Markets are everywhere. The larger towns have daily markets. In smaller villages the market is only once or twice a week. Most of the business is done on the streets.
The street vendors can be very insistent, especially in tourist areas. There is constantly somebody trying to sell you something.
Street market in Koro. (967k) Market in Douentza. (659k) Market in Tombouctou. (954k) Market in Mopti. (935k) Market in Mopti. (947k) Market scene in Mopti. (845k) Metal works in the market in Mopti. (892k) Market stalls in Ségou. (754k) Market in Kayes. (794k) Street market. (1173k) Street market. (1078k) Selling mussels. (990k) Peanut vendor. (730k) Calabashes for sale in a street side store. (758k) Argument in the market. (777k) Trinkets for sale. (908k) Store in Ségou. (796k) Street vendor in Ségou. (829k) Street vendor in Ségou. (900k) Roadside street vendors. (958k) Roadside fruit vendor. (590k) Dealing in the market. (870k) Vendors at a bus stop. (622k) Street kitchen in Koro. (1004k) Street vendor being raided by sheep. (1029k) Street grill. (751k) Silver smith heating metal in the market in Bamako. (1127k) Wood carver in the market in Bamako. (911k) Brooms for sale. These types of brooms are used to sweep the street and sidewalk around shops. (806k) Clothes for sale with a picture of Obama. Obama was hugely popular in Africa at that time. (808k) On the way to or from the market. (840k)
The roads were often dirt roads. Only the major roads are paved. Many of the dirt roads are impassable during the rainy season, they become mud holes.
A lot of transportation is by human and animal power. Only long range transportation is by trucks and buses. Local transportation is mostly by donkey carts and on the heads of people. Along the Niger River, most of the transportation is by boat.
Dirt road. (719k) Young boy on a donkey. (891k) Camel rider. (511k) Donkey cart. (1008k) Horse drawn cart. (866k) Motor scooter with Obama image. (533k) Tricycle transporter. (888k) My Toyota Landcruiser. (827k) Vehicle supported by USAID. (634k) Vehicle supported by the European Union. (679k) There were lots of Mercedes in Mali. (862k) Vehicle of a local healer with traditional medicine. (984k) Local bus. These buses are used for local transportation everywhere. (865k) Local bus in Bamako. (823k) Passenger and speed limits o a bus. The passenger limit is not really observed. The buses load as many people as they can possibly squeeze in. (566k) Small buses waiting for a ferry. (691k) Overland bus. Che Guevara images were everywhere in Mali. (584k) Bus traffic in Bamako. (951k) Huge 22-wheeled trucks were ubiquitous. (483k) Long row of trucks waiting on the border to Sénégal. (575k) Broken trucks mark their truck with broken-off tree limbs. (551k) Row boat with fisherman. (539k) Local boats on the Niger River. (389k) Sail boat on the Niger River. (535k) Sail boat on Lac Débo. (439k) Motor boat on the Niger River. (693k) Transport boat on the Niger River. (473k) People transporter on the Niger River. (509k) Combined motor/sail-boat. (523k) Freight boats in the harbor in Mopti. (818k) Unloading freight in the Mopti harbor. (816k) Unloading freight in the Mopti harbor. (815k) Ferry to Tombouctou. (510k) Load on the Tombouctou ferry. (745k) Ferry near Djenné. (588k)
Farming and Animals
Farming is mostly for millet and sorghum. In the Dogon area there were a lot of onions.
Cows, goats, and sheep are raised for milk and meat. Chicken are raised everywhere. Donkeys and horses are used for transportation. In a few places I saw camels (dromedaries). They are used for transportation and for milk. Dogs are around everywhere. On the other hand, I saw only a couple of cats throughout the whole trip.
Onion fields with women tending the fields. (1016k) In this area, the millet straw was kept in piles on the ground. (1206k) Millet straw in a field, stored on a wooden platform to keep animals away. (1214k) Here, the millet straw was stored on top of a building. (951k) Palm tree in a village on the Niger River. (554k) An African Baobab (Adansonia digitata, german: Afrikanischer Affenbrotbaum, french: Baobab africain) near a Dogon village. The strange shape at the bottom part of the trunk is caused by repeated harvesting of the bark for making ropes. The Baobab is one of only very few tree species that can survive having their bark removed all the way around the tree. (1207k) An African Baobab where the bark was recently removed. (1177k) Herding sheep. (745k) Sheep along the Niger River. (676k) Giving a sheep a bath. (734k) Giving a sheep a bath. (598k) Donkey resting in the shade. (778k) Albino donkey. (904k) Herd of cows under an African Baobab (Adansonia digitata, german: Afrikanischer Affenbrotbaum, french: Baobab africain). (909k) Zebu cattle. (1026k) Zebu cattle on the shore of the Niger River with egrets. The scars are owner's marks. (670k) The Fulani had camped here with a herd of cattle. The whole are was full of cow patties. (941k) Horse on the shore of the Niger River. (712k) Dromedaries (Camelus dromedarius, german: Dromedar, french: Dromadaire). (1108k) Dromedary with baby. (751k)
Most labor is done by hand, including grinding grains,threshing, and winnowing. Water is usually used from the village well. Mostly this is done by kids.
Kids playing with old tires. (951k) Men's laundry and bathing in the Niger River. (843k) Women doing laundry. (854k) Dish washing in the Niger River. (638k) Cooking dinner for us near the Gourma reserve. (449k) Washing on the street. As usual, the woman bends down from the waist (see comment on the main Mali page). (792k) Grain processing implements. (931k) Village women processing grain. (1045k) Woman pounding grain. Everywhere they used these long big wooden poles and a mortars cut from wood. (785k) Winnowing grains in the wind. (517k) Old wooden mortars that have been pounded through over time. (809k) Power grain mill. (767k) Village well. Very often it was the kids that were getting the water from the wells. (834k) Village well. At this well, donkeys pulled up the buckets with water. It was a deeper than normal well. (827k) Getting drinking water from the lake. (885k) Carrying water back home on her head. (580k) Doing homework on a blackboard. (821k) These Foosball machines were everywhere. This one was decorated with Che Guevara. That likeness was also ubiquitous. (811k) A goat was raiding the pot that had been left unattended for a bit, pushing it around and scattering the other pots and pans. (670k) Fishermen on the Niger River. (499k) Fishermen on the Niger River. (461k) Fisherman in the harbor in Mopti. (535k) Community fishing in the Niger River. (549k) Fox tables. They are smoothed in the evening. During the night, the fox is said to walk across the fox tables. A shaman interprets the fox tracks the next morning to forecast things. (674k)