Timbuktu is one of those names which makes you feel like goin to exotic places immediately. Although Timbuktu itself is not as exotic as it may sound, the place itself has many attractions. It is the home of the Koranic Sankore University and other madrasas. The city was a centre of intellectuality and spirituality and for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. The three mosques all are a witness of Timbuktu's golden age. Timbuktu therefore is on the Unesco World Heritage List.
There are three main mosques in Timbuktu which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Djingareiber Mosque (built between 1324 and 1327) is one of the most impressive and largest buildings in Mali. The Sankoré mosque has an impressive minaret and is worth a visit as well. The Sidi Yéhia Mosque is smaller but equally beautiful and all three mosques are within a short walk of each other. All of these mosques are made out of mud brick, which gives it extra charm and integrates perfectly into the surrouding desert. Please pay respect to local customs when taking photos.
This lively February music event's location may have moved from Essakane to Timbuktu, but the likes of Robert Plant and Justin Adams still perform alongside some of Mali’s most talented Tuareg musicians. The Desert Festival evolved from a traditional Tuareg gathering filled with lively discussions and fun to an international event of peace. To this day, festival attendees celebrate the 1996 Flame of Peace ceremony when over 3,000 firearms were burned in Timbuktu. Unlike many other music festivals, the stage is surrounded by nothing but desert and the audience remains still and quiet. The more lively parties begin at nearby discos during the wee hours of the night.
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Timbuktu has a hot and generally dry semi-desert climate with a short rainy season from June to September when there can be severe thunderstorms with occasonial floodings. Rains can be unpredictable though and sometimes the rainy season means just a few showers now and then. The coolest time is between December and February. Temperatures still are between 30 °C and 35 °C during these months. April to June are very hot with average daytime temperatures of 42 °C, but maximums of 48 °C have been recorded in all of these months. Nigths average between 13 °C in December and January to 27 °C in June.
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