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Ngazargamu, Birni Ngazargamu, Birnin Gazargamu, Gazargamo or N'gazargamu, was the capital of the Bornu Empire from ca. 1460 to 1809. Situated 150 km west of Lake Chad in the Yobe State of modern Nigeria, the remains of the former capital city are still visible. The surrounding wall is 6.6 km long and in parts it is still up to 5 m high.

Archaeological site
Ngazargamu is located in Nigeria
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 13°05′N 12°22′E / 13.083°N 12.367°E / 13.083; 12.367Coordinates: 13°05′N 12°22′E / 13.083°N 12.367°E / 13.083; 12.367
Country Nigeria
StateYobe State

The capital city was built in circa 1488, during the reign of Mai Ali Gazi (1476-1503). It was located in the fork of the Komadugu Gana River and the Komadugu Yobe, near present day Geidam.[1][2]

The city became Bornu's leading center for Islamic education under Idris Alooma.[1]:504

In 1808, Gazargamo was taken by the Fulani jihad.[3][2]:259


  1. ^ a b Smith, Abdullahi (1972). Ajayi, J.F. Ade; Crowder, Michael (eds.). The early states of the Central Sudan, in History of West Africa, Volume One. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 182. ISBN 0231036280.
  2. ^ a b Palmer, Richmond (1936). The Bornu Sahara and Sudan. London: John Murray. p. 223.
  3. ^ Shillington, Kevin (2012). History of Africa. Palgrave Macnikkan. p. 233. ISBN 9780230308473.


  • Barth, Heinrich: Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa, 3 vols., New York 1857-8 (see vol. III, p. 29-31).
  • Louis Brenner: The Shehus of Kukawa, Oxford 1973 (p. 20, 32-34).
  • Lange, Dierk: A Sudanic Chronicle: the Borno Expeditions of Idrīs Alauma, Wiesbaden 1987 (p. 114-7).

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