Category “History & Culture”

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 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 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.


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 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 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 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 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.


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 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.


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.


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.

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, 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, 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

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

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, 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

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, 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, Tunisia

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.


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.


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.


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

 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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