Although you could probably find
your way around without a guide, your enjoyment of the area will be
considerably enhanced in the company of a local guide.
Various itineraries are available depending on
how energetic you are, how much time/money you have and your preference
for quick 4x4 (which enables you to get back to showers and air
conditioning every night) or a more leisurely stroll through the villages,
staying overnight in basic accommodation. Whichever your choice,
Barou can fix it for you.
If you have limited time or do
not feel up to the challenge of Africa without some help, then you might
prefer to take an inclusive tour from Bamako. You can be collected
from the airport and taken to some of the most fascinating sites in Mali,
including the Dogon region, but also Djenne (with its impressive mud mosque)
and Timbuktu if the the idea appeals.