Mopti is a town filled with noise and colour. Whether you’re walking its chaotic streets, shopping in its bustling markets, or listening to live music in a bar, there is life everywhere. In a hot and dry country, especially during the dry season, much of that life is lived outdoors. Streets become kitchens and playgrounds, people gather to chat and eat, and tourists pass largely unnoticed along the dusty streets between mud houses.
One of the great joys of travel in Africa is a visit to local markets – I’ll never forget the giant market in Addis Ababa, a place where it is possible to get lost for days on end. Sometimes Africa seems like a giant marketplace, buying, selling and negotiating always appear to be happening wherever you look. Mopti, as a major Malian port on the 4180 km long Niger River, is a regional hub for importing and exporting goods. A visit to the markets here was a must.
Meanwhile, back on the river, life goes on much as it has for millennia…
After all the excitement, it was back to the Hotel for a good night’s sleep in preparation for an early start the next day…we would be taking a boat four-days up the Niger River en route to the mysterious and mythical desert city of Timbuktu.