Sights in Timbuktu

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Minaret, Sankoré mosque

Minaret, Sankoré mosque

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Timbuktu has three of the oldest mosques of West Africa. They are not very big in size, they're not even very pretty, but they sure are old.

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Caillie's House

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Rene Caillie , a French explorer, reached Timbuktu in the beginning of the 19-th century. He was the first European to reach the town and live to tell the tale. The house itself has little more to offer than the plaque on the wall.

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Markets

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The grand Marche is a covered market in the old section of town. There is not a lot of food tro be bought here, it's mostly cloth, pots and pans. You can, however, buy rocksalt from the desert here.

The petit Marche, just north of the Bouctou hotel, offers more food, some meat, but also handicrafts.

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Museum

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The Timbuktu Museum is quite good and worth a visit. It's close to Sidi Yahya Mosque and has a good collection of old photos.

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Sankore Mosque

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Minaret, Sankoré mosque
Minaret, Sankoré mosque
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This used to be the center of the University of Timbuktu which had 2500 students. This fact is hard to imagine if you have a look at the crumbling mosque of nowadays.

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Djinguereber Mosque

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The oldest and biggest and the only one you can visit from the inside. It's 200 meter west of the Place de l'Independance. It dates back to the 14-th century. Sometimes the guards let you climb the minaret. They clearly expect a tip.

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Sidi Yahya Mosquee

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Close to Caille's house is the Sidi Yahya. It dates back to the 15-th century and is named after the patron Saint of Timbuktu.

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Tuareg camps

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Timbuktu - in the middle of the desert
Timbuktu - in the middle of the desert
photo by: jst

Take a camel ride out of town to one of the Tuareg camps, and you've done the touristy thing to do. It's fun though. Before you go with anyone, make sure you want to visit a real campement, and not a bunch of people selling Tuareg carpets.

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Laing's house

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Gordon Laing, a Scot, was the first explorer to reach Timbuktu. On his way back however, he was killed on orders o the Sultan.

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