Timbuktu. It's a proper name we all throw around when we're forced to walk or drive somewhere we consider to be out in the middle of nowhere. But I was today year's old when I found out New Jersey has its OWN town of the same name.

The Real Timbuktu is Indeed VERY Far from New Jersey

Timbuktu is located in the country of Mali, approximately 12 miles north of the Niger River, and is the capital of the Tombouctou Region. It's essentially a midway point between North, West, and Central Africa, and shares borders with Mauritania, Algeria, and Niger.

Mali in Africa

It's historically reported to have been settled ages and ages ago, somewhere between 7 B.C. and 4 B.C., according to Britannica.

In modern times, Timbuktu has come to represent a mysterious destination, somewhere far, far away. It brings to mind camel rides through the Sahara Desert.


But as it turns out, one needs to look no further than Burlington County, New Jersey. It's spelled a little differently, though.

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Where is Timbuctoo, New Jersey?


Unless I'm being punked, Timbuctoo, New Jersey appears to be situated on or very near to Rancocas Creek and has been since 1862!

Close-up of surprised man's face, with open mouth.
Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

Timbuctoo, NJ was reportedly settled by once enslaved and free Black people, but as of 2024 still has a tiny population of just over 100.

It's an unincorporated town, according to Wikipedia, and shares the 08060 zip code. On a map Timbuctoo, New Jersey is off Rancocas Road at Blue Jay Hill Road in Westampton Township.

Timbuctoo, New Jersey
Google Maps

How I Finally Discovered Timbuctoo, NJ

Little Girl Detective with Magnifying Glass
Oleh Veres/Thinkstock

I happened to be looking for a particular destination in Burlington County on Google Maps and typed in an incorrect address and the result zoomed in on Timbuctoo. I thought it must be a mistake or the name of a business, perhaps a restaurant or cafe, but it's a REAL place!

I feel so fortunate to still be discovering, even if by accident, parts of the Garden State I never knew existed!

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