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

1960

The year in which Mali, along with Nigeria and 15 other African countries, achieved independence from colonial rule. The British Museum is organising a year of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary, starting with an exhibition called "Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa". The exhibition opens this Thursday and runs until 6 June, admission £8. britishmuseum.org

1620

The year Ségou was founded by the Bozo people. The old colonial capital of Mali, the city lies along the shores of the Niger and still boasts faded buildings from its French colonial past. The L'Hôtel Djoliba is set back from the river and offers doubles from €35. segou-hotel-djoliba.com

75

The length, in metres, of each side the square platform upon which the Great Mosque of Djenné is constructed. Djenné is a city on the River Bani celebrated for its mud brick (adobe) architecture. The mosque, built in 1907, is the largest mud building in the world. It joined Unesco's World Heritage list in 1988. Hotel Djenné is a 12-room hotel in the city offering air-conditioned doubles for 6,000 CFA francs (£35). hoteldjennedjenno.com

400,000

The estimated population of Mali's Dogon ethnic group, known for their masked dances, elegant wooden sculpture and striking mud and thatch villages. They mainly occupy the central plateau south of the River Niger in the Mopti region. Exodus runs a "Timbuktu and the Dogons" tour during which visitors use a local river boat, or pinasse, to get to individual villages. The 16-day tour including flights starts from £2,269. exodus.co.uk

9,000,000

The size in square kilometres of the Sahara, the planet's largest sand desert. Much of Mali lies in the south of the Sahara making it an excellent base from which to explore the vast expanses. The "Journey to the Heart of the Sahara and Mali" tour offered by Fulani Travel includes camping at night in the Sahara. Prices start at €2,195 per person excluding international flights. fulanitravel.co.uk

1.8m

The population of Bamako, Mali's capital and Africa's fastest-growing city. It also contains the tallest building in West Africa (the 20-storey BCEAO building). Air France flies daily from various UK cities to Bamako, with a change of planes at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. airfrance.co.uk

4,180

The length of the River Niger in kilometres. An excellent way to explore the country is through a cruise up the river. The Mali discovery tour through Responsible Travel includes a seven-hour river trip as part of a 15-day itinerary. Rates start at £1,799 per person excluding flights. responsibletravel.com

13

The duration, in days, of the "Road to Timbuktu" tour run by Imaginative Traveller. The trip takes you from Bamako to Timbuktu and includes excursions to the Douentza Elephant Reserve and Djenné, before arriving in Timbuktu. Prices from £2,495, not including flights. imaginative-traveller.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?