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.



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Thailand’s ‘Nzulezu’ Koh Panyi: Where football is played on water

Koh Panyi is a small village located in the Phang Nga Province in Thailand, noted for its stilt nature. The small fishing village is built on water with structures such as houses, schools, restaurants all supported by stilts which stand firmly rooted in the water just as the Nzulezu village in the Western Region of Ghana.

The village is never short of visitors as thousands of tourists regularly make their way to there everyday to see this unique and amazing town and its people who live their entire life in houses built on water.

Koh Panyi
Koh Panyi

And if you ever thought living on water meant they would be deprived of some of the finest and best sporting activities in the world, you are definitely wrong. The latest addition to their many facilities is a football pitch. Yes you read that right, A FOOTBALL PITCH.

The people have managed to build for themselves a small football pitch on the water capable of hosting five-a-side matches and it is an incredible sight to behold as the young kids in the village take to this strange pitch to kick football every day.

Here are a few photos we managed to get you from the newly created football park that hosts the village’s matches.

Koh Panyi football pitch
Koh Panyi football pitch
Koh Panyi football pitch
Koh Panyi football pitch

Poovar Island: Where Lake, River And Sea Meet

Poovar is a tourist town in the Southern tip of India. Poovar means River and Flower. The town is strategically situated that it has Lake, River and the Sea all meeting at one place. Its natural environment makes it a tourist spot.

The floating cottages like that of Ghana’s Nzulezu or Thailand’s Koh Panyi, the blue skies, sandy beach, an estuary, a stretch of coconut trees, are just some of the few reasons why one shouldn’t miss a trip to the Poovar Island once in India.

While on a boat ride on the lake, tourists enjoy birds watching, rest-stop on the lake for some coconut juice and floating restaurant to enjoy some seafood. There’s a sea side statue of the Holy Cross and an Elephant-like rock that has a cross too.

Tourists to Poovar are encouraged to add Maldives to their itinerary. Return flights from the nearest airport Trivandrum International Airport sell for less than $300. You will need a double-entry Indian visa if you intend visiting Maldives. Maldives is visa-free for all nationals. Learn how to apply for Indian Visa online.

The Bloemfontein Zoo and how an animal developed a smoking habit

The city of Bloemfontein has been touted as a major tourism and cultural hub of South Africa, boasting of many astounding attractions which bring people from all over the country to the city every year, with millions of tourists visiting.

And if there is one attraction that stands out or can be regarded as the most popular of them all, and for which reason people travel from near and far to the city, then it is the ever popular Bloemfontein zoo situated right in the heart of the city.

The zoo was originally built in 1920 making it one of the oldest and most iconic zoos in Africa, with an envious animal population that runs into hundreds of different wildlife species.

The 15 hectares land zoo is also well known for its large collection of primates; most of whom can be seen swinging from trees to trees when taking strolls through the facility. Equally the zoo boasts of a large bird population as well as other mammals including the lion, tiger, elephants, giraffe and other endangered wildlife species.

For visitors who may want to spend more than a few hours there, Bloemfontein Zoo provides accommodation services that enable visitors to spend the night at the facility at a small fee.

Fun Fact

A couple of years ago, one of the apes in the zoo, known as Charlie the Ape was discovered to have developed a smoking habit after continuously seeing visitors stroll through the zoo smoking and mimicking them. Efforts were made by animal experts and vets to help Charlie quit the bad habit. Charlie died in 2010 aged 52.

Bagamoya Wildlife Estate: Where tourists interact with wild creatures

The mere mention of big cats like lion, cheetah, Leopards and tigers strike fear into some people if not all, but what if I tell you there is a place in this world where you can interact with these monstrous and powerful creatures, getting close to them and even touching them?

You probably are saying no, thanks. Well that’s totally understandable and fine but what if you could choose to interact and have physical contact with the cubs instead and even bottle-feed them? Sounds cool right? Well that is exactly what the Bagamoya Wildlife Estate in Bloemfontein, South Africa offers visitors.

Tourists who visit the facility get to interact with the wildlife at the estate, especially the cub lions, cheetahs, tigers and leopards who are too young to attack or pose danger to visitors.

For the brave hearts who wish to test their resolve and braveness, they are allowed to have physical contact with the old big cats but under the very strict supervision of tour guides.

Aside the big cats, Bagamoya Wildlife Estate also houses other herbivorous wildlife like the giraffe, elephants, zebra and antelopes in a different section of the estate and with the help of tour guides, rides can be taken  to that section to see these incredible and friendly creatures.

For tourists who intend to feed the lions and cheetahs, it is advisable to make a call to the zoo a day before and find out the feeding schedule before making the trip to the facility.

Johannesburg Zoo – South Africa

The Johannesburg Zoo was established in 1904 to serve as a natural reserve and habitat and for rare and endangered wildlife species such as elephants, lions, deer, and bushbucks while also playing an important role of enhancing tourism in the country at a time when tourism was not seen as a major economy impacting sector in South Africa.

The center currently has a land size of 200 hectares, a great expansion on the original size when it was established in 1904, making it one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife centers with a grand animal population of 2000, involving 320 different species.

Statistically, the Johannesburg Zoo has one of the most impressive visitor populations, receiving an average of 500,000 tourists annually from different parts of the world and other parts of South Africa.

Note to Tourists

Johannesburg Zoo like most tourists attractions has no breaks and works all year round including holidays, with visiting time ranging between 8:30 am to 5:30 pm even though it is advisable to visit in the morning or at noon and at worse around 3pm if you do not intend to spend the night at the reserve.

Tourists are not allowed to tour the zoo on their own and must do so under the guidance of a tour guide; this is to ensure the safety of visitors and keep them from harm’s way as some sections of the zoo are deemed a No-Go area.

For tourists who would like to spend the night at the zoo, there are accommodation facilities in the park, readily available for rent at small fees.

Current Animal Statistics

As of 2017, the zoo had precisely 2096 animals made up of 5 species of spiders, 25 fish species, 128 bird species, 47 species of reptiles and 20 species of frogs, making it one of the most densely populated reserves in South Africa.

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 Johannesburg: The Mandela House

Johannesburg is home to many wonderful and incredible attractions; from amazing parks to wildlife reserves and museums, but perhaps the most standout of all these attractions is the Mandela House also known as the Mandela National Museum, located in Orlando West, on the Vilakazi Street.

The one-storey brisk house was originally built in 1945 and occupied by the former South African president and freedom fighter between 1946 and 1962 when he moved out following a series of attacks on his life in the building which left the brisk house ridden with bullets.

After successfully fighting the apartheid system and gaining his independence to lead the country into a new era of democracy in 1994, Mandela decided to donate the house to the state and did so officially in 1997, three years into his presidency.

Mandela National Museum
Mandela National Museum

The house was then converted into a museum which houses the records, letters, pictures and personal belongings of Nelson Mandela especially during the period when he lived in the house and was a leading political figure in the fight against apartheid.

More interesting, unlike most museums where artefacts had to be brought in from elsewhere, exhibitions within the Mandela House Museum such as furniture, citations, letters, and personal belongings were not brought in from elsewhere but were items that Mandela himself had placed in the house before its conversion into a museum.

Today, the facility is among the most visited tourist attractions in South Africa, with a visitor population that exceeds a million annually, a feat which made the United Nation recognize the house as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

City Bowl: The Unheard Part of Cape Town Every Tourist Must Visit

When the word Tourism and Cape Town are put in the same sentence, names that come to mind or become the topic for discussion are Hout Bay, Consantia, Bo Kaap and Atlantic Seaboard, rightly so because of their abundance of attractions, both man-made and natural.

But on very few occasions will you hear the name City Bowl in the conversation and not many people have even heard of it before. In fact, no one even plans to visiting Cape Town and thinks of City Bowl as his or her main destination, with the previous mentioned areas being the obvious preferred choices.

But truth is, one can hardly blame tourists for sidelining City Bowl, not much about this beautiful area of Cape Town is available online making it difficult for tourists to find it as a suitable choice when searching on the internet. But to tell you the truth if tourists and people knew how wonderful and amazing this small part of Cape Town is, they wouldn’t dare leave it out in their choice of places to visit.

What makes City Bowl a must visit tourist destination

City Bowl is arguably one of the nicest and safest areas in South Africa, devoid of crime and other violent activities that may be associated with other parts of the city of Cape Town, making it a good choice for visiting tourists.

Aside its safeness, City Bowl is home to many historic attractions and monuments worthy of the precious time of visiting tourists. Major attractions such as the Table Mountain which overlooks the city and the Devil’s Peak are but a few of the wonderful attractions City Bowl has to offer.

Commercially city bowl is also one of the most vibrant areas in Cape Town. Every day, thousands of people troop in to do business in City Bowl, specifically, the Central Business District (CBD). While this may sound more commercial related than tourism, it is a good opportunity for visiting tourists to roam the streets, do some window shopping and get to experience the business part of the people’s lives.

Accommodation in City Bowl is another reason why you cannot leave out this wonderful part of Cape Town out of your plans. The city offers some of the cheapest and yet finest hotels and guest houses in Cape Town, meaning the average tourist can afford to stay in the city of Cape Town for a while without spending much.

 

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.