Timbuktu is an ancient town in Mali. Situated at the northern most point of the River Niger, it is home to 4,000 inhabitants.
It has a tropical sub-arid climate, with long dry seasons and a very short and irregular rainy season. Temperatures reach a high of 45C and a low of 7C.
Timbuktu was the spiritual centre in the propagation of Islam throughout Africa, in the 15th-16th centuries.
Today the economy of the town depends on Saharan-trade, the salt mines, agriculture, livestock and tourism. The local population is of Songhay, Tuareg, Fulani and Moorish origins.
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