Travel Agents in Mali

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May 9th, 2010, 10:15 AM
  #1
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Travel Agents in Mali

Does anyone know of or have experience with either of these firms: Sankore Travels (Sandi Cisse) or undiscovered-destinations (Jim O'Brien)? I am trying to arrange an eleven-day unescorted auto tour that would begin by flying from Bamako to Timbuktu and driving in a somewhat circuitous route back to Bamako..
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May 10th, 2010, 07:26 AM
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I wish I could be of more help but just wanted to comment here that Mali is one of the most interesting and all-around fabulous destinations I've visited. II never understand why it does not get more coverage here..


I did a river trip from Mopti to Tombouctou and highly recommend it, if you can integrate it with the driving tour.
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May 11th, 2010, 06:41 AM
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I also want to visit Mali and have talked with an agent from the CN Traveler magazine list for advice and a custom tour but it hasn't worked out yet for me. Have you decided on the trip as of now?
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May 11th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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Moremiles: No. I'm negotiating with both agents and trying to compare options. It is a little difficult because one man is local and his command of English is limited. I would like to support Malians as much as possible, but I have to be realistic. ZZ
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Jun 25th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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This is an update on my plans for a trip to Mali in December, 2010. I never could arrange anything with Sankore Travels, not for a lack of effort on the part of Sandi, but through apparent cultural and language differences that could not be resolved. Perhaps a traveler with a thorough command of French would do better than I. Jim O'Brien at undiscovered-destinations did a super job of trying to accommodate my wishes, but the price was always too high. Maybe my expectations about costs were unrealistic. I had a good experience also with Continent Tour in Bamako, but had same result as with undiscovered-destinations. In the end, my sister and I purchased air tickets for travel within Mali from Alternative Airlines in England (Wells Fargo put a hold on my VISA after wards because of what it considered unusual activity) and, through CheapTickets (got to this site through KAYAK), we bought tickets from New York to Bamako on Royal Air Maroc. Meantime, we decided that we would spend a short time in Morocco on the way back to the USA, so we added a stop in Casablanca, the point of entry into Morocco. I'm in an intermediate French conversation class at Alliance Française this summer. ZZ
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Jun 25th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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I am so glad you plan to go despite the obstacles.

I will be eager to hear about your experiences!
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Jun 25th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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I should add that I have booked hotels in Mali on my own, using my very best French in e-mails, and my sister has booked a riad in Marrakech, where we plan to spend Christmas. ZZ
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Jun 25th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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Looking forward to your trip report! I still hope to go to Mali/Burkina Faso next year.
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Jun 25th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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I'll also be waiting for the report
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Jun 25th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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Have a great trip, Mali is on my shortlist.
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Oct 12th, 2014, 09:07 AM
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Though this initial thread is dated 2010, don't believe nowadays 2014 would be the best time to be visiting this country. Lots of conflict going on.
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Oct 12th, 2014, 11:40 AM
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mherox: I am surprised and pleased to hear of your trip with Sandi Cisse in 2008. I'm glad that you were able to visit Mali at that time because much of the historical heritage in which visitors are interested has been destroyed in the fighting and, in my opinion, no prudent person would visit the country now. I'm sorry to report that although my sister and I succeeded in making all of our plans, close to the departure date, my sister developed a respiratory problem and was told by her physician not to go near a desert. Alas, because of subsequent events, we believe that we shall never be able to go to Mali. ZZ
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