Where is Mali? Landlocked by seven countries, the Republic of Mali is a West African country located to the southwest of Algeria, bordering Niger to the east, Mauritnia and Senegal to the west, Guinea to the south-west, and Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso to the south. Its northern border reaches deep into the Sahara Desert which is responsible for Mali’s dust-laden Sudanian savanna zone. As a result, most of its populace resides in the south where the Senegal and Niger rivers have inundated the lands for centuries.
The answer to the question where is Mali cannot be completely answered without taking into account its northeaster massif, the Adrar des Ifoghas that also travels into Algeria, or the disputed region of Azawad. The disputed territory straddles the Sahelian zone and portion of the Sahara Desert, and includes the Mopti region, Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu.
Historically, Mali has been part of various West African empires that once controlled the trans-Saharan trade. Notable empires include the Mali Empire, Songhai Empire, and the Ghana Empire. However, during the colonial struggle for conquest, Mali became part of Sudan, joined Senegal in 1959 and finally gained independence in 1960.
Here are the top places to visit in Mali:
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Djenné is the largest mud-built structure in the world. The mosque in itself is incomparable, but with a backdrop of the Monday market that dates back to the time when the Saharan camel caravans brought salt, it becomes nothing less than an apparition from the fairy-tales.
If you truly want to experience time dilation, then the languid, slow-paced charm of Ségou is sure to stretch the fabric of your reality. The wide avenues and fading colonial architecture lazily strung out alongside the riverbank make the village one of the quietest and most wonderful places to visit in Mali.
Imagine completely inverting Ségou. Add markets, colors, and the zeal of excited bargainers and sellers. What do you get? You get energy and clamor spilling through the streets, reverberating against the pavements, and illuminating the shops, restaurants, and hotels, and friendly locals.
La Dune Rose
Once believed to be the home of magicians, it is one of Gao’s premier tourist destinations and comes alive as the sun sets.
Rhythmic and alluring as any African name comes, Timbuktu is the inhabited historical city situated 20 km north of the mystical River Niger and ever ready to share the legendary tales of Shabeni and Leo Africanus. It offers a wonderful mix of quiet and exotic lifestyle.