Part II The return Flight, Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso via Bamako, Mali to Dakar, Senegal

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Sun 30 Jul 2006 19:45
14:44.6N 017:29.9W

Day 14, Thursday 30JUL98 Ouagadougou/Burkino Faso – Bamako/Mali – Dakar/Senegal


We did not have a lot of time that morning to explore the busy town, but still got a small taste of what it is like here. In down town
there were lots of shops and trading posts. Incredibly busy traffic all over, mainly scooters and old cars. The predominant religion
here is Muslim. Proud looking and very well dressed locals in long colourful dresses everywhere.

Ouagadougou is the terminus of the railway from Abidjan on the Ivory Coast and is the seat of the Morho Naba (Big Lord) and the
Mossi people.


Our next fuel stop today, en route to Dakar in Senegal was Bamako, the capital of Mali and we landed there with the help of a strong
tailwind after only 2 hours 30 minutes. The heat really hit us in the face here, as we got out of the cockpit and we immediately started
to perspire, as if we were in a sauna.

While refilling our tanks, some cool drinks, lying in the shade under the wing, we saw some Mig 17’s, which had just landed. The
Mali Airforce had its base just a stone throw away. We wondered what the pilots would be like, how often they did fly, how and by
whom those jets were maintained and were kept flying.


We were looking forward to the next leg and our visit to Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

We knew there were some good hotels and it would be the first step back to European like comfort.


Continuing our flight in westerly direction, we crossed the Niger River. This large winding river could be seen for miles and miles as we
climbed out. This was indeed a most impressive sight. Then endless scarcely populated flatland with a dirt road now and then, as we
progressed past Tambacounda and the north- eastern corner of Gambia at Fl 090.

Approaching Dakar, big curly clouds like large cotton wool balls formed in front of our flight path. Visibility was excellent and it was fun,
as we skimmed the tops of them. All of a sudden, as if someone had taken a knife and sliced them off we came out of the clouds.

– This was the end of the ITCZ! From mere on, nothing but blue sky, as we approached Dakar, the most westerly point of Africa.

Most Airports have parking and tie down separate for General Aviation Aircraft, not Dakar. It must be a first come first serve plan, as
we were right next to a 727 and a 707 and picked up by a bus for at least 100 people.

Bill and Hill had recently visited our hotel with pictures generally displayed.

The lady at the reception desk asked which airline we were from, while she saw our red Swiss Passports and our clip-on
AOPA Air Crew cards.

I just said Swiss to which she replied Swissair.

No need to sign in sir! We were given great rooms!

Barley in the room, reception called and informed me that all we had to pay was the local tax, as the bill would be put on Swissair’s account.
Quite surprised I explained however, that we were a special flight and would be settling our Accounts ourselves.

Hell these uniforms were worth their weight in gold.

Down to the pool and some cool beers. This did feel like being back in real civilization. Most of the guests were from Europe.

That evening we enjoyed excellent French cuisine and we made a toast to all the friends and families, who had contributed to the trip and how
lucky we were.


The next day we went to explore down town Dakar with its busy streets and markets.

Dakar people win the first price for the most exquisite dresses.

We were however warned to be careful while in town, as some parts of the city were apparently full of pick pockets, hookers and other
not so pleasant people.

A boat ride of about 30 minutes, just outside the city got us to Gorée Island. This small historical Island was once the chief centre of the
Slave Trade of Africa until 1791. The slaves were sold and then shipped from here to the Americas on a one-way journey, never to return.

Right on top of the hill of this strongly fortified Island, an impressive Gun. Some of the scenes from the film, the guns of Navarone were shot here.




Picture taken from Gun hill. The city of Dakar in the background