#1 6-18-2017 12:55 PM

Apurva_N
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Mali Attack

So just as I am planning a trip to Mali and West Africa, here's news from today. Wow, scary stuff!

Mali tourist resort 'under attack'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-40322039

 

#2 6-18-2017 1:06 PM

harbinger
Cathy
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Re: Mali Attack

Very worrying, isn't it?
When I travelled regularly to Mali on business in the early 2000s, it was a relatively peaceful place, but sadly that is a thing of the past, and I am saddened by how the security situation has deteriorated in recent years.

 

#3 6-18-2017 1:11 PM

Apurva_N
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Re: Mali Attack

Yes, its very sad. I travelled to Syria in 2002 and it was the nicest place with the most hospitable and welcoming people one could imagine. They probably still are, but look what they've been put through and what's become of the country now.

Cathy, from your experience of Mali, even though it was long ago, what do you think? Should I drop it? Same question for Mauritania and Burkina, which are also on my list for now?

 

#4 6-18-2017 10:34 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Re: Mali Attack

If you still go to Bamako, I recommend as accommodation the 'Sleeping Camel' (see my accommodation tip), it's the next building to the German Embassy, when I was there a year ago full of Dutch and German police (their days off, but always with full equipment), should be enough security. Original the place was for overland tourists, camping, dorm, and some rooms, nothing fancy, the restaurant is fairly good.
(Personally I would not change my travel plan, these things can happen everywhere, low cost room and transport is less attractive to these people, but it's your decision. In March 2016 while I was there was as well a attack (on a former hotel, then a training center if I remember well)

 

#5 6-18-2017 11:13 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
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Re: Mali Attack

Thanks, Uli. Yes, I had Sleeping Camel in mind too - I've heard good things about it. But tell me, if the place is that famous, isn't it more likely to be targeted as a favourite haunt of travellers - the terrorists seem to be targeting places frequented by travelers?

 

#6 6-19-2017 12:15 AM

ulis
Uli
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Re: Mali Attack

One can only guess, in general IS etc. seem to like actions which give a lot of news coverage, with not not much risk a maximum of damage, 4 weel drive tours, restaurants, bars for business and news people, expensive hotels...In Mali they where first (2011/2012) quite successful, in my opinion because the Tuareg had some genuine reasons and the government was busy filling pockets. The later actions where not really successful and badly planed, as far as I can see. This resort now was apparently a bit out of town and more expensive, with Sleeping Camel the cameras from the German embassy are covering that building as well and there are a lot of security people around, beside of Dutch and German UN personal with Heavy weapons, and only 3 low cost tourists, this would not be a easy.

Last edited by ulis (6-19-2017 12:19 AM)

 

#7 6-19-2017 1:35 AM

harbinger
Cathy
Brussels, Belgium
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Re: Mali Attack

Apurva_N wrote:

Cathy, from your experience of Mali, even though it was long ago, what do you think? Should I drop it? Same question for Mauritania and Burkina, which are also on my list for now?

In all honesty, I think that my experience is now too dated to be relevant, and my in-country network has fallen away.
If I were in your situation, I'd be inclined to take Uli's advice. But then risk is a personal perception, and only you know what your tolerance limits are.  Being the passionate traveller you evidently are, I don't think it's too hard to guess what your decision will be wink

 

#8 6-19-2017 2:20 AM

Apurva_N
Apurva
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Re: Mali Attack

ulis wrote:

One can only guess, in general IS etc. seem to like actions which give a lot of news coverage, with not not much risk a maximum of damage, 4 weel drive tours, restaurants, bars for business and news people, expensive hotels...In Mali they where first (2011/2012) quite successful, in my opinion because the Tuareg had some genuine reasons and the government was busy filling pockets. The later actions where not really successful and badly planed, as far as I can see. This resort now was apparently a bit out of town and more expensive, with Sleeping Camel the cameras from the German embassy are covering that building as well and there are a lot of security people around, beside of Dutch and German UN personal with Heavy weapons, and only 3 low cost tourists, this would not be a easy.

Wow, sounds like I'm headed to a war-zone, with UN and security personal, heavy weapons, cameras, etc. smile
The only place like this that I have travelled to in recent years was the eastern part of DR Congo - and I couldn't have done that trip had it not been for a local friend who, along with two other buddies of his and a jeep, escorted me throughout the trip. And it still felt dangerous throughout. I have of course travelled to other 'dangerous' countries - Sudan, Burundi, Syria, El Salvador, Honduras, etc - but none felt so obviously dangerous at the time I was there.

Btw, isn't it the Al Qaeda (AQIM) that's the threat in Mali (and the Tuareg rebels in the north) rather than IS?

 

#9 6-19-2017 2:24 AM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
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Re: Mali Attack

harbinger wrote:

Apurva_N wrote:

Cathy, from your experience of Mali, even though it was long ago, what do you think? Should I drop it? Same question for Mauritania and Burkina, which are also on my list for now?

In all honesty, I think that my experience is now too dated to be relevant, and my in-country network has fallen away.
If I were in your situation, I'd be inclined to take Uli's advice. But then risk is a personal perception, and only you know what your tolerance limits are.  Being the passionate traveller you evidently are, I don't think it's too hard to guess what your decision will be wink

Yes, there is a certain kind of thrill to travelling in such places - as long as one doesn't go to foolish extremes. smile I'll probably take a call once I'm in the region itself - after Benin I may fly directly to Senegal if the situation worsens, or go through Mali and Mauritania as planned.

 

#10 6-19-2017 11:35 AM

ulis
Uli
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Re: Mali Attack

It's not as bad as eastern DR Congo, and cameras are today almost everywhere, UN personal with guns is a bit unusual but it's their job.
(Having problems with the airport wifi in Marseille)

 

#11 6-19-2017 11:35 AM

ulis
Uli
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Re: Mali Attack

If it's AQIM or IS, no idea, don't think it makes much difference, I might be wrong, but I think the Tuareg got upset with them.
Anyway the decision is yours, there are some risks, but you have them as well in India or England and many other places, for instance in Thailand in the last few years over 4000 people where killed that way, not only in the south and also tourists

 

#12 6-19-2017 11:36 AM

ulis
Uli
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Re: Mali Attack

Finally I managed...

 

#13 6-19-2017 12:24 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
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Re: Mali Attack

Thanks, Uli... that's right, it can actually happen anywhere... I guess I'll take a call once there...

 
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