The Bandiagara Escarpment

The sandstone cliffs of Bandiagara are a mountain chain near Mopti. They are also home to one of the Dogon people, who inhabit the area. The parts of the mountain chain near the town of Bandiagara, commonly known as the Bandiagara Escarpment, features mud villages on the slopes of the cliff. Seeing this site makes obvious why this is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mud village in the Bandiagara escarpment
Mud village in the Bandiagara escarpment

Dogon country

Before the Dogon, the people of the Tellem lived until the 14thin the caves they had carved from the mountain. A lot of tunnels are connecting the caves, which left the Dogon villagers happily untroubled by the French colonialists.  The whole area is a fiest for anyone interested in archeology, ethonology and geology.

Mud houses in the Bandiagara escarpment
Mud houses in the Bandiagara escarpment
Mud church in Bandiagara
Mud church in Bandiagara

 After a short rest in a tourist cafe – with a view at the village in the cliff – we decided to climb as high up as we were allowed. In fact, some areas are off-limits for tourists, as the local people are strong believers in Animism. Our driver/guide was quite helpful to point out potential pitfalls. Therefore, we didn’t have to bribe our way out by accidentally touching snakes, ants or anything that could have been the ancestors of the village inhabitants.

Strange rock near Bandiagara
Strange rock near Bandiagara