The Cliff of Bandiagara, Land of the Dogon’s, is a vast cultural landscape covering 400,000 ha and includes 289 villages scattered between the three natural regions: sandstone plateau, escarpment, plains (more than two-thirds of the listed perimeter are covered by plateau and cliffs).
The communities at the site are essentially the Dogon and have a very close relationship with their environment expressed in their sacred rituals and traditions.
The site of the Land of the Dogons is an impressive region of exceptional geological and environmental features. Human settlements in the region, since Palaeolithic times, have enabled the development and harmonious integration into the landscape of rich and dense tangible and intangible cultures, the best known of which are those of the Tellem, that are thought to live in the caves, and the Dogon.
This hostile milieu and difficult access have been, since the 15th century, a natural refuge that corresponded to the need for defence of the Dogons in the face of formidable invaders.
A series of trails runs along the cliffs and visitors are escorted by local guides.
Things to do at the Bandiagara Escarpment Mali
The Bandiagara site is an outstanding landscape of cliffs and sandy plateaux with some beautiful architecture (houses, granaries, altars, sanctuaries, and Togu Na, or communal meeting-places). Several age-old social traditions live on in the region (masks, feasts, rituals, and ceremonies involving ancestor worship). The geological, archaeological, and ethnological interest, together with the landscape, makes the Bandiagara plateau one of West Africa’s most impressive sites.
How to get to Bandiagara Escarpment
Bandiagara escarpment is located close to 800 km from the main capital Bamako and buses are available that take about 11-12 hours to reach their final destination but on a private road trip, you may need at least two days to catch up with the drive and ensure you use a 4×4 safari vehicle.
Take enough drinking water and snacks with you
Where to stay in Bandiagara Escarpment
There are very few tourist facilities in this area and some of the places to stay in the Bandiagara escarpment include the Hotel de la Falaise and hotel Camaleon.
However, camping options can be an added advantage but you need to ensure that you travel with everything you need.