"Timbuktu, the forbidden city" Timbuktu by F_Meignant
Timbuktu Travel Guide: 95 reviews and 399 photos
Timbuktu… « La Ville 7 fois sainte »… « la Cité aux toits d’or »… « La Ville aux 333 Saints »…
Nowadays, the mythic city is only a pale shadow of its legend. Already in 1828 when he arrived there, the French René Caillié was a bit disappointed: according to the city’s fame, he was expecting lots of treasures. He just found houses built of earth, a large city surrounded by desert…
Caillié was the first Occidental who reached Timbuktu and came back alive. Several explorers tried to reach the city before him. In 1790, Major Daniel Houghton, recruited by the “African Association”, left Gambia and went East... He died before having reached the Niger River, probably killed by the Moors.
Major Gordon Laing tried another route: he left Tripoli in February 1826. He is the first European who reached Timbuktu. It was in May 1826. But he had to flee the city, which was forbidden to foreigners. He was finally killed by Tuaregs in the desert a few days later.
René Caillié left Guinea in April 1827. He put on a disguise of a Muslim pilgrim and said he was an Egyptian boy, raised by a soldier of Napoleon’s army and taken by him to Senegal… Thanks to his disguise, he could reach Timbuktu in April 1828. But he was very sick and only stayed 13 days in the city. He then joined a caravan, crossed the Sahara and finally reached Morocco, from where he was sent back in France, half dead because of sicknesses and starvation. He never recovered completely, and died in 1838. He was only 39 years old.
To visit the festival of Tuareg and West-African music of Essakane, click here:
"Festival au Désert"
- Pros:Myth and the mosque of Djingereyber.
- Cons:Sewage, rubbish...
- In a nutshell:Dig hard...
Timbuktu is in the middle of nowhere. It's not easy to reach. It's even more difficult to leave... It's reknown as a... more travel advice
Written Oct 20, 2003
Nasty or sad things of Timbuktu...
Written Oct 20, 2003
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