Mali Country Profile – Geography

From Cia Factbook (Page last updated on October 13, 2020)

Location: interior Western Africa, southwest of Algeria, north of Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso, west of Niger


  • total: 1,240,192 sq km
  • land: 1,220,190 sq km
  • water: 20,002 sq km

Land boundaries:

  • total: 7,908 km
  • border countries (7): Algeria 1359 km, Burkina Faso 1325 km, Cote d’Ivoire 599 km, Guinea 1062 km, Mauritania 2236 km, Niger 838 km, Senegal 489 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: subtropical to arid; hot and dry (February to June); rainy, humid, and mild (June to November); cool and dry (November to February)

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast


  • mean elevation: 343 m
  • lowest point: Senegal River 23 m
  • highest point: Hombori Tondo 1,155 m

Natural resources: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, gypsum, granite, hydropower, note, bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited

Land use:

  • agricultural land: 34.1% (2011 est.) – arable land: 5.6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 28.4% (2011 est.)
  • forest: 10.2% (2011 est.)
  • other: 55.7% (2011 est.)
  • irrigated land: 3,780 sq km (2012)

Population distribution: the overwhelming majority of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with greater density along the border with Burkina Faso.

Natural hazards: hot, dust-laden harmattan haze common during dry seasons; recurring droughts; occasional Niger River flooding

Environment – current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; loss of pasture land; inadequate supplies of potable water

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