Tourism: Latest News
Staff, 7:00 am
Ghana’s basic food flavors include ginger, chilli pepper, garlic, palm oil and dried fish, so you’ll rarely find a bland meal, whether in a Ghanaian restaurant or private home. Often you’ll be offered red-red, a delicious bean stew served with plantain. You may get groundnut soup, or kelewele, a sinful street-food snack. Try everything. You may encounter criticism of Ghanaian food. When you push its detractors for their opinions of specific dishes, there’s always a telltale moment: “Oh, that one? I love that. That’s the exception.”
Becca Blond, 2:06 pm
I was traveling around the world when I visited a Maasai Mara village. I had a digital video camera and shot up close as a young man wearing a lions mane described the lion hunt. When he finished he asked what else was on the tape. I pressed rewind and before I knew it villagers crowded around, watching my adventures in Asia and Europe come to life on a tiny screen. When we were leaving, he handed me a wrapped plastic bag. “It’s a gift,” he said. “Because we so enjoyed your visit.” He told me not to open it until we’d driven off.
Dana Sanchez, 9:27 pm
The Botswana government has tightened travel regulations with a new requirement for certified copies of unabridged birth certificates for all minors under the age of 18 traveling through its ports of entry. The goal is to manage the movement of children across the country’s borders to tackle human trafficking. “Botswana, like other countries is affected by this problem,”the government said in a statement.
Julia Austin, 7:10 am
An official Burning Man regional event, the huge Afrika Burn happens in the Karoo. It’s all about radical self expression. You’ll see outlandish costumes, massive man-made monuments, artwork, body paint and mutant vehicles, some of which are burned at the end of the festival. The festival grounds look like a psychedelic fantasyland. The event is held on a farm called Stonehenge adjacent to the Tankwa Karoo National Park. In 2016, 11,600 people attended.
Staff, 7:23 am
The safari guide says there’s a leopard in a tree in the distance. “Now you’ve seen all the Big Five” the guide says with a grin. I see an overhanging fig branch. Come to think of it, that rhino looked more like a gray rock. Spotting the Big Five is the de facto safari bragging right, trumping anything bar the Great Migration. Big Five? Big tick, and mission accomplished. Isn’t this an outdated way to look at a safari? Truth is, the Big Five sells.
Dana Sanchez, 6:16 pm
U.S. hunters go to Africa for trophies in disproportionate numbers. Most lion trophies imported to the U.S. are from captive lion populations in South Africa. Not anymore. The U.S. won’t allow imports of trophies from a practice called canned lion hunting in accordance with the Endangered Species Act. However — and here’s where it gets confusing — the U.S. will still allow imports of lion trophies taken from the wild with South African government approval. You be the judge.
Dana Sanchez, 12:26 pm
South Africa’s version of the beloved board game, Mzansi Monopoly, is due out Nov. 25. Locals got to vote for the names and places that will make the board, including favorites such as the Big Hole in Kimberly and Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct. The woman who invented the game in 1903 was lost to history until recently. She designed the game in protest against the big monopolists of her time like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. A few streets and places that made it onto the board game have been leaked. Here’s what we know.
Staff, 7:16 am
“Are you an Ashanti?” asked the teller at Ghana’s Kakum Rainforest Reserve. There are different entry fees at tourist attractions. The highest fees are reserved for foreigners. Students pay less. I had a brief flashback to my DNA test results, which traced 23% of my lineage to Ghana with Ashanti roots. I started to say “yes,” but I took too long. My guide answered for me. “No, she’s from the U.S.” Writer Starrene Rhett-Rocque reflects on her heritage and her first-ever trip to Ghana.
Dana Sanchez, 10:19 pm
Emirates, the world’s largest airline by international passengers, could reduce the frequency of flights to Africa or cut them altogether, but other international airlines say they’re coming to the continent. Intra-Africa activity is also picking up — at least that’s the plan. Turkish Airlines wants to be No. 1 in the world, and Africa will help it get there, the airline’s chairman said this week following the country’s recent coup attempt. “Istanbul will rise and Africa will rise. We will rise together.”
Dana Sanchez, 10:06 am
The Chinese government underwrites much of the Mandarin language education in Africa. Mandarin courses have been introduced this year in more than 40 South African schools with plans to be in 500. The move caused an uproar in South Africa, with parents taking to social media. Proponents say Chinese language skills will help create jobs. South Africa wants to grow tourism between BRICS member countries. Its Department of Tourism has started teaching Mandarin and Russian to tourism frontline staff including tour guides.
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