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Mali and Guinea, March-April 2012

Previous: Senegal (part 2)

Bamako, Mali

I crossed from Senegal into north-west Mali on Thursday 22nd March.

Saturday 24th-Friday 30th March 2012

Tony with a bottle of Sprite at The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse, Bamako.Tony with a bottle of Sprite at The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse, Bamako.

Chairs and tables outside The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse. Compound shaded by trees and surrounded by high walls.Chairs and tables outside The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse. Compound shaded by trees and surrounded by high walls.

Gina from Ireland at the guesthouse.Gina from Ireland at the guesthouse.

4x4 vehicles parked in the guesthouse compound.4×4 vehicles parked in the guesthouse compound.

Tony sitting with a local guy at the guesthouse.Tony sitting with a local guy at the guesthouse.

A small group of fellow travellers dancing in the guesthouse compound. They were stuck there along with all the other guests due to the coup and the border closures!A small group of fellow travellers dancing in the guesthouse compound. They were stuck there along with all the other guests due to the coup and the border closures!

View from a motorcycle crossing Martyrs Bridge (Pont Des Martyrs) over the wide Niger River in Bamako. Heading towards the commercial and administrative centre of the city on the north side of the river. Photos taken by Tony who is on the back of the motorbike.View from a motorcycle crossing Martyrs Bridge (Pont Des Martyrs) over the wide Niger River in Bamako. Heading towards the commercial and administrative centre of the city on the north side of the river. Photos taken by Tony who is on the back of the motorbike. Tony is being driven by a friendly guy from Burkino Faso – he was working at the Sleeping Camel when Tony met him.

Looking along the river from the bridge. Two men travelling in a canoe down below.Looking along the river from the bridge. Two men travelling in a canoe down below.

A hotel on the north bank of the river by the bridge.A hotel on the north bank of the river by the bridge.

Heading into the centre of Bamako from the north end of Martyrs Bridge.Heading into the centre of Bamako from the north end of Martyrs Bridge.

Passing the Martyrs Monument located in the middle of the road. This is a memorial to those who were killed during mass protests in early 1991.Passing the Martyrs Monument located in the middle of the road. This is a memorial to those who were killed during mass protests in early 1991.

View along the road into the city centre, busy with vehicles and pedestrians. A few market stalls along the side.View along the road into the city centre, busy with vehicles and pedestrians. A few market stalls along the side.

Looking towards the edge of a busy market. The two minarets of the Grand Mosque are visible behind.Looking towards the edge of a busy market. The two minarets of the Grand Mosque are visible behind.

Market stalls selling clothes at the roadside.Market stalls selling clothes at the roadside.

Monument for Palestinian Martyrs on Avenue Al Quds in Bamako. A domed roof supported by columns.Monument for Palestinian Martyrs on Avenue Al Quds in Bamako. A domed roof supported by columns. Al Quds is also known as Jerusalem street, located in the heart of the Mali capital.

A herd of goats.A herd of goats.

Outside a night club.Outside a night club.

Tony at a street stall selling CDs of African music.Tony at a street stall selling CDs of African music.

A large collection of buckets, wheelbarrows, and other metal objects stacked up by the road, for sale.A large collection of buckets, wheelbarrows, and other metal objects stacked up by the road, for sale.

Market stalls - potatoes and bananas for sale.Market stalls – potatoes and bananas for sale.

Outside the Modibo Keita sports stadium (Stade Modibo Keïta).Outside the Modibo Keita sports stadium (Stade Modibo Keïta). The stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Bamako, Mali. It is currently used mostly for football matches, serving as a home ground for AS Real Bamako and, occasionally, Mali’s national football team. The stadium holds 35,000 people.

A rocky slope near the stadium.A rocky slope near the stadium.

Outside the gates of Hotel de Ville in Bamako, north side of the Niger River.Outside the gates of Hotel de Ville in Bamako, north side of the Niger River.

Outside the Ministry of Housing, Land and Urban Development (Ministere du Logement, des Affaires foncieres et de l'urbanisme).Outside the Ministry of Housing, Land and Urban Development (Ministere du Logement, des Affaires foncieres et de l’urbanisme).

View of small islands in the Niger River from the King Fahd Bridge (Pont Du Roi Fahd).View of small islands in the Niger River from the King Fahd Bridge (Pont Du Roi Fahd).

A row of closed offices. Taken from the motorbike.A row of closed offices. Taken from the motorbike.

Heading along an unpaved dirt road on south side of the river, near the Sleeping Camel Guesthouse. Residential area.Heading along an unpaved dirt road on south side of the river, near the Sleeping Camel Guesthouse. Residential area.

Tony emerging from his 'golden tent'. Sleeping at The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse, Bamako, Mali.Tony emerging from his ‘golden tent’. Sleeping at The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse, Bamako, Mali. Taken by Lucy Grange from England: professional photographer and fellow traveller.

Tony and Lucy in front of the tent.Tony and Lucy in front of the tent.

Tony sat with two young Portuguese ladies. Inside the Sleeping Camel compound.Tony sat with two young Portuguese ladies. Inside the Sleeping Camel compound.

Tony with Lucy and one of the Portuguese ladies.Tony with Lucy and one of the Portuguese ladies.

Fellow travellers sitting with their laptops. The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse.Fellow travellers sitting with their laptops. The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse.

Lucy with her laptop, thumbs up.Lucy with her laptop, thumbs up.

A man and woman sitting on motorbikes at the guesthouse. They are a couple from Germany who were travelling around the whole of Africa for a year.A man and woman sitting on motorbikes at the guesthouse. They are a couple from Germany who were travelling around the whole of Africa for a year.

Tony sitting on one of the motorbikes.Tony sitting on one of the motorbikes.

Tony relaxing on a chair, The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse.Tony relaxing on a chair, The Sleeping Camel Guesthouse.

Four local guys crouching around a table. Still in the guesthouse compound. Taken outdoors, a wall behind.Four local guys crouching around a table. Still in the guesthouse compound.

Tony sitting on a chair with the same guys from the previous photo, plus a local woman.Tony sitting on a chair with the same guys from the previous photo, plus a local woman.

View from a canoe on a wide part of the Niger River: near the bank, which is green and lush. A local guide sitting in front of the camera.View from a canoe on a wide part of the Niger River: near the bank, which is green and lush. A local guide sitting in front of the camera.

Tony and the guide in the canoe.Tony and the guide in the canoe.

Photo of Phil, from the USA, sitting towards the back of the canoe. A traveller who Tony met on the internet. He lives in Bamako.Photo of Phil, from the USA, sitting towards the back of the canoe. A traveller who Tony met on the internet. He lives in Bamako. Behind Phil the local guide is paddling the canoe.

Tony on the grassy bank of the Niger River. Three canoes and a fishing net around him.Tony on the grassy bank of the Niger River. Three canoes and a fishing net around him.

Another view of Tony by the river.Another view of Tony by the river.

Republic of Guinea (République de Guinée)

The Republic of Guinea is a West African country on the Atlantic coast. Today, it is sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The country has an area of 246,000 square kilometres (94,981 sq miles) forming a crescent as it curves from its western border on the Atlantic Ocean toward the east and the south. Guinea shares its northern border with Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Mali, and its southern border with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire. The Niger River’s source is in the Guinea Highlands in south-eastern Guinea. The country is geographically divided into eight administrative regions, which are further subdivided into thirty-three prefectures. Conakry is the capital, largest city, and economic centre. Other major cities include: Kankan, Nzérékoré, Kindia, Labe, Guéckédou, Mamou and Boke. French is the official language, but Vernacular languages are Mandinka, Fula and Susu. The currency is the Guinean franc.

Saturday 31st March – Monday 2nd April

The sacrifice of a bull. A group of men skinning the bull's carcass.The sacrifice of a bull. A group of men skinning the bull’s carcass. Near Siguiri, a town in north-east Guinea near the border with Mali.

Another view of the men skinning the bull.Another view of the men skinning the bull.

A man butchering some lamb meat.A man butchering some lamb meat.

Tony alongside the bull carcass.Tony alongside the bull carcass.

Tony with local children holding the hide of the bull.Tony with local children holding the hide of the bull.

A main street through a village. Unpaved dirt road. Everyday activity occurring.A main street through a village. Unpaved dirt road. Everyday activity occurring. Taken from a vehicle owned by Vincent – the French guy Tony couch surfed with for two nights.

Tony and Vincent sitting outdoors under a shelter in a yard. Taken at Jeanne’s house where Tony couch surfed for three nights.Tony and Vincent sitting outdoors under a shelter in a yard. Taken at Jeanne’s house, Kindia, where Tony couch surfed for three nights. Kindia is the third largest city in Guinea, lying approximately 85 miles north-east of Conakry – Guinea’s capital. Mount Gangan and the Mariée Falls lie near the town.

Jeanne’s house. Tony, Vincent, two local men and two children in the picture.Jeanne’s house.

Tony with Kenji, a Japanese traveller, and Jeanne from Lyon, France.Tony with Kenji, a Japanese traveller, and Jeanne from Lyon, France.

Wednesday 4th April

Looking towards a waterfall, Chutes de Kilissi, a 20-minute motorbike ride from the town of Kindia.Looking towards a waterfall, Chutes de Kilissi, a 20-minute motorbike ride from the town of Kindia.

Tony by the pool of water in front of the waterfall.Tony by the pool of water in front of the waterfall.

Close-up of Tony at Chutes de Kilissi.Close-up of Tony at Chutes de Kilissi.

One of the waterfalls and surrounding trees.One of the waterfalls and surrounding trees.

Tony standing on a narrow wooden bridge, near the waterfalls.Tony standing on a narrow wooden bridge, near the waterfalls.

Tony on a wooden raised walkway/bridge.Tony on a wooden raised walkway/bridge.

Another waterfall at Chutes de Kilissi.Another waterfall at Chutes de Kilissi.

Tony in front of the waterfall. Standing on sand by the water.Tony in front of the waterfall. Standing on sand by the water.