Tourism: Latest News
Marinda Louw-Coetzee, 7:00 am
As I sat down for breakfast under a thorn tree at the Hlane Royal National Park, two waitresses swayed in my direction, singing. They were serving plates of bacon, eggs, sausages and baked beans. “Jesus, touch me,” Millicent sang as she served me. Swazis love their baked beans and gospel music, but there are other reasons to visit this tiny country, squeezed between South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Mozambique. Whether you like baked beans or not, Swaziland will blow you away.
Derek Dias, 3:47 pm
The Arabic word Sahel means shore or coast, and everyone knows coastlines recede. The name likens this band of scrub land stretching across Africa to a coastline separating the Sahara from the rest of the continent. The Sahara is encroaching on the Sahel, eating away at it mile by mile. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, the Sahel passes through more than a dozen countries. Seldom visited, it acts as a barrier between arid North Africa and the moister sub-Sahara. It’s home to plants and animals that exist nowhere else.
Dana Sanchez, 2:35 pm
The 26-acre Atlantis Resorts in Hawaii will be similar to the over-the-top Atlantis The Palm Dubai, which has a water park, aquarium, dolphin encounter and more than 20 restaurants. South African-born hotel magnate Sol Kerzner developed some of the country’s top hotel brands and helped put South African tourism on the map. Kerzner sold his stake in Kerzner International to a Dubai firm in 2014 but the company still bears his name. Other owners include investment banker Goldman Sachs and the L.A. investment firm Colony Capital.
Dana Sanchez, 7:00 am
You can spend two days hiking to the top of Karthala Volcano in the center of Grand Comore Island. The largest active volcano in the world, it stands 7,746 feet above the Indian Ocean. But be careful–it erupts every 11 years on average, and did so at least 20 times in 20th century. The volcano is home to the giant heath Erica comorensis and four bird species found only on its slopes: Humblot’s flycatcher, Comoro white-eye, Comoro drongo and Karthala scops owl.
Dana Sanchez, 7:00 am
Take a dip in Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls. When the river flows low, you can sit on the Zambian side just a few feet from the edge of the world’s largest waterfall. A rock barrier emerges, usually from September to December, and visitors can lounge in a rock pool. Carefully. A few people have slipped over the barrier and plunged down the cascading falls to the bottom. It takes a rocky walk and swim in the Zambezi to reach the pool. Fearless ones leap into the pool and get pushed to the edge by the force of the river. The rock lip brings them to a halt. There are guides in attendance to make sure you don’t go over the edge.
Di Brown, 10:49 am
My muscles strain, my legs quiver, and in spite of the cold I am sweating. With extra effort I stand up triumphantly. Finally, my wetsuit is on. I learned to surf at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. I have good balance and I love the ocean. How could I fail? The first wave tips me off the board. The second sends me flying. By the tenth wave I have progressed to the bent knee. After two hours, I stand up shakily for 10 seconds. Sand and waves are a natural exfoliator. It’s a better workout than the gym and you get an added bonus of a full body facial from nature. You also get to watch the serious surfers in JBay.
Dana Sanchez, 10:53 am
They made headlines around the world when peaceful protests against government land use changes turned violent. Now Oromo voices are being heard thanks to an entity more often associated with tourism than governance — UNESCO. The traditional Oromo governance system, Gada, has been inscribed on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Gada could be a basis for modern democracy, researchers say. Gada has some features that differ from western democracies. One is the distribution of power. Another is a testing period for elected leaders.
Derek Dias, 7:00 am
One of the smallest African countries, Rwanda has a dark past. Genocide 22 years ago claimed the lives of nearly 1 million people. Foreign aid, strong leadership and a national resolve for unity and progress helped transform Rwanda into one of the most forward-looking countries in Africa. It is clean, safe and increasingly modern. President Paul Kagame’s vision is for the country to qualify for middle-income status by 2020. See for yourself. Check out these 15 photos and start dreaming about how you’ll make it to Rwanda.
Colin Kilkelly, 7:00 am
Merzouga, a bustling desert town, is the jumping-off point for journeys into the desert. You’ll need a 4×4 and a local driver. You can feel the sand, soft as talcum powder, sucking the vehicle down as you cross the wadi. The locals are friendly. They’ll invite you for tea in exchange for cigarettes. Nomads have been living here for millennia, but the rhythm of life is the same as it ever was. To be a nomad is the pinnacle of Arabian nobility. The Prophet himself was a nomad. In ancient times, it took camel trains two months to get from Merzouga to Timbuktu. Now the same journey takes two days in a 4×4.
Linda Markovina, 7:00 am
In the Ugandan dialect of Lukiga, “bwindi” means “dark place.” A “dark place” could not be more apt to describe Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as you veer off the well-trodden path and into the jungle. With an untrained eye, you’ll probably only spot a gorilla when it’s close enough to feel its breath. Gorillas and humans are on each other’s doorsteps. The challenge? Finding ways for humans to meet their basic needs without competing with gorillas for limited resources. In Uganda, gorilla tourism contributes more than half of total tourism revenue. There are about 700 highland gorillas left in the world. About half live in Bwindi.
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