What Was Trans-Saharan Trade?

Trans-Saharan trade was the transit of goods between sub-Saharan Africa and the northern Arab and European worlds. Goods included precious metals, such as gold, as well as slaves. The trade route was in operation between the seventh and 14th centuries, expanding the more established trade route of the Silk Road between Europe and the Middle East.

Gold was one of the most sought after resources from sub-Saharan countries, such as the ancient Kingdom of Ghana and regions of Sudan. In return, European nations traded salt.

The mode of transportation for the Berber trans-Saharan traders was camel caravans. The trade route also facilitated cultural exchange between Africans and Arabs, promoting the spread of Islam.