TRAVERSE CITY — The owner of a Traverse City-based adventure travel company and four guests safely escaped a West African country in the midst of a military coup.
A group of soldiers in Mali declared a coup on March 21, suspending the constitution and dissolving the institutions of one of the few established democracies in Africa.
Jessica Pociask, owner of Wildlife and Nature Travel Expeditions, and her clients were in the capital, Bamako, as events unfolded. They were unable to leave the country as planned March 22 and remained in the country until March 27, when they crossed the border into Burkina Faso.
Peter Smith, a WANT employee in Traverse City, said the group originally planned to fly out of the capital, but plans quickly changed and they boarded a vehicle for a much longer border crossing by land.
Pociask and the clients continued the tour after escaping Mali, traveling to Benin and Togo. They are expected to return to the United States this week.