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back to the journey

1 - Mali pinasse Diafarabé
2 - Mali cattle crossing Diafarabé
3 - Mali pinasse River Niger
4 - Mali rondreis
5 - Mali roundtrip


Mali the Malian way
the Great Cattle Crossing - Yaaral


day 1 - Friday

In the early morning you’ll board our pinasse in Ségou for a beautiful journey over the Niger river. Today takes you from Ségou in the direction of Diafarabé, along lovely villages, through the lock near Markala, along Sansanding with its riverside mosque and Macina. You’ll be gathering a multitude of impressions, while enjoying the quiet pace of travelling by boat on the river. Bird lovers have the chance to do some birding as well.
Camp will be made on the river shore or an isle. The crew prepares the meals and you’re offered an evening around the campfire under the star-spangled sky.

day 2 - Saturday

We’ll make it another early departure to cover the remaining distance to Diafarabé, where the Great Cattle Crossing will take place today. It usually starts once all dignitaries have arrived, somewhere in between 9am and noon. The village is visited in the morning before the start of the activities.
Hunters will fire their guns as a token of the start of the festivities. On the other riverbank the herders will guide the first herds of cattle into the river, the festivities have started. Girls and women are beautifully dressed, their hairs decorated with amber beads and gold ornaments. Today they’ll give it their best to impress the young herders, like the herders will give it their all to impress the nubile girls.
Mingle with the locals, taste their snacks and juices, enjoy the festivities - both on shore and on the river from the pinasse - and be part of one of Mali’s most amazing events.
In the afternoon when most of the cattle has crossed and festivities on the river shore are slowing down, you get back on board to start the journey back towards Ségou. A short stop is made at Macina to visit its weekly market on the river quay.
Around sunset, after a few hours of cruising upstream, camp is made on the river shore or an isle.

day 3 - Sunday

Another relaxing day on the river takes you back to Ségou. When time allows some villages or a Bozo settlement will be visited. Arrival in Ségou is foreseen for the late afternoon.

View photo album
View the itinerary

in short

Day 1: Ségou-pinasse
Day 2: Diafarabé-pinasse
Day 3: pinasse-Ségou
Book this trip


adult: 120,000 FCFA
child 2-12 yrs: 75,000 FCFA
baby 0-1 yrs: free of charge
all prices listed are per person


25-27 November 2016


Transport by pinasse, all meals, use of tents and matrasses, English and French spoken travel guide, all excursions and transport as mentioned in the itinerary and tourist taxes.
Life vests available for babies, children and adults.


Transport to and from Ségou, personal insurances, accommodations in Ségou, drinks, tips, souvenirs, personal expenses.

responsible travel

Papillon Reizen values taking her responsibility. That is why we pay a fair price for goods and services. Besides all our activities contribute to the Papillon funds.


By private pinasse



group size

maximum 8 people
minimum 6 people

comfort level
of the journey

A good shape and flexible attitude are required for this journey, in which the nights will be spent in tents and (sanitairy) facilities are simple.

practical information

For (practical) information on Mali click here.
Additional information for this trip will be provided upon booking.