region of Mali
Africa > Sahel > Mali > Timbuktu (region)

Travel Warning WARNING: Because of ongoing terrorist attacks in Northern Mali, many governments advise against all travel to the region. More information is available in the warning at the top of the Mali page.
(Information last updated Sep 2020)

Timbuktu is a region in Mali named after the largest city within the region.


Map of Timbuktu (region)

  • 1 Timbuktu
  • 2 Arouane   in the desert to the north.
  • 3 Goundam- A mainly Tuareg settlement, based near Essakane where the Festival in the Desert used to be held.
  • 4 Taoudenni  - in the far north of the department (some 700 km North of Timbuktu)
  • 5 Niafunké  
  • 6 Diré  
  • 7 Gourma-Rharous  

Other destinationsEdit


Even though Timbuktu is the largest department in Mali, it is largely empty. The majority of Timbuktu is nothing more than empty Sahara Desert. The main towns are all concentrated in the south along the Niger River. The desert areas are largely the domain of the Tuareg.

Get inEdit

Get aroundEdit

The towns in the south can be accessed by bus/taxi. However the desert to the north requires a 4x4 or a camel, you will probably want a guide who knows what they are doing.


The city of Timbuktu itself is the main attraction in the department.




Stay safeEdit

If you are heading into the desert to the North there is usually considered to be a threat of bandits in addition to the risk of getting stranded. Be sure to register your itinerary and expected return date with the tourist office in Timbuktu.

Go nextEdit

This region travel guide to Timbuktu is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!