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

Plants and Trees found in the Majestic land of Tanzania


The Umbrella and Whistling Thorn trees and others in Tanzania

 

The umbrella trees, symbolic of the African bush are usually sighted on Safari.

There is also the yellow fever tree, the whistling thorn and the ‘wait a bit” Acacia


Tropical rainforest patches in the Eastern Arc of Tanzania provide a rich array of plants, and many can be found only in Tanzania.  One such is the Africa violet or Usambara. The Impatiens and Saintpaulia are sold in grocery stores as house plants in the Western World.

Forest patches, remnants of the once large tropical forest of the continent is found in Udzungwa, Uluguru and many other areas. In the southern and western parts of the Eastern Arc, are baobab stands, with striking baobab landscapes in the Tarangire National Park.

Covered by a moist woodland, ‘miombo’, the main vegetation is various Brachystegia tree types.

The central plateau is filled with thickets and Savannah and the Serengeti plain is covered in grasslands.

Kitulo National park and the Amani Nature reserve are amongst botanical highlights of the country.  The focal point of Kitulo is wildflowers East Africa has 62 species of Atrees trees. Six are endemic to the land of Tanzania. Acacias grow as shrubs or trees.

 


Tallest Tree in Africa

 

Researchers explored a remote valley on Kilimanjaro mountain. The discovery?

 

 

 

A two-hour walk from the Mrusunga forest in the Kidia ward of Moshi rural district lies a towering 81.5 metres, making a  new record for Africa’s tallest tree.

 

The giant rare species Entandrophragmaexcelsum,  is typically located in semi-deciduous forests.

Mpingo ( African Blackwood Tree)

Mpingo, the African blackwood tree is a heavily branched tree that grows gradually for close to a 100 years before harvest. It is native to twenty-six African countries from the north in Ethiopia to the south in Angola. It spreads the west in Senegal to the east in Tanzania.

Arkive species - African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon)

An important ecosystem component, Mpingo covers approximately two-thirds  of  the country. Nitrogen fixing ,improves fertility and maintains the stability of soil.

The Westernised name African Blackwood is valuable as it is perfect for carvings with perfect finishes, Intricate ornaments are carved from them.

In North America and Europe, it is used for carving woodwind instruments like bagpipes, oboes and clarinets.

The medicinal properties of the tree include the treatment of many ailments and the wood is boiled in some regions to create a broth for bathing new born babies, believed to benefit in imparting strength. The sapwood makes high energy fuel or charcoal

 

 

Welcome to  Tanzania

#Explore Motherland Africa

 

 

 

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)

 

Democratic Republic of Congo- DRC- A pathway into the unknown

Gushing rivers with swaths of rainforests and smoking volcanoes DRC, the untapped abundance of mineral wealth,DRC,formerly known as Zaire is the ultimate adventure in Africa.

The fast growing tourism flow in are centred on  Parc National des Virunga, drawing travellers to return to the most challenging, thrilling destination in Africa, the DRC


Bukavu a once attractive city,  was built on the land that flows out into the lake Kivu,   a totally cosmopolitan sparkling wonder.

The city had a beautiful backdrop of steep mountains and the placid waters of Lake Kivu in front.  For many travellers, Bakavu became a popular stopover en route to view lowland gorillas in natural habitat at Parc National de Kahuzi Beiga.

Beni is a small town at the crossroads of routes going from the north to south Congo. It is the most convenient base for climbers trekking up the slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountain from the DR Congo side

The Kahuzi-Beiga National Park covers an area of around 600,000 hectares. The park gets its name from the two highest peaks in the park, Mts. Kahuzi and Beiga.

The park spreads across an area of thick forests, varying from dank patches of bamboo to dense tropical forests.  A third of the park is made up of  stunning bamboo forests, home  to various birds and animals including many simian and  primate  species,  buffalo, elephants,, antelopes, mongoose and leopard. In more peaceful times, many tours are operated in the park including ones for climbers up to the Mt. Kahuzi.

While real stability remains many years away, the cautious development of

During peaceful times, tours are operated in the park including ones for climbers up to the Mt. Kahuzi.

Virunga National Park is the oldest and most famous of the national parks in RD Congo. It encompasses parts of Uganda and Rwanda and includes the craters of Nyiragonga and Nyamuragia.

The conservation area was  designed primarily to protect highly threatened mountain gorillas but now has  population huge  populations  of buffalo, antelope, elephants. hippopotami, warthogs, lions and leopards spread out in a 12,000 sq km area.

The DRC is the most mineral resource rich country in Africa. Currently, it is estimated that 64% of the world’s coltan reserves are located in the DRC, while 34% of the world’s cobalt and 10% of the world’s copper reserves are found in the country’s Katanga province.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo rainforests contain  a biodiversity, including a large number of endemic and  rare species, including the common chimpanzee as well as the bonobo ( Pygmy Chimpanzee), okapi, mountain gorilla and the white rhino

 

Africa is made of Kings and queens Great leaders are from everywhere, there is no competition. DRC was once led by one of the main icons Patrice Lumumba  

 

Welcome , Explore Motherland Africa

 

Flag, Banner, Nation, Emblem, Country

 

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#

 

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

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......

 

ONLY IN TANZANIA – PART 2

The Journey Continues – Endemic and Endangered in  the heart of motherland Africa – Tanzania

Why Safari in Tanzania? The question pounded on. My journey, my search continued.

 

I clearly affirmed in Exploring the splendor of Tanzania – ‘Journey into all dimensions delving into the mystics and wonders of the heart of ‘Motherland Africa’ Tanzania.

My personal quest launched:


Ocean City Garden

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
We are situated on the road between three major hotels Sunrise, Kipepeo, and South Beach in Kigamboni , a fifteen minute ferry ride from Dar es Salaam. A walkaway to the beach we are ready to welco...

10 Endemic Primates in Tanzania

 

  1. Rondo Dwarf Galago

    Rondo Dwarf Galago

Arkive species - Rondo dwarf galago (Galagoides rondoensis) These are rare and highly endangered animals found only in Tanzania. They weigh 60 grams and they continue to decline in threatened forests.The Rondo Dwarf Galago is classified into 25 of the most endangered species in the whole world.

The animal is losing its habitat due to forest fires and deforestation. This particular species has no conservation program to maintain them and few Tanzanians know of their existence.

2. Mountain Dwarf Galago

Mountain Dwarf galagoes are found in the Udzungwa Mountain National Park, the Udzungwa scarp forest reserve in Tanzania as well as Taiti Hills forest reserve Kenya. Their main threat is loss of habitat due to deforestation and conversion of the land for agriculture.

3. Zanzibar Red Colobus

Arkive species - Kirk’s red colobus (Procolobus kirkii) Endemic to Zanzibar (Unguja), they are mainly found in the southeast, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park as well as the agricultural area in the south. In Mangrove swamps and coral thickets in the southwest.

4. Abbots duiker

A large forest antelope found exclusively in Tanzanian Forest Mountains. They are called ‘Minde’ in the local language Kiswahili. This antelope is a rare Duiker in  Africa.

Due to hunting and deforestation, it is endangered  and is under protection of private and national companies

They are located in the humid, high sections of the Kilimanjaro, Usambara Mountains,  the Ilole forest as well as the Rubeho Mountains. They can also be located in the  high evergreen peaks of  forest hills

5.  Pemba Flying Fox (ARKive)

Arkive species - Pemba flying fox (Pteropus voeltzkowi) The Pemba flying fox is one of the highly endangered species in the country of Tanzania.

The Pemba flying fox is a highly endangered in Tanzania. It is a large bat that weighs between 400 to 650 grams. It feeds on  flowers and fruits and  lives in the forests, mangroves, and graveyards

Found on in Tanzania on Pemba island, when the population in Pemba grew the species subsided. The population is now increasing as they are learning to adapt and live near people

6.The Desperate shrew

 

This species, rare small located in the  Udzungwe Mountains southern The rare small animal, the shrew, is disappearing due to deforestation in these areas. They are found in only in the ideal climate of Tanzania.

7. Gray-faced Sengi(ARKive).

Arkive species - Grey-faced elephant-shrew (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis) Grey-faced elephant-shrew are larger than other shrews and are sparse in color with glossy stiff fur.

8.The Kipunji(ARKive)

Arkive species - Kipunji (Rungwecebus kipunji) The Kipunji is an  Old World monkey species that living in  Highland Tanzania forests. The kipunji  ‘honk-bark’ call , distinguishing it from  close relatives,

9.The Sanje Mangabey (ARKive)

Arkive species - Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) The Sanje mangabey is an endangered Old World monkey of the white-eyelid mangabey Tanzania group. They are 5 to 65 centimeters in length and weighs about seven to nine kilograms, they are greyish in color. They live forests on ground-dwelling and are threatened by poaching and to hunting.

10. Demon African Mole Rat (Mammals of Tanzania)

Mammals of Tanzania

The demon mole rat is solitary. communicates seismically to other mole rats and predators by head banging its burrow.

 

 

There are numerous issues affecting the conservation of animals in Tanzania. These are inclusive of poverty and education, wildlife and human health, the growth of the population, pressures of sustainable development, the planning of land use, financial and technical capacity. These issues need engagement for any conservation programs to help Tanzania conserve an extraordinary environment and wildlife sector.

  • the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa(CEPF)
  • The Eastern Arc Forests (WWF)
  • Eastern Afromontane (CEPF)

Species are under several threats including fragmentation and habitat loss, conflict, natural resource management that is unsustainable and hunting. The climate changes have a negative effect on the biodiversity in Tanzania as well.

Welcome to Tanzania.  Explore the unknown. Join the Journey! Coming soon ‘Only in Tanzania’ – Part three. #EXPLOREMOTHERLANDAFRICA