Visiting South Africa: The Boulders Beach

Talk of the finest and most beautiful beaches and seashores in Africa, and the Boulders Beach, located in South Africa comfortably sits atop of the list with its exquisite and magnificent natural beach and clean water which is comparable to none.

The beach is located near the Cape Town and is situated in the Cape Peninsula, away from human settlement and a little distant from the nearest community, Simon’s Town.

The popularity of the beach is largely due to its large penguin population, beautiful granite stones and clean water which one can easily see through.

The penguins first settled in the peninsula in the 1980s and have since then made the Boulders Beach their permanent home, while attracting millions of tourists each year.

Visiting tourists usually share the sea with and its shores with the penguins as they playfully roam on a section of the shore, close to where the beach visitors, forming a harmonious ecological relationship. While the penguins are not considered dangerous tourists are advised to watch them from their section of the beach and not cross over to the colony of the Penguins

Over the years, however concerns have been raised about the near extinction of the Penguins species known as the African Penguin. There all only a few thousands of them in existence and all are found in the Southern part of Africa, constantly exposed to dangers and attacks, with the Boulders Beach which boasts of about 2000 of them being the only place where they are protected from harm.

For the loves of beaches and animals, the iconic Boulders Beach is a must visit especially residents of South Africa, especially those living in the Cape Town.

The Afrikaans Language Monument – South Africa

Once upon a time, centuries ago, the Afrikaans language spoken by ethnic groups in South Africa that had their roots from Netherlands was declared the official language of the southern African country, in an attempt to separate the language from the widely spoken Dutch at the time.

To commemorate this event, a special monument, Afrikaans Language Monument, was built in 1975 to mark the transition from Dutch to Afrikaans as South Africa’s official language. The monument located on the Pearl Hills in the Western Cape Province was designed by Dutch architect, Jan Van Wijk and is regarded as one of South Africa’s finest architectural constructions of the 20th century.

The Afrikaans Language Monument PHOTO: craiglotter
The Afrikaans Language Monument PHOTO: craiglotter

The monument is opened to the general public for visitation and touring as the facility is categorized as a national heritage site and tourist attraction. On a normal day at the monument, visitors are taken through various sections of the structure to learn about the evolvement of the Afrikaans language and how other languages had influenced it over the cause of the centuries.

The most popular section at the monument include the Magical Africa; where tourists are taken through a short lesson on how African languages influenced Afrikaans, the Clear West; another section which discusses the European root and heritage of the language and the main section Afrikaans; where the language itself is discussed and talked about.

Various Afrikaans literature works such as poems and songs written by popular Afrikaans writers are also displayed at the monument to show the rich heritage of the language in terms of literature.

The centre is also a popular event hosting grounds in Western Cape Province, hosting concerts and other major events throughout the year.

South Africa: A must visit for animal lovers

There are millions of people who love animals and wouldn’t miss any opportunity to see some of these amazing creatures, be it the wild type like the lions and cheetahs or the more friendly ones like the Zebras and Giraffes.

Over the cause of the decades, people have come to appreciate the existence of these animals, showing them love and care like never before in the history of mankind and gone are the days when we use to say it a survival of the fittest as more measures are put in place by organizations, governments and even individuals to protect these wild but vulnerable creatures.

And if there is a place where these animals are given the most protection and care then it is South Africa, the country popularly referred to as the rainbow nation.

South Africa currently boasts of the highest number of wildlife in Africa with more than fifty world class zoos and forest reserves that houses these animals, protecting them from activities of poachers and hunters.

Elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa
Elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa
African lion in the National park of South Africa
African lion in the National park of South Africa

With the country gaining a reputation for its vast wildlife population and strict policies protecting wildlife, the country receives millions of tourists whose main intent is to visit some of these reserves and have a closer experience and look at these rare and amazing animals.

The likes of Kruger Park, Bloemfontein Zoo and Mapungubwe Park have come to embody the wildlife tourism of the southern African nation with animals like Tiger, Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards and Elephants being the main attractions at these centres.

For the animal lovers, those planning trips to visit some animal sites around the world, there is no better place to visit than the rainbow nation called South Africa, where wildlife abounds and are protected for the good of mankind.

Hermanus Whale Festivals – South Africa

Hermanus, a small seaside town found in the Western Cape province of South Africa is a place to be for the lovers of sea animals.

The small town is famous for its annual Whale festival which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.

History of the festival dates back to the late 80s when townspeople realized whales and other giant sea animals came extremely close to the shore during the second half of every year.

Whale watching town of Hermanus, South Africa
Whale watching town of Hermanus, South Africa

Research into this phenomenon revealed that the whales migrated from the icy Antarctica area when the sea becomes extremely cold around June, staying so for the rest of the year. This then forces the whales to migrate to the much more warmer coastal waters in South Africa with the the Hermanus township being their preferred destination due to the warm climate.

This annual occurrence led to the establishment of the Hermanus Whale Festival which takes place in the month of September every year with the 201 edition scheduled to take place between September 27 and 29.

The major attraction of the festival is the opportunity to get close to the sea and see these giant creatures swim playfully and carefree just at the edge of the coastal waters knowing very much no harm will come to them as they are strictly protected by the townspeople.

The two-day festival also serves as an opportunity for organisers to educate people on the need to protect the sea and other water bodies as well as aquatic life as they play an important role in the ecosystem.

Hermanus Whale Festival is a total package that everyone living close to Hermanus cannot afford to miss out. Extra activities like the food bazaar, the beach volleys, the beach concerts, dancing and drumming and street jams are but a few of the entertaining and fun-packed activities to expect.

Inside Kimberly: The Big Hole that Tells South Africa’s Diamond Mining Story

In the 1800s the people of South Africa, especially those living in the Kimberley area in the Northern Cape Province discovered that their lands were filled with the precious white metal called Diamond. The rest is history. A history that would become a core of South Africa for generation and centuries to come and one of such story is simply titled the Big Hole or Tim Kuilmine in Afrikaans.

The Big Hole perhaps is the best place to visit to really understand the story and history of diamond mining in South Africa. Regarded by many historians as the biggest and deepest hand dug pit in the world, the digging of the spot began in 1871 after it had been discovered to contain diamond.

Prior to that it was a farmland, however the discovery led to a mad rush and scramble for spot on the land. Within a short period of time, people from far and near were rushing to the area in a bid to mine diamond and enrich themselves.

This brought all the miners together to dig the land and search for diamonds individually. This worked well and went on for more than four  decades (roughly between 1871 and 1915) and by the time the mining activities had come to a standstill and the place closed down in 1914, more than 50,000 miners had taken part in the exploration, digging with shovels, hoes and picks for more than forty years.

The extent of the hole was measured at 790 ft deep from ground level and 462 metres wide making it one of the biggest hands dug holes in modern history even though some argue it is actually the biggest and not just one of the biggest.

Currently, the hole is filled with raining water and has become a major tourist attraction in Kimberley with tourists from far and near regularly visiting the site to see this huge whole with a unique story behind it.

Richtersveld National Park – South Africa

Camping is one of the most popular tourism activities anywhere in the world, and is usually seen as one of the best ways for families, love ones and small groups to spend memorable times together in a secluded yet natural environments, devoid of everyday human activities.

And in South Africa the best place to have this experience is at the Richtersveld National Park, located in north-east part of the Northern Cape Province of the rainbow nation.

The Richtersveld is a large desert land, situated near the South African border with Namibia and is geographically characterized by mountains, dry weather, sandy lands, rocks and few trees.

The river which runs through the area, the Orange River serves as the natural body which separates South Africa from Namibia.

Camping activities are usually held at the park by families and groups due to the uniqueness and quiet nature of the area. Even though many would argue there is nothing awesome about Richtersveld, it is one of the most unique landscapes in the world, recognised as the only arid biodiversity hotspot on the planet with a wonderful and stable weather that makes camping in the area enjoyable.

The 400,000 acres park is also home to some of the rarest plants in the world, with these plants being able to grow in the desert and rocky land.

The United Nations has declared the area a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

DV Lottery 2023 Results: How To Check DV Lottery Entrant Status

The Results of the 2023 Diversity Visa program (DV-2023), also known as the Green Card lottery, can be checked online beginning Tuesday, May 7th, 2022, at 15:00GMT.

Results will only be available on the US Department of State website.

To check the results of your entry, you will need your confirmation number, year of birth, last name, and pass a simple security check to prove you are human.

USA passport on the flag of the US United Stetes.
USA passport on the flag of the US United Stetes.

How to check 2023 DV Lottery results

  1. Visit the U.S Department of State website
  3. Enter your Confirmation Number (Example: 2020xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
  4. Enter Last Name or Family Name
  5. Enter Year of Birth
  6. Carefully look at the security code provided and enter it correctly
  7. Hit SUBMIT.
  8. The next page tells you if you have been selected for further processing or not.

The DV 2023 entrants are those that registered between October 6, 2021 and November 9, 2021. The US State Department will begin processing visas and conducting interviews for the eventual winners starting in October, 2022, with those who pass the interviews, background checks and other qualifications such as high school education and/or work experience being granted permanent resident visas.

The Diversity Visa program, which is administered by the State Department, makes 50,000 permanent resident visas available annually to nationals of countries with low immigration rates to the United States over the previous five years.

Salaga Slave Market: A historical market of iron and shackles

You probably have read a lot about the brutal 19th Century slave trade involving Africa, Europe and the Americas where Africans were taken from their homes and shipped to the Americas like Cargoes to work in plantations and manufacturing firms.

But even before this era, slave trade did exist in Africa in the 16th and 17th century, though under very humane conditions compared to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

One of the very few evidence of the existence of slave trade in Africa before the 19th century can be found in Salaga, specifically at a location now known as the Salaga Slave Market.

The Salaga slave market located in Salaga, the administrative capital of the Gonja East district in the Northern Region used to be an important West African city where traders from the northern part of Africa met with West African traders to trade in commodities such as cowries, beads, textiles, animal hide and gold.

However, in the later part of the 18th century, the nature of trade in Salaga changed to include the exchange of humans for commodities. People were sold to traders coming from the northern part of Africa in exchange for commodities like cowries, fine textile and leather.

The traders from the North who preferred to be paid with humans, mostly used them as house helps or assistants who would assist them in running their day to day trading activities, it was devoid of brutalities or violent as the sold slaves were generally treated well.

With the arrival of the Europeans in the eighteenth century and commencement of the dreaded Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Salaga slave market shifted its focus from trading with traders from the north to trading with Europeans who offered more for their slaves.

Today, the Salaga slave market is a pale shadow of itself, lacking in vibrant commercial activities and has been turned into motor park. Aside the Slave market, Salaga also boasts of other slave monuments including a famous slave cemetery and a slave warehouse. The slave warehouse was used to house and keep the slaves captive until they were transported to the coastal areas and sold off to the Europeans living on the coasts.

For any tourist wanting to learn more about slavery and how slave markets and centres looked like, Salaga, a town once famous for its trade in slaves and its vibrancy as a West African trading centre, is a must visit.

Salt Mining in Daboya: A history forgotten but not lost

Daboya, located some 67 kilometres northwest of Tamale may not be a major household name in Ghana today, mostly due to the growth of commercial cities like Tamale and Wa in the northern part of Ghana. However over a century ago, Daboya was probably the most popular town in the Northern region famous for its mass production of salt and vibrant commercial activities.

Over a half of the salt consumption of Ghana in the 1700s and 1800s was supplied by Daboya as a majority of the women and men in the town were engaged in the salt mining business, making it one of the most active and commercially vibrant towns in Ghana.

Today, Daboya can no longer be regarded as the salt hub of Ghana. While salt is still mined and produced in the ancient town, it is in lesser quantity compared to centuries ago, and the salt production today is only meant for the local market and consumption.

The collapse of the Daboya salt market could be attributed to the desire for iodized and refined salt in the 21st century. The change in preference of Ghanaians resulted in the importation of granulated and refined salt from Europe, killing off the Daboya salt market which supplied unrefined salt in its natural state.

This, has however not stopped people from paying visits to the town to see the salt mining centres that once made Daboya a hugely successful commercial city in Ghana and West Africa.

The gradual decline of the salt business in Daboya gave way to another craft in the form of fabric weaving. Today, the town of Daboya is more famous for its hand woven traditional smocks than its production of salt. In fact, a majority of the fine hand woven smocks worn in the Northern region are produced in Daboya.

Daboya Weavers
Daboya Weavers

While the town is not the most visited in terms of tourism, Daboya has the potential to become a major tourism destination in Ghana considering its rich and storied history, coupled with historical sites such as salt mines and hand woven fabric centres. Daboya may be on the brink of being forgotten, but its rich history is not lost.

Nzulezu: A town in the middle of nowhere

Ghana is a land of many strange and curious phenomena, from having human friendly crocodiles to canopy walkways that hang in the air.

This small town falls within this bracket of strange yet wonderful apparitions. Located some 90 kilometres west of Takoradi, Nzulezu is a strange town that cannot be called an Island; neither can it be referred to as a community on land.

The problem with attaching a specific descriptive term to Nzulezu comes about as a result of the nature of the town. Nzulezu is found right on a water body, the Lake Tadane, rather than on land. While Nzulezu is not the first town to be built on a lake, it is among the prestigious few in the world and attracts thousands of tourists every year.

In the year 2000, it was nominated as a UNESCO Heritage Site and has grown over the decades in terms of popularity and becoming a major tourism destination in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Nzulezu: PHOTO: Visit Ghana
Nzulezu: PHOTO: Visit Ghana

Houses on the Lake are constructed with wooden materials and stilt supported structures that easily integrate with the water to help the wooden houses stand firm.

It remains a mystery as to why the people of Nzulezu chose to leave land and settle on the lake, however history shows that the town has been in existence for over hundred years and still continuous to flourish and attract curious tourists from all walks of life.

With a small population of just six hundred people, Nzulezu remains one of the most famous towns in Ghana and in most visited communities in Africa.

For the curious mind, Nzulezu is a town that must be visited at a point in this lifetime.