Mancala World

Sahara → German.

Other Names: Jumping Beans
Inventor: (?), 1976
Variant of Kalah
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Germany

Sahara, also called Jumping Beans, was published in 1976 by Günther Wagner Pelikan-Werke GmbH, at that time a large German toy business. This mancala game is a simple variant of Kalah. Sahara's major drawback is a strong first move advantage which gives the starting player an easy win.


The game is played on an orange-coloured plastic board which has 2x6 holes. Each player has 18 bean-shaped counters which are dark red for one player and orange for the other one. The different colours are pure decoration and of no importance during the game. Initially there are three counters in each hole, while the two trays are left empty.


Initial Position

The game has almost the same rules as Kalah except a few minor differences:

  • The player gets a bonus move not only after ending a move in his store, but also after capturing counters from the opponent.
  • As soon as a player has no counters left on his side, he wins all remaining counters left on his opponent's side.

Usually the game is played in several successive rounds. At the end of each, both players total the number of beans they have won. The one with the higher total is awarded points equal to the difference between his and his opponent's win. That player is declared overall winner who scores first an agreed number of points, say 30, 40 or 50.


The main source is the rules leaflet that was sold together with the game. Several reviews are published on the internet by Claudia Schlee & Andreas Keirat, the Vlaams Spellenarchief and the German Game Archives.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.