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Physical and Economic Geography of Mali

Mali is a landlocked country situated in the western part of Africa. Natural conditions has not been accompanied on his future, and its landscape is absent of precipitation, and climate, desert and steppe, makes Mali one of the more limited African countries.

Adrar des Iforas


Mali is a plain bordered on its southern region by a series of plateaus and peaks that are an extension of the solid Guinea -region Kaarta, Sikasso, and Mina. The altitude of these plateaus is between 300 and the 800m .

The center of the country is occupied by the alluvial plain of the Niger half , which is framed to the east by an area Saharan erg-type which is very large sandy dunes, dominated by the granitic mass of the Adrar des Iforas .

At the north reappear plateaus as the Krenachich , followed by a zone of hamadas -type landscape of stony desert-like forming Safia and The Haricha. In this landscape, the total absence of rainfall and rivers is the general trend throughout the year.


From the standpoint of climate in Mali can distinguish three regions main north-south, and depending on your latitude.

  • The first, the desert or sahariense, has less than 100 mm annual rainfall.
  • The second is a region steppe climate-saheliense semi-arid climate with precipitation ranging from 200 mm annually in the north and 600 mm in the south.
  • The third is an area of climate sudaniense, and less dry, and is about 600 mm falling annually. Presents two well characterized throughout the year: one wet and one dry.

rivers in NigerRivers

They form the river system of Mali in Senegal , in its upper course, about 100 km are navigable in Mali-and the Niger and its tributaries . It is this river and its tributaries, which by its ability to meet strong agricultural population densities around him, and is a waterway that is only cut by fast-falling stream of hard-Sotuba. The navigation on this river is possible in the sections between Bamako and Kurusa and Koulikoro and Ansongo, being coincident with the period of abundant water.

Niger, on the other hand, forms a great curve to move to the north, and regions of the Sahel and Sahara, where the river oats – outputs the dead water through ditches-which provides greater opportunities development.

Salt mine in Taoudenni

Economic Geography

Much of the land in Mali is in the Sahara desert, which makes the arable land of the country be reduced to 2,100,000 acres, a figure barely reaches 2% of the territory .

The main crops are millet, peanuts, rice, cotton, sugarcane, maize, sweet potatoes, cassava, and legumes.

The forests , which reach only represent 6% of the territory , produce about 6 million cubic meters of timber, also highlighting the production of gum arabic.

Livestock, which takes place in the south, consists of cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, and poultry. Fishing in waters of the Niger River produces over 60,000 tons per year, part of which is smoked and dried for export.

Besides the ancient salt deposits , there are also small deposits of gold and phosphates in the area of Taoudenni . The industry in Mali has little significance, merely some textile factories in Bamako and Segou, the extraction of groundnut oil and sugar processing and cement Diamou, and the production of soap, beer, soft drinks, cigarettes, and footwear in Bamako.