Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres. The population of Mali is 18 million.
Its capital is Bamako. Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country’s southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers.
The country’s economy centers on agriculture and fishing. Some of Mali’s prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt.
About half the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. A majority of the population are Muslims.
Top Tourist Attractions in Mali
This is a mountain in Mali’s Mopti Region, near the town of Hombori. At 1,153 meters, it is the highest point in Mali. Mount Hombori is an important location for biodiversity in the Sahel, with 150 different species of plants along with various species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects on its two-square-kilometre plateau surface.
In contrast to the surface of the plateau, the surrounding 10,000 square kilometers of flatlands contain only about 200 different species of plants. A major contributing factor to Hombori’s biodiversity is a lack of cattle grazing at the summit, which is protected on all sides by sheer cliffs.
For many species of plants, including bombax costatum, Hombori is the northernmost point of their distribution, demonstrating its importance as a haven for many southern species.
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Niger River Valley in the country of Mali. Literally translated to “ancient Djenne”, it is the original site of Djenne, Mali and considered to be among the oldest urbanized centers and the best known archaeology site in sub-Saharan Africa.
This archaeological site is located about 3 kilometres away from the modern town, and is believed to have been involved in long distance trade and possibly the domestication of African rice. The site is believed to exceed 33 hectares; however this is yet to be confirmed with extensive survey work.
With the help of archaeological excavations mainly by Susan and Roderick McIntosh, the site is known to have been occupied from 250 B.C. to 900 A.D. The city is believed to have been abandoned and moved where the current city is located due to the spread of Islam and the building of the Great Mosque of Djenne.
Previously, it was assumed that advanced trade networks and complex societies did not exist in the region until the arrival of traders from Southwest Asia. However, sites such as Djenne-Djenno disprove this, as these traditions in West Africa flourished long before.
The Festival au desert
This was an annual concert in Mali, showcasing traditional Tuareg music as well as music from around the world. The first Festival took place in 2001 in Tin Essako, then in Tessalit in 2002 and in Essakane from 2003 to 2009.
From 2010 to 2012 it was held on the outskirts of Timbuktu because of security concerns which have prevented it from taking place since.
The National Museum of Mali
This is an archaeological and anthropological museum located in Bamako, the capital of Mali. It presents permanent and temporary exhibits on the history of Mali, as well as the musical instruments, dress, and ritual objects associated with Mali’s various ethnic groups.