Ibn Battuta


Ibn Battuta : biography

1304 – 1369

Arab Mashriq

  • Cairo
  • Alexandria
  • Damietta
  • Jerusalem
  • Bethlehem
  • Hebron
  • Damascus
  • Latakia
  • Egypt
  • Syria
  • Medina – Visited the tomb of Prophet Muhammad.
  • Jeddah
  • Mecca – Performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
  • Rabigh – City north of Jeddah on the Red Sea.
  • Oman
  • Dhofar
  • Hajr (modern-day Riyadh)
  • Bahrain
  • Al-Hasa
  • Strait of Hormuz
  • Yemen
  • Qatif


  • Granada
  • Valencia

Byzantine Empire and Eastern Europe

  • Konya
  • Antalya
  • Bulgaria
  • Azov
  • Kazan
  • Volga River
  • Constantinople

Central Asia

  • Khwarezm and Khorasan (now Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Balochistan (now Pakistan) and Afghanistan)
  • Bukhara and Samarqand
  • Pashtun areas of eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan (Pakhtunkhwa)

South Asia

  • North India
  • Sindh (Pakistan)
  • Multan
  • Delhi
  • Present day Uttar Pradesh
  • Present day Gujarat
  • Maharashtra
  • Kozhikode
  • Malabar
  • Pandiyan Kingdom
  • Bengal (now Bangladesh and West Bengal)
  • Brahmaputra River in Bangladesh visited the area on his way from China.
  • Meghna River near Dhaka
  • Sylhet met Sufi Shaikh Hazrat Shah Jalal.
  • Maldives
  • Sri Lanka – Known to the Arabs of his time as Serendip. Ibn Battuta visited the Jaffna kingdom and Adam’s Peak.


  • Quanzhou – as he called in his book the city of donkeys
  • Hangzhou — Ibn Battuta referred to this city in his book as "Madinat Alkhansa" مدينة الخنساء. He also mentioned that it was the largest city in the world at that time; it took him three days to walk across the city.
  • Beijing – Ibn Battuta mentioned in his journey to Beijing how neat the city was.

Southeast Asia

  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Samudera Pasai Sultanate, Aceh, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Malacca, Malay Peninsula Malaysia


  • Mogadishu
  • Zeila

Swahili Coast

  • Kilwa
  • Mombasa

Mali Empire and West Africa

  • Timbuktu
  • Gao
  • Takedda


  • Oualata (Walata)

During most of his journey in the Mali Empire, Ibn Battuta travelled with a retinue that included slaves, most of whom carried goods for trade but would also be traded as slaves. On the return from Takedda to Morocco, his caravan transported 600 female slaves, suggesting that slavery was a substantial part of the commercial activity of the empire.Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton, , in In the Balance: Themes in Global History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998)

Itinerary 1325–1332

Itinerary 1332–1346

Itinerary 1349–1354



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  • . The text of these volumes has been used as the source for translations into other languages.
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  • . First published in 1986, ISBN 0-520-05771-6.
  • . Reissued several times. Extracts are available on the .
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  • . This volume was translated by Beckingham after Gibb’s death in 1971. An separate index was published in 2000.
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  • . First published in 1981. Pages 279-304 contain Ibn Battuta’s account of his visit to West Africa.
  • . Includes the text of Ibn Battuta’s account of his visit to China. The translation is from the French text of Defrémery & Sanguinetti (1858) Volume 4.


Ibn Battuta himself stated according to Ibn Juzayy that:


From Aden, Ibn Battuta embarked on a ship heading for Zeila on the coast of Somalia. He then moved on to Cape Guardafui further down the Somalia seaboard, spending about a week in each location. Later he would visit Mogadishu, the then pre-eminent city of the "Land of the Berbers" (بلد البربر Balad al-Barbar, the medieval Arabic term for the Horn of Africa).Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama, (Cambridge University Press: 1998), pp. 120-121.J. D. Fage, Roland Oliver, Roland Anthony Oliver, The Cambridge History of Africa, (Cambridge University Press: 1977), p. 190.George Wynn Brereton Huntingford, Agatharchides, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: With Some Extracts from Agatharkhidēs "On the Erythraean Sea", (Hakluyt Society: 1980), p. 83.

When he arrived in 1331, Mogadishu stood at the zenith of its prosperity. Ibn Battuta described it as "an exceedingly large city" with many rich merchants, noted for its high-quality fabric that was exported to other countries including Egypt.P. L. Shinnie, The African Iron Age, (Clarendon Press: 1971), p.135 He added that the city was ruled by a Somali Sultan, originally from Barbara in northern Somalia, who spoke both Somali (referred to as Mogadishan, the Benadir dialect of Somali) and Arabic with equal fluency.David D. Laitin, Said S. Samatar, Somalia: Nation in Search of a State, (Westview Press: 1987), p. 15.Chapurukha Makokha Kusimba, The Rise and Fall of Swahili States, (AltaMira Press: 1999), p.58 The Sultan also had a retinue of wazirs (ministers), legal experts, commanders, royal eunuchs, and assorted hangers-on at his beck and call.