10 ‘Must See’ Destinations in the Diverse and Colorful South Africa

Many are eager to explore South Africa, the diverse colorful nation with tons to rave about from natural beauty,people,world cities and unique wildlife.

Cape Town deservingly captures global attention, yet South Africa has much more to offer. There are hundreds of destinations to explore in South Africa. Here are ten highlights to note.

 

  1. Cape Agulhas


ATLANTIC AND INDIAN OCEAN MEET, THE SOUTHERN TIP OF AFRICA

Cape  Agulhas is the tip of Africa, where our two great oceans meet, a stone plaque to mark it is placed on the beach.

2.  Table Mountain


Any trip to Cape Town has an activity that all must step up to. A journey to the iconic Table Mountain. An unforgettable landmark to set foot on. You get to view the sea and the city from a 1085m height. The flat top summit has an easy route with the Table Mountain Cableway. It travels up at 10 metres per second. Table mountain has much more to explore with indigenous plants and animals and a nature reserve.

3. Maboneng Precinct- Johannesburg


Maboneng Precinct

Maboneng means the  “place of light”, and that is what the innovative section, the Maboneng Precinct, has become amidst a concrete jungle of red brick construction and warehouse jumbles. The graffiti spilt sidewalks reach an urban vibe, the hippest urban regeneration spot – a cosmopolitan and arty joint. Joburg is re-identifying itself from the slaps of being a wasteland of lost wanderers.

 one of South Africa’s hippest urban enclaves and an incredible example of urban regeneration.” BBC TRAVEL

4. Klein Karoo – Cango Caves


Cango Caves

The Cango Caves are as popular as the ostriches in Oudtshoorn 30 km away. The caves cut from limestone are twenty million years old. The Caves are listed as one of the great natural wonders of the world. The hidden stalagmite chambers inhabited in the stone ages make up the largest cave system in Africa.

There are amazing subterranean caverns open to the public for an unforgettable adventure through tunnels and chambers. One highlight is ‘Cleopatras Needle’, a formation that is 9m high and over 150000 years old.

5. Golden Gate Highlands National Park


The name of the park. ‘Golden’ Gate  Highlands National Park is linked to the golden glittering sandstone cliffs. Located in the Northern Freee State 120km from Bloemfontein, the Maluti  Mountains nestle the park, home to various wildlife including wildebeest and zebra as well as rare birds like the bearded vulture and bald ibis. There is an abundance of activity from horseriding to nature trails and game viewing.

6. Midlands Meander


Midlands Meander

The most recognizable meander in Kwa Zulu Natal offers many discovery routes through the scenic Midlands Meander of Natal. An hour away from Durban, the Meander is 80kms of entertainment, arts and crafts. places to see, shops and over 160 places to sleep in. Encounter craftsmen from herb growers to cheese producers weavers and craft beer, artists, potters, carvers and much more.A haven for watersports enthusiasts for sailing, canoeing, boating and windsurfing near the Midmar Dam.

7. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park


Kgagaladi Transfrontier Park

Africa’s first transborder conservation area between Botswana and South Africa. It is in the Northern Cape, 250km from Upington, the Kgalagadi Park is the joining of Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park and South Africa’s Kalahari GemsbokPark.

The combined protected area is thirty-eight thousand square kilometres.  In South Africa, part of nine thousand six hundred square kilometres covers the Southern part of the Kalahari desert which is uninhabited.  It offers great opportunities for game viewing of endangered and rare species.

8. Supertubes Jeffreys Bay


Supertubes Jefferys Bay Surfing

Jeffreys Bay, sixty-five kilometres from Port Elizabeth is a top surfing destination and has perfect and predictable right-hand Supertube point breaks

The high-speed waves reach 3 metres varying in length up to 300m. The best waves are in winter between May and the middle of September.

9. Moses Mabhida Stadium


Moses Mabhida Stadium

The Moses Mabhida stadium is popular for hosting international music concerts and sports.It is a tourist attraction with many other linked activities. It has a skycar taking visitors to the arch of the stadium, there is also the 500 step adventure walk up to the 106m arch to get the ultimate panoramic view of the sea and the city. Then there is the Big Rush, Big Swing, a stadium swing that plunges off the arch. There are restaurants and shopping boutiques on the property as well.

10. Sun City


Sun City

Sun City, an hour and a half away from Johannesburg is a popular complex for entertainment and family getaways. Hotels coupled with a popular golf course is a drawcard for tourists and locals. Many regularly flock here to enjoy the Valley of Waves, the casino for gambling and game viewing at the Pilanesberg National Park nearby. The Lost city Palace offers a five-star Africa holiday and has cabanas, game lodges and establishments for camping nearby.

 

 

Welcome to the tastes of Africa.  #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

Africa Aesthetic Vintage Design Wonders

Get the feel of Motherland Africa, right in your home

Homes are special spaces for all. From ecstatic regular travelers and ambitious wanderers to ‘stay at home’ enthusiasts, all will agree that there is no place like home with a feel,sense and touch of the magnificent continent,our Africa.

A few can reach their dreams in travels to explore the motherland  Africa and collect journey memoirs on the pathway.

There is a growing need to reach out for the best Africa aura of style and comfort in every home or living space.

Pablo Design Gallery

It should reflect the ultimate retreat, an outlet to peacefully cuddle into peace, embracing every savoring moment, after a long day in the out in the world.

Africa is vast sprawling all the way from Morroco and Egypt in the north to the Southern tip of Africa where the two oceans meet. Each country has a unique style. The common aspect is vibrant earth tones.

The common aspect is earth tones and vibrant color splashes. Decorating African theme homes have so many options available and identifying selections is crucial as it vibrates impact on the energy and feel of individual spaces.

The root of Africa décor is the inspiration from nature. Animal wood carvings and colorful fabrics express an appreciation of cultural history.

The African dream, the African inspiration is possible with timeless piece collections in your office or home.

Image result for africa carvings

Animals were and always will be a central theme in fabrics and artwork. Animals that appeal to interior designers are lions, elephants, zebras and leopards.

SCULPTURE

The possibilities are endless from carved napkin holders in animal shapes to rugs with zebra images. Black, brown, beige and white are neutral colors for walls and floors. African artwork or black and white animal photography conjures the energy and feel of virility, strength and power.

There are various textile options available from the motherland of Africa. Hand-painted batiks from Zimbabwe in tablecloths and pillowcases to placemats and table runners. Culturally rich and distinctive Mud cloth, handwoven from Mali.Wall hangings from depicting village lives. Wooden sculptures and Africa artefacts like masks, purses, pouches walking sticks and smoking pipes make decorative pieces.

Africa décor can take the form of tiling with terracotta or sandstone tiles. Concrete floors treated and stained are common in southern Africa and are cool in hot climates.

 

A home with a twist ethnic African design flair is not an impossible dream. Start with bookstores and visit museums that display Africa objects and textiles. Or travel to Africa and get an authentic feel.

Accent home-style pieces with an antique style create aesthetic living spaces with a unique hint of definition engraved from historic African root marvels. Stepping back into time in amazing energy of appreciation of creation and adds a unique touch and sense to homes.

Antique furniture from Africa has a unique appeal of richness to any home. The solid, sturdy construction define unique touch of splendor to every element of lifestyle space, be it in the form of kitchen cabinets, a dining room table, a home office desk or bedroom space and more.

 African antique furniture designs.

Africa vintage furniture adds to the realm of prideful ownership. The aura and style set forth an era of passion, embracing that “once upon a time” realm of authenticity and pureness in home décor.

Welcome. #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

Malawi -The Warm Heart of Africa

Hundreds of miles of tropical golden sand beaches line this tideless inland sea. Relax in the sun on an uncrowded beach with long stretches of totally uninhabited golden sand lakeshore

Malawi's vast variety, overwhelming friendliness  great lake, wildlife, landscape and culture makes it an ideal getaway for families.

Formally known as Nyasaland, it's surrounded by Mozambique,Zambia, and Tanzania.

Malawi Flag

 


The initial western inception was when David Livingstone entered the shores in 1859. A British wiped out  slave trade in 1891.

For such a small country it has an unrivalled combination of Lake, Landscape and Wildlife. From rugged highlands to lowland plains, Malawi has an incredible variety of stunning landscapes.

The unique rolling hills of orchid-clad Nyika; the cool forested plateau of Zomba; the 10000 ft climbers’ paradise of Mulanje Massif; the broad and fertile Shire Valley.

Malawi means the “glitter of the sun rising across the lake”.  And this vast inland sea is what we think about when we think about Malawi.

Lake Malawi is the third-largest lake in Africa, the 10th largest in the world and covers 1/5th of Malawi. It’s sometimes called the Calendar Lake because it’s 365 miles long and 52 miles wide.

 

Or find out more about the country. Karonga has an interesting but turbulent history as a centre for the notorious nineteenth-century slave trade.

 

 

Now the town is the site of a new museum focused on both its cultural history and the recent archaeological finds of dinosaur and hominid bones.

At the top of the northerly point of the lake, you will find Nkhata Bay, that was reached by  David Livingstone. Its small sheltered harbour is a focus for the Lake’s fishing industry but it is also becoming increasingly important as a tourist centre.

Bandawe Mission was the place that Dr Robert Laws made the second attempt to establish a Livingstonia Mission. Like Cape Maclear, malaria took its toll and the missionaries moved further north to the present site on the Kondowe Plateau. The banked seating and  lateral sided pulpit of the church and missionary graves remain

 

Off the eastern shore of the Lake is Likoma Island: a small piece of Malawi in Mozambican waters. This is where the headquarters of Livingstone’s mission to Central Africa in the 1880s.  That’s why Malawi kept it when the Lake was divided politically after World War II. Likoma’s claim to fame is its cathedral (the size of Winchester’s) started in 1903. This vast building is a small piece of England in Africa, including stained glass and carved soapstone.

That’s why Malawi kept it when the Lake was divided politically after World War II. Likoma’s claim to fame is its cathedral (the size of Winchester’s) started in 1903. This vast building is a small piece of England in Africa, including stained glass and carved soapstone.

Visit the world’s first freshwater national park. Lake Malawi National Park, close to Monkey Bay, lies towards the southern extremity of the lake. The park includes a land area around the cape and bay as well as the Lake and islands up to 100 metres offshore. It’s also a world heritage site.

Snorkelling and scuba-diving are increasingly popular here because of the attraction of seeing the brilliantly coloured fish, the mbuna.

Lake Malawi contains more fish than any other lake in the world. Some of the rarest tropical fish in the world are unique to this vast lake. it has about 1000 species of fish. It’s is a true kaleidoscopic aquarium.

The countless thousands of freshwater fish, the mbuna, are more abundant and varied than anywhere else in the world and will feed directly from the hand.

Marine animals include two species of otter and occasional crocodiles.

Away from the lake, the park has baboons, klipspringer, bushbuck and vervet monkeys, antelope and hyrax, and, of course, there is a great variety of birdlife including fish eagles, kingfishers, cormorants and hamerkops. In the North the

In the North the lake is quite extraordinarily deep: 700m, plunging well below sea level. This reflects the enormity of the natural faulting of the Great Rift Valley which is the origin of the Lake itself.

Try out the range of watersports available along the length of Lake Malawi. Swimming, waterskiing, sailing and kayaking are all available along the extraordinarily clear lakeshore.

Because of its rich harvest of fish, the Lake plays an important part in the country’s economy. Fishing villages are scattered along the length of the lakeshore and you’re welcome to visit the traditional industry. Go fishing on the southern lakeshore north of Mangochi and at Senga Bay. There are opportunities to fish for yellow fish, lake salmon and lake tiger. Trout angling is easily arranged at Nyika Plateau or  Chelinda as well as Zomba Plateau.

Go fishing on the southern lakeshore north of Mangochi and at Senga Bay. There are opportunities to fish for yellow fish, lake salmon and lake tiger. Trout angling is easily arranged at Nyika Plateau or  Chelinda as well as Zomba Plateau.

Mumbo Island and Domwe Island camps offer idyllic island getaways. Malawi is an ideal destination not to be missed in Africa. #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

#ExploreMotherlandAfrica

In Memory of Willian G Robertson. Special Thanks to the Freeway Tours Team, Julie Hall,Thandi Brewer,Leslie Fong,Jerry Mofokeng,Momo Matsunyane

WELCOME TO JUU AFRIKAN FESTIVAL

The Light Of Africa – Ready to Shine at the JUU Afrikan Festival,Tanzania2017

 

Travellers tell us about your experiences and recommendation

 

 

 

Welcome #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

Only in Tanzania- Part 3 -Let’s talk about the birds….Birds from Tanzania

Only in Tanzania

The only in Tanzania quest continues. Why Tanzania? Today we introduce and explore the birds of Tanzania.


Tanzania in East Africa has a wide range of endemic bird species. It is one spectacular country offering a variety of birding habitats, including the montane forest, savanna miombo woodland, arid plains and the coastline.

It is a migratory passageway as well. Despite many attractions, national parks and reserves place big game on display ahead of birds. A visit to Tanzania in East Africa is definitely memorable lifetime for birders,

It is recorded that there are 1100 bird species in Tanzania.This is the the third-highest on the continent of Africa.

A well-planned bird watching itinerary for two weeks can result in viewing approximately 300 species.

Game reserves like Selous and Serengeti are rewarding for bird watching and are an ideal introduction to the widespread species.

Experienced birders usually explore the Eastern Arc Mountains. They are the biggest attraction in Tanzania as they harbor 35 endemics that are found exclusively in Tanzania

Birding in Tanzania is good all year round, the prime season is usually September to April when the resident population has migrants that spend the northern hemisphere winter in Africa.
Winter in Europe coincides with the rainy season in East Africa when resident species transform into bright colors. We discuss a few notable birds endemic to the country.

1. Grey-breasted Francolin

Grey-breasted Francolin
Grey-breasted spurfowl,otherwise known as grey-breasted Francolin is a  bird species of thefamily Phasianidae. It is found exclusively in East Africa,Tanzania.

2. The Masked Lovebird

The yellow-collared lovebird also known as the masked lovebird or the eye ring lovebird,is a species of bird from the parrot family Psittaculidae.They are native to the north east of Tanzania.

3. The Pemba Sunbird

Pemba Sunbird
The Pemba Sunbird is a bird species of bird from thesunbird family. Endemic to Pemba Island in Tanzania.

4. Pemba Scops Owl

Pemba Scops Owl
The Pemba Scop owl a ‘creature of the night', a mysterious bird, identified by local island dwellers of Pemba as a bird associated with witchcraft.

5. Kilommbero Weaver

Kilommbero Weaver
The Kilombero weaver species discovered in the year 1986 because of patchy, restricted distribution in a small range of the Kilombero River, a floodplain in the south-central Tanzania.

 

Support for our Native birds in Tanzania

All that desire to support native birds from Tanzania can either donate to organizations with the goal to protect endangered wildlife and habitats.

The other way is spreading an awareness about our magnificent birds and find ways to help as individuals like keeping a clean environment. We need more protected areas and national parks and focus on more protection in conservation areas that exist.

Welcome to Motherland Africa. #EXPLOREMOTHERLANDAFRICA

Arkive species - Iringa akalat (Sheppardia lowei)

Arkive species - Pemba green-pigeon (Treron pembaensis)

 

Top 10 Mozambique Mouthwatering Munches

Mozambique, the tropical paradise of Southern Africa has gorgeous beaches, beautiful islands and turquoise sea with a palm lined coastline.

A land of tropical fruit, abundant seafood and fish and a Portuguese taste influence is a heaven for foodies.

Piri Piri (peri-peri)  is part and parcel of all Mozambican cuisine. It is used in every marinade and also a common option for french fries or rice.

1. Matapa


Mozambique Matapa

Not common on tourist restaurant menus, Matapa is a traditional dish. You will be more than likely to come across if visiting locals. It is made with stewed cassava leaves, ground peanuts and garlic and coconut milk. It is eaten either on its own or accompanied by sumptuous prawns and rice.

2.     Prawns

Juicy fresh, flavourful prawns are the highlight of Mozambique delights. They are served fried, grilled in peri peri or tossed with garlic with rice of French fries.

3.    Coconut rice

Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is common in  Mozambique, fluff rice made in coconut milk. Perfect to compliment Mozambique spicy and hot delights.

4. Paõ

Pao

Paõ  are Portuguese bread rolls baked in  villages in ovens that are wood fired

5.    Curry

Mozambique flavours and tastes of curry are unlike Thai or Indian food but distinctly unique in a special taste of local spices. It is served with chicken or prawns.

6. Peri peri chicken

Peri Peri chicken is common in Mozambique and other parts of Southern Africa with Portuguese influences. It consists of marinated chicken in lemon juice and a generous dose of peri peri sauce and served with French fries.

8. Prego roll

Prego roll

A roadside Mozambique snack is prego rolls. Steak covered in fiery chilli vinegar and garlic sauce wrapped in paõ. Simply delicious

 8. Cashews

Once the largest cashew producers, cashews grow all over Mozambique. They are sold at cheap prices at every street corner and the beach. Plain and delightfully tasty peri peri flavours are tastebud sensational tinglers.

9. Fish

Fresh fish all along the Mozambique coast is available all the time for a perfect barbecued or grilled seaside meal

10. Tropical fruit

The humid warm Mozambique climate brings out simply delicious tropical fruit al over. Coconuts, papaya, avocados and sweet mangoes.

Welcome  #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

A Taste of Cape Town

How would anyone define a Cape Town meal? Malay chicken curry? ‘Smaaklik’ potjiekos? Mouthwatering Chakalaka?

Cape Town offers all these meals and a whole lot more. A rich culinary history that delights palates.

The cooking inspiration of our fair mother city Cape town comes from way back in time. The Dutch arrival; in 1652 on the shores added to diversity with farming expertise, harvesting succulent crops and veggies that fed the starving sailors.

Potjiekos, a veggie and meat wine flavoured rice dish is popular meal choice of celebration and ‘Melktert’ (milk tart) as well.

The slave era and arrival of Javanese during the 18th century were often hired as chefs in the Dutch households and the gourmet influences they brought, lives on in Cape town dishes with an African twist spinning out unique cuisine.

The tasty hearty Cape Twon flavours improved with the Italian, German, Chinese, Portuguese and French residents and others. The melting pot of the Mother City is filled with flavours!

There are many circles of enjoying well-cooked home meals in the Cape Malay variety in the bustling Cape Town streets.  Discover cuisines of any flavour from Greek, Morrocan, Mediterranean, Moroccan, American or Nigerian and another African cuisine at superb bistros and restaurants. Whether taste buds call for a bobotie or Cape Malay roti and beef curry, there are streams of culinary treats

  1. Biltong

The national South African snack.One bite gets you hooked. The dried meat gets cured in vinegar with a spicy blend creating and addictive flavour.


  1. Sosaties

Barbecues or ‘braais are common past times. Sosaties are the cape version of kebabs. Meat marinated in chutney and curry skewed with apricots and onions.


  1. Pap

Pap is derived from cornmeal and accompanies  all cuisines.


4.   Bobotie

Bobotie, a common  Cape Malay cuisine is made from minced meat and curry that is baked and topped with dried fruits. It brings out the ethnic Cape Town flavours.


  1. Waterblommetjie Bredie

Unique to Cape Town the waterblommetjies is an indigenous flower that is edible and grows wild in the ponds. Bredie is a South African version of a stew and becomes a rich and elegant comfort food.


Boerewors

The sausage of South Africa


 

Gatsbys

Gatsby’s are  Cape Town specialities like  Bunnie Chows are  Durban treats. The sandwich is a basically a  hollowed out roll with a curried filling or mixture.


Snoek and Chips

The best fish and chips in the entire world are found in Cape Town.


Malva Pudding

For dessert  Malva pudding, a  sweet and savoury spongy dish with apricot jam and a caramelized texture served with ice cream or custard.

 

Welcome .#ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

The Unknown Tourism Splendor in Tanzania- Mtwara

Tanzania is filled with tourist attractions, and some are overlooked.  The remote location of the town Mtwara is slightly elevated along Makonde Plateau. Located on the south east coast of Tanzania along rugged coastline patch that leads to the Mozambique border.

Mtwara has loads to offer in several areas like history, culture irresistible landscape from beaches lined with palm trees.  Anyone who steps into this route will wonder why they never did before

 

History Of Mtwara


The history of Mtwara goes back to the times of colonialism by the Germans.  The old prison built in the 1880s is partly in ruins but was used as a customs office by the British as a police station and a post office.

A site of popular interest is the St Pauls Church, housing some interesting murals depicting biblical scenes

The Majengo area is a worthwhile stop at a popular site of interest, St Paul’s church for remarkable artwork. The walls are covered with biblical scenes rich in colour that was painted in the mid 70’s  by a German priest, Polycarp Uehlein. In distinctive style and colour makes these paintings a notable for the portrayal of biblical themes.

A special Mtwara attraction is Msimbati bay. It offers a wide range of activities including driving on the beach. The Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park in Mnazi Bayis based here and is total paradise for watersport enthusiasts. Visitors get to experience isolated coastal dive sites

Originally built by the British for an agriculture scheme focusing on the plantation of groundnuts along the south coast of Tanzania. This scheme came about after the second world war. when British took control of Tanganyika from Germans.

The groundnuts were meant to make up for the consequences of food shortages post war in the Uk and for export to Europe

The plantations failed, but Mtwara the town remains. Mtwara is excellent to stop for supply when journeying on trips to Mnazi Bay and it is good base f when on an exploration of the nearby Mikindani.

Mtwara is a gateway into the Southern Tanzanian scene for business and tourists. There is easy access to Dares Salaam with regular and frequent flights as well as sailing.

The laid-back town of Mtwara is spread over a huge area with good beaches in the north around Shangani. Shangani is where many affluent people reside. The main commercial area is located in the central part of the town with banks, post offices and shops with the market on the southern side

For wildlife enthusiasts game viewing at the Selous game reserve, the biggest trans-boundary game reserve in Africa.

Seventy kilometres from the town of Mtwara is a spring fresh water “lake Kitele” unique as it is not fed by any valley or river.

On a cultural note, Mtwara is spiced with coastline Swahili culture with Makonde carvings named after the Makonde tribe for their unique carvings.

makonde carvings

Accommodation for tourists is set to increase as the area opens ups for economic growth.

 

Welcome: #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

The other side of Cape Town-‘Township Vibes’

 

The township reflects joy in freedom, human rights, justice and reconciliation. From shebeens to sangomas, a township visit is a unique, emotional and sensory experience abuzz with vivid social culture. Each township tells its own story about its establishment, its struggle through the apartheid years and its current situation.

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

 

Down the road from Cape Town, with its magnificent beaches and world-class restaurants, warm African hospitality awaits in a bustling environment that few visitors to the city ever experience. An offering of an authentic taste of South African Township life leaves and adventurous traveller a unique experience.

B&B accommodation in townships has bright, cheerfully decorated rooms with a strong African Flavour.  Meals at this unpretentious focus on traditional Xhosa dishes.

Gugulethu, Cape Flats

Gugulethu ‘Gugs‘, – our pride -is one of the oldest black townships in South Africa and one of the most energetic and fastest developing.

Gugulethu was established in 1958 because of the migrant labour system. It grew as the number of migrant workers from the Transkei increased and Langa became too small.

It was originally named Nyanga West,  rooms were allocated in hostels, where three men had to share a tiny room.These were times when poverty, oppression and overcrowding were the order of the day under apartheid rule.

The hostels were for men only, no wives were allowed to visit their husbands. Women were left behind in the former Transkei and Ciskei homelands. The hostels remain the oldest buildings in Gugulethu.

In our present day, ‘Gugs’ is a mixture of former hostels and tin shacks, people built for privacy, as well as  brick and mortar houses in the wealthier ranks

‘Gugs’ is a vibrant, thriving community reflecting all classes of South African society. Soak up hot, township jazz at the Uluntu Community Centre, shop at NY1s Eyona Shopping Centre or watch boxing at the Indoor Sports Stadium on NY1.

‘Gugs’ was the first black township to have an information technology centre. Ikhwezi (the star) Community centre is situated just next to the Yellow Door jazz club in NY-3. The centre provides top class training in multimedia and youth development programs. The area has a sports field, community centres and schools.

Eyona Shopping Centre, Gugulethu has the Ubuntu arts promotion and Cyn Catering service situated at the Yellow Door Jazz Café. It is popular for its drama, art and craft stalls, marimba music and top class jazz.

Sivuyile – we are happy – is the tourism information centre in Gugulethu. It opened an art and craft shop in 1999 and assists college art, students and local artist. It also serves as a photographic gallery. Young artists in the community produce sculptures, ceramics, beadwork, traditional clothing and textiles.

The Link, the first independent Black township newspaper in Cape Town, founded in 1997, has its offices in the Sivuyele College.

The best way to experience ‘Gugs’ is to go and see for yourself.

The Direct Action Centre for Peace and Memory (DACPM) in Woodstock runs history and memory excursions and trains former freedom fighters to become excursion facilitators and take visitors to sites that are etched into South African memories: District Six, the Trojan Horse Memorial in Athlone, Langa and the Gugulethu Seven. The excursions have opened up spaces for freedom fighters to start the process of healing and reconstruction.

The tours also create the opportunity for others to listen, interact and understand what so many went through during the liberation struggle and the struggle of today: the struggle for jobs. Most stories that are told are very individual, very personal. And -also important- they are told with dignity.”

Gugulethu Seven Memorial

But the highlight of any trip to ‘Gugs’must be the Gugulethu Seven Memorial

On 3 March 1986, seven young activists were ambushed in a roadblock set up by police in NY-1 Street. The “Gugulethu Seven” as they are known, is one of the most callous examples of security forces operations. Built to commemorate their death, the Gugulethu Seven Memorial was sculpted by South African artists Donovan Ward and Paul Hendricks. The sculpture stands close to where the seven were murdered.

The cut-outs project onto the road surface in a play of sunlight and shadow that brings them back to life.

The work not only commemorates death but life and nation building – it combines elements of ruin or incompleteness with parts that seem to have just been constructed. It was unveiled in March 2000 on Human Rights Day.

Feel the township vibes in South Africa #Explore MotherlandAfrica

 

Creative Soul all the way from the Island of Madagascar- Lalah Raindimby

 

My mission to continue an everlasting journey for my right brain marketing manuscript seemed to be turning into a never-ending mission with a series of right brain marketing sequels in continuous motion

 

 

 

 

 

 

I came into contact with Lalah Raindimby ,  a native of Madagascar, she hails from the southeastern portion of the Island country in an area called Fianarantsoa.

She is from the ethnic Betsileo group in that country.

Betsileo are widely known for their special artistic creativity with own traditional dialect called Horija Betsileo.

 

Lalah is the second generation musician and vocalist being the daughter of region’s Famous legendary artist Known as Raindimby.

 

 

Raindimby is credited with making this unique form of music widely known throughout the country and beyond the borders of Madagascar.

LALAH,tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

My true passion is my music; for me, music is a means of expression of life as a human being. Performing the folk and cultural music of my homeland allows me to keep my heritage close to me and to build upon the legacy of my dad and other noted performers of his generation. The music gives me motivation and strength in life.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

At a very young age, I think I was six years old when I observed my dad and other family members rehearsing for a performance in the house.  

I began to sing. By the time I was a teenager my dad invited me on stage to perform with him.  I joined him on many occasions and found that performing was enjoyable and the audience response was encouraging.

From that time until the present music has been a critical part of my life. My first love and my passion.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

I find that when I am engaged with the music I become spiritually transformed and purely focused on my music and forget about the troubles of the world.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

As a teenager performing with my father and realising that my father was singing as professional and making money from his performance that he shared with me and I realise in addition being spiritually gratifying I could make money as a professional singer.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

As a teenager performing with my Dad

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

The memory of my late father and reflecting on the sacrifice that he made to expose the musical tradition Horija Betsileo of our people to the entire country and beyond.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

I have in effect become an Ambassador to keep that musical and cultural tradition alive and pass it on to the next generation.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

I must continue to strive in those ideas which are dear to me and I cannot allow them to stop me from perusing my goals and dreams,

 What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

Well, you are going to face lots of challenges but don’t give up on your dreams and your passion, just believe in yourself and work hard to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Music by Lalah Raindimby

Lalah Raindimy Soul Sounds

Get ready for Right Brain Marketing- CreateprenuerAfrica# ,starting up in the souther region of Africa!

 

 

Malawi Markets, Museums, Music and Dance

Mzuzu is the capital of the northern region. The famous Livingstonia Mission and its museum is close.

900 m above Lake Malawi there are views of incredible beauty across the lake to Tanzania. Livingstonia is a mission settlement dating from 1894 and established by Robert Laws a disciple of David Livingstone.

 

The Old Stone House, which was the home of the Laws family, is now a resthouse and museum.

Explore Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. Alongside the traditional Old Town, with its markets, is the modern city and seat of government with its imaginative architecture in a garden setting.

Blantyre,  is the commercial capital of Malawi as well as the largest town. It was established at the end of  19th century. It is really two towns: Blantyre and Limbe, joined by a development corridor.  The city was originated by David Livingstone’s Scottish missionaries. It’s named after Livingstone’s birthplace in Scotland.

Blantyre has many historical buildings including, Old  Boma, the original town hall. The Mandala House , built in 1882 was the African Lakes Company headquarters. It was the first two-storey building in Malawi and is believed to be the country’s oldest house. The most impressive are the tow churches, All Angels  an St Michael . These were  with no  formal architecture, construction o brick-making training

 

 

You’ll find the Thyolo (pronounced Cho’lo) tea estates between Blantyre and Mount Mulanje. Tea has been grown here since 1908 and the primly trimmed bushes (strictly trees) make the whole area look like a neatly kept but vast garden.

Nkhotakota, on the central lakeshore, is one of Africa’s oldest market towns and was once a centre of the slave trade. Or else there Nkhata Bay, a busy port and market and a favourite shop and stop place.

 

Everything is Malawi is handmade.  There’s no factory production of curios. So have a look for woodcarvings, wood and cane furniture, soapstone carvings, decorated wooden articles, colourful textiles, pottery, beadwork, cane and raffia. The standard of woodcarving is one of the highest in Africa. The Mua Mission, south of Salima, where carvers are trained, has an excellent shop. Traditional musical instruments are also sold throughout Malawi.

Malawi has a thoroughly deserved reputation for the friendliness of its people. This is a land of smiles, of genuine friendship. The Gule Wamkulu (performed by the Chewa and Mang’anja), with its heavily carved masks, feathers and skin paint, is an important dance in Malawian culture.

Malawians have long been travellers, and their music has spread across Africa. In the late 1960s, Malawi produced its own kwela stars, like Daniel Kachamba & His Kwela Band. By the 1970s, electric guitars, American rock and roll, soul and funk influenced the music scene, to create a fusion called afroma lead by the band New Scene, led by Morson Phuka.

The 1980s saw soukous from the Democratic Republic of the Congo become popular. The Malawian variety was called kwasa kwasa.  The traditional music of Malawian music has also reached commercial success, like folk fusionist Pamtondo, whose music uses rhythms from the Lomwe, Makuwa and Man’ganja peoples.

Music can be the food of love.  But sometimes you need some real food.  And malawi’s got some special tastes. Chumbo – tilapia fish is the main lake delicacy.  Eaten with Mthochi – bread made from bananas and Mbatata cookie made with sweet potato and cinnamon it’s a great meal. Top it off with Malawi gin and tonic,  Inexpensive and it’s developed an almost cult status.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The currency in Malawi is the Kwacha.
  • And in terms of electricity, they use 50Hz volts.
  • The standard plus is square three-pin.
  • Chichewa is the main language that is widely spoken, but the language of the business community is English.
Special Thanks to Freeway Tours Team,Thandi Brewer,Julie Hall.In Memory of William Robertson

 

 

Exploring Safari in Malawi


Malawi has unique scenery, evergreen forests, waterfalls, rare wildlife and stunning valleys. Go wildlife and game viewing in the national parks, without the tarred roads filled with convoys of 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Malawi’s nine Wildlife Reserves offer truly unspoilt wilderness. A Safari experience that will be the thrill of safaris with crowds of elephants, leopards, rhino. hippos and antelope

Look for elephants during the early mornings and evenings in Kasungu National Park, when they come to drink from dambos (river channels). The grasslands support large herds of buffalo and kudu and reedbuck.

Malawi has the best birdlife in the region. Vwasa Wildlife Reserve has close to 300 species including stork, heron and the white-faced tree duck.

Herds of thirty or forty elephants are regularly to be seen and there are large numbers of hippos.

Lake Kazuni, near the main entrance to the reserve is famous for its hippos. Buffalo are present in the reserve but their roaming habits make their sightings less easy to predict.

Stunning Sceneries

Nyika National Park

Nyika , Malawi’s largest park and completely unique in Africa. It means “where the water comes from” and it’s one of Malawi’s most important catchment areas.

In the rainy season, the park is covered with wildflowers and over 200 types of orchid. It also has a neolithic rock shelter, trout pools and even a ‘magic lake’ the magnificent Nyika Plateau towers to 2500m

Nyika is wonderful for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding safaris to see the diminutive duiker, or Zebra, warthog, bush pig, eland and roan.

The park has one of the highest densities of leopard in Central Africa. If you’re lucky you can catch lions and elephants. For the birdwatcher, over 400 species have been recorded including the rare Denham’s bustard, the wattled crane and the red-winged francolin – endemic to Nyika.

Be mesmerised by the stunning

Views at the top of the 2,100m Zomba Plateau. Its vast forests and waterfalls tower above Zomba, a university town and the former capital. Or climb the magnificent Mulanje Massif. The highest mountain in central Africa, the central point of this huge block of mountains, which cover more than 640 sq km and rises to over 3,000m can be seen at Sapitwa. Dedza, Michiru, Ndirande and Chiradzulu also offer challenging slopes.

Malawi – A Jewel in the Centre of Africa

The main attractions in attractions are the wildlife reserves and national parks and wildlife reserves of unspoilt wilderness where animals are discovered in natural habitat and not merely observed.

Safaris in Malawi cater for all budgets and tastes, You can either rent an open 4×4 for a game drive or take a walking safari and dive safely into the wild.

One other popular option is taking a boat safari on Shire River. This is a great way to see animals from short distances as they have little fear of people that are in a boat,

You get to float close to a mass of hippos and elephants drinking nearby! Other close encounters can be had, for example, when tracking

Close encounters in Majete Reserve can be tracking elephants. Horseback safaris are another opportunity to ride along zebras and antelopes.

The big five ( leopard, elephant lion, buffalo, and rhino) are in Malawi with splendid antelope range and smaller cats. Hippos are found in large numbers and are symbolic of the wildlife scene. Malawi definitely makes a memorable Safari.

Malawi is a popular option for first timers who want a taste of Africa but it is also a sophisticated experience for distinguished wildlife enthusiasts or those who wish to wander and feel the Malawi experience.

With a few visitors, there is an opportunity to solely experience the fascinating peacefulness of an astounding natural environment.  Get ready for lifetime experiences: ExploremotherlandAfrica#

 

Journey of a ‘Createpreneur’ – Art in Tanzania

My Journey was ongoing. The chapter seemed to be spurting out more and more. My never ending delve into Africa. The spark was ignited into abundance beyond note. Turning passions into profit, the rhythm echoed into smooth sailing miracles.

The Making of a Createpreneur.

When anybody churns out the term “entrepreneur”, what springs to mind at the word?A briefcase, tie and suit image?

A briefcase, tie and suit image?

On the other hand, maybe pictures of those in the billionaire ranks flashed in the media.

That is a narrow view. There are vast ways to spring any creative business venture into motion.

A common theme of ‘CreatEntepreneurs’ is a risk. Many work independently, industries differ, business can gain wisdom from other varied experiences and their management of work and risks.

If you an artist that goes solo with your artwork meet, CreatEntepreneur™ Pablo Zungu.

 

 

 

Pablo is an artist in Tanzania in East Africa with a large international following.

 

As artist living in a remote unknown village called Mloka on the outskirts of the main buzz of city centre. How did he get an international audience, people from all over the world to buy his local trending artwork?

Tell us about your true passion in life?

My passion is filling my day creating new pieces of art. It is expression, letting go. Each day on waking until the day closes. I found my passion at a young age. Left with the responsibility to take care of my two younger brothers at an early age when my parents passed away. My art was my key to keep all together in challenging times

What about your passion appeals to you the most?

The independence and freedom it provides. I am not imprisoned in a warehouse packing shelves or joining other pathways I have little interest in, to barely fill a fridge and every hour consumed. Slavery did not die. It evolved, not through chains at feet, but into a concrete jungle. It became legalized .My art is my freedom to create an income on my terms in my environment.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

I do not know if it was about choice. It was there, in my pathway. I discovered that selling paintings was a stream of income. With no conflict of being under instruction of any authority figures and taking orders and instructions. I chose a stress free way to sustain my family and myself.

 

When was the first time you got paid for your passion?

I was a teenager and spent my time creating artwork. One-day tourists passed by, totally immersed in the piece, and placed US dollars in my hand. I was thrilled. Dollars converted into a huge amount in my local currency. I even afforded to buy more paints and canvases.

 

What kept you going when you thought about giving up? 

There were many times that I doubted any ability to make more money with my art. I overcame the self-doubt by creating and sharing my work.

What motivates you each and every day to be even more successful?

Even if I tried to join the nine to five worlds, I know I would not make it. I strived on to keep creating and spreading my work to all regions where there were possible sales. Every region that had markets or stalls for artwork I found a stall owner to display my work and draw in interest and sales.

I am based in a remote village on the outskirts of the city centre, but I prefer to be there. I live close to a popular game reserve that has a multitude of travelers from all over the world. My art is indigenous local Tanzanian authentic that appeals to all those who travel to our country. It gives them memorable artefacts to take back home of a land they will never forget and strive to revisit. My art is one aspect that promotes the thriving economic sector of tourism, so to speak.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

I can only share my well wishes that they gain success in their pathways as I have found my passion and I am keeping to it.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

I advise them to follow their dreams and never give up. Look at all possibilities and find the one that works for you.


Find or Be Found……….

Right Brain Marketing - Turning creative passions into profit

Touching base with “CreatePreneurs” in Africa

The Soul Journey of Createpreneurs in Africa

My collective realm was a calling of "first class living".The journey was gradual,and then I touched base with creative talent and skill from the Motherland of Africa.

The crux of “Right-Brain Marketing” was all about “turning creative passions into profit”. The journey was about my final touches on “Right-Brain Marketing”, the main theme was “createpreneurs”.

My soul calling as I initially launched into a world campaign was to spread empowerment for creatives to flourish.

Right Brain Marketing

In-depth root research for my voice to echo was a calling that routed me the treasures of Africa.

 The journey was a realm into inner soul space as I touched base with an overflowing database of creativity rooted in Africa. It was time! Rise Africa….

Why Africa?

Economics and Africa did not quite blend well. All I knew about Africa was famine and poverty. I realized with time Africa was the root of all. The beginning of creation. The root of creative soul. I met artists, musicians, entertainers and soul createpeneurs.

My inner soul space blossomed as I touched base with an overflowing database of creativity rooted in Africa. It was time!

I initially came into contact with exploring motherland Africa with Shabani Mpita on a venture of discovery.

An excerpt from a series of personal interviews with creatives rooted in Africa: "Right Brain Marketing"
I initially came into contact with Shabani Mpita on a venture of discovery. Meet Shabani Mpita, an artist, with a tourism profession and small business to sell his artwork.
 How is it possible to balance your profession, your creative passion, and business?
A structured schedule to keep me focused on my time and energy. Each activity can be very demanding I make sure I give all tasks enough focus so none becomes a liability.

Sometimes I bring all together in a combination of inspiration.
How difficult is it to convert from creative frame of mind into a business form?
It is stressful and difficult at most times. I strive to keep myself motivated and remain operating. My creative passions keep me persistent but to persistence as a tool of growth needs a business mindset to be in order.
How is it possible to maintain the artistic value and run a business?
I am a professional artist; I aim to get paid for my professional talents. All businesses expect payment for products and services or product.Of course, the aim is to inspire others with my artwork but I need to care for myself. I am not in the mindset of a “starving artist”. I value my work and talent so I take opportunities that pay for the work I produce
I want to send a message of inspiration to follow dreams and pursue them. Anything that one aspires is achievable if hard work is consistent real value is assigned to service and product.
 

Shabani Ibrahim Mpita, a skilled local artist, with a tourism profession and small artwork business.

Born in the notorious spice Island of Zanzibar, Shabani Mpita kept his passion for the continent of Africa. A keen traveler, he became a backpacker, exploring Africa. Eventually, he ventured in a nomadic motion back to his homeland, Tanzania.

Living all around his country from Zanzibar, he spread out from Iringa to Mafia Island, Mloka village near Selous and Kigamboni, a short ferry ride from the bustling Dar es Salaam, he brings forth an insider view into the everyday marvels and sightings. With his guidance, each second spent in Tanzania becomes a worthy experience for all who realize their dream to explore the marvels of Tanzania.

‘I aim to be a key tool in the exploration and discovery of my homeland. Life is about exploring, new discoveries, and realizations. I journey on the motions of a Tour and field guide into a pathway designed by destiny’

Exploring Tanzania https://www.amazon.com/Shabani-Ibrahim-Mpita/e/B06XJY25J9

Are you with nature? World Environment Day in Tanzania – 5th June

A special day for the environment – June 5th

World Environment day marks a special day. It highlights the importance of the environment we live in. We need to take the time to always celebrate nature. The environment connects to us and supports us in every essence. We need to support our environment.

Humans are creatures on earth that mold the environment. The environment is for physical sustenance. It is part and parcel of our existence. It molds us. It  gives opportunity for moral intellectual and spiritual growth,

The evolution of the human race on the planet with the rapid science and technology acceleration allows man the power to transform the environment in endless ways.

The protection of the environment affects the well-being of people as well as economic development in the world. June 5th was designated as world environment day by the United Nations.

Celebrating world environment day is an opportunity to broaden enlightenment and responsible conduct by enterprises, communities, and individuals. It started in 1974 and is a global platform of a public outreach celebrated everywhere in the world

People and Nature – The  ‘true love’ connection

World environment day has a central theme on pressing environmental issues, the theme for 2017 is about connecting people to nature.

It ignites an urge to be outdoors and appreciate the beauty of nature. We intimately depend on nature. We find fun in nature and the experience allows us to cherish the relationship.

Many in rural settings touch base every day close to nature and can appreciate dependence on nature to provide livelihoods with fertile soil and natural water.

Pollution, overexploitation and climate changes alter ecosystems. When ecosystems are threatened, all are affected.

The gifts of nature cannot be valued in monetary terms, clean air is taken for granted until it is scarce.

Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda states the resolve to ensure the protection of natural resources on the planet.

Environmental Projects in Tanzania

There initiatives of connecting people to nature in Tanzania, the beginning of creation are interesting waves in the current day milllenium.

Lake Victoria- Africa

An East African Community initiative, LVEMP, is a regional initiative that is coordinated by LVBC, the Lake Victoria Basin Commission. It is implemented in the five East African states  Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda

The main objectives are to improve collaborative management of natural resources of the Lake Victoria basin and improve the environmental management of pollution hotspots for the benefit of the communities that depend on the lake Victoia Basin natural resources.
Coco Beach- Tanzania

World Environment Day celebrations by Nipe Fagio was with partners BORDA, Voice Giving, Conservation Interaction,  the Tanzania Medical Association and Roots & Shoots.

RAU forest reserve

Rau Eco Tourism marked a celebration of world environment day with litter pick ups in the Rau forest reserve and celebrated in appreciation of the forest

Youth for green growth

Raleigh International funded by the OAK Foundation initiated a ‘Youth for Green Growth’  project that supports youth action for environmental and social advocacy in the Tanzania region. This in turn, promotes an advancement for the agenda of green growth, contributing to the global sustainable development goals.

The project involves experiential training and learning opportunities, as well as the support of organization strengthening of youth-led societies that enable the youth of Tanzanian to address environmental and social developmental issues at grassroots and at a national level.

Welcome to Tanzania. #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

More about expeditions in Madagascar

 

Fast Fascinating Facts about Madagascar

  • Rainforests and the incredible animals.

Parc National de L’Isalo is one of the country’s most spectacular regions, perfect for overnight hikes, rock-hopping along cool canyons and spotting lemurs.  It’s best to visit during the cooler months (April to October) when the bizarre patchy podiums and periwinkles are in flower on the rock faces and walking is more comfortable.

“Parc national de l’Isalo”
  • Tribute to Ancestors

The Sakalava people used to bury their dead in caves high up on cliff faces. Spread across 152,000 hectares, the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve has amazing forests, lakes and mangrove swamps, home to a variety of rare and endangered birds and lemurs. With gorges, rivers, and Ancient cemeteries Tsingyis a must visit.

 

Madagascar People
But Madagascar isn't all just animals and conservation.  
  • Madagascar Soul History

There’s a lot of history going on down as well. Ambohimanga is one of the summer palaces of the old Malagasy royal family. Antananarivo, or Tana, has a distinctively French flavor: The city is built on three levels. Dominating the city is the Queen’s Palace and associated Royal Village or Rova. Now a national monument, it was once the

Dominating the city is the Queen’s Palace and associated Royal Village or Rova. Now a national monument, it was once the residence of the Merina Dynasty which, in the 19th century, united all Madagascar for the first time.

There are the museums d’Andafiavaratra and the archaeology museum. On the lowest level is the market said to bee the second-largest in the world. The birthplace of the Malagasy state. Ambohimanga is known as ‘the blue city’, ‘the holy city’ and ‘the forbidden city’. The citadel was an important Merina stronghold and its main gate is an enormous stone disc; 40 men were needed to roll it into position.

Madagascar Museums

Or else you can check out the old pirate colony island of Ile St Marie. Its dense vegetation and the difficulty of navigating the lagoons which surround it made it an ideal base for pirates and, later, a colony for convicts.

There are many clove plantations and several historic sites, including Madagascar’s oldest Catholic church. It’s the perfect destination for those who just want to relax.  You can snorkel, sunbath and overindulge on coconut rum punches.

  • Feel and Taste Madagascar

Buy cinnamon, vanilla and coconut oil from the local children, sip fiery ti-punch and sample the most delicious freshly-caught seafood or sit under a palm tree on a white sandy beach. There’s whale-watching in July and August, and the amazing spiny forest along the road just north of Mangilly is well worth a look.With coral reefs just offshore, sea breezes whispering in the casuarina trees and a relaxed tropical ambiance, who wants to go home?

Malagasy soothing tunes (myspace.com/tambatra) by our  conttributor glamorous soul sister from Madagascar  (myspace.com/tambatra myspace.com/tambatra1)

Getting around Madagascar

Check this out. Air Madagascar, serves numerous destinations throughout the country, which is a good thing considering that many roads have huge potholes and are impassable in the rainy season. Flights are still relatively inexpensive and they offer a 50% discount on domestic flights to passengers using the airline to travel to Madagascar.

The taxi-be, which is quick and comfortable, and the bush taxi, which is cheaper, slower, makes more stops and generally operates on cross-country routes. Fares should be agreed in advance. It is a flat fee. Alternatively, you can go via bus bonus a flat rate is charged irrespective of the distance traveled. Alternatively, take the House-pousse – the rickshaw.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can grab a stagecoach. A few covered wagons continue to take passengers. Otherwise, you can hire a car or motorbike. You will need a national driving license, and remember they drive on the right-hand side.

Or you can catch a train! Only if you have a lot of time. The Malagasy railway network dates from the colonial period, so breakdowns are frequent, a line may be closed for several weeks.

However, there is nothing to beat messing around in boats. Madagascar has a strong maritime tradition. Ferries sail between the islands. You can travel between coastal villages in dugout canoes known as Pirogues or Lakana. You can also hire Dhows and larger cargo boats.

And if you want to bareboat, a “guide” is usually included in the price of the yacht charter. He will cook, guide you, and protect the boat. A yacht charter to Madagascar is a bit of a “Robinson Crusoe” adventure. Once you embark, you cannot provision again and must live off the fish and seafood you will catch for yourself (or with your guide). So get a good one.

Madagascar is a great place to tour by bike and staying in small towns and villages along the way gives a real sense of what the country is all about. A mountain bike or heavy-duty tourer at least is required as the roads can be in poor to terrible condition.

Generally, there is little to no traffic, which makes cruising a great escapade. The people are amazingly friendly and you will be greeted with crowds of children shouting ‘Vazaha’. There are little or no facilities for cyclists, so be prepared to camp rough (ask if it is somebody’s land and never too near a family grave) or sleep in very basic guesthouses. Though you will generally be invited to stay in people’s houses. Bring a spare tire, puncture kit, chain, brake/gear cable, derailleur, and all the tools you need.

Remember that the law is that the ‘tour’ operators have to have a contract with you with all the details on it including the route. The police do check on this and it protects the tourists.

All visitors must have visas, except for citizens of some African countries. Proof of return ticket is required otherwise a deposit must be paid before arriving in Madagascar, which is equivalent to the cost of a flight to the country of origin. And if you come from Africa, you must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

  • Fast Facts 

  • Currency -Malagasy Ariary (MGA) Us dollars needs to be declared on arrival. There are currency restrictions
  • Electrical Power is 127V/220V, RUNNING AT 50Hz.
  • Languages Spoken : Malagasy, French, English
  • Time Zones – GMT/UTC +3:
  • Country Dialing Code +261:
  • Hot and subtropical climate, colder in the mountains.
  • Rainy season: November to March.
  • Dry season: April to October.
  • Monsoon season is December to March.
.. And when you've had 16 tracks of Malagasy hospitality, the last thing you'll be feeling is lonely - except perhaps when you arrive back home.

 

Madagascar Food and Music for the Soul


Madagascar Food

Burnt the rice? No problem. One common Madagascar dish is Ranon ‘apango or rano vda. Burnt rice water.

Malagasy cooks double the quantity of rice they need for the meal.  When it’s cooked, they remove most of the rice from the earthenware pan. The remainder (a layer about 1/2-inch thick) is heated until it’s burnt. Then pour boiling water over the rice. Cool, strain and chill.

Language

The majority of people don’t speak English, so brush up on your French which is the second official language of Madagascar. Otherwise it’s Malagasy all the way.

The main Malagasy phrases

Madagascar Music and Dance

 

The beauty of traveling in Madagascar is that you’re never sure what you’re going to hear next. The Madagascar music experience is like Forrest Gump’s ‘box of choc-o-lates’: you never know what you’re gonna get. Music is ubiquitous: The national music scene is booming, with artists from all the major regions turning out serious volumes of quality material. But locals retain a fondness for the usual African favorites: reggae, rap, chart hits, French pop, gospel, music, heavy metal, jazz and reggae Congolese

MUSIC BY LALAH RAINDIMBY OUR MARVELOUS MADAGASCAR CONTRIBUTOR:
https://myspace.com/tambatra
https://myspace.com/tambatra1

The national Madagascar music scene is booming, with artists from with  volumes of material of  striking quality

The Madagascar music experience is like Forrest Gump’s ‘box of choc-o-lates’: you never know what you’re gonna get.

But locals retain a fondness for the usual African favourites: reggae, rap, chart hits, French pop, gospel, music, heavy metal, jazz and reggae Congolese Lingala and good ol’ country music.

Africa’s biggest homegrown reggae superstar, Lucky Dube is even bigger here than the godfather Bob Marley himself.

The best thing to come out of Madagascar since the lemur is the music. Malagasy music rocks. the rhythms are tight. They combine virtuoso traditional music,  tight harmonies, buoyant grooves, infectious melodies, wild instruments, energetic dancing along with challenging, controversial subjects with the energy of punk rock. Malagasy hip hop broke into the mainstream in the mid-nineties and has skyrocketed.

MALAGASY MUSIC

 

Like the Salegy – a funky, tight, energetic form of dance music dominated by ringing electric guitars. In the kind of touristy clubs where the girls are cheaper than the beer. You’ll find out just how much the Malagasy love to dance. If you’re not a rug-cutter yourself, sit back with a Three Horse Beer and watch all the girls line up and bust their moves in front of the mirror (yes, every club has at least one). And then, just when you think you’ve got a handle on ‘Gasy

If you’re not a rug-cutter yourself, sit back with a Three Horse Beer and watch all the girls line up and bust their moves in front of the mirror (yes, every club has at least one). And then, just when you think you’ve got a handle on ‘Gasy clublife… Glenn Miller – ‘In The Mood’…this happens.in absolutely any club, anywhere in the country, you can guarantee that at some point the music will suddenly segue into jazz dance and the whole crowd will burst into energetic and clearly practiced swing and rock ‘n’ roll routines. Learn a few steps and you’ll probably make friends for life.

And the music isn’t just music.  It’s got a big history of political power. Hiragasy troupes were used during the French colonial administration to communicate decrees. Now musos like superstar Rossy’s 1995 song “Lera.”, mobilizes popular support for political efforts.

Malagasy revere ancestors, and ignoring the dead could bring bad luck. Someone who refuses to turn the ancestors denies his identity as a Malagasy. And if the ancestors can intercede with the Creator to bless the living with wealth, health, and happiness or, if mistreated, curse them with unemployment, disease, and misery. People lead good lives so that they, too, will be honored as ancestors some day.

In some famadihanas (funeral traditions), the families take the bodies on a stroll through town, to show the ancestors what is new, and introduce them to children born since they left the tomb. The thinking is that, to help the living, the dead must be familiar with their lives.

Famadihana

Welcome to Africa :  #EXPLOREMOTHERLANDAFRICA

Special thank you to  Freeway  Tours SADC Team: Thandi Brewer, Julie Hall, Jerry  Mofokeng (Freeway), Leslie Fong,( SPY) Lalah Raindimby, and MoMo Matsunyane (PADKOS),  Neo Matsunyane , Sonto Nhlapo, Alex Mamacos, Makgomotho Ngwasheng, Babalo Mpoyiya

In Memory of W.G Robertson

Exploring the Magnificent Madagascar

Ringed by golden beaches and palm trees Madagascar - the 8th continent- is the fourth-largest island in the world.

Madagascar promises lush rainforests and rugged, ravine-riven mountains teeming with lemurs and other unique species found nowhere else in the world.


Madagascar promises crystal-clear seas with beautiful, untouched palm-fringed beaches. It promises culturally exotic people with laid-back island-style friendliness. It promises the freshest most sumptuous seafood spreads and deliciously strong local rum cocktails.


Resplendent with grassy plateaus, to volcanoes. Seething with opaque forests and natural reserves, Madagascar dazzles with its rich wildlife. Many of its unique species are found nowhere else on earth. biodiversity wise. Madagascar is one of a kind.

Madagascar isn’t just a country.  It is a state of mind, and you got to get yourself into it. Travelers need to feel the heat, taste the buzz. It’s not just marketing and monkeys.

Local legend says that the Vazimba, a race of white pygmies were the first Malagasy. But it was the Malay-Polynesians, who crossed the Indian Ocean, along with their rice, in the sixth century.

In the ninth century, Marco Polo pulled into Madagascar and found that the East African slaves, Arab, Indian, Dutch, British traders, and French colonists had turned Mad into THE major trading power in the western Indian Ocean.

So much so, that when the European governments were just saying no to piracy in the Caribbean, more than 1000 English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, American and other pirates contributed booty, buried treasure, and genes to the island’s population. It was a fantastic base to attack ships rounding the Cape of Good Hope.

Madagascar Tour Quiz
  • How many animal species?
250 000.
  • How many endemic species of butterfly?
3000
  • Native plants?
10 000 - 90% are found nowhere else in the world.
  • Bird life?
More than 100 kinds of tropical birds that exist nowhere else in the world.
  • And the biggest bird was?
10-foot tall ostrich, weighing 1,000 pounds which laid 20-pound eggs.

Whether you are into wildlife or nightlife, magical, malodorous Madagascar is the land that time forgot.

 

Larger than California and the size of France Madagascar is home to some seriously unique, sometimes downright bizarre, evolutionary oddities.  It’s the planet’s most biologically diverse island. From dancing lemurs to absurdly colourful chameleons,

From dancing lemurs to absurdly colourful chameleons, geckos, and lizards; tenrecs, spiny hedgehog-like creatures that communicate with its young by vibrating its spines.

Flightlessness, fearlessness, gigantism, dwarfism, and survival of ancient species all happened here in this evolutionary laboratory.  160 million years ago, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America were united in the supercontinent Gondwana, until it split up.

Left alone – with no carnivores or omnivores to deal with, Madagascar went it’s own unique way.  Like

Like Lemur’s, which are found nowhere else on the planet!  If Some 45 species of lemurs live here from the world’s smallest primate, weighing about 1 ounce, to a lemur the size of a Gorilla.

The thing is, humans quickly went to work on the island’s lemurs, reducing the number of species by at least 15. So you need to get there soon.

Madagascar is also the world’s leading example of conservation. In spite of extraordinary pressures from a poor population that relies heavily on forest burning for basic subsistence.

Special thank you to  Freeway  Tours SADC Team: Thandi Brewer, Julie Hall, Jerry  Mofokeng (Freeway), Leslie Fong,( SPY) Lalah Raindimby, and MoMo Matsunyane (PADKOS),  Neo Matsunyane , Sonto Nhlapo, Alex Mamacos, Makgomotho Ngwasheng, Babalo Mpoyiya In Memory of W.G Robertson

 

South Africa’s Cultural Soul – The roots of Township Tours

 

South Africa – few can rival South African soul in the townships. Today we explore Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Walking the paths of some of the greatest leaders.

It’s another world and another time. This is part of the old Africa, where the amaZulu ruled unchallenged, a place of beaded headdresses and rawhide shields, beehive huts, and a lifestyle that properly belongs to the great age of Shaka.

Gain an insight into the amaZulus’ traditional way of life their beliefs, crafts, songs and dances at Shakaland, the open-air museum near Eshowe

This is the oldest town in Zululand. Shakaland is also the oldest Zulu Cultural Village in Zululand, originally built as a scenery for the movie “Shaka Zulu”.

It’s been converted into a Zulu homestead with thatched beehive houses arranged in a circle around the central cattle kraal. Visitors stay in beehive houses, with all the modern conveniences.

The village overlooking the Umhlatuze Lake offers the true Zulu cultural experience and traditions, including pottery, beadwork, beer making and tasting as well as magnificent foot-stomping, ground shaking demonstrations of traditional Zulu dance.

Assegai-wielding warriors will teach you how to fight. You can also witness the age-old methods of making spears and shields, skills that are to a large extent disappearing. This is one of the few men who still know how to make the broad stabbing spear introduced by King Shaka. A memorable part of the tour is the spear throwing and stick-fighting demonstrations.

The  Memorable Adventures of Zululand

KZN

 

The Kwa-Zulu Natal province is rooted in the legacy of the Zulu nation. There are ample opportunities to explore the fascinating world of the Zulu’s.

There are many private as well as provincial game reserves showcasing the abundance of biodiversity in the region.  You get an authentic safari experience and a historical viewpoint through the battlefield routes of the historical town, Vryheid which has  tea plantations and cattle ranches,

The Battlefields Route is significant as it was is where there were historical clashes between Zulu,  Brit, and Boer (farmer). The Kwa Zulu Natal battlefield region extends from Thukela river at Dolphin coast to Richards Bay further in the north to Paulpietersburg.

Paulpietersburg is 50hm to the north and links the inland of South Africa with the coast of  Zululand. This town is widely known for sulfur springs and therapeutic spas.

The major attractions are Zulu culture, birdlife, and many nature and game reserves.

Zulu culture is all over South Africa, but not as poignant as the Zulu kingdom.

Visitors can feel and taste true Zulu hospitality in dance, food, and song. There is an opportunity to become part of authentic Zulu weddings, assist with chores in the village and even visit a local sangoma (traditional healer).

You can take an ox-wagon visit to the Zulu beehive huts. Or even explore local shebeens, traditional medicine outlets. You get to learn how locals adapt age-old traditions into modern living.

 

  • A Zululand heritage experience is by stopping at Melmoth ‘where the legend King Shakas was born ‘the Valley of Kings’
  • The Emakhosini Valley is the site of graves of many Zulu Kings
  • The Zululand Birding Route has 650 recorded species of birds. The Dlinza Nature Reserve is a popular spot for birding.
  • Vast nature and game reserves from subtropical forest reserves  along the coast as well as game reserves further north

The biggest attraction in the KZN region is Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

It is the oldest in Africa and home to the famous big 5 in Africa. Rhinos, drive game lions, elephants, buffalos and leopards. There are self-drive game as well as guided walks.

 

Wilderness trails provide an intimate experience in the bush

End the Zululand expedition round off will be Richards Bay. The large town boasts a stunning scenery of the wetland.

 

Welcome to Motherland Africa......

 

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 of 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 BoKaap’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.