When I planned our trip through West Africa during the summer of 2011, I was eager to visit the mysterious Timbuktu in northern Mali. However, at the end of November 2011, three tourists were kidnapped and another one shot dead by terrorists from Al-Qaeda’s North African branch (two of the victims are still held captive today!). In addition, Mali began to suffer under political problems starting with a Tuareg Rebellion from January 2012 onwards, followed by the ousting of President Amadou Toumani Touré in a coup d’état on 22nd March 2012, and ultimately leading to a serious armed conflict involving even foreign military. Consequently, we changed our plans and instead included some more days in the safer (but to us largely unknown) Guinea.
Nevertheless, after our arrival from Bobo-Dioulasso, we still had a few days to visit some of Bamako’s sights! We walked along the shores of the Niger River and even crossed it by foot on the Pont des Martyrs. Lateron, we paid a visit to the Cathedral of Bamako and the Musée National. We even hiked up to Point G offering spectacular views across Bamako and the Niger River! A special experience was our walk across the bustling Grand Marche, where people saw me photographing from a pedestrian overpass and began shouting angrily, while I quickly tried to disappear in the opposite direction before a mob could form…
After I had recovered from a quite unpleasant infection leaving me bed-stricken for two days, we hopped on a shared taxi bringing us across the border to Kankan in northeastern Guinea. Our adventures in this area will be covered in the following post!