Posts Tagged with “tourism in Africa”

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.

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.

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.

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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