Timbuktu, Mali
Credit: David Else / Getty Images

The city of Timbuktu is one of Africa's most important cultural sites, dating back to at least the 5th century. It has played a major role in the development of Islam, thanks to Mansa Musa's decision to select it as the site for his Great Mosque 700 years ago. It's also one of the hottest places in the world, with temperatures exceeding or approaching 100 F year-round.