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Is Uganda the Pearl Of Africa?

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Boats of Uganda

Uganda is situated in East Africa. It’s bordered by Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the south, Democratic Republic of Congo in west and Sudan in the north. Uganda is a land locked country but with lots of hidden treasure. In his book entitled “My African Journey” Winston Churchill called Uganda, the pearl of Africa after being amused by the amazing attractions endowed in Uganda. Still in his book, Winston wrote about the magnificence, color, life, birds, reptiles, insects, beasts, mammals, and vegetation among others. Basing on his initiative many people to date, when describing Uganda, the pearl of Africa can not miss mention because of the following reasons:

  1. Uganda is called the pearl of Africa because of hosting half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas. Gorillas are among endangered primate species and mountain Gorillas are so rare among others. However, it’s a pleasure to mention that half of the remaining mountain Gorillas are found in south western Uganda; Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The two Gorilla parks are among the most visited parks in Uganda. Today, seeing mountain Gorillas is among the most expensive experience in Uganda. The cost of Uganda Gorilla permit goes up to US$700 but because mountain Gorillas are rare, many people yarn to go to Uganda to enjoy one of the life time events– Gorilla trekking.
  1. Uganda is a primates’ haven – The list of primates found in Uganda is endless. To mention but a few include Mountain Gorillas, Ververt Monkeys, Bush babies, Golden Monkeys, Baboons, Chimpanzees, Black and white colobus monkeys, Mona monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, blue tailed monkeys, Grey-checked Mangabey, Red colobuses, L’Hoest’s Monkeys and so on. The popular destinations hiding primates in Uganda include Kibale National park, Bwindi impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Kyambura Gorge, Toro Semuliki Game reserve, Budongo Forest, Ishasha sector among others.
  1. Uganda hosts the BIG FIVE – Tourists can find Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Elephants, Lions, Leopards and Buffaloes in most of Uganda’s savannah parks including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls national Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and so on. Luck visitors can fnd leopards in BINP, KNP, SNP among other destinations. To encounter the big five, it’s recommended to book a long trip in Uganda to be able to explore colonies of the big five mammals.
  1. Uganda has the highest number of bird species in Africa. Uganda is a birding paradise boasting a massive bird list of more of than 1073 recorded bird species making up 50% of Africa’s bird species and 11% of the world species. This huge bird list is contained within a small territory of only 90041 square miles (about the size of Britain), hence having one of the highest concentration of birds per square kilometers in Africa. Birding in Uganda rewards with easy spotting of many birds by covering just a small area or birding for a short period of time. The incredible diversity of habitats that no other area in Africa can match is the reason Uganda harbors such a huge diversity of birds and collects so many migrant birds during the year. Uganda lies in a unique position where she shares Africa’s major ecological zones (apart from the sea) and each has associated bird species, including many that are range restricted.

Popular areas with many birds include most of the Uganda’s islands and the shores of different water bodies, Semuliki National Park, Lake Bunyonyi, Kazinga channel, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Murchison Falls National Park among others.

  1. Source of River Nile in Jinja – Uganda. The country is called the pearl of Africa because of hosting the source of the world’s longest River. River Nile originates from Jinja I Uganda and powers its waters (Mouth) in Mediterranean Sea – about 6,600 kilometers from the source (Jinja) to the mouth (Mediterranean Sea).
  1. Lake Victoria is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Lake Victoria is the world’s second Largest fresh water Lake. The Lake is endowed with many islands hosting a large number of birds, smooth stones and beaches around Lake Victoria. Tourists find it inevitable to tour around and on Lake Victoria on boat and cars.  The most popular beaches on Lake Victoria include Butembe beach, Lutembe beach, Spennah beach, Ggaba beach, Nabugabo beach and so on. Islands include Ngamba, Sese, Bugala, Koome among others.
  1. The Murchison Falls – Its one of the world’s most powerful waters. Murchison Falls, also known as Kabalega Falls, is a waterfall between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert on the Victoria Nile in Uganda. At the top of Murchison Falls, the Nile forces its way through a gap in the rocks, only 7 m (23 ft) wide, and tumbles 43 m (141 ft), before flowing westward into Lake Albert. While squeezing its way through a narrow gorge boarded by rocks, the moist wind forms a beautiful structure resembling a rain bow with different colours – this is the best of the falls.
  1. Uganda is called the pearl of Africa because of its tallest Mountains. Mountain Rwenzori on record is the tallest in Uganda and second in East Africa after Mount Kirimanjaro. Mountain Rwenzori is also known as “Mountains of the moon” with Margherita (5,109 m) as the third highest in Africa. The fabled Mountains of the Moon – lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border.  The region’s glaciers, waterfalls and lakes make it one of Africa’s most beautiful alpine areas. Mountain Elgon is situated in eastern Uganda and well known for its largest Volcanic base.
  1. Suitable weather -Uganda is sunny most of the year with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees (84 degrees Fahrenheit). The average annual temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius (78° Fahrenheit). The rainy season is from March till May and October till November. Light rain season falls in November and December. The nature of weather in Uganda favours travels throughout the year and easily predictable.
  1. Unique culture in Uganda – There are a wide range of ethnic groups in Uganda with many different languages spoken, namely Luganda (commonly spoken language), English (only a small portion speak it), Bantu, Swahili, Nilotic and Lumasaba. Christians make up 85.2% of Uganda’s population, there are a certain number of Sikhs and Hindus, and 12% are Muslims. In their respective ethnic groups, Uganda a cheerful people are willing to welcome and stay with Guests irrespective of their gender, age, sex and ideologies.

 

Jan Kooi, the Elmina, First African to Be Awarded Highest Military Honor in Dutch Army

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Jan Kooi

Jan Kooi was the first African corporal to gained some fame in the Netherlands for his brave feats in the Atjeh (now Aceh) war which happens to be the longest, deadliest and most inconclusive war ever in Dutch colonial history. The sultanate of Atjeh, on the northern tip of Sumatra, was distinguished to be a stronghold both of piracy and of orthodox Islam. During the 19th century, the Dutch constantly expanded their control over Sumatra.

The Atjeh war began in 1873 and ended only in 1904. To this day, there is a secessionist movement in Aceh fighting against Indonesian government troops. Jan Kooi entered into the service of the Dutch East Indies army in 1869, at the age of 20 years. He was born in Elmina in 1849.

His mothers’ name was Essowa. His father’s name is poorly readable in the army records: something like ‘Dinaba’. With his new Dutch name of Jan Kooi, he enlisted at the recruiting station in Elmina for the duration of 12 years, receiving a considerable bounty of 200 guilders.

On 30 May 1870 he left Elmina on the ship Ternate, arriving in Batavia (Jakarta) on 14 August 1870. With the other new arrivals, he was sent for training with the 1st infantry battalion. Almost a year later, training was completed, and Kooi was sent to Atjeh with the 2nd infantry battalion.

From 1874 to 1879 he was engaged in numerous military expeditions in Atjeh, earning himself a range of distinctions: the Atjeh medal 1873-1874; the distinction for extraordinary efforts in Atjeh 1873-1874; twice he is mentioned with distinction in the campaign records; in 1881 he is awarded the bronze medal.

On top of these decorations, Jan Kooi was the first African soldier to be awarded the highest military honors in the Dutch army: the Militaire Willemsorde (4th class) No wonder that he was a famous man during his brief stay in the Netherlands in 1882, on the way back to his native Elmina. Newspapers reported how he had saved the life of his commander by killing two Atjeh fighters, while himself suffering ten bullet wounds under enemy fire.

Later that year he earned a reward of 100 guilders for saving the life of lieutenant Bijleveld by killing a heavily armed Atjeher. The article in the Overveluwsch Weekblad noted that Kooi spoke perfect Dutch, but also spoke warmly about his family and homeland.

During his stay in Harderwijk, the garrison town with the recruiting station for the colonial army, he had twice his portrait painted. Two very different portraits: the highly formal soldier’s posture on the portrait by J.C. Leich; and the impressionistic portrait by Isaac Israels, one of the most famous Dutch painters in the 19th century.

After army service, Jan Kooi settled in his native Elmina, which meanwhile had been handed over to the British. Here we encounter him once more in the baptismal records of the church of St. Joseph: on 30 May 1886, Joannes Kooi is mentioned as the godfather to Grace Maria Plange, daughter of Jacob Plange and Arala Yaniba.

The Lost African Tribe Still Living in India Today

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Lost African Tribe in India

Slavery and colonialism are siblings from the same seed; they altered the chemistry of African history so badly that we may never find our path towards becoming whole again. Both man-made and human-inflicted, it is sad how the actions of a few men many years ago continues to hurt an entire continent and have torn apart generations – leaving them without hope of self-discovery and redemption.

As a result of slavery, many Africans were removed from their motherland and taken to foreign countries where they were meant to settle and survive in the midst of strangers and on lands where they are till date, unwelcome.

Many generations after, these displaced Africans continue to live in foreign lands not because they like it there, but because they have lost all trace of home and have no links to the roots of their ancestors. Thus, they live day by day until their death as people without an identity.

Siddis - Lost African Tribe

In a journey of self-discovery and bridge building, a young African explorer took it upon herself to find the lost tribes of Africa scattered in Diaspora, and she found the Siddi Tribe, an African tribe living in the Karnataka forests in faraway India.

Asha Stuart is a Young Explorer grantee and a member of the Young Explorer Leadership and Development Program. After discovering the Siddi people in 2012, National Geographic Society grant funded her work so that she could go and document the Siddi tribal people – an African diasporic community that was forcibly taken to India between the 15th and 19th century.

All they have of Africa are bits and pieces of our culture which they have preserved overtime through dance and art. Can these people ever return back to Africa? Do they still have a place here?

The compelling documentary below says it all and invokes the rhetoric of whether the lost sons of Africa will ever return home.

Ethiopia’s Food Culture in a Bird’s Eye View

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Here we go to the land of promise,13 months of sunshine, home to Walia Ibex and uncolonized African country situated in the very top of the continent, Ethiopia! Today I would love to take you to this country’s diverse root cultural showings very quickly. With over 80 ethnic groups, Ethiopia boasts  of a diverse musical taste, food varieties and wide spectrum of cultures in general. So, without further ado, let’s start looking at them.
The Food culture in Ethiopia
While making your way towards Ethiopia, you will definitely find a plethora of food choices. You may even wonder which ones to eat and which not. Don’t worry this article will walk you through the popular foods you could ever find almost throughout the country. Because the pattern to preparing and eating the food is somewhat similar elsewhere, you will not have that much of a problem getting used to the typical cuisine served on most Ethiopian restaurants.
When it comes to food, Ethiopians boast on their flat-bread locally known as Injera. Injera is everywhere. It is accompanied by different stews locally know as Wot. It is the  wot that varies not the injera.

Most Ethiopians are members of the Ethiopian Orthodox with Muslims and Protestants following. As a result, their eating style is highly affected
by their religious beliefs. Rest assured that you won’t find many restaurants that serve pork, just for your information. They have different foods for different occasions and particular days! So it is better to know the local timetable as to order and get your foods.

Let’s start listing out those foods we’re all waiting for:- Beware you might get hungry!

1. Doro Wot
Doro Wot is literally translated to chicken stew. It has a lot of ingredients and recipes to prepare such as wot berebere spice, cooking red onions and chicken among the common ones. Doro is served only in certain restaurants as making it takes a lot of time and effort so even Ethiopians mostly eat this wot only on religious holidays and certain special occasions. There are also other foods similar to how this might be preparedsuch as Key Wot and Minchet.

2. Kitfo
Kitfo is a raw lean ground beef that is served a lot in traditional Ethiopian restaurants especially those who represent the Gurage ethnics. It is common in the South part of  Ethiopia. While Addis Ababa also boasts serving Kitfo as a primary food in their dish. You will find Mitmita(a hot spice kind of chili peppers) common in this steak-like type of food.

3. Mahberawi
Mahberawi is a meat mixed plate with a lot of variety of wots that are all made frommeat. Among these foods key wot (beef stew), tibs (beef or lamb cooked with butter), and kitfo (ground beef). This food is recommended if you are eating in a group as this is served in one plate so common among Ethiopians for social gatherings.

4. Shiro

Shiro is a chickpea stew that is the common and cheap Ethiopian food in the through out the country. The reason for its popularity, besides being cheaper to prepare to make, is that it can be eaten while on a fast so it’s a perfect choice for vegetarians. You will find it as the primary variety in Beyaynetu.

5. Beyaynetu
Beyaynetu locally also known as Yetsom Beyaynetu literally translated to a mixed plate for the fasting period. The fasting period is typically on Wednesday and Friday where most Ethiopian Orthodox believers do not eat meat and any dairy products. Lentil andpea stews are the primary ingredients of a typical yetsom beyaynetu. In small restaurants, lentil can be served alone but most of the time it comes along with wide varieties such as misir wot, misir kik, gomen, alicha kik, and timatim sils.

Kobina Sekyi, the Ghanaian Lawyer who Vowed Never to wear European Cloth

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Kobina Sekyi

Kobina Sekyi, born on November 1, 1892 in  Cape Coast.. His father was Mr John Gladstone Sackey; headmaster of the renowned Wesleyan School (Mfantsipim) in Cape Coast and mother was Wilhelmina Pietersen.

Like his father, Sekyi was also educated at Mfantsipim School and and went on to study philosophy at the University of London..

After completing his philosophy degree, Sekyi  returned to Gold Coast to teach for sometime and participated in the political affairs.

Sekyi became a lawyer in private practice in the Gold Coast. Sekyi was later elected as a president of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society, succeeding his uncle Henry van Hien

Kobina Sekyi ably led ARPS as a vocal mouthpiece of the Gold Coast people against British imperialism. Sekyi also became an executive member of the National Congress of British West Africa after the demise of ARPS and contributed towards radical opposition to the British colonial regime.

In his regard as an intelligent politician and celebrated Gold Coast lawyer, Sekyi was appointed as a member of the Coussey Committee for constitutional change.

In his capacity as one of the early Gold Coast writers, Kobina Sekyi famously authored a hard-hitting comedy “The Blinkards” (1915) which ridiculed the acceptance by a colonized society of the attitudes of the colonizers.

His novel The Anglo-Fante was the first English-language novel written in the Cape Coast. Kobina Sekyi ‘s play The Blinkards was premiered in Cape Coast during 1916 and was warmly received by the local press.

He became very popular when he was the first educated elite to appear in a colonial court in the Ghanaian “ntoma” as a lawyer. He vowed never to wear European clothes because he believed in being an African totally.

It was so unfortunate that Kobina Sekyi did not live to see Ghana`s independence in 1957. He died in 1956.

15 Best of Nelson Mandela’s Quotes

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) was a South African black nationalist who spent 27 years in prison for fighting against the country’s discriminatory apartheid system of racial segregation.

His negotiations in the early 1990s with South African Pres. F.W. de Klerk helped bring an end to apartheid and ushered in a peaceful transition to majority rule. Mandela served as president (1994–99) of the country’s first multi-ethnic government. Here are some of his best quotes.

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Many people in this country have paid the price before me and many will pay the price after me.”

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”

“It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.”

“It is not our diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity, or religion or culture that divides us. Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.”

These are some of our best Quotes of Nelson Mandela. If you have any other quotes you know from Nelson Mndela please leave it in the comment below lets see.

The story of how Nigeria Was Sold for $1.1 Million to the British in 1899

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Nigeria Colonial History

Everything started with what many would portray as the primary oil war, which was battled in the nineteenth century in the zone that would later become Nigeria.

Through the 19th century, palm oil was highly sought-after by the British, to be used as an industrial lubricant for machinery. Remember that Britain turned into the world’s first industrialized nation, in order that they needed assets together with palm oil to keep that going. Palm oil, of course, is a tropical plant native to the Niger Delta, Malaysia’s dominance got here a century later.

By 1870, palm oil had supplanted the slave trade as the principal fare of the Niger Delta, the territory which was once referred to as the Slave Coast.

At first, most of the exchange within the palm oil was uncoordinated, with natives promoting to folks that gave them the first-rate deals. Native chiefs which include former slaves, Jaja of Opobo, have become immensely wealthy because of oil and with wealth comes to impact.

However, in the midst of the Europeans, there was a competition for who would get preferential right of entry to the profitable palm oil alternate. In 1879, George Goldie (1846 – 1925) shaped the United African Company (UAC), which become modeled on the former East India Company.

Goldie effectively took charge of the Lower Niger River. By 1884, his company had 30 buying and selling posts along the Lower Niger.

This monopoly gave the British a robust hand towards the French and the Germans inside the 1884 Berlin Conference. The British were given the region that the UAC operated in, blanketed of their sphere of impact after the Berlin Conference.

When the British got the terms they wanted from other Europeans, they commenced to deal with the African chiefs. Within the bracket of 2 years of 1886, Goldie had signed treaties with tribal chiefs along the Benue and Niger Rivers while additionally penetrating inland. This move inland was against the soul of verbal understandings that had been made to confine the association’s exercises to seaside areas.

By 1886, the organization name changed to “The National Africa Company” and was conceded a regal sanction (fused). The contract approved the organization to oversee the Niger Delta and all grounds around the banks of the Benue and Niger Rivers. Before long, the organization was again renamed. The new name was “Regal Niger Company,” which is now Unilever til today.

To local chiefs, the Royal Niger Company negotiators had pledged free trade in the region. Behind the scenes, they entered private contracts on their terms. Because the (deceitful) personal contracts have been often written in English and signed by the chiefs, the British government enforced them.

So for instance , Jaja of Opobo, when he tried to export the oil by himself, was forced into exile for “obstructing commerce”. As an aside, Jaja was “forgiven” in 1891 and allowed to return home, but he died on the way back, poisoned with a cup of tea.

Seeing what happened to Jaja, some native rulers began to look more closely at the deals they were getting from the Royal Nigeria Company. one among such kingdoms was Nembe (now in Bayelsa), who’s king, Koko Mingi VIII, ascended the throne in 1889 after being a Christian schoolteacher.

Koko Mingi VIII, King Koko for brief , and like most rulers within the yard, was faced with the Royal Nigeria Company encroachment. He also resented the monopoly enjoyed by the Royal Nigeria Company and tried to hunt out favorable trading terms, particularly the Germans in Kamerun.

By 1894 the Royal Nigeria Company increasingly dictated whom the natives could do business with, and denied them direct access to their former markets.

In late 1894, King Koko renounced Christianity and attempted to shape an alliance with Bonny and Okpoma against the Royal Nigeria Company to take back the trade. This is substantial because even as Okpoma joined up, Bonny refused. A harbinger of the successful “divide and rule” tactic.

On 29 January 1895, King Koko led an attack on the Royal Niger Company’s headquarters, which became in Akassa in today’s Bayelsa state. The pre-dawn raid had extra more than a thousand men involved.

King Koko’s assault succeeded in taking hold of the base. He lost 40 of his guys and captured 60 white guys as hostages, in addition to a variety of goods, ammunition and a Maxim gun.

Koko then attempted to barter a release of the hostages in exchange for being allowed to chose his trading partners. British refused to barter with Koko, and he had 40 of the hostages killed.

A British record claimed that the Nembe people ate them. On 20 February 1895, Britain’s Royal Navy, under Admiral Bedford attacked Brass and burned it to the ground. Many Nembe people died and smallpox completed off quite a few others.

By April 1895, business had gone back to normal being the situations that the British desired it, and King Koko was on the run for his life. Brass was fined £500 by the British, £26,825 in today’s money, and the looted weapons was returned in addition to the surviving prisoners.

After a British Parliamentary Commission sat, King Koko was presented terms of settlement by the British, which he rejected and disappeared. The British promptly declared him an outlaw and offered an amount of £200 (£10,730 today) on his head. He decided to commit suicide in exile in 1898.

About that time, another “recalcitrant King”, the Oba of Benin, was run out of town. The pacification of the Lower Niger was well and truly underway.

The immediate effect of the Brass Oil War was that public opinion in Britain turned against the Royal Nigeria Company, so its constitution was revoked in 1899.

Following the revoking of its constitution, the Royal Niger Company offered its holdings to the British government for £865,000 which is equivalent to $1.1 Million in todays value was approximately the price Britain paid to buy the territory which was to become known as Nigeria.

Meet Nana Amuah Afenyi, the Third Woman to Become a Paramount Chief in Ghana and the first in Ekumfi Otuam

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Nana Amuah Afenyi

Nana Amuah-Afenyi VI, or Peggielene Bartels, acknowledged informally as King Peggy, is the first woman paramount chief of the Ekumfi Otuam traditional place in Mfantsiman East District inside the Central Region of Ghana.

She was born on born 1953. She is likewise the third female in Ghana to be enstooled as a paramount leader of a Ghanaian Traditional Area. Ekumfi Otuam had been historically and traditionally warrior people amongst their Ekumfi sub-institution of Fante ethnic group in Ghana.

Fante sub-organizations include Mankessim (Amanfo), Anomabo, Nkusukum, Abora (Abura), Gomoa, Ekumfi, Enyan (Ajumako), Esikuma and Agona. Ekumfi Otuam has a famous accolade as a result of their valor. They are appellate “Se Ekumfi annko a nna nnye Otuam bi a!” (If all Ekumfi will not fight, Otuom will rise up to the task).

Ekumfi area in the Central Region has one of the most highly educated people in Ghana. Otuam is also the hometown of late Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the former president of Ghana and the one-time computer wiz-kid David Kwamena Bolton.

Nana Amuah Afenyi is the first female paramount chief of this traditional area and one of the few female chiefs in Ghana. As it is the norm, though Fantes are matriarchal people, chieftaincy title was for men to hold it in favor of women.

In Fante and most Akan cultures, It is the women that decide who becomes a chief however, they are not eligible for kingship. Nevertheless, in certain situations, they can take their own seat from the men and rule on their own.

Nana Afenyi was born Peggielene Bartels in Ghana and a naturalized citizen of the United States, she has worked as a secretary at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, D.C. since the 1970s. Following the death of her uncle, Otuam’s former chief, in 2008, she was chosen to replace him, through a series of traditional rituals. ” Otuam’s elders consulted genealogical records, discussed which of the king’s relatives had the characteristics required to rule, and came up with a list of 25 candidates.

Bartels was the only woman. Then the chief priest poured libations of schnapps to the ancestors, intoning each of the names. When Bartels’s name was called, the schnapps, instead of sinking into the ground, steamed up — a clear indication of divine approval.”

Since chosen the first female chief of her village, she has spent several weeks each year in Ghana, on the anniversary of her coronation. She plans to become a full-time chief after her retirement from the embassy, at which time she will oversee a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) family-owned estate and occupy an eight-bedroom palace.

Bartels is a member of the Afro-European Bartels family, whose ancestor Cornelius Ludewich Bartels was Governor-General of the Dutch Gold Coast between 1798 and 1804, and whose son Carel Hendrik Bartels was the most prominent biracial slave trader on the Gold Coast in the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

Mysterious Places in Africa That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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African Richat

Many travel enthusiasts recognize Africa as a great destination for wildlife safaris, beach holidays, adventure travel, and other conventional forms of vacations. But not very many people are aware of the strange, weird, and unusual activities and destinations you can enjoy in Africa, especially if you are a lover of “off the beaten path” traveling.

Did you know for example that you can go on ghost hunting safaris in South Africa? You get to visit haunted places, see ghosts, and experience paranormal phenomena, among other things. You can find details about this and related tours at the mystery ghost bus tours website.

Below are what I consider to be the top five mysterious places in Africa. Of course, this is one man’s opinion. If you know of other equally or more deserving places, let us know in the comments.

1. The Great Eye of Africa in Mauritania
(Also know as the richat structure, or earth’s bulls eye).

This is a huge, mysterious, circular depression (diameter 50 km) that looks like a human eye when observed from space. It is located in the Sahara desert in Mauritania. Scientists have put forth several theories to explain how the structure was formed, but none of these explanations is universally accepted. One theory holds that it was formed from the impact of a meteor landing.

Can You Visit The Place?
Yes you can. I found some useful information on how and when to travel there at this website. The place may not be as spectacular on the actual ground as it appears from space (like this guy notes), but you also experience a great adventure in the desert.

2. Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
(Also known as the Afar depression)

Look at the above picture. You might think it is of a surface on the moon, Mars, or some other extra-terrestial place. But no, it is a true picture of a place in Dallol, one of the many strange and weird sites in the Danakil Depression.

The region is an extremely low altitude (most of it way below sea level) depression lying accross the Ethiopia-Eritrea-Djibouti border. The area has such harsh climatic conditions that the National Geographic has called it “the cruelest place on earth”. Temperatures as high as 67 degrees Celsius have been recorded here.

But besides its harshness, it is home to some incredibly strange features among them Erta Ale (the lava lake), the sulfur springs and bizarre land formations at Dallol, and the salt plain at Lake Asal.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Perfect, because this photo gallery shows some of the weird features at Dallol. You may also be interested in reading the photographer’s account of his experience in Dallol, as well as this first-hand Danakil Depression trip report at lonely planet.

How to visit the place
The only way to travel to the Afar depression is by using a tour operator, and there are a few reputable ones. I recommend that you have a look at some of the Ethiopia holiday packages, including tours to Danakil depression, provided through the Africa Guide Website

3. Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar

In this previous post, I noted how Madagascar is one of Africa’s “undiscovered” travel gems. This is because this great island is home to some of the most weird wild animals in the world, and several “out of this world” landscapes. You can enjoy a primate safari in Madagascar the best place to see Lemurs, in the world.

The Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Reserve is most notable for its bizarre limestone towers interspersed with vegetation to form an interesting landscape. Several rare animal species live in this limestone needles forest.

Can You Visit the Place?

Yes you can visit and trek in the southern part of the reserve, in the company of a professional guide. The Northern part of the reserve is not open to tourists. Click here for holidays in Madagascar offered through Primate Safari Experience, you might just find a package that you may like.

4. Lake Nyos, Cameroon

At first glance, you may not see anything spectacular in the above photo of Lake Nyos. But the lake is remembered for one of the strangest disasters of the modern world. One night in August 1986, about 1,800 people and over 3,000 cattle and other animals in villages near Lake Nyos, died under very mysterious circumstances. No bleeding, no exposure to radiation, no physical trauma, no disease, no chemical weapons; It was as if they just shut down and dropped dead.

Even more creepy, all the oil lamps in the villages were extinguished, as if by an unseen hand. The Lake had lived up to its name of “the bad lake” and the legend of evil spirits that reside in it.

Of course, scientists have since explained what could have caused this. Read this article and this one too to find out.

5. Nyiragongo Crater, DRC

I mentioned the Virunga mountains range in a previous post about best places to go gorilla trekking in Africa. Apart from the popular gorilla treks in the Virunga National Park, there’s much more to Virunga than just the mountain gorillas. The Nyirangongo crater is one such spectacular attraction. The lava lake at Nyiragongo is reputed to be the largest in the world, and gives us perhaps the closest glimpse of how hell (the lake of fire – if you believe in it) looks like.

See these amazing photos to understand what I am talking about.

 

Want to travel to Nyiragongo?
Several tour operators organize climbing and trekking expeditions to the rim of the crater.

Car Rental in Ethiopia: Everything You Need to Know

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Car Rental Ethiopia

What is the cheapest car rental in Ethiopia?

Prices for car rentals in Ethiopia vary from one car rental agency to another. But you can find the best car rental deal at as low as $78 per day. Take time and do thorough research before making the final decision. This can guide you, firstly, to make comparisons of different companies’ rates and what they offer.

Where can I get the best car rental deals in Ethiopia?

There a multiple pick up car locations in and around cities, airports and big towns in Ethiopia. However, you can ease the process by searching based on the specific pick up location and take a look at the various rates from different agencies or companies.

Can I book a car rental insurance with agency in Ethiopia?

It is possible to add a Collision Damage Protection to your car hire at checkout/after you reserve it. Choose the insurance link on your car hire package and follow the instructions. The link is available 24 hours prior the car pick-up day.

Are there any extras/additional charges when cancelling a rental car?

Canceling car booking 6 hours before pick up for many prepaid bookings attract a full refund. But not all prepaid bookings are entitled to refund that is why you need to understand well the car hire cancellation policy of the company you are dealing with.

How can I cancel my car rental booking?

First, you will be required to sign into your account, find the package section, choose manage booking and later, go to cancel reservation. Note, you might be required to cancel prepaid bookings about 6 hours prior the actual pick up time and you stand a chance to be refunded. Please note, cancellation policy differs from one car hire company to another.

How do I get the best car for hire in Ethiopia?

It is easier to find the best car hire deals in Ethiopia whether in Addis Ababa or other towns. You can find the rental car online by visiting our website where you will find the list of our fleets. You can take a choice from various types of car rental that is within your travel interest. They are perfect for airport pick-up and drop-off as well as road trips to different destinations.

What types of car can I hire in Ethiopia?

We have the best rental cars and they are available for hire with or without the driver with possibility to rent a budget or luxury rental options. They are all in their better mechanical conditions, luxurious, affordable and they include among others SUVs, Sedans, hybrid cars, land cruisers to mention but a few.

Why should I rent a car with company?

Car rental Ethiopia stands out from the many car hire companies offering the same car hire services. It is credited for its excellent car rental services it does offer for a test of time now. It does save tourists a lot when hiring a car, firstly on the insurance since our car rentals are comprehensively insured. We also assist tourists put a number of factors to make their trips complete ranging from booking hotels, safari activities among others.

What advantages do I stand to get when renting a car in Ethiopia?

There are many benefits to enjoy when hiring a car with car rental Ethiopia. Firstly, hiring a car is the best way to get around Ethiopia, the cities, weekend gateways or tour destinations, accomplishing business deals among others.

Is it possible to hire a car for longer time in Ethiopia?

Yes, you can rent a car with car rental Ethiopia for longer period of time. What you ought to do is to enter your preferences into our online search and you will be presented with the best long-term car rentals.

Can I book now and pay later for my car hire in Ethiopia?

Yes, there is possibility to book now and pay later for your rental car in Ethiopia. This alternative allows you book your dream car hire without making any advance payment. On the date you check in to pick up the car, you can pay full amount but some cheap car hire deals in Ethiopia can be prepaid and expect payment when you will be booking. Therefore, take time to read thoroughly about the car rental agency terms and conditions/contract.