Category: South Africa

Country Highlight: ZIMBABWE

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 16 0

Zimbabwe is Africa’s 26th largest country and it has more official languages than any other African nation. Learn more fun facts about this fascinating country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s a landlocked country in southern Africa and it’s the 26th largest country on the continent.

2. It’s capital and largest city is Harare.

3. It has 16 official languages, the most of any African country. English, Shona and Ndbele are the most widely spoken.

4. Major ethnic groups: Shona (70%), Ndebele (20%)

5. Major religions: Christianity (84%), None (10%), Traditional and other religions (6%)

6. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in April 1980.

7. The name “Zimbabwe” comes from the local Shona language meaning “a great house of stone.”

8. It has the world’s 3rd largest platinum reserves and significant other mineral resources, including diamonds, gold, chrome, and lithium.

9. It has 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls, Ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Khami Ruins, Mana Pools and Matobo Hills.

10. Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls (aka Victoria Falls) are one of the Seven Wonders of the World and are shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe. During the wet season, spray from the falls can be seen as far as 30 miles (50 km) away.

11. Great Ruins of Zimbabwe are the remains of an ancient city which was once the center of a vast empire known as the Munhumutapa Empire.

12. Tourism centers around wildlife, nature, cultural, and historical activities. Zimbabwe is one of the few African nations that is home to the Big 5 wild game.

13. Popular attractions include Chinhoyi Caves, Bulawayo, rock formations of Matobo, ancient cave paintings in Domboshawa, Eastern Highlands, bungee jumping on Victoria Falls bridge, white water rafting or cruising on the Zambezi River, Mutarazi Falls skywalk and zipline, and safari in Hwange National Park.

14. Things to see and do in Harare include: National Art Gallery, National Archives, African Unity Square, National Heroes Acre, Harare Botanical Gardens, Chapangu Sculpture Park, Mukuvisi Woodlands, Mbare market, and Jason Moyo Avenue.

Photo credit: beautifulworld.com
Video credit: Tourism Zimbabwe
Video credit: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: Discover Africa New Channel

Country Highlight: ZAMBIA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 35 0

Zambia is Africa’s 17th largest country and the only one where you can swim at the edge of a waterfall. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is a landlocked country in southern Africa and it’s the 17th largest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Lusaka.

3. Major languages: English (official), Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga

4. Major ethnic groups:  Bemba (21%), Tonga (14%), Chewa (7%), Lozi (6%), Nsenga (5%) Tumbuka (4%), Ngoni (4%)

5. Major religions: Christianity (97%), Baha’i (1.5%), Islam (1%)

6. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.

7. Its name is derived from the Zambezi River, which flows through western Zambia and forms its southern border with Zimbabwe.

8. It is home to Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls (Victoria Falls) – the world’s largest curtain of falling water – which it shares with Zimbabwe. Mosi-ao-Tunya means “the smoke that thunders”.

9. Its most daring attraction is the Devil’s Pool, a natural pool at the edge of Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls, where visitors can swim during the dry season from mid-August to mid-January.

10. It has 20 national parks and reserves, 34 Game Management Areas and protects over 30% of its land.

11. Tourism centers around wildlife, nature, cultural and adventure activities.

12. Popular attractions include: Siavonga, Blue Lagoon National Park, Kalambo Falls, walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park, white water rafting or cruising on the Zambezi River, high tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, hot air ballooning over Kafue National Park, taking a microflight or bungee jumping over Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls, hiking at Mafinga Hills, swimming in the Monkey Pools, and watching the annual bat migration at Kasanka National Park.

13. Things to see and do in Lusaka include: Lusaka National Museum, Livingstone Museum, Railway Museum, Lusaka City Market, Kabwata Cultural Village, Lilayi Elephant Nursery, Kalimba Reptile Park, Nembo Scenic Park, Pakati Sunday Market, and Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Photo credit: beautifulworld.com
Video credit: bestdestination
Video credit: Top Tourist Places

Country Highlight: ESWATINI (formerly SWAZILAND)

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 51 0

Eswatini is Africa’s 7th smallest country and its last absolute monarchy. Learn more fun facts about this unique country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is a landlocked country in Southern Africa and is the 7th smallest country on the continent.

2. It has two capitals: Mbabane (administrative) and Lobamba (royal and legislative). Mbabane is the largest city.

3. It gained independence from Britain in September 1968.

4. It was formerly named and still is commonly known as Swaziland but was renamed Eswatini in 2018.

5. Major languages: Swazi, English

6. Major ethnic groups: Swazi (84%), Zulu (10%), European (3%)

7. Major religions: Christianity (89%), None (7%), Traditional and other religions (4%)

8. It is Africa’s last absolute monarchy and one of the few in the world. King Mswati III, who assumed the throne at age 18, has ruled Eswatini since 1986.

9. Umhlanga, the reed dance held in August/September, and Incwala, the kingship dance held in December/January, are the nation’s most important events.

10. Sibebe Rock, located near Mbabane, is the largest rock in Africa and the world’s second largest monolith (single piece of rock).

11. Execution Rock is one of its most infamous attractions and according to legend, it was so named because criminals and Swazis suspected of witchcraft were forced to walk off the edge at spear-point, plunging to their death.

12. The Bushfire Festival, one of Africa’s most popular music and arts festivals, is held annually in May.

13. House on Fire, the eclectic Bushfire venue, is a must-see attraction with unique artwork and sculptures adorning the property, coupled with spectacular mountain views. 

14. Things to see and do include: Mantenga Nature Reserve and Falls, Swazi Cultural Village, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Malolotja Nature Reserve, Hlane Royal National Park, House on Fire, Gone Rural, Ngwenya Glass, Swazi Candles Centre, King Sobhuza II Memorial Park, Swaziland National Museum, and a variety of adventure activities, including caving, white water rafting, and zip lining.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eswatini_Regions_map.png
Video credit: Eswatini/Swaziland Tourism
Video credit: Displore
Video credit: Yuliy Showreel

Country Highlight: SOUTH AFRICA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 51 0

South Africa is the 9th largest and most southernmost country on the continent. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s located in southern Africa and is the southernmost country on the continent.

2. It is the 9th largest country in Africa and the 24th largest country in the world.

3. It has 3 capitals: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative). Its largest and most visited city is Johannesburg.

4. It has 11 official languages: English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, Xitsonga, siSwati, Tshivenda and isiNdebele

5. Major ethnic groups: Black (81%), Coloured (indigenous/mixed race) (9%), White (8%), Asian (2%)

6. Major religions: Christianity (78%), No religion (11%), Traditional and other religions (7%), Islam (2%)

7. It is extremely rich in minerals and holds nearly 90% of all Platinum metals and 41% of the world’s Gold.

8. It’s known for its history of apartheid, a legal system of discrimination and race, which officially ended in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected president in South Africa’s first universal elections.

9. The Bloukrans Bridge is the site of the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, at 710 feet.

10. Boulders Beach in Cape Town is home to a colony of African penguins and is one of the few places where they can be seen in the wild.

11. Route 62, which runs through the Cape Winelands, is the world’s longest wine route, with more than 500 wineries.

12. Table Mountain, one its most iconic landmarks, is believed to be one of the world’s oldest mountains.

13. It has 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Fossil Hominid sites of Sterkfontein, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Richtersveld Landscape, Robben Island, Cape Floral Region, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Vredefort crater, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, Khomani Cultural Landscape, and Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains.

14. There are a plethora of things to see and places to visit. Among them are: Soweto, Vilakazi Street, Apartheid Museum, Sun City, Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Winelands, Durban’s Golden Mile, the Valley of 1000 Hills, the Panorama Route, the Garden Route, the Wild Coast, Sudwala Caves, Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon.

Photo credit: ontheworldmap.com
Video credit: Displore
Video credit: NdaniTV
Video credit: NdaniTV

Country Highlight: NAMIBIA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 83 0

Namibia is Africa’s 15th largest country and home to the world’s second largest canyon. Learn more fun facts about this spectacular country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s located in southern Africa and it’s the 15th largest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek.

3. Major languages: English, Afrikaans, German, Otjiherero, Khoekhoegowab, Oshiwambo, RuKwangali, Setswana, siLozi       

4. Major ethnic groups: Ovambo (50%), Kavango (9%), Coloureds (8%), Herero (7%), Damara (7%), Whites (7%), Nama (5%), Lozi (3.5%), San (3%), Tswana (1%)

5. Major religions: Christianity (90%), Traditional and other (8.5%), None (1.5%)

6. It gained independence from South Africa in March 1990, following a protracted 24-year war. Prior to South Africa, it was colonized by Germany, which perpetrated a genocide against the Herero and Nama people.

7. It is one of two African countries, along with South Africa, that was subject to apartheid.

8. The name “Namibia” is derived from the Namib Desert, the world’s oldest desert. Some of the tallest sand dunes in the world are found there.

9. It’s the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.

10. It is home to some of Africa’s oldest and unique ethnic groups, including the San, Nama, and Himba people.

11. It is home to the world’s second largest canyon, Fish River Canyon.

12. It is a popular tourism destination and has a myriad of activities including wildlife reserves, adventure activities, natural landmarks, historical sites, and cultural

13. Places to visit include the capital city of Windhoek, Caprivi Strip, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei and the sand dunes, the Skeleton Coast, Sesriem Canyon, Etosha National Park, Epupa Falls, and the coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.

Photo credit: African Pride
Video credit: Displore
Video credit: Jazzyjon30

Country Highlight: MOZAMBIQUE

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 106 0

Mozambique is Africa’s 16th largest country and the only country in the world with a modern weapon on its national flag. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s located in southeast Africa and is the 16th largest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Maputo.

3. Major languages: Portuguese (official), Swahili, Mwani, Chewa, Tsonga, Makhuwa, Sena

4. Major ethnic groups: Makua, Sena, Shona, Tsonga, Shangaan    

5. Major religions: Christianity (56%), Islam (18%), Traditional and other (8%), None (18%)

6. It was colonized for nearly 500 years, before gaining independence from Portugal in June 1975 after a long civil war.

7. Mozambique’s flag, adopted at independence, is full of symbolism. The feature colors of red, green, black and yellow were derived from the flags of the African National Congress in South Africa and FRELIMO, the Mozambican liberation movement party. The star stands for Marxism and internationalism, the book stands for the importance of education, the hoe stands for the country’s agriculture, and the AK-47 rifle stands for defiance and vigilance. It is the world’s only national flag with a modern weapon.

8. Some of the scenes from the movie Blood Diamond were shot in Maputo.          

9. It has extensive natural resources, including aluminum, oil and natural gas, but it is one of the poorest and most undeveloped countries in the world.

10. Its tourism industry is small, but growing. Its natural beauty, beaches, national parks and wildlife reserves, cultural heritage and abundant seafood provide excellent eco-tourism opportunities for the adventurous.

11. It has the 4th longest coastline in Africa and numerous islands. The coast is 1,535 miles (2,470 km) long and is lined with beach towns. Popular destinations include Maputo, Inhaca Island, Ponta d’Ouro, Xai Xai beach, Tofo beach, Vilanculos, Bazaruto Archipelago, Inhambane, Ilha de Mozambique, Pemba and the Quirimbas islands.

12. It has some of the best coral reefs in the world, especially in the Bazaruto Archipelago. Over 1,200 species of fish have been identified there.

13. Gorongosa National Park, the Maputo Elephant Reserve, and Limpopo National Park provide wildlife safari experiences.

14. Things to do in Maputo include: the Central Market, the Train Station, FEIMA Arts and Crafts market, National Arts Museum, Casa do Ferro, Nucleo de Arte, Museum of Natural History, National Money Museum, and the Fundação Fernando Leite Couto Cultural Center.

Photo credit: mapsofworld.com
Video credit: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: Displore
Video credit: Moises Aires

Country Highlight: MALAWI

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 134 0

Malawi is the 36th largest country in Africa and is known as “The Warm Heart of Africa”. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is a landlocked country located in southeastern Africa and is the 36th largest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Lilongwe.

3. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.

4. It is nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa” because of the friendliness of its people.

5. Major ethnic groups: Chewa (34%), Lomwe (19%), Yao (13%), Ngoni (10%), Tumbuka (9%), Sena (4%), Mang’anja (3%)

6. Major languages: English, Chewa (official); Yao, Tumbuka, Tonga, Sena, Lomwe, Ngonde, Lambya (national)

7. Major religions: Christianity (77%), Islam (14%), Traditional and other (7%), None (2%)

8. Dance is an important part of Malawi’s culture. Traditional dances and music can be seen as an initiation rite, and are used during rituals and marriage celebrations and ceremonies.

9. This relatively little-known gem has much to offer tourists, including wildlife, culture, adventure activities, stunning scenery, national parks, and the third largest lake in Africa.

10. Malawi has two sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List: Lake Malawi National Park and the Chongoni Rock Art Area, a site of stone age rock art and paintings.

11. Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, takes up about 1/3 of Malawi’s area.

12. The annual Lake of Stars Festival, a 3-day outdoor festival with live music, talks, poetry, theatre, film, and wellness activities, is held on the shores of Lake Malawi.

13. Things to see and do in Lilongwe include the Lilongwe Market, Old Town, New Town, Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary, Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Kamuzu Mausoleum, Parliament Building, the Tobacco Auction Floors, Kumbali Cultural Village, Tindoz d’Afrique, art galleries, bars, cafes, restaurants, crafts shop and nightlife.

Photo credit: mapsof.net
Video credit: Malawi Tourism
Video credit: Motion Images

Country Highlight: LESOTHO

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 142 0

Lesotho is Africa’s 12th smallest country, known as the Mountain Kingdom due to its mountainous terrain. Learn more fun facts about this fascinating country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is Africa’s 12th smallest country, located in southern Africa and completely surrounded by South Africa.

2. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.

3. Official languages: Sesotho and English

4. Major ethnic groups: Basotho (99.7%), Others (0.3%)

5. Major religions: Christianity (95%), Traditional religions (4%), Other or no religion (1%)

6. The name Lesotho means the land of the people who speak Sesotho.

7. It is called the Mountain Kingdom because its terrain is extremely mountainous and the entire country is over 1000 meters (3280 feet) in altitude. Eighty percent of the country lies above 1,800 meters (5,906 feet).

8. The legendary Sani Pass provides the only road link between KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Lesotho. The steep gravel road, which can only be driven by 4 x 4 vehicles, starts at 1545 meters (5066 feet) and climbs to an altitude of 2876 meters (9436 feet).

9. The Basotho blanket is a wool tribal blanket worn by the people for warmth, but also as a status symbol and cultural identification. The blankets have distinctive designs and more intricate designs indicate a higher class of blanket.

10. The Basotho pony is a national source of pride and the main mode of transport over Lesotho’s rugged terrain.

11. Water and diamonds are Lesotho’s significant natural resources.

12. It’s home to the “Highest Pub in Africa”, located at 2874 meters (9429 feet), at the Sani Mountain Lodge. This is a popular tourist stop.

13. Tourism largely centers around nature, adventure sports, history, and culture.

14. Things to see/do include: Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest point in Lesotho at 3482 meters (11,424 feet); Afriski Mountain Resort, a luxury resort which offers activities for skiers, snow boarders, mountain bikers, hikers, off-road enthusiasts and more; Liphofung Caves and ancient San rock art; Maletsuyane Falls; Katse Dam; and Thaba Bosiu National Monument and Cultural Village.

Photo credit: countryreports.org
Video: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: Trygve Roberts

Country Highlight: BOTSWANA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 236 0

Botswana is the 23rd largest country in Africa and home to most of the world’s San/bushmen people. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fun Facts:

1. It’s a landlocked country located in southern Africa.

2. It’s the 23rd largest country in Africa and the world’s 48th largest country.

3. Gaborone is the capital and largest city.

4. Major languages: English, Setswana

5. Ethnicity/race: Tswana (80% ), Kalanga (10%), White (3%), San (3%)

6. Major religions: Christian (73%), no religion (20%), traditional African religions (6%)

7. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966; during colonization, it was a British protectorate called Bechuanaland.

8. It has the 4th largest gross national income in Africa and a relatively high standard of living. Its economy is dominated by diamond mining and tourism.

9. Botswana is home to most of the world’s San (bushmen) population, believed to be the oldest people on earth.

10. Tsodilo Hills, one of the world’s oldest historical sites, has been inhabited for 100,000 years and boasts one of the highest concentrations of ancient and contemporary rock art in the world. It is considered a sacred place where ancestral spirits dwell and the San still live there.

11. Tourism in Botswana largely centers around nature and wildlife. Areas like Chobe National Park, Moremi National Park, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta are popular safari attractions.

12. The Gaborone International Music and Culture Week, held annually in August, is a weeklong festival that celebrates the city of Gaborone through music, theatre, comedy, poetry, fashion and other cultural activities.

Photo credit: www.beautifulworld.com
Video credit: ProVision Media for Botswana Tourism

Country Highlight: ANGOLA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 247 0

Angola is Africa’s 7th largest country and its 2nd largest oil producer. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fun Facts:

1. It’s the 7th largest country in Africa.

2. It’s located in southern Africa, with a varied terrain that includes tropical beaches, rainforests, mountains and sub-Saharan desert.

3. It is Africa’s second largest oil producer.

4. Its capital and largest city is Luanda.

5. Luanda is one of the most expensive cities in the world and the 6th most expensive in Africa for expats.

6. Major Languages: Portuguese is the official language. The six most widely spoken Bantu languages are Umbundu, Kimbundu, Kikongo, Chokwe, Kwanyama (also called Oshikwanyama), and Ngangela

7. Ethnicity/Race: The three main ethnic groups are Ovimbundu 37%, Ambundu 25%, and Bakongo 13%. There are also several smaller African ethnic groups, as well as Mixed Race 2%, Chinese 1.4% and White 1%.

8. It gained its independence from Portugal on November 11, 1975, after 400 years of colonization. After independence, Angola had a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

9. The transatlantic slave trade in Angola during the colonial era was one of the longest, with more than 5 million slaves brought to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the USA. The first 20 slaves brought to colonial Virginia in 1619 came from Angola.

10. The Angolan National Museum of Slavery details the history of slavery in Angola. The museum displays hundreds of items used in the slave trade and is housed in the former property of Álvaro de Carvalho Matoso, one of Angola’s largest slave traders.

11. It is the birthplace of Kuduro and Kizomba—music and dance styles rooted in traditional Angolan Semba. (Kizomba has been called the most sexual dance in the world)

12. It has numerous waterfalls, including Kalandula Falls, one of Africa’s largest waterfalls by volume.

13. Angola’s tourism industry is relatively new and largely based on its natural environment, which includes rivers, waterfalls, mountains, national parks, and coastline.

Photo credit: University of Central Arkansas

Video credit: DW Africa
Video credit: Nucho