Salt processing in Mopti

Travel to Mopti – The Venice of Mali

Located roughly halfway between Bamako and Timbuktu, and 60 km from Dogon Country, Mopti is an active river port town popular with travellers for its beautiful landscape and small fishing villages. It also acts as a convenient departure or arrival point for adventurous Niger River cruises aboard local pinasse motorised boats.

Built on three islands connected by dikes, at the meeting of the Bani and Niger rivers, Mopti is Mali’s major route intersection. The islands had long been inhabited until they had fallen under the influence of the Massina Empire in the 19th century. In the mid-19th century, the town became the base of El Hadj Umar Tall. With French domination, Mopti became known for its egret feather industry.

Attractions in Mopti include the Grand Mosque of Mopti, built in a typical Sudanese style between 1936 and 1943; the nearby Pays Dogon (Dogon Country) and Mopti’s small fishing villages. Travellers can also visit Bamako and Timbuktu.

Travellers to Mopti enjoy canoe trips or pirogue rides down the Bani River. Rent a boat, camp, and search for hippos near Lac Debo (Debo Lake).

Take a riverboat along the Niger river to Bamako and Timbuktu or shop at the waterfront with its hectic markets stocked with local goods, from leather and gold to wool rugs and woven Fulani wedding blankets.

Mopti can be reached in a day from Bamako by good tarmac road or by irregular domestic flights. Mopti is a pleasant town to explore on foot. Taxis are available throughout town. Local motorised boats are one of the best ways to experience Mopti. They can be hired on the waterfront.

  • Join an evening pirogue trip to the confluence of the Bani and Niger Rivers and enjoy a fabulous sunset.
  • Watch the early morning activity at the harbour as fishermen bring in their catch.
  • Enjoy a 3-day adventure cruise from Mopti to Timbuktu aboard a motorised pinasse.


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