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Rusty Red Sands of Tombouctou, Mali

21.6N 4.6W

December 31st, 2010 Category: Deserts

Mali - December 26th, 2010

Most of the country of Mali lies in the southern Sahara, which produces a hot, dust-laden Sudanian savanna zone. Mali is mostly flat, rising to rolling northern plains covered by sand.

This image focuses on Tombouctou, the largest and northern-most region of Mali, comprising mostly the Southwestern section of the Sahara desert. Here, the sands range from tan to rusty red in color.

Tombouctou region is famous outside Mali for its capital, the ancient city Timbuktu. The city is located at the southern edge of the Sahara, near the Niger River (visible in the lower portion of the full image), which has headwaters in the highlands very near the Atlantic coast before its long 1500 mile journey to the northeast, before finally turning south to reach the Atlantic.

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