Timbuktu overview

Emerging from the green landscape of Mali’s fertile south and Niger River is the mysterious Timbuktu – a city of legend and fabled wealth. The name Timbuktu has long be colloquially used in English and other languages to denote the epitome of nowhere. This ancient city of learning was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988; and in 1990 was added to the list of world heritage sites in danger, owing to the threat of desert sands.
A widely reputed Tuareg city, Timbuktu has a rich history of ancient crossroads of trade, exotic goods and culture. The massive camel caravans traversing the desert, the giant mud-built mosques, as well as the ancient tombs and relics are priceless attractions in this expansive city.
Timbuktu is often referred to as the intellectual capital of the Muslim world; and it is synonymous with universities, debate and religious tolerance. The city thrived on tourism until 2012 when the government of Mali was toppled in a coup d’état carried out by an army captain in the Malian army. This paved way for Islamist militants who captured the city until 2013 Timbuktu French and African forced them out. Despite the return of peace in the city, many countries still warn against traveling to Timbuktu.
The city, however, awaits the adventurous and free-spirited, as it remains a stunningly surreal destination waiting to be discovered.

must see in Timbuktu

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For a long time in Africa, the famous city of Timbuktu was regarded as Africa’s spiritual and intellectual centre. Travellers to this city are keen to visit the sites of ancient universities in Timbuktu such as the Sankore University and mosque, as well as the Djingareyber and Sidi Yahya mosques. The rooftop of the Grand Marché at the city centre is also an interesting spot to be. From here, you will have a beautiful 360-degree view of the entire city. There are up to 60 private and public libraries in Timbuktu which houses the highest concentration of historical manuscripts collections in West Africa. Some of these include the Al Wangari library, Muhammed Bagayogo Library, Mamma Haidara Library and the Ahmed Baba Centre. Other interesting sites to see are the houses where the famous explorers to Timbuktu lived such as Heinrich Barth, Alexander Gordon Laing and René Caillié.
  • Camel rides


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  • Sankore Mosque

    Educational, Historical, Religious Monument

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  • Djingareiber Mosque

    Historical Monument, Religious Monument

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Food and Drinks in Timbuktu

Alabadjia is a traditional Timbuktu nomad dish meat cooked to be separated from its juices, pounded and seasoned with Ghee a traditional butter. Other local dishes to enjoy include Al Kefta (small meatballs in sauce), Maffay Tigidigi (peanut butter based sauce over white rice) and Toukasso (delicious dish made of steamed bread covered in a tomato based sauce of the fourteen spices of Timbuktu). Local drinks to look out for include Ataye (green tea) and Limonharri (a sort of ginger ale made with ginger and lemon juice diluted and sweetened to taste).

Top 3 things to do in Timbuktu

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