Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa that is surrounded by Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Algeria. It is a land of many cultures and creeds; a dash of life, action, heritage and history. Here are some interesting facts about the country!
1. The thermal equator crosses Mali, making it one of the hottest countries in the world. Rainfall is negligible and droughts are frequent.
2. Mali’s Ghana Empire was West Africa’s first black empire. The empire’s wealth came mainly from the country’s position in the cross-Sahara trade routes. While currently one of the world’s poorest nations, it previously ranked among the wealthiest empires in the world. Mali was a gold-rich region and Mansa Musa, the tenth emperor of the Kingdom of Mali, was one of the wealthiest individuals during the Middle Ages.
3. When Mansa Musa, emperor of the Malian Empire in the early 1300s, made his Mecca pilgrimage, he made Mali famous by bringing with him 12,000 slaves, 60,000 men, 80 camels that each carried between 50 and 30 pounds of gold, and building a mosque every Friday during his journey.
4. If you visit the town of Gao in Mali, you’ll have the opportunity to see the spot where the prime meridian passes. You can literally stand between the two hemispheres.
5. The spectacular Grand Mosque of Djenne in Mali is the biggest man-made clay structure in the world. It is one of the most popular African landmarks, and is part of the ancient city of Djenne, which became a World Heritage Site in 1988. The Djenne Mosque was constructed using clay mortar and sun-baked clay bricks.
6. The Mormyrops Oudoti, which is referred to as the elephant fish because of its elongated tubular snout, is considered a great delicacy in Bamako. It’s found only in Mali.
7. Gold is mined in Mali’s southern region and generates the third highest total gold production in all of Africa, after South Africa and Ghana.
8. The average birth-rate of six children per Mali woman is the third highest in the world. This insures continued rapid population growth for the foreseeable future.
How to reach?
Modibo Keita International Airport is the main airport located in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. There are a number of direct flights from Europe and connecting flights from India to reach Mali.
Timbuktu: This city is one of the biggest landmarks that is well known throughout the world. It was once made of gold, but over time has been devastated by the occupation of the Islamist groups. Timbuktu is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.
Djenne: Djenne is well-known city for being listed as one of the world heritage sites. This ancient city is inhabited by oldest settlements in the West Africa since 250 B.C. The buildings in the city are made completely of mud, including the Great Mosque.
National Park of Mali: This park is located in Bamako and was built in. Here you will be able to experience the best of nature while wandering through the park, the botanical garden, and even the zoo. It is s known to include unique tea house, two restaurants, fabulous medicine garden, and a wonderful playground.