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Nioro du Sahel is probably the nastiest place I have ever spent the night.  It probably did not help that we had endured a hard day off-piste and arrived as night was falling, so utterly exhausted.  We drove round and round trying to find the alleged hotel (another raging success for LP guides) until we gave up and settled on a rather dodgy campement recommended by one of Nioro's citizens as being "good enough for whites".  Unsure quite what kind of endorsement this represented, we were offered a mud hut complete with lockable (corrugated iron) door and tucked into our gourmet egg and chips.

After dinner we wandered round until we stumbled upon a "bar" which whilst serving well-chilled beer, turned out to be the local brothel.  We spent an uncomfortable night in our mosquito infested clay oven, accompanied by the constant sound of rats scurrying around in the thatch above our heads.

In 2005 it was the end of the hard-top when travelling South; now the asphalt goes all the way to Bamako and Nioro is just another truck stop where you officially enter Mali and fill out the paperwork.  On our return in 2008 we just kept driving and spent an altogether more pleasant night camped out under the stars a few kilometres beyond the town.

Return to Sahara Itinerary 2005

Return to Sahara Itinerary 2008



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© Jeremy Harrison 2005-2013