Looking to boost your local knowledge? Take a look at these 24 facts about Mali!
- Mali is a large landlocked country in West Africa.
- It is bordered by Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire to the south, Guinea to the southwest and Senegal and Mauritania to the west.
- To explore the beautiful and historical wonders that Mali has to offer, head for the coordinates of 12.6500° N, 8.0000° W for your very own Malian adventure!
- The terrain here is mostly flat-to-rolling plains covered in sand, with savannah to the south and rugged hills in the northeast.
- The total land area of Mali is 478,841 square miles (1,240,192 square kilometres)…
- …that’s around twice the size of France!
- Mali’s population was 16,955,536 in 2015…
- …that’s around 1/4 of the population of France!
- Residents here are known as Malians
- The capital is Bamako; it covers an area of 95 square miles (245 square kilometres) and had a population of 2,515,000 in 2015.
- Malians enjoy a subtropical to arid climate with hot and dry weather from February to June, mild and wet weather from June to November and cool and dry weather from November to February.
- The Great Mosque of Djenne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest mud brick building in the world! Incredibly, although the current building was constructed in 1907, there has been a mosque on the site since the 13th century!
- Often thought of as a mythical place that means ‘anywhere far away’, Timbuktu is actually a city in northern Mali!
- The official language of Mali is French, although there are more than 40 other languages spoken here too.
- The Malian national drink is sweet tea, which is served three times from the same pot – if a fourth cup is served it means you are no longer welcome!
- During the reign of the great Ghana Empire (circa 800-1230), Mali was the world’s richest country!
- CFA Franc is the official currency here.
- In 1325, Sultan Mansa Musa, the ruler of Mali, handed out so much gold during a pilgrimage to Mecca that the value plummeted and took 10 years to recover!
- The average life span here is 55 years.
- Mali gained independence from France in 1960, after 68 years of French colonial rule.
- Mali grows cotton, rice, millet and corn; they also rear cattle.
- Its industry consists of construction, food processing and mining for gold and phosphate.
- The main exports consist of cotton, gold and livestock.
- Do you know someone lucky enough to live in Mali? You can make cheap calls to Mali with Cherry Call – don’t forget, you’ll also need to use the international dialling code of 00223.
To keep up-to-date with what’s going on in Mali, head over to the A Bamako website but be warned, it’s in French!