathedral Notre Dame de la Paix in Cote d’Ivoire and a goli mask dance performance.
|Day 1||Departure from Moscow at 13:05. Departure to Paris (airport “Charles de Gaulle”, terminal 2E). Arrival at 15:00, connection with flight to Bamako. Departure from the same terminal at 16:40. Scheduled flight AF 796, Airbus A 340 aircraft type. Arrival in Bamako at 21:20. Meeting at the airport, transfer to Radisson 4* hotel, check-in and rest.|
|Day 2||Full day sightseeing tour of the capital of Mali with English speaking guide. Visit National Museum, city market, traditional medicine market, village of artisans. Overnight in Bamako.|
|Day 3||Transfer to airport, early morning flight to Timbuktu. Pickup at airport, transfer to hotel La Maison. Departure for sightseeing of medieval mosques and universities, museum of Islamic manuscripts, city market. Excursion to Sahara Desert with camel caravan, visit to Tuareg camp, desert tea with Tuaregs. Return to Timbuktu.|
|Day 4||Early departure for Mopti, “Venice of Mali”. located in the interfluve of the Niger and Bani Rivers. Upon arrival transfer to the Kanaga Hotel. Departure for a city tour: visit mosque, fishing port, lively market where you can see many ethnic groups living in Mali – Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulbe, Tuareg, Songai. Cruise along the Niger at sunset in a traditional pirogue. Overnight in Mopti.|
|Day 5 Mon.||Excursion in Djenne (130 km). The best time to visit is Monday, the weekly market day in Djenne. Djenne was known in the Middle Ages as a center of Islamic scholarship and education. A visit to the Great Mosque (the largest mosque in the world, built from banco – a mixture of clay, straw and dung). The Great Mosque is a typical example of Sudanese-Sahel architecture, protected by UNESCO. Transfer to the country of mysterious Dogon (230 km). Accommodation at Hotel Campement Guina . Overnight in Sangha.|
|Day 6||Continuation of your journey through the Dogon country. Visit Songo village famous for its cave paintings and circumcision cave. Overnight in Bandiagara, Hotel La Falaise.|
|Day 7||Departure from Dogon country through picturesque villages, crossing the border to Burkina Faso, arriving in Ouagadougou (400 km), staying at Sofitel Ouaga 4-5*.|
|Day 8||Excursion program in the capital of Burkina Faso. Visit large market, National Museum (with a collection of traditional clothes, masks, household items), center of crafts. Overnight in Ouagadougou.|
|Day 9||Transfer to the airport, flight to Niamey. Upon arrival, meet and greet at the airport and transfer to the Grand Hotel du Niger. Guided tour of Niger’s capital (visit to the National Museum, colorful markets, and a cruise on the Niger).|
|Day 10||Drive to the only national park in West Africa inhabited by giraffes. Travel time 1.5 hours. Safari for three hours and return to Niamey.|
|Day 11||Flight to Cotonou, Benin. Pickup at the airport, transfer to Abomey, former capital of Dahomey. Visit the Royal Palace and Museum, ruins of the ancient palaces of 12 royal rulers (protected by UNESCO), who ruled from 1620 to the end of the XIX century. A visit to an artisan center known for the production of textile and bronze items previously made only for the royal court. Then explore the “Dagome Trail”, a complex of unrestored palaces and temples of traditional religion (fetishism). Return to Cotonou, check-in at Benin Marina Hotel 4*.|
|Day 12||In the morning – sightseeing tour of Cotonou, visiting the fish market, the Dantokpa international market famous for religious cult products (fetishes), and the craft center. Boat excursion to Ganvi Village, built on stilts in the lagoon of Nokue Lake. Overnight in Cotonou.|
|Day 13||Transfer to the capital of Togo, Lomé, accommodation in the Corinthia 2 Fevrier Hotel. Excursion program in Lomé: tour of the city harbor, visit to a village where the population follows religious traditions of fetishism, and the city market of Lomé, one of the largest open markets in West Africa.|
|Day 14||Morning flight to Abidjan. Then transfer to Yamoussoukro, the official capital of Côte d’Ivoire. Our guests are staying at hotel President. Sightseeing of the impressive Notre Dame de la Paix Basilica, the largest cathedral in the world and almost an exact copy of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. A visit to the palace of former President Boigny, a native of Yamoussoukro. In the palace in a special moat live sacred crocodiles. Lunch at La brise restaurant. In the evening, departure to Ondeyaokro for a traditional dance performance of the goli masks (one of the striking features of the animistic religion of the locals). Return to Yamoussoukro, overnight in hotel.|
|Day 15||Departure to Kafolo, in the Komoje National Park, the largest in West Africa. On the way visiting the craft center in the village of Katiola, and the daily market in Ferkessedougou. Lunch in Ferke. Arrival in Kafolo, accommodation at Comoe Safari Lodge. Comoe Park is located in the northeast and is home to elephants, hippos, antelopes, buffalo, monkeys and many species of birds. In the area of the park are located several well-preserved ancient mosques Sudanese style . Dinner and overnight at the lodge.|
|Day 16||After breakfast on safari. Watching cheetahs and other animals. Picnic in the park. Dinner and overnight in Kafolo at the lodge.|
|Day 17||Transfer to Abidjan. On the way lunch in Yamoussoukro. Arrival in Abidjan in the evening, check-in at Sofitel hotel and rest.|
|Day 18||Excursion program in Abidjan. Visit several areas of the city: the commercial Le Plateau, the upscale residential district of Kokodi, and the Traichville area, where ordinary people live. A visit to the local markets and to the northeast of Abobo where the largest open-air laundry in Africa is located. Unforgettable watching the work of hundreds of Faniko (male laundresses!). In the evening transfer to the airport, flight to Lagos departing at 19:40 and arriving at 22:10 on Bellview Airlines flight 259. Transfer transfer to the hotel Sofitel Moorhouse Ikoyi 4*.|
|Day 19||English speaking guide (including lunch): visit to National Museum, Brazilian quarters, Leki peninsula. Boat trip on the lagoon , enjoy the beautiful views of the city from the water. Return back to hotel.|
|Day 20||Transfer to airport, flight to Yola. Flight of IRS Airline. Transfer to Gashaka-Gumpti National Park in the North-East of Nigeria. The transfer takes about 6-7 hours. Accommodation at Serti Tourist Camp 2-3* lodge. Gashaka Park is the largest and most beautiful park in Nigeria: the beautiful mountain valleys and wild rivers attract nature lovers from all over the world. It covers an area of 6,500 square kilometers and is located on the territory of two states (Adamawa and Taraba) and consists of two parts: the northern sector of Gumti and the southern Gashaka. In addition to a variety of animal species (chimpanzees, cheetahs, leopards, etc.) and fish (Nile perch, electric fish) in the park you can see some historical sites, such as the German fort of the colonial era, located on a hill of Gashaka. The park is also home to the highest mountain in Nigeria, Chapal Wadi with the peak of Gangarwal.|
|Day 21||Safari in the national park.|
|Day 22||After breakfast transfer to the airport for departure to Lagos. Your flight with Arik Airline. Connecting with international flight. Departure from Lagos, from Murtala Mohammed Airport (Terminal 1) to Paris at 23:40. Air France’s scheduled flight AF 855. Type of aircraft: Boeing 777.|
|Day 23||Arrival in Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport (terminal 2F) at 06:00. Connecting with your flight to Moscow. Departure to Moscow at 07:20 from “Charles de Gaulle” airport (terminal 2E). Air France flight AF 1644. Type of aircraft Aerobus A 318. Arrival in Moscow, at Sheremetyevo-2 airport, at 13:00.|
Program cost per person:
Mali: 1985 USD Burkina Faso: 1190 USD Niger: 1470 USD Benin+Togo: 2040 USD Cote d’Ivoire: 2270 USD Nigeria: 3220 USD
The price of the tour includes:
- accommodation in hotels of the specified category and lodges in double rooms,
- full board during safari, breakfasts in towns, lunches (in Yamoussoukro, Ferka, Abidjan, Lagos),
- All excursions with accompanying English-speaking guide according to the program,
- All trips on safari as specified in the program,
- All transfers for the entire trip in individual air-conditioned vehicles,
- entrance fee to national parks,
- The permission for visiting the national parks’ territories.
The price of the tour does not include:
- airfare Moscow – Bamako // Lagos – Moscow (from 62190 rubles),
- all domestic and international flights in Africa Bamako – Timbuktu – Mopti // Ouagadougou – Niamey – Cotonou // Lome – Abidjan – Lagos (from 1640 USD),
- Visas to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria,
- Health insurance (1 USD per day).
Airfare in Africa:
Bamako – Timbuktu – Mopti (from 440 USD), Ouagadougou – Cotonou (from 375 USD), Cotonou – Abidjan (from 330 USD), Abidjan – Lagos (from 420 USD).
Cost of visas:
Mali – 95 USD (visa processing time at the embassy – 3-4 days). Burkina Faso – 144 USD (visa can be obtained either at Ouagadougou airport or at the Embassy of Burkina Faso in Berlin; the visa documents should be sent to Berlin in advance). Benin – 70 USD, 3-4 working days. Togo – 20 euros at the border (bring 2-3 color photos). Cote d’Ivoire – 120 USD, 3-5 working days. Nigeria – 135 USD, 4-5 working days.
To travel to these countries you must have a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever (vaccination should be done no later than 2 weeks before the beginning of the tour). Malaria prophylaxis is also recommended (e.g. by Lariam or Doxycycline). It is important to make sure that there are no mosquitoes in the room (it is better to sleep with air conditioning on or under a mosquito net), and to use repellent. It is recommended to cover the exposed parts of the body during the safari and while in wet areas.
Hotels on the program:
Bamako – Le Grand Hotel / Radisson 4* Timbuktu – Hotel Hendrina Khan / Hotel La Colombe 4* Mopti – Kanaga Hotel 4* Sangha – Hotel Campement Guina Bandiagara – Hotel Kambary / Hotel La Falaise Ouagadougou – Sofitel Ouaga 4- 5* Niamey – Grand Hotel du Niamei 4* Cotonou – Benin Marina Hotel 4* Lomé – Corinthia 2 Fevrier 4* Abidjan – Sofitel 4-5* Yamoussoukro – President Hotel 4* Kafolo – Comoe Safari Lodge Lagos – Sofitel Moorhouse Ikoyi 4-5* Gashaka Gumpty – Serti Tourist Camp 2-3
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