Getting a Freeway in the Kingdom of the Sky- ‘Lesotho’

Over a thousand meters above the level of the sea is Lesotho, our Kingdom of the Sky.The rugged landscape of Lesotho is the mountainous throne on the motherland of Africa.

Out on the highlands, the sky is mind-bogglingly enormous, and the air crisp and pure.  The dramatic mountain nation is making a reputation for itself as a fantastic adventure holiday destination.

The Kingdom of Lesotho was initialized in a pursuit of peace.

The Basotho nation is proud, laid-back, hospitable and friendly. The country is, refreshingly free of any fences. This is one fabulous indication of welcoming energy ready for you.

Gorgeous Mountain scenery engulfs Oxbow, a tiny village beyond the Moteng Pass.  It boasts Africas longest ski slope  (1.5 kilometres)

The distinct culture of proud  Lesotho nation is marked by their determination to remain independent from powerful and large neighbouring forces.

Shunted between the Boer and British for about 200 years, their self-ruling path was far smoother than South Africa

Lesotho  combines modernity in rapid development and ancient culture as well

Sotho-Tswana people originally inhabited the Free State.

 

 

They practised agriculture until they eventually were attacked by the Zulus and their land was encroached by the Voortrekkers. This is when there was an escape into the mountains of Lesotho

Basotholand became a British empire prorectorate in 1868. In 1910 Lesotho was not included in the union of South Africa leaving it free from apartheid. In 1966 it gained independence from the British empire.

There is no Big 5 in the reserves or parks of Lesotho but whether you are a pro at horse riding or not,  a pony trek is on the menu for experiencing Lesotho scenery along side people all over and sheep and cows that stroll about.

Some treks go through the “God help me” pass and as the name signals, this might be slightly more than anticipated!

A stopover overnight in a remote and rural side of Lesotho will get a slice of traditional Basotho lives in the mountainous foothills.

The flooded valleys of MafikaLisiu Pass go on for  45km. The  185m stunning dam wall is  Africa’s highest. A lake area is for water sports. Boats crisscross the dam and ferry villagers along.

The Maletsunyane Falls – higher than Niagara, plunges 200 meters into a swimming pool.  Scrambling down the gorge sides may not be easy but the sounds at the bottom are awe inspiring.

Because the sun does not shine below, there is snow in summer! In winter the water freezes, spraying the rocks with ice and forming a stunning ice cage over the pool. With no sunshine down there there is summer snow! In winter the freezing  sprays out ice  rocks and forms a pool

In winter the freeze sprays out ice rocks and forms a pool ice cage, stunning!

A pre historic adventure leads into a tiny town called Morija. Here there are dinosaur footprints of the Lesothosaurus that lie in the very same hills where they were discovered. Discover the amazing bush life and rock art.

The Sani Pass mountain road is a gateway to the Roof of Africa.Driving through rock formations, mountains and grassland need a 4 by 4 for sure!

At an altitude of 3000m above the sea level best to calm down in comfort at a log fire when reaching Africa’s highest pub

For local goods and crafts head to markets for traditional sticks, hats, rugs and curios.

On the 14 March for Moshoeshoe Day , celebrating the founding father a  procession begins in Maseru at the  Palace leading to the   Sotho Stadium.and it involves people dressed up in vibrant and colourful styles.

All dress up in colourful and vibrant celebrating style. The traditional dress of Lesotho js wrapped blanket and a stick and in the parade women carrying the bundles of sticks, and men will do traditional dancing, ride horses, or herd some bulls along!

Never underestimate the weather of Lesotho. All four seasons can be experienced in a single day. Be well prepared.

The high altitude and very thin air in the highlands can leave some altitude sickness. Drink plenty water and always keep covered up as summer gets hot! If the trip to Lesotho is in the winter bring a very warm coat!

Welcome to the kingdom in the sky. #ExploremotherlandAfrica

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

The Soul of Township Tours in South Africa

The Tales of South African Townships

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

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

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

Alex  –  “Township of Rhythm”

Alexandra Township -Gauteng

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Visit to  the iconic township of Soweto

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soweto Festival

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

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

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

 The  capturing visit to Katlehong

Katlehong

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

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

 

Welcome to motherland Africa! Welcome to South Africa!

 

 

 

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

Motherland Africa –  Zambia and Zimbabwe

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zambezi River

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

It takes you to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Zimbabwe Ruins- Unesco World Heritage site

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

Welcome to motherland Africa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanzania – The beginning of Creation!

Always a nudging urge to come to Tanzania?  Maybe it is an inner ‘calling’ to go back to your roots???

Located in the east of Africa, Tanzania is made of a flat plateau, rising from a coast belt at an average height of 1500m. The plateau is segmented by the twenty million-year-old Great Rift Valley.

The Great Rift from outer space resembles two parallel lines that run down Africa. It cuts a 2000m deep tough on the continent of Africa all the way from the Dead Sea to the land of Mozambique.

The main branch of the Rift Valley bisects Tanzania. The Western part of the Rift valley consists of the Tanzania Congo border. 

It initially formed about 20 million years ago when the crust of the earth crust weakened and tore apart. 

The jagged rift that was created stretched for many thousands of kilometres down East Africa.

 The plate of earth tearing caused earthquakes and eruptions with formations of volcanic mountains on all sides of the rift and the floor of the valet sank lower forming flat plains.
We have clear indications that Tanzania is rooted in the 'beginning of creation'

Tanzania was home to the ‘Great Apes’ .The settlements were unearthed by archaeologists. In Northern Tanzania, around ‘the cradle of mankind’, Olduvai Gorge, came the discovery of stone tools. Discovered by Louis Leakey after the rocks were taken to Germany from a 1913 expedition to Olduvai. The oldest form of human technology was discovered in Olduvai Gorge.

Discovered by Louis Leakey after the rocks were taken to Germany from a 1913 expedition to Olduvai. The oldest form of human technology was discovered in Olduvai Gorge.

Paranthropus Boise discovered in Tanzania is said to be over 1.8 million years old. Then there were fossils of Homo habilis fossils were subsequently made. Nearby Laetoli was where the oldest hominid footprints were discovered by Mary Leakey around 1978 was estimated to be 3.6 million years old. Tracking back to 10000 years, Tanzania was made of main hunter-gatherers, that are assumed to have been people who were

Tracking back to 10000 years, Tanzania was made of main hunter-gatherers, that are assumed to have been people who were Khoisan-speaking. About 3000 – 6000 year ago Cushitic-speaking coming from the north arrived who introduced basic agriculture techniques together with food production, and eventually cattle farming.

At about 2000 years, back Bantu-speaking people migrated from West Africa. At a later stage, Nilotic pastoralists immigrated until the 18th century. One of the most important archaeological sites in Tanzania is Engaruka located in Great Rift Valley with a cultivation and irrigation system.

Welcome home. Tour Africa, our motherland. Karibu!

Exploring Tanzania-The Heart Of Motherland Africa

Thank you for the priviledge of being an active contributor to ' exploring motherland Africa' . My mission is to share ventures in the heart of motherland Africa, Tanzania
Shabani Ibrahim Mpita

Welcome! ‘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’

Africa’s most scenic miracle? Most definitely. The best wildlife destination? Most certainly. Best on earth? Without a single doubt!

Tanzania is an unforgettable destination in the world unraveling the natural variety. Featuring the snow-capped Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on earth   spectacular forests on our shores along Lake Tanganyika, the least polluted, longest, and second-deepest freshwater base, Tanzania is u

"Bora maisha; mengine ni majaliwa 

(Life is the best gift: the rest is extra)

#ExploreMotherlandAfrica