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It was no accident that the ‘Out of Africa’ story and film came into being. The unsurpassed beauty and spectacular landscapes of a raw country straddling the equator formed a crumble in molding the life of a Danish countess giving her the background and experience that produced such a masterpiece of descriptive writing. Kenya as a nation covers 582,646 square kilometers of contrasts where arid deserts and lunar landscapes vie with glacial ice and snows, dense and verdant forests, a necklace of lakes, rich savannahs, and a sparkling tropical coastline.
The hot humidity of the coast, frosty mountain nights, dry burning heat of the northern deserts, sunny days, bracing evenings in the uplands, and a superb climate overall provide the perfect climate mix that invigorates and exhilarates every visitor to this great nation. Man was born on the Eastern shore of Lake Turkana according to recent fossil evidence. Subsequently, Kenya became the point of contact in Africa between the stone age and civilization spreading down into the continent from the Mediterranean, being followed by a profound culture change about 100 AD. Additional immigrations and influxes of diverse ethnic backgrounds created over 40 fascinating tribes of Kenya, who today make up the population of some 24 million diverse people.
Winston Churchill referred to Uganda as the “Pearl of Africa” with its vast wilderness areas and perhaps the continent’s most diverse range of Wildlife. The country offers top wildlife destinations, fantastic adventure holidays and the best bird life anywhere. Its hidden valleys and vast grass land plains were once the stamping ground of the infamous elephant hunters.
From the snow capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains, to the awe-inspiring spectacle of Murchison Falls, and from the Impenetrable Rain Forest of Bwindi to the endless horizons of the central plains, Uganda’s scenic diversity and richness of the landscape compares favorably with anywhere on the African continent. Uganda is also sanctuary to such rare and unusual species of wildlife such as Uganda Kob and the Shoebill Stork, together with the magnificent Mountain Gorilla as well as some of Africa’s largest concentrations of Crocodile and Hippo.
The Pearl of Africa is indeed a compelling destination and we are delighted to extend to you an invitation to follow in the foot steps of those early explorers like Speke, Grant and unlock the secrets of this priceless African gem.
Tanzania follows an enlightened policy of wildlife conversation and is the only country in the world where almost one quarter of the land has been set aside as national parks, game sanctuaries and game reserves. As a result, today the country supports a population in excess of four million.
It was in the Olduvai Gorge that Dr. Leakey discovered fossil material dating back at least two million years or longer, that set the record on the origins of man in East Africa. Here one may well ponder on the history and splendor of this magnificent country where the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro (6447 metres), reigns in majestic grandeur over a colorful nation.
All the superlatives may be applied to Tanzania’s fantastic geographical features. Mount Kilimanjaro if Africa’s highest mountain; Lake Tanganyika is its deepest and longest fresh water lake; and Ngorongoro is its second largest crater while Selous is the world’s most extinct game reserve.
In the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, caressed by the cool trade breezes, lies the spice island of Zanzibar, once the centre of the hated slave trade, and a historical doorway in the exploration of nineteenth century Africa. Famous personalities like Livingstone, Stanley, Burton, Speke-to name but a few – used Zanzibar as the jumping off point for their African trips.
The Serengeti plains and the famous Caldera of Ngorongoro crater have captured the imagination of the world where the unique glamour of Hollywood has catapulted these landmarks to the forefront making them household names internationally. Where else can one find a veritable Noah’s Ark roaming free within the confines of a 67 metre intact but extict volcanic crater wall/ where else can one witness such a unique annual spectacular event as millions of wildebeest and zebra concentrated into one huge mass of animals prepares to migrate across the Serengeti plains in search of new grass?
Compare the informality and relaxed atmosphere of Dar-es-Salaam, beautifully situated of the shores of a palm fringed bay midway along Tanzania coast, 800 kilometres of unspoilt tropical coastline the beautiful white sandy beaches fringed by green waving coconut palms on the mainland and a sea of ever changing dramatic blends of the blue and green in the lagoons and along the reefs as the Indian Ocean caresses the shores with its ceaseless murmour.
Contacts through centuries with Arabia, India, China, Europe and even within Africa itself, have left a rich heritage of local culture. Particularly in Tanzania is the adage true that an African is born with music. Widely ranging dances of every conceivable type have been handed down from countless generations ranging over snake, stilt and ritual dances, where at anytime one can hear the echo of drums, flute or other African musical instruments. Not only in music but also in carvings, the people of this lave shown a great flair and talent. Especially renowned are the beautiful Makonde pieces from the proud and highly sensitive Makonde of the south.
With over 120 different tribes occupying a vast sprawling 930,700 square kilometers, the country is rich in natural resources of every kind, and in inevitable photographer’s paradise.
This is definitely a country one has to tour at least once in their lifetime. Tracking the magnificent mountain gorillas through the lush slopes of the Virungas remains without a question the most thrilling and moving wildlife experience to be had on the world’s wildest continent. After decades of careless human activities on this planet including wars and destruction of the environment, many creatures have succumbed and become extinct. Some, like the dinosaurs are today popular stars in horror films and children’s stories although they are known to us only by the fossils they left on earth – only their fossils.
The damage today is so extensive that even with the efforts conservationists are putting in to protect the ecosystems and the creatures of this world, some species are still faced with the dreadful reality of being near extinct. One such species is man’s own very close relatives – the mountain Gorillas.
One of the last remaining populations of mountain Gorillas inhabit the mountainous region around lake Kivu in Rwanda. Here, it is possible to observe these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat.
The tracking may take up to 2 to 4 hours in the rain forest area however, a close-up view of these gentle giants feeding and grooming each other, is a just reward for the effort.
We would be doing a great injustice to Rwanda if we don’t highlight the beauty of its landscape and people. Rwanda is a green country and within its borders sit 1000 hills, thick rain forests, beautiful lakes and volcanoes. All these combined with the main attraction of Gorilla tracking make Rwanda the number one destination for the informed tourist of today.
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