Festival in the Desert, A Musical Soiree in the Sahara

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Palace Travel offers exciting tours to Festival in the Desert, one of the world's most distinctive musical events featuring renowned local, regional and international artists. Held annually in January, the festival is staged near the remote village of Essakane, Mali on secluded sand dunes approximately two hours from the legendary city of Timbuktu.

Thousands of music lovers worldwide are now making plans for excursions to Festival in the Desert in January, 2009. Considered as one the world's most distinctive musical events, the festival transforms the secluded Sahara sand dunes near the remote village of Essakane, Mali into a cultural oasis.
Rooted in the rich Tuareg culture, the festival presents attendees with the unique opportunity to observe the lifestyle of this ancient nomadic people. This pastoral community uses the occasion as a meeting place to trade their wares, including camels. However, the festival is not just about business for the Tuaregs, there is also fun and games, camel races, and displays of their exceptional musical, poetic and dancing skills.

Since its inception in 2001, the festival has grown tremendously, attracting renowned western artists, such as Jimmy Buffet, Robert Plant and Led Zepplin. Famous local artists, including Toumani Diabate, Oumou Sangare, Baba Salah, Bassekou Kouyate and his wife Ami Sacko, along with the late great Ali Farka Toure have been headliners. This exotic festival has also featured several performers from around the West African region who play vintage instruments designed by African artisans. Among these popular artists have been Sekouba Bambino from Guinea and the group Saharawi from Western Sahara.

Accommodations for this exciting rendezvous are provided in comfortable private tents. Guests feast on delectable African cuisine prepared on site by Saharan chefs, who often bring their live goats destined for the dinner table. This is all characteristic of the extraordinary experience at this annual three day festival.

Staged approximately two hours from Timbuktu, a city that is often identified as a place faraway and unreachable, this adventure takes place January 8-10, 2009. For more information on Festival in the Desert contact Palace Travel at (215) 471-8555.

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Lloyd Murray
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