Posted in Bamako, Life, MALI, Timbuktu

Fishermen

Fishing is the activity of catching fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping.

Traditional fishermen still fishing by using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, arrows and harpoons, throw nets and drag nets, etc.

The mighty Niger River is a source of food, water and drainage for five nations of West Africa.  During the flood season fish like the Nile Perch enter the marshlands to spawn. During the period from December to April the waters recede and the fattened are fish are left to flounder in the shallow waters. This makes then an easy catch for fishermen. Along the main course of the Niger, fishing is, of course, also plentiful.

mamadou

Advertisements
Posted in Bamako, Koulikoro, Life, MALI, Segou, Timbuktu

Morning Chores

At Koulikoro

At Timbuktu

At Segou

At Bamako

A normal morning scenes that you would able to see around Bamako and in other part of Mali. People selling of morning breakfast, clothes washing, cooking, bathing etc

mamadou

Posted in Art & Culture, MALI, Timbuktu, Travel

Timbuktu, the architecture

Timbuktu the architecture

Grand Mosque, Djenne.

 

The Great Mosque of Djenné and Sankoré Mosque with its accompanying mosque buildings in Timbuktu are the most famous examples of the Sudano-Sahelian architecture style.  The obvious difference between the two mosque is Grand Mosque Djenne consists of number of minarets but Sankore Mosque only have two minarets, one for Imam and another one for Mu’azzin.

 

Timbuktu the architecture

Sankoré Mosque, Timbuktu

 

Building in or architecture in Timbuktu also have the influence from Moroccan architecture since Timbuktu was invaded by Moroccan in 1591.  This Moroccan architecture is clearly reflected in the design of door, window and arches in the building.

 

I stayed at Hotel Bouctou during my visit to Timbuktu.  Let we share of some my photographs of Hotel Bouctou and other buildings in Timbuktu.

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

Front and side views of Hotel Bouctou

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

Another side view and courtyard of Hotel Bouctou 

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 Hotel Bouctou’s room and door key

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 Hotel Bouctou’s arches

 

Timbuktu the architecture    

 Hotel Bouctou’ s plague commensurate of event

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 The door, window and arch of Songhai architecture at Hotel Bouctou

 

Timbuktu the architecture

 Panoramic view of Sahara Desert from Hotel Bouctou

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 New building in Timbuktu and view of floor slab and beams

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 Some house owner prefer the floor covered with concrete or tiled, but some house owner prefer the floor bare only with sand

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 Some old buildings in Timbuktu.  Sign of deterioatation clearly visible on the walls due to weathering on clayey materials

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 Deteriorated wall and now lime stone used as material for the wall construction

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 Another photographs of buildings in Timbuktu

 

Timbuktu the architecture     Timbuktu the architecture

 Building of ‘Regroupement de Eragagda Tikagoundou’

 

mamadou

Posted in MALI, Timbuktu, Travel

Timbuktu and the travellers

Timbuktu‘s long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization is scholarship. By the fourteenth century, important books were written and copied in Timbuktu, establishing the city as the centre of a significant written tradition in Africa.

Timbuktu grew to great wealth because of its key role in trans-Saharan trade in gold, ivory, slaves, salt and other goods by the Tuareg, Mandé and Fulani merchants, transferring goods from caravans coming from the Islamic north to boats on the Niger.

Tales of Timbuktu’s fabulous wealth helped prompt European exploration of the west coast of Africa.

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Battuta (born February 24, 1304; year of death uncertain, possibly 1368 or 1377) was a Moroccan Berber scholar and jurisprudent from the Maliki Madzhab, and at times a Qadi or judge. However, he is best known as a traveller and explorer, whose account documents his travels and excursions over a period of almost thirty years, covering some 117,000 km. These journeys covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world and beyond, extending from North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East.

Timbuktu and the travellers

House of Ibn Battuta when he was in Timbuktu

In the fall of 1351, Ibn Battuta set out from Fez, reaching the last Moroccan town Sijilmasa more than a week later. When the winter caravans began a few months later, he joined one, together with two of his cousins, ibn Ziri and ibn ‘Adi.

After a month, he arrived at the Central Saharan town of Taghaza, actually a dry salt lake bed. A long and difficult journey lay ahead, requiring special advance guides or takshif with local experience to arrange a passage, without the takshif, the entire caravan usually disappeared without a trace.  After another 900 harrowing kilometres through the worst part of the desert, Ibn Battuta finally arrived at Iwalatan (Walata) in Mali.  Then he traveled southwest along a river he believed to be the Nile but it was actually the Niger River until he reached the capital of the Mali Empire. There he met Mansa Suleyman, the king since 1341. Dubious about the miserly hospitality of the king, he nevertheless stayed for eight months before journeying back up the Niger to Timbuktu. Partway through his journey back across the desert, he received a message from the Sultan of Morocco commanding him to return home.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Plaque commensurate visit of Ibn Battuta to Timbuktu in 1353

After the publication of the Rihla, little is known about Ibn Battuta’s life. He may have been appointed a qadi in Morocco. Ibn Battuta died in Morocco some time between 1368 and 1377 from the same disease that claimed his mother’s life, the Black Death. For centuries his book was obscure, even within the Muslim world, but in the 1800s, it was rediscovered and translated into several European languages. Since then, Ibn Battuta has grown in fame and is now a well-known figure in the Middle East, not only for being an extensive traveller and author, but also for aiding in the conversion of the people along the trade routes that he took

Major Alexander Gordon Laing (27 December 1793–26 September 1826) was a Scottish explorer and the first European to reach Timbuktu.Captain Laing was instructed by secretaries of the colonies to undertake a journey, via Tripoli and Timbuktu, to further elucidate the hydrography of the Niger basin. Laing left England in February 1825, and at Tripoli on the 16th of July, he started to cross the Sahara, being accompanied by a sheikh who was subsequently accused of planning his murder. Ghadames was reached, by an indirect route, in October 1825, and in December Laing was in the Tuat territory, where he was well received by the Touareg.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Alexander Gordon Laing’s house in Timbuktu in the year 1826

On 10 January 1826, he left Tuat and made for Timbuktu across the desert of Tanezroft. Letters from him written in May and July following told of sufferings from fever and the plundering of his caravan by Tuareg, Laing being wounded in twenty-four places in the fighting. Another letter dated from Timbuktu on 21 September announced his arrival in that city on the preceding 18 August, and the insecurity of his position owing to the hostility of the Fula chieftain Bello, then ruling the city. He added that he intended leaving Timbuktu in three days time.From native information it was ascertained that he left Timbuktu on the day he had planned and was murdered on the night of 26 September 1826. His papers were never recovered, though it is believed that they were secretly brought to Tripoli in 1828.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Boubacar SADECK, the art writer now occupy Gordon Laing’s house for his activity copying and transfering of 16th century manuscripts

While in England in 1824 Laing prepared a narrative of his earlier journeys, which was published in 1825 and entitled Travels in the Timannee, Kooranko and Soolima Countries, in Western Africa.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Gallery of Boubacar Sadeck’s works

In 1903 the French government placed a tablet bearing the name of the explorer and the date of his visit on the house occupied by him during his thirty-eight days stay in Timbuktu.

René Caillié (19 September 1799 – 17 May 1838) was a French explorer, and the first European to return alive from the town of Timbuktu.

Timbuktu and the travellers

House of René Caillié in Timbuktu 1828

The Paris based Société de Géographie was offering a 10,000 franc reward to the first European to see and return alive from Timbuktu, believed to be a rich and wondrous city.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Another view the René Caillié’s house

He spent eight months with the Brakna Moors living north of the Senegal River, learning Arabic and being taught, as a convert, the laws and customs of Islam. Caillié spent years learning Arabic, studying the customs and Islamic religion before setting off with a companion, and later on his own, traveling and living as the natives did.He laid his project of reaching Timbuktu before the governor of Senegal, but receiving no encouragement then he went to Sierra Leone where the British authorities made him superintendent of an indigo plantation. Having saved £80 he joined a Mandingo caravan going inland. He was dressed as a Muslim, and gave out that he was an Arab from Egypt who had been carried off by the French to Senegal and was desirous of regaining his own country.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Street of Rene Caillie 

Resuming his journey in January 1828 he went north-east and reached the city of Djenné, whence he continued his journey to Timbuktu by water. After spending a fortnight (20 April – 4 May) in Timbuktu he joined a caravan crossing the Sahara to Morocco, reaching Fez on the 12 August. From Tangier he returned to France

Heinrich Barth (16 February 1821 – 25 November 1865) was a German explorer and scholar of Africa.Barth entered Timbuktu in September 1853. His success as an explorer and historian of Africa was based both on his patient character and his scholarly education.Barth was different from the explorers of the colonial age, because he was interested in the history and culture of the Africans peoples, rather than the possibilities to exploit them. He meticulously documented his observations and his own journal has becomes as much as an invaluable source for the circumstances of the 19th century Sudanic Africa. Although Barth was not the first European visitor who paid attention to the local oral traditions, he was the first who seriously considered its methodology and usability for historical research. Barth was the first truly scholarly traveler in West Africa.

Timbuktu and the travellers

House of Henrich Barth in Timbuktu 1853

Barth could read Arabic known as Abdul Karim, and was able to investigate history of some regions, particularly the Songhay empire. He also seems to have learned some African languages. He established close relations with a number of African scholars and rulers, from Muhammad al-Amin al-Kanemi in Bornu, through the Katsina and Sokoto regions to Timbuktu, where his friendship with Ahmad al-Bakkay al-Kunti led to his staying in his house and being protection from an attempt to seize him.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Another photograph of Henrich Barth’s house

Robert Adams, an African-American sailor, claimed to have visited the city in 1811 as a slave after his ship wrecked off the African coast. He later gave an account to the British consul in Tangier, Morocco in 1813. He published his account in an 1816 book, The Narrative of Robert Adams, a Barbary Captive (still in print as of 2006), but doubts remain about his account.  Other Europeans reached Timbuktu were the German Oskar Lenz with the Spanish Cristobal Benítez in 1880 and the American D.W. Berky the leader of the first American Trans-Sahara expedition Biskra to Timbuktu from October 29, 1912 to May 12, 1913.

Timbuktu and the travellers

D.W. Berky, the American Traveller’s house when he was in Timbuktu 1913 

About 60 British merchant seamen were held prisoner there during the Second World War, and during May 1942 two of them, William Soutter and John Graham of the British SS Allende died there and are buried in the European cemetery.

Timbuktu and the travellers

Another view of Berky’s house

mamadou

Posted in MALI, Timbuktu, Travel

Sighting of Hippopotamus in Niger River

Hyppo sighting

Monument of hippopotamus in Bamako

 

The name of the country, Mali comes from the Bambara word for hippopotamus, hence hippopotamus plays considered significant animal in Mali.  There is a monument of hippopotamus in Bamako.

 

The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), from the Greek (hippopotamos, hippos meaning “horse” and potamos meaning “river”), often shortened to “hippo”, is a large, mostly plant-eating African mammal, one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae the other being the Pygmy Hippopotamus.

Hyppo sighting

The pinasse and its skipper that I took to cruise along the niger river

 

The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes in sub-Saharan Africa in groups of 5-30 hippos. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river. They emerge at dusk to graze on grass. While hippos rest near each other in territories in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.

 

Hyppo sighting

The view of niger river from inside of pinasse 

 

Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans—whales, porpoises and the like.  The hippopotamus is recognizable for its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is similar in size to the White Rhinoceros; only elephants are consistently heavier. Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 48 km/h while running short distances. The hippopotamus is among the most dangerous and aggressive of all animals, and are regarded to be Africa’s most dangerous animal. There are an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 hippos remaining throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, of which Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000-30,000) have the largest populations.  They are still threatened by poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth, and by habitat loss

 

Hyppo sighting

You may not dare to cruise with this condition of the pinasse.  In fact we had to stop 3 times as the wind blows too strong and created the strong wave.  I so worry that pinasse may break but finally I safely cruise back to Korïoume 

 

A male hippopotamus is known as a bull, a female as a cow, and a baby as a calf. They are also known as the Common Hippopotamus or the Nile Hippopotamus.

Hyppo sighting   Hyppo sighting   Hyppo sighting

First group of 2 hippopotamus was seen before Hadoubomo.  Then we proceeded further and I saw another group of 4 hippopotamus.  Spent about 40 minutes here searching and look out for hippopotamus.  These 3 shots of hippo that I manage to captured from a distance of 50m from our pinasse

Because of their size, hippopotamuses are difficult to weigh in the wild.  The average weights for adult males ranged between 1500–1800 kg. Females are smaller than their male counterparts, with average weights measuring between 1300–1,500 kg.  Older males are much larger, reaching at least 3,200 kg and occasionally weighing 3636 kg.  Male hippos appear to continue growing throughout their lives while females reach a maximum weight at around age 25.  Hippos average size is 3.5 meters long, 1.5 meters tall at the shoulder.  A hippo’s lifespan is typically 40 to 50 years.

 

Hyppo sighting

Hippopotamus

Hippos spend most of their days wallowing in the water or the mud, with the other members of their pod. The water serves to keep their body temperature cool, and to keep their skin from drying out. With the exception of eating, most of hippopotamuses’ lives from childbirth, fighting with other hippos, and reproduction, occur in the water.

Hippos leave the water at dusk and travel inland, sometimes up to 8 kilometers, to graze on short grass, their main source of food. They spend four to five hours grazing and can consume 68 kilograms of grass each night.

mamadou