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Africa Tales About Animals of African Savannah

Africa Tales About Animals of African Savannah.
Marangu Market Africa Tales About Animals of African Savannah

History shows that before the coming of colonialists in Kilimanjaro, the Chagga were well organised under small chiefdoms ruled by local ruler called Mangi or Wamangi. These chiefs ruled their subject using forces which were blessed by history, culture and traditional believes whereby the African leopard was regarded as spiritual symbol of the ruling class.

It said the pre-colonial traditional way of life in many parts of Tanzania including Kilimanjaro rain forests was a favourite home to big mammals of the savannah including African leopards which wander freely around villages in the whole area.

Different factors contributed to conservation of wild animals including the flourishing of the African leopard inside forest around Mount Kilimanjaro which was enabled by customary laws and traditional beliefs protected these big cats.

In Kilimanjaro those days, the leopards thrived in tropical rainforest which stand from 2,800 to 1,300 meters above the sea level through the Agro forest which today is found between 1,600 to 1,200 meters above the sea to the savannah forest which is on 1,600 to 700 meters above sea level.

It’s also said that due to the public support, during those days leopards of Mount Kilimanjaro were big but not dangerous although it is believed sometime they were able to break into a house to snatch a sheep or goat.

In those days the number of African Leopards grew bigger in the forest around mount Kilimanjaro because rules of pre-colonial Chagga did not allow anyone to hurt the spotted cat because it was regarded as sacred animal of the land.

In those good old days it was common to see a leopard during day time, not only that the big cat was allowed to wander into a house whenever it feels threatened by uncouth people.

From Machame, Rombo, Kibosho and Marangu it is believed that every clan had its own spiritual leopard which is believed to be responsible to protect members of the whole family at night.

Prove That Kenya Is A Beautiful Country

20 Fascinating Places That Prove That Kenya Is A Beautiful Country

If you are eager for your own African experience, there are plenty of fascinating places to explore in Kenya. The country is steeped in history, lauded with bountiful natural beauty, and renowned for refining its rustic ambience and cultural elegance. As a matter of fact, Kenya may simply be the best-kept travel secret in Africa. The fascinating places are treasured for their beauty and they offer unequalled opportunities to unwind and relax in African style; thus making Kenya a beautiful country to visit.

Here are the 20 fascinating places that prove that Kenya is a beautiful country:

1. Diani Beach

One of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Diani Beach is located on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. Diani Beach is an ideal getaway at its finest. The beach offers visitors plenty activities to enjoy or you can spend your time admiring the scenery it offers. The view is breath-taking!

2. Mida Creek

Photo Source: Airbnb

Mida Creek is located on the Malindi-Watamu coastline; it’s a massive tidal inlet of sand, lined with mangrove forest. The creek offers several exciting activities such as fishing, birdwatching, boat trips, mangrove walks and many more. In fact, a day is not enough to do and see all that is on offer in this scenic part of Kenya.

3. Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

Photo Source: Kenya.com

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a located 3 Km from Kisumu City. The Sanctuary lies on the shores of Lake Victoria. There are quite a lot of things to enliven and thrill nature-lovers here; besides, if you love wildlife, you will appreciate the both the free ranging and captive animals in the sanctuary. Apart from that, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a well-preserved natural beauty, a fascinating place to be!

4. Mahali Mzuri

Photo Source: Atta.travel

Mahali Mzuri is an authentic luxury camp, located in a surrounding packed with amazing wildlife, scenic landscape and great ambience.  Just in case you don’t know, Mahli Mzuriis Sir Richard Branson’s Kenyan Safari Camp, located within Maasai Mara Environs.  The camp boasts a lot of outdoor activities and a vibrant wildlife scene.

5. Masai Mara National Reserve

This is the best place to get close to the wild! If you want to see wildlife up-close and personal, Masaai Mara is a great safari destination for that. The National Reserve is teeming with the ‘big 5′ and other amazing animal species. Nature, wonderful wildlife and picturesque landscape can all be found here. Its natural beauty keeps guests returning every year.

6. Lamu Island

Photo Source: Terri O’Sullivan on Flickr

While Lamu Island entices many tourists and local visitors, the main attractions here are the natural beauty the island exhibits and its calm atmosphere. From Lamu’s history and culture to its scenic beaches, you’ll be in awe of what this island has to offer.

7. Chyulu Hills

Photo Source: Peter Steward on Flickr

To experience some of the most inspiring views Kenya has to offer, head to Chyulu Hills.Chyulu Hills is located in Eastern Kenya, a mountain range that forms a 100Km long volcanic field. This destination is one of the prettiest places in Kenya, seeing the enchanted land of black frozen lava speckled with flaring poker trees is really something special.

8. Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is the top tourist attraction in Kenya. It’s a beauty to behold! Here, you will find some of the largest, deepest and oldest lakes in the world. The valley also hosts some volcanic mountains. The valley offers stunning views and you will surely see many photo-worthy panoramas.

9. Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is one of the most famous mountains in the world. It is the highest mountain in Kenya and second-highest in Africa. It is about 5199 metres above sea level. The mountain has beautiful snow-capped peaks that make it stand out and very attractive.  If you love adventurous climbing and trekking, this is the best destination to explore.

10. Kapsowar

Photo Source: Hublog

Kapsower is a beautiful small town located in Rift Valley Province, Kenya. It’s a picture-perfect town; filled with quaint charm, crisp breeze and amazing scenic beauty. It’s one of the best places to explore the most breathtaking landscapes and unique attractions such as charming flowing rivers, herds of cows and gorgeous hills.

11. Uhuru Gardens

Uhuru Gardens is a fascinating urban haven located in Nairobi. Beautiful lanscape and architecture, lush plantations and relaxing atmosphere are the defining elements of Uhuru garden.

12. Shanzu Beach

Shanzu Beach is located on the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, an ideal place for an unforgettable coast adventure. The beach is known for its beautiful shores, spectacular views, towering palm trees, and pristine white sands. There are several accommodation located next to the beach. Great place to spend a memorable vacation!

13. Meru National Park

Meru National Park is located 350km from Nairobi, east of Meru. The Mational park is one of the most popular and beautiful parks in Kenya. It is home to several animal species such as Leopard, Elephant, Hippopotamus, Cheetah and many others. The park offers a authentic wilderness atmosphere, scenic landscapes and amazing wildlife.

14. Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor offers a unique experience when it comes to luxury accommodation. The Manor is one of the best places to see beautiful and graceful creatures such as Giraffes in Kenya. The Manor is home to Rothschild Giraffes, which are seen roaming around the surroundings. It’s such a beautiful experience!

15. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Photo Source: Safaribookings

The vast Conservancy lures visitors from around the country in search of unforgettable adventures. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located in Nanyuki, between the foothills of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares. The conservancy is home to the ‘Big Five’ and offers a scenic landscape, wildlife ambiance an exciting experience.

16. Rolf’s Place

 

Rolfs Place’s opportunities for exciting adventure are enough to thrill any visitor. It’s a leopard cliff Mansion built like a medieval fortress, located just 25 minutes from Nairobi.Rolf’s Place offers a panoramic view of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngong Hills. It also has some neighbouring parks that offer visitor opportunities to experience wildlife.

17. Lake Nakuru

 

Lake Nakuru is one of the most beautiful lakes in Kenya. The lake is located in Lake Nakuru National Park and lies in the Rift Valley of Kenya. The lake is renowned as a location of the beautiful bird species – loads of fuchsia pink flamingoes.

18. The Coral Gardens of Wasini

 

Photo Source: Footprintstours

The Wasini Coral Gardens, located in Wasini Island, about 100 km south of Mombasa. The garden is a surrounded by mangrove forest, beautiful landscape and offers amazing views.  It offers several activities that will give you a unique experience.

19. Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate National Park is located North West of Nairobi. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, bird species. Hell’s Gate National Park has exciting attractions and activities such as Hot Springs, The Olkaria Geothermal Station, The Mervym Carnelley Raptor Hide, Fisher’s Tower and many others.

20. The Aberdares

 

Photo Source: Safarilanga

The Aberdares’ beauty is not something we can ignore. The 160km long mountain range of plateau offers some of the best mountain views in the country. The Aberdare range is a beautiful place and its full of wonder.

Is there any fascinating places you would like us to know about? Share your experience with us in the comment below:

Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa

Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa

1. Angama Mara, Kenya

If the epic views from Angama Mara provoke a sense of déjà vu, it might be because you have seen them before on the silver screen. Taking its name from the Swahili for “suspended in mid-air”, the mesmerising vista of the remote Mara Triangle is the same as the one depicted in the 1985 film Out of Africa starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. This new camp, which opened last year on the edge of the Rift Valley Escarpment, is the culmination of the work of safari lodge veterans Nicky and Steve Fitzgerald, who have many years of African hospitality between them. There are two camps of 15 tents created by one of the continent’s finest tent-makers with a contemporary, minimalist chic look that incorporates 33ft-wide, floor-to-ceiling windows. The lodge is also committed to the local community; among other features, there is an in-house artisan workshop where Maasai women create beaded jewellery.

Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya . Doubles from $825 (£570) per person, full-board.

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2. Ruckomechi Camp, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is back on the safari map. Peeping out from the shade of acacia and mahogany trees, right on the banks of the Zambezi river, the 10 rooms of Wilderness Safaris’ Ruckomechi Camp reopen later this month with a new look. It is set in the Mana Pools National Park; this part of the country is known for its large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, which can be seen on wildlife drives, walks or afternoon boat trips on the river. In July a new, smaller satellite camp, Little Ruckomechi, will open further downstream, with just three tented rooms.

Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. Doubles from $702 per person, full board.

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3. Makanyi Lodge, South Africa

One of the newest arrivals on South Africa’s safari scene is this seven-suite lodge in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on the edge of the country’s vast Kruger Park. The Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – proliferate here and there are game drives as well as bush walks, birdwatching, painting, guided stargazing and photographic safaris. Each of the rooms is designed in rustic yet slick safari style with a main lodge and an infinity pool, which proves the ideal place to lounge after a dusty drive.

ALSO READ  World’s Top 10 Countries That Save The Most (3 Countries from Africa make the top 10)

Makanyi Private Game Lodge, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger Park, South Africa. Doubles from R8,000 per person, full board including game drives.  

 
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4. Limalimo Lodge, Ethiopia

The jagged, gasp-worthy peaks of Ethiopia’s Unesco-listed Simien Mountains National Park are one of the country’s natural highlights. So too are the large colonies of Gelada monkey that populate it. Opened in January, the Limalimo Lodge is its newest place to stay, with just 12 guestrooms constructed in the vernacular style using rammed earth, wood and thatch. Guests can spend their days exploring the vastness of the surrounding landscape with its walia ibex, leopards and Ethiopian wolves.

Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park, Debark, North Gondar, Ethiopia. Doubles from $200, full-board.

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5. The Highlands, Tanzania

Tanzania’s Unesco World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most spectacular and richest wildlife spotting areas on the continent. Both the Big Five and countless other species live and visit this vast caldera that formed two to three million years ago.To escape the crowds fully, check into Asilia Africa’s newest camp, the appropriately named The Highlands, set on the slope of the Olmoti volcano. When it opens on 5 June – in good time for the spectacular annual wildebeest migration between July and October – it will become the highest of all the camps fringing Ngorongoro. There will be just eight futuristic looking, luxuriously decked-out domed canvas tents. You can be down on the crater floor for dawn safaris, enjoy bush picnics and just revel in the isolated tranquillity of the setting, when the sun begins to set over the African wilderness.

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The Highlands, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Doubles from $710 per person, full-board.

 

ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

eclipse ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

1st of September of 2016 tourists will be lucky to witness one of the rarest astronomical phenomenon,Annular solar Eclipse in Tanzania.

The most rewarding thing is the fact that, this year the eclipse viewers will have an opportunity to experience this in the middle of African Savanna of Tanzania National Parks!

Seeing a solar eclipse is sometimes described as a-once-in-a lifetime experience and this become even more entertaining when observers get a unique opportunity to experience the eclipse alongside stunning nature and wildlife in the Parks.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun thereby totally or partially blocking the image of the sun for viewers on the earth.

An annular solar eclipse happens when the moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a ‘’ring of fire’’ or annulus around the moon.

At an annular solar eclipse the moon is too small to completely cover the Sun’s disk and this is due to its average distance from the earth. With over 97% of the Sun’s diameter covered by the moon only a very thin ring of the Sun will be visible to an observer in the middle of the eclipse’s path.

An annular solar eclipse is quite stunning to view, and requires one to be within the path of annularity to see the main effect of a ‘’ring of fire’’. Solar filters must be used for viewing throughout- even during (eclipse) annularity.

The path of eclipse (annularity) for this year as can be seen from the NASA map starts in the South Atlantic Ocean, crossing central Africa countries of Gabon, Congo then Tanzania and Mozambique before passing to Madagascar and Islands of Reunion, ending in Indian Ocean.

map1 ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

According to NASA interactive map extracted from their website (eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov), the best viewing site is the point of Greatest Eclipse located southern Tanzania, giving annularity duration (eclipse) of 3 minutes and 6 seconds.

Famous Katavi and Mahale National Parks in Tanzania are positioned nicely for viewing the eclipse on 1st,September 2016 !

map2 ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

Some companies and agencies have organized the eclipse- viewing tour to Katavi and Mahale National Parks and other areas of Tanzania where eclipse will be best observed this September!

You are not late, plan early ,plan now for the solar eclipse viewing tour to Katavi and Mahale in September 2016. Don’t miss this opportunity-a once in a life time chance in the middle of Africa’s best wildlife parks.

In Katavi National Park it is predicted that annular eclipse will start at 6.50 a.m. and reaches its maximum at 8.38 a.m.

This experience will be the best, as the viewers will experience it amidst nature and wildlife in this pristine park. Having watched and probably photographed the annular eclipse, tourists will have chance to continue with the game drives which can add to their experience.

Katavi National Park that is located in the western Part of the country is one of the most untouched areas of Tanzania. It is the third largest National Park, which offers among the best wildlife viewing opportunities.

Mahale National Park, located also on the western part of Tanzania along the shore of the lake Tanganyika is a best refuge for the largest populations of Chimpanzee in the world. This September’s annular eclipsepath will be over the lake Tanganyika so viewers will get a chance to witness it while in the park.

Clear skies and amazing wildlife-rich parks during an excellent month of September will offer best annular solar eclipse viewing in Tanzania.

giraffe ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

Arusha National Park

monkey ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS

Mahale National Park

Africa’s Last Warrior Tribe

Africa’s Last Warrior Tribe

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If you are planning a visit to Africa it is useful and practical to have a little knowledge about the local people you will be meeting.  A visit to Kenya and Tanzania means you will have the privilege of meeting the Masai (aka Maasai) people, who are the most famous and easily recognized indigenous tribe in these two countries.  Most people have heard of the Masai – their rich culture and particularly distinctive clothes make them stand out on the Continent, and they are known for their exceptional courage as warriors.

A Little History

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The Masai are one of the many tribes (125 altogether!) found in Southern Kenya and the Northern part of Tanzania.  They are thought to have originated in the Sudan, and their own oral history relates how they migrated through the Nile River into Kenya and then Tanzania, around the 15th century, either forcibly displacing the previous inhabitants and raiding their cattle, or assimilating some of them into their own culture.  The Masai have always been a pastoral people – they practice cattle rearing and are always on the move to newer greener pastures.   The size of their territory was at its largest in the 19th century, however a huge percentage of the tribe was wiped out in the 1890’s by the effects of three cataclysmic events – a Smallpox epidemic ravaged the people, a Rinderpest epidemic killed over 90% of their herds and the final blow came when the rains failed completely for more than two years, resulting in thousands of deaths from starvation.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of their problems!  The recovering tribe were faced with more hardship in the decades to come – two treaties in 1904 and 1911 saw them forced to give up over 60% of their land to the British to make room for settler ranches.  Later, in the 1940’s, even more land was confiscated by the Kenyan government to create the many Wildlife Reserves and National Parks that Kenya and Tanzania are famous for today. Amboseli, Nairobi, the Masai Mara Reserve, Samburu, Lake Nakuru and Tsavo National Parks in Kenya and Manyara, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks in Tanzania all stand on land that was once Masai territory.

The Masai Today

Masai Today Africa’s Last Warrior Tribe

Despite the influences of education and western culture, the Masai people have largely resisted change and most of them remain nomadic pastoralists, albeit in a greatly reduced area.  They principally live along the borders of the aforementioned National Parks in the Kajiado and Narok districts and in several areas their territory overlaps the National Parks and they still graze their cattle inside the protected areas – in some instances this has led to episodes of human/wildlife conflict when cattle are attacked by Lion and other predators.

Many members of the tribe have been absorbed into the Safari industry (“Safari” is a Swahili word meaning journey) where they showcase their extensive knowledge and impress the tourists with their remarkable talents as wilderness guides. The tourism industry creates many employment opportunities and has been directly or indirectly responsible for several co-operative schemes which have benefited the local communities and helped provide schooling for the children.  In addition, there are educational programs aimed at educating the tribes about the importance of conservation of natural resources and all wildlife, including Lions, which were often hunted and killed in retaliation for cattle losses, or to demonstrate a young Warrior’s courage.

The Masai Culture – Who Does What

The Masai are probably the last of the world’s great warrior cultures and the bravery of the Masai warriors is still a source of pride to the tribe.  Young boys are given the responsibility of herding and guarding the cattle from a very young age, while the girls learn to clean and milk the cows.  Rites of Passage are very important and all young boys learn about the responsibilities they will require as men.  Eunoto is an elaborate ceremony when boys and girls come of age and graduate to be warriors and wives.  Young warriors must face painful circumcision without flinching if they wish to emerge as full-blown warriors with the respect of their elders and tribe.

Girls still have very few choices and no voice – no place here for Woman’s Lib!   They will be married off by their elders into traditionally polygamous marriages and are responsible for all household chores including the building of their temporary houses, using mud, grass, wood and cow dung as well as cooking, beading and child care.  The warriors, of course, build fences and bomas to protect the cattle and fearlessly defend them from attack by wild animals.

Dress and Ornamentation

Masai colour full dresscord Africa’s Last Warrior Tribe

Most Masai people dress in the well-known red “shuka”- a sheet of red fabric which is wrapped around the body and adorned by elaborate beadwork around the neck, arms and ears.  Both sexes dress alike and both sexes practice ear piercing and stretching of the earlobes – greatly stretched earlobes are regarded as very beautiful.  Masai beadwork is very intricate and beautiful and is a very sought-after souvenir for many tourists.

Cattle in the Masai Culture

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The importance of cattle to the Masai cannot be over-emphasized and borders on a sacred relationship, where they believe that they have a God-given role as the custodians of all cattle.  They measure their wealth by the number of cattle they own and the number of children they have produced – you need to have many of each to be considered wealthy!  Cattle and other livestock (they also raise some sheep and goats) provide almost all their food, in the form of meat, milk and even blood, while the skins and hides are used for bedding and the dung is used as a type of plaster to water-proof their houses.  If you have no cattle you have no food, no shelter and no standing, which is why the warriors are so fiercely protective of their herds.  One of the most common Masai greetings translates as “I hope your cattle are well”!

Song and Dance

masai dance Africa’s Last Warrior Tribe

A distinctive feature of Masai music is the lack of instruments and the amazing harmony of their vocals.  Most songs consist of a responsive pattern, where the women sing one part and the men respond with the second part, while the only musical accompaniment to the singing is the jingling sound of all the beads worn by both the singers and the dancers.   Head and neck movements are an important part of singing and form a kind of rhythmical “bobbing”.

Although the Masai jumping dances “adumu” are the most popularly performed, there are also other types of very structured dances for various special occasions.  In the jumping dances the men all stand in a circle and each has a chance to jump as high as he can while the others encourage him in song – as the voices get higher the jumping increases – this is a sight you should not miss!

The Importance of Respectful Greetings

African culture is composed of many myths, legends and taboos that have been passed down from one generation to the next – having at least an inkling of how to interact in a respectful and dignified manner is just good manners, and will go a long way towards establishing a good relationship with your hosts. As the adage goes, when in Rome, do like the Romans!   Many practices that most visitors take for granted back home could be regarded as the height of bad manners in Africa…for instance, you should never just walk up to a local and ask for directions or a service without at least a few sentences in greeting and general “small talk”.  Knowing when and with whom you should shake hands is also important (see below) and memorizing a few phrases of greeting and thanks in the local language will win you a large measure of respect.

Handshaking is a very popular form of greeting, practiced by just about everyone. As a sign of respect, most Masai shake hands with their right hand while holding their right elbow with the left hand. Sometimes the right hand is covered by the left hand in a form of double handshake, but you need not worry about getting it right – a normal one-handed shake will do the job!   You should never try to shake hands with your left hand if your right hand is otherwise occupied – this is considered very rude – rather do not shake at all!  Men should not attempt to shake hands with female Masai, unless the lady makes the first move; usually she will just nod in greeting.  If a young Masai child leans their head towards you while greeting then you should tap them lightly on the head – this is considered the polite greeting for children.

Experiencing Masai Culture at First Hand

experience masai culture Africa’s Last Warrior Tribe

One of the very best ways to experience some of the mystery and legend that is interwoven into the Masai culture is to go on a Walking Safari with one of the excellent Masai guides, who will be only too happy to share his extensive knowledge of his country with you.  You can also arrange to visit real Masai homes on a Cultural Excursion and be entertained with a traditional song and dance show.  Cultural visits are offered by most of the Camps and Lodges in the National Parks.

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