A Caravan Of Peace - "caravan of artists for peace and national unity in Mali" is being planned to travel through Mali to Timbuktu in November 2013.
The Festival in the Desert is being planned to return to Timbuktu in January 2014
Contact us for more information or follow the below link to book your place now.
From Here 2 Timbuktu is delighted to announce our continued support as an Associated Partner of the Festival In The Desert.
The festival has always been a symbol of peace and unity in this famously tolerant and music loving country. This year, with support from the Clinton Global Initiative, we are organising two incredible events.
Firstly in November 2013 there will be a "caravan of artists for peace and unity" travelling across Mali to Timbuktu.
Then in January 2014 the Festival In The Desert will be returning home after a year of exile.
If you want to be part of history in the making join us for a celebration of peace and unity of all Malian people.
Contact us for more information.
The From Here 2 Timbuktu family of guides, cooks, and drivers will be offering vehicles and camps and catering throughout the caravan and we will be offering 10-20 day trips around the Festival In The Desert.
The threat to westerners of kidnap in the region has been drastically reduced with the French campaign against the AQMI forces. From Here 2 Timbuktu believes that the risk of kidnap to nationalities other than French is negligible. We have confidence in our local knowledge and expertise in security matters. We have a 100% record on this, and our travel advice is geared around maintaining this record. We will never advise anyone to travel to a region where we are not very confident of our security measures. All our itineraries remain flexible at all times.
Caravan Of Peace/Festival In The Desert.
€1,200 euro | £950 GBP | US $1,550 per week.
€3250 euro | £2650 GBP | US $4200 for 3 weeks
€3750 euro | £2950 GBP | US $4850 for 4 weeks
Sahara Overland UK to Morocco and Mauritania and Mali
Nov/Dec (to be announced)
€2950 | £2400 | US $3800
All prices include:
Airport pick up
Camping/accommodation at festivals.
All food at camp.
Price does not include:
All drinks, hotel and guest house accommodation, food in restaurants or hotels.
Extra activities not listed in your itinerary
All flights and visas.
My Sahara Overland trip: from UK to Spain where we begin to link up with Africa at the Alhambra in Granda. Once across to Morocco we begin in the Berber region of north Morocco followed by Fez, through the Moyen Atlas to the Sahara desert. We will then travel across the desert along the line of the Atlas Mountains to the wild Atlantic coast, down through Western Sahara to Mauritania.
In Mauritania we will visit the Parc De Banc d''Auguin for Saharan landscapes, flamingoes and Atlantic waves, the ancient city of Chinguetti - the Timbuktu of Mauritania - and on through fabulous landscapes to Tidjikdja (go on, say it) to join up with the Caravan of Peace in the dunes of south Mauritania.
History of the Festival In The Desert
Since its inception in 2000 The Festival In The Desert has always stood for the open and tolerant values and traditions of all the people of Mali.
Tuareg men listen to the music, Festival In The Desert 2007
Founded on a Tamashek (Tuareg) tradition of festivals when nomadic clans meet up in the cooler dry season, to celebrate their culture, their music and their stories from their year’s wanderings, the Festival In The Desert has branched out to represent all the communities and extraordinarily rich musical traditions of the desert, of Mali and of the region as a whole. It is cited as one of the world's top 25 Festivals.
The Festival Au Desert has been, for the past 12 years, Mali’s number one tourist attraction, bringing people from around the world together for three nights of communal celebrations in the beauty and simplicity of the desert outside the fabled city of Timbuktu, a city founded over the centuries on the trade of goods and ideas and Islam between north and south.
The 12 years of the Festival history have coincided with turbulent times for the region, and sadly and needlessly the Festival itself has been the subject of security warnings from western governments. This has reduced tourist numbers and put off companies offering tours to Mali. The festival has begun to be identified with a defiance of the exaggeration about security issues in Africa. Every year there are warnings, every year the festival goes ahead without incident. The Festival in the Desert has become a celebration of difference, and has shown year on year how music is a unifying force between all peoples, and that whatever is going on on the political level of life, underneath we are all the same. In music there are no power struggles, corruption, resources, politics, interests. There is just music, and people.
The Festival In The Desert has gone ahead every year since 2000 because it has been safe for it to go ahead, not because it has been braving it out.
Likewise, From Here 2 Timbuktu has backed the festival every year since 2007 when other international companies began pulling out, not out of bravado to the dangers, but because we knew very well about the dangers, but we also knew where the danger really was, what its capacity was and consequently that The Festival was not a target and was safe.
The so called "islamist" problem in Mali has been a foreign issue that was allowed to camp up in Mali. It is really more about mafia gangs than anti-western propaganda. Now that ransom money has dried up, the market for taking westerners hostage has been destroyed. There is now very little motive for taking a hostage as this was always about money not politics or ideology. Today this issue has been effectively beaten back and dispersed in the very northern reaches of the desert.
A Tuareg mother and daughter watch the camel races, Festival In The Desert 2008
An open, tolerant, music loving tradition is common to all the groups of Mali: Tuareg, Peul, Songoi, Dogon, Bambara, Solinke, Mande, Bozo, Tukolor.
The greatest victims in the tragedy of Mali 2012 have been the Tuareg. The refugees from mali are 90% Tuareg. Their long tradition of strong matriarchal communities represented by the female music tradition of Tinde, exemplifies the foreignness of the islamist invasion that occupied their territory. Now they are returning and this year's caravan of peace and the Festival In the Desert will be a celebration of their return and their unity with the other people of Mali.
The Tuareg culture and the people of the north are in a particularly perilous position. It is no exaggeration to be saying that the Tamashek culture’s very existence as a people is at stake. In the Sahara since Phoenician times, with 1000s of years of history behind them, the Tamashek people only really know and seek their own freedom in their desert.
I promise you adventure, great music and a sense of communal celebration and debate at a time of pivotal change for the region. From Here 2 Timbuktu and the organisers of the Caravan of Peace and The Festival In The Desert are well placed to look after your security and this will be at the forefront of our minds throughout.
Winner of the beauty contest at The Festival Of Camels, Tessalit 2010