Category: East Africa

Country Highlight: UGANDA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 44 0

Uganda is the 33rd largest country in Africa and home to 6 of its 10 highest mountain peaks. Learn more fun facts about this spectacular country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s a landlocked country located in East Africa and it’s the 33rd largest country in Africa.

2. Its capital and largest city is Kampala.

3. Major languages: English (official), Swahili (official), Ganda, and 30+ indigenous languages

4. Major ethnic groups: Ganda, Nkole, Soga, Kiga, Teso, Lango, Gisu, Acholi

5. Major religions: Christianity (84%), Islam (14%), Other and none (2%)

6. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in October 1962.

7. It’s named after the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of central Uganda, including Kampala.

8. It is home to the source of the Nile River, the world’s longest river.

9. It is home to Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria.

10. It is one of 13 countries that the equator passes through.

11. It is one of only 3 places in the world to see mountain gorillas in the wild.

12. The Rwenzori Mountains, in southwest Uganda on the border with DRC, are home to 6 of the 10 tallest peaks in Africa.

13. Tourism centers around wildlife, nature, cultural, and adventure activities. Popular attractions include: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (the primary gorilla trekking location), Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth National Park (home to tree climbing lions), Lake Bunyonyi, Crater Lakes region, Rwenzori Mountains, Ssese Islands, and white water rafting, tubing, bungee jumping, and quad biking in Jinja.

14. Things to do in Kampala include: Uganda National Cultural Centre, Uganda National Museum, National Botanical Gardens, Kabaka’s Palace, Idi Amin Torture Chambers, Kasubi Tombs, Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Owino Market, Kampala Craft Market, the Old Taxi Park, Uganda National Mosque, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

Photo credit: www.ontheworldmap.com
Video credit: Uganda Tourism Board
Video credit: The African Myths Show
Video credit: Mr. Musinguzi

Country Highlight: TANZANIA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 42 0

Tanzania is Africa’s 13th largest country and home to its highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Learn more fun facts about this fascinating country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s located in East Africa and is the 13th largest country on the continent. It’s comprised of the mainland and the Zanzibar archipelago.

2. The capital is Dodoma and the largest city is Dar es Salaam.

3. In 1964, the mainland, formerly known as Tanganyika, merged with Zanzibar island, and became known as Tanzania.

4. There are more than 120 ethnic groups, the largest being the Sukuma.

5. Major languages: Swahili, Arabic, English

6. Major religions: Christianity (61%), Islam (35%), Traditional and other religions (4%)

7. It is surrounded by three great lakes of Africa – Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Malawi.

8. Tourism is a major industry and centers around wildlife, beaches, history, culture, nature, and adventure activities.

9. It has 7 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List: Kondoa Rock Art sites, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara, Stone Town of Zanzibar, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Selous Game Reserve, Kilimanjaro National Park, and Serengeti National Park.

10. Its most famous national park is the Serengeti, where each year more than one million wildebeests make their great migration to the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya.

11. It’s home to the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera (volcanic depression).

12. Mount Kilimanjaro, located in northeast Tanzania, is the highest peak in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

13. Zanzibar is known for its fabulous beaches and some of the most popular are Nungwi, Kendwa, Paje, Jambiani, Matemwe, and Kiwengwa.

14.  Things to see and do in Zanzibar include: Darajani Market and historic buildings of Stone Town, Forodhani Gardens night market, the Rock restaurant, Kuumbi Caves, Jozani Forest, Seaweed Center, Prison Island, Slave Market Memorial, and spice farms.

Photo credit: beautifulworld.com
Video credit: TravelDotEarth
Video credit: Miss Trudy
Video credit: Yuri Empress

Country Highlight: SOUTH SUDAN

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 49 0

South Sudan is Africa’s newest country and the 19th largest on the continent. Learn more fun facts about this young country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is a landlocked country located in East Africa and is the 19th largest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Juba.

3. It gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after a long civil war and is the newest sovereign African country.

4. Its flag is older than the country itself and has significant meaning. The black stripe represents the people, the red stripe represents the blood that was spilled to help achieve independence, the green stripe represents the lush lands of the country, the blue triangle represents the Nile River, and the golden star represents the states that have united for South Sudan.

5. Major languages: English (official) and more than 60 indigenous languages, including Utuho, Acholi, Dinka, Jur, Nuer, Zande, and Murle

6. Major ethnic groups: Dinka, Nuer, Zande, Bari, Shilluk

7. Major religions: Christianity (60%), Traditional and other religions (33%), Islam (6%)

8. It has the third-largest oil reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa.

9. The majority of South Sudanese live in Tukels, circular-shaped houses generally constructed from sticks and mud with a thatched roof.

10. Cows are often used as a form of currency and wealth is measured by the number of cattle that a family owns.

11. The White Nile, a main tributary of the Nile River, passes through the country and is one of its principal physical features.

12. Tourism centers around its beautiful natural landscapes and wildlife. Attractions include St. Theresa Cathedral, Mount Kinyeti, Imatung Mountains, Nimule National Park, Boma National Park, Fola Falls, Sudd Wetlands, Opekoloe Island and Nile River rafting. Travel remains risky and caution is advised.

13. Boma National Park is home to Africa’s second largest wildlife migration.

Photo credit: ontheworldmap.com
Video credit: City Travel Reviews
Video credit: BOA54

Country Highlight: SOMALIA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 75 0

Somalia is the 20th largest African country and it has the longest coastline in mainland Africa. Learn more fun facts about this interesting country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa and it’s the 20th largest country on the continent.

2, Its capital and largest city is Mogadishu.

3. Major languages: Somali, Arabic, English, Italian

4. Major ethnic groups: Somali, Bantu, Bajuni

5. Major religions: Islam (99.7%), Christianity (0.1%), Traditional and other religions (0.2%)

6. It gained independence from Britain and Italy in July 1960.

7. It is one of Africa’s most ethnically homogenous nations; 85% of the population are ethnic Somalis.

8. The Laas Geel cave paintings date between 9,000 and 3,000 years BC and are among the most ancient and famous in Africa.

9. It has the longest coastline in mainland Africa, with stunning beaches and protected coral reefs.

10. Before its 20-year civil war, Somalia used to be a popular tourist destination due to its numerous attractions and beautiful beaches. Tourism has slowly returned, but travel remains risky and caution is advised.

11. Tourism centers around historical sites, beaches, waterfalls, mountain ranges, wildlife, and national parks.

12. Its most popular attractions include Laas Geel caves, Hargesia, the Cal Madow, Golis Mountains and Ogo Mountains, the Iskushuban and Lamadaya waterfalls, Hargeisa National Park, Jilib National Park, Kismayo National Park and Lag Badana National Park.

13. Things to see and do in Mogadishu include Shanghai Old City, Union Mosque, Liido beach, Mogadishu Cathedral, Bakara Market, Mogadishu Fish Market, Black Hawk Down Crash Site Museum, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Governor’s House, National Museum, and Arch of Triumph.

Photo credit: ontheworldmap.com
Video credit: Hafid Tuber
Video credit: Displore
Video credit: City Travel Reviews

Country Highlight: RWANDA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 57 0

Rwanda is Africa’s 9th smallest country and has been dubbed the cleanest country in Africa. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is a landlocked country located in East Africa and is the 9th smallest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Kigali.

3. It is highly elevated, giving it the nickname “Land of a Thousand Hills”.

4. Major ethnic groups: Hutu (85%), Tutsi (14%), Twa (1%)

5. Major languages: Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French, English

6. Major religions: Christianity (74%), Traditional and other religions (25%), Islam (1%)

7. It was colonized by Germany and Belgium and gained independence in July 1962.

8. Every last Saturday of the month, from 8 to 11 am, the entire country participates in Umuganda – mandatory community projects which involve street cleaning, grass cutting, and public clean up. This has led Rwanda to be called the cleanest country in Africa.

9. Plastic bags are banned and visitors are not allowed to bring them into the country.

10. 64% of its parliament members are female, the largest number in the world.

11. In 1994, nearly 1 million Tutsis and Hutus were killed in the Rwandan Genocide, which started over ethnic tensions. The history is detailed at the Kigali Genocide Museum and memorial site.

12. It has the world’s largest population of endangered mountain gorillas and is one of only 3 countries where they can be seen in the wild.

13. Tourism is rapidly increasing and centers around nature, wildlife, history, culture and adventure activities. Popular activities include gorilla trekking and hiking at Volcanoes National Park, the canopy walk at Nyungwe National Park, safari at Akagera Natinoal Park, Lake Kivu and the resort towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu, the Ethnographic Museum, and coffee and tea plantation tours.

14. Things to see and do in Kigali include: Nyamirambo (the Muslim quarter), Mount Kigali, a Milk Bar, Inema Arts Center, Ivuka Art Gallery, King’s Palace Museum, Rwanda Art Museum, Kimironko Market, Amahoro Stadium, Hotel de Mille Collines (the real life Hotel Rwanda), and the 1000 Hills Distillery.

Photo credit: wikimedia.org
Video credit: Displore
Video credit: Visit Rwanda

Country Highlight: KENYA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 286 0

Kenya is the 24th largest country in Africa and the only country with a national park located within a capital city. Learn more fun facts about this dynamic country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is located in East Africa and is the 24th largest country on the continent.  

2. Its capital and largest city is Nairobi.

3. The oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa.

4.  It is named after Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya and the 2nd highest in Africa.

5. Major languages: English (official), Swahili (official and national), and 68 traditional languages

6. Major ethnic groups: Kikuyu (17%), Luhya (14%), Kalenjin (13%), Luo (11%), Kamba (10%), Somalis (6%), Kisil (6%), Mijkenda (5%)

7. Major religions: Christianity (85%), Islam (11%), Traditional and other religions (4%)

8. It is home to the Maasai, a group of indigenous people who live in the Maasai Mara National Reserve and who are known for their jumping dance and warrior skills.

9. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in December 1963.

10. The current Kenyan flag, adopted at independence, is full of meaning. The black represents the Kenyan people, red represents blood, green represents natural wealth, white represents peace, and the Maasai shield and spear represent the defense of freedom.

11. It is the third largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa.         

12. It has 60 national parks and game reserves, including Nairobi National Park which is the only national park that exists within a capital city.  

13. Things to do in Nairobi include: the Giraffe Centre, the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Uhuru Park, the National Museum, Bomas of Kenya, high tea, great restaurants, and nightlife.

14. Tourist attractions include the wildebeest migration at the Masaai Mara; historical mosques and colonial-era forts at Mombasa, Malindi, and Lamu; Mount Kenya; the Great Rift Valley; tea plantations at Kericho; coffee plantations at Thika; and the beaches along the Swahili Coast.

Photo credit: beautifulworld.com
Video credit: Magical Kenya
Video credit: Displore

Country Highlight: ETHIOPIA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 233 0

Ethiopia is the oldest and the 2nd most populous country in Africa. Learn more fun facts about this fascinating country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is a landlocked country located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa.

2. It’s the 10th largest country in Africa and the 26th largest in the world.

3. Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.

4. It’s the oldest independent country in Africa and the 2nd oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia.

5. It’s the second most populous country in Africa, home to 113 million people.

6. It has more than 80 ethnic groups. The four largest are: Oromo, Amhara, Somali and Tigrayans.

7. It has more than 80 languages. Major languages include: Amharic (official), Afar, Harari, Oromo, Tigrinya, Sidama, Somali.

8. Major religions: Christianity (63%), Islam (34%), Traditional and other faiths (3%)

9. It’s the only country in Africa never to be colonized.

10. It is the only country in the world with a 13-month year. It follows the Ethiopian calendar, which is about 7 years and 3 months behind the Gregorian calendar.

11. It is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites: the ancient Aksum kingdom, Fasil Ghebbi and Gondar castles, the walled city of Harar, Konso Cultural Landscape, Lower Valley of the Omo, Lower Valley of the Awash, rock hewn churches of Lalibela, carved stelae of Tiya, and Simien National Park.

12. The Danakil Depression, in northeastern Ethiopia, is the hottest place on Earth, popular with tourists for its magical landscape with sulfurous hot springs, acid pools, steaming fissures and salt mountains.

13. Popular things to do in the capital include: the Addis market, Meskel Square, St. George’s Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral, National Museum, Ethnological Museum, Derg monument, Lion of Judah, Entoto Hill, and enjoying traditional Ethiopian coffee.

Photo credit: ontheworldmap.com
Video credit: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: Ethiopia by HandZaround

Country Highlight: ERITREA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 200 0

Eritrea is Africa’s 37th largest country, where you can experience 3 seasons in 2 hours. Learn more fun facts about this secretive country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa and is the 37th largest country on the African continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Asmara.

3. Eritrea means red and it was named after the Red Sea. It has a long coastline on the Red Sea that extends the length of the country.

4. Major languages: Tigrinya, Tigre, Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, Saho, Italian, Arabic, English. Tigrinya, Arabic, and English serve as the three working languages.

5. Major ethnic groups: Tigrinya (55%), Tigre (30%), Saho (4%), Kunama (2%), Rashaida (2%), Bilen (2%), Other – Afar, Beni-Amer, Nara (5%)

6. Major religions: Christianity (63%), Islam (36%), other (1%)

7. In 1993, after a 30-year civil war, Eritrea succeeded from neighboring Ethiopia and became a sovereign nation. The border remains in dispute.

8. It is called Africa’s most secretive country and most of it is off-limits to tourists. Its land borders are closed to tourists so all visitors must fly into the country.

9. It is a former Italian colony and the Italian influence is still present. The capital city, Asmara, offers Italian colonial and modernist buildings, including the Saint Joseph Cathedral, Cinema Roma, Cinema Impero, Asmara Great Mosque, and Fiat Tagliero building, the unique Medeber market, the Tank Graveyard, and a variety of cafes and restaurants.

10. It is an off-the-beaten path location offering a unique blend of historical and cultural highlights, as well as tropical beaches, beautiful mountain ranges, and tranquil landscapes. Interesting locales include Massawa, home of the Imperial Palace which served as the winter residence of Haile Selassie; Foro, gateway to the Afar region and the ancient ruins of Adulis; and Keren, a traditional, predominantly Muslim city with a lively Monday animal market.

11. In order to visit any place outside of the capital, you must obtain a special permit for each place you visit.

12. Eritrea’s tourism motto is “3 seasons in 2 hours”, because in 2 hours it is possible to travel from Asmara, the cool ‘city in the clouds’ at 7,628 ft elevation, down to the sea level Danakil Depression to the hot coastal desert strip.

Photo credit: ontheworldmap.com
Video credit: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: Displore

Country Highlight: DJIBOUTI

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 193 0

Djibouti is Africa’s 8th smallest country, located in the Horn of Africa near one of the world’s busiest shipping ports. Learn more fun facts about this interesting country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa and is the 8th smallest country in Africa.

2. Its capital and largest city is Djibouti City.

3. Major ethnic groups: Somalis (60%), Afar (35%), Arab and others (5%)

4. It has two official languages – French and Arabic – and two national languages – Somali and Afar.

5. Islam is the official religion practiced by 94% of the population.

6. It was a French protectorate during colonization and gained independence from France in June 1977.

7. It’s strategically located near some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and its port provides the biggest source of income and employment for the country.

8. It is one of the most militarized places in the world. It hosts the USA’s largest military base in Africa, China’s first overseas military base, and Japan’s first military base since World War II.

9. Lake Assal, a crater lake in central-western Djibouti, is Africa’s lowest point (515 ft/157 m below sea level) and the saltiest lake outside Antarctica.

10. Lake Abhe, on the Ethiopian border, is a steaming salt lake surrounded by a lunar-esque landscape used as the “Forbidden Zone” in the movie Planet of the Apes.

11. It is one of the world’s least visited countries, with less than 100,000 visitors annually, but its tourism industry is growing.

12. Djibouti is a great eco-tourism destination. The main tourist activities are scuba diving, fishing, trekking, hiking, bird watching, prehistoric petroglyph sites, desert canyons, off-shore islands, and beautiful beaches.

Video credit: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: @mahine_ of Shetravels

Country Highlight: BURUNDI

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 285 0

Burundi is Africa’s 10th smallest country and one of its off the beaten path destinations. Learn more fun facts about this amazing country.

Fun Facts:

1. It’s a landlocked country located in East-Central Africa and is the 10th smallest country in Africa.

2. Its capital and second largest city is Gitega. Bujumbura is its largest city and former capital.

3. Burundi’s primary exports are coffee, gold and tea, but it is one of the world’s poorest countries.

4. Burundi has the second-largest population density in sub-Saharan Africa, with only 13% of the population living in urban areas. Most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil.

5. Major languages: Kirundi (national and official), French (official), English (official)

6. Major Ethnic Groups: Hutu (85%), Tutsi (14%), Twa (1%)

7. Major Religions: Christianity (90%), Islam (5%), Traditional indigenous religions (5%)

8. It is one of the few African countries whose borders were not determined by colonial rulers.

9. During colonization, first Germany, and then Belgium, ruled Burundi and neighboring Rwanda as a common colony known as Ruanda-Urundi. At independence from Belgium in July 1962, Burundi and Rwanda became two separate countries.

9. Burundi’s currency is the Burundian franc (BIF). At current exchange rates, $1 USD equals approximately $1,894 BIF.

10. Burundi is considered an off the beaten path destination for most visitors. Tourism infrastructure is limited due to years of unrest, but its growing tourism industry mostly centers around nature, wildlife and culture.

11. Burundian drummers, locally known as Abatimbo, are one of the major cultural attractions.

12. Tourist attractions include: Kibira National Park (home to the country’s largest rainforest and rare colobus monkeys and chimpanzees), Rusizi National Park (home to hippos), Gasumo (the southernmost source of the Nile River), Lake Tanganyika (the world’s longest freshwater lake), Karera waterfalls, 10 thermal water sites, tea plantations, National Museum, Museé Vivant, and Gishora Drum Site.

Photo credit: timesfreepress.com
Video credit: PNUD Burundi