Mali has been a planned visit of mine for over 2 years! However, one of the few operators was not able to offer any arrangements due to the ongoing instability in the country. The country has also been on the list of "Advise against all travel" regularly updated and issued by most foreign embassies. We eventually decided to go anyway, and were able to get a company to take responsibility for a route which I had already set-up. We were also fortunate to have a guide who is working as a security adviser in war-zone countries since long. We still decided to play it safe and therefor started our route by visiting the commander in chief of the EU-forces based up in Koulikoro north of Bamako. With their help, we were able to make necessary changes into our program to ensure safety as much as can be assured. We covered also the main activities such as the mud-mosque of Djenne, the Dogon region as well as a trip on the Bani river. The people were probably the greatest surprise. So inviting and friendly, wherever we went.