01 Jan Traveling to the past in Africa
The astounding beauty of Africa’s many regions has attracted Western explorers, sparked wars and piqued historians’ interests for centuries upon centuries. From the tranquil Mediterranean coast of North Africa to the thriving southern tip of Cape Town, the great continent spans over 10,000 indigenous tribes, more than 500 languages and over 60 independent nations and political territories.
Africa is referred to as the cradle of human life as we know it, being the oldest inhabited territory in the world. Travel through Africa will reveal the modern dilemma of a region pushing forward with globalization and technology at the same time that many cultures and tribes are striving to protect their traditional way of life. In addition to human life, Africa supports the world’s most spectacular collection of rare species and biodiversity. Encountering Africa’s wilderness firsthand is not only a radically unique experience, but also a once-in-a-lifetime privilege that future generations may not have the opportunity to share.
The overwhelming expanse of the African continent is best understood and traveled by region. The different regions in Africa are individually as diverse as the continent in its entirety, and the complexities of the cultures and nationalities leave the unsuspecting traveler dumbfounded.
The predominantly Arabic culture of North Africa enjoys the Mediterranean shore, from the majestic pyramids in Egypt to the enchanting Moorish architecture of Morocco. For the adventurous, the Sahara Desert lies just to the south and brings this region drier, hotter summers compared with its northern Mediterranean neighbors. Along the Atlantic Ocean, West Africa is predominantly comprised of Africa’s savannahs, known for their exciting wildlife safaris. The west is also home to Africa’s greatest cultural and political diversity, largely a result of the colonial era and the Slave Trade. East Africa is one of the most popular destinations where Africa’s two tallest peaks, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, soar imperially above great concentrations of elephants, water buffalo and rhinoceros. Visitors also venture east to explore the Great Rift Valley, a geologic wonder formed by the global movement of the earth’s plates. Southern Africa is a blend of forests, grasslands and deserts rich with diamonds and gold. Travel in southern Africa is unique due to the high population of Europeans and Indians; consequently, a distinct culture of food, music, art and religion has emerged from the blending of traditions.