Tag Archives: AFKTravel
AFKTravel: Latest News
Becca Blond, 8:05 am
The true history of glamping is up for grabs. In the early 1900s, wealthy American and European travelers demanded luxuries while on safari in Africa. They wanted wild outdoors adventures, but their canvas safari tents usually included beds and a chef to prepare meals. When did this movement become glamping? According to Google Trends, the keyword first started being searched on Google in early 2007. With apologies to the buzzword-averse, here are some tried-and-true travel buzzwords — and some new ones — that apply to travel in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Namibia is one of youngest countries in the world, gaining independence in 1990. Its capital is the place to experience its modern culture and energy. Begin at the Post Street Mall, Windhoek’s main shopping district. There you’ll find a sculpture made from 33 meteorites that dumped 21 tons of mostly ferrous iron rocks some 600 million years ago. The Nama people discovered the meteorites and turned the fragments into weapons and tools. Today, pieces are incorporated in local jewelry designs.
Julia Austin, 8:02 am
You can explore miles of sandbars and stunning coral reefs on the postage-stamp-size Medjumbe Island in Mozambique’s Quirimbas archipelago. There is one resort on the island, Anantara Medjumbe, and it has just 12 rooms. It’s a two-minute walk from the island’s private airstrip, which is how you get there — a 45-minute flight from Pemba Airport. The island is 0.62 miles long. Medjumbe Lighthouse was built in the 1930s, worked for three months, then broke down. It has been there ever since and still doesn’t work.
Frank Mutulu, 8:01 am
Bullfighting in Kakamega County, Kenya, isn’t like bullfighting in Spain. Instead of matadors fighting bulls, bulls fight each other. Before the fight, the bulls are fed busaa – a local homemade beer – believed to make them feistier. Chanting traditional war songs and poking the air with twigs, the audience watches as a choice bull from one village locks horns with one from another. Despite opposition by animal rights activists, visitors are curious to witness local customs, and there’s growing interest to make bullfighting a tourist attraction here.
Joe Kennedy, 8:01 am
Jews who hail from Tunisia travel each year to the island of Djerba in the south to celebrate the holiday of Lag B’Omer, for a 2nd-century rabbi who revealed secrets of kabbalah. The historic home of an ancient Jewish community, Djerba is considered a bastion of religious tolerance in the Middle East. The El Ghriba Festival showcases this. Djerba is one of the only places in the world where Jews can travel from around the world to meet in an Arab country.
Joe Kennedy, 8:01 am
The hydraulic features of the White Nile are the stuff of legend. The river is huge, flowing 1,000-to-1,600 cubic meters per second. All that water, spilling from the inland sea of Lake Victoria, is warm but refreshing enough to provide relief from the Africa-hot air. Packs of bright-eyed children approach kayakers with the phrase, “jambo mzungu,” which means “hello white person.” The water slides over bedrock shelves, recoiling into waves and holes on a scale better suited for giants. The Nile Special wave is arguably the world’s best big-water surf spot — just one of dozens of play features here.
Jeanette Wall, 1:01 am
Sugar the way nature intended! Grown throughout West Africa, sugarcane is sold as a snack by local farmers in markets or along the side of the road. You can also have the stalks ground to provide a very sweet, natural drink. The idea is to trim back the thick skin with a penknife (or rip it off with your teeth) and then chew the inside, sucking the juice. You’ll be tempted by the tantalizing aromas of sizzling hot palm oil and barbecued meat. A trip to West Africa would not be complete without tasting the local street foods.
Karen Elowitt, 1:01 am
Africa’s vast landscapes beckon, but sometimes the roads themselves are the attraction. Angola’s Serra da Leba Pass is a favorite with cyclists. The most challenging part of the 6,053-foot climb is a one-mile section with 7 hairpin turns — one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world. Located 20 miles west of the city of Lubango on the road to Namibe, the road crosses three different climate zones. There’s little room for error on this road, which offers not much guard-rail protection and has been the site of many fatalities. You might want to give it a miss on a windy day.
Becca Blond, 8:01 am
Until I saw a lemur in the wild, I wasn’t sure what the fuss was about. They look cute in photos, but surely I’d be more excited to see a leopard or a cheetah than spend a day tromping through the bush looking for a small, cat-meets-monkey-type creature. Then I saw my first ring-tailed lemur. Its liquid eyes stared directly into mine before it flipped its tail and bounced away. I was hooked. Lemurs are addictive. Once you see one, you become obsessed with seeing more. Since there are 50 varieties, you can spend an entire trip rambling around the countryside trying to Instagram them all. After all, you’re in Madagascar, and safaris here often mean trekking.
Dana Sanchez, 3:39 pm
Tourists seeking an animal encounter can dive with Cape fur seals throughout the year at South Africa’s Plettenberg Bay. There’s a boat excursion to a marine protected area near Robberg Nature Reserve where visitors can jump into the water and swim with the seals — often babies, and often playful. Before you go though, definitely read the reviews at TripAdvisor. Here’s what one recent visitor said after going on this excursion: “You get super close to the seals. Sometimes when you hold still, they even gently touch you with their nose.” Not all the reviews are glowing.
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