Dogon region (Pays Dogon) lies south of the river Niger in Mali, principally located
along the Bandiagara escarpment.
Although many are leaving the
villages and moving to the larger towns, there remain many who preserve the
animist (pre-Islamic) and later Islamic traditions.
The most interesting villages
tend to be tucked into the foot of the escarpment, but you will also find
less visited and still pretty amazing settlements both on the plateau and on
Although you can travel without guides, your experience will be considerably
enhanced by travelling with a local, preferably Dogon, guide. Not only
will they make sure that
you do not miss what you came to see, but also as a courtesy to the local
inhabitants, not to mention the important contribution you and they can make
to the local economy.
You can either take a fully inclusive tour, or hire guides by the day, with
or without transport.
Although most of the interesting areas have basic "auberges" accommodation
and campsites, there are
also reasonable, Western standard, hotels in the larger towns of Bandiagara
Mopti is only 80 km or so distant and has one or two very
good hotels with swimming pools and all the other amenities you could
reasonably expect in Mali.
Surprisingly good, if simple,
food and cold beer, sometimes even wine!
easiest way to get there is to fly to Bamako, about a days hard drive on
decent roads. Alternatively you can catch a connecting flight to Mopti, where your guide
can take you to one of the main towns. From
there, again the easy option is 4x4, but you can also trek between villages.
We drove from Europe (UK) and,
if you have the time, recommend you do the same. Admittedly a lot of
driving for a few days in Dogon country, but an unforgettable experience.