Tourism: Latest News
Becca Blond, 1:01 am
South Africa has dozens of subterranean treasures. Some of these caves are portals to ancient human life. Visitors can glimpse the inner workings of Earth where the sun don’t shine. Blombos Cave is a coastal archaeological site east of Cape Town famous for 75,000-year-old beads that were found there. They were decorated with abstract designs, making them some of the earliest evidence of human artwork. Excavation of Middle Stone Age sites in Southern Africa resulted in a paradigm shift in understanding the development of modern human behavior.
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.
Marinda Louw-Coetzee, 8:01 am
In Namibia, where driving distances can be vast, a lodge that offers a range of activities ensures everyone has a great holiday. Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch is 50km from town on a gravel road leading to the red dunes of the Kalahari. You arrive at a farmhouse to welcome drinks and friendly animals like Skunky, a tame springbok who hangs around in the lounge. There is a treatment room for massages, a pool, and telescope for stargazing. Guests can go for game drives in the reserve, walk with resident San people, go horseriding or feed orphaned cheetahs. Stay an extra day to enjoy the silence of the Kalahari.
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