Our first stop in Mali, just after crossing the border from Guinea, was Sibi – a tiny place in the middle of nowhere about 200km from Bamako. The only thing that made it worth stopping was the mountain with a huge rock arch. We didn’t want to drive all the way into the capital the same day so we stopped and tried to find a place to camp which was not so easy.
We usually park just outside a village, ask the locals if it’s ok if we spend the night, they say “of course, no problem” and then they leave us alone and do their thing. This place was a bit different and we had annoying teenagers following us wherever we drove and there were no adults in the village to “discipline” them. They must have been in the city, probably Bamako, to try make a living there. So they left they families behind and it was a weird atmosphere to see mainly children and teenagers, some women or older people in the village but no men.
Anyways, we did find a place in the end we felt comfortable about to camp and even had an open air shower with our super-shower-curtain-solution right behind the car although we had a little audience.
The night was tough though, in fact, it was the toughest night during our trip (so far??). It was super hot although we had doors and windows open and we got eaten by mosquitoes (although we had a net up inside the car. I guess it’s time to stitch some holes…).
We were happy when the sun came up and we were able to go on a short hike up the Kamdjan mountain and the arch which was really nice with a great view over the valley. Before 9 we were back and it must have been 40 degrees Celsius already - honestly, Mali in May is the worst you can do. All books and locals tell you “The hottest time of the year is May”, “almost unbearable temperatures in May” and so on. Well, we got a taste of it and it was terribly hot.
Anyways, the night in the valley was very tough but the hike to the arch definitely beautiful.