Posted by: Dudley | October 25, 2008

MALI, GABON, AND RWANDA/UGANDA

Mali – I’ve been trying for 3 years to get a group together to go to the Festival in the Desert in Mali and finally, this year, or rather, next January, we’re off! This festival, from all reports, is an incredible experience. Held in Essekane, near Timbuctu, it was originally organized by Ali Farka Touré, the late great “douaen”  (elder, or guru) of Malian music and has been put on annually for, I think, five years now. We’ve got a group of 6 people who are going for sure and 4 or 5 more who haven’t yet committed. Traditional Tuareg (nomads of the Sahara) and Wodaabé (of male beauty pageant fame) music and dance goes on all day and then at night there is a main stage with a playlist of Malian and West African musicians that will knock your socks off. On the edge of the Sahara, this is one of the most offbeat, and off the beaten path, festivals on the face of the earth. For more info, go to the Festival’s own official website at www.festival-au-desert.org . For information on DreamWeaver Travel’s 2009 Festival in the Desert itinerary, go to www.dreamweavertravel.net/trips/festivalinthedesert

Festival Camp

Festival Camp

Ready for the races!

Ready for the races

 

 

Gabon:

 

We’ve got a fantastic new wrinkle in our Gabon program. It actually came about because of a glitch in the operation of Ivindo Park in Gabon. It’s temporarily (we hope) not in service to tourists due to the Gabonese government not having yet identified a tour operator or lodge “concessionaire” (I don’t know what the real word is so I made that one up…) to run the lodging and guiding services at the Park. We work with Africa’s Eden, who run the tourist lodging and guiding thing at Loango Park, on the coast, and do a wonderful job of it. Elephants in Loango Park, Gabon  

On Iguela Beach - where the wildlife comes to relax!

On Iguela Beach - where the wildlife comes to relax!

Africa’s Eden has just begun providing services to and at Doli Lodge at Dzanga Sangha Wildlife Reserve in the Central African Republic and have put together a trip which combines Loango Park and Dzanga Sangha. It’s an amazing trip which combines time on the ocean at Loango with what is probably the best viewing opportunities of forest elephant and lowland gorilla in the world.  Participants will also be able to experience a day in the life of the BaAka Pygmies, who are living much as their ancestors have for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In the next few days I’ll be putting a full itinerary up on our website – so check back soon!

 

Rwanda/Uganda :

Gorilla familyBwindi NP veranda and viewVirunga Veranda

Mountain gorilla watching at its best! We’re working with Volcanoes Safaris, the premiere gorilla safari outfit in the world. I met them at the 2006 World Travel Market in Berlin and, after long discussion, knew that they were a company I could, and wanted to, work with. They are fervent believers in sharing the benefits of tourism with local communities and they are passionate about preserving the natural world. And, not least, they own their own beautiful and comfortable lodges, most of which are very sustainably built with local materials and traditional architecture.

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Responses

  1. Dear sir or madam,

    For full information on Gabon and its national parks please check:

    http://www.gabonmagazine.com

    Thank you,

    M. Perillo


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