Trekkers Love Mali! Lonely Planet has named Pays Dogon among the top ten treks on Earth.

Written by  Jackson Stubbs

When you think of Mali, do you think of trekking? According to the Lonely Planet, if you didn’t before, you should now. The famed travel guides have named Mali’s Pays Dogon the third best trek in the world, only behind treks in Corsica and the Peruvian Andes. A trek through ‘the land of the Dogon people’, which can last anywhere from two to ten days, is a natural and cultural experience like no other.

The journey through Pays Dogon, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is set among the rolling plains of West Africa leading up to the rugged red cliffs of the Bandiagara escarpment, and takes trekkers through pungent onion fields and groves of baobab trees. Trekkers can see sacred crocodiles near Amani village, jacana and youyou birds in the trees along the trails, and can immerse themselves in the Dogon culture during tours of the numerous villages throughout the region. The people of this culture, known for its intricate ceremonial masks and colorful, vibrant festivals and dances, welcome all visitors to experience the land they’ve called home for centuries.

As a member of Solimar International’s Undiscovered Travel Collection, Pays Dogon exemplifies sustainable tourism. The communities involved are currently working on establishing the Dogon Travelers Donation Fund, through which guests will be able to contribute to community projects including the purchase of school supplies, support for farmers, and environmental conservation efforts. Participants in the Pays Dogon experience contribute directly to the economic stability of a community and have the opportunity to increase their own environmental and cultural understanding.

So, if an unrivaled natural and cultural experience coupled with a bit of philanthropy is what you’re looking for, then a trip to Pays Dogon is just the ticket. On behalf of all of us here at Solimar, I thank the Lonely Planet, and most importantly, all you travelers, for recognizing Pays Dogon’s cultural and natural wonders and spreading the word.

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