Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread: Is Mali off limit to overlanders now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Montreal & San Francisco
    Posts
    5,702

    Default Is Mali off limit to overlanders now?

    A few years ago I worked in Mali and fell in love with that country. I was looking forward to go back for a second visit this year.

    However it seems like the entire country is now in a precarious situation.




    The entire country is now red http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...an-africa/mali



    Some foreigners have been kidnapped (and even killed) around Timbuktu since last year, including a South African/UK citizen.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15895908

    Some good info on the Sahara Overland forum on the Hubb

    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...timbuktu-60415
    Last edited by Christian P.; 05-14-2012 at 03:05 AM.
    Christian

    CTO Expedition Portal
    www.expeditionportal.com
    www.overlandjournal.com

  2. #2
    gjackson's Avatar
    gjackson is offline Overland Training Alumni
    Expedition Portal Moderator
    FRGS
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2,300
    I wouldn't run a trip there, but I'd go personally in an instant. Been through DRC, Angola, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Serbia and Iraq all during conflicts of one sort or another. Practical conditions on the ground are rarely reflected in FCO or CIA warnings. Sure, you have to be careful, even extra careful, but if you are, nothing is closed.

    Just my 2c

    cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Tucson, more or less.
    Posts
    2,363
    Two things to keep in mind:

    1. It's the State Department's job to be pessimistic and paranoid.
    2. It's every new agency's job to sensationalize the news.

    We were just in Egypt when U.S. news agencies were reporting Cairo was "in flames," and the State Department had warned all of us to keep away. And here's Roseann and Diane at the mercy of a mob of Egyptians:

    Egyptmob.jpg

    That's not to say we blithely wander wherever we like and pay no attention to news or the State Department. But such information is part of our decision on whether or not to go, not the sole arbiter. And statistically speaking, the frequency of these events that result in headlines and official warnings is vanishingly rare.
    1973 FJ40, 1974 Series III 88, 1982 911SC, 1970 Triumph Trophy, 1985 300D, JATAC, Thorn Nomad.

    Overland Expo


    ConserVentures

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falcon, CO
    Posts
    640
    Looks like you guys had a fun time in Egypt. There's always warnings, people getting kidnapped all over the world. It's always something to consider and think about not just abroad but at home as well. I wouldn't suggest traveling through an active war zone or hitting up the Mogadishu Market for some fresh chicken, but take politically motivated warnings with a grain of salt. Stay Alert, Stay Alive

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Montreal & San Francisco
    Posts
    5,702
    I agree that the whole of Mali is probably fine, but I don't think I would venture in Timbuktu right now.

    More sad news:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17973545

    Mali Islamist militants 'destroy' Timbuktu saint's tomb
    The Djingareyber mosque is one of the cultural sites protected by Unesco in Timbuktu.
    Timbuktu is the site of three great medieval mosques, Unesco says.
    Christian

    CTO Expedition Portal
    www.expeditionportal.com
    www.overlandjournal.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Albany NY & Middle East
    Posts
    35
    I agree. Well, Northern Mali is now REALLY off limits. The declaration today of a New Islamic state by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (no, really, thats their name) and the Taliban-crazy Bin Laden inspired "Ansar al-Dinne" (aka Al Qaeda of the Islamic Magreb-Mali branch) is at least one way to get the the coup winners in Bamako back on the USA and French good graces after looting the central bank. The Bamako response is going to be predictable and involve lots of overlanding ... well, if you call Toyota 75s with heavy machineguns and rockets moving armed men from the south to the north . Expect lots of high speed chases and random indiscriminate shooting of locals. Yeesh!
    "KEEP CALM and ROVER ON
    __________________________________________________ _________
    In USA:
    1986 LR 110 CSW - 3.5L V8 "Bad Wolf" - Coniston green
    1984 LR 110 Stage 1 3.5L V8 "The Gopher"
    Still Overseas: 1984 LR 150 Hotspur 150 - Sandringham 6. 6x6 - 3.5L - ("Big Bird" soon "SOPMOD Simba")- Under Restoration
    1989 LR 110 Hardtop - 3.5L V8 "Dug the Dog"
    1997 LR D90 Auto - 4.6L Range Rover Engine "Baby Duck"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Montreal & San Francisco
    Posts
    5,702
    I guess this is no surprise, but still extremely sad and deplorable.

    Timbuktu shrines damaged by Mali Ansar Dine Islamists

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18657463

    Islamist fighters in Mali have damaged the shrines of Muslim saints in the city of Timbuktu, witnesses say.

    The fighters, from the Ansar Dine group, which controls much of northern Mali, attacked the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud, one of 16 shrines in the city.

    Last week, the UN cultural organisation Unesco put Timbuktu on its list of endangered world heritage sites, fearing damage following the coup which toppled the Malian government in March.

    Islamists regard shrines as idolatrous.

    However, some Muslims, especially Sufis, regard them as an accepted part of Muslim worship.

    'Architectural wonders'
    Witnesses said Islamist fighters began attacking the shrines on Saturday morning, using shovels and pickaxes.

    "This is tragic news for us all," Unesco chairperson Alissandra Cummins said in a statement to the AFP news agency. "I appeal to all those engaged in the conflict in Timbuktu to exercise their responsibility."

    Continue reading the main story
    Treasures of Timbuktu


    Timbuktu was a centre of Islamic learning from the 13th to the 17th Centuries
    700,000 manuscripts survive in public libraries and private collections
    Books on religion, law, literature and science
    Letters between rulers, advisers and merchants on subjects as varied as taxation, commerce, marriage and prostitution
    Added to Unesco world heritage list in 1988 for its three large mosques and 16 cemeteries and mausoleums
    Unesco says theY played a major role in spreading Islam in West Africa; the oldest dates from 1329
    Life in Timbuktu under Islamist rule
    Why do we know Timbuktu?
    Ansar Dine spokesman Sanda Ould Boumama told the AFP news agency the shrines would be destroyed, "all of them, without exception".
    Christian

    CTO Expedition Portal
    www.expeditionportal.com
    www.overlandjournal.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NFA - Out on the open road
    Posts
    725
    We were there in March/April last year.

    To be honest there were not many travellers around. Up in Bandiagara we were the only people staying and advice was not to go any further north. We had eyes on us all the time, same at Djenne. So while you might say "keep your head down, be careful" etc, when you're the only foreigners in town EVERYONE will know about it. If you're moving daily then you should be ok. I personally would not like to travel through Mali now. Kidnappings in the whole area are on the up and its starting to happen in daylight in public places.

    Yes there are risks everywhere, but I think West Africa should be avoided as an overland destination for the time being.

    Shame I know, but there are other places to see.

    G
    Land Rover D90 & Sankey Overland Trailer


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Guest of the northern barbarians Aberdeen
    Posts
    2,536
    I think also people have to remember that the libyan uprising put another few million AK 47's on the market in what was a relatively safe North Africa
    warehouses of military hardware looted and removed

    Pretty sure not only Ghadaffi's family fled south to Niger and Mali, he was also accused of using mercenaries....

    what do you think they took home with them , postcards and happy memories ?

    for me a family man- it would simply not be worth the risk, there are many other places to visit on the planet !

    I once met an X SAS chap in Houston, arround the time of the Gulf war and asked him why he was'nt over there as a merc

    his answer was I'm presently doing ship security in the gulf and caribean, they pay me about the same, but the chance of being shot at is way less....

    Simple answer and made sence

    For example

    I'm still here in Colombia after 1.4 years myself and my family are the only ones of our social group that have not been mugged or robbed,
    we have either been simply been lucky or our awareness is such that we are'nt seen as an easy target my big arse weimeraner helps in keeping people away

    we even take him to the pub with us !

    here its just knives and odd pistol- but arround the city many die each week for the price of a mobile phone.

    here I see the security issues as arround but carry an acceptable risk / the pay and family life.

    I would see Mali Niger etc right now as unsetlled with too many un-controled guns and religious ferver showing its shadowy head

    The benefits do not outway the risk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NFA - Out on the open road
    Posts
    725
    I should also have added that if you want to know the situation on the ground in Bamako you need to speak to Bill at 'The Sleeping Camel' http://www.thesleepingcamel.com/

    Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-S...i/220855236277 1 post shows a couple who passed through about 2 weeks ago so there are still a handfull of people transiting Mali right now.

    The other person to speak to in West Africa would be Martin at the Zebrabar in Senegal: http://www.zebrabar.net/

    OK he is a long way off Mali but knows the situation in West Africa and keeps an eye on it as a lack of tourism in the area as a whole effects his business.

    G
    Land Rover D90 & Sankey Overland Trailer


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •