Mali is a landlocked country. it has borders with Burkina Faso, Niger, Algeria, Mauritania, Guinea, cote d’ivoire.

The Niger River is the principal river in West Africa and an essential “route” of communication that crosses the country from east to west. Many cities that were in the old days great commercial and intellectual centres were located on its banks, like Timbuktu, with an almost mythical history of splendours but never proven, known to be an educational centre with a fabulous library, but never found. it was of great commercial importance since the caravans coming from the south with gold, spices and slaves were based in Timbuktu, as were the caravans that crossed the desert bringing salt and silks.