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Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta (left) meets the King of MaliIbn Battuta (left) meets the King of Mali During the 14th century, the great Muslim explorer Ibn Battuta (1304–1368/9) travelled more than 117,000 kilometres (73,000 miles) through Africa and Asia. His adventures began in 1325 when he set out from Morocco on a hajj, a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Arabia. This initial journey inspired him to continue travelling around the Islamic world. As a well-educated Muslim, he was welcomed by scholars and rulers wherever he went. Ibn Battuta returned to Morocco in 1349. Just two years later, he decided to make one last voyage across the Sahara Desert to the kingdom of Mali. When he finally returned home, he recorded his amazing journeys in a book known as the Rihla ("Journey").

To Jerusalem and Mecca

The Dome of the Rock, JerusalemThe Dome of the Rock, JerusalemIbn Battuta left Tangier (in modern-day Morocco) in 1325. He joined a camel caravan (convoy of traders and their camels) and headed east. In Alexandria (in modern-day Egypt), he saw the Pharos lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the holy city of Jerusalem he visited the amazing golden-domed mosque known in English as the Dome of the Rock. On reaching Mecca, he worshipped at the Muslim shrine called the Kaaba.

If his accounts of his travels are to be fully believed, during his lifetime Ibn Battuta travelled over 117,000 km (73,000 miles).

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