Reach the dream to experience the motherland- Tanzania “The Heart of Africa”

 The Coastline of Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania.

An exquisite coastline promising an unforgettable venture into a myriad of experiences, from water sports, bonfire dining, supreme isolation or even full activity. Hotels and resorts spark of the final touches of an ideal beach getaway.
There are many activities one can assess, sunset cruises or island sail aways in a dhow. For those with a deep sea fishing penchant, there are sailfish, kingfish, rock cod, marlin, horse mackerel and many others. Get couchsurfing!
Those with a streak for more adventure can go snorkelling or scuba diving close to the marine reserves in rich coral gardens with diverse marine species and a chance to explore the world under seas.

 

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...
There is a convenient port to island destinations like Zanzibar. There are routes to  Pemba and Mafia islands. Dar-es-Salaam has beaches for all phase and stages, whether relaxing, dancing away or diving and snorkelling.

The relaxing beaches from Kigamboni to Ras Kutani and beyond with developed ferry assess for laid-back mingling.Further on are undiscovered and uncrowded beaches for solitary escapism.

Bookings on Airbnb 




Welcome to Tanzania.

Ready for a beach escapade? Get ready to #exploremotherlandafrica

Bookings on Airbnb 


Kunduchi, approximately 25-35 km north of the city centre is also a dance away, with developed resorts.The breathtaking beach getaway is great for weekend sunsets with an ambience of lively music and gathering.

To dive  Bongoyo and Mbudya offers ideal locations to snorkel or swim.The sand white beaches slip into an array of coral gardens rich in colour and fish species.

For more experienced divers the deeper reefs offer a worthwhile visit. Fernwood, the Fungu Yasin Reef seaward side and the Bog T reef popular for critter varieties. The temperature rarely reaches below 28 Degrees Celsius.

Dar-es-Salaam beach tourism is a growing trend. Beach lovers paradise of pure pampering of the mind, body and spirit. Sea breeze, beach escapades are ready at your call. #ExploreMotherlandAfrica
Bookings on Airbnb 

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...

 

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

 

The Taste of Zimbabwe

Smashing Food Flavours of Zimbabwe

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zimbabwe cuisine

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

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

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

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

 


 Zimbabwe Recipes




Mapopo candy (Papaya)

Pumpkin

1 Papaya

2 cups Sugar

Grated Lemon Peel

Fresh or dried mint

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

Remove from heat and shape into stick or ball shapes

Butternut Squash Roasted

Roasted Butternut

1 Butternut Squash

3 Tablespoons of butter

Cinnamon

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

Sadza

Sadza

 

4  cups of water

Two and a half cups of cornmeal

Method

 

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

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

Dovi Stew

Dovi Stew

2 onions, chopped finely

Two tablespoons of butter

Two crushed garlic cloves

1 teaspoon salt

Half teaspoon pepper

Half teaspoon cayenne pepper

2  chopped green peppers

Chicken pieces

4 tomatoes

Fresh spinach

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

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

Get ready for a taste of Africa #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

The Madagascar Fashion Style

Madagascar inhabitants are comprised of a combination of arrivals on the Island almost 2000 years ago. They came from regions from all parts of the world like Arabia, India and the African continent.

These early settlers became the pioneers of Madagascar culture and society created an amalgamation of religion, culture and tradition.


Modern Madagascar is a perfect blend of traditionalism and modernism.


 

Fashion in Madagascar

Malagasies take pride in style and appearance and fashion design is in a sense actually indigenous to the island of Madagascar.

Madagascar clothing is unique with spectacular designs and decorated with colourful and bright scenes of daily life.  The colours are created from natural dyes like roots, berries and bark. There is a proverb at the bottom of a “Lamba”

Lambas are made with yarn spun by hand from natural silk. The dyed yarn is hand woven and the silk used is indigenous to Madagascar.


 

 

Accessories and clothing are palettes for creativity. Every village and town in Madagascar have people sporting the most exquisite traditional garments along with some imported style.

 

 

Malagasy indigenous fashions are created from Raffia fabric and Lamba garment and raffia fabric and weave. Extraordinary and versatile made in various brilliant patterns and colours.

The Lamba can be a shirt, a wrap or trouser alternative, used as a baby sling or made into a dress in a moment, This garment is fundamental for women and men as well

The Lamba is traditional dress in Northern Madagascar, “Lamba means cloth but refers to matching fabrics around the waist and around shoulders. Is some sections the Lamba is usually worn by men as ceremonies like offerings and burials. Old men in rural areas on Madagascar plateau areas wear them more often. Unlike men, many women wear  Lamba at all occasions.

“Saradroa” hair style and Tafy lamba scarf

Traditional Lamba is used to brighten contemporary jackets and pants and as accessories to western style clothing.

A creative outer garment replaces sweaters or jackets and there is a wide variety to creates unique personal style. Malagasy decorative fashion has developed into the Kreole fashion scene. The Malagasy mix of creative indigenous fabrics blending in with accessories from neighbouring African countries and Eurasia.

The distinctive African flair in a Eurasian flavour. Malagasy designs are cutting edge fashion styles with a blending combination of Asian garments and European hairstyles.

Common in Villages: Hat ‘Satroka penjy” and Long shirt Malabary

 

Design and textile artists from Madagascar make a bold presence on the global fashion scene.

Madagascar design and textile artists shine out in the world of fashion making a bold trailblazing presence on global fashion and entertainment stage.

 

Welcome #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

 

Timeless Train Journeys In Africa

Travelling is not about the destination. It is about the journey.  There are much quicker ways to get from one point to the next, yet train travels at a slow pace phases out the daily life hustle and bustle rush hour chaotic streams.

It is the ideal escape getaway, savouring moments on the pathway reaching the desired destination.

Trains are a differing dimension, gradual travel embracing experience realms of the beyond.

Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam with Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail

The epic journey takes a full fourteen days. The pride of Africa trip passes through Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe before reaching Tanzania.

A chance to experience diamond towns, historic villages, game reserves as well as Victoria Falls.

The high point is Great Rift Valley where there are dramatic viaducts, switchbacks and tunnels. There is also a twenty-eight day Cape to Cairo journey every two years.

South Africa – Blue Train Journey

Blue Train-South Africa

The Blue train in South Africa is the most famous and has been dubbed as a  5-star hotel on wheels.

The meals, wine, accommodation with scenery along the 994-mile journey leaves from Pretoria taking off to the motherland of Cape Town takes about twenty-seven hours. This comes with stopovers.

There is also a trip from Pretoria to Durban at certain times during the year. This train journey with exclusive silk lines and bathroom gold fittings, cuisines by top chefs and nature scenes from the window is the ultimate experience in Africa

Namibia’s Desert Express

Desert Express

The Desert Express is a train for tourists between Windhoek and Swakopmund as well as Walvis Bay. There are excursions to the Etosha National Park. The elegant dining room is well equipped and conference facilities are on offer as well.The Desert Express in convenient modern and beats the desert heat.

Nairobi’s Jambo Kenya Deluxe

Jambo Kenya Deluxe

The Jambo Kenya Deluxe is a route between Nairobi and Mombasa. The overnight leisure trip from city to coast, savannah giraffes, zebras and ostriches are spotted while savouring gourmet cuisine and fine wines.  Comfortable sleeping berths epitomizes the deluxe of the journey

Tanzania to Zambia with TAZARA

TAZARA

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA):  Kilimanjaro and Mukuba express are passenger trains operating on TAZARA.  It runs for 1860km between Dar Es Salaam and Zambia
Running a few times each week, the journey takes approximately two days and nights. This is for intrepid travellers with little concern for luxury or punctuality. The spectacular scenery makes up for delays and service

 Tunisia’s ‘Lezade Rouge’

Lezarp Rouge

This antique  ‘Lezade Rouge’ tourist train,  runs daily into Atlas mountains foothills in the south of Tunisia.It passes through mining countries on the route from Metlaoui to Redeyef with periodic views. The journey is an hour long in each direction

South Africa’s Shosholoza Meyl

Shosholoza Meyl

An alternative for budget travellers Shosoloza offers intercity journeys between Johannesburg and each major city. The pleasant journey takes the exact same route as luxury trains and costs less than $100. The trains are not elegant but comfortable and save flight hassles between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Zimbabwe Rail

Zimbabwe rail

Travel overnight between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Rail features the classic 1950s-era British coaches with interiors of wooden panels. Elephants and baboons wander around in great sightings

 Mauritania’s Train du Desert

Mysterious Mauritiana unravels in a   2 story passenger carriage, Train du Desert. Guest spend time at excursion spots like  Chinguetti , the holy city the Azougui oasis, Ben Amira rock monolith.

Welcome #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

Top Ten Durban Delightful Delicacies -Hot in the Pot!

Durban, a stunning city on the coast is usually overshadowed by Cape Town and Johannesburg. It exudes a vibrancy of creative energy evident in its tantalizing food tastes.

South Africa is filled with mouthwatering flavours with its makeup of history and taste sensations. Malaysia, Europe and Dutch cultures that contribute to the ‘rainbow nation’ melting hot pots of curries, beans, the braai (barbecue) and street foods in Durban.

Chef Li

Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow is the innocent square of soft bread with the middle scooped out and filled with curry mixture with your choice of chicken, prawn, mutton or vegetarian.

Enough for lunch or a good heart snack, the quarter loaf is ideal and ranks high it on the ‘top foods in SA’  listings.

Sardines on Toast

Somewhere around May to July, the silvery sardines begin a migration to the north along the coast of Kwa Zulu Natal.

The arrival of this great shoal gets on a fishing frenzy and buffet feast for seals, sharks and seabirds too.

 

Fishermen sell shares at fish markets. And there you have it, the orders of sardines on toast with a topple of onions begin.

Shisa Nyama

Shisanyama is a Zulu term for barbecue, which means burn the meat. The name may not be as appealing but the taste is flavorful, hot and tender.

Local townships have a wide array of Shishanyama spots where there is a choice of steak, chops or boerewors or chicken to devour.

Bombay Crush

In Durban, a cool concoction of Peto –Bismal, the traditional falooda in South Asia.

A rose colour syrup mixed in milk with basil seeds and coupled with vanilla ice cream is a common traditional drink at Muslim feasts in Durban.

Local Brews

Local Zulu Beer

In South Africa, Western Cape is the country of wines, and in Kwa Zulu Natal, the beer takes the pedestal.

Craft breweries and some commercial are open for public tours.

Zulu Cuisine

 

Zulu cuisine has marvellous menus for travel taste buds. From comfort doses of phutu porridge isibhede and to the intoxicating utywala beer and fiery chakalaka relish perfection, Zulu dishes are culture infused and seasoned with fine flavours of history.

Cultural dishes include maize cobs, cooked maize, phutu  (crumbled maize porridge) eaten with curdled milk and hot with stew, cabbage, stew or sugar beans and madumbi a tuber that tastes like a potato sweet potato mix

Traditional treats include mogodu( tripe) with cooked maize (pap). Outside of the city, authentic taste is found in rural areas and the options range from crocodile steaks to walkie talkies,(boiled chicken legs)

Isibhede is fermented porridge that makes tongues tingle. Phutu is an unfermented crumbly porridge. Amahewu is grain beer that is not intoxicating while Útywala is a brew that is alcoholic.

 

Welcome : ExploreMotherlandAfrica

Afternoon Tea

Inherited from the colonial era, the British tradition of tea time is common  with tiny cakes and baked scones and finger sandwiches

In South Africa, tea time comes with a multi cultural twist with rooibos tea and local snacks

Samoosas

The appetizer of choice is samoosas. The triangular crispy pastry with a spicy filling of choice. It is a staple at most Durban restaurants

Welcome. ExploreMotherland Africa

Top 10 Tantalizing Food Bites in South Africa

 

One who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of the food with others. ~African Proverb

South Africa dishes have influences from all over. French, Dutch, Malay and more.  The cosmopolitan South Africa has a streaming tourist industry. There is loads to do and see from safaris to township tours. Indulge in tantalizing food and wine tours in Cape or visiting some Durban foodie heaven.

To get a taste of South African delights is always reachable as South African migrants are scattered worldwide. Nothing beats authentic travel tastes, but you may just be able to experience SA tastes right next door to your home!

 

  1. Chakalaka

Chakalaka

Chakalaka, a township delight sprouted out all over. The main ingredients are baked beans, carrots, peppers and spiced up with curry. Make your Chakalaka, try the recipe! There is no barbecue(braai) unaccompanied by Chakalaka.


  1. Potjiekos

A dish created from the necessity to cook while on the move in the outdoors. Set up in Afrikaaner tradition, it emerged in the great trek times. Potjiekos became part and parcel of the food culture in South Africa.


  1. Biltong

Biltong

A well-known favourite is Biltong. It started off in a crispy motion of preservation. Today it is a spicy snack revered and loved.


  1. Durban chicken curry

The popular Durban chicken curry is a quick and easy recipe and is perfect with sambal and basmati rice.


5. Milk Tart

Milk Tart

Known as  ‘Melktert’  is the milky way to a custard tart. Imported by Dutch, ‘Melktert’ is SA food and there is an official ‘Melktert’ day celebrated annually on 27 February.

Get ready for a taste of Africa as we bring you meals and deals to tantalize your taste buds leaving you hopping back to Africa in no time.

#ExploremotherlandAfrica

6. Malva pudding

Malva pudding

A dessert that originated in the Cape. Created by Dutch settlers and incorporates apricot jam. Comparable and decadent to toffee pudding, and far better too!


7. Pap

Stiff cornmeal is a famous all over the African continent. It is an essential at all barbeques and perfect for stews and sauces.


8. Apricot Blatjang

Apricot Blatjang is a famous chutney made with dried apricots.A perfect condiment with bobotie or cheese. It is a chutney like texture.


9. Bobotie

Bobotie is a South Africa dish is made with shredded or minced meat, spices and fruit. Topped with bay leaves and savoury custard and baked.


10.Boerewors

Boerewors is a sausage of high quality spiralled in a circle shape, made from beef, game or pork or game meat. It is a must have at all barbecues.

Welcome #ExploremotherlandAfrica!

 

 

 

 

Namibia City Life : Windhoek – ‘Air Basin Surrounded by Rolling Mountains’

Namibia is an ideal destination for adventure, but if you are not in the adventurous mode to experience it, a road network that is maintained will make the journey a pleasure!

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital city and lies in the heart of the central highlands in an airy basin surrounded by rolling mountains. It is the cleanest, most relaxed and safest capital cities in Southern Africa, the perfect place to round up or launch a Namibian holiday.

At the arrival in the cosy capital of Windhoek, there is an impressive combination of innovative modern constructions and old German colonial buildings. Many shops have German owners and you meet German speaking Namibians everywhere.

It’s a bustling, cosmopolitan city with good hotels, sophisticated shops and great bistros. There is a  harmonious blend of  European and African cultures and overall friendliness.

State buildings range from the Parliament of Namibia to the newly founded Hero’s Acre on the road to Rehoboth. The Heroes’ Acre is a modern, state of the art national symbol that was inaugurated by His Excellency, Dr Sam Nujoma, on 26 August 2002.

It was built to foster the spirit of patriotism and nationalism and to pass on this legacy to the future generation of Namibia. The Heroes’ Acre took 13 months to construct covering 732.9212 hectares. It houses 174 graves.

Day tours are available to Katutura, the Windhoek museums, the National Library,  National Art Gallery, National Archives, National Art Gallery and the Botanical Gardens.

Or you can admire the German colonial architecture of the Alte Feste, (1892) In Robert Mugabe Avenue.this is one of the oldest buildings in Windhoek, with its cornerstone laid in 1890. It served as a military headquarters in 1915 and then as a hostel for the Windhoek High School in 1935. In 1957 it was declared a national monument.

It now houses state museum, where the historic independence collection, reflecting events leading up to the independence of Namibia can be seen.  You can also see the Tintenpalast parliament building and the Christuskirche, the city’s landmark church.

 

Shop for African crafts and curios and splurge on local game such as springbok or kudu at the city’s fine restaurants. The bi-monthly Windhoek Street Market has local crafts every second Saturday.

An opportunity to buy diamonds and other semi-precious stones or Herero dolls. There is also a range of wooden hand-carvings, karosse rugs, jewellery and liqueur chocolates manufactured in Windhoek as well as Swakara garments.

A little seaside resort of Swakopmund is ideal. There is a strong Germanic flavour to its boarding houses and bars, and it is surrounded by a desert that is great for quad-biking, dune buggy racing and sand-boarding.

It was the German merchant and adventurer Adolf Luederitz from Bremen, who bought the bay of Angra Pequeña from Nama Chief Joseph Fredericks in 1883 for 10 000 Reichsmark and 260 guns. The bay is today known as Luederitz Bay. Later when diamonds were discovered – German authorities branded the area between Lüderitz and the Orange River a ‘forbidden area’.

The diversity of Namibia is a rich blend of traditions and cultures. The population is composed of several different ethnic groups, including the San, the Khoi-Khoi, the Herero, and the Ovambo as well as the small European population, largely Germans and Afrikaners.

Visit the kraal, or homestead, of indigenous semi-nomadic pastoralists, the Himba, in the Kaokoland region of northern Namibia, to learn about tribal customs and desert survival techniques.

Namibia is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa and the world’s fifth largest producer of uranium and is set to become the largest exporter of uranium by 2015.

Currency: Namibian dollar N

Electrical Plugs: 50Hz

Languages: English is the sole official language of Namibia. German, Afrikaans and Oshiwambo became recognised regional languages.

You need a passport and a visa
The luxury Desert Express runs between Swakopmund and Windhoek, a 19-hour 30-minute journey which includes several stops which give travellers the opportunity to watch lions feeding, see the Namib Desert,stroll in the sand dunes admiring the stars! ExploreMotherlandAfrica#

Tropical Paradise – Mauritius (Le République de Maurice)

 

Le République de Maurice, known as Mauritius is accessible tropical paradise Indian Ocean island and is budget friendly for travelers too. Sheltered by  coral reef barriers that form  safe lagoons that are crystal clear, Mauritius stays on top of the list of dream destinations.

The island of Mauritius is eleven times larger than Washington, DC. It was a volcano originally and stands on what was initially a land bridge between Africa and Asia, the Mascarene Archipelago.

This archipelago formed by undersea volcanic eruptions about ten million years ago and the African plate drifted over Réunion.

Mauritius became known to Malay and  Arab and Malay sailors in the 10th century and was explored for the very first time in 1505 by the Portuguese.

In 1598, the  Dutch fleet of three ships was on route to the Spice Islands and got blown off by a cyclone landing on the island. It was named to honour Prince Maurice of Nassau.  In 1715, France seized Mauritius. Along came the French, sugar cane and captured African slaves to work on sugar plantations.

The French harboured the outlawed “Corsairs” (pirates) who hijacked the British vessels when sailing between Britain and Britain and were laden with valuable goods for trade. The British then captured Mauritius in the year 1810.  In 1968 Mauritius gained independence.

Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions. The population consists of Africans, Indians, British, Creole, Madagascar natives, Chinese, Europeans and Muslims . Descendants of the Indian labourers were brought in after slavery was abolished in 1835. The Muslim and Chinese added to the touch of a Creole and  French cultural legacy.

The Beach of a life

Life’s a beach – and then you die!  The signature of sunny days, and the turquoise lagoon surrounded by the3rd largest coral reef springs out a  typical tropical sweet air with endless beaches.  Mauritius is a true paradise for sea and sun lovers.

Or head to Grand Baie, for parasailing, submarine and semi-submersible scooters, Forget about walking on water, try walking under it!

Mauritius has an abundance of sea treasures like moray eels,  magnificent coral beds with multi coloured fish.  You get to see them scuba diving at the Trou aux Biches guided by the Mauritius Scuba Diving Association (MSDA).

One of the most spectacular ways to explore the ocean beds is to go on board a submarine. Encounter invigorating marine life stepping back into 17th century where various wrecks  can be viewed

Blue Bay beach is the only marine park in Mauritius and one of the most popular bathing spots.  This is perfect for sailing or windsurfing.  Either get into a  glass bottom boat expedition or snorkel to see coral and fish.

Quieter days in the Northern Islands – Gabriel Island,

Check out the rarest stamps at  Blue Penny Museum. In 1847, Mauritius was the fifth country in the world to issue postage stamps.

Mauritius the issued Blue Two Pence and Red Penny stamp. , the 5th country in the world to issue postage stamps. These became the most valuable and famous and valuable rare stamps.

Or go gawk at dodo skeletons in the Natural History Museum.  Mauritius on discovery, was home to an unknown bird species, that the Portuguese named called dodo (simpleton). By the year 1681, all of the dodos were killed by the settlers or domesticated animals. The dodo prominently features as a national coat-of-arms supporter.

Whats for shopping and dinner in Mauritius?

The Mauritius cuisine blends, Creole, Indian, Chinese and European.This friendly cultural co-existence of cultures lives in a blend croissants and curry menus.

 

Roof around for souvenirs and T-shirts upstairs in the bustling of the Central Market, locals bargain over tea and essentials in the midst of catching up on latest gossip trends.

The market was Built in the year 1844. It is the meeting point Mauritians on a search of a “dithe” (tea) or “cari” (curry) .

The market is for getting some local crafts, vegetables as well as “dholl purris”  or herbal tea blends.  Mauritius is popular for duty-free shopping and saving on the cost of textiles.

Mauritius in Tune with Nature

The Rivière Noire is a district of  Creole fishermen’s  where there is  Sega dancing and lively on Saturday nights.

The African roots of Sega, and ”ravane”  traditional percussion instruments as well as metallic triangle metallic clicks. The song compositions describe slavery miseries voice out social satires of inequalities encountered by Creoles.

Mauritius was uninhabited until the 16th century and became a biodiversity hotspot, known for natural beauty.

Invigorate yourself. Go mountain climbing or explore nature through forests, plants or endemic flowers. Enjoy spectacular eco-tourism beauty of playgrounds.

The South-Eastern end is  900 hectares covered in tropical forests  where boars, stag and does  boars roam  around  freely

Mauritius has a total of  700 indigenous plant species. Many plants are threatened with possible extinction because as their natural habitat has been diminished.

Exploring the botanical gardens of  Pamplemousses Gardens, an  18th century and the third oldest in the whole world. It has an international plant collection and includes a spice garden and talipot palm that flowers every  60 years, then dies.  Worldwide naturalists are aware of the exotic and indigenous plants present like the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and various palm trees species.  The garden boasts five hundred plant species.

Worldwide naturalists are aware of the exotic and indigenous plants present like the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and various palm trees species.  The garden boasts five hundred plant species. Protection of endangered species and natural resources in place with Ile aux Aigrettes, the Mauritius Wildlife fund.

The rarest birds in the world like the pink pigeon and Kestrel can be found here. Families should head to Casela Bird Park Situated in the Rivière Noire district, the bird park stretches over 25 hectares and contains more than 90 aviaries 140 bird species from all five continents.

Hiking in the 6,794-hectare Black River Gorges National Park through the forest and see wildlife, birds and indigenous plants. The Black River Peak trail leads to the highest mountain in Mauritius.

But Mauritius isn’t just nature.  There’s a lot of history going down as well. The Vieux Grand Port is the oldest  Mauritius settlements  where  ruins of  Dutch fortifications can be seen

Pailles Valley, Domaine trends as a harmonious combination of culture, history and nature inflames imagination.  There are journeys to the sugar mill as well as the rum distillery by  a horse- carriage or train

Get ready to #ExploremotherlandAfrica

Fast Facts. 
Currency Mauritius Rupee. 
Symbol: Rs

Electrical Plugs:
12 50Hz                         

Language: 
Most inhabitants are equally fluent in both French and English.                                                  
A visitor must be in possession of a valid passport and a return or onward ticket.                                  
Time Zones:  GMT/UTC+4                               
Country Dialing Code +230                                 
The  Mauritius cyclone season:
November-May.

In Memory of W G Robertson. Thanks to the 'Freeway tours team Julie Hall and Thandi Brewer

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

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Motherland Africa – A Whirlwind Walk in the Wild of Natural Paradise in Botswana

Botswana, the land of extremes, a dry desert in the Kalagadi region and then there the most famous wetlands in the world, the Okavango Delta.

Discover Makorosi!   The traditional canoes that are used in the delta for a takeoff into lush greenery and a wealth of wildlife.

It is a  dugout canoe that is ideal for mastering shallow waterways expertly steered ahead.


The Okavango Delta offers the enchantment of luxury, privacy, and connecting to nature. The lagoons are impressive with hovering birdlife, crocodiles, hippos and elephants, while zebras, giraffes and beautiful buck wander through the grass flats.

Predators are in the range like the hyenas and big cats. Then there is the endangered, rare wild dog. This largest inland delta in the entire world explains the wealth of excessive wildlife that makes one forget that Botswana is mainly desert.

The natural paradise wonder of Botswana is because the human population is tiny compared to the massive size. There are approximately only 1.8 million people in the entire landscape of Botswana.

Undoubtedly the animals do score but so do the people. Tourism is a huge business. Many flock from everywhere in the world to explore the wildlife in Botswana.

A large GDP percentage is from diamond mining. After diamonds were discovered, Botswana rose from an economic wasteland to be within the ranks of the highest growth rates in the world of economics.

The good leadership makes it a stable country that stayed that way, even in the colonial times. During the 19th century, when hostilities broke out between the Ndebele  (who were migrating from the Kalahari Desert) into the territory and the Tswana.

The leader Bathoen and Khama III and Sebele requested protection from the British Government. The northern territory continued as Bechuanaland Protectorate and the southern territory was integrated into the Cape Colony. It is in the north-west province of South Africa.

Botswana has two official languages, Setswana and English. Setswana is common to Sesotho. There is a good literature platform in Botswana. Bessie head, a well-known writer lived in Botswana in exile from the South African system and set many of her books there.

Other writers, Unity Dow as well as Norman Rush explored Botswana society and culture. Alexander McCall Smith featured  Gabarone with his First Ladies Detective Agency series of books.

Divine Botswana Munch Aways

Food specialities include the underground tuber Morama, similar to sweet potato, beans like ditloo,lethlodi( dried bean leaves, cow peas, the Kalahari Truffle,  ground nuts and peanuts as well as Morogo, a wild tasty spinach, it. Traditional homemade ginger beer is delicious.

A Walk into the Wild Botswana

The magnificent Kalahari is a desert that takes up seventy percent of Botswana.

The central Kalahari Game reserve and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park offers great experiences in a wildlife venture.

 

A game walk is exhilarating. It gets you up,close and gives you a direct connection to the world of wildlife celebrities,leaving you snapping away to capture the memories.
If you are not up for the wild walk, mountain bike your way up the Tuli block or otherwise safari on horseback. Another way is a view from above from a helicopter.Or even venture into a hot air balloon and experience a thrilling open floodplain landing.
Sport fishing trends in Chobe, the Okavango, as well as major dams around  Bokaa, Shashe and Gaborone. There are thousands of flamingoes awesomely flowing over the Makgadigadi plans.
Explore villages and towns to experience true culture in Botswana.

Botswana currency is Pula. Pula is also a motto of the country - it means rain.

Everyone should see beautiful Botswana at least once in their lives.

Join a lifetime venture. ExploreMotherlandAfrica#

A special thank you to the Freeway Tours team Julie Hall and Thandi Brewer.
In memory of W.G Robertson

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

 

 

Mystical Wonders of Tanzania : Leaping red monkeys, Crawling Coconut Crabs, Traces of First Human Life on Earth

Delve into the mystic wonders of Tanzania with leaping red monkeys,crawling coconut crab, and traces of first human life on earth.

Human life started in Africa-Tanzania. Evidence exists of the very human ancestors on earth in Tanzania, Olduvai on a site called Olduvai Gorge. Stone tools and fossil bones that date back millions of years ago were discovered and this led to the conclusion that the first human beings originated in Africa.

  1. The earliest human skull in the world was discovered in Olduvai Gorge in Olduvai a misspelt Maasai word Oldupai that defines a plant called wild sisal growing in that area. It is located between Ngorongoro and the Serengeti National Park.

  2. Thirty percent of Tanzania consists of National Parks, with twelve parks, thirteen nature reserves and thirty-eight protected areas and many endemic or endangered species including twelve vertebrate species that were discovered in recent years.
Three notable Tanzania species the red Colobus monkey of Zanzibar, flying fox in Oembe and Ader Duike, Africa’s rare forest antelope.
  • The Tarangire national park has the highest density of large ungulates in the East of Africa as well as kudu, oryx and the highest elephant population.
  • Wildlife migration is seasonal and they disperse to neighbouring lands belonging to Massai communities and coexist with the herds.
  • The Kirundi was discovered in the year 2003 and is the first new discovery of monkey genus in over eighty years and is rare with the last population count not exceeding 1,117.
  • The Ruaha River is Tanzania’s key waterway for fishery and provision of seventy percent of the country’s electricity.
  • The largest population of the wild elephant is in Tanzania’s Ruaha National park.
  1. Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. Kilimanjaro represents East Africa’s compelling beauty. Rising in a breathtaking isolation from the coastal scrubland that surrounds it to an elevation of 900m to 5895 m.It is the most accessible high summit in the world.
  2. The coconut crab is the largest crab in the world is found in Tanzania on Zanzibar Island.The BirgesLatro, coconut crab is a hermit crab that is terrestrial. Other popular names for them are ‘robber crabs’ and ‘palm thief’s’.
They are the largest anthropoids living on land in the world. They can grow as large as one meter. They eat coconuts by ripping the husk strips with pincers hitting repeatedly until the coconut cracks open. They are land based and only lay eggs in the sea. They do not have the ability to swim and can drown if they are immersed in water for a long period.Their lifespan can extend over sixty years

6 .Ngorongoro, the world’s largest volcanic crater is nineteen kilometres with a depth of six hundred meters.The crater formed after a volcano exploded and collapsed about three million years ago. It is declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

7.Freddie Mercury, the popular lead vocalist of the well-known band “Queen” was born in Zanzibar archipelago. Tanzania. Originally his name was Farrok Bulsara.

8.Lions climb trees in Lake Manyara National park, the only lions that climb trees freely in the world

9. Tanzania has over four million wild animals consisting of four hundred and thirty species as well as subspecies. The concentration of animals for every square meter is the largest in the world.

10. The Mpingo trees also known as the African Blackwood tree is the source for one of the most expensive timbers that exist in the world grows in Tanzania. The fine texture, high density and durability make it a preferred type of wood for musical instruments.

 

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.

 

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 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!

 

 

 

Only in Tanzania : All About the Ethnic Tribes of Tanzania

Tanzania on the tip of cultural tourism

When people talk about the continent of Africa, you will always hear about vast scenic landscapes, safari game drives, and the wildlife.

Undoubtedly, these are synonymous with the continent of Africa. But there is much more….. another slice of life filled with rich cultures,  enlightenment, and traditions that span over many years.

All about the people of Tanzania

Tanzania is rich in cultural diversity. There are approximately 120 Tanzanian ethnic groups. Then there are immigrants from the rest of the world as well.

The native tribes are predominantly of Bantu origin and represent 95% of the inhabitants in Tanzania.

Then there are Nilotic speakers and hunter-gatherer descendants.  Europeans, Asians, and Arabs consist of below 1 %. Each ethnic group has a unique language, culture, and social structure.

The largest of the ethnic groups are the Sukuma. They represent approximately 13% of the Tanzania population. The other groups each represent less than 5 %. Ethnicity reflects geographic areas.

Tanzania has never had inter- ethnic conflicts in contrast to other parts of Africa. The main reason could be that Tanzania has many groups of which none predominates. Ethnic identities have weakened over decades,

Two of the largest ethnic groups are culturally and linguistically related.  These are the Sukuma and Nyamwezi in the western part of Tanzania.

Sukuma

Largest ethnic group in Tanzania.The Sukuma are the people of the ‘North'. They are in the northwestern part of Tanzania concentrated on the Lake Victoria southern shores. The Sukuma language has Niger-Congo roots
Sukuma

“The wind does not break a tree that bends” – Sukuma proverb 

Nyamwezi

The Nyamwezi are the second largest ethnic group in Tanzania.They are an ethnic group that migrated from Central Africa.Their ancestral homeland is in the Tabora Region, Shinyanga Region, Singida Region and the Katavi Region. Nyamwezi is Swahili in origin translating into "people of the moon" and also means"people of the west". 


 
Chagga
From the southern Mount Kilimanjaro slopes in the north east of Tanzania, the Chagga are the third largest of ethnic groups in Tanzania. They believe in integrating hardships as building blocks off success  and speak three dialects
chagga

Chagga Proverb
Swahili: Usipopata taabu hujawa mtu.
English :Suffering is prior to attaining success or perfection.

Hadzabe tribe

The Hadzabe tribe lives remotely in caves apart from other people around Lake Eyasi. 
Hadzabe's, also called  'Hadza’s' are Africa hunter-gatherers. The Hadza wanderers  do not keep livestock or even grow food. They wander in groups. Each day starts with bows and arrows ,hunting and foraging fruits and veggies.
Hadzabe
Iraqw tribe

The Iraqw, of cushitic origin are located in the Mbulu highlands. They are withdrawn group that grows their own food and tend cattle.They avoid selling animals or crops unless it is crucial.
Haya 
Located in the Kagera,Tanzania.The Haya language is a Bantu language dialect. Originally known to be skilled metal workers. The modern age of Haya people are cultivators.Traditionally the Haya lived in dwelling in a shape of a beehive without any walls but thatched from the roof to the ground.
  1. Mtowa Mbu are from the  Lake Manyara, a diverse Arusha tribe in the entrance to the Manyara national park. Visitors get to see local produce from palm oil, baskets, papyrus mats and banana beers . 
    Visiting the Wakurya Boma from in the west of Serengeti brings an experience of the traditional Wakurya lifestyles and food with traditional dancing and even possible traditional healer visits.
  2. Maasai                                                                  A Nilotic ethnic group that is native to Kenya and Tanzania. They are mainly herders. The  Maasai culture has remained unaltered involving a rich oral songs and literature .
  3. Masaai
    The Digo                                                                A Muslim tribe living in the north of Tanzania and east of Kenya,they are concentrated on the Northern Tanzania coastal strip on  Pangani River fertile plains  between the Indian Icean and Usambara Mountains. Fishing, farming and trading are main income sources.The Digo are talented in song storytelling and song rituals  .

 

Other Tanzanian Tribes-

Makonde, Kwaya, Gweno, Hehe, Ha, Ikoma, Mande, Akiek, Kamba, Alagwa, Gorowa, Balouch, Bembe, Kisi, Kutu, Kwavi, Luo, Luguru, Bende, Magoa,  Dhaiso, Zaramo, Yao, Zulu, Zinza, Zyoba Ware, Timbuka, Wanda Zigula, Swahili, Tutsi Twa, Vinza Nyaturu, Nindi Ngoni, Kerewe, Ndonde,Kimbu and many more.


Karibu ! Welcome to Tanzania…..

 

Getting Around Tanzania – Distances

310 Km – Distance from Mikumi to Dar es Salaam

750 Km – Distance from Ruaha to Dar es Salaam

216 Km – Distance from Dar es Salaam to Selous Game Reserve

840 Km – Distance from Dar es Salaam to Ngorongoro Crater

 

500 Km – Distance from Dar es Salaam to Manyara

SAFARI – Manyara National PARK, SERENGETI, Ngorongoro Crater, SAADANI National Park

 

Join us for the ultimate experience in Tanzania. Journey on an expedition of a lifetime! We start off in  Manyara National park, wander through the infamous Serengeti, pass through Ngorongoro Crater and Saadani National Park where 'bush meets the beach' easing into island relaxation in Zanzibar

The Itinerary


 Day 1

We take off from Dar es Salaam in early morning hours and get breakfast as we head towards the northern highlands of Tanzania to the charming town called Arusha, where we spend the night and get ready to launch into a Safari experience of a lifetime.

Day 2

Manyara National Park

A drive from Arusha to Manyara National park will take approximately two hours. A fascinating unique feature is that in  Lake Manyara National park has a rare feature of lions that climb trees freely.

Lake Manyara is a soft introduction to the Safari journey ahead with scenic beauty, game views, flamingos baboons elephants, a breathtaking lake that takes up most of the park, leaving a land strip of game concentration.

Day 3-4

Starting with a game drive through Ngorongoro, we reach the National Park that is world renowned, Serengeti. The wildebeest migration fame, open plains, an exceptional full game drive Serengeti National Park- Oldest game reserve in Tanzania.

 

Day 5

We take off to Ngorongoro Crater for a full game day

Day 6 and 7

We head off to Saadani National Park that is created in the historic triangle of Bagamoyo, Zanzibar, and Pangani. The Tanzania Wildlife sanctuary bordering the sea with a combination of marine flora in a fascinating setting, there are thirty species of mammals and numerous birds and reptiles in a preserved ecosystem including the Wami River, Mkwaja ranch, and Zaraninge forest?

Day 8

Boat Safari in Saadani Rive Wami for two hours, we finally head off back to Dar es Salaam, and take to ferry to Zanzibar

Drive back to Dar es Salaam and spend the night
Day 9-12

Ferry to Zanzibar. In Zanzibar get barefoot on  sands of the sea or lay back under the sun , dive  .dhow trdive.Go snorkeling or kayaking . This is relaxing breakaway on Zanzibar beaches after a magnificent escapade of a Safari in the motherland of  Tanzania.

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