Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

Comoros Islands - Travel Information

Located in a strategic position at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, the archipelago of the Comoros Islands consists of four islands: Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Moheli), Nzwani (Anjouan), and Mahore (Mayotte). The islands arose from the seabed of the Western Indian Ocean as the result of volcanic activity.

The Union of Comoros islands once played a major role in the world economy and that of the Indian ocean. For centuries, they were a major stopover along the mercantile routes from the East towards Africa and to the West.  The capital city Moroni is on Ngazidja (Grande Comore) island.

In the waters ard the deep blue sea ound the islands, lives the famous Coelacanth. It is a unique fish once thought by western scientists to have been extinct for millions of years. But in the second half of the last century, an ichthyologist learned that Comorian fishermen regularly caught coelacanths in the deep waters surrounding the islands of Ngazidja (Grande Comore) and Nzwani (Anjouan). Several specimens have since been preserved and can be seen today in museums around the world.

There is an abundance of life in the sea around the Comoros. One can find everything from giant whales, sharks, big manta rays, sailfish, sunfish to lobsters, crabs and tiny shrimp. Deep water close to the islands, coral reefs, miles of sandy beaches, plus fresh water streams and shoreline springs provide multiple habitats for the marine life.

The islands became a French colony following the Berlin conference of 1886-7 and remained under French political control until 1975 when three of the islands: Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Moheli), and Nzwani (Anjouan), declared independence from France. They are now forming the Union Of Comoros with each of the three islands given considerable autonomy. The fourth major island of the archipelago, Maore (Mayotte), continued to be administered by France although Maore belongs within the sphere of the independent nation of the Comoros which has been recognized by the United Nations' General Assembly. 

The Comoros Islands are an archipelago of four islands and several islets located in the western Indian Ocean about ten to twelve degrees south of the Equator and less than 200 miles off the East African coast. They lie approximately halfway between the island of Madagascar and northern Mozambique at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel. The archipelago is the result of volcanic action along a fissure in the seabed running west-northwest to east-southeast. The total area of the four islands is 785 square miles (2,034 square kilometers).

Comoros Island map
Of the four major islands (Ngazidja, Mwali, Nzwani, and Mahore), Ngazidja is the largest and the youngest island in the archipelago. It is the most westerly of the islands, lying 188 miles from Mozambique. The island has an active volcano that rises to a height of 7,746 feet (2,361 meters) above sea level. Mwali, 28 miles south-southeast of Ngazidja, is the smallest of the islands with a central mountain range that rises 2,556 feet (790 meters) above sea level. Nzwani lies about twenty-five miles easterly of Mwali, has a central peak that rises 5,072 feet (1,575 meters) above sea level. It also has several swift running streams that cascade down to long, sandy beaches. Forty-four miles to the southeast of Nzwani is Mayotte (Maore), the oldest of the islands. It is almost surrounded by a barrier reef and is fairly flat with slow meandering streams and mangrove swamps.

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Cape Verde Island

With long, bone-white sand beaches, magnificent mountain ranges, lush interior with breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a unique blend of African, Portuguese and Creole cultures, old colonial buildings, crystal clear warm sea with cool breezes offering good conditions for water sports, including great scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing and marlin fishing, Cape Verde Islands are an ideal destination to spend a vacation you will remember forever. 

Holidays in Cape Verde are something special and more than adventurous as each island is dramatically different with its own appeal offering tropical greenery and desert-like landscapes with still soaring volcanoes. The island experiences wonderful weather all year round and there is no 'the best' time to visit the islands.

Until recently Cape Verde's beauty was largely kept a secret – the long beaches of endless white sand, lapped by turquoise ocean: the historical mystery of colonial style towns like Ribeira Grande the first European City in the tropics: the wide variety of landscapes – from dramatic volcanic – to lush and verdant.

Nowadays, the Cape Verde islands are opening up to tourists, especially holiday makers searching for a rich blend of fresh holiday experiences. Even the Cape Verde people are unique, being a cultural mix of their two nearest neighbours – Senegal and Brazil, this combination is most obvious in the ever-present Cape Verde music; a scintillating hip-swinging fusion of Samba and Salsa sprinkled with tribal African. If you enjoy fine beaches, beautiful scenery, vibrant cultures and have a sense of adventure Cape Verde will not disappoint.  


Underwater exploration is becoming one of the most popular activities in Cape Verde. Massive rock formations, caves, canyons, ledges and shipwrecks are home to a host of large fish, shoals of fish and lobsters, making exciting dives.

Particularly due to the location of the islands, there are shipwrecks of all types and age around the shoreline. Located off the shore of Sal are three wreck sites of varying depths, including the site of the 1966 freighter ‘Santo Antao’. Established diving schools are available in the following locations: Santa Maria, Sal; Vila do Tarrafal, Santiago; Sal Rei, Boavista; Mindelo, Sao Vicente; Sao Filipe, Fogo. .

It is possible to pre-reserve the dives prior to travel. Instruction and the hire of equipment are available in all locations. Prices are available on request. Although tuition is available for a complete beginner. The underwater currents in the Atlantic Ocean mean that some of the best dive sites are sometimes inaccessible. Important Note: Potential divers must be aware that there is not a decompression chamber on the Cape Verde Islands.

Cape Verde map
 The Cape Verde archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 570 kilometres (350 mi) off the coast of West Africa, near Mauritania and Senegal, and is part of the Macaronesia ecoregion. It lies between latitudes 14° and 18°N, and longitudes 22° and 26°W. The country is a horseshoe-shaped cluster of ten islands (nine inhabited) and eight islets, that constitute an area of 4033 km².

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Bubrkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country which borders Ghana, Mali, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and Niger. It is a country of history, fight and liberty amidst pain. Located in the west of the continent, Burkina Faso, as with other African nations, is little known in international fields owing to European metropolis politics which have prevented their independent protection for centuries as a result of slave systems and colonial rule. Foreign presence has not only meant the exploitation of native labour and the looting of substantial natural resources, but also the intention to destroy century’s worth of accumulated riches and cultural inheritance.

Burkina Faso was not originally known by this genuine African name which in the indigenous language means ‘Republic of Incorruptible Men’ or ‘Land of Honourable Men’; the current name only came about after the country gained independence. In colonial times, the country was known as the Republic of Upper Volta due to the main river’s three tributaries:  Black Volta, Red Volta and White Volta.

These converge to the south of the country in the region of Ghana, to form the river Volta. The population is divided into two big ethnic groups: the Voltaic, integrated with the Mossi, whose language is spoken by the majority of inhabitants and is the largest group, in conjunction with the Gruashis or Gurunsi, the Bobo and the Lobi. The other big group is the Mande, together with the Samo, Marka, Busansi, Senufo, Dyola or Dioula, whose language is used in local trade. Other smaller groups include the Hausa, Fulani, Tuareg and Bella.

The first we know of the country dates back to the eleventh century, and then to the thirteenth century when the Mossi tribe permanently settled in the region and consolidated their social structure; this settlement appears to have come from the east of what is currently Niger, and is made up of several states which stood out for their powerful political, social and military organisations.

In the 15th century Portuguese mariners were the first Europeans to arrive in the region. The Portuguese established a trade exchange with the native population and settled in the coastal areas of nations bordering the Gulf of Guinea and other Atlantic coasts. In that same century, Portugal started the slave trade for its new colony Brazil.
Burkina Faso map
In the 19th century, France had become one of the most important colonial powers in Africa; the extension of its conquered territories was comparable only to that of the United Kingdom, its one great rival in robbery and ransacking of the continent. These colonial empires were characterised by their disdain for the native population, brutally repressing all before them despite protest of the abuses by the victims; in these acts of cruelty, France did not differ from any other European country. When France’s military conquest of Western Africa took place at the end of the 19th century, Gallic colonialism had reached a stage of maximum expansion.
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Mauritius will enchant you, will uplift your soul, making you feel that you belong to the chosen few. Every visitor enjoys personal attention. Every encounter is an opportunity to discover a friendly face. Behind each smile lies the promise of a unique holiday. The contrast of a multitude of colours and tastes, the island, set in its turquoise sea, is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Mauritius, a melting pot where past and present are smoothly blended together, offers an essential beauty that will compel to return to its shores time and time again. May your stay with us remain engraved in your memory forever.

Mauritius is a paradise for deep sea fishing. Species include the blue or black marlin, all types of sharks, yellow tuna, the Bonitos, the ‘emperor’, the ‘pélerin’, the ‘bécune’ or the barracuda. Huge fishes like the Blue Marlin roam our seas and hunt around the island from November to April, and very often until May. The ocean is 70 metres deep one kilometre away from the coast. Mauritius holds several world fishing records (IGFA), including that of the mako shark of 1115 pounds, the blue shark of 400 pounds, a bonito of 41.5 pounds, a white tuna of 224 pounds and a ‘bécune’ of 125 pounds. African records (GFUA) mention a yellow tuna of 212 pounds and a white tuna of 224 pounds. Other specimens recently caught include blue marlins of 1430 and 1355 pounds. Fishing boats can be hired from almost all hotels. The most prestigious deep sea fishing competition is the Marlin World Cup which is hosted in December by La Pirogue Hotel.

If you are looking for a very special place to spend your honeymoon, Mauritius is definitely the place for you. Every hotel on the island offers extensive wedding and honeymoon packages. They can also help you in organising every single detail of the ceremony. Everything is possible. You can choose to have an intimate, private occasion or a more adventurous way of exchanging vows. On a sunny beachside, under the sea or in the sky, Mauritius will transform your wedding or your honeymoon into an unforgettable moment.

Those seeking well-being during their holidays should be sure to visit the spas, new oases of peace where time stands still. Mauritius offers several world-class items. If the seemingly endless miles of beaches, the natural hospitality of the Mauritian people and the huge range of different types of food are not enough , why not set off on a very special journey ! Pay a visit to some of the spas, where you can put yourself into the capable hands of experts and allow yourself to be carried away by your senses. These spas are now regarded as a must, on the tourist itinerary. The islands most famous spas include One&Only Le Saint Géran, the Royal Palm, Hilton, Prince Maurice, Beau Rivage, Oberoi, The Residence, Sofitel Imperial and Dinarobin hotels where holidays also mean fitness and enlightened senses.

The number of tourists-only duty-free shops where passports and air tickets must be shown is on the increase. Prices are very reasonable. What can one buy in Mauritius? Models of old ships. Note : Airline companies charge for freight on ship models according to size and weight. Mauritius has an enviable reputation for textiles production, namely for pull-overs and knitwear. Leading brands of shirts, trousers, suits, dresses, suits for women, shorts or swimwear are sold at unbeatable prices. Basketwork, embroidery, pottery, cut stones and recycled glass are very much in demand. Those who love cooking will be able to take back fruit jellies, chillies, and other types of spices and pickles - delicious bits of raw vegetables soaked in oil, spices and chilly. Do not forget to buy some vanilla tea or rum. Only accredited shops are allowed to sell duty-free goods to tourists.

Mauritius is an exotic and mystical land that has been long associated with natural beauty and glamorous luxury. Mauritius was once the playground of the rich and famous but today is accessible to a wide spectrum of holidaymakers offering a variety of accommodations and resorts catering for a diverse clientele. Mauritius honeymoons have been popular for decades and romance pervades throughout the island with the breathtaking landscape and year round warm climate promising an ideal backdrop for leisurely strolls down the beach, candlelit dinners and sipping cocktails at sunset. Whether you are staying in the capital of Port Louis or along one of the many secluded stretches of beach or private peninsulas that fringe the island you are sure to have a truly magical experience.

Mauritius is an ideal choice. Nestled in the Indian Ocean, the island is truly a lover’s paradise. The stretches of white sand, sun drenched beach, lush green plantations, towering mountain ranges, cascading waterfalls, the never ending rainforests are heart rendering. The days spent here with your beloved will be etched forever in your memory. It is, and will always figure among the top honeymoon destinations in the world. So, close your eyes and without giving a second thought, plan your honeymoon in Mauritius. You will surely want to make a second visit to the place very soon.

Mauritius is famous for its spectacularly beautiful nature, featuring rich flora made up of over 700 species of indigenous plants, including the most amazing giant Victoria regia water lilies and rich fauna with some of the most endangered species, such as black bulbul, pink pigeon, tenrec and fody.
Mauritius map
There are several reserve and wildlife parks in Mauritius. Ile aux Aigrettes is one of them, boasting Ebony trees and "Bois de chandelle" (dracaena concinna) and several unique animal species. With its warm climate, beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture and welcoming locals, it is no surprise Mauritius has become such a popular destination for holiday makers, honeymooners or anyone who really deserves a special treat and full relaxation.

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Cape Town, South Africa

Welcome to Cape Town, Mother City of Africa, and the Western Cape, an area which is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions in the world. The City is a rare cultural gem, resulting from the amalgamation of Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers, the local Bushman and Hottentot tribes and the Bantu tribes from the north.

The impressive presence of Table Mountain, flanked by the legendary Devil's Peak and historical Signal Hill, stands proudly above the city. Beautiful white sandy beaches along a peaceful coastline frame the Cape Peninsula, which is famed for its unique floral kingdom, bountiful rivers, vleis and dams and magnificent countryside. The surrounding area extends far into the winelands, green in summer and red-gold in autumn.

Cape Town boasts a multitude of entertainment, ranging from outdoor activities and adventures in the sun to a roaring night life under neon signs. The vast range of shopping opportunities includes haggling with shopholders at Greenmarket Square Flea Market, as well as breezing through sophisticated and stylish shopping malls. The huge variety of Cape Town restaurants reflects the multicultured history of the Cape and caters for everyone's taste, from fast-food outlets and casual to the chic to the very elegant.

Cape Town provides a setting for many scenic wonders, magnificent seascapes and panoramic vistas. The beautiful coastal areas of Camps Bay, Clifton, Llandudno, Bantry Bay, Hout Bay and Blouberg surround the breathtaking tranquility of the winelands, Constantia, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.

Cape Town is a city of culture, built on a history that reflects in the architecture, cuisine, music and dance. Together with a warm summer and temperate winter climate and a friendly community, the Western Cape and the Mother City are an ideal holiday destination throughout the year.

There is plenty to see and do while in Cape Town and even if your aim is to merely relax and stay away from the so called 'tourist' activities, there are many attractions that are definitely well worth a visit. Here are some of the major attractions in and around Cape Town. Be sure to leave some time for a relaxed scenic drive around the peninsula too - you'll see beautiful scenery from oceans to mountains and vineyards and, can stop off at various view points for a picnic or just to take it all in.

Cape town map
Cape Town is fairly easy to navigate using the sea and Table Mountain as your major landmarks. The map above highlights most of the major areas in Cape Town and surrounds.

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