Timbuktu – Mali
Timbuktu was first settled in the 12th century and was a centre for trade in salt, gold, ivory and slaves. The area has a rich history of culture, and was ruled by various different tribes over the years. In 1893, the French took over, and it was eventually declared part of the Republic of Mali in 1960. Although it has a rich and prosperous past, Timbuktu is currently impoverished and was ravaged by civil war in 2012.
Tourism in Timbuktu has slowed since the civil war, but it is still worth a visit if you book through a knowledgeable travel company. Some of the main attractions include three massive mud-and-timber mosques: Djingareyber, Sankore, and Sidi Yahia.
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Thebes – Egypt
One of the most important cities in ancient Egypt, located along the Nile, the ruins of Thebes lie within the modern city of Luxor.
Visitors to the area can marvel at the temples of Karnak and Luxor, and visit a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries from the ancient world.