Mali: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Mali, about the geography, biography of Mansa Musa, about Timbuktu.



Mali has 3 geographical zones. The Saharan is desert, where wild long-maned sheep and cheetahs live. The Sahelian is scrub savanna, with gazelle, ostrich, red monkey, lion, leopard, fox, and hyena. The Sudanic is the plains region, rich farmland with lush vegetation, including the famed baobab tree; animals there include guinea hen, buffalo, elephant.

A national hero is Mansa Musa, Emperor of ancient Mali (1307-1332), who conquered Timbuktu. On his pilgrimage to Mecca, Mansa Musa took 80 camels, 500 slaves, and 5,500 men. Along the way he handed out money to the poor, dispensing over 50,000 ounces of gold by the time he was through. He returned from Mecca with tutors, scholars, and philosophers, and made Timbuktu a center of medieval learning.

Timbuktu, once Musa's capital, has been reduced to a sleepy, dusty town of 5,000, which now does little more than attract a few tourists.

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