interesting facts about Mali

24 Mesmerising Facts about Mali

Looking to boost your knowledge of Africa? Take a look at these 23 interesting facts about Mali!

Geographical stats…

  1. Mali is a large landlocked country in West Africa.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Flag of Mali

  1. The terrain here is mostly flat-to-rolling plains covered in sand, with savannah to the south and rugged hills in the northeast.
  2. The total land area of Mali is 478,841 square miles (1,240,192 square kilometres)…
  3. …that’s around twice the size of France!
  4. Mali’s population was 19.08 million in 2018…
  5. …that’s around 1/4 of the population of France!
  6. Residents here are known as Malians.

facts about Mali

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. Often thought of as a mythical place that means ‘anywhere far away’, Timbuktu is actually a city in northern Mali!

Social intricacies

  1. The official language of Mali is French, although there are more than 40 other languages spoken here too.
  2. 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!
  3. During the reign of the great Ghana Empire (circa 800-1230), Mali was the world’s richest country!
  4. CFA Franc is the official currency here.
facts about Mali


  1. 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!
  2. The average life span here is 58.45 years (2017).
  3. Mali gained independence from France in 1960, after 68 years of French colonial rule.

Industry insights…

  1. Mali grows cotton, rice, millet and corn; they also rear cattle.
  2. Its industry consists of construction, food processing and mining for gold and phosphate.
  3. The main exports consist of cotton, gold and livestock.

Interesting facts about Mali

Bonus fact..

  1. Do you have family or friends in Mali that you’d like to call?  You’ll need to use the international dial code of +223

Do you have any fun, interesting or strange facts about Mali that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!

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