Mali (Mali)

Country Summary Flag MaliCoat of arms of MaliAnthem MaliIndependence Date: September 22, 1960 (from France) Official language: French Government: Mixed Republic Territory: 1 240 192 km² (24th in the world) Population: 15 968 882 people (66th in the world) Capital: BamakoValet: Frank CFA Timezone: UTC + 0 Largest cities: Bamako, Sikasso, Mopti, KutialialWP: $ 13.365 billion (126th in the world) Internet domain: .mlPhone code: +223

Mali - A country occupying 1,240,192 km² - this is the second largest state in West Africa. Until 1958 was a colony of France (French Sudan). The state language is French. Administrative and territorial division: 7 regions and a special administrative unit (district) of Bamako. The capital is Bamako. In the XII-XV centuries, Mali was a powerful empire that covered vast territories. Its power was determined by the situation at the crossroads of African trade routes and began to fade after the opening of sea routes around the continent and the relocation of trade centers to the coast. Remoteness from the sea and now hinders the development of the country.


Mali is a country of deserts and savannas with leveled relief: average heights range from 200 to 300 m below sea level. The north is occupied by the rocky deserts of the Western and Central Sahara, in the east bordering the Iforas Plateau (up to 853 m high), in the south are the Mandingo Mountains (height up to 1155 m). The climate of the country is tropical continental, hot and dry. High temperatures are maintained throughout the year - from 20-24 to 35 ° C. From November to June the hot and dry northeast wind prevails harmattan, from July to October - wet winds from the Atlantic. The amount of precipitation during the rainy period in the south reaches 1500 mm, and in the north there are years without any rain. There are three seasons: dry cool (December-February), dry hot and rainy.

Niger River

The main rivers of Mali are Senegal, the upper reaches of which irrigate the south-west of the country, and Niger, originating in neighboring Guinea and crossing Mali from west to east over a length of 1600 km. Upper Niger flows in a narrow rocky valley, teeming with rapids and rapids, and in the middle reaches passes through the hilly plains, extending to 1-2 km and forming numerous branches, lakes and islets.

The north of the country is devoid of rivers and is occupied by stony, pebble and sandy deserts. Only in the rainy season, for a few weeks, the earth is covered with a carpet of fast-growing ephemeral plants, abundantly blossoming and pleasing to the eye with a variety of colors. The fauna is represented mainly by reptiles, and from large mammals you can see here antelope addax and gazelles dorka and queen. Monkeys are found on the Iphoras plateau, and in the Sahel zone (sub-Saharan) ostriches, giraffes, oryx antelope appear, among predators there are cheetahs, striped hyenas, gentas. The vegetation of the Sahel is also more diverse and is represented by the desert savanna with separate groups of palm trees, acacias and baobabs. The desert north is almost not inhabited: in the wet season, only the nomadic herders Tuareg and the Arabs with herds of camels appear here, although sheep and goats are also raised in the Sahel.

Malian family

Extensive Sudan savanna with tall grasses and groves of shrubs and trees with a lush crown stretched to the south of the Sahel, especially for this area, the olive tree carite and ceiba. There are numerous antelopes, elephants, lions, leopards, and in Niger - hippos and crocodiles. The world of birds is diverse and rich. At the same time, in the Niger Valley, numerous mosquitoes poison the life, some of them carry pathogens of dangerous diseases. Sudanese savanna is an agricultural land: rice, cotton, peanuts are grown here, and animal husbandry is also developed.

Girl in Timbuktu

More than 15.3 million people live in Mali, and the population is growing rapidly. The main population of the south - the representatives of the peoples of Bambara, Senufo, Dogon and others. 70% of the population are Muslim, about 25% adhere to traditional beliefs, the remaining 5% are Christians. In the south are located all the major cities: the capital Bamako, the industrial centers of Kayes (considered the hottest city on earth), Mopti. The oldest cities in the country are Gao (founded in the 7th century) and Jenne (known since 800). The city of Timbuktu, founded in the 11th century, is called the "Pearl of the Sahara". The population of these small towns is mainly occupied by pottery and other traditional crafts.

Cities of Mali

Timbuktu: Timbuktu - a city in Mali, is a witness of a magnificent past, located near the Niger River on the edge ... Bamako: Bamako is the capital of Mali, a state in West Africa. The city is located on the banks of the Niger River, in ... Jenna: Jenna is a city in Mali, located in the Niger Delta in the central part of the country. This is the oldest of ... Mopti: Mopti is a city in Mali, at the confluence of the Bani River in Niger, the center of the region of the same name. Mopti is located ... All cities of Mali

Sights of Mali

Sahara: The Sahara is the largest desert located in North Africa. It is the largest desert ... The Great Mosque of Jenna: Jenna is a mosque that is restored every year. The city of Jenna and its unusual mosque are located in the ... Delta of the Niger River: The Delta of the Niger River is located in Mali, between the Bani rivers and the Niger in the southwestern part of the country. This ... Bandiagara Plateau: The Bandiagara Plateau is located on the stunning cliffs and sandy plateaus of Mali in West Africa. This place ... All the attractions of Mali


Savannah Mali

Archaeological finds indicate that the territory of modern Mali was inhabited as early as 5-4 millennia BC. e., and the development of agriculture began in the 3 millennium BC. er The first written references to these lands are contained in Arabic literature dating from the 4th century. n er In the 8th century through the caravan routes, Arabs penetrated through the Sahara. From 4th c. n er successive states existed on the territory of modern Mali - Ghana (4-12th centuries), Mali (13th-15th centuries) and Songai (15th-16th centuries). Ghana (in the Muslim world it was called the “country of gold”) and Mali in the Middle Ages were major suppliers of gold, it was brought on camels to North Africa through the Sahara Desert. As a result of the invasion of Muslim Berbers in the 17th century. the state of Ghana fell apart, many of its inhabitants converted to Islam. In the 15th century in the south, a small settlement of Bambara and Malinka arose in the valley of the Niger River (the current capital of Bamako, its name means “river caiman” in translation). The art of artisans and the development of culture in the cities of Gao, Jenna and Timbuktu of the state of Songai were known far beyond its borders. In 1591 the state was conquered by the army of the Moroccan sultanate. The ancient cities were looted, most of the scientists hijacked in Morocco, and the conquerors partially assimilated with the local population. In the 17-19 centuries. on the territory of Songai there were state formations of bambara (Segou, Kaart), fulbe (Masin), etc.

Market near the mosque Jenna

The first Europeans to penetrate the territory of present-day Mali were Major Houghton from Ireland (1790), Scots surgeon Mungo Park (1796) and researcher A. G. Leng (1826, the first European to visit Tombuktu) and Frenchman R. Kaye ( 1827). The military expansion of France began in 1855. The local population opposed the French colonialists (the Tuareg put up armed resistance to the authorities until 1914). In the 1890s, French troops subjugated virtually the entire territory of modern Mali. The borders and the name of the colony were changed several times - Upper Senegal with the center in Kaes (1890), Sudan (1892), Senegambia-Niger (1902), Upper Senegal-Niger (1904), French Sudan (1920). In 1895, the colony was incorporated into a federation of colonies called French West Africa (FZA). Since 1908 Bamako became the administrative center of French Sudan.

Streets in Bamako

In the colony was introduced direct control system. Economic land development was based on commodity production of rice and cotton. Forced labor of the local population was widely used, including the construction of irrigation canals and the railway. French Sudan has become a source of labor, food and agricultural raw materials for the metropolis and the neighboring colonies - Guinea, BSK (Ivory Coast, the current Côte d'Ivoire) and Senegal.

Day of washing and washing dishes

In the 1920s, the first trade unions and student unions were created in the cities. In 1945, the colony received the status of overseas territory of France, which granted the local population the right to create public and political organizations and representation in the elected bodies of the former metropolis. The first political parties are the Sudanese Union or the SS-ADO (territorial section of the African Democratic Union, a major political movement in the Federal Law of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Agency), the Progressive Party of Sudan, the Sudanese Democratic Party (PSD), the Sudanese Bloc (SB) The anti-colonial movement was led by the Sudanese Union party led by Modibo Keita (a descendant of the rulers of the Malian empire). After her victory in the elections to the territorial assembly (1957), an autonomous government was formed. On September 28, 1958, the French Sudan became an autonomous Sudan Republic within the French Community.

Djenne Streets

Period of independent development. The independence of the Republic of Mali (the name was taken in memory of the historical past) was proclaimed at the extraordinary congress of the SS - ADO on September 22, 1960. The leader of the party Modibo Keita became the president of the independent state, the city of Bamako was declared the capital. The new leadership established a one-party regime, severed relations with France and pursued a policy of cooperation with the countries of the socialist camp. The rate on expansion of the public sector of production did not lead to the strengthening of the economy, the country experienced an acute shortage of funds for international payments. In 1967, the government was forced to restore trade relations with France and return the country to the zone of the franc. France provided Mali with substantial economic assistance.


In November 1968, as a result of a military coup, carried out by a group of officers under the leadership of Lieutenant Moussa Traore, power was transferred to the Military Committee of National Liberation (GWTO). In September 1969, M. Traore became president of Mali. Severe droughts of the 1970-1974, 1978 and early 1980s caused serious damage to the economy. Production was in a state of stagnation, external debt was rapidly increasing, prices were rising.

In 1976, on the initiative of the WCSS, a new political party was created - the "Democratic Union of the Malian People" (DSMN), headed by M. Traore. After the adoption of the new constitution in 1979, power passed from the WCS to a civilian government, M. Traore was elected president. In 1986, a military conflict between Mali and neighboring Burkina Faso over a gold-bearing area (the so-called Agasher zone) lasted for 6 days. The disputed territory, which has long been the object of claims of both countries, was divided through the mediation of the UN.

Market in the capital

From 1988, the privatization program began (at the end of 1995, 48 state-owned enterprises were privatized). The deterioration of the economic situation led to massive anti-government protests of the population. In 1991, the regime of M. Traore was overthrown as a result of a military coup led by the chief of staff of the army, lieutenant colonel Amadou Toumani Toure. In 1992 a new constitution was adopted, proclaiming a multiparty system. In the presidential elections held in 1992, Alfa Umar Konare, former leader of the Pan-African Party for Freedom, Solidarity and Justice (ADEMA, established in 1990), was elected head of state. Re-elected to this post in 1997. In parliamentary elections, having received 128 seats out of 147, ADEMA won.

Dried baobab

The country continued to implement the policy of economic liberalization. In 1992-1995, Mali successfully completed the second economic restructuring program, and the IMF provided it with 12 billion CFA francs for the third one, calculated for 1996-1999. The devaluation of the CFA franc (1994) had a beneficial effect on the economy of Mali: in 1995-1997, the average economic growth rate exceeded 4%. As a result of the fall in world prices for cotton (by 46% in 1999), the area of ​​plantations under it (one of the main sources of Mali’s foreign exchange earnings) was reduced by 1/3, and 50% of the cotton-processing plants were closed. This has led to a sharp deterioration since 2000 of the economic situation in the country. In 2001, there were 14.6% of the unemployed in the cities, and 5.3% in rural areas. In 2002, the inflation rate was 4.5%.

Chains need?

Among the states of West Africa, Mali is distinguished by the level of legal support for the activities of opposition parties. The leadership of Mali mainly respects the rights and freedoms of numerous political organizations, enshrined in a special law - the Charter of Political Parties. Evidence of this was the holding of the 2002 general election in a calm atmosphere and the democratic transfer of power to the new president. The presidential elections were held in two rounds in April-May 2002. President AU Conar, observing the constitution, did not run for a third term. In the first round (April 28), the struggle for the presidency unfolded between 24 candidates. Independent candidate Amadou Toumani Touré received the most votes (28.71%). The ADEMA candidate, Sumaila Cisse, won 21.31% of the vote, and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (the candidate of the Unification for Mali party, created in 2001, AUM), 21.03%. In the second round, which took place on May 12, 2002, ATTure won, receiving 65.01% of the vote (S.Sisse scored 34.99%). In the parliamentary elections held on July 14 and 28, 2002, ADEMA won 53 seats, a coalition of parties led by Prime Minister I.B.Kejtay - 46 seats, the "National Congress of Democratic Initiative" (NKDI) - 13, and independent candidates - 6 places

The main financial donors of Mali are France, the IMF and the states of the European Union. The country also receives financial assistance from the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development - one of the five World Bank institutions (WB)), the Islamic Development Bank and Japan. The IMF provides HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) program assistance to the poorest countries with high external debt. GDP growth in 2004 was 0.5%. GDP - 10.53 billion dollars.


The tower of the central bank of the countries of West Africa in Bamako

Mali is an agrarian country. One of the least developed countries in the world. In 2003, gross domestic product was $ 4.79 billion, with an average annual growth of 5.4%. The annual rate of inflation is 1.3% (2003). 64% of Malians are below the poverty line (per capita income in 2002 was $ 230). The annual salary of a skilled worker is $ 1,560. The unemployment rate among the urban population is 14.6%, among the rural - 5.3% (2002).

The economically active population is 5.69 million people, of which 4.58 million people work in the agricultural sector (2001).

Agriculture, animal husbandry, gathering wild fruits and fishing account for about ½ of the total value of gross domestic product. About 80% of Malians specialize in fishing, 20% work in the industry. The share of agriculture in GDP is 36%. Cultivated about 4% of the land.

Chains need?

Yields fluctuate due to frequent droughts causing significant damage, as well as locust invasions. The main export crops are peanuts (Mali is one of its main producers and exporters in Africa) and cotton. Oranges, bananas, guavas, mangoes, cassava, kenaf (industrial crops), corn, vegetables, papayas, millet, wheat, rice, sugarcane, sorghum, tobacco, fonio (cereals), cotton, tea and yams are also grown.Livestock breeding (camel breeding, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, donkeys, pigs) and poultry farming are developed. Mali is one of the largest pastoral countries in West Africa (85% of livestock are exported). Up to 80% of animals die during droughts. Also in Mali, forestry is developed - harvesting industrial wood - and fishing - fishing for Nile perch, tilapia, etc. About 100 thousand tons of fish are caught annually.

Waiting for the ferry

The share of industry in GDP is 17% (2001). Mining - mining of granite, gold, limestone, marble, salt and phosphate. Since the 1990s, gold mining has been developing intensively. By 2000, the country in its production ranked third on the African continent (after South Africa and Ghana). The largest gold mining sites are located in the Kayes region. In the area of ​​Kenieba (southwest of the country), industrial diamond deposits are being sought. Among the branches of the manufacturing industry, food and agricultural products processing (slaughterhouse, rice and cotton processing plants, sugar, peanut and cottonseed oil, and fruit and vegetable canning) are leading positions.

The road to the Bandiagara Plateau

There are woodworking, leather and shoe, tobacco, textile, match and pharmaceutical factories. The building materials industry is developing, factories for the production of agricultural implements have been built. The handicraft production of pottery and wickerwork, fabrics, shoes, goldware, reptile leather and precious woods is well developed. As for foreign trade, export and import volumes are almost the same: in 2002 exports amounted to $ 915 million, imports - $ 927 million.

The main export products are livestock, gold and cotton. Main export partners: Thailand (14%), China (12.1%), India (7.9%), Italy (7.5%), Bangladesh (6.1%) - 2003. Major import goods are machinery and equipment, oil, food, building materials and textiles. The main import partners are France (15.4%), Senegal (7.7%) and Côte d'Ivoire (7.1%) - 2003. In addition, the problem of the country's electrification is acute. In the energy balance, the main place is occupied by wood and charcoal. 80% of the electricity is generated by hydropower plants (Sotuba on the Niger River, Felo on the Senegal River, Seling on the Sankarani River).

Restoration of Jenna Mosque

The transport network is poorly developed. Most of the railways and highways require major repairs. The main type of transport is automobile. The first railway was built in 1880-1924. The Mali railway network (total length of roads in 2003 was 729 km) is connected to the Senegal railways. The length of roads - 15.1 thousand km (2.76 km with hard surface - 2001). The length of waterways is 1.82 thousand km (2004). The main waterway is the Niger River. Fishing ports are located in the cities of Mopti and Dire. Of particular importance is air transport. In 2004, there were 27 airports and landing sites (9 of them had a hard surface). Seine International Airport is located in Bamako (opened in 1976, its reconstruction and modernization began in the late 1990s).


The monetary unit - the CFA franc (XOF), consisting of 100 centimes - is rigidly pegged to the euro. The CFA franc has been used as the national currency since 1984 (in 1962-1984 it was the Malian franc). In early 2004, the national currency exchange rate was: 1 USD = 581.2 XOF.

Tourism is also well developed in Mali. Foreign tourists here are attracted by the beauty of natural landscapes, the legendary cities and ancient centers of science and gold trade Gao, Jenne (one of the most ancient cities in West Africa) and Timbuktu, good conditions for sport fishing, as well as the originality of the culture of local peoples. From the end. In the 1990s, the country is visited annually by about 100 thousand foreign tourists, and the income from the tourism business averages $ 90 million a year. The most favorable period for visiting the country is the dry cool season (November-February). In 2000, 91 thousand foreign tourists visited the country, revenues from tourism amounted to $ 50 million.

Traffic in Bamako

In 2002, Mali’s budget revenues amounted to $ 764 million, expenses - $ 828 million. In 2001, financial assistance was received in the amount of $ 596.4 million. Mali’s low level of economic development was largely due to the country's colonial past and dependence on France. Mali's potential wealth is in the mining and production of agricultural commodities, livestock and fish.

The development of the industry is hampered by inadequate transport infrastructure. The economy is distinguished by its multi-structure: along with natural and semi-natural farms, there are small-scale production, private capital, mainly foreign (French), and the state-capitalist sector. Natural and climatic conditions have also played an important role in the development of the country, defining the specialization of Mali. However, by analyzing the main indicators, it is possible to identify a tendency to improve the political and economic development of Mali in the future.

Bamako City (Bamako)

Bamako - The capital of Mali, the state in West Africa. The city is located on the banks of the Niger River, in the place of rapprochement of the valleys of Niger and Senegal. Bamako is a very green city. In the center there are a lot of lemon trees, papaya, mango. The green arrays of the botanical and zoological gardens, where the flora and fauna of tropical Africa are collected, are magnificent.


The first settlers settled on the site of the current Bamako in the XV century. It is believed that the first huts appeared at the ford through the Niger. According to legend, the huts were built by a hunter named Bamba, and the village that originated at this place became known as "Bama ko", i.e. the "Bamba River". According to another version, the name Bamako comes from the word “bama”, which means “crocodile” in the Bambara language, since several centuries ago there were many crocodiles in the swampy lowland, “Bama ko” is translated as “crocodile river”. Therefore, three crocodiles are depicted on the coat of arms of Bamako.

The first written references to Bamako are contained in the notes of the English explorer of Africa Mungo Parco, who visited Bamako in 1795 and 1805. He wrote about him as a small village that was a salt market, which was brought from the Sahara. Later, French researcher René Kaye reported Bamako as an important trading settlement. In 1882, the French authorities, completing the colonial seizure of Mali, staged their stronghold in Bamako.

The independence of Mali was proclaimed in 1958; in 1960, the Republic of Mali was established with the capital Bamako. Here are the residence of the president and the parliament.


Bamako has a regular rectangular layout. It distinguishes commercial, administrative and residential areas. In the city center - the main square of Liberty. Here a number of administrative institutions of the city are concentrated.

In the northern, elevated and therefore cooler part of the city, at the foot of Mount Kuluba is the administrative center. Here are the President’s Palace, government agencies, the Institute for Humanitarian Studies, the medical center, and the Omnisport sports complex. The stadium with a sports arena for 25 thousand seats is used not only for sports competitions, but also for holding rallies, holidays, folk art festivals.

The central part of the city has retained some features of the original buildings. Here, for the most part, two- and three-story colonial-style houses with external cast-iron stairs and long balconies. The first floors are reserved for banks, pharmacies, large stores. The whole block in the center of the city is occupied by the large market of the Grand March, which sells vegetables and fruits, salt and spices, bright fabrics, national clothes and decorations.

Along the Niger River, behind a wide boulevard, are located comfortable quarters, built up with mansions, villas, large public buildings. The embankment of the river is built up with multi-storey buildings. In this area are the Grand Mosque, the Cathedral of Joan of Arc, here is the building of the National Assembly (Parliament). On the right bank of the Niger, new quarters of Badalabuga and Torokorobuga were erected.

From the east and from the west, densely populated residential areas adjoin the central part: Nearrela, Dravela, Dolibana, Dar Salam, Medina-Kura. The houses in these quarters are built of limestone and baked bricks. For the construction of residential buildings in the outlying districts of Bamako, banco is used - a traditional building material made of a mixture of clay and straw, common in many areas of tropical Africa.

What to see

In Bamako there are zoological and botanical gardens, closer to the center is the Grand Hotel and cinemas. Luxury souvenir shops, souvenir shops with gold and silver, ivory, black and mahogany, crocodile and snake skin are concentrated on the Souvenirs Square and on the streets diverging from it.

Among the educational institutions of Bamako are the University and the National Institute of Arts, also known as the House of Craftsman. It includes sections of fine arts, musical and artistic crafts, in the latter they teach folk crafts, jewelry and weaving. The cultural institutions of Bamako include the National Library and the Museum of Local Lore. Of particular interest is the exposition of the National Museum of Mali, founded in 1953. It presents the best examples of wooden sculpture, traditional fabrics and carpets, a magnificent collection of masks. The museum reproduces the Tuareg camp, the interior of the Bambara hut, the forge, and the pottery workshop.

In the grottoes near Bamako in 1955, murals depicting people and animals were discovered - scenes of hunting, war, and dances made in red paint. Rock paintings belong to the Neolithic era. Their discovery is a great contribution to the science and study of the settlement of the African continent.

Inner Delta of the Niger River (Niger Delta)

Niger Delta located in Mali, between the rivers of Bani and the Niger in the southwestern part of the country. It is a region of fertile flood meadows and a natural commercial artery, making the area the center of the economy, as well as the social and urban life of Western Sudan. The delta, which includes lakes and swamps, as well as sand dunes located in the semi-arid zone south of the Sahara Desert, covers an area of ​​20,000 square meters. km in the rainy season, and in the dry season is reduced to 3900 square meters. km

general information

In the Niger Delta, the most diverse vegetation, including underwater and floating plants, is rampant, the water level is traditionally very low, it stagnates, and in the sands exposed in the dry season, grasses and reeds grow during the spill season.

The southern half of the delta is low water meadows, densely overgrown with grasses, there are a lot of waterfowl, reddish-brown ducks, common terns, large spindles and swamp chickens are especially numerous.

Immense colonies of waterfowl and land birds feeding near the water include more than 80,000 pairs of 15 species of cormorants, herons, ibises, broadleaf ducks and the threatened West African Crane.

In addition to birds, Nile crocodiles and a great variety of mammals, including the largest population of manatees, hippopotamuses, antelopes, marsh and water goats, as well as several species of gazelles, warthogs, otters and elephants, also find refuge in flood plains and delta.

Here there are two endemic species of fish, Syndodontis gobroni and cichlid Gobiocichla wonderi - they have been found here since time immemorial, when the Niger was associated with the Nile and Lake Chad.

Jenna City (Djenne)

Jenna - A city in Mali, located in the Niger Delta in the central part of the country. It is the oldest known city in Africa near the Sahara, which is still inhabited. Throughout history, the city has been known as a major shopping center, as well as a stronghold of Islamic teaching and pilgrimage. Today, it is known for its adobe architecture, namely the Grand Mosque, the largest unbaked brick building in the world.

general information

The city appeared about 800 on the border of Sudan and Guinea rainforests. In the XVI century, thanks to its location, it gradually enlarged. From here, the river went to Timbuktu, the rebuilt roads went to the gold and salt mines. In the city at various times the kings of Morocco, the emperors of Tukulor and the French ruled, but gradually commercial activity shifted to Mopti, and the role of Jenne became not so significant.

The original Great Mosque, built in 1240, seemed to Sheikh Amadou too luxurious, and in 1830 he replaced it with a less majestic building. The modern mosque was built around 1907, it is one of the most amazing examples of Muslim architecture in Mali. The mosque is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with architectural elements typical of the mosques of the entire Islamic world.

Every spring, local craftsmen begin to repair this adobe building. This event turns into a kind of celebration in which the whole community takes part.

Among other sights of the city is the tomb of Tupama Genepo, a young maiden sacrificed in the XII century. She was immured as a guarantee of the prosperity of the inhabitants of Jenna. According to legend, the girl went to die voluntarily, and her family was surrounded with honors for it.

Outside Jenna are the ruins of an ancient city, founded in the III. BC. Visitors are allowed here only with a guide from a cultural mission. The weekly market around the mosque is one of the most colorful markets in West Africa.

When to come

Spring for the annual holiday repair mosque.

Do not miss

  • A large mosque built in 1907 from sun-dried clay bricks.
  • The weekly market in Jenna runs on Mondays.
  • The area is filled with colorful goods and fabrics, enticing aromas and an incredible mixture of people.
  • The Tomb of Tupama Genepo.
  • The ruins of the ancient settlement - the oldest known in Africa, dated III. BC.

Should know

Non-Muslim entrance to the mosque is prohibited.

Great Mosque of Jenna (Great Mosque of Djenne)

Jenna - a mosque that is being restored every year ...

The city of Jenna and its unusual mosque are located in the country of Mali (Africa). The city is located in the floodplain of the river Bani, therefore, during the rainy period the transport communication is irregular here, because of the flood of river waters. For many centuries the city was known as the center of gold trading. Gradually, Islam gained special popularity here, and already in the 15th and 16th centuries Jenna had become known as the Muslim religious center, from which Islam spread to other territories.


The exact date of construction of the Jenna mosque cannot be determined, but the first mentions of it belong to the 13th century, it is possible that the mosque had a slightly different look than it is now. In the 19th century, the great mosque of Jenna was destroyed by order of Amadou, who was the leader of the Fulbe people. He conquered the city and decided not to spare the local mosque.

However, in 1893 the city began to obey the French. During this period, the local population, with the support of the French administration, began building a mosque in the form in which it was before destruction. It is assumed that the mosque was re-erected in 1907, however, it may have happened in 1909. During this construction, parts of the walls of the old structure were used.

Regular restoration

Speaking about this structure, you can not omit one significant point. The Great Mosque of Jenna is a clay structure, which is considered the largest of its kind. Although it was built not only from clay. For its construction used a mixture of clay, hay, manure and rice husk. Only this material is universally available in this territory. For him, there is even a name - "banco".Of the Banco built not only a mosque, but also the homes of local residents.

The bank has many advantages, only it is extremely short-lived. When the rainy season begins, the buildings slowly erode. Particularly affected are small buildings. So the houses of the locals, as if melting under rainwater. Jenna Mosque also suffers greatly. Because of this fragility of the material, it is impossible to determine the age of the mosque, because it has to be patched annually.

This annual ritual has become a real festival for the locals. Near the mosque, almost all the men of the city gather and begin restoration. First of all, they restore the mosque and only then they take to their homes. During this period, if you look at the Jenna Mosque, then it will seem to you that this is a big anthill, over which people-ants scurry about.

During the festival, another mystery of the mosque is revealed. Many are very interested in why so many wooden beams are stuck in the mosque. Because of them, the religious building from afar seems very warlike and more like a fortress than a mosque. Beams, like sharp teeth of a structure, stick out and scare away ill-wishers. However, in reality, the purpose of these beams is quite peaceful. It is along them that the restorer volunteers move when they patch up the building.


The Great Mosque of Jenna stands on a square platform, with a side of 75 meters. The minaret has a height of 50 meters, and the mosque itself is 100 meters. The decoration of the towers are not only warlike spikes, beams, but also ostrich eggs (in these places they are a symbol of fertility and purity). In 1988, the Jenne Mosque was added to the UNESCO list along with a part of the old city in 1988.

Jenna's mosque is operating, worship services are held in it, therefore non-Muslims are not allowed inside, numerous signs warn about it. However, for a fee, there is always someone who wants to take you inside, and then the tourist himself decides whether to give in to temptation or, after all, treat the believers of another religion with respect. For shooting the mosque Jenna is better to choose earlier in the morning. In addition, at the same time near the mosque you can visit the market. True, it only works on Mondays and it is advisable to inspect it before 10 am, but this particular market is considered the brightest and most authentic in the whole country.

Mopti City

Mopti - a city in Mali, at the confluence of the river Bani in the Niger, the center of the same name area. Mopti is located on three islands known as the “Old Town”, “New Town” and “Baths”. The city was founded in the XIX century. The population is 106 thousand people (the 4th largest city of Mali). The population is dominated by bambara, boso, dogon, songai and fulbe.

Bandiagara Escarpment Plateau

Bandiagara Plateau there are stunning cliffs and sandy plateaus of Mali in West Africa. It is a place where several communities live, still observing ancient traditions and rituals. The cliffs are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their natural beauty, as well as historical significance in the understanding of ancient cultures and their preserved traditions.

general information

On the plateau of the Bandiagara, one of the main centers of the Dogon culture, is located several villages of four Dogon tribes that migrated here from Mande many centuries ago: dion, it, arou and dommo. Communities are made up of farmers who are divided into "living" and "dead", while they coexist in symbiotic union with each other. These relationships are reflected in ancient cave paintings, which can be viewed in Bandiagare and around this area.

The village of Sangha, the most populous in this area, is known for stone carving and ancient circumcision ceremonies that took place here for more than a thousand years, and wonderful carved masks are made here. Stone carving, although it has survived its rise, serves as a historical and social dialogue with ancient peoples.

The two themes of art are “bemmi,” or ritual drawings, and “tone,” or other, more mystical or practical drawings. The BEMMI drawings depict various stages of circumcision ceremonies that took place every three years, as well as traditional rain dances, funeral rituals and fertility dances. The “tone” drawings were most often created to release a potentially dangerous “nyam”, or life energy of the dead.

Sahara Desert

Attraction applies to countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia

Sahara - The largest desert located in North Africa. It is the largest desert of the Earth! The area of ​​the Sahara is 8.6 million km², or about 30% of Africa. If the desert were a state, then it could be compared to Brazil with an area of ​​8.5 million km². The Sahara is extended to 4,800 km from west to east, 800-1,200 km from north to south. There is not a single river here, with the exception of small stretches of the Nile and Niger, and single oases. The amount of precipitation is no more than 50 mm per year.

The first mention of the name of the desert dates back to 1 century AD. er The Sahara is Arabic for desert. The first researchers, scientists and archaeologists mentioned a desert area hostile to humans. So, in the 5th century BC. er Herodot described in his works sand dunes, salt domes and the gloom of the desert world. Then the scientist Strabo described how the inhabitants of the desert cherish the water. And after 100 years, Pliny confirmed the descriptions of other researchers and said that there is absolutely no water in the desert and a very rare phenomenon - rain.


Of course, a desert of this size could not occupy the territory of one or two African countries. It captures Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Chad.

From the west, the Sahara is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, from the north it is bounded by the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, and from the east by the Red Sea. The southern boundary of the desert is determined by the zone of inactive ancient sand dunes at 16 ° N, to the south of which the Sahel is located - the transition region to the Sudanese savannah.

Dunes of the Sahara Sands of the Sahara Highlands of Ahaggar in the Sahara, in the south of Algeria


Sahara Desert Borders

Sahara is difficult to attribute to any particular type of desert, although sandy-stony type prevails here. It includes the following regions: Tenere, Great Eastern Erg, Great Western Erg, Tanesruft, Hamada el Hamra, Erg-Igidi, Erg Shesh, Arabian, Algerian, Libyan, Nubian deserts, Talak desert.


The climate of the Sahara is unique and due to its location in the zone of high-altitude anticyclones, descending air flows and dry trade winds of the northern hemisphere. It rains very rarely in the desert, and the air is dry and hot. The sky of the Sahara is cloudless, but it will not surprise travelers with blue transparency, since the finest dust is constantly in the air. Intense solar exposure and evaporation during the day gives way to strong radiation at night. First, the sand heats up to 70 ° C, it radiates with heat from the rocks, and in the evening the surface of the Sahara cools much faster than air. The average July temperature is 35 °.

Where the desert meets the ocean (Sahara on the coast of Morocco) Sunset in the desert

The high temperature, with its sharp fluctuations, and very dry air make it very difficult to stay in the desert. It is only from December to February that the “Saharan winter” begins - a period with relatively cool weather. In winter, the temperature in the Northern Sahara at night can fall below 0 °, although during the day it rises to 25 °. Sometimes it even snows here.

Desert nature

Bedouin is on the dunes

Despite the fact that the desert is usually represented by a continuous layer of hot sand, forming sand dunes, the Sahara has a somewhat different relief. In the center of the desert rise mountain ranges, more than 3 km high, but on the outskirts pebble, rocky, clay and sandy deserts have been formed, in which practically no vegetation is found. It is there that nomads live, driving herds of camels to rare pastures.


The vegetation of the Sahara consists of bushes, grasses and trees in the highlands and oases located along the river beds. Some plants have fully adapted to the harsh climate and grow within 3 days after rain, and then sow seeds for 2 weeks. At the same time only a small part of the desert is fertile - these areas take moisture from underground rivers.

Single-humped camels known to all, some of which are domesticated by nomads, still live in small herds, feeding on cactus prickles and parts of other desert plants. But these are not the only ungulates living in the desert. Pronghi, Addakses, Maned sheep, Dorcas gazelles and Oryx antelopes, whose curved horns are almost equal in length to the body, also perfectly adapted to surviving in such difficult conditions. Light coloring of wool allows them not only to escape from the heat during the day, but also not to freeze at night.


There are several species of rodents, among which are the gerbil, the Abyssinian hare, emerging to the surface only at dusk, and by day hiding in burrows, the jerboa, which has surprisingly long legs, allowing it to move in huge leaps like a kangaroo.

Predators live in the Sahara desert, the largest of which is a fenek - a small chanterelle with wide ears. There are also barchan cats, horned vipers and rattlesnakes, which leave winding traces on the sand surface, and many other animal species.

Sahara to the movies

Planet Tatooine (Shot from Star Wars)

The fascinating landscapes of the Sahara do not cease to attract filmmakers. A lot of films were shot on the territory of Tunisia, and the creators of two famous paintings left a memory among themselves among the sands. Planet Tatooine is not really lost in the cosmic distance, but located in the Sahara. Here is a whole "extraterrestrial" village from the last series of "Star Wars". At the end of the filming, the aliens left their homes, and now the quaint dwellings and the interplanetary aircraft filling station are at the disposal of rare tourists. Next to Tatooine, a white Arabian house from the English Patient is still visible. You can get here only by jeep and with an experienced guide, because you have to go off-road, with the complete absence of signs and landmarks. Fans of the "English Patient" need to hurry a little more and the merciless sand dune will finally bury this unusual landmark under the sand.

Timbuktu City

Timbuktu - a city in Mali, witness a magnificent past, located near the Niger River on the edge of the Sahara. In 1988, the city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, destroyed by the desert. A special program for the preservation of the city was developed, and already in 2005, Timbuktu was removed from this list.


Timbuktu was founded by Tuareg nomads in the 12th century, and thanks to its proximity to the Niger River, it quickly became one of the richest cities in the world. Caravans brought here slaves, ivory, gold and salt, then they were sent further north or south. The tremendous treasures of Timbuktu became famous all over the world. K XV century. the city played the role of the intellectual and spiritual center. The Gingereber Mosque, a building of adobe bricks, was built in 1327, the oldest in West Africa. They say it was this building that inspired the Spanish architect Gaudi. In 1581 Sankkor University and several other madrasas colleges were erected. Scientists wrote books, and a phenomenal collection of manuscripts has accumulated in 120 libraries.

In 1591 mercenaries from Morocco invaded the country, local tribes attacked the city. In 1898, the French occupied Mali and took many library collections to Europe. At the same time, the remaining manuscripts were safely hidden in the desert. Today, a new library is being built, and old manuscripts are gradually returning, so the library promises to be a real treasure trove of the written history of Africa.

Today's Timbuktu is untidy, dusty and poor, but its narrow, sun-scorched streets are in many ways the same as hundreds of years ago.

Best time to visit

From October to February.

Do not miss

  • The Sidi Yahya Mosque was built in honor of the first Imam Timbuktu in 1400. The minaret was given the shape of a serrated fortress.
  • The ethnological museum - here you can see the well of Bukt, after which the city is named, to see the exhibition of clothes, tools and ancient rock paintings.
  • House and Museum of Heinrich Barth.
  • Camel riding in the Sahara.
  • Ride on the Niger River.

Should know

Mali gave the world many renowned musicians such as Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Jabati. Every year in January, starting in 2001, a festival in the desert takes place in Essaouira (65 km), where Tuareg musicians and world-famous performers perform.

Djingareiber Mosque

Gingerbreber Mosque - The central mosque of the city of Timbuktu in Mali. Its fancy minaret, from a distance resembling a huge anthill or a termitary, dominates the earthen buildings. With the exception of a small part of the northern facade, built of limestone, the Dzhingeber mosque is made of clay with the addition of wood, straw and vegetable fibers. This building has three interior rooms, two minarets and 25 rows of pillars aligned east to west, a prayer hall for 2,000 people.


The history of the Dzhingeber mosque is connected with the local legend of the Tuareg (the people of the Berber group in Mali).

Almost a thousand years ago, in one of the bends of the Niger River there lived a woman who was distinguished by a kind heart and rare hospitality. All caravans stretching across the deserts from the south to the north of the continent certainly stopped at its well to rest. The name of this woman was Buktu, and the word well in the language of this tribe sounded - tim. So it happened that time commemorated the good female guard in the name of the settlement, now the city, Timbuktu.

The founders of the city were the Tuareg, and the heyday came at the beginning of the conquest of the Upper Niger River by the Mandigo tribe. Muslims-Berbers, Arabs-traders, black slaves began to settle around the legendary well, forming ethnic areas. The intersection of the five caravan routes Timbuktu developed as a shopping center. Gold, ivory, crocodile skin, fur of exotic animals, cola nuts, slaves and others left the continent in a northerly direction to the Middle East. From the north, salt, silk and brocade fabrics and other wonders of oriental luxury were brought through the city. Timbuktu, in the words of the medieval Arab geographer Ibn Khaldoun, becomes the “harbor in the desert”, and European traders call it “the city of gold”.

In the 12th century, the city was part of the then powerful Mali Empire. The ruling sultan Musa Kankan leads the country to the highest peak.

Making a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1325, Sultan Musa meets the Andalusian architect Abu es Sahel and for a large reward instructs the architect to decorate the city of Timbuktu with a delightful palace and mosque. Moreover, the mosque should be not just big, but also able to accommodate all residents of the city.

The construction dates are also striking: according to the data of the German researcher H. Barth in 1853. over the main entrance to the mosque one could see the inscriptions "Kankan Musa" and "1327". The reason for such a rapid, colossal in size, construction (only two years) was the use of the traditional construction material - "banco" (a mixture of clay with cut straw) and structures (frames made of poles).

Dzhingeberber is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988 in the composition of the object 119 "The historical city of Timbuktu" together with such mosques as: Sankore and Sidi Yahya.

In 1990, experts expressed the fear that the mosque might be covered with sand. In June 2006, the four-year project to restore the Jinguueber mosque began.

In 2012, during the armed confrontation between the Government of Mali and Islamist militants, the mosques of Timbuktu were destroyed by Islamists who captured the city.The graves of Muslim saints who were at the mosques were destroyed.

Mosque Gingereber in our days

Today, the Gingereber mosque is the oldest, largest and most famous of the three mosques of Timbuktu. Unique to this mosque is the fact that it can be visited not only by Muslims. Visitors are even allowed to climb the minaret to view the city from a bird's flight. The prayer hall of the mosque is divided into ten naves by nine rows of square pillars and can simultaneously hold 2000 people.

The main enemies of clay-built mosques of Timbuktu for centuries are the wind and sand of the desert. Once every two years, and even more often, fragile clay colossi need to be repaired - the walls and the flat roof of the mosque have to be re-coated with clay. This work is considered by the inhabitants of Timbuktu as the fulfillment of religious duty. For small restoration activities, the city masons' guild is involved, but in many cases the entire male population of the city goes to work. In recent years, UNESCO and other international organizations have been actively involved in the salvation of the ancient monuments of Timbuktu.

Watch the video: Geography Now! MALI (December 2019).


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