Lesson 1: Trekking to Timbuktu: The Geography of Mali (Teacher Version)

The ancient city of Timbuktu lies in West Africa in the present-day nation of Mali. This is a region of varied landscapes, ranging from sizzling desert sands to tropical jungle. The Niger River that flows through Mali has been an important trading highway as well as a source of subsistence for the local people since very early times. In this lesson, students will learn about the geography of Mali.

Guiding Questions

Where is Mali?

What are the major geographical features of Mali?

In what part of Mali is Timbuktu?

What's the local weather?

What critical roles has the Niger River played in the lives of the people of Mali?

How much have conditions changed?

Learning Objectives

Locate Mali on a world map

Describe the landscape and climate of Mali

Locate the city of Timbuktu and describe the local weather

Indicate the route of the Niger River and discuss the river's economic significance

Compare life along the Niger in ancient times to that of today