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Exploring the Bandiagara Escarpment

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Bandiagara Escarpment

The Bandiagara Escarpment is a beautiful escarpment in Mali within West Africa. Located in the Dogon country of Mali, this is a sandstone cliff rising above the height of 500 metres just above the sandy stretch in the south.

Extending for a length of around 150 kilometres, the entire escarpment area is today inhabited by the people of the Dogon group. Earlier the Toloy and Tellem used to live here prior to the Dogons. In 1989, the Bandiagara Escarpment got the recognition as a World Heritage Site from the UNESCO.

This sandstone cliff range extends from the southern part of Mali to the north east and stretches for at least 200 km. It goes up to the Grandamia massif. The Hombori Tondo is the highest peak of the escarpment and is located at Mali at a height of1, 115 metres. It has great archaeological, geological, and ethnological characteristics and is one of the most imposing sites in Western Africa.

When the Dogons arrived here, the Tellem, the cave dwellers of this area were thrown out. The Tellem legacy is very much a part of the Bandiagara escarpment. The cliffs carved out by them to bury the dead are seen here and there are many villages here on the cliff, the Kani Bonzon being one of them. The Dogons settled here sometime in the 14th century and latter on spread their settlements in the Seno Gondo plains too.

The Bandiagara Escarpment today has tours in the Dogon villages. There are a series of trails along the cliffs and the host villages get a lot of income from the tourists who visit here. Bandiagara Escarpment is also part of the World Monuments Watch since the year 2004.

Tours to Bandiagara Escarpment are very interesting and intriguing. You can plan a trip to these amazing sites with a local tour operator listed on this guide.

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