Getting there & away
Leaving Timbuktu can be harder than getting here, so start planning and negotiating your departure early.
In the dry season, battered 4WDs run from Mopti to Timbuktu (US$23 for a seat or US$108 for the car to yourself) almost every day. Twelve hours is the minimum trip duration, but it can take double that. A few days a week, there’s a Binke truck-bus (dry season only) to Douentza (US$18, eight hours), from where a Binke bus waits to carry passengers on to Mopti and Bamako. Gana Transport also runs a weekly dry-season service between Timbuktu’s gare routière and Bamako (US$35, 24 hours).
Between late July and late November, the large Comanav passenger boats stop at Korioumé, Timbuktu’s port. Azalaï Voyages (292 1199; firstname.lastname@example.org) can reserve a ticket for a small fee.
Alternatively, you can travel between Mopti and Korioumé by public or private pinasse.
Both CAM (292 1345) and MAE (602 3929; Place de l’Indépendance) have at least two weekly flights between Timbuktu’s flash new airport (292 1320), 6km south of town off Route de Korioumé, and Bamako (US$163) via Mopti (US$78). There’s also one weekly flight to Gao (US$76).