Blogs from Africa - page 11


Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund March 26th 2015

En route to Swakopmund: En route to Swakopmund we stop first at Sorry Sorry, a village of Herrera. Here in stark contrast to the Himba, the women dress in many layered voluminous skirts, shawls and pancake triangular hats, their unique interpretation of 19th century European ladies dress. Tourism is the life blood of so many rural communities here, the women smile, welcome us and offer their lovely wares in the form of patchwork purses and beautiful, colorful, detailed dolls in traditional Herrera dress. On my truck are several women, German, British, Swiss, Russian, American, some more sensitive than others but for the most part generous of spirit and of pocket. At every stop they marvel at the handy work, interacting with smiling, kind, humility, woman to woman, spending liberally, they do the west proud. Scores of ... read more
Me on to of the world
Beautiful Herrera dolls
Sign outside marketplace

Africa March 26th 2015

Bushman/Boesman The Bushmen or San, indigenous people of the Kalahari and Namib deserts, are a study in adaptation of the species. No longer free roaming on ancestral lands their ways of survival have been lost from father to son. At one time hunted as animals, driven off their land, now about 50,000 in number, their blood lines impure, they have settlements, communities in remote regions. The name Bushman comes not from people who live in the bush, but, rather from men who hide behind bushes and shoot intruders with poison arrows. Intruders who were German, Dutch and Afrikaans, invaders from South Africa, now barely a century later, Boesman (of Afrikaans heritage yet a son of the Namibian soil) stands barefoot in the Namib desert and with a voice of pathos and passion yet pragmatic, tells us ... read more
Bushman illustration
Oryx or Gemsbok
Boiling hot!

Africa » Namibia » Erongo March 25th 2015

The Himba Tribe Day 5. After hundreds of Kilometers of dusty roads, game drives and more hot, dusty unpaved roads we make our way to Kamanjab to visit a nearby Himba community. The Himba, a nomadic people have lost huge swaths of their land to mines, farmers, westernization and have suffered greatly being displaced by the wars that raged in nearby Angola. At present count roughly 50,000 Himba live the nomadic life in the northern regions of Namibia while the several stationary settlements, the 'buffer zones' or 'educational tribal centers' are visited by outsiders for a fee...the money collected goes to support orphaned Himba children, the greater community living in the wild and of course the buffer villages themselves, their last line of defense. The buffer villages offer us a glimpse into the lives of these ... read more
Himba woman
Modern Himba hairstyle

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town March 25th 2015

This is my intoductory blog to see how this programme works! I recently popped down to Cape Town for a weekend from Johburg to visit the family out on holiday from France - Marc, Stephanie, Pascale, Remy & Manou - hope the spelling is correct. I'm not sure how Marc and Stephanie cope with their day to day lives with three kiddies under the age of 4, but there you are - all part of life's rich tapestry. Weather was a) superb, b) breezy and c) wet - oh Cape Town, how do I know you! But the guest house was a revelation - Alan and Michelle have a wonderful house on the Lakeside/Muizenberg border called the Cape Blue Manor House - recommended, folks - only teeny downside is that it is recommended to have your ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park March 25th 2015

Oh it’s been so nice to be back up north. Larabanga is such a wonderful community, which is why I enjoyed my time up here so much. I’ve been having so much fun playing with Hussein’s children and seeing my students from Class 5. On Monday I went to school and spent time with my class. Today I took my parents by the school to meet them. For me and the children it got pretty emotional because I had to say goodbye again. One of the boys even cried. Today also marks exactly 3 months before I leave. I recently bought a ticket home and I’m flying back on June 25. Therefore saying goodbye to these children again was like a precursor to what saying goodbye to my children in Accra will be like. It’s going ... read more
School headmaster
Blogger at work at Savannah Lodge
Shoing off the flag ofthe Black Stars

Africa » Namibia March 25th 2015

Namibia is vast, we travel unimaginable distances overland, some days up to 450km to our next destination/campsite. En route there is lots of time to think, to elaborate on past stories, there is much more to tell of the Himba: The school is the first building upon entering the buffer Himba village, a small ray of hope...I think Although governed by Namibian laws the Himba are recognized as a special tribe, separate and apart and are therefore allowed to govern themselves in the making of rules that affect and sustain the culture and way of life of their tribe. Very much concerned with the loss of their culture due to rampaging western influence certain practices have been set in place Eg: the children of the buffer village who are around 5 or 6 years old will ... read more
Sorting wares for sale

Africa » Seychelles » Mahé March 25th 2015

The morning we sailed from Sri Lanka we entered the High Risk Piracy zone. We were given a two page list of information and instructions regarding security measures being put into place. We will be cruising in this zone until we arrive in the Coromos Islands off Africa in thirteen days. The Silver Whisper’s exterior lights are all turned off from dusk to dawn. The ship is equipped with deafening acoustic sound devices. Also the high pressure water hoses are in place to prevent pirates from boarding the vessel. Additional security agents boarded our ship in Colombo, Sri Lanka and will remain on board until we clear the high risk area. They patrol the decks 24 hours a day and enforce the blackout policy. We have to keep our curtains closed and not use balcony ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park March 24th 2015

(by guest blogger Kit Rawson) Besides spending time at Mole Park and hanging at the Savannah Lodge, we found several other interesting things to do around Larabanga. Ten km from town, on a dirt road bordering the park, is the Mognori "Eco-village". Some years after the park was set aside and the elephant population started to grow and expand its range, the agricultural areas around this village were devastated by foraging elephants. Rather than move away, the villagers obtained some funds to make Mognori a place for ecotourism as an alternative economic activity. We visited one morning and had a nice tour of the village, learning a lot about the culture and the old ways. We also noted that the town has installed solar panels that provide public outdoor lighting and a little power for other ... read more
15th Century (or older) mosque
Mognori eco village
Canoe trip from eco village

Africa » Swaziland March 23rd 2015

March 21, 2015 (Mkaya, Swaziland) Having pretty much completed our clinical duties other than an inpatient follow up visit, we elected to stay in Swaziland and visit one of the locally managed game reserves – Mkaya. It is privately owned by Mick and his wife Kay, friends of Jono’s through the conservation activities in Swaziland. Several other features appealed to us – we could spend the night there outdoors and they have four of the five “big” game including the black rhino. (they don’t have lions). It was about an hour’s drive from Mabuda Farm, down the Lubombo range and into the dry, dusty lowfelt area of Swaziland, not too far from where we’d been tiger fishing. On arrival, our vehicles were escorted through multiple gates and fences to the homestead on Mkaya where Mick and ... read more
A zeal of zebras on the plains
Nwalla up close and personal
Adult nwalla

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Nungwi March 22nd 2015

The flowers that grow around here are so beautiful that the hotel staff pick them daily to decorate the bathrooms, bedrooms and restaurant. No other decoration is needed. A row of hot pink bougainvilleas grow outside our house, perfectly framing the view to the sea. Frangipanis drop from the trees, and we collect them as we walk home to put decoratively around the house. They die in a day or so, but we appreciate their beauty (and delicious perfume) for a few hours at least. The frangipani flowers are either pink or waxy white, with five slim petals whorling out from egg-yolk yellow centres. The shampoos and perfumes that they are made into smell almost as good as the flowers - it is worth plunging your nose between the petals to drink in the intoxicating fragrance. ... read more
Frangipani and Shells

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