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Commune and village
Essakane is located in Mali
Coordinates: 16°46′57″N 3°37′58″W / 16.78250°N 3.63278°W / 16.78250; -3.63278Coordinates: 16°46′57″N 3°37′58″W / 16.78250°N 3.63278°W / 16.78250; -3.63278
Country  Mali
Region Tombouctou Region
Cercle Goundam Cercle
Commune Essakane
 • Total 7,927 km2 (3,061 sq mi)
Population (2009 Census)[2]
 • Total 11,238
 • Density 1.4/km2 (3.7/sq mi)

Essakane is a rural commune and village of the Cercle of Goundam in the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The commune includes around 16 small settlements. The small village of Essakane is around 70 kilometers west of the town of Timbuktu. The commune includes Lake Faguibine and two depression, Lake Kamango and Lake Gouber, which fill with water in years when the annual flood of the Niger River is particularly extensive.

Between 2001 and 2009 Essakane was the site of an annual music festival held in January called the Festival au Désert (Festival in the Desert). Because of the difficulty of guaranteeing the security of foreign tourists, in 2010 and 2011 the Malian Government moved the festival to the outskirts of Timbuktu.[3][4] The festival showcases the music of the local Tuareg people, as well as musicians from other nearby nations such as Mauritania and Niger.


  1. ^ Schéma directeur de lutte contre l’ensablement dans le nord du Mali (6ème et 7ème Régions): Monographie de la Commune de Essakane (PDF) (in French), Groupement pour l’Aménagement et la Gestion de Forêts et l’Environnement, Ministère de l’environnement et de l’assainissement, République du Mali, 2004 .
  2. ^ Resultats Provisoires RGPH 2009 (Région de Tombouctou) (PDF) (in French), République de Mali: Institut National de la Statistique, archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22 
  3. ^ Togola, Diakaridia (11 January 2010), Festival sur le désert : Essakane a vibré au rythme de la 10ème édition (in French), Le Quotidien de Bamako, retrieved 25 December 2011 .
  4. ^ Tombouctou : Le Festival du Désert aura bien lieu (in French), Primature: Portail Officiel du Gouvernement Mali, 28 October 2010, retrieved 25 December 2011 .

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