Hostel in Timbuktu, Mali

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Get to know Timbuktu (no more "I wish I knew this before")

This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Timbuktu. To help you make friends with Timbuktu before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

 Sunset

Is there a place on Earth that has a name so charged with mystery as Timbuktu, Mali? Timbuktu -- the name of which is synonymous with being in the middle of nowhere -- is right on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Indeed, the city is in constant danger of being invaded by the Saharan sands, which blow through the city.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Timbuktu is steeped in ancient history. Sadly, much of this was destroyed in recent years when the city was occupied by Ansar Dine, a militant Islamic Taureg rebel group with suspected affiliations to Al-Qaeda, but there's still plenty to see here.

Located a thousand kilometers northeast of the capital Bamako, Timbuktu is accessed by public transport from Mopti, a small city four hundred kilometers south. The six-to-eight-hour journey is a very interesting ride along barely visible desert tracks and a crossing of the River Niger by ferry. This river provides the only water to which Timbuktu has access in a sea of sand.

Founded in the fifth century, Timbuktu became an important center of Islamic study and worship in the thirteenth century. It was initially a trading post for the salt caravans that traversed the Sahara to exchange their salt for gold, ivory, and slaves. Even now, the occasional long train of camels can still be seen entering Timbuktu after days of walking across the Sahara. A camel market is still held in the northern edge of town.

The old mosques, mausoleums, and libraries are the reason tourists come to Timbuktu. Despite the destruction by Ansar Dine, most of the ancient manuscripts in the many private family libraries in the town were smuggled out at great risk to the locals. Most of these are now in Bamako, awaiting their return to Timbuktu, but many were secreted in the family houses and can be seen today. Many of the tombs were destroyed by the Islamists during their occupation of Timbuktu, because they were considered examples of idolatry, a sin in Islam.

The three ancient mosques of Djingareyber, Sankore, and Sidi Yahia were built between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries and are the major attractions in Timbuktu for visitors.

Before the recent occupation, there were a couple of hostels in Timbuktu, Mali. The situation may have changed, so it's worth planning ahead if you want to stay in a Timbuktu, Mali hostel. Existing hostels in Timbuktu, Mali, will be on the edge of town, where it disappears into the desert, rather than in the center, but Timbuktu is a small town, so it's easy to walk into the center in fifteen minutes. Assess the situation before you visit Timbuktu, because its remoteness means that it is susceptible to regional and tribal disturbances.

Written by local enthusiast for Timbuktu hostels

Written by local enthusiast for Timbuktu hostels Londonroad

FAQ about Timbuktu Hostels

There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in Timbuktu. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in Timbuktu. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right?

There is exactly 1 Hostel in Timbuktu, Mali. Hostelz.com compares the prices for this hostel so you can get the best price on any major booking site.
Hostelz.com compares prices for 1 hostel in Timbuktu, Mali.

This makes this very website the best place to find cheap accommodation in Timbuktu.

Your Packing List for Timbuktu

Your Packing List for Timbuktu

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Timbuktu and Mali.

You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:

These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.

Get your full Packing List here

Timbuktu Hostel Cheatsheet

Above we list every single hostel there is in the city. Let us take a broader look at what you can expect - and what not. We created this cheatsheet for you to get a more complete picture of the hostel quality in Timbuktu, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
1 Total number of hostels

Travel Tips for Timbuktu - from the Community

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