Active + Adventure

Best Adventure Trips 2008

by Sarah Tuff

Sand and Savannas in Mali

Cross Lawrence of Arabia with the work of Salvador Dalí and you might end up with something akin to Mali. The strange, often surreal shapes found in the sub-Saharan dunes, cliff-side villages, and shapely mud mosques often evoke the late Spanish artist's works. Located in central West Africa, south of Algeria, Mali is perhaps best known for the fabled trading city of Timbuktu. But as Abercrombie & Kent has discovered, the West African nation is also about undulating, Crayola-colored hills, and an ancient, thriving culture. After arriving in the capital, Bamako, guests road-trip through villages, where they picnic with village chiefs, hear local music, and check out the magenta sun as it disappears into the desert each evening. Also on the itinerary: Floating down the Niger River in a dugout canoe and riding camels from Timbuktu to a Tuareg camp, home of the indigo-robed "Blue Men." One of the six serviceable hotels is Hotel Kambary, complete with tripped-out, beehive-shaped bungalows that would be the appropriate accommodations for Dalí—or Lawrence of Arabia.

Departures: February 4–15, March 10–21, September 15–26, October 20–31

Price: $4,760, including lodging, meals, and ground travel within Mali; internal airfare, $385; originates in Bamako

Abercrombie & Kent
Tel: 800 554 7094 (toll-free)
Tel: 630 954 2944

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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