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The capital of the Ghana Empire was Koumbi Saleh. This capital was originally two cities several miles apart. Over time they were connected by roads and settlements between them into one city.
timbuktu and niani at mali
The Songhai empire stretched out along the Niger River and reached from Senegal and The Gambia in the west to Niger and Nigeria in the east. The empire's power center was found at the 'bend' of the Niger River in present-day Mali; the two most important cities were Gao, the seat of the throne, and Timbuktu, a major trading city and world-class center of Islamic learning at the time.