Friday, December 18, 2009

Kenya Travelling Tips

In general, Kenya - is a safe country, but there are a few rules that visitors must comply. For example, during the safari in national parks is forbidden to leave the place of residence without being accompanied by guards. And during the safari itself it is forbidden to leave the car without the permission of the guide. In Kenya, unlike in some other southern African countries, it is strongly prohibited hunting on wild animals. Violators will face a serious punishment: a large fine or even imprisonment. Do not wander alone in Nairobi after 18.30. In Kenya, it darkens very quickly and at 19.00 is quite dark. Keep track of your pockets and bags, pickpockets in Kenya are as much as in any other major tourist center.

It is not recommended to take pictures of local people without their permission and independently (without guide) to visit the homes of local residents, especially the Maasai. Ignorance of local ethnic customs can lead to misunderstandings or even conflicts.

Malaria - is a disease prevalent in the Indian Ocean and Western Kenya. Therefore, everyone who comes to Nairobi, it is recommended to take preventive measures. The treatment begins with a week before entering the country, continues during the entire trip and 6 weeks after it. Anti-malarial tablets and certain medications can be purchased at pharmacies and supermarkets. A permanent inhabitant for these places is also a causative agent of yellow fever, therefore, it is compulsory to make vaccination for a trip to Kenya. Big cities have modern hospitals, have excellent medical facilities at Nairobi. If you are sick, so-called flying doctor will take you to Nairobi from anywhere in Kenya. It costs $ 25. It is also recommended during a safari to close the open parts of the body and use special tools against insect bites.

It is not recommended to drink water from the tap and buy fruit from street vendors. It is better to use only bottled drinks and canned packaging, and vegetables and fruits sould be well-peeled and washed before eating.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Madagascar Travel

Madagascar, larger than California and about size the size of Texas or France, is the world's 4 th largest island. Isolated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southern Africa, about 70% of the estimated 250,000 species found on the island exist nowhere else on the globe. The island is home to such evolutionary oddities as lemurs, a group of primates endemic to the island; colored lizards including geckos and chameleons; tenrecs, spiny hedgehog-like creatures; and the fossa, a carnivorous animal that looks like a cross between a puma and a dog but is closely related to the mongoose.

Nevertheless, Madagascar is an extremely poor country with poor infrastructure -- flying is often the only option to get between points since roads, when they exist, are frequently in bad condition. Phones and internet access are unknown in parts of the country and in some villages, children have never seen a person with white skin. Also, despite it's poverty, Madagascar is not a particularly cheap destination for most western tourists who are not willing to put up with the discomfort, frustrations, and hassles of public transportation.

Madagascar's wildlife is among the best in the world in terms of diversity, abundance, and approachability and travel to Madagascar for this purpose is most rewarding. Deciduous forests, crystalline lakes, massive caverns, and savanna grassland dot the broad western plains, and the southern tip of the island is covered with a magnificent desert. Madagaskar is crisscrossed by no less than 6 different micro-climates!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Sahara - the hottest place on Earth

The Sahara is one of the hottest places on Earth. Even though temperatures there may rise to 136 F (57.7 C), its dryness, not heat, that makes a place like the Sahara a desert. The frozen continent of Antarctica is so dry that some scientists consider it a desert, too.

By studying satellite photos, some scientists have come to believe that the Sahara regularly shrinks and grows. In the early 1980s, the Sahara's southern edge expanded into the Sahel, a dry band that separates the desert from the savanna. But by the mid-1980s this area was green and wet again.

Due to the massive size of the Sahara, Africa is split into 2 regions: that which lies above or forms part of the Sahara and the rest of Africa south of the Sahara. On the west, the Sahara is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the Red Sea, and to the north are the Atlas Mountains and Mediterranean Sea.

Many researchers have gone into the Sahara looking for clues as to how long ago humans began inhabiting the desert. According to archeologists, the Sahara was much more densely populated thousands of years ago when the desert's climate was not as harsh as it is today. Fossils, rock art, stone artifacts, bone harpoons, shells and many other items have been found in areas which today are considered too hot and dry to inhabit. This suggests that these areas were quite habitable thousands of years ago, but that the climate of the Sahara has since changed drastically. The artifacts found were located near remains of giraffe, elephant, buffalo, antelopes, rhinoceros, and warthog, as well as the remains of fish, crocodiles, hippopotamuses and other aquatic animals which suggests that thousands of years ago water was quite abundant in the Sahara.

The majority of the people living in the Sahara Desert are nomads, which means that these people continuously move from region to region in search of better living conditions. It is believed that the first nomadic peoples came to this region after domestic animals were introduced to the Sahara 7,000 years ago. Researchers believe that sheep and goats were introduced to the Sahara region by the Caspain culture of northern Africa.

Many of the Sahara's winds have special names:

Haboob is the Arabic name for a wild, sand-laden wind.

Khamsin, also Arabic, means "50 days." This wind sweeps across the desert from March through May, filling the air with sand.

The name of the desert wind Harmattan comes from a word in the West African language Twi that means "to tear your breath apart."

Sand dunes make up only about 15 % of the Sahara, but the desert is so huge (about 5.63 million sq km) that even a single dune may be enormous. The sand dune known as the Libyan Erg is as big as France.

About 70 % of the Sahara consists of rocky plains covered with stones and gravel. Shale and limestone plateaus or mountain ranges make up the rest. Before the Sahara became a desert, it was home to many savanna animals, including the giraffe. People began to paint and etch the Sahara's animals in desert rock about 12,000 years ago. Archaeologists estimate that the oldest remaining pictures date back to 6500 B.C.

By looking at paintings and etchings created thousands of years apart, we can see how life changed as the Sahara slowly became a desert.

Friday, November 27, 2009

An African hunting safari...

An African hunting safari will be an event that will be one of the great adventures and most exciting experience of your whole life. Hunting South Africa in the hauntingly beautiful and historic Eastern Cape Province, in the true Bushveld where the Kudu, Impala, Springbok and Bushbuck call home, will leave you with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. You not only will be treated like royalty but will discover the nature and the ambience of Africa in the most comfortable and relaxing environment possible in the Dark Continent.

South Africa provides some of Africa's best hunting but don't expect to forage into the vast untrammeled wilderness fighting off marauding Lion and fierce warlike savages, much like Selous or Burton did, you'll will be disappointed.

Zambia offers hunting in the classical sense, vast open wilderness concessions where Africa's large beasts wander freely, pretty much as they did a 100 years ago in relative solitude. Of all Africa's hunting countries, Zambia must stand amongst the top 3 as the destination of choice for those seeking the true African hunting experience. No matter if you're after the larger beasts or simply seeking the solitude of an African wilderness hunt, Zambia is where you'll find the safari of your dreams.

Zambia offers lion, leopard, cape buffalo, sable, sitatunga, roan, plus many of Africa's other common plains antelope.

In addition, Zambia has some magnificent private unfenced hunting properties which have excellent trophy quality and species not found in South Africa or Namibia - the best available trophies in the country are: Sable, Sitatunga, Roan, Livingstone's Eland, Puku, Chobe Bushbuck, Sharpe's Grysbok, Kafue Lechwe, Black Lechwe, Defassa Waterbuck plus all the other prime animals like very big Kudu (55" plus), Warthog etc.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Nile...

The Nile is famous as the longest river in the world. The river got its name from the Greek word Neilos, which means valley. The Nile floods the lands in Egypt, leaving behind black sediment. That's why the ancient Egyptians named the river Ar, meaning black.

* The Nile originates in Burundi, which is located South of the Equator and then flows across Northeastern Africa, finally crossing Egypt and then drains into the Mediterranean Sea.

* It is one of the longest rivers in the world; it used to be the longest but recent studies suggest that Amazon River can be longer than Nile. The length of the river is approximately 6695 km and the river has two tributaries.

* Only 22% of the river passes through Egypt, the other countries through which Nile passes are Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Zaire, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

* The cities that Nile flows past are Cairo, Khartoum, Gondokoro, Aswan, Karnak, Thebes and the town of Alexandria.

* River Nile has two tributaries namely the Blue Nile and the White Nile; the volume of water of Nile is mostly determined by the Blue Nile, which contributes more than 50% of the water of the Nile River but then fertility wise, both the tributaries contribute considerably. In fact White Nile is called so because it appears white due to the presence of silt. White Nile originates at Lake Victoria and then the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake Tana in Ethiopia, joins in Sudan and proceeds northwards.

* The source of the river is debatable since it is commonly known that the source of the river is Lake Victoria, which is the biggest lake in Africa, but it is observed that on the northern side of the lake there is a waterfall called Ripon Falls, which has a small opening and seemingly that is where the water in the River Nile comes from but then this cannot be held as the ultimate truth since there are many rivers that flow into Lake Victoria therefore which one of these or if all of them are the sources of The Nile. Presently River Kagera and its tributary, which is called Ruvubu whose headwaters are in Burundi, are considered to be the source of the River Nile.

* Nile also played an important in the building if the famous Pyramids since the blocks of stone, which were used to make these pyramids, were actually transported from the source to the site with the help of Nile.

The Nile Crocodile has been a major component of the Egyptian culture and way of life since the first Egyptians settled along the fertile banks of the Nile. Most Nile Crocodiles are approximately 4 meters in length, although some have been reported as longer. The animals make their nests along the banks of the Nile River, where the female may lay up to 60 eggs at one time. Some three months later the babies are born and are taken to the water by their mother. They will remain with her for at least two years before reaching maturity.

Today, exotic and sophisticated cities like Cairo grace the banks of the Nile River, as they have for thousands of years.

Ancient Egypt could not have existed without the river Nile. Since rainfall is almost non-existent in Egypt, the floods provided the only source of moisture to sustain crops. Every year, heavy summer rain in the Ethiopian highlands, sent a torrent of water that overflowed the banks of the Nile. When the floods went down it left thick rich mud (black silt) which was excellent soil to plant seeds in after it had been ploughed.

The ancient Egyptians could grow crops only in the mud left behind when the Nile flooded. So they all had fields all along the River Nile.

Melting snow and heavy summer rain in the Ethiopian Mountains sent a torrent of water causing the banks of the River Nile in Egypt to overflow on the flat desert land.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Egyptian Pyramids

There are about 110 pyramids currently known in Egypt, many in a state of great disrepair and almost unrecognisable. Some were built as burial places for kings and others for queens. A pyramid also may have represented a stairway for the king to ascend to the heavens.

How the Egyptians managed the complex organisation of labour and the physical movement of large stone blocks is still a matter for debate. Pyramid construction may have involved ramps being erected around the pyramid. Blocks of stone would have been pulled up on sledges and the ramps dismantled later. It is believed that most of the labour for the construction of the pyramids would have come from farmers who were available during the inundation season when the Nile River flooded and farmland was underwater. It would also have been an ideal time for the transportation by boat of large stone blocks from their quarries to the pyramid sites.

Ancient Egyptians believed that when the pharaoh died, he became Osiris, king of the dead. The new pharaoh became Horus, god of the heavens and protector of the sun god. This cycle was symbolized by the rising and setting of the sun.

Some part of a dead pharaoh's spirit, called his ka, was believed to remain with his body. And it was thought that if the corpse did not have proper care, the former pharaoh would not be able to carry out his new duties as king of the dead. If this happened, the cycle would be broken and disaster would befall Egypt. To prevent such a catastrophe, each dead pharaoh was mummified, which preserved his body. Everything the king would need in his afterlife was provided in his grave—vessels made of clay, stone, and gold, furniture, food, even doll-like representations of servants, known as ushabti. His body would continue to receive food offerings long after his death.

To shelter and safeguard the part of a pharaoh's soul that remained with his corpse, Egyptians built massive tombs—but not always pyramids. Before the pyramids, tombs were carved into bedrock and topped by flat-roofed structures called mastabas. Mounds of dirt, in turn, sometimes topped the structures.

The pyramid shape of later tombs could have come from these mounds. More likely, Egyptian pyramids were modeled on a sacred, pointed stone called the benben. The benben symbolized the rays of the sun; ancient texts claimed that pharaohs reached the heavens via sunbeams.

Contrary to some popular depictions, the pyramid builders were not slaves or foreigners. Excavated skeletons show that they were Egyptians who lived in villages developed and overseen by the pharaoh's supervisors.

The builders' villages boasted bakers, butchers, brewers, granaries, houses, cemeteries, and probably even some sorts of health-care facilities—there is evidence of laborers surviving crushed or amputated limbs. Bakeries excavated near the Great Pyramids could have produced thousands of loaves of bread every week.

Some of the builders were permanent employees of the pharaoh. Others were conscripted for a limited time from local villages. Some may have been women: Although no depictions of women builders have been found, some female skeletons show wear that suggests they labored with heavy stone for long periods of time.

Graffiti indicates that at least some of these workers took pride in their work, calling their teams "Friends of Khufu," "Drunkards of Menkaure," and so on—names indicating allegiances to pharaohs.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 workers built the Pyramids at Giza over 80 years. Much of the work probably happened while the River Nile was flooded.

Huge limestone blocks could be floated from quarries right to the base of the Pyramids. The stones would likely then be polished by hand and pushed up ramps to their intended positions.

It took more than manual labor, though. Architects achieved an accurate pyramid shape by running ropes from the outer corners up to the planned summit, to make sure the stones were positioned correctly. And priests-astronomers helped choose the pyramids' sites and orientations, so that they would be on the appropriate axis in relation to sacred constellations.

From stone pusher to priest, every worker would likely have recognized his or her role in continuing the life-and-death cycle of the pharaohs, and thereby in perpetuating the glory of Egypt.

The earliest pyramid was the Step Pyramid of king Djoser of the Old Kingdom's 3rd Dynasty over 4,600 years ago. The pyramid was the largest structure ever erected at Saqqara, the necropolis that overlooked the ancient capital of Memphis. Its construction was initially in the form of a low mastaba tomb upon which extra levels were gradually added to give it a step-like appearance.

Underneath Djoser's pyramid was a complex system of corridors with a burial chamber lined with Aswan pink granite about 28 metres underground. The entrance was sealed with a three-tonne granite plug. The pyramid's outside would have been cased with fine limestone, but this was removed long ago. Nearby were the Mortuary Temple, a Great Court and various other structures.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Towns of Egypt

Egypt is home to some of the most recognisable landmarks in the world: the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Tutankhamun's Gold as well as the Nile River and the fabulous temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, undoubtedly the grandest temple in all of Egypt.

The biggest and well known towns of Egypt


Aswan is one of the most attractive towns in Egypt with many monuments within easy reach including the Temple of Philae. The temple was dismantled and reassembled about 500 miles away when they built the High Dam. A huge attraction itself, the High Dam was hailed as an engineering miracle with is was built in the 1960s. Today it provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt.


Founded on the site of Babylon, near the ruins of ancient Memphis, Cairo has been the largest city in Africa for centuries. More than 15 million people work in the city every day. Modern Cairo encompasses many former cities and their monuments and is today a bustling metropolis with high-rise buildings dotting the skyline. Five thousand years of culture are concentrated here, at the junction of three continents. World-renowned landmarks within the city include the Egyptian Museum, the Citadel, many famous mosques, and the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar. In the desert, just a few miles from the city, one finds the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx and the ruins of the ancient city of Memphis.


Edfu houses the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt, essential viewing for archaeological enthusiasts. Dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god, it was built during the reigns of six Ptolemies, beginning in 237 BC.

Kom Ombo

As you arrive by boat the magnificent Ptolemaic temple is in a dramatic setting on high ground beside the Nile, surrounded by sugarcane fields. Dedicated jointly to Haroeris, The Good Doctor, and Sobek, the crocodile god, the temple is famous for its twin entrances, halls and sanctuaries.


Luxor is unique among the cities of the world. Wherever you tread, you feel you are experiencing the past and the present at one and the same time. There is hardly a place in the city that does not have a relic that tells of the grandeur of the Egyptians of several thousand years ago. That is why the visitor is awed by the city, made immortal by its huge pillared monuments along both banks of the Nile - in the City of the Living, in the east, where the life-giving sun rises; and in the City of the Dead, in the west, where the sun, in its never-ending orbit, bids farewell to life! On the east bank of the Nile, in the City of the Living, Luxor and Karnak Temples greet the sunrise.

First, tours to Egypt were only specified to big cities like Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan, later on a need was developed to visit other smaller cities (Edfu, Kom ombo, Esna ...). As most of the monuments are closer to the river Nile, cruises were the best solution for a trip that allows tourists to enjoy the beautiful nature of the Egyptian countryside while visiting monument of our ancient civilization.

Nowadays, there are more than 300 Nile cruises, offering different types of services and prices (from 7 to 4 stars). Nile cruises trips can be found for 7,4 and 3 nights depending on the visits itinerary.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Africa....Fact File

  • Africa is the second largest of the earth’s seven continents and makes up approximately 22% of the earth’s total land area.
  • With the inclusion of the disputed Western Sahara territory and the island nations off the continental coast, there are a total of 54 independent nations in Africa.
  • The current population of Africa is nearly one billion people. Due to rapid population growth in the continent over the last 40 years, its general population is relatively young.
  • In many African states, more than half of the population is under the age of 25.
  • While Africa makes up about 16% of the world’s population, fully one quarter of the world’s languages are spoken only in Africa.
  • Arabic (in various dialects) is the most common language spoken in Africa with about 170 million speakers, primarily residing in North Africa.
  • In the continent as a whole, there are over 2,000 recognized languages spoken.
  • Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with an estimated population of 125–145 million people. Egypt is the second most populous country with over 76 million people.
  • The most populated city in Africa is the Egyptian capital of Cairo with an estimated 17 million residents in the metropolitan area.
  • The largest country in Africa is Sudan with a total area of 967,490 square miles (2.5 million square kilometers), and the smallest country is the island nation of The Seychelles with a total area of just 175 square miles (453 square kilometers).
  • Population experts estimate that there are at least 3,000 distinct ethnic groups (tribes) in Africa. Nigeria alone has more than 370 recognized tribes within its population.
  • The Nile River is the longest river in the world with a total length of 4,132 miles
  • Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, covering an area of 26,830 square miles (69,490 square kilometers).
  • The Nile River, which drains into the Mediterranean Sea at the northeastern edge of Africa, is the longest river in the world with a total length of 4,132 miles (6,650 kilometers).
  • Africa contains the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, which makes up an area greater in size than the entire continental U.S.
  • While Egypt is most well known for its pyramids, the Republic of Sudan actually has 223 of its own pyramids, double the number of pyramids in Egypt. Smaller and steeper than their Egyptian counterparts, the pyramids of Sudan are not nearly as famous.
  • The deserts of Tunisia housed the original Star Wars movie sets for the film's planet Tatooine. More than 30 years after the premier of the first movie in the series, the sets are still very well preserved and visitors to Tunisia can even stay in Luke Skywalker’s home.
  • Africa is the poorest and most underdeveloped of all of the continents, despite its wealth of natural resources. The average poor person in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to live on just $.70 a day.
  • More than 17 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have died of AIDS, and experts estimate that at least 25 million more people in Africa are HIV-positive.
  • Central eastern Africa is believed by most scientists to be the origin place of both humans and great apes. The earliest remains of the modern human species Homo sapiens have been found in Ethiopia and date to roughly 200,000 years ago.
  • The scientist Charles Darwin was the first to suggest that the ancestors of human beings may have originated in Africa. However, prejudicial attitudes toward the continent made many people in the Western world highly resistant to the idea until well into the twentieth century.
  • Prior to the colonization of the African continent, historians believe Africa was made up of as many as 10,000 different states and autonomous groups, ranging in size from small family groups of hunter-gatherers to large kingdoms.
  • South Africa was one of the first African nations to gain its independence from colonial rule after the imperial period. However, black residents of the state lived under a forced system of segregation called Apartheid (meaning “separateness”) until 1994 when the country held its first democratic elections with universal suffrage. The famous civil rights leader Nelson Mandela was elected as president.
  • While Africa is the second largest of the earth’s seven continents, it has the shortest coastline, due to very few jutting edges and bays in its landscape.
  • Among the native population of Africa, there are more physical variations than on any other continent in the world.
  • There are fewer people with Internet access in the entire continent of Africa than in New York City alone.
  • In Tunisia, images of fish are often used to protect against evil. New buildings often have fish bones or tails embedded in them as they are built, and cars have brightly colored plastic or cloth fish attached to them to provide protection to the people inside.