MMM's "Everything is Possible"

… … … life trail of a wanderer


mopti-1Mopti’s climate is considered sahara.  This is the common view in Mopti

Mopti is the fourth administrative region of Mali, covering area of 79,017 km². Its capital is the city of Mopti. Mopti Region is bordered by Tomboctou Region to the north, Ségou Region to the southwest, and Burkina Faso to the southeast.  The population is 1,735,340 people, including Bozos, Songhai, Dogon, Fulani and Bambara.

mopti-2View of traditional village during my journey from San to Mopti 

The Niger River crosses the region, and is joined by the Bani river, its tributary, at the city of Mopti. The region is separated into several areas: the Niger delta around Mopti, the Bandiagara cliffs and the plain of Bankass along the Burkina Faso frontier. Mount Hombori, the highest point in Mali at 1,153 metres, is in the Mopti Region, near the city of the same name.


mopti-3The scene that you normally seen from National Geographic, now infront of you

In terms of its climate, Mopti Region is considered part of the Sahel. The largest cities of the region are Mopti, Sévaré, Djenné, Bandiagara, Bankass and Youvarou. The region is well-irrigated and its agriculture is well-developed, with particularly of rice and fishing. Mopti serves as an important commercial crossroads between Mali’s north, south and bordering nations. Tourism is also well-developed, notably in the cities of Djenné and Mopti (the former of which boasts the Great Mosque of Djenné, the largest mud structure in the world) and in Dogon Country (Pays Dogon). 

mopti-4Mopti is popular with tourists, having an active river port 

Mopti is a city in the Mopti Region in Mali, north east of the capital Bamako. Mopti is the fourth-largest city in Mali, with an estimated 110,000 residents, primarily of the Bambara, Bozo, Dogon, Songhai and Fula ethnic groups.

mopti-5Mopti is an interesting place. There is an active port, a mosque built from mud, and across the Niger River is small fishing villages

Like Mali’s capital city, Bamako, which was positioned on a key point of the West African railroad system, the growth of Mopti is closely linked to the expansion of the French colonial administration. When French forces reached Mopti at the end of the nineteenth century, they noted its potential as a strategic port. They soon built up the town infrastructure as a base for expansion to the north. By 1914, Mopti replaced Djenné as the regional administrative center of the colonial government. The French in turn put great effort into developing an urban infrastructure, including construction of the dykes and small causeways linking the islands to the mainland.

mopti-6Mopti is sometimes known as the “Venice of Mali”

Mopti city is build on three islands connected by dykes; the New Town, the Old Town and Bani, situated at the confluence of the Bani and Niger river. As a result it is sometimes known as the “Venice of Mali”. From here, the Niger starts to develop a large inner delta with lagoons, little islands and canals. Besides, Mopti is the intersection of trade routes to Timbuktu, Djenné, Gao and the Dogon Country. Much of the commerce involves the river and so Mopti is an important port for cargo and passengers. And it is an interesting market town where the various tribes go to trade for fish, salt, living animals, fruit, vegetables and crafts. Mopti is a pleasant, very lively and, above all, a very exciting place!

mopti-7Congregation  of  Moptian to welcomes the visit by the President of the Republic, ATT

The city of Mopti derives its name from the Fulfulde word for gathering. The islands had long been inhabited, but Mopti was only founded in the nineteenth century as part of the Massina Empire, later becoming the base of El Hadj Umar Tall. With French domination, Mopti became known for its egret feather industry.

Mopti is popular with tourists, having an active river port, a mosque, and across the Niger, small fishing villages. Attractions in Mopti include Mopti Grand Mosque and the nearby Dogon Country (Pays Dogon).

mopti-8The Komoguel neighbourhood where the mosque and the community together in the narrow streets that intersect regularly at right angles

Places of interest


1) Thursday market with the famous woolen blankets with geometric, bronze bracelets, stones, necklaces and even flintlock pistols to finely embroidered revolver, the famous gold leaves earrings of Fulani women

2) Komoguel Mosque: Built in 1935, the after the famous Mosque of Djenné, and present the same architectural aspects as the latter;

3) The market place of such: The visitors will find the famous blankets (Kassa) for various motif, the bracelets of bronze, the famous earrings with gold leaf or bronze, this market remains the largest of Mali; 

mopti-9Another landmark of Mopti.  The water tower in the middle of Mopti city

4) The river port: the place of all meetings and all trade, the port is the hub of the city or just the big and heavy pinasses ever tie the Market ‘Sougouniba’: Everyday food market, rich in color

5) Visit also the villages of fishermen and farmers accessible by boat on the left bank of the river Bani;

6) Boat (pirogue) making place next to the restaurant Bozo 

mopti-10View of Grand Mosque of Mopti also known as Mosque of Komoguel at the background.  View from the road just before you reach Mopti city from Sévaré

7) Making of clay pots in the area near the mosque;
8] Lake Debo – true inland sea during high water season.

grande-mosquee-de-mopti-1Front view of the Grand Mosque of MoptiThe French Resident Administrator of the Mopti region, M. Cocheteaux directed the construction of the Great Mosque in 1935. This new mosque was built on the site of a previous one dating from 1908. He is credited with its design as well, basing his efforts on the Great Mosque of Djenné, which had been reconstructed about thirty years earlier. Imitating this “Sudanese” style was a priority for Cocheteaux, but his design is significantly more vertical and symmetrical than Djenné and other regional mosques. The Resident Administrator was also keenly aware of the tourist experience of approaching and viewing the Mosque. 

grande-mosquee-de-mopti-2La Grande Mosquée de Mopti underwent major rehabilitation in 2004-2006 under sponsorship of Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)

Cocheteaux even built two nearly identical facades with this in mind, maintaining the mosque’s orientation towards Mecca and its position in the urban environment while creating dramatic views from the city and the river.

grande-mosquee-de-mopti-3Various shots of Mosque of Komoguel

The Great Mosque was listed by the Malian Government as a National Monument in 2005 and restored between 2004 and 2006 under the support of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). The National Cultural Heritage Department of Mali’s Ministry of Culture, regional authorities, the city of Mopti and the Mosque’s committee directed these efforts. Local master of masons and their apprentices executed the restoration work.  

grande-mosquee-de-mopti-4Mopti’s mosque is an outstanding example of the traditional Muslim architecture of the Sahel. The mosque is commonly called the Mosque of Komoguel 

mopti-sevare-11Arch at the Sevaré Bus Terminal

Although some buses continue as far as (and originate in) Mopti, Sévaré is now the main transport hub for the region. Bâchés (US$0.40) and Peugeot 504 taxis (US$0.50) cover the 12km between Mopti and Sévaré between 7am and 8pm daily.

To Timbuktu (US$27, 12 hours on a good day), 4WDs leave most days from behind the bâché gare. It’s a hard journey.

mopti-sevare-12Map of Mopti and its surrounding area 

There are two airlines companies, CAM and MAE that provides at least two flights a week to Timbuktu (US$78) and Bamako (US$104). CAM also has one flight per week to Gao (US$153, via Timbuktu). A private taxi from Mopti to the airport in Sévaré costs at least US$10.80.



4 responses to “Mopti

  1. Joel Oleson January 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks for your maps and pictures. I’m going to Dogon Country in 2 weeks so this is very helpful. If you have any tips for a traveler flying into Ouagadougou and traveling to Dogon Country, I’m checking the box to notify me of any comments. Love to hear from you.

  2. Pingback: Grand Mosque of Mopti « Ismaili Mail

  3. mamadou March 29, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Assalamu’alaikum Uncle Awang.

    Indeed it is very unique as the mosque’s building was made from mud
    For thats reason AKTC came to rehabilitated the building. Besides the historical, its architectural also magnificient


  4. Awang-Malaysia March 29, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Very unique & outstanding mosque. Interesting & beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing.

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