The other side of Table Mountain – Cape Town


Planning to travel in Africa?  The magnificent Table Mountain is a drawing card and the starting point is the infamous Cape Town for most… today we look over and behind Table Mountain.

Table Mountain

The perks of traveling to Africa are endless. Instead of scanning the game parks for rhino or setting off for a day sampling Cape chardonnays, take a  look at the other side.

The townships of Cape Town….. You inhale the roots of freedom, exhaling air of human rights, justice, and reconciliation. A flow from shebeens to sangomas, the emotional sensory vibe sets you sparkling off with a vivid social culture. Nothing is amiss as every township bubbles with its own unique story about its struggles and how it evolved and revolved to its current state.

A treasure in the center of Cape Town – Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap

Beyond the hustles and bustles, just beyond the city of Cape Town, you find Bo-Kaap.

The “Bo Kaap” is one of the most interesting parts of Cape Town culturally and historically. Colorful houses, steep cobbled streets, the muezzin’s calls to prayer, and children traditionally dressed for Madrassa add to this unique Cape experience. It is a multicultural area, tucked into the fold of signal hill. Use the cobblestoned streets as your guide and you will be lead into a lively suburb filled with brightly colored houses from the nineteenth and seventeenth century, shrines of Muslim saints, an abundance of beautiful Mosques, and the very first mosque that existed in South Africa.

Use the cobblestoned streets as you are lead into a lively suburb filled with brightly colored houses from the nineteenth and seventeenth century, shrines of Muslim saints, an abundance of beautiful Mosques, and the very first mosque that existed in South Africa.

The residents of Bo-Kaap are mostly descended from slaves who were imported to the Cape by the Dutch during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They came from Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Java Malaysia. Some of them were political exiles and convicts. They were known as “Cape Malays”, which is incorrect as most of Bo-Kaap’s residents are not entirely of Malaysian descent. Their many Indonesian traces of vocabulary in the dialect of Cape, for example, “trim-

They were known as “Cape Malays”, which is incorrect as most of BoKaap’s residents are not entirely of Malaysian descent. Their many Indonesian traces of vocabulary in the dialect of Cape, for example, “trim-makaasi” thank-you, as well as  “kanalah” please! There are also many words, which have also been substituted with Afrikaans.

Funnily enough, Afrikaans evolved as a language of its own through a simplification of Dutch so that the slaves could communicate with the Dutch and each other since they all came from different countries and cultures. Muslims were the first to write texts in Afrikaans.
Cape Carnival

Each year on the 2nd of January, the Bo-Kaap celebrates a big street party, the “Coon Carnival” in the center of town. It was originally introduced by the Muslim slaves who celebrated their only day off work in the whole year. Nowadays men, woman, and children march from the Grand Parade to the Green Point stadium, singing, and dancing.

 

Kramat

Kramats or Muslim Shrines are burial sites of Saints of Islam. Cape Town residents have for a number of generations paid their respects these Shrines. There are three Karamats in Bo Kaap, and Signal Hill behind BoKaap has two.

 

 

Bo-Kaap Museum

One of the oldest buildings in Wale Street 71 houses the “Bo-Kaap Museum”. It is necessary to see since it feels like your stepping back in time. Built in by Jan de Waal in 1768, the museum was originally the home of Abu Bakr Effendi, a well-known Turkish scholar and prominent leader in the Muslim community. He was brought here in the mid-19th century to help quell feuding between Muslim factions and is believed to have written one of the first books in Afrikaans. The house has been furnished to re-create the lifestyle of a typical Malay family in the 19th century within a national socio-political and cultural context. Look for works by artist Gregoire Boonzaire, who’s famous for capturing the chaos and charm of neighborhoods such as the Bo-Kaap and District Six.

The Dutch brought slaves that were skilled artisans, political exiles, artisans, religious leader’s famous scholars, and convicts too. Islam, who roots started in Saudi Arabia some 1400 years ago, was brought to the Cape in the 1700’s. Skills and talents passed down from generation to generation accompanied these slaves. Not only skilled artisan but also superb cooks and cuisines blossomed. The Cape Malay Cuisine is not only delicious but also unique and has played a huge role in South African dishes.

A township tour can be one of the most illuminating and life-affirming experiences you will ever have.

 

Strolls and sightings in Africa – Travel Adventures in Zimbabwe and Zambia

Motherland Africa –  Zambia and Zimbabwe

The majestical journey to Zimbabwe is engraved in a superb tradition where hospitality reigns supreme.

Twenty years ago Zimbabwe was the richest country in Africa with tourism as a major industry.

Zimbabwe’s political stature led to it become one of the poorest, with an inflation rate that is the highest in the world. People used to call it the breadbasket of the continent, but after a while, no food was available even for those that had mountains of money.

Once upon a time, it was the continent’s breadbasket but eventually there was no food available, even for those stacked with mountains of money.

Nowadays many may be reluctant to consider exploring Zimbabwe. No worries if the feeling of uncertainty is there, Zambia shares many of the same attractions.

The tourists’ attraction focus is the great Zambezi River. It forms a natural boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Zambezi River

The Zambezi  River is a river system that is the fourth largest in Africa. It runs through six countries. All starts off with a  little spring in the Mwinilunga District in the northwest part of Zambia.

This is close to the  Zambian,  Zaire and Angola borders. This spring bubbles between roots of trees and eventually becomes a mighty river that carves the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The  Zambezi is a calm flow forward, then it builds speed racing headlong in a tumble downwards in hundreds of feet becoming a  natural world wonder then it zig-zags through  Batoka Gorge.  Energy is then captured and it is converted into a hydroelectric form of power by the Kariba Dam, and further down into the  Mozambique CaboraBassa dam.

The Zambezi river flows into  Kariba Dam for 281 kilometers. It is 40 kilometers wide at one point. It heads north from the dam wall,  then back east until it is flanked by Lower Zambezi National Park, located in Zambia, and the  Mana Pools National Park located in Zimbabwe. This zone supports one of the most important wilderness areas in Africa.

 

After the confluence of Luangwa, Zambezi River flows into Mozambique to the  Indian Ocean. The best family holiday to venture on anyhow and anywhere is a  houseboat located on Kariba.  If you prefer game viewing or fishing or even just chilling with drinks on the deck it is one magical experience that is unforgettable.

In 1960 after the building of the largest dam, Kariba, it evolved into a popular visiting place with activities like swimming,  fishing, boating, and game viewing.

Eventually, all the experiences were combined into the houseboat introduction.

A perfect way to appreciate vast water, islands, distinct trees that are half submerged and islands from a comfortable houseboat!

It takes you to

  • Matusodona Game Park,
  • Charra Bay
  • Spurwing Island
  • Gache Gache Communal Land
  • Fothergill Island

Kariba, the name originates from ‘Kariva’,  a  term that means ‘trap’. This refers a rock that jutted out from the wild, swirling entrance gorge waters!

That rock is currently a hundred meters below water. Legends name the rock the great river god, Nyaminyami’s home. Anyone that came a bit too close got sucked into the river depths!

On a search for adventure? There is an upstream cruise to  Victoria Falls, an adventure to last a lifetime.

Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), only became known to the Western world as Victoria Falls after David Livingstone discovered it in 1855. It took many thousands of years for erosion to create the magnificent natural wonder. The falls are much taller and longer than Niagara Falls.

Many assume that Zimbabwe is a better view of the Victoria Falls, however, keep in mind that  David Livingstone, the well-known explorer discovered the Victoria Falls from Zambia.

He had heard about the sacred site for tribes like the Batoka. Finally, Livingstone, paddled by the  Chief Sekeletu of the Makololo to an island in the center of the Zambezi,  called the  Livingstone Island currently. The water was low but there was a tremor of fear as he approached the wall spray.

If the choice is Zambia you get to stay in a charming town, Livingstone, a popular base for travelers on a venture to experience the Victoria Falls.

There is bungee jumping,  high adrenaline adventures.  Then there is white water rafting in the Zambezi and even riverboarding, where you get to surf upstream.

If you stay in Livingstone on the Zambia side, the Upper Zambezi Canoe Safari is a great way to experience the river and see the scenery along the shores.

The Victoria Falls stay should include an unforgettable flight over the 7th Natural Wonder of the World. Soar high up with eagles and experience the sight from above!

Great Zimbabwe has many ancient ruins built in the 13th and 14th centuries, a UNESCO World Heritage site since the year 1986.

Great Zimbabwe Ruins- Unesco World Heritage site

The Zambian flag features the national bird of Zambia, the Fish Eagle. red, black, orange and a green background

Welcome to motherland Africa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angola – The Great Travel Mystery in Africa

 

Abundant beaches,them continents second largest waterfall,emerging national parks and a diverse population.

Angola, the continent of Africa’s largest country has loads to offer. Spectacular nature, beautiful Portuguese colonial era architecture, lions, elephants, springboks and gorillas.

A fast-growing economy with mining exports, the tourism industry is set to make a name on the global stage. The tourist industry is underdeveloped and hopefully, opens up its amazing splendor to the world.

Tourists are usually advised against exploring Angola, but following visa bureaucracy procedures can be made easier. Travelling to the mysterious, and beautiful landscape of Angola will definitely reward any travelling enthusiast.

Adventurers: Step into a dazzling highlight of Africa.

An Atlantic Ocean coastline, spectacular nature, wildlife and architecture Angola is an amazing blend of savannas, grasslands, tropical forests and inland urban expansion

Mining exports make Angola a fast-growing economy and tourism is set to make it a global stage.


10 of the best Angola’s “must-see” destinations

  • 1. Luanda, Porto de Luanda

Luanda represents the stark contrasts of Angola, high-rise buildings and lean huts. The beauty of the Atlantic ocean with a disruption of busy ships. Luanda is a “must see”  to experience ”other side” of Africa.


 

2. Parque Nacional de Kissama

A wildlife sanctuary  70km  south from Luanda, Parque Nacional de Kissama has stunning natural settings that preserve and protect African species.


3. Dilolo, The Mythical Large Lake of Angola

Moxico in eastern Angola holds the largest lake in Angola, Dilolo.It is a tourist spot of note. The lake is filled with rare bird species, aquatic life and wildlife.

The lake is filled with rare bird species, aquatic life and wildlife.

Twelve kilometres long and a thousand metres above the sea level. The mythic unusual waves are believed to be supernatural forces to scare away those who dare to fish in the lake according to folklore. September is the best time to take a dip in the lake at pleasant temperatures.


4. Dala waterfalls

The Dala Waterfalls in Lunda Sol is 60m high, conjuring spectacular scenery with the mist, and splashing water that land on the rocks below. The comfortable view is possible from a bridge near the base of the falls or, for those who truly love the scene, a hotel is built is  50m away from falls.


5. Benguela

The bustling city of Benguela is in the west of Angola, situated on the Benguela bay. It is a tourist destination of significant historical marks as the early Angola economy was established on mining and slave trade to  Brazil. The city has an international railway. The major attraction is its location on the ocean side that is coupled with Portuguese architecture and breathtaking beaches to unwind at.


 

6. Maiombe Forest

 The Maiombe Forest, the “Ämazon of Africa” is a spectacular natural area boasts a forest area of more than 400 square km and it is fantastic for wildlife lovers. It has an abundance of unique rare species. Encounter elephants, gorillas, chimps, elephants,  rare birds and butterflies.
It has an abundance of unique rare species. Encounter elephants, gorillas, chimps, elephants,  rare birds and butterflies. The rare woods include mahogany and ebony. The reserves biggest town Buco Zau, has a guesthouse for all to fully immerse into nature.

7. The Tundavala Fissure

The Tundavala Fissure is a spectacular natural sight in Angola. Between the Namibe and  Lubango cities, it is 2,600m above the sea level with phenomenal views and visible vistas, some of the best on the continent of Africa. Tundavala with rock faces also has amazing savanna patches and forest landscapes.


8. Lobito

The town of Lobito is in Benguela, part of tourist and export economy. The coastline is popular with anglers that try to land  Giant Tarpon weighing up to 200lbs. The beach is a great place to relax in and watch the sunset with an abundance of restaurants and  Portuguese era buildings that are worth exploring as well.


9. SAURIMO

Saurimo, regarded as the rough diamond, is the capital of  Lunda-Sul province. Surrounded by cultural attractions and natural beauty, the city is a must see. Stroll the streets and absorb local culture and join the locals, taking it easy……


10. Iona National Park

Angola’s largest national park, the Iona National Park is the situated in southwest point of the country.  It covers15,000 sq km.  It is filled with a range of wildlife species and home to indigenous people that scientists claim are “culturally intact” people that exist on the continent of Africa, the motherland.

#ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

 

A Taste of Wisdom from Motherland Africa

Africa, the second largest landmass on Mother Earth has an abundance of ethnic and cultural groups. Food from the motherland of Africa is diverse and filled with delightful flavors. Unique recipes are rooted in traditions passed on from one generation to the next. And in turn, food was used for life lessons.

Words of Wisdom from the Motherland of Africa

Amharic Proverb:The same way porridge benefits those that heat and eat it, a child benefits all those that rear it.
A forest not only hides the enemies of man but has many healing medicines and food.
Kuria Proverb: One person is like thin porridge, two or more are an ugali lump.
Africa Proverb: If you count the food that you swallowed you will never be satisfied.
Egyptian Proverb: Women, wine, and food make happy hearts.
Bayome Proverb: Food that is in the mouth is not yet in the belly.
He that eats food of another will get his food eaten by others.
Food that is gained with corruption may taste sweet, but ends up as gravel in the mouth.
Xhosa Proverb: No partridge ever scratches the ground searching for food for another.
Ghanaian Proverb: A grasshopper close to his mother always eats the best food.
Malagasy Proverb: Do not add another mouthful before you have swallowed what is already in the mouth
 Zimbabwean Proverb: You cannot say to a child that is  child that you provided food the day before.
Kikuyu Proverb: Rich people east some bad food sometimes.
Congolese Proverb: A man that is impotent does not eat spiced food.
African Proverb: Always know what is being cooked in the kitchen or you could end up eating a food that is forbidden.
Ghanaian Proverb: A healthy person begging for food is an insult to any generous farmers.
Angolan Proverb: A single spoon of foos has more value when there is abundance of available food.
The mouth can be stupid forgetting who gave the food after it is eaten.
Acholi Proverb: A dog know places he throws his food.
If one eats alone you cannot discuss taste with others.
Ibo Proverb: Words can be sweet but do not replace food.
Yoruba Proverb: A man that has bread for eating cannot grasp the severety famine imposes.
He that does not clean his mouth before having breakfast will always complain of sour food.
Kikuyu Proverb: When food is cooked , there is no need to wait before eating.
Hausa Proverb: Man is just like pepper ,until you chew it, you never know how hot it is.
Igbo Proverb: Noo ne can get a food mouthful by picking others teeth.
Ewe proverb: It is not the fault of the cook when cassava is tastelss and hard.
Mauritius Proverb: If you watch your pot,the food will not burn.
 Malagasy Proverb: No matter how little food we have, even if just one locust, we share it.
Ethiopian Proverb:Eat when the food is ready, speak when time is right.
Zambian Proverb: When your lose luck,even the food that is cold burns.
Malagasy Proverb: Good words are hearty  food, bad words are  poisonous.

Feel, Taste and Hear Africa- #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

 

 

 

Smashing Food Flavors of Zimbabwe

Landlocked Zimbabwe, (“House of Stone”) in the southern central part of Africa, the name from 800-year-old remains of stone left by Shona people. 

Shona people make up 77 percent of the population of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and the remaining 18 percent are Ndebele is between the Zambezi and Limpopo.

Located between the Zambezi and Limpopo River, Zimbabwe is mainly rolling plateau. The high plateau ends in the Inyanga mountains and the low plateau is grassy plains.

Gold was discovered in1300  with shared powers by the Shona and Ndebele until European invasion and British spices and food infiltrated Zimbabwe cuisine with tea, bread and sugar.

The Limpopo and Zambezi river borders of Zimbabwe provide nutrients and moisture for crops like pumpkins, yams, corn, squash and peanuts and papaya in the Summer and Autumn seasons.

Preserving food for winter months various produce and meats are dried. ‘Kapenta’is a common dried fish snack, as well as sun, dried flavoured meat.

Zimbabwe cuisine

Cornmeal is the main staple. Common Zimbabwean dishes include Sadza, stiff maize meal  eaten  with various  dip or side options such as gravy, meat, sour milk or vegetable

Bota:  Peanut butter flavoured porridge . Other alternatives are butter or jam flavours. This is a usual breakfast menu.

Dovi : The peanut crops brought in by Portuguese traders in the 16th century became a key ingredient in most dishes. Dovi is a peanut butter stew eaten with vegetables or meat.

Mapopo candy: Papaya is cooked and sprinkled with sugar  and made into a sweet treat.

 


 Zimbabwe Recipes




Mapopo candy (Papaya)

Pumpkin

1 Papaya

2 cups Sugar

Grated Lemon Peel

Fresh or dried mint

Wash and papaya . Slice into little strips. Place over low heat with grated lemon and sugar over low heat until all the sugar dissolves. Reheat the mixture at medium heat until crystallization.

Remove from heat and shape into stick or ball shapes

Butternut Squash Roasted

Roasted Butternut

1 Butternut Squash

3 Tablespoons of butter

Cinnamon

Preheat oven   425°F.Peel and cut the squash removing seeds. Place into foil and spread butter. Seal foil tightly around. Roast for about 25 minutes until the squash lightly browns. Sprinkle cinnamon

Sadza

Sadza

 

4  cups of water

Two and a half cups of cornmeal

Method

 

Boil  3 cups of water.Mix one cup of water with 1 and a half cup of cornmeal. Reduce heat and add the cornmeal mixture, stirring continuously. Cook for five minutes

Add the remaining cornmeal gradually. When the mixture has thickened place  in the serving dish

Dovi Stew

Dovi Stew

2 onions, chopped finely

Two tablespoons of butter

Two crushed garlic cloves

1 teaspoon salt

Half teaspoon pepper

Half teaspoon cayenne pepper

2  chopped green peppers

Chicken pieces

4 tomatoes

Fresh spinach

Braise the onions in butter. Add salt garlic and seasoning. Stir and add chicken and green peppers. Add tomatoes once the chicken is cooked . Add water and simmer and add in  half of the peanut butter.

In a separate pot cook spinach, Add peanut butter into the spinach and serve with the stew.

 

Get ready for a taste of Africa #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

The Soul of Township Tours in South Africa

The Tales of South African Townships

Township in South Africa reflects the celebration of joy in human rights, freedom, justice and reconciliation. From the experience of shebeens to visits with sangomas.

A township visit is an emotional and unique sensory experience that is abuzz with the vivid social culture. Each township tells a story of its own about how it was established, the struggle through the years of apartheid and the current age it has evolved into.

South African townships have an irresistible soul and vibe that will welcome you and give you the experience of a lifetime!

Alex  –  “Township of Rhythm”

Alexandra Township -Gauteng

Alexandra is affectionately known as ‘Alex’, it is  Gauteng’s oldest township. Initially, it was established as a residential area. This was in 1905 by a white farmer. He aimed for a white suburb and named it after his wife. In 1912 it was transformed into a native township. Black people were allowed land ownership.

In 1913 the land act dissolved land ownership rights by blacks. Alexandra continues in migration as it was close in proximity to the employment opportunities in Johannesburg.

‘Alex’ has an interesting and turbulent and past, a fascinating present, and a very promising future.  It also has it’s own community radio and TV station.

Alex is the hub of culture, root culture is rhythm and vibe.  Alex has been home to luminaries like Hugh Masekela, a renowned jazz maestro as well as Nelson Mandela.

Popular culture like theaters in the townships was a dynamic force which gave life and hopes to the people, it’s a dynamic force that gave hope.

A township tour will give assess to the best shebeens in where you can quench your thirst on the tradition umqombothi, an African beer that is home-brewed, and taste amazing local delicacies.

You can also stock up on arts and crafts from street vendors, curios and explore the world colorful traditional medicine world.

The outdoor markets, the St Hulbert Catholic church, Mandela Yard Precinct and traditional healers create a fascinating new and old blend making Alex a fascinating township tour.

A Visit to  the iconic township of Soweto

Soweto is the fifth most popular destination for overseas visitors to the Gauteng province. It’s ‘Jozi’s’ tourism drawcard.  And one of the biggest attractions is the Mandela Museum, in Vilakazi Street.  The former four-roomed home of Nelson and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is a deeply moving experience, that reminds us of our past, and gives us hope for the future.

The Hector Pieterson Memorial is three blocks from where 13-year-old Hector was shot and died on 16 June 1976, the day when students in Soweto marched against the repressive imposition of  the Afrikaans language in schools

Soweto tours start with,  Hector Pieterson Museum and the Regina Mundi church.No trip to Soweto in Johannesburg is complete without a visit to Regina Mundi, the largest Catholic Church in the most popular Soweto.

It’s been a spiritual haven for thousands of Sowetans, it has also played a pivotal role in the township’s history of resistance against apartheid.

The Ubuntu Kraal is a collection of straw-roofed rondavels that form a homestead, popular as a wedding and conference venue.

Many will also be interested in the Soweto  Festival. The Soweto Festival is held annually

Soweto Festival

The venue is the magnificent Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, the site of the signing of the historic Freedom Charter by anti-apartheid organizations in 1955.

This is the ideal place for the people of Soweto to congregate over Heritage weekend as the Square is a national monument.

The Soweto Festival centers around an exhibition and day-long entertainment events.

 The  capturing visit to Katlehong

Katlehong

The Katlehong township area smoldered with political tension in the early 1990s and the name was associated with violent protests and a low-level civil war amongst factions.

This, however, is a thing of the past and in some way seems to make the Art Centre even more of an achievement for being there. Some of the most exquisite examples of ethnic artwork are housed here and the center seems to have been as influenced by the emotional turmoil of the township as its inhabitants once were.

 

Welcome to motherland Africa! Welcome to South Africa!