20 days in SENEGAL-MALI,
a wholly independent travel
heart of the wet season in 2002
mainly by collective taxi, bus, minibus and plane
in cheap hotels.
Western Africa is not cheap at all; if you think to survive with
a low budget like it could be in south Asia, change your destination!!
Take into account at least 30 euro/day. Most of the money go into
but along the coast is fresher
sickness due to the food and the water is main threat. Then trusting
the people is always a risk, but you have to. Dakar is definitely
not the best place where to hang out and in particular the "gare
routiere" is one of the worst place I've ever seen.
the widening of my point of view that I got from this travel,
the sunsets and the fried stuffs sold by locals in the street
the anger and the fakeness of people, the impossibility of trusting
somebody, the hotness, the catastrophic status of the country,
the unbelivable prices of the shitty accomodations, the beaches,
Dakar, the gare routie' in Dakar (Pompie'), the taxi drivers,
being called "tubab (white)"... did I mention about
you do need:
an endless patience or maybe just more money than I had
02: OK, summer is coming I wanna travel. This would be my first
travel after one year spent in one of the wealthiest country in
the world: Sweden. Now I wanna see the other side of the token:
Africa. What about crossing Senegal, up to Mali,
and trying to reach the Dogon tribes? OK I like, I'll do! But
mainly I wanna meet people, speak with them, try to
understand something of what it means living here: in short try
to widen my point of view. There's only one way to get this: travelling
with their public means of transport, trucks, carriages, a wheelbarrow,
whatever I can find.
02: punctured by a bunch of needles for the vaccinations,
bought my supercool mosquito-net and filled a jerry
car of insect-repellent, I was ready to leave. I don't
think I could be able to describe my impressions in
the first hours of Africa: the colors, smells, sounds......
it has been too impressive, almost shocking. I had
no doubt, the travel was worth even just for what
I saw, smelled, heard moving by public bus from the
airport to Dakar.
20 days I left from Dakar to east crossing Senegal. I slept
in Tambacounda and reached the Malian border at Diboli . Then
I arrived in Kayes
to get the train to the capital Bamako.
My staying in Kayes (the hell), buying the ticket, getting that
train and travelling for 17 hours, definitely has been my
hardest, strongest and most impressive travel experience.
Then, from Bamako, I followed the Niger
river up to Mopti. I walked three days in the Dogon
underneath my mosquito-net on the muddy roofs. And then, the
way back to Bamako dropping by Djennè.
No way I would had passed through Kayes again, hence I got a flight
from Bamako to Dakar. But my money were over, so I lazed on the
resting my bones.
the end I was enthusiastic of the travel, of the experience; I
felt I've really widen my point of view, that's the window through
which I see the things around me. I've seen a tough reality, but
that belongs to this world, and somehow is related to me.But
I cannot leave out to say that I've been disappointed by the people.
Every time I trusted them, even in the small small things, where
there was nothing to earn. I've felt racism to me, hostility,
anger or simply a lack of hospitality. In 20 days I've not found
a Malian or Senegalese helpfull and nice person, maybe I've
just been unlucky....... This is not a revenge, I'm not encouraging
you to skip this country, I never regretted this travel! On the
opposite it has been great, but what I was looking for, I mean
the contact with the people, is what I really missed despite my