Sail the River Niger is a wonderful experience.
The river Niger is one of the great river of Africa, stretching over 2500 miles (4180kms) in a great arc that extends northward from Guinea to Mali, before turning back toward the south and making its way through Niger and Nigeria to empty into the Gulf of Guinea. The Niger is of vital importance in Mali, providing irrigation for agriculture and serving as a major transportation area.
The original name of the river “egerou n-igereou” which means the “rivers of rivers” was given by the Tuaregs expressing the exceptional character they attributed to it.
Sailing the River Niger is not a luxury cruise. It takes tree days to sail from Mopti to Timbuktu. We took the boat (a traditional priogue called pinasse) in Kona, sailed one afternoon, did bush camping on the river side, and arrived at noon in Mopti.
We visited two bozo villages, saw fishermen on the river, hippos, drunk a lot of karkade, and admired the landscape, earring the music of Ali Farka Toure, the famous Malian blues man. (“The river” album is one of his bests).