Mali and the Dogons

I'd love to travel to Mali and Timbuktu but am being seriously dissuaded by Foreign Office advice. Obviously there is a risk, but on the other hand trips are still being run. I know it has to be my decision, but a bit of feed-back might help me one way or the other. Thanks.

Staff member

We always follow the FCO advice at Exodus, and as such, are not operating trips to Mali at the moment.  The FCO advice for Mali advises against all travel to certain areas, including Timbuktu itself:There is a high threat from terrorism.  Terrorists have been involved in kidnaps in the region and we believe that further kidnap attacks are likely. A group of European tourists were kidnapped in the area of the Mali-Niger border near Menaka on 22 January 2009 and a British national who was part of this group was later murdered. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
There have been reports of kidnap threats against westerners attending festivals in Mali. You should be aware that the “Festival in the Desert” and “Sahara Nights” festival, which take place in Timbuktu and Essouk (500 kilometres north east of Timbuktu) are in areas of Mali to which we currently advise against all travel.
We advise against all travel to the provinces of Mali north of the River Niger from Mopti. This includes the provinces of Kidal, Gao, Koulikoro (north of Mourdiah), Segou (north of Niono), Tombouctou (including the city of Tombouctou (Timbuktu)), areas bordering Mauritania east of Nioro in the Kayes province, and the north of Mopti province (north of the town of Douentza).
I cannot advise you on a decision to go there on your own - all I can tell you is that we are not taking any clients there at the moment.Take care,Sarah - Trip Manager

Thanks, Sarah - that's exactly what I needed; sound advice. Go on my own? You must be joking!! It's Exodus or bust, so I guess I'll just have to wait until the trip is reinstated. Would it be helpful to post this info on the trip information? Such a pity - watched 'Lost Libraries of Timbuctoo' recently and was further inspired.

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