A guide on the most popular languages in Africa

What comes to your mind when Africa is mentioned? For some, it’s the wildlife and scenery. For others, their minds travel to the food and culture. Today we want your mind to embrace the diversity that lies in Africa through its languages. For anyone planning to travel to Africa, you need to have a grasp on the wording you would encounter there because not everyone speaks English. This article will give you a breakdown of the most popular African languages.

Swahili

Swahili is the most commonly spoken language in all of Africa. It is estimated to have about 150 million speakers. Some refer to Swahili as the “Bantu language.” The language first originated in parts of other languages such as Arabic.

Swahili is the official language spoken in Kenya, The Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda. Other countries spoken include Burundi, Somalia, Comoros Islands, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Sudan. 

Swahili is not a language that is considered difficult to learn. However, if you already know a bit of Arabic, that makes the learning process easier. 

Fun Fact: Swahili is the language used in The Lion King.

Arabic 

Arabic is one of the six most common languages, with over 250 million speakers across the globe. It comes in different variations, mainly Classical Arabic (used for learning the language) and Modern Standard Arabic (used for communication among speakers). More than 20 countries have Arabic as their official language. Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco are a few countries that speak Arabic.

You can find traces of Arabic all over the English Language. For example, words such as coffee and algebra have Arabic origin.

Fun Fact: The Language is at least 1500 years old, and some scholars claim it is even older than that.

Read this article about holiday and tourism in Tunisia, one of the popular-speaking Arabic language countries in Africa.

French

The language of love is third to make it to our list; while not an African language, it is the official language in several African countries and thus cannot be ignored. In fact, a total of 26 countries in Africa speak French.

There are over 200 million French speakers worldwide. Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Sao Tome, and Senegal are examples of African languages where French is the official language.

Non-African countries that speak French include Canada, France, and Belgium.

Fun Fact: About 45% of words in the English language are of French origin. Examples of such terms are beret, champagne, and arcade.

Hausa

Hausa is one of the most widely spoken languages in Nigeria, specifically Northern Nigeria. However, it is also said by Non-Nigerian folk in Africa and beyond. Benin, Togo, and Germany are other countries where Hausa is spoken. The language boasts of over 65 million native speakers and about 50 million speakers who use it as a second language.

It belongs to the group of languages known as Chadic languages. These languages are predominantly spoken in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. 

Hausa is featured on major foreign broadcasting stations such as British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Voice of Russia, and Radio France Internationale. It is the only Nigerian Language with this track record.

Fun Fact: Hausa has an advanced writing system; not only that, but it also has a braille system. 

Yoruba 

Yoruba is a popular language in Western Africa. It is one of the third most spoken languages in Nigeria, alongside Hausa and Igbo. Yoruba is spoken mainly by its native speakers in “Yorubaland” (Western Nigeria) and by a few others who use it as their Second Language. Yoruba is also used in other countries such as Benin and Togo. Yoruba exists in more than 15 dialects. A few of them include Ijesha, Ekiti, Ijebu, and Akoko.

Fun Fact

Yoruba is not just a language but the name of an ethnic group in Nigeria. It is one of the three major ethnic groups.

Igbo

Igbo is a prominent Nigerian language with its tentacles across Western and Central Africa. Igbo speakers total at about 18 million. It is mainly spoken in Eastern Nigeria, referred to as “Igboland.” It isn’t easy to trace the origin of Igbo as a language. In an attempt to translate the Bible, Missionaries developed a standard version of Igbo that unites all Igbo speakers.

A majority of Igbo speakers are bilingual since the official Nigerian Language is English. However, this means that they are surrounded by non-Igbo speakers outside Igbo territory and would have to resort to English to be understood.

Fun Fact

Igbo is a tonal language, and it is written in Roman Script. 

Oromo

Oromo can be described as the half-brother of the most popular language spoken in Ethiopia- Amharic. It belongs to the Cushitic branch of languages and is the third most spoken language in Africa. However, Oromo is not just a language, and it is also an ethnic group in Ethiopia. The Oromo people make up about 40% of Ethiopia’s population. 

Kenya, Somalia, and Egypt are other countries where Oromo is spoken. About 30 million people use this language. 

Fun Fact

In the 20th century, sometime between 1974 and 1991, people were banned from speaking or writing the language. In fact, it was considered a crime to use it.

Amharic

Many of you may be new to this language. Amharic is the primary language spoken in Ethiopia by over 20 million speakers. It belongs to a group of languages referred to as Semitic languages and is the second most spoken one after Arabic. Semitic languages are languages that originated from the Middle East. Other Semitic languages are Arabic and Tigrinya. 

Former rulers imposed the language on the nation to unify the country, and to an extent, they succeeded as it is now the official lingua franca in Ethiopia. However, a large portion of the nation does not speak or understand Amharic.

Fun Fact

Amharic is such a national treasure the capital of Ethiopia is in Amharic. Addis Ababa means New Flower in Amharic. 

Shona

Shona is predominantly spoken in Zimbabwe alongside English, with over 10 million speakers. Shona has three distinct dialects- Karanga, Zezuru, and Korekore. While the exact origin of the language cannot be traced, it stems from the Bantu/Nguni language group. It uses a Latin script for writing like many other languages in Southern Africa.

Fun Fact

Shona also has different forms used for other purposes. For example, the low version is used casually, e.g., talking with friends and family at home, while the higher version is used when praying.

Zulu

This is one of the most widely spoken languages in South Africa, with a coverage of about 10 million people. Other countries where you can find Zulu speakers include Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Swaziland. 

Zulu belongs to the Bantu language group and shares close ties with Xhosa and Ndebele. In fact, the similarities between Zulu and Xhosa are so many that many think they are the same language. This is why a Zulu speaker can understand Xhosa and vice versa.

There are two forms of Zulu language; standard Zulu and urban Zulu. The typical form is taught in schools and focuses on pure language. However, the urban form is used mainly for communication among the youths, and it borrows extensively from the English Language.

Fun Fact

Zulu is not only a language but an entire tribe of people based in South Africa.

Conclusion

After reading this article, your knowledge of popular African languages should’ve expanded significantly. There’s no reason you shouldn’t go a step further in trying to learn one or two of these languages seeing how ground they cover not just in Africa but across the globe. Learning any of these languages is a chance to connect with a new culture.

Learn more about African languages.

A guide to unique animals in Nigeria

Nigeria is home to many different ecosystems. Within its borders, you can find savannas, swamps, deserts, mountains, and forests. With a portfolio like this, it should be of no surprise the kind of diverse wildlife that lies hidden in Nigeria’s nooks and crannies. There are over 40,000 species of animals scattered around the country, and this article will intimate you with a few of them.

Unique animals in Nigeria

Nigeria is a land unique in many ways. Even the wildlife in the country boast of being different from the animals in other parts of the world. A few of them can’t be found anywhere else outside the Nigerian border.

Below we listed a few of them:

Nigerian Klipspringer

Photo credit: Wikipedia

These antelope-like animals can be found in Jos Plateau. These are West Africa’s only population of klipspringers. They are adorable creatures that look like they were pulled from Disney’s Bambi.

Fox’s Shaggy Rat

Photo credit: Wikipedia

This rodent species belongs to the family Muridae. They can only be found in Nigeria. These brown-furred creatures can be found in plantations, swamplands, moist savannahs, and flooded grasslands.

Niger Delta Red Colobus

Photo credit: Rainforest Trust

These monkeys are indeed a sight to behold if you are lucky enough to see one. However, their bright red fur is their most captivating feature. The red fur takes a more significant portion of their back down to their limbs. Other parts of their fur are colored either white or black.

They are known to travel in groups of 15-80 and mostly on forest vegetation. They spend a large portion of their time traveling and avoiding the crowned eagle- its most feared predator.

Sclater’s Monkey

Photo credit: YoubaNet

The Sclater monkey is an arboreal and diurnal primate endemic to Southern Nigeria. Like all guenons, Sclater’s guenon has beautifully colored fur. However, their furs are a mix of grey and white. These monkeys were thought to be endangered at some point, but several populations were rediscovered in Niger and Cross River.

Their population is protected by groups who believe the monkey is sacred. Another population can be found in captivity at the Centre for Education, Rehabilitation, and Conservation of Primates and Nature in Cross River State, Nigeria.

Kaduna Acraea

Cheers to the first insect on our list. The Kaduna Acraea is a butterfly that belongs to the Nymphalidae family. These butterflies are found in flood plains and swamps around Zaria and Kaduna.

Nigeria Euptera

Photo credit: Wikiwand

This is another class of butterflies found in Nigeria. You may have seen them before with their black and yellow spotted wings.

Jos Plateau Indigo Bird

Photo credit: DiBird

The Jos Plateau Indigo birds are endemic to Nigeria. However, you’ll find their eggs in the nest of the rock firefinch, another animal restricted to Nigeria’s borders. Their reason for doing this is because they cannot incubate their eggs themselves. Therefore, to avoid suspicion from the host bird, they take away the eggs from the nest they dropped their eggs in. They breed all around the year but mainly during the cold harmattan season.

Anambra Waxbill

Photo credit: Steemit

The Anambra Waxbill is a small bird of beautiful colors that can only be found in Nigeria. These birds usually group themselves in small flocks of 20 and feed off seeds and grasses. A typical Anambra waxbill is a dun-colored finch with a reddish beak and rump. Lagoons, swamps, marshlands, and forests are good places to find these birds. Unlike other waxbill counterparts, the Anambra waxbill has pale eyes.

Ibadan Malimbe

The Ibadan Malimbe is a rare bird endemic to Western Nigeria, and unfortunately, it is not well known. The Malimbe is a small black bird with red feathers covering its head and chest. Female Malimbes have fewer red coverings compared to their male counterparts. You can find them in small groups foraging for food. Sometimes they feed alongside their cousins – the redhead Malimbe.

Perret’s Toad

Photo credit: Species Conservation

This toad is endemic to Idanre Hills in Ondo state. Initially, it was believed that the toad would be spotted in areas similar to the hills, but surveys have failed to prove this thought. Unfortunately, they are listed as critically endangered species because of the decline in the quality of their habitat.

Gotel Mountain Soft-furred Mouse

Photo credit: Living Things

The Gotel Mountain mouse, also called Gotel Mountain Praomys, belongs to the rodent species Muridae. These mice are endemic to the Gotel mountains in Southeastern Nigeria. You can typically find them in forests; gallery forests, swamp forests, and fern-grasslands.

Unfortunately, these soft-furred creatures are threatened with habitat loss mainly caused by deforestation. These forests have suffered severe logging cases, or they have been converted for agricultural use by humans.

Most Endangered Animals in Nigeria

Animals across the globe are fast becoming endangered. Animals in Nigeria are not exempt from this. We must protect these animals in the best way we can while the government and reserves do their best to prevent these creatures from going extinct.

Below we listed a few endangered animals in Nigeria:

Dama Gazelle

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Dama gazelle is white with a brown head and neck. They have long S-shaped horns; the males usually have longer horns than the females. These animals cannot adapt to heat; hence many of them die off from overheating during droughts. In addition, their diet is dominated by vegetation; this is another reason why they cannot adapt to droughts. Humans have also contributed to their reduced numbers because they are hunted for meat. These gazelles are amongst the largest of their kind; they easily evade danger by using their strong legs to prance away.

West African Lion

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The West African and South African lions share similar traits. However, the most distinguishing feature between the two is that West African lions are smaller and have no manes. These lions have become endangered due to habitat loss for the sake of Agriculture. Many of them can be found in captivity, and they are said to thrive well in captivity.

Pygmy Hippopotamus

Photo credit: San Diego Zoo

Pygmy hippos are endangered mainly because of habitat loss. Habitat loss occurs from deforestation in the form of mining, logging, and poaching. So naturally, these creatures should be rarely seen and heard from. However, they are closer to humans than ever, which has contributed to their numbers’ decline.

Northwestern African Cheetahs

These cheetahs have a different look from the rest of their feline counterparts. Their fur is almost white in appearance, and the upper half of their body is littered with black spots. The spots fade off to brown as they approach the lower half of its body. They have no spots on their face but black “teardrops.”

These cheetahs prey on the gazelle, antelope, and addax. They developed nocturnal traits to survive the hot climate of Nigeria’s savanna. Unfortunately, they are critically endangered.

Western Gorilla

Photo credit: World Wild Life

Of all gorilla subspecies, the Western Gorilla is the most popular. They are found all over Central Africa, Gabon, Congo, and Nigeria. It is easy to differentiate them from other gorillas because they are slightly smaller. They also have broader skulls and smaller ears.

Over the past 20-25 years, these gorillas have declined in number significantly. This is due to poaching and disease.

Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee

Photo credit: Wikipedia

As the name already indicates, the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee is native to Cameroon and Nigeria. These primate subspecies can weigh about 154 pounds and reach a height of 5.2 feet. Unfortunately, due to human activity, these creatures have become critically endangered. However, they can still be found in a few forests Oluwa Forest Reserve and Idanre Forest Reserve.

Where to Find Wild Animals in Nigeria

If you are ever in Nigeria and want to get a taste of the wildlife but have no idea where to visit, try some of the locations listed below:

  • Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary- Gorillas Hubspot
  • Okomu National Park- The best place to see forest elephants
  • Yankari National Park- Top spot to see Savanna elephants
  • Nyaki Forest Reserve- You can catch a glimpse of the Nigerian-Cameroon chimpanzees here.
  • Kainji Lake National Park- An excellent spot to check for leopards which are coming harder to find in Nigeria

Conclusion

It’s amazing what you can find in the crevices of Nigeria’s mountains and savannas. Some of these animals are so rare they can’t be found anywhere else. So who wouldn’t want to rush down there to get a glimpse of these magnificent creatures up close? Unfortunately, wildlife in Nigeria is under threat. As the day progresses, more animals are at risk of becoming endangered due to habitat loss. Therefore, we are encouraged to be mindful of how we interact with the environment and how it affects the wildlife near us. Since the reduced quality of their habitat is caused by farming, mining, deforestation, and other forms of human activities.

Check out 13 famous buildings in Africa.

Most popular African dishes

Africa is known for many things. Thousands of tourists flood the continent yearly because of the cultural diversity, climate, and natural wonders. One thing we believe draws people’s attention to the continent is what they eat.

African cuisine is as diverse as its culture. Most of the food requires great attention to detail. Whether you find yourself in the desert lands of Northern Africa or the Sahel plains in the West, every region presents a delicacy that surpasses your expectations.

In this article, we will outline some of the most popular African dishes, and where they are from:

Jollof Rice – Nigeria

Photo Credit: The Dinner Bite

Jollof rice is a meal popular in Western Africa. A fierce rivalry exists between Ghana and Nigeria on whose jollof rice is better as each claims to own the more delicious variety. Jollof is rice prepared in tomato sauce with a protein of your choice. The spices that go into making the tomato paste are what give it the burst of flavor that Nigerians can’t seem to get over.

Fried chicken is the most common accompaniment of jollof rice alongside a creamy salad and a chilled drink. Fried beef, goat meat, turkey, and fish are also other options that can accompany your jollof rice.

Kapenta with Sadza – Zimbabwe

Photo Credit: Food Lovers

Many people who visit Zimbabwe fall in love with the crisp-fried goodness that is kapenta. Kapenta is a dish prepared with two species of freshwater fish found in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Zambia. This dish is usually presented with a steaming hot bowl of sadza, also known as pap in other African countries. Kapenta can be prepared either fresh or dried.

Koki – Cameroon

Photo Credit: Immaculate Bites

If you ever find yourself within Central Africa, specifically Cameroon, we will advise you to look for this delightful appetizer. We don’t think a visit to Cameroon is worth the trouble if you pass up an opportunity to taste koki.

Koki is primarily made from cowpeas. The cowpeas are mashed and steamed in banana leaves for flavour. Its color is derived from the palm oil it is made with and it is often made with other condiments such as crayfish, pieces of fish, and chilli peppers.

Some may consider this a close cousin to the Nigerian moi-moi. A dish made with black-eyed peas with a similar preparation process to koki. It can be eaten alone or served as a side dish with rice.

Beyenatu – Ethiopia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ethiopian restaurants are scattered across Africa and even around the world. Their cuisine has gained popularity for its use of spices and injera. Ijera is a bread used in eating stews and sauces. Beyenatu is a vegetarian dish made with a variety of vegetables and lentils. Not surprisingly, it is served with injera and it is enjoyed most when shared.

Plasa – Gambia

Photo Credit: Access Gambia

Plasa is a stew commonly eaten in Sierra Leone and Gambia. The dish is prepared with a variety of green leaves. Leaves used for Plasa are cooked in oil (usually palm oil, or other oils) and spiced with chili peppers, onions, meat, and fish. The most common way to eat Plasa is with plain boiled rice.

Fricasse – Tunisia

Photo Credit: Afooda

The fricasse is a sandwich, it’s easy to tell from the appearance of the meal what it is. The flavor packed sandwich is common in Tunisia and it is rich in calories. The sandwich’s base is made from eggs, olives, corpers, hummus, boiled potatoes, and more. It can easily be made at home but the fricasse can be easily gotten in any local fast food restaurant.

Rechta – Algeria

Photo Credit: TasteAtlas

Let’s take you on a trip to Algeria with this dish consisting of noodles and chicken sauce. The noodles used for Rechta are made from flour, salt, water, and ghee. Its sauce is a blend of onions, garlic, chickpeas, cinnamon, potatoes, and more. Not to mention chicken pieces are also added to the sauce for more flavor. Retchta is most popular during festive events such as weddings, Ashura, and Eid al Fitr.

Maafe – Mali

Photo Credit: Nate’s Food

This traditional stew (soup) is enjoyed across different regions in West and Central Africa. However, its origin is traced to the Bambara people of Mali. Maafe has many versions, each one common to a specific tribe.

Regardless of how it is made, maafe is made from roasted peanut flour. Other ingredients used in making the sauce include tomato paste, fish or meat, vegetables, and spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, and coriander. Variations only differ in consistency and sometimes texture.

The side dishes served with it are heavily influenced by the region where it is prepared. It could be served with anything from rice, sweet potatoes, or fufu.

Bazin – Libya

Photo Credit: TeachMideast

The popular Libyan dish known as Bazin is simply unleavened bread. The preparation process is simple. Some barley flour is boiled with salt and beaten with a stick until it forms the dough that is baked/ steamed to form bazin.

Bazin is traditionally eaten and shared using the right hand. The bread is eaten with stew, mutton, boiled eggs, or potatoes.

Yassa Poulet – Senegal

Photo Credit: Cuisine Az

This dish originated from Senegal but over time it has gained popularity across West Africa. Assa is a spicy sauce prepared with either marinated fish or poultry. Other ingredients used in preparing Yassa are lemon and mustard. This is common to more specific regions in Senegal. Lamb is another meat used in preparing Yassa.

Pap en Vleis – South Africa

Photo Credit: Food24

Pap and vleis is a food combination dearly loved by South Africans. It is safe to say it has got them on “chokehold”. The term literally translates to maize porridge and meat. It is an umbrella term for any combination of pap and stewed or roasted meat with a side dish of spicy gravy or relish.

Chambo- Malawi

Photo Credit: Onclaudinine.com

Chambo is a fish found in Lake Malawi ( also called Lake Nyasa). Chambo belongs to the Tilapia family making it easy to find and prepare. The major ingredients used in preparing chambo is curry and fruit chutney.

After the fish is fried and cooked in the gravy mix leaving an outstanding flavor that can’t be forgotten easily.

Koshari- Egypt

Photo Credit: Amira’s Pantry

Koshari (or koushari/ koshary) is a dish that introduces us to the cuisine of the average Egyptian family. The dish is a vegetarian one made with rice, lentils, garlic, chickpeas, tomatoes, and fried onions. Prepared koshari sends any Egyptian into a frenzy to have some. It’s no wonder it can be found easily on the streets of Egypt as popular street food.

Pastilla- au Pigeon- Morocco

Photo Credit: Cuisine Marocaine

Moroccan dishes have earned a lot of prestige in the culinary space very the last few decades. However, tangines and couscous dishes take the lead. The pastilla au pigeon also called b’stila is a dish that is complex and multifaceted. It is often presented at feasts.

The dish bursts with different flavors (sweet and savory). B’stilla is a pie prepared with shredded squab (or chicken, when squabs are difficult to come by) thickened with egg sauce. Not only that, the dish is accompanied by pastries, and layers of nutty or spicy filling.

As we mentioned earlier, the dish is presented at feasts, hence no grad celebration is complete without pastilla au pigeon on the menu.

Piri Piri Chicken- Mozambique

Photo Credit: Explorers Kitchen

Tourists in Mozambique refer to the dish as grilled chicken piri piri. Traditionally it is served with matapa- cassava leaves cooked in peanut sauce. The cuisine in Mozambique is a mix of Portuguese, Arab, and Oriental cultures.

Nyama na Irio – Kenya

Photo Credit: Kenya TravelTips

Everyone has that one dish they consider “comfort food”. If you ever find yourself on the streets of Kenya ask the average Kenyan what their comfort food is and expect them to say Irio with zest.

Originally a Kikuyu staple, Nyama na irio has spread its tentacle across Kenya and created a spot for itself in the hearts of many Kenyans. The dish is made with potatoes, peas, corn, beans, and onions. It is usually served with well-spiced roasted meat.

Seswaa- Botswana

Photo Credit: 123RF

Seswaa is a traditional meat dish in Botswana. The dish also known as leswao is primarily made from goat and beef. Locals prefer to use the legs, necks, and backs of these animals to prepare the meal. Leswao is mostly presented at ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, and national events. Most times it is served with pap (porridge made from maize)

Conclusion

We’ve come to the end of our trip around Africa exploring some of the continent’s most popular and tasty dishes. We hope this post has opened your eyes to the endless opportunities for delicious food waiting to be tasted in African countries.

Tunisia holiday and tourism guide

With magnificent beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history, there is no mystery as to why Tunisia is one of the most visited countries in Africa. The country has so much to offer it makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what to do once there. That is why we wrote this article- to help you discover the best places to visit in Tunisia.

Modern-day Tunisia is sweltering with diverse cultures left behind from ancient civilization. This is evident from some of the structures still standing there today.

We didn’t just list the famous tourist attractions; we also added a few not-so-popular ones.

Top places to visit in Tunisia

Here are the most visited spots in Tunisia:

El Djem Amphitheater

El Djem Amphitheater
Photo: WorldAllDetails

Tunisia is famous for being littered with ancient ruins from the Roman Empire. A testament to this is the El Djem Amphitheater.

The incredible structure has remained well-preserved over the years and remains one of the greatest highlights of sightseeing in Tunisia today. It is regarded as one of the best architectural structures left standing in the world.

You don’t have to look at it when you get there. Visitors and tourists are allowed to walk the corridors under the arena- and feel just like the gladiators did. You can also sit in the theater and imagine the kind of battles that took place in this very spot.

Djerba

Djerba, Tunisia
Photo: Vincci Hotels

Djerba islands offer all its guests the perfect beach escape. Houmt Souk is the main attraction of the island. Like other parts of Tunisia, whitewashed houses are seen everywhere. The town also doubles as a famous shopping center where many handcrafts vendors showcase their wares

However, in a town like Houmt Souk, you want to be on the beach enjoying the sun on your skin or a cool drink under trimmed palm trees.

Carthage

Carthage, Tunisia
Photo: TourHQ

The city’s name stirs up images of famous Greek characters such as Dido and Hannibal and stories set on the Mediterranean sea.  These are just a few reasons why Carthage is one of the most visited sites in Tunisia. The city has suffered centuries of Muslim attacks and Punic wars, leaving it the deserted ruin we see today.

Grand Erg Oriental

Grand Erg Oriental, Tunisia
Photo: covoyageurs.com

It is effortless to forget this part of Tunisia exists. We are often shown the whitewashed shores of the country that make us long for a relaxing day on the beach. However, Tunisia has a desert that covers a significant portion of the country.

The most famous part of Tunisia’s desert is the Grand Erg Oriental- a collection of dunes. These dunes are so aesthetically pleasing they feel surreal. The chances of getting bored in a spot like this are very slim. The desert is considered a large recreational ground.

Riding dune buggies and camels is the order of the day. However, tourists have admitted that the best thing you can do is sit on one of these enormous dunes and watch the sunset.

The National Bardo Musuem

The National Bardo Musuem
Photo: Wikipedia.org

Not everyone has a museum at the top of their must-visit list when exploring a new country. The National Bardo Museum is an exception; very few remain unimpressed with the building’s display.

It is considered one of North Africa’s best museums as it houses some of the world’s most important mosaic collections. Not only are the mosaics displayed beautifully, but they also hold significant meaning.

For example, some of the items curated in the Museum were used in conducting ancient Roman rituals, some involving human sacrifice. You don’t get to see something like that every day.

Kairouan

Kairouan, Tunisia
Photo: World Pilgramage Guide

Kairouan city is located in Central Tunisia, and it is regarded as one of the holy cities in Islam. It is the fourth most important city after Mecca.

Minarets and domes fill the skies in these parts of Tunisia since the buildings here take their inspiration from Arabic architecture, some of them beautiful beyond imagination. Mosques, madrassas, and tombs form a majority of the monuments you will find here.

Unlike other parts of Tunisia, where the houses are primarily white, houses in Kairouan are colorful, and the environment seems to enchant whoever visits it.

Read more about Kairoun here.

Ksour Country

Ksour Country
Photo: Lonely Planet

When you look at Ksour, you may find it hard to imagine that people can comfortably live there. This could be one of the reasons why  Luke Skywalker’s home planet was named after the city. Not minding its current state, Ksour is home to centuries-old villages once inhabited by Berbers and Arabs.

Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
Photo: Viator

Tourists describe Sidi Bou Said as a cute village. The village sits on top of a cliff, and the view can be likened to a painting. The environment is astoundingly photogenic, so don’t forget to go there with your best camera.

Several artists have feted Sidi Bou Said, and we aren’t surprised why. The hamlet features Tunisia’s famous white walls, iron windows, and colorful doorways. Tunisian architecture at its peak.

We recommend this location for whiling away a lazy afternoon as you bask in the relaxed atmosphere. Not just that, you can also engage in abit of shopping. There are many artisans in the local markets, and you are bound to find something that catches your eye.

Bulla Regia

Bulla Regia, Tunisia
Photo: Wikipedia.org

Tunisia is famous for being a playground of Roman ruins. However, Bulla Regia takes the cake as the country’s most intriguing site.

Many wonder how the city’s houses could’ve remained so well-preserved over the decades. The secret behind this is how the people constructed them. Because of the harsh weather conditions, the Romans built their villas underground.

Historians and archeology nerds shouldn’t pass up the chance to walk through Roman houses that ancient Romans once inhabited.

Sousse Medina

Sousse Medina, Tunisia
Photo: Trekearth

There’s something about the Sousse Medina that beckons on you to explore it. One of such things could be the buildings that overlook the town.

Like most parts of Tunisia, the town is filled with white houses and radiates warmth all around. We would describe Sousse Medina as a shopping paradise. If you are a lover of crafts such as ceramics, leatherwork, and metalwork, this is the place to be.

Hammamet

Hammamet, Tunisia
Photo: Le Royal Hotels & Resorts

Beach lovers, get in here because we have a perfect spot for you. Hammamet is a laid-back town in Tunisia dedicated to giving you the best beach vacations.

The town itself is a sight to behold. White buildings flood the streets, and they look beautiful, set beside the bright sea. Hammamet’s Mediterranean charm woos all its visitors to frolic in the sand and sunbathe.

This is the perfect spot for people who want to get away from stress. Even when you’re not lazing on the beach, you’re strolling down the streets or shopping in local stores.

Dougga

Dougga, Tunisia
Photo: www.nachoua.com

Dougga is one of the most important sites in North Africa. You can get to Dougga quickly within a day’s trip from Tunis or Tabarka (A beach town).

The site is decorated with well-preserved monuments, and its environment radiates tranquility. It is no wonder travelers, and tourists love the location.

It may not look like it, but this region was once a thriving town dating far back to the 6th century BC. The historical remnants littered on its grounds should be a testament to this.

Best time to visit Tunisia

This greatly depends on what part of the country you visit. The northern part of the country is more prone to the Mediterranean climate.

The central part of the country has a more arid climate, while the southern part of the country mimics a desert-like environment.

On that note, the region you choose for your stay will determine the kind of weather you should expect. However, the best time to visit Tunisia is in the months of Spring (March-June) and later in the year during fall (September-October), when temperatures are more relaxed.

Tunisia fun facts

  • Sites in Tunisia have been featured on TV. Star Wars fans are a testament to this since they constantly storm the city to discover some of these sites.
  • Virtually everyone in Tunis is a Muslim. Islam is the dominant religion in the country. Tunisia also houses Kairouan – the fourth most important Muslim city after Mecca.
  • The main languages spoken in Tunisia are Arabic and French.
  • Part of the Sahara desert is in Tunisia. Not only that, its desert is home to an erg- a vast land of dunes known as The Grand Erg Oriental.
  • Stone-aged tools dating as far back as 200,000 years ago have been discovered in Tunisia.

Conclusion

Tunisia has something for everyone, from whitewashed alleys to go on walks, beaches to laze on, and historical sites to explore. We hope you found this article helpful in discovering what sites to visit when visiting Tunisia. 

Check out the following 13 famous buildings to visit in Africa.

13 Famous buildings in Africa

When it comes to architecture, people’s minds wander off to America, Dubai, Australia, and other European countries. However, many people fail to consider Africa. The continent’s cultural diversity is expressed in everything from food and clothing to architectural designs.

Here’s our list of 10 famous buildings in Africa:

Clay Palace of Ghardaïa — Algeria

It seems fitting to kick off this article with a palace. After all, Africa is known as the land for the regal. And royalty inhabits a castle, not a typical house. One of the most captivating palaces in Africa is the Clay Palace of Ghardaia. As the name suggests, the structure is made entirely of clay and stone.

Structures such as these are built by the Mozabites as far back as the tenth century. From that time till today, a few of their creations, such as the clay palace, remain tall with pride. Being located in the Sahara desert, most of the buildings are made from clay. It keeps the building cool during the summer and warm in the winter.

ISKCON Gaborone — Botswana

Iskcon temple is truly a sight to behold. Its delicate colors (saffron, white, and salmon pink) create a beautiful scene behind the blue Botswanan sky. The building is three stories tall, and each floor has its unique intricate design.

The first and second floors have a 1300 square foot hall. The first floor serves as living quarters for the priests, while its hall is used for dining. It has a fully equipped kitchen and store. The second floor is used as a temple room. In it, you can find a golden altar for Sri Krishna Balarama, a stage, and changing rooms for programs. The last floor also features another hall used for meditation and chanting.

St. Paul’s Cathedral — Côte d’Ivoire

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Church was designed and built by Aldo Spirito. Among other functions, the cathedral also serves as the mother church for the Abidjan Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

On the building’s exterior, we have a cross with its arms flanked. It is held up by cables connected to the church building. The reason for the cross’s unusual shape is one with symbolic significance. The structure is meant to mimic the statue of Lord Jesus with his arms akin in Rio.

The cathedral has a total capacity of approximately 5000 people, out of which 3500 are seated and the remainder stand.

One Airport Square — Ghana

Contrary to what one might think, One Airport Square is not an airport but a multi-functional building. It is located in the center of Ghana, Accra. The nine-story building is a host of office spaces, while the ground floor is used for commercial purposes. The building is also used for exhibitions and events.

It was built by Italian architect Mario Cucinella. His unusual design makes it difficult to look at it without turning your head to get a second look- this had resulted in it becoming a famous landmark.

Great Mosque of Djenné — Mali

The Great Mosque of Djenné could be referred to as a wonder of Africa. Not just because of its aesthetic appeal but also for its architectural genius. It is located on the flood plain of the Bani River. It currently holds the record for being the largest mud building in the world.

The structure’s design is common to the region of West Africa, where it is found. The buildings in this region are commonly made with mud-bricks, adobe plaster, and wooden beams. The structure is mainly open, and as one would imagine, it is prone to erosion from many elements.

Local skilled mud masons are hired to maintain the structure regularly and prevent it from collapsing or slowly eroding.

Church of Saint Anthony of Polana — Mozambique

St. Anthony’s Church is situated in Maputo, Mozambique. Construction of the building began in 1962 and ended two years later upon its completion. The building is born of modernist architecture. It was built by Portuguese architect Nuno Cavreiro Lopes.

This building made it to our list because of its uncommon shape. Due to its shape, it is popularly known as the “lemon squeezer.” The building’s windows have colorful crystals in them that allow the entrance of light in several colors. A sight that many

Christuskirche — Namibia

Christuskirche looks like something that fell out of a German fairytale. Its color scheme makes it easy for one to imagine a gingerbread man living inside. Located in Windhoek, Namibia, Christuskirche is regarded as a landmark in the area.

The building paints an excellent picture of German neo-Romanic architecture at the time it was built. Its walls are made of quartz sandstone imported from Avis Dam, while its portal is crafted from Italian marble. The Church’s bronze bells are imported from Germany.

As you can imagine, the German community of Windhoek played a significant role in ensuring the building is completed; They donated stained windows, decorative plaques, and even bibles.

National Theatre — Nigeria

The National Theater is located in Western Nigeria, specifically in the city of Lagos. The theatre is still considered one of the best architectural monuments in Nigeria to date. A Bulgarian construction company constructed the National Theater in the 70s during the military regime of Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo.

The building’s exterior is synonymous with a military hat- we commend the architect for this clever play on detail. The auditorium has a capacity of about 5000, and the hall a capacity of approximately 1000. The hall is even facilitated with equipment to translate eight languages simultaneously.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina — Egypt

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is located in Alexandria, Egypt. From the look of the building, you may have already guessed it is a library. The building is 11 stories tall and houses over 4 million books.

The building is more than just a library; it also performs other functions. It has a planetarium, many museums, a school for information science. The library is inspired by an attempt to revive the ancient city of Alexandria.

We think the best way to describe this building’s design is bold and timeless. The monument represents learning and culture.

Great Mosque of Touba — Senegal

There are few things as beautiful as religion and architecture coming together. In Mouride, Senegal, the pair came together and gave birth to what we know today as the Great Mosque of Touba. The structure can be viewed from virtually any vantage point in the city.

The mosque is presumed to be the largest building in the city and the largest mosque in Africa. It has a capacity of about 7000 people. Since its completion in the early ’60s, the building has continued to attract worshippers and tourists from around the world.

The Great Mosque has undergone many additions and embellishments since it was completed. It features five minarets and three large domes where the founder of the Mouride brotherhood, Amadou Bamba, lies buried.

Monuments des Martyrs — Burkina Faso

Monuments de martyrs, also known as Monument to National Heroes, is located in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. Without a doubt, the building is one of the country’s most unique landmarks.

The structure is symbolic; it represents the people whose lives were lost in the revolution. Few people have compared Monument des Martyrs to the Eiffel Tower. We can’t say why since they look nothing alike.

Church of St George, Lalibela — Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a long history characterized by royalty, dynasties, and religion that goes as far back as 3000 years ago. A town in Ethiopia, Lalibela has a few medieval churches that it has preserved to date. One of them is the Church of St George.

The Church’s roof is shaped like a crucifix, and this is the most visible part of the Church. Its interior boasts of images, carvings, and other symbols relevant to Christendom and beyond. An example of such items includes the star of David with a cross carved inside and a two-headed eagle.

While we admit this structure is not as mind-blowing as the others in terms of modern architecture, it is still a marvel to behold, considering how old it is.

Ishnashri Dispensary in Zanzibar — Tanzania

Better known as the “Old Dispensary,” it is perhaps one of the most attractive landmarks on the waterfront. This historical building is located halfway between the Palace Museum and the harbor. It is called the “old dispensary” because it functioned as one in the first half of the twentieth century.

The building’s appearance is of Indian influence since it was built by an Indian. The main structure is built with materials from Zanzibar. On the interior, you will find that the Dispensary is sophisticatedly decorated. The Dispensary is one of Stone Town’s major tourist attractions.

Conclusion

This list proves that Africa has always been a force to reckon with when it comes to structural designs. Buildings such as Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Monuments des Martyrs are one side of the coin, portraying modern architecture. While the Great Mosque boasts of the ingenious methods used by Africans in architecture.

If you are interested in exploring different tourist attractions, why not start with these places from the eastern part of the continent.

Popular tourist destinations in east Africa

Africa is most known for its tourist attractions and natural expositions; wildlife, landforms, and other geographical as well as the continent’s historical sites and diverse cultures. South Africa is the most visited African country by tourists, which is best known for the wildlife conservation centres situated there alongside other attractions. Although, the South Africa tourist industry is one of the top beneficiaries from African tourism, other parts of the continents also still earn well from the industry as they have major tourist attractions.

The eastern part of Africa also plays roles in the development of the African tourism industry. Eastern Africa constitutes over 20 territories/ countries. It has many tourist centres and point of attractions. East African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda are all major contributors to the worth of the African tourism industry. Tourism contributes over 10 percent to Kenya’s GDP; Tourism is the nation’s second revenue source after agriculture. This depicts that they have attractive tourist centres while Tanzania is the biggest player in the industry earning over USD 2 billion a year. Rwanda and Uganda are not isolated too; Rwanda and Ugandan tourist centres are worth USD 317 million and USD 1.1 billion respectively.

After a completed survey in 2015, Uganda recorded the highest number of tourist visitors, 1,303,00, while Kenya followed with 1,114,100 tourists also and Tanzania and Rwanda with 1,104,00 and 987,000 respectively. These are impressive numbers, and some of these are yet to fully actualise their tourism industries probably because they have other major sources of revenue. What are these attractive sites that attract tourists to these parts of the continent? There are many points of interests in these countries, but the popular ones are the main perpetrators in attracting tourists.

Popular tourist destinations in East Africa:

The Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

This wildlife conservation centre is situated in Kenya and is recognised as one of Africa’s safari destination. The diversity in wildlife is a major pointer in this tourist centre. This reserve is one of the major contributors to the country’s GDP.

Tourist savour watching herds cross Mara river and the cultural exhibition of the Maasai resident is another major highlight of this reserve. The big five; the African lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo and rhino, could be both seen in a day especially in the dry seasons when there is a major migration occurrence of the wild beasts.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Located within the Virunga Mountains, in the deep vegetation region of Rwanda lies the Volcanoes National Park. It is the oldest national park in Africa and is most famous because of the critically endangered mountain gorillas situated in the park. These gorillas are subspecies of wider ranges of Eastern gorillas; there still exist over 800 of these creatures.

Other creatures of rare species can also be found in the park as well as 29 different species of bird.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

This tourist centre which is located off coast region of Tanzania is most known for its beaches. It is surrounded by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. This was once a trade route for the island Arab rulers that trade spices.
Stone Town is also one of its biggest side attractions boasting ornate houses, mosques and ancient Sultan palaces. The white-sand beaches are ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling.

Kibale National Park, Uganda

This is also another park, conserving evergreen rain forest. It is popularly known for the different primate species that live in the park; monkeys, chimpanzees’ etc. The Kibale forest has the highest abundance of primates.

With over 200 species of trees in the park, there are rainforest plants that thrive in the park that serve as food to these primates too. Trees including pollia condensata, Cordia millenii and so more. It’s a conservation centre for wildlife and plants.

Conclusion

East Africa still has a lot of tourist points of interests which are yet to get prominence and popularity as these, that’s because the tourism industry is still undergoing development. It is expected that some of these East-African countries would fully depend on their cultural and natural heritages as revenue soon.

Some selected readings

Mungai, E. (2017, June 1.) Lesson for East Africa: In tourism, the race is not to the swift. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from the Web

African Development Bank. (2016, January 1.) Africa Tourism Monitor 2015: Tourism in Africa is on the rise, but has not yet reached its full potential. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from the Web

Zijlma, A. (2017, July 17.) A Top Ten List of East Africa’s Best Travel Destinations. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Photography and tourism in Africa

Africa is the second largest continent in the world with a population of approximately 1.216 billion. In this population, exists people of different tribes, cultural values and beliefs. This diversity in culture makes Africa a good tourist centre for foreigners and tourists. Photography is also an intrinsic quality in the African culture. Photography helps Africans to tell their stories without misconceptions.

Tourism is an important economic sector for most African countries. Although, some African countries benefit more from it than others due to their eye-catching points of interest. Tourists have always been intrigued with the African culture; the people, their beliefs, their mythologies, and everything that encompasses of the African culture.

African tourism is based on a variety of point of interests: diversity, landscapes and landforms, wildlife, as well as her rich cultural heritage. These variations in interest points have made some African countries to be better tourist centres over others.

Africa is divided in three groups in relation to tourism namely:

Countries with developed tourist Industry: These are African countries that do have a successful tourism industry already, such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia. They are the top benefactors from tourism in Africa.

Countries with developing tourism Industry: These African countries are still undergoing current development in their respective tourism industries. They have steady and consistent revenues from tourism, such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mauritius.

Countries yet to develop a tourism Industry: These African countries are anticipating to have a tourism industry and want to gain from it. They are yet to gain any economic value from tourism because they don’t have a functioning industry that facilitates tourism. These are countries like Tanzania, Algeria and Burundi.

South Africa is one of the most visited African countries by tourists. The wildlife conservation centre; Safari, is one of the country’s major point of interest. The variation of wildlife such as Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Monkeys and other wildlife has been a significant influence in the country’s tourism industry tourists. In 2016, the nation recorded 3.9 percent increase in international arrivals in Cape Town alone. In 2017, the nation’s travel and tourism have contributed to its economic factor and GDP growth by a staggering 2.5 percent –That is USD 27.3 billion which is equivalent to R402.2 billion and South Africa is just a one case scenario amidst other major touristic countries.

Photography also facilitates the tourism industry in Africa and has been used as a tool for democracy, freedom and equality and cultural expression. It gives tourists of what is to be expected when they visit tourist centres. In early South Africa, photography played a significant role in many countries cultural movement in the form of artistic expression. Photography tells stories about these African countries and their cultures; people, food, attires, traditions, etc. in pictures. Their point of interest is also expressed through photography, landscapes, wildlife, past heroes and heroines, religious beliefs and historical events.

These photographs or artistic drawings are hoisted up in museums in Africa and even in foreign countries. They tell about events that have occurred and the diversity in the African culture. These photographs play good roles in convincing tourists to visit the respective African countries and see the point of interest themselves. Another important point is, these photographs can be shared as free stock photos of Africa, and can be explore by other people to have an insight about the continent.

The tourism and photography industry in Africa has contributed immensely to the economic development of the continent; jobs are being created for the locals to maintain these tourist centres and revenues are being generated when tourists visit. Photography and Tourism go hand in hand. They both facilitate the growth of each other.

Some selected readings

Peffer, J., and Cameron E. (2013.) Portraiture and photography in Africa. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

UNWTO. (2017, July.) UNWTO Tourism Highlights: 2017 Edition. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Coustas, W. (2017, September 6.) South African Tourism Facts – Proof that the World loves South Africa. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Tutu, D. (2011, April 3.) Photography and the Liberation Struggle in South Africa History. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Rogerson, C. (2007) “Reviewing Africa in the global tourism economy”, Vol. 24 No. 3 United Nations World Tourism Organization. September 2007.

The 8 regional cooking styles of China

China has the world’s oldest culinary culture and diversity that is hard to imagine. The country has eight major culinary traditions which are known as the 8 Great Chinese Cuisines originating from the eight provinces of the vast country including Fujian, Anhui, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Guangdong, Hunan, and Zhejiang. These eight major culinary schools have predominated in China, and their popularity has reached different corners of the world.

Zhejiang

Sited in the delta of the Yangtze River, Zhejiang is a very rich province. Its cuisine embodies the plush lifestyle of its citizen and is fresh, smooth, tender and high-class. Their dishes are not spicy and usually light. The main cooking ingredients are seafood, fish, bamboo, and poultry. The primary cooking methods are stir-frying, deep-frying, quick-frying and braising. Some of the most popular Zhejiang dishes include Fried pork belly in a stew of wine and soy sauce, Braised fish, grass carp served in syrup, and Shelled shrimps.

Sichuan

Sichuan is home to China’s most popular dishes. Sichuan is a combination of Chengdu and Chongqing cooking styles. Sichuan food is famous for its hot and spicy flavour and features the use of many seasoning ingredients. The common spices used are Sichuan pepper and chilli. The main cooking method is stir-frying, steaming, braising, quick-frying, baking etc. Popular Sichuan dishes include Gongbao Jiding which is spiced diced chicken and Mapo Tofu.

Jiangsu

Jiangsu cuisine is not very popular but has a rich and sophisticated cooking culture. The meals are prepared using elaborate methods and artistic arrangements. The diet is usually fresh and is made up of mostly seafood. Cooking methods include braising, stewing, roasting, simmering, and warming. The dishes have a little amount of seasoning to preserve the natural flavours of the ingredients. Some of the favorite dishes include Jingling salted duck and the sweet and sour mandarin fish with its elaborate presentation.

Anhui

Anhui cuisine is also not so popular. The cuisine is dominated by vegetables and herb from the land and the sea. The cooking here is not so rich because the region is not very prosperous. Cooking methods is mainly braising. Some of their favourite dishes include Li Hongzhang stew and yellow crab shell cake.

Shandong

The cuisine of Shandong usually consists of light seafood and soups because of its proximity to the sea. The primary cooking methods are quick-frying and deep-frying. The style is very popular in Beijing and other parts of Northeast China. One of the most popular dishes from Shandong is the Sweet and Sour Carp.

Guangdong

Popularly known as Cantonese, Guangdong cuisine is the most famous Chinese cuisine served outside China. The dishes have a distinct flavour which is the result of an impeccable cooking style with rare ingredients. The dishes have the low seasoning to retain the natural flavour of the ingredients. Common ingredients include fresh seafood, fresh herbs, sweet sauces, and meat. Cooking techniques include braising, stir-frying, deep-frying, stewing, roasting, sautéing, steaming, and stewing. The region is famous for its dim sum which makes a great serving of breakfast.

Fujian

Fujian cuisine is highly flavoured and light. Common ingredients include bamboo shoots, woodland mushrooms, turtles, fish, wild herbs, and shellfish owing to its proximity to the coast and mountain country. Soups are a prominent part of this cuisine, and they like to add assortments of seasonings and herbs to their dishes. Cooking methods include stir-frying, deep-frying, stewing, baking, boiling, grilling, simmering, braising, and smoking and so on. One of the most popular Fujian recipes is the Buddha jumping on the wall which is made from close to 30 ingredients including sea slug, mushrooms, chicken breast, dried scallops, pig’s trotters, and duck and so on.

Hunan

Just like Sichuan, Hunan cuisine has a spicy and hot feel. It is usually moist, rich and either creamy or crispy with a powerful flavour of chilli, pepper, shallot or garlic. The dishes are also oily and colourful. Rice, fish, chilli, and many other ingredients are used in the cuisine. The basic cooking methods are stir-frying, pickling, fermenting, steaming, smoking, and sautéing
A popular dish in Hunan is the Steamed fish head with chopped pepper and Dong’s chicken.

Check out this article about popular tourist destination in east Africa.

Some selected readings

Sigurðsson, A. (2010, November 4.) The eight major regional cuisines of China. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Zhu, W. (2013, May 27.) Eight Regional Cuisines of China. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Parkinson, R. (2017, February 17.) Chinese Regional Cooking Styles. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Hua, S. (2015, October 9.) 8 Major Cuisine Types in China. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

 The African beauty and fashion industry

The African beauty and fashion industry express African ethnic traditions and cultural heritage through adornment and ornamentation. Fashion is a significant part of the African culture; it shows how diverse Africans are through adornments, local jewellery, and traditional attires.

The most scintillating and impressive trends in African beauty comes from a variety of African tribes; the combination of different tribes in just one attire. Africa accounts for a small percentage of the global fashion industry worth USD 1.5 trillion along with the sub-Saharan apparel and footwear market which is worth USD 31 billion. Europe is the main dominator of the global world fashion industry.

Africa still remains important today because its fashion industry stays true to its various cultural heritages. Although, today, African fashion industry is being influenced by the western culture. Africa’s fashion and beauty industry goes way beyond its culture and pattern designs and ornaments, it is also a tool for driving the continent’s future and providing solutions which target issues like youth unemployment and slow economic growth of certain African countries.

Nowadays, Africa’s fashion has gained a lot of attention from the other part of the world and some of Africa’s fashion ideas are being incorporated into their respective fashion industries. A new generation of African designers with wider Diaspora has risen over the last decade and have contributed immensely to the development of the continent’s fashion industry. They are fusing the African culture with the European culture together and in the process are attracting a wider wave of global interest into the fashion industry.

In the next five years, the African industry is expected to be worth USD 15.5 billion as the continent’s economies grow. In light of this, local and foreign investors have seized the opportunity to invest as they have seen the blooming potential of the industry.

Recently, the media has also played a major role in this recognition of this industry by broadcasting the continent’s local fashion shows, exhibitions and other television shows and media outlet that expresses the African fashion industry. Most African designers also feature in international fashion shows, exhibitions, and other fashion functions. Some of these designers have even been selected to participate at the Africa Fashion Week, New York and the success of these designers on the international platform have promoted the recognition and credibility of the African fashion industry.

Africa’s population is also a driving factor in the development of the continent’s fashion industry. The United Nations have estimated the continent’s population to rise to 4 billion by 2100 in relation to the current natality rate. This means a larger market for the industry; who better to patronize the continent’s fashion industry than its own indigenes? Also, job opportunities emerge for these designers to meet the large market demands. With these facts, Investors, both local and foreign have seized on this opportunity to leverage on.

Africa is also noted as the continent with the youngest population. Approximately 200 million of the continent’s populace is within the youth bracket, between ages (15- 24). This means that the fashion industry comprises of modern day youths that are current on the latest fashion trends; they have younger minds and better fashion ideas that are not obsolete. These youths also promote the brand through social media platforms and wear them to different occasion bringing recognition as well. The fact that the youth play a major role in the continent’s fashion industry is a major point of interest for investors because they’ll have a larger shell life for creativity than the older aged designers and fashion influencers.

The African fashion industry is rising fast among the ranks of the global fashion industry. Investors know that the continent’s maximum potential is yet to be materialized and with the current rate of development, it’s only a matter of time before the industry becomes a threat to the European Fashion Industry.

Check out this article about photography and tourism in Africa.

Some selected readings

Brown, A. (n.d.) Africa’s Fashion Industry: Challenges, Opportunities. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Jennings, H. (2015, April.) A brief history of African Fashion. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Saka, H. (2012, May 29.) African Beauty, Threatened By Western Civilization. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Aderibigbe, N. (2014, September 8.) Why the world should invest in African Fashion. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Useful tips for exploring photography in a tour of Africa

Planning to tour Africa for some mind-blowing shots? If yes, you can be sure of having a swell time with your digital camera. That said, there are quite a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you start clicking away. For starters, Africa boasts unique scenes, and its people are no different; however, it’s ill-advised to begin taking shots without asking for permission. As we know, it can be super rude to start pointing a camera at anyone you see — it can even cause an offence in some countries. The bottom line; always ask for permission before you snap locals — this is crucial.

It’s good to point out that African children love to smile at the camera. That said, you can be sure of capturing a few shots and have fun while you’re at it. It’s also great to show them the pictures in your camera — doing this can create a better connection, and that’s huge.

Now, it’s also in your best interest to keep your camera in your bag when you’re around any military area, airport, border crossings and ports — these are no click zones! What’s more, be sure not to take photos of bridges, harbours, military installations, army personnel and more. The thing is, there’s a good chance of getting arrested when you take shots in these places, and the worst part is, you may lose your dear camera in the process.

What should you pack for the trip?

For starters, there’s a good chance that you’re already with a digital camera and that’s great. Now, it’s in your best interest to have a spare memory card as well as a fully charged extra battery — you wouldn’t want to run out of space or juice while taking shots, right?

What’s more, you’ll want to bring a polarising filter along as it can work with the bright African sunlight to increase the saturation of vegetation and more. It’s also recommended to have some sort of dust protection for your equipment as some places can be really dusty. This is especially true if you’re travelling to remote areas and national parks.

What about wildlife photography

Your tourism in Africa won’t be complete without exploring its wildlife. Essentially, early mornings and late afternoons are the best tunes to get the perfect glimpse of wildlife activity. As you probably guessed, these are the best times to start taking shots — the light is soft, and you’ll also get a better definition of the animal against its background.

Note: The weather in Africa is usually hot, and animals’ activity is typically low during the hottest parts of the day.

Two things come into play when exploring Africa wildlife; you’re either in a vehicle or on a walking safari. First off, you should be aware that a tripod will be impractical in a vehicle — it’s better to use a cloth bag filled with uncooked rice to get the job done. On a walking safari? If yes, be sure to get a monopod with a detachable camera shoe — this should help you get super perfect wildlife shots.

It’s also essential to note that most if not all the animals will be at a distance, as such, you’ll want to get a zoom lens. Just be sure to do your homework before buying the lens — 300 to 500mm should work great.

To sum it up, wildlife in Africa can scare easily, so it’s in your best interest to limit the use of flashes at night. The good thing is, there are quite a few useful techniques you can use to capture beautiful shots at night. What’s more, it’s great to turn off all noises on your camera while taking shots of animals in the wild, remember, scaring them off is not part of the plan!

Happy touring! Also don’t miss this article about photography and tourism in Africa.

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