Sahara Dessert

Travel By Numbers: Mali

A trip to the fabled city of Timbuktu really is possible, says Peter Harmer. And while you're at it, head into the Sahara for an overnight trek

The Insider: Get in the mix with these great ice-cream makers

A quick glance at the ingredients of some supermarket ice-creams can make them sound less than appetising – extracts of Irish moss seaweed (carageenan), ground-up locust beans and corn syrup are just three of the ingredients added to commercial products to improve their taste and shelf life. There is an alternative way to indulge though, by investing in your own ice-cream maker.

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Album: Tinariwen, Imidiwan (Independiente)

Recorded deeper in the desert than their previous albums, Imidiwan could be characterised as a return to Tinariwen's roots, had they ever moved that far from them in the first place: certainly, their concerns remain the same, a mixture of revolutionary sermons praising fallen comrades or calling upon their brethren to rise up against oppression, and poetic reflections on life in the desert, such as "Assuf Ag Assuf", in which the land's dark loneliness is offered fellowship as friend rather than foe.