Looking to boost your knowledge of Africa and increase your chances of winning the next geography quiz? Take a look at these 15 fun facts about Mali!
1. Mali has lots of neighbors.
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.
2. Mali is easy to find.
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!
3. Mali’s land mass isn’t too complex.
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 kilometers) – that’s around twice the size of France!
4. Mali is surprisingly sparse.
Mali’s population was 20.25 million in 2020 – that’s around 1/4 of the population of France!
5. Mali has a bustling capital.
The capital is Bamako; it covers an area of 95 square miles (245 square kilometers) and had a population of 2,515,000 in 2015.
6. Mali has soggy summers.
7. Mali has record-breaking heritage.
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!
8. A familiar-sounding place resides here.
Often thought of as a mythical place that means ‘anywhere far away’, Timbuktu is actually a city in northern Mali!
9. Mali is very multi-lingual.
The official language of Mali is French, although there are more than 40 other languages spoken here too.
10. Mali loves the sweet stuff!
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!
11. Mali has prosperous original.
During the reign of the great Ghana Empire (circa 800-1230), Mali was the world’s richest country!
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!
12. Mali’s average life expectancy is sadly stunted.
The average life span here is just 58.89 years (2018).
13. Mali broke connection with France.
Mali gained independence from France in 1960, after 68 years of French colonial rule.
14. Mali’s exports are varied.
Its industry consists of construction, food processing and mining for gold and phosphate.
The main exports consist of cotton, gold and livestock.
15. Bonus fact!
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.
FAQs about Mali
Is Mali an Islamic country?
Yes - almost 95% of the people living in Mali are Muslim!
Was the Mali Empire Muslim?
Not originally - it wasn’t until around the 14th century that the Mali monarchy converted to Islam.
What’s Mali famous for?
Mali is famous globally for its important exports! It’s mainly known for both its gold and salt reserves.
Is Mali safe for me to visit?
On the whole, Mali is not safe for visitors to attend - it’s said to be subject to violent crime.
What is Mali famous for, exactly?
Mali is perhaps most famous for being a country that exports tons of gold! However, it’s also a big salt contributor.
Do people speak English in Mali?
Yes - however, you’ll find that most people speak French here!
Do you know any fun facts about Mali? Share them in the comments below!