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Mopti - A travel report by Meyer
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Mopti,  Mali - flag Mali
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cycleboy's travel reports

Mopti - Venice of Mali

  8 votes

Mopti travelogue picture
Mopti is build on three islands connected by dikes, situated at the confluence of the Bani and Niger river and therefore is called the Venice of Mali. From here, the Niger starts to develop a large inner delta with lagoons, little islands and canals. Besides, Mopti is the intersection of trade routes to Timbuktu, Djenné, Gao and the Dogon Country. Much of the commerce involves the river and so Mopti is an important port for cargo and passengers. And it is an interesting market town where the various tribes go to trade for fish, salt, living animals, fruit, vegetables and crafts. Mopti is a pleasant, very lively and, above all, a very exciting place!

Favourite spots:
Mopti travelogue picture
Of course the harbour, its surroundings and the riverside. There are many places to linger and watch – as pinasses load and unload everything from passengers, dried fish, salt, spices and firewood from dawn until dusk.

What's really great:
Mopti travelogue picture
Arriving at the docklands in the late afternoon when the light softens the scene. You will be overwhelmed by the sight: Hundreds of shaky little market stands are jammed in the small stripe between the riverside road and the dock. Mopti has no market, Mopti is a market! The bustle of people and peoples, the various ethnic groups, the shouting, the smell and the crush is simply breathtaking!

Sights:
Mopti travelogue picture
The Old Town Komoguel with the mosque and the entanglement of countless small lanes where rarely a “tubab” (white man) loses his way. Here the past is omnipresent: Women stamping millet in big wooden mortars as they do since two hundred years, changing the latest gossip of the quarter. Masons producing the mud bricks for housebuilding. Proud little boys riding donkeys, loaded with straw, firewood or clay for the production of the bricks. Relaxed walking woman, coming from the few wells, balancing bowls with 30 liter drinking water on there heads.

Accommodations:
We preferred to stay in nearby Sevaré, 13 kilometers outside. Here you have more calmness. The Motel Sevaré has a decent standard.

Hangouts:
Mopti travelogue picture
The Bar Bozo is the right place for a sundowner. The Bar is situated on the left sight of the dock, directly on the banks of the Bani. The view over the Bani, the opposite shore and the docklands is unforgettable.

Restaurants:
Mopti travelogue picture
Sigui at the Bani, northern side of the docks. Nice garden and terrace.From there you can watch the coming and going on the river. Friendly service.

Other recommendations:
Mopti travelogue picture
At the shipyards, a few hundred meters left of the Bar Bozo you can watch how the picturesque pirogues and pinasses are built.

Bargaining is an integral part of shopping in the markets. No one is expected to pay the first price and the process of coming to an agreeable price can be a lively affair for both sides.




Published on Sunday March 16th, 2003


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