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This Day in African History — Birth of René-Auguste Caillié

By September 19, 2013

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René-Auguste Caillié was the first European who lived to tell the tale of reaching Timbuktu. The French explorer disguised himself as an Arab to gain entrance to the city and remain undetected - he had studied Islam and could speak Arabic. His journey from the coast of West Africa to Timbuktu took him a year (he was ill for five months) but he was so unimpressed he spent only two weeks (in 1828) in the city. His three volumes of his adventures were published in 1830 and received the Geographical Society of Paris' prize.

For more on René-Auguste Caillié:
René-Auguste Caillié Biography
René-Auguste Caillié Quotes
Timbuktu: the El Dorado of Africa

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