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The Pink Dune

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Picture yourself here high above the Niger on the enchanting Pink Dune

Located only 5 Km from Gao, The Pink Dune, known as "Koïma Hondo" in Songhaï or "La Dune Rose" in French, is perhaps Gao's most popular tourist site.  The site is surrounded by local legend and reputed to be the home of sorcerers. The word "Koïma", which in the Songhaï language means "go and listen", refers to this legend as in you can go and listen to the sorcerers when visiting the dunes.

The Dune is the first in a series of dunes that continue all the way to Timbuktu over 400 Km to the northwest.  It rises majestically over the Niger River and provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the desert on one side and the river on the other.  When the river is high (October - February), visitors can enjoy a large variety of European migratory birds along the Niger.

The Pink Dune grows as your boat draws closer

The Pink Dune is normally visited by boat in the late afternoon when the daytime heat has subsided and, in fact, its French / English name refers to the fact that under a setting sun the Dune glows a stunning pink color.  Arranging a pirogue with or without motor (price negotiable) is quite easy either by inquiring at the OMATHO tourist visitor center or by simply showing up on the dock and asking around. There is always someone willing to take tourists to the Pink Dune.

Looking back toward Gao from the top of the Pink Dune

Experience:  Visit the Pink Dune of Gao

Description:  Leisurely boat ride on the Niger River followed by climbing the majestic Pink Dune of Gao

Time Required: Approximately 4 hours, but varies somewhat depending on amount of time you wish to spend on the Dune and whether you take a motorized or unmotorized pirogue

Price:  Boat rental (negotiable), no entry fees or village fees

Schedule: Can be visited any day of the week

The wind will erase the evidence of your visit to the Pink Dune

What to Do in Gao

The Pink Dune

Tomb of the Askias

Maison des Artisans

Museum of the Sahel

Gao Markets

The Village of Tchintchinomé

Archeological Site -  Sanèye /  Cemetery

Prime Meridian Marker

The Hippos of Tasharan

Wabaria Animal Market

Djebok Animal Market

Archeological Site -  Kankou Moussa Mosque


Festival of

Potential Circuits

Sahara Desert Camel Treks

Niger River Trips

Other Great Spots to Visit Near Gao




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