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Africa Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

Africa’s Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

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A continent of 54 countries, 2000 languages and over 3000 tribes, Africa has a staggeringly diverse array of cultures. It’s no surprise that Africa is home to some of the best cultural festivals on the planet – everything from food and music to art and film – in some truly spectacular locations, such as isolated deserts, medieval cities, on the shores of a lake or on a tropical island.

Here’s a round up of 8 of the best cultural festivals Africa has to offer. Add these to your bucket list!

1. AfrikaBurn, South Africa

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Based on the famous US festival Burning Man, AfrikaBurn is the continent’s most alternative arts festival. Everything that happens in Tankwa Town (the temporary settlement where 10 000 festival goers gather in the Karoo desert) is up to the creativity of participants. There is no entertainment organised – instead the participants of the festival create their own art works, their own music and their own performances. You have no idea what to expect each year, but you’re guaranteed an experience that will blow your mind.

2. Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, Morocco

If you love the idea of music festivals, but aren’t into sleeping in a tent or stomping around in a muddy field, then the Fes Festival is probably your cup of tea. Each year the medieval Moroccan city puts on a festival of sacred music from around the world – expect everything from whirling dervishes from Turkey, dancers from Bali and chanting Sufi mystics from Iran – in stunning venues such as centuries-old palaces and atmospheric garden courtyards.

3. Zanzibar International Film Festival

sauti za busara Africa Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Africa’s largest film, music and arts festival takes place every year on the tropical island of Zanzibar. Films from around Africa are screened in venues across the island, culminating in an awards night on the final night of the festival, while the music performances, DJ sets and dancing create a carnival atmosphere.

4. Lake of Stars, Malawi

%name Africa Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

The Lake of Stars festival has been named one of the world’s best by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, and it’s easy to see why. The music festival takes place on the shores of beautiful Lake Malawi, with local Malawian musicians playing side by side with bands and DJs from around the world – many of whom play for free just for the chance to get involved in this feel-good event. There’s a range of music on the line up, from electro to Afro-pop, and while you’re taking a break in between checking out the acts, you can swim in the lake, laze on sandy beaches, or get involved in one of the festival’s community projects.

 
5. International Festival of the Sahara, Tunisia

You probably couldn’t think of a more exotic location for a festival than an oasis in the Sahara Desert. Douz, a place where palm trees outnumber residents, swells in population by 50 000 each year when people arrive to share in a four-day celebration the art, traditions and culture of the people of the desert. Expect to see camel marathons, displays of horse riding, a Bedouin marriage, lively dancing, music performances and a poetry competition.

6. Bushfire, Swaziland

Each year the tiny country of Swaziland draws 20 000 people for its three-day Bushfire festival – an arts event that encompasses film, theatre, poetry and visual arts performances, as well as music and dance in a beautiful valley. All of the profits from the festival are given to NGOs and charities, so just by attending you contribute to Swaziland’s development.

7. Sauti za Busara, Zanzibar

sauti busara Africa Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For 10 years Zanzibar has been host of the “Sounds of Wisdom” festival – a celebration of the best music from across the African continent. Each year there’s a diverse line up of acts, covering genres such as Zimbabwean rap-rock, Senegalese reggae and Rwandan Afro-pop. In addition to music performances, during the festival you can also catch fringe shows of drumming, music documentaries and traditional dancing.

8. Gnaoua World Music Festival, Morocco

The coastal 18th century town of Essaouira rings out with the sound of music at this annual festival which sees traditional Gnaoua musicians (descendants of slaves from sub-Saharan Africa) joined by jazz, pop, blues, reggae, hip hop, Sufi, Latin and rock musicians, attracting around 500 000 people. The performances (many of which are free) take place on the town’s beaches, historic sites, public squares and beaches as Essaouira is transformed into a musical oasis.

 

East African Countries

East African Countries

Five nations comprise the East African Community (EAC): Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia which are collectively known as The Horn of Africa is also typically considered part of East Africa. Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles are small island nations in the Indian Ocean while Mozambique and Madagascar are often considered part of Southern Africa. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe – often also included in Southern Africa, and formerly of the Central African Federation.

The region offers some of the world’s most exciting outdoor tourism. Most countries in the region were colonized by United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and France

Climate in this part of the continent is unusually cool and dry for an equatorial region, due to its mountainous configuration and westerly monsoon effects. The world’s third highest ‘Mount Kilimanjaro’ is situated in this East African and over 20,000 visitors reach its summit each year. Also, the largest river in the world, the Nile, runs through East Africa. Its source, Lake Victoria, is the world’s largest tropical lake. Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest, is the source of the Congo river system. The lakes, rivers and tributaries of East Africa are among the world’s best for all forms of swimming, scuba and whitewater activity.

East Africa is also home to amazing concentrations of large wild animals, most famously the great ape, elephant, lion, rhinoceros, and wildebeest. All types of corporate and independent guided tours through the outdoor beauty are available. In this article will take you through some of the things you need to know about the history, economy and politics of the following East African countries. Sit down, relax and enjoy this piece!

South Sudan

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 and Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city. South Sudan is notable for having a varied geology. Part of the country lies in the region of the Sahara Desert, but the Nile River flows through the middle section of the country. Due to this, the nation is vulnerable to floods whenever there is a torrential rainfall. Couple of months ago, thousands of people fled their homes, houses were destroyed and more than hundred people died.

In recent years, Sudan had been marred with political violence as a result a conflict between President Salva Kirr and his Vice which led to the death of thousands of its citizens. During this political violence, UN report had it that, Sudan were recruiting child soldiers; which now raised a question if the country’s civil war is back?. But, South Sudan government refuted the claim and later agreed with the UN for new international peacekeeping force to come in and save the nation from going into another era of civil war.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the countries known as “the horn of Africa”. Legend has it that the Ark of the Covenant has been secreted away in a tiny Ethiopian village for centuries. The most striking geological element in the country is its division by the Great Rift Valley. This fissure was caused by volcanic lava deep within the canyons and gorges. Ethiopia is also blanketed by thick jungle, and is home to many rivers and lakes. Its capital, Adida Ababa, is among the most beautiful cities in Africa. Recently, Ethiopia became Africa’s largest producer of coffee which had led its to be among the top 15 fastest growing economies in Africa with a GDP growth of 4.5 percent. The first East African plant by South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp will be on Ethiopia soil with a mega deal signed with a local company to start assembling cars.

 
Eritrea

This small country has a very varied terrain. The interior of Eritrea is dominated by the Ethiopian Highlands that rise over 7,000 feet. Within these highlands can be found scattered rivers and streams. The coastal region of the country is bordered by the Red Sea and is actually semiarid in climatic conditions.

Kenya

One of the most well-known countries of East Africa is Kenya with coastline on the Indian Ocean. There are lowlands in both the northern and coastal regions of the country. Down south Kenya becomes flat and very dry. The Rift Valley also slices through Kenya, having created lakes as well as volcanic peaks rising to 17,000 feet. Kenya is east African biggest economy and its also among top 10 investment destination in Africa. September 2016, Kenya signed a business deal with Volkswagen South Africa to assemble cars in the country. And with the way its economy is fast growing, Kenya’s vision could transformed the country into a middle-income economy by 2030. With the recent visit of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, it shows that Kenyan developers are the best in East Africa. Kenya is also ranked among the most friendly African countries for expatriates In 2016. Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar-award winning actress who took Hollywood by storm is a Kenyan and she is doing this great continent proud.

Uganda

The highlight of any visit to Uganda will take you to the southeastern corner, where you will find Lake Victoria. The land is very mountainous otherwise, with elevations between 3,000 and 6,000 feet quite common. Mountains reaching over 16,000 feet run alongside the western border, while to the east you’ll find Mt. Elgon, which is an impressive 14,000 feet. Uganda is also among the most friendly African countries for expatriates in 2016 and its occupies 25th position globally.

Just like Lupita Nyong’o from Kenya, Florence Kasumba, German actress of Ugandan origin, also took Hollywood by storm early this year after she appeared in the most popular film “Captain America: Civil War”. Arguably, Uganda president, Yoweri Museveni is currently the best president in East Africa with his leadership quality and excellent work since 30 years that he had been in power.

This came with the backing of former vice president, Prof Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya, asking the country’s parliament to enact a law that will enable President Museveni to rule for life. In terms of economy, Uganda will become the first East African Country to open a gold refinery by the end of 2016 after signing a deal with a Belgian investor. Also, its government recently reduced single entry visa to boost tourism and i think that’s a great move from the path of the government and it’s a good news for tourists that are willing to travel to the country. Uganda is also among the East African countries who offer free public WiFi services to its citizens.

Seychelles

The Seychelles is actually an archipelago that is made up of roughly 90 small islands within the Indian Ocean. The Mahe group of islands are rocky with interior mountains. The Coralline islands are coral and inhospitable. The climate of the Seychelles is warm and wet.

Burundi

Burundi is mainly a country of plateaus. The Great Rift Valley has done its work here as well, creating peaks that rise 7,000 feet as well as having a hand in the shaping of long and narrow Lake Tanganyika. The high elevation of Burundi helps to moderate the otherwise tropical climate.

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

How to travel responsibly

How to travel responsibly

How to travel responsibly, being a responsible budget traveler Tourism in developing countries can be both a blessing and a curse – each individual leaves his or her mark upon a place.

Small decisions that we make along the way as travelers insure that future travelers find a place as welcoming and magical as we did.

Travel and tourism should be planned and executed as a means of individual growth and development. When practiced with an open mind, it is an awesome source of self education, mutual tolerance and for learning about the diversity and wonderful nuances that make our planet such an interesting place.

Everyone has a responsibility for creating and promoting responsible travel and tourism. Governments, business and communities must shoulder their share of the load, but as a budget traveler you can support this in many ways that make a huge difference:

  1. Open your mind to other cultures and traditions. It will transform your trip and you will earn respect and welcome of the local people. Be tolerant and respectful, making sure to observe social and cultural traditions and practices.
  2. Respect human rights. Exploitation in any form conflicts with the fundamental purpose of travel.
  3. Help preserve natural environments. Leave things the way you found it – or better.  Protect wildlife and habitats and do not purchase products made from endangered plants or animals….this includes animal products, novelty insects, etc…
  4. Respect cultural resources. Activities should be conducted in a way that respects the artistic, archaeological and cultural heritage of a place.
  5. Support the local economy – they need it. Purchase local handicrafts and products using the principles of fair trade. Bargaining for goods should reflect an understanding of a fair wage – don’t fall victim to traveler scams, but that merchant probably needs the difference more than you do.
  6. Get up to date about the destination’s current health situation prior to departure and be assured that your health and personal security will not be threatened. Make sure that you have the means to remain healthy and happy before you arrive in a new place.
  7. Learn as much as possible about your destination and take time to understand the customs, norms and traditions in an effort to avoid accidentally offending the local population.
  8. Learn the local laws so that you do not accidentally break them. Refrain from all trafficking in illicit drugs, arms, antiques, protected species and products or substances that are dangerous or prohibited.

Responsible travel is not complicated.  Getting into the mindset that you are going to leave a place in better shape than you found it by doing your part and encouraging others, will ensure that the doors will be kept open for future budget travelers!

provided by StepUpTravel.org

Places You Must Visit in Tanzania

Places You Must Visit in Tanzania

Places You Must Visit in Tanzania Travel Planning & Tips, Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro, Great Migration, Serengeti

morkel wb1 Places You Must Visit in Tanzania

Places You Must Visit in Tanzania a country with the most polite and hospitable people in Africa, where the locals will not shy away from apologizing or making all their requests in the most courteous of manner.
Being the largest of the East African countries, Tanzania has a large share of attractions ranging from lakes, mountains, islands and numerous game parks and reserves. For this reason, we have narrowed the attractions to those five that you cannot afford to miss on your Tanzanian visit. These are the five places that will make your travel worthwhile.
5. Mafia Island

When you are looking to get away from the hustle and stress of this hectic lifestyle, then Mafia Island is just what the doctor ordered. As if stuck in a time warp, this unexplored gem takes you back into time with the lack of tarmac roads, few hotels and lack of ATM machines. But despite that, the island will blow you away with the white sandy beaches that go on for miles and miles, the clear shimmering aquamarine waters and the peace and quiet.

Boasting an incredible barrier reef teeming with marine life, you have a chance to scuba dive and snorkel in what is probably one of the best scuba diving spots in the world. You could even catch a glimpse of a whale shark or a humpback whale which are found around the island waters.

The island is also rich in history with 15th Century ruins at Ras Kisimani. You would not want to miss the spectacular and romantic sunrise and sunset over the island. This island offers the perfect ‘Cast-away’ experience.

4. Ngorongoro Crater

A candidate for the new seven wonders of the world, this massive crater holds it own in that category. Being the world’s largest unbroken caldera, Ngorongoro is home to over 25,000 animals. It is considered one of the best game viewing spots in the world with a chance to see the big five, zebras and wildebeests. The crater holds almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa including the extremely rare and critically endangered Black Rhino.

3. Mount Kilimanjaro

This magnificent wonder of creation which has been nicknamed ‘The Roof of Africa’, really is a sight to behold. Standing at 5,895 metres above sea level, Mt. Kilimanjaro is not only the tallest mountain in Africa, it is also the tallest free standing mountain in the world. Rising from the cultivated lands at the bottom through forests and alpine vegetation to a snow capped tip, this mountain is alluring to the adventure seeking ones.

While on the trek or the descent, you get a chance to enjoy the varied and unique vegetation and wildlife including the elephants and buffaloes. So whether its a spiritual journey or an adventure, this hulk of a mountain is exactly what you are looking for. The ultimate climbing experience.

2. Zanzibar Island

Commonly known as the ‘Spice Island’, Zanzibar is an island associated with mystery and romance.The fragrant scents of cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla hung in the warm tropical air.

A walk through ‘Stone Town’ is similar to going back in time with narrow winding streets, bazaars, mosques, fortresses and a Persian style public bathhouse. The ruins of palaces and ancient mosques attest to the rich history of the Island.

Those looking for romance are in for a treat with the presence of long, white, unspoilt sandy beaches flanked by lush coastal vegetation. There are numerous honeymoon and romantic packages in the many hotels and resorts that ensure that each day is happier than the last. Scuba diving spots abound and the Pemba Channel is reputed to have some of the best game fishing anywhere in the world.

From getting views of spectacular views of the sunrise and sunset, to dipping your feet into the warm ocean waters wrapped in the arms of the one you love, Zanzibar Island really feels like it is cupid’s playground.

1. The Serengeti National Park

This park is the ultimate safari experience and is celebrated the world over. Not only is it one of the largest parks in the world, it also hosts the greatest animal migratory spectacle in the planet!

This is where over 90,000 visitors flock to catch a glimpse of the millions of ungulates as they make their way through plains, dry land and even crocodile infested rivers. Covering 1.5 million hectares, the park is teeming with all kinds of wildlife, from the big five to cheetahs, giraffes, hyenas, wild dogs…. the list is inexhaustible.

Not to be left behind are the over 500 species of bird life, very much a birdwatcher’s paradise. Enjoy panoramic views of the vast Serengeti by taking a ride in the hot air balloons. Indulge yourself in the 5 star amenities and services in the lodges and resorts that have been set up in the park. Do not miss a chance to visit this mother of all national parks.

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