Top Ten places in Egypt


There’s no other place in the world that holds more mystery than the country of Egypt. The smell of the mysticism of the ancient Egyptians still lingers over the place. This ancient atmosphere seems to fill its every nook and cranny with secrets yet untold. 1.) Pyramids of Giza And perhaps there is nothing more mysterious, and more worthy of seeing in Egypt than the esteemed Great Pyramids of Giza. These are the pyramids of Khufu, Kafhre, and Menkaura. These perfectly shaped structures leaves everyone in awe and in wonder about how exactly they were made, considering that the ancient Egyptians had no advanced technology to work with. 2.) Sphinx And of course, if you’re going to go to the Great Pyramids, then you might as well go to the Sphinx. This is one of the most mysterious structures in Egypt. Even now, archeologists are still arguing about its origin and its purpose, making it the subject of the famous phrase, “the Riddle of the Sphinx.” 3.) Abu Simbel These two temples were built by Pharaoh Ramesses II to commemorate himself and his wife, Nefertari. It’s a breathtaking place, and its temples are hailed as one of the most beautiful in Egypt. What’s even more interesting about the Abu Simbel is the amount of effort put into relocating and preserving it. 4.) Cairo And of course, if you really want to immerse yourself in Egyptian culture, it would be best for you to go to the capital city, Cairo. The place is teeming with bazaars and restaurants where you can buy your taste of Egyptian culture. It’s surely not a place to miss. 5.) Temples of Karnak What better way to experience ancient Egypt than to visit the very place where they worshipped their gods. The Temples of Karnak is the biggest site for Egyptian worship. It has a monument to just about every god in the Theban religion. 6.) The Nile River And of course, you can’t miss out on the famous Nile River. It is, after all, what nourished Egypt and turned it into the place of wonder that it is. In fact, what’s great about visiting the Nile is that you can take a Felucca and sail down the legendary river, taking in the sights of the city and the sunset. 7.) Valley of the Kings The Valley of the Kings or Biban El Moluk is the place where Egypt’s most esteemed pharaohs were buried. This place is teeming with mummies and undiscovered treasures. In fact, this is the place where archeologists found one of the most famous mummies of all time – Tutankhamun. 8.) Egyptian Museum Of course, since it would be unwise to leave the Egyptian treasures in the tombs they were found in, the archeologists put them in the Egyptian museum where they would be put under high security. If you want to learn about Egypt, this is the best place to start. There’s no other place with a higher concentration of Egyptian artifacts, and you can even follow the tour so that you can be oriented with the history of each of the artifacts. 9.) Siwa Oasis Egypt isn’t all about temples and pyramids, there’s a place where you can just let loose and have fun – the Siwa Oasis. Here, you can take a swim in the cool waters to ward off the desert heat. It is rumored that Alexander stopped here during his great conquest. 10.) Necropolis of Sakkarah And indeed, you can’t miss something as intriguing as a ‘Necropolis’ or, if translated, a City of the Dead. Here, you will find the less popular pyramids of Egypt, the step pyramids. However, though they are less popular than the great pyramids, they’re still suffused with great history and culture.

Interval International and Southern Sun entered into a long-term, exclusive affiliation agreement


Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation services, and Southern Sun Hotel Interests (Proprietary) Limited (“Southern Sun”), a leading hotel group in the region, announced they have entered into a long-term, exclusive affiliation agreement. This includes Southern Sun’s six existing Lifestyle Resorts, representing one of the largest vacation ownership programmes in Southern Africa, as well as any future developments added during the term of the agreement.In addition to the affiliation, Southern Sun has selected Interval to provide a comprehensive package of customised services, including programme-design support and back-office points-based reservation services. This seamless integration will leverage Interval’s global infrastructure and complement Southern Sun’s resources. Interval specialises in working with resort developers to create vacation ownership programmes of every configuration, including points-based club products. “We are honoured to have the opportunity to provide a wide range of value-added services for Southern Sun’s owners. The company has been a major player in the region’s vacation ownership industry for many years and we look forward to working with Southern Sun, as they take their already successful business to the next level,” said Craig M. Nash, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Interval Leisure Group, parent company of Interval International. “We are also very pleased to offer our members the chance to visit these quality resorts in Southern Africa, a destination that’s known worldwide for its one-of-a-kind vacation experiences set amidst spectacular scenery.”Graham Wood, managing director of Southern Sun said, “We are extremely proud of our partnership with Interval International. The two teams worked incredibly hard to make this dream a reality. Going forward, we will be able to offer our Lifestyle Resort owners true world-class service excellence and a wide variety of choice on a global scale.”Southern Sun Lifestyle Resorts division operates a multi-location vacation ownership programme with six properties situated at destinations including Garden Route, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga. The programme currently comprises approximately 33,000 members, or more than eight percent of the country’s existing timeshare owners, who own in excess of 43,000 vacation ownership weeks. These consumers will benefit from the services to be provided by Interval under this agreement, which commences in February 2009. According to the Timeshare Institute of Southern Africa (TISA), some 400,000 owners hold weeks or points for timeshares in the country and a recent survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of respondents feel that timesharing has increased the amount of time they spend on holidays. With the affiliation of Southern Sun, Interval has gained a strong platform for future growth in the region. Alex Bosch, executive director of TISA said, “We are excited to have a company of the magnitude and reputation of Interval significantly enhance its presence in South Africa. This is a truly positive development for the industry and provides real choice in the marketplace.” Theodore Koumelis - Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ten Things to do in Rwanda by Ken Ndayis


Rwanda - the land of one thousand hills and 'hundreds attractions' is an extraordinary place where serene scenery and placid people greet you at every juncture. Rwanda is safe and secure with an overwhelming renaissance of Rwandese national pride and cultural reconstruction. It is full of sights and delights, waiting to be explored. If Rwanda is on your travel list there is no better time to runaway to Rwanda...visit today you would want to stay! The country is well known mostly because of its horrible recent history and you might think that Rwanda should therefore be more the scope for No governmental organization than for travelers. Nowadays, nothing is less true. Rwanda has wonderful people, breathtaking beautiful lakes, challenging mountains, stunning scenery, perfect climate, rare species of apes, excellent roads, express buses, good and cheap food and beer, various accommodation options, fast internet, only few tourists outside the gorilla-homes, you will found it all in Rwanda, a safe and yet to be discovered backpackers haven! Because of its small size, Rwanda attractions are near each other and can be reached quite easily and safely. 1. KIGALI CITY: A NICE PLACE TO EXPERIENCE AN AFRICAN CAPITAL Kigali is an interesting mix of rural and urban town overflowing on juxtaposed hilly terrain. New construction is everywhere and large mansions stand side by side with mud brick huts and lean roads. It has a peaceful feel and the center is located upon the hilltop expanse. It feels safe and getting around is easy on foot or minibuses...many and new. For a bit more taxis can whiz you anywhere without breaking the bank. Kigali is a nice place to experience an African capital. 2. KGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIALS CENTER IN GISOZI During the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, over a million people were murdered. Some 250,000 perished on the streets and in the houses, churches and hospitals of Kigali alone. The Kigali Genocide memorial center contains ten mass graves- a site of burial for almost victims, who were killed in the Kigali region. After the genocide, as mass graves were being discovered around the city. It was decided that a single monument/ burial place should be created, where the victims could be laid to rest with dignity, this is now their final resting place. The memorial houses a children’s section, a particularly powerful experience to read about the children- how they lived, and how they died. Amongst other things, it traces how things came to being so bad, how the ideology of genocide emerged, how the tragedy could have been averted, and how the world ignored the signs and warnings repeatedly. Some of the survivors of the genocide have been trained as guides at the center. Open 10am to 5pm daily. Entrance is free but at the door there is a box for donation. The place is really heart breaking! 4. MOUNTAIN GORILLAS TREKKING A Mountain Gorilla Trekking is the pinnacle of all the wildlife experiences available in Africa and Rwanda is with no doubt the best place for this. People are limited to spend only one hour with the Gorillas and expect to hike for two to four hours to see them. These incredible primates are divided into four groups that have been habituated over the decades; it’s a thing not to miss in Rwanda. Don't miss spending an hour with these magical creatures. It does require planning in advance, and contacting the National Park or a local tour operator to check what the latest system they have implemented with regards to how you get a permit - but it is all worthwhile. Also, don't be put off by the price - a high price is needed to ensure that protecting the gorillas is economically sustainable for the local area. 5. MOUNTAINS CLIMBING The National park office offers guided climbs to the top of 2 volcano among the 5 of the Virunga chain, Visoke (3711m) and Karisimbi (4705m -the tallest). The climbs to the summits are not technical and can be done by fit hikers. The scenery is great! However, the trek to Karisimbi's summit is an overnight trek and should be prepared properly. 6. NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK This national park is a preserved part of rain forest which houses 13 species in all, including humankind's closest living relative the chimpanzee, as well as the handsome L'Hoest's monkey and hundred-strong troops of the delightfully acrobatic Angola colombus. The most important ornithological site in Rwanda, Nyungwe harbours almost 300 bird species of which two dozen are restricted to a handful of montane forests on the Albertine Rift. Please come with your car or book a tour with a local tour operator otherwise it is very hard to reach the place and get away. You can camp there and pitch a tent but you have to consider bringing all food and water with you as facilities are limited. The entry fee has recently been increased so check up the actual fares. 7. AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK Akagera is the best national park of Rwanda - very helpful park-ranger help to find you all animals in park - mainly, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, baboons, buffaloes, hippos and crocodiles. 8. RUSUMO FALLS Rusumo is a Marvelous and spectacular falls of the Akagera River, a part of the most distant headwaters of the river Nile. The falls is located in the Eastern part of Rwanda at the border with Tanzania. If you happen to cross the border with Tanzania at Rusumo don't forget to see the Rusumo falls. 9. THE BEAUTIFULLY LAKE KIVU The beautifully Lake Kivu is a large deposit of fresh water that marks the western border with DR Congo and one of the Great Lakes of Africa. The lake is in the Albertine Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika. Beneath the lake lie vast reserves of approximately 55 billion cubic of dissolved methane gas which have not been exploited. Lake Kivu is a tourist center, safe to swim (but just ask locally to be completely sure). There are nice beaches, gorgeous landscapes and the sunsets are regularly stunning. There are some excellent places to stay on the Lakeside such as Kibuye and -especially-Gisenyi near the DR Congo border. 10. BUTARE CITY IN HUYE The most popular tourist attraction in Butare is the superb National Museum, which houses perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa. The rooms are spacious, without the excessive clutter of distracting memorabilia. This makes the well-labeled exhibits easy to appreciate and enjoy. Absorbing displays of traditional artefacts are illuminated by a fascinating selection of turn-of-the-century monochrome photographs, providing insight not only into pre-colonial lifestyles, but also into the subsequent development of Rwanda as a modern African state. Here the Intore dancers can be commissioned to perform, but this is not a good deal for a single traveler. If a group is present the price would definitely be worthwhile as shows are few and far between.

Afro pop music

Twenty years strong and growing, Afropop Worldwide continues to engage and capture the interest of people all over the world. Many thanks to our website viewers and radio show supporters for submitting comments and testimonials about Afropop Worldwide! Check out a few we included in our recent NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Funding Proposal:
Win Free Stuff
Win all 4 of Afropop's Summer 2008 Hotpicks!
This wonderful free stuff edition was so well received that we've decided to do it again! A great variety of new and seasoned world artists, this package features a 4-CD giveaway of hot and fresh Afropop releases this summer 2008. The giveaway includes the latest albums from Seun Kuti, Mayra Andrade, Orchestra Baobab, and Aster Aweke. Check out additional information on these great new releases at Afropop Summer HotPicks.

Botox in the bush by Lisa Witepski

South Africa´s list of tourist attractions is impressive: beautiful beaches, pristine game reserves, cosmopolitan cities and…good hospitals? Absolutely. An astonishing number of international tourists are visiting the country specifically to take advantage of our skill with the scalpel.Anne Lager is soaking up the South African sun – just like any visitor from Washington DC would. She’s already had some quintessentially South African experiences: she’s taken in Soweto’s vibe, browsed curio shops, and even cracked a nod to the bastion of Old Johannesburg, the Rand Club. What makes her different from other tourists, however, is that Anne has not come to South Africa to see lions. Instead, she has come to see a surgeon.“A few years ago, my sister and I planned a trip on the Shongologo Express,” she says. “I’d always been rather self-conscious about my ‘Maggie Thatcher’ eyes, so when my sister pointed out that South Africa is well known for the quality of its medical practitioners, I thought why not kill two birds with one stone?”So impressed was Anne with the procedure that she elected to return to the country when she required intensive dental work.And she’s not alone in choosing a long-haul flight and a stint in customs control over a visit to a surgeon in her hometown. A recent report in the Mail & Guardian quotes Dr Tshepo Maaka, managing director of Serokolo Health Tourism, as saying that “South Africa currently earns about R270 million annually from medical tourism.”Granted, not all of those millions are generated by elective procedures. The majority of medical tourists are African nationals – usually from countries such as Botswana, Ethiopia, Zambia, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and other sub-equatorial states – who visit South Africa to avail themselves of medical facilities, equipment and skills not offered in their own countries.

a kenia safari

A Kenya Safari Holiday, part of which is spent at a Private Game Lodge called Borana adjacent to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy may not at first seem to be what you are looking for, because Borana is probably a name you are unfamiliar with. You are going to spend a lot of money taking any African safari Trip, especially one at the luxury end of the scale, so it is very well worth your while doing a lot of research before committing your hard earned cash to a safari picked because you liked a picture in a brochure. The best Private Game Lodges are very often not in the popular holiday brochures Choosing a Kenya Safari as part of your Holiday in Kenya can be difficult, and then on top of that there can be a bewildering choice of accommodation from Camps to Lodges. More often than not you will take a package and these decisions will be taken out of your hands, and this can be a great pity. There are Game Lodges, and private Game Lodges, safari camps and luxury camps, and there are very popular and sometimes overcrowded game parks, and on the other hand places that are less well known, which will have all the game you could want to view with no other vehicles in sight at this time. There are game lodges where you will pile into a mini bus for a game drive, and others where you have your own 4x4 with your own knowledgeable guide who will go where you want to go. With this in mind, study Borana Lodge at the foot of Mount Kenya roughly 6500 feet above sea level, and only sixteen miles from the equator. Your temporary Kenya Safari Holiday Home at Borana Private Game Lodge has six cottages, so it is small, a good thing as far as it meaning personal attention. There are two cottages with large double beds, and four with Queen sized beds. They are all situated well for privacy, and views from their verandahs, and each has an open fireplace, and ensuite bathrooms. At Borana there is a selection of available activities which includes Game drives accompanied by rangers and trackers who know all there is to know and more about everything that moves and even stuff that stands still, like trees, flowers, and bushes. You can take game walks with an experienced guide. There will be night Game Drives and you will be staggered at the activities of those nocturnal creatures you encounter. You can explore the 35000 acre ranch on horseback. Eat farm fresh cooked bush meals wherever and whenever your fancy takes you. On returning to Borana Lodge you can relax and unwind in the swimming pool which has lovely views over the valley below. In addition you can choose trips to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy specifically to see the black and white rhino who are protected here. You can take professionally guided walking safaris. Above all else remember that whilst you are on a Kenya Safari Holiday, living in some luxury at Borana private game lodge, that Borana is not just a game sanctuary it is also a working ranch, so take the time to be shown round and try to understand the challenges facing those who live and work in what are pretty hostile conditions, where dangerous game such as lions and elephants cause damage and death on an everyday basis. Borana Private Game Lodge is a very different way to spend part of your Kenya Safari Holiday, but its situation next to the Lewa Conservancy gives you the opportunity of a lifetime to see and do things out of the ordinary.

Africa, one continent, many worlds

word simply means "travel" in Swahili, but for many, it alludes to wonders first envisioned in childhood: sweeping savannas, big snarling cats, thundering herds of elephant and wildebeest. Like its meaning, the word roams the imagination, becoming other words and places, like serengeti, sahara, or Kilimanjaro. Safari crosses the landscape of the mind, until it finally merges with the name of the great continent itself, Africa.
Geographia invites our readers to explore all the traditional African safari destinations, but the game parks and wildlife reserves are only the beginning of the adventure. The second largest continent on Earth, Africa contains more countries than any other. With a history of human habitation that begins with the oldest known ancestors of man, the continent's cultural wealth easily matches its natural attractions. Empires rose and fell in Africa thousands of years before the European powers began their protracted exploitation of the continent, and much pre-colonial culture remains intact. At go to Africa we strive to make your African safari the experience of a lifetime. Of course, it helps to know what you have in mind when you think of safari travel. By choosing one of the following options you'll be taken to the African safari we think would suit you best.