Mali & Niger 2006

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In March and April 2006, Dave and I spent six weeks in West Africa. First we went on a private tour of Mali, which took us through Burkina Faso and parts of Niger, dropping us off in Agadez. Then we joined a larger desert eclipse expedition in Niger's Air Mountains and Tenere Desert. After that we made our way through Benin. Finally, we went to Paris for a week of food and museums.

Mali / Burkina Faso / Niger
I found Saga Tours, a tour operator in Mali with a good website, and with good user reviews. I took bits and pieces from a few of their tours, and created a custom itinerary, which they were happy to accommodate. It was just the two of us, Kone the guide, and Mohamed the driver. More pictures...
Desert Eclipse Expedition
After being dropped off in Agadez, we joined up with the next expedition. I had found Gavin Bate, an Irish guy who runs expeditions all over the world, including the Air Mountains in Niger. I suggested to Gavin that he do an expedition for the eclipse, and Gavin went with the idea. They found a local tour operator to find seven reliable Land Cruisers, scoped out the area, and signed up 21 people mostly from Ireland, England, and the US to go. More pictures...
After the desert camping trip, we made our way from Agadez to the Benin border, and from there down to the capital, Cotonou, where we eventually caught a plane back to Paris. More pictures...
After six weeks in West Africa, we returned to Western civilization, meeting our friend Harvey for a week of eating French food in Paris. He was there to see opera, seven in eleven nights or something like that. More pictures...
Signs & Graffiti
Here's a small collection of various signs we saw on the trip, and a few examples of local graffiti. More pictures...
As usual, here are several pictures you can put behind all those icons on your computer. More pictures...

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