This weekend, we visited a desert island . . . or the Mali equivalent, which is an island on the River Niger in Bankoumana, a village outside Bamako.
We had a hot and eventful taxi journey there, involving burst tyres, heated negotiations with the taxi drivers and lots of stopping to ask for directions. The journey culminated in a long drive down a very bumpy road which looked like it was heading into the middle of nowhere, still not quite sure if we were going the right way, as the driver cast anxious glances at the petrol gauge . . .
But then we arrived and everything was fabulous. We travelled in a gondola-style “pirogue” to our own tiny island for an afternoon of eating banana sandwiches and mangoes, swimming in the river and sunbathing. It was really tranquil – one of my favourite magic Mali moments so far.