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Boat trip on the Niger river to Timbuktu and Gao (en)

From our point of view this journey is one of the best excursions in Mali, besides visiting Dogon country. Depending on the amount of water present (after the rain season) the big Niger boats cruise from mid july to end of february from Kouliokoro to Gao. From end of november on the trip is only possible from Mopti to Timbuktu and Gao. Pinasses of different sizes (and different number of peaople on it) offer the transfer from Mopti to Timbuktu as well. Some of them are small luxury boats with nice seats and cuisine.
Picture Gallery
* Large Niger boats: The public company COMANAV cruises with a (theoretically fix) time table. Because of technical problems, sand banks and large goods to be loaded delays can occur. A well known journey is from Mopti to Timbuktu (boat should leave on thursdays at 8pm from Mopti). Timbuktu-Gao is from our point of view even more scenic.
Luxury pinasse trip is offered by Hotel Kambary.

* Timbuktu: The big boats stop only a few kilometers from the city of Timbuktu (Tombouctou) since a channel from Niger river has been reopened a few yeras ago. With a previously organized taxi it is possible to visit the city even if you continue your boat trip to Gao later. Taxi to the city costs CFA 1000 pp max.
Excursion tip: Sunset on the dunes only 1km NW of downtown near the "Peace Monument".

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