The Lac Debo is one of the largest lakes in Mali and it is the most important fishing area.
After the rainy season, when the lake is full of water, it is about 35 x 35 km. large and it will take about 4 hours by pinasse to cross.
But in the dry season the water is so low that you can cross it on foot.
Life on and around the water adapts to the course of the seasons and the level of the water - because that determines who actually live there.
If the water level is high, then many fishermen come to throw out their nets and to place their traps ; when the water drops the shepherds arrive with their herds and let them graze in the meadows around the lake and if the water has almost disappeared the farmer families come to cultivate their rice, sorghum, millet, vegetables and such.
It is a lively event there on Lake Debo - you see many small and larger pirogues, where men and children skillfully plough their barge-pole through the water; the large pinasses with their full sails (sometimes homemade) charged in the wind - fully loaded with merchandise and people.
You see the fishermen,
elegantly throwing their nets in the water, the herds on the banks, the small
villages with their beautiful mosques, the women doing their laundry.
Then there are the thousands of birds which live or overwinter at the lake; sometimes there are "clouds" birds circling on the lake.
Let's not forget the hippos, not continuously present but still regularly popping their heads above the water.
The Lac Debo is a wonderful area to relax, to take up fishing, spotting birds, make long walks along the villages or just to cross it by boat in the direction of Tomboctou.