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Mali (/ˈmɑːli/ (About this sound listen); French pronunciation: ​[mali]), officially the Republic of Mali (French: République du Mali), is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 18 million. Its capital is Bamako. Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country’s southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country’s economy centers on agriculture and fishing. Some of Mali’s prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt. About half the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 (U.S.) a day. A majority of the population (90%) are Muslims.

Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire (for which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy, literature, and art. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa. In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal’s withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state.

In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels took control of a territory in the north, and in April declared the secession of a new state, Azawad. The conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March and later fighting between Tuareg and Islamist rebels. In response to Islamist territorial gains, the French military launched Opération Serval in January 2013. A month later, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north. Presidential elections were held on 28 July 2013, with a second-round run-off held on 11 August, and legislative elections were held on 24 November and 15 December 2013.

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The Great Mosque of Djenné is a large banco or adobe building that is considered by many architects to be one of the greatest achievements of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali, on the flood plain of the Bani River.

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The Boucle du Baoulé National Park lies in western Mali, in Kayes Region and Koulikoro Region, set up in 1982. It has an area of 25,330 km² but has little large wildlife. The park is known for its prehistoric rock art and tombs. It is part of the UNESCO “Bouce Du Baoule Biosphere Reserve

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The National Museum of Malí is an archaeological and anthropological museum located in Bamako, the capital of Mali. It presents permanent and temporary exhibits on the history of Mali, as well as the musical instruments, dress, and ritual objects associated with Mali’s various ethnic groups

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Couchsurfing is a global community of 14 million people in more than 200,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey. Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience.
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workaway.info is an international hospitality service that allows members to contact one another to organise homestays and cultural exchange. Volunteers or “Workawayers”, are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day in exchange for lodging and food, which is provided by their host. Spread over 170 countries !

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Booking.com‘s description : Whoever you are, whatever you seek, we’ve got the perfect place for you. Our 28,475,497 listings include 5,251,653 listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and are located in 131,438 destinations in 228 countries and territories. Booking.com B.V. is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and is supported internationally by 198 offices in 70 countries.

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Airbnb is an international company which operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms, to participate in or facilitate experiences related to tourism such as walking tours, and to make reservations at restaurants. The company does not own any real estate or conduct tours.

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Numbeo is a crowd-sourced global database of reported consumer prices, perceived crime rates, quality of health care, among other statistics. Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.

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