Mali is one of the most interesting destinations on the African continent. It might not be the most recognized country, yet it is the biggest country in all of Western Africa. It’s about twice the size of Texas, but despite the great size, there is not great wealth. More than 70% of the population in Mali survives on less than $1 per day. There are some interesting facts about this country that you are definitely going to want to know.
1. A Little Gold for You and For You and For You…
At one point, the leader of Mali was handing out so much gold to his people that he was actually causing inflation to happen within the country. That’s right – the price of gold was going down because people had so much of it. Today, however, less than 10% of the country’s population is able to make wages that are more than $2 per day.
2. It Wasn’t a Real Estate Bubble
Mali is famous thanks to Mansa Musa. He was the emperor who ruled in the early 14th century. As a follower of Islam, he decided on year that it was time to make his pilgrimage to Mecca. To make the journey as comfortable as possible, he brought along 12,000 slaves, 60,000 free men, and 80 camels that carried at least 30 pounds of gold. When Friday rolled around, he would build a brand new mosque, wherever he happened to be.
3. Some Historical Firsts
There are a couple things you can do in Mali that you can’t do in many other countries around the world. For one, if you stand at the meridian marker in Geo, then you are able to literally stand in both hemispheres on the planet at the same time. To celebrate this amazing accomplishment, you can head over to the Great Mosque of Djenne. It’s the largest mud brick building that currently stands in the world today.
4. Watch Out for the Bamako
The capital city of Mali is called Bamako and even though this is a landlocked country, it is experiencing a high growth rate in some areas. Bamako is actually the sixth fastest growing city in the world right now. The name of the city literally means Crocodile River and that is fitting. If you head down to the river, which is the lowest point in the country, then crocodiles can be seen quite often. Better watch your hands.
5. What Did You Say?
There are over 40 different languages that are regularly spoken in Mali. Although the official language is French, a hold over from the old colonial days, the most common language is actually Bambara, which is spoken by 8 out of 10 people. The literacy rate, however, is quite low. Less than half of the Mali people are able to read.
Mali is a fascinating country with a growing culture and a lot to offer. If you are looking for an interesting getaway, then consider Mali. Facts like these prove you won’t regret that decision.