A General Introduction to Africa
Source : thesouthafrican.com
The nation that called out to hundreds and thousands of explorers in the 1800s, and for most of us, still holds a certain air of suspense and mystery. One of the most popular tourist spots there are, and a definite entry on everybody’s Places to See Before I Die list. This large piece of the Earth’s landmass- the second largest continent, in fact- has well over a billion residents, more than 15% of the world’s entire population. It has about 54 countries, but that number undergoes changes as governments are coup’d, lose interest or a rebel state is bought under control.
About 2000 languages are spoken in the Continent of Africa and mostly belong to one of four major groups: Afro Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, and Khoisan group. There are some places which speak non-African languages too. A good amount of people speak Arabic, with English, French, and Portuguese making a prominent entrance in the colonial cities.
As a tourist hot-spot, Africa is famous for a number of things. This land of deserts and camels, of rolling plains and cattle, of huge Savannahs filled with majestic lions and fierce tigers, gets well over a whopping 30 million tourists a year!
They come here to see the roaring waterfalls and the tranquil groves of Nature, the majestic Lion in his natural habitat, perhaps with a fresh kill in front of him and one of the greatest sights ever to be seen in Nature, The Great Migration. Some of the best, most amusing and amazing holiday destinations in Africa:
Victoria Falls, Zambia
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The highest waterfall in the whole world, The Victoria Falls inspires awe in even the most lethargic and unappreciative of people. Standing at a height of 108 meters, it was named by the famed explorer, David Livingstone, after Queen Victoria. The African name of the falls is ‘Mosaic-oa-Tunya’, which is loosely translated to; The Smoke that Thunders’: a reference to the immense spray and noise the Victoria Falls make. The surrounding area is a Savannah and is thus filled with rhinos, hippos, and lions.
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One of the most famous sites to see in The Dark Continent, Djenne in Mali is one that dumbfounds even the most experienced of travelers. The site has several thousand buildings made from hard-baked earth and palm fronds. This amazing town dates to the 3rd century. One of the most awesome buildings in this almost prehistoric town is The Great Mosque, which was built in 1907 by French colonial authorities. The Old Town is a UNESCO Heritage Site.
The Sahara Desert, Africa
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The Sahara is one of the most legendary deserts in the world, stretching all the way from North Africa to far Morocco in the far West. The shifting sand dunes, going this way and that due to the heavy winds that blow, make a rather isolated, romantic place unlike any other on God’s green Earth. The ideal base to explore the desert from is the village of Merzouga, from where groups of camels head out everyday carrying tourists and guides both.
In your Africa tour package don’t forget to enjoy morocco desert tours, which is one of the most memorable experience.
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This place, often called the ‘Camelot of Ethiopia’, is known far and wide for some of the best historical remains to be found in the Dark Continent. Many amazing buildings were built by the Emperor Fasilides and his descendants, particularly the Royal Enclosure named Fasil Ghebbi, in the 17th Century. The rambling city has palaces, banquet halls, libraries and almost every other feat of architecture once can imagine. One also finds European architecture here, brought here by Portuguese missionaries.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
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One of the most famous national parks in Africa, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is home to various species of African animals like lions, giraffes, buffaloes, leopards, zebras wildebeest and, gazelles, which are found across a multitude of natural habitats like plains, Savannah and even woodlands. This is also the site of one of nature’s greatest miracles, the Serengeti Migration- where millions of animals like zebra and wildebeest head for green pasture-land found in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Many tourist companies offer tour packages that are much more safe and enjoyable than heading there on your own.
Silverback Gorillas, Rwanda
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In one’s life, one can forget many things, but an encounter with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda will stay with you for this life, and the next. There are many companies that have guides and trackers offering tours of the Silverback Gorilla routes in the park. With an elevation of more than 6000 feet, The Nyungwe National Park is a very isolated region which covers more than 386 square miles across Southwest Rwanda.
The Pyramids of Giza, Giza
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The most famous of any building found at Giza near Cairo the huge pyramid of King Cheops was constructed around 2650 BC. The various sides of this pyramid are perfectly aligned to the North, South, East, and West. It was constructed from a whopping 2.5 million blocks of limestone. The second pyramid, built by Cheop’s son, Chephren, is about similar in size and has the entrances to a large and nicely decorated burial chamber that still holds the sacred granite sarcophagus of King Chephren. There is also a third but a smaller pyramid named the Pyramid of Mycerinus. All three of the larger pyramids are surrounded by many other, much smaller pyramids and a large number of tombs. The Pyramids of Giza are one of the most famous tourist spots in the whole of Africa.
The Great Sphinx, Giza
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The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the most gargantuan Temples built in Egypt. It is a limestone Temple found en route to the Valley Temple of King Chefren, having the body of a mythical creature known as a Sphinx, a lion with a human head. The Sphinx face is believed that it represents the Pharaoh Khafre. On the west banks of Nile in Giza Egypt this place stands on the Giza Plateau, on the west bank of the Nile in Giza Egypt. it is certainly the oldest known monument in Egypt and is believed to have been constructed by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom Circa 2558 to 2532 BC. Along with the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx is one of the most popular tourist spots in the whole of the African continent.
The river Nile, Egypt
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The Nile is the longest river in the whole world, going along the length of Africa. A romantic ride down the river Nile, on an isolated boat rather than a crowded tourist ferry, reveals a subtle beauty of Africa rarely noticed.
Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
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A small 10 minutes ride across the Bazaruto archipelago takes you to the Azura Retreats Lodge on Benguerra Island. Not only is the aerial view of the archipelago simply breathtaking, this trip is worth it just to stay one night at the Azura Retreats Lodge. This famed Boutique Hotel has won many awards and is set on a remote desert island. A marine National Park is situated around the Lodge, giving residents the chance to see fun dolphins, rare dugong, and even the magnanimous whales!
The Solio Reserve, Kenya
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The Solio Reserve in Kenya is on the dramatic slopes of Mount Kenya and the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains. It is home to more than 250 black and white Rhinos , and is considered the best place in the whole of Africa to see this endangered species in their own natural habitat.
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Mount Kilimanjaro at 5895 meters, is Africa’s highest mountain and one of the world’s highest mountains. It makes a varied, dramatic and climatic natural habitat for the certainly unique species of animals and birds that nest and live on this mountain. The absolute peak of this mountain is often above the clouds and climbers require proper oxygen masks.
Africa is certainly one of the most unique and varied landscapes to be found on God’s Green Earth. The animals, birds, and plants that inhabit this continent are some of the rarest and weird to be found. The list above contains 12 exotic locations that you must visit if you set your mind to the goal: destination Africa!