West Virginia, USA

Thank you letter apr. 2011
Thank you so very much for everything!

From the beginning of our trip through emails and my many questions up until the very end, you both have been tremendously helpful as well as kind. We haven’t felt like visitors at a hotel but as family. Your house is incredibly beautiful as well as your family and I want to thank you so much for allowing us to share in the culture and beauty of Timbuktu.

Even though it has only been a short trip we have learned and experienced so much. The camel trek was amazing and staying the night under the stars was simply life-changing.

I vow to return one day and will never forget my experience in Mali. You’re incredible people and I a; so glad I had the chance to meet you both as well as your son. I promise to keep in touch and will share the delight Sahara Passion and Timbuktu has brought me with the world.

Thank you so much!

Love Abby

Washington, USA

Thank you letter april 2011
Miranda and Shindouk,

I am so grateful to you for all you’ve done to make our stay in Mali and specifically Timbuktu the best possible. I can’t imagine a better reception or more helpful people. From the airport to Bamako then to Timbuktu, out to the desert for the night, the boat ride up the Niger river, the rooftop stay and everything else, it has been so incredible and I am so thankful to have been able to come to meet you. I have learned so much about the culture here and I have loved et. So many memories in such a short time.

Thank you so much!

Sincerely, Catherine


Thank you letter march 2011

Dear Miranda and Shindouk,

We can’t thank you enough for your hospitality during our time at the Sahara Passion. Our visit to Timbuktu could not have been more of a sucess abd that was in large part because of all of your help. I can’t say that any of our friends will be coming here any time soon, bt should they, we’ll tell them this is the place to stay!!

A million thanks!! Lou & Abner

South Africa

South Africa Jan 2011

Merci Bequcoup for your kind hospitality. I was at home and hope to be back soon


USA journalist

USA Journalist Jan 2011

Thanks for everything Miranda !!
Great meeting you + shindouk
I hope to be back again + stay longer


South Africa author

South African author Jan 2011
South Africa travel writer Ian Michler in the dedication to his book South Africa, the insider’s guide:

Many thanks for all the incredible experiences in Timbuctou and at the Festival we appreciate your friendship and hospitality.
Best Wishes
Ian Michler


Switzerland a Dec 2010Switzerland b Dec 2010

Merci pour tout- vous m’avez beaucoup aider d’arriver en Mali et au région de Tombouctou!

Shindouk avec ses grands talents d’organiser et de conseiller, toujours avec du bon humeur (c’est pas ma faute qu’il est pas si beau que sa femme)

Miranda qui est tellement gentille et intelligente. Aziz et Ibrahim, qui m’ont montrer tout d’importance à Tombouctou avec une guidance génial: je ne pense pas que tant de touristes ont vu si beaucoup que moi dans les journées passées.

Et le général, qui a toujours su quoi dont doit faire, quand le vilain apparaisse , si c’est un éléphant fâché ou l’armée marocaine

Je veux aussi tellement remercier Colo, qui est un bijou d’homme!

Es je veux remercier aux braves femmes et jeunes filles qui ont faite une bonne cuisine.

Maintenant je dois partir - c’est un peu triste pour moi mais peut être on se revoit ça serait une bonne chose!!

Je vous donne un petit cadeau, c’est pas très intéressant; l’argent, mais quand je suis à la maison je vais vous envoyer un paquet de surprises!

Un bon nouveau année et un festival qui va faire rire les chameaux. LUC

Yukon, Canada

thank you post card

Thank-you very much for your wonderful hospitality, we only wish we could have stayed for longer!

Sorry my French is “pas bien!”

Thank you for everything!

Naomi & Matthew


UK Feb 2008
To all at Sahara Passion Thank you for providing such a great place to stay, it has been like a home away from home!
We'll be back in 2009 for the festival, Inshallah!
Luke and Ilana, U.K.

A tous à Sahara Passion Merci pour fournir un si bonne endroit à loger, c’était comme un chez hors de chez-soi! On sera de retour en 2009 pour le Festival Inchallah!
Luke et Ilana UK


letter from Polish visitor
Dear Miranda I am a Polish Traveler who visited your place at the beginning of 2007. Although I spent only one day wandering about Timbuktu I have plenty of Goregeous memories. I am trying to collect them and get them in some order. Miranda, you were very helpful. Once while you were pointing out places worth visiting you mentioned a site where water had been found could you tell this story again? I am very curious what happened in Timbuktu in the past. I am very interested in its ledgends. Miranda I hope you are well.... Many warm regards.

Newfoundland, Canada

Newfoundland, Canada Feb 2007

Dear Miranda+Shindouk-
Thank you ever so much for the kind gifts! They were so thoughtful and we will certainly treasure them a very long time. We plan to mill the salt once we return home, + each time we do so we will remember the wonderful hospitality of you both. It was so refreshing to finally find such kind and helpful people after travelling amidst so many others who seemed more interested in just parting us from our money. It is because of you that we will always have fond memories of Timbuktu. So next winter, when we're back home + back to work thougths + memories of your hospitality + your beautiful town will help us through the cold months.

We will stay in touch + if you ever find yourselves in St. John's - or if you plan a trip to Cape Breton - Please let us know! All the best! Your Canadian Freinds!

Kelly and Karl

Auteur Francais

Auteur Francais Jan 2007

Dans le dedication de son livre Lettres de Tombouctou et de Gourma-Rharous Jean-Yves Loude écrit:

A Shindouk Mohamed Lamine

Avec mon respect et ma gratitude pour votre accueil, pour votre savoir pour la poèsie de votre pensée
Avec mes fraternelles pensées

Tombouctou 21 01 07

Auteur Français

Auteur Francais Jan 2007

Dans le dedication de son livre Douk le Malin Jean-Yves Loude écrit:

Pour Shindouk Mohamed Lamine,

A vous tout specialement ce livre qui puise dans la tradition et la memoire de Tombouctou pour constuire son avenir ce Douk sanvant et écrivan future vous remercie très amicamement

Tombouctou 21 01 07

Peace Corps Volonteer Mali/USA

Peace Corps Volunteer Oct 2006
Chers Shindouk et Miranda
Merci encore pour votre hospitalité. J'ai eu une bonne soirée chez toi. La nuit au désert avec Ibrahim était très formidable. Si j'était plus jeun je voudrais rester dans le désert quelque semains...
Voila un photo de Ibrahim et sa falille. S'il te plait, donnes le photo à Ibrahim avec mes salutaions. Merci, Cordialement

US Air Force Acadamy

Air Force Recomendation

Quebec, Canada

Thank you letter

Merci pour tout Shindouk! Ce premier contact avec le désert m’a donné terriblement envie de revenir. J’espère pouvoir le faire très bientôt et revenir à cet endroit si chalereux grâce à toi et Miranda! Merci pour ton authenticité, pour cette visite non-touristique du désert, pour tout, tout, tout! À très bientôt j’espère.



France Avril 2006
Cher Shindouk, Chere Miranda,
Voici quelques photos de bons moments passés en votre compagnie à Noël dernier. Merci encore de votre hospitalité et bonjour à toute la famille et amis. Notre voyage s'est bien passé...
Jaque et François


Switzerland Dec 2005

Dear Shindouk,

The desert (with the dunes the camels, the wells, the stars and especially the people who were so welcoming...) which you made me discover is an unforgetable experience. I will always keep good memories of the week that we spent in your community in the full desert. Thank you for having made it possible to teach the interested students. I know that your project of a school in the desert will suceceed. There are already other people who have contacted me because they are interested in teaching in your school.

Thank you, Miryam

Exchange Student from USA

Exchange Student from USA Nov 2005

Dear Shindouk

Thank you well for all you did to asure the success of my research. I wish, in turn, that all you desire for you tribe and your family comes to pass. I am sure that, with your good friends, you positive attitude, and your brains you will acheve all that you undertake. Again, Thank you and Miranda for you hospitality, your advice, and your kindness towards a stranger.


Auteur Français

Auteur Francais Nov 2005

Dans le dedication de son livre Découvert Mali Eric Milet écrit:

Pour Shindouk, sa famille, ses amours
Le Guide en chair du grand Mali!

Très Amicalement

Eric Millet

Auteur Francais

Auteur Francais Nov 2005

Dans le dedication de son livre La Quête du Désert Eric Milet écrit;

A mon ami Shindouk L’homme de la page 264, en souvenir de nos aventures saharviennes

Très Amicalement

Eric Millet


USA April 2005

My Dear Shindouk,

I have tried to express my feelings for you several times but because of my French it was always difficult. So i hope with a sheet of paper and much reflection I can begin to better explain.

I travel a lot for a girl of my age and I encounter many people. Since i travel alone I am always prudent about my environment. I remember the first time we met on the dunes. It is not necessary to say that it was different from the start. I was at ease from the first moment and since this time I have nothing but more and more respect and admiration for you, I feel at home; I feel like I can tell you anything and you will never judge me. It has been a long time since I have felt that.

The world has changed now and the changes are also very clear among the Tuaregs. You are in a very important position; you are the liaison between Geneva and Timbuktu; and you profit from it to help both sides, its clear. Now that I have seen the camps with my own eyes. My God! How warm and generous and good those people are. At the same time they need lots of people like you, someone who understands the changes that are happening in Mali. You and I, we agree that the adaptations need to come from the Africans themselves, and I can't explain to you how pleased I am that you are here for them, my new friends. But I don't need to explain all that because i think you understand very well what I am trying to say...

When a person travels, they always take away memories of the places they visited, but it is not only memories of buildings and nature and food and music. It is more the people that one encounters during the trip, I want to say that Shindouk you are Timbuktu for me. You are the desert...

Alas! I tried hard, but i did not completely succeed in expressing my feelings. I don't think it is because of my French after all. Even in English it is impossible for me to tell you how you are in my head and my heart. "Thank you" is not sufficient but I can say that I love you like my brother. I will never forget you and I will never forget the time that i spent here.

very sincerely


USA March 2005


Enclosed is not a gift. It does not acknowledge the friendship that I feel in my heart toward a man who opened his world to me, a mere wanderer. It is a friendship, a closeness that grows when a person shows his thoughts and concerns and is open to the mind of his friends. No material gift can appreciate the joining of hearts through the communication of ideas.

This is not a gift. It does not acknowledge my appreciation of you leadership. It cannot honor you for a heritage handed to you through centuries maybe millennium of Tuareg, an inheritance that you bear so well. It does not express an admiration of you for your ability with words or the insights that you have provided. I cannot honor you for your strengths as a Tuareg while walking with the best of leaders in the many worlds in which you travel. Such gifts must come from those that are worthy of the giving.

This is merely a token from an old traveller, a traveller on a small quest of knowledge through direct experience. A token from a traveller who lacks the skill required for such a quest. This is a token from a learner who for a few days benefited from your friendship and leadership. This is a token from a minute flicker in you life who came to Timbuktu, and for a few days did not say "where will I lay my head" or "what will I eat" This is a token from a first-timer in Africa who benefited from your presence, who enjoyed your friends, and who felt the warmth of the children that grace your household.


Ecrivaine Française

Ecrivaine Francaise Jan 2005

Ecrit par Blanche de Richemond pendant son voyage à Taoudeni:


Lundi 26 janvier:

Je pars... très heureuse. La vie au campement s’est très bien passée. Ils ont été très gentils.

Embrasse ta famille pour moi. Merci pour tout. Un très beau voyage m’attend, j’en suis sûre!


Blanche (Bayda)


Paris Dec 2004

Hello Shindouk,

Since I can't show you arround Paris they way you caused us to Discover Ti;buktu so well, I am sending you some photos of the city of light, You will aslo find a photo of you kind family. Thank you again for the moments we spent with you,


Auteur Francais

Auteur Francais feb 2004

Dans le dedication de son livre Ana Désir Jean-Yves Loude écrit:

Pour Shindouk,

Avec beaucoup d’emotion merci infiniment pour cet échange precieux et la beauté de la rencontre.

Voici la rencontre du colcan et du désert Amitié au coeur

Tombouctou 26 02 2004

Saoudi Arabia

Saoudi Arabia jan 2004

Auteur Francais

Auteur Francais Dec 2003

Dans le dedication de son livre Sahara sur les traces de Frison Roche Eric Milet écrit;

Pour mon ami Shindouk le Penseur du Desert
L’homme de Tombouctou

Très Amicalement
Eric Milet


Paris Nov 2003

Dear Shindouk

As promised I am sending these few pictures, souvenir of a good time spent at the well. I haven't forgotten this marvelous trip to Mali and particularly to timbuktu that you were able to show us and which enchanted me just like the white, immense and majestic desert.
Thank you again, Stay well, All my greetings to your family and my good friends.



Germany March 2003

S Destined, as we met in the Restaurant du Nord.

H Warmth of heart you brought us from the first moment.

I interesting, what you have shown us from your life.

N Never will we forget you.

D Thank you very Much!

O Without you Timbuktu would not have been the same.

U And we would not have felt ourselves at home

K Nobody is like you.


Switzerland Jun 2002
Bonjour Shindouk,
Nous sommes les amis de Mahmoud que vous avez eu la gentillesse d accueillir chez vous au mois de Juin 2002. Notre séjour au Mali reste pour nous inoubliable, tant pour les manifiques paysages que nous avons traversés, que pour les rencontres enrichissantes que nous avons faites.
Votre hospitalité et votre gentillesse nous a beaucoup marquées, et sachez que le jou où vous décidez de voyager notre porte vous est grande ouverte en France, ainsi qu’à toute votre famile.
Lors de notre passage à Tombouctou vous n’avez pas réussi à retrouver une carte postale de notre région. En voici donce une du Mont Blanc qui est le plus haut sommet des Alpes.
Nous espèrons que despuis notre venu, votre famille et vous-même allez bien.

Amitiés Nolwenn et Muriel

Hello Shindouk

We are the friends of Mahamoud that you were kind enough to welcome into your home in June 2002. Our stay in Mali remains unforgettable for us, for its magnificent countryside that we passed trough as well as for the enriching encounters that we had.
Your hospitality and your kindness touched us deeply and know that the day you decided to travel our door will be wide open for you in France and for all your family.
During our stay in Timbuktu you did not manage to find a post card of our region. Here is one then of Mount Blanc, which is the highest peak in the Alps.
We hope that since our visit your family and you yourself are doing well.

In Friendship,

Nolwenn and Muriel

Auteur Swiss

Auteur Swiss Jan 2002

De la part de l'auteur swiss Jean Buhler dans la dedication de son autobiographie Racines sous la neige.

A Mohamed Lamine Shindouk

En souvenir d'un soir à Tombouctou salut cordial à celui qui a ses racines soul le sable, les mêmes que des Racines sous la neige

J Buler

Neuchâtel mi-janvier 2002