UNESCO – The Bandiagara site is an outstanding landscape of cliffs and sandy plateaux with some beautiful architecture (houses, granaries, altars, sanctuaries and Togu Na, or communal meeting-places).
Several age-old social traditions live on in the region (masks, feasts, rituals, and ceremonies involving ancestor worship). The geological, archaeological and ethnological interest, together with the landscape, make the Bandiagara plateau one of West Africa’s most impressive sites.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera.
Video highlights: 00:14 – Giraffes walking on the planes 01:11 – Buffalos walking up the hill 02:28 – Zebras walking near a road 03:44 – Hyeana searching for prey
The property has global importance for biodiversity conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, the density of wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals into the northern plains. Extensive archaeological research has also yielded a long sequence of evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back 3.6 million years.
DW Travel – On safari through Botswana’s wilderness in a dugout canoe: Rather than rumbling through nature in a noisy jeep, glide silently through the water in a traditional mokoro boat – getting closer than ever to elephants, hippos, and other animals, without disturbing them with noise, and exhaust fumes.
Botswana, country in the centre of Southern Africa. The territory is roughly triangular—approximately 600 miles (965 km) from north to south and 600 miles from east to west—with its eastern side protruding into a sharp point. Its eastern and southern borders are marked by river courses and an old wagon road; its western borders are lines of longitude and latitude through the Kalahari, and its northern borders combine straight lines with a river course. Within the confines of Botswana’s borders is a rich variety of wildlife, including many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
Before its independence in 1966, Botswana was a British protectorate known as Bechuanaland. It was also one of the poorest and least-developed states in the world. The country is named after its dominant ethnic group, the Tswana (“Bechuana” in older variant orthography). Since its independence the Republic of Botswana has gained international stature as a peaceful and increasingly prosperous democratic state. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the African Union (AU), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The secretariat of SADC is housed in the capital of Botswana, Gaborone (until 1969 spelled Gaberones—i.e., Gaborone’s town, after the tribal chief who had his capital at the site during the colonial period).
Zanzibar, Swahili Unguja, island in the Indian Ocean, lying 22 miles (35 km) off the coast of east-central Africa. In 1964 Zanzibar, together with Pemba Island and some other smaller islands, joined with Tanganyika on the mainland to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Area 600 square miles (1,554 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 713,000.
Both Zanzibar and Pemba are believed to have once formed part of the African continent, the separation of Pemba having occurred during the Miocene Epoch (about 23 to 5.3 million years ago) while Zanzibar dates from the Pliocene Epoch (about 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago) or even later. Various types of limestone form the base of both islands.
Zanzibar’s history was greatly shaped by its geography, the prevailing winds of the region placing it directly on the Indian Ocean trade routes and making it accessible to both traders and colonists from Arabia, south Asia, and the African mainland. The first immigrants were the Africans; the next were the Persians, who began to land in Zanzibar in the 10th century and who, over a brief period, became absorbed into the local population and disappeared as a separate group.
Their influence was left in the gradual consolidation of disparate villages and rural populations into what came to be recognized as two peoples, the Hadimu and the Tumbatu. This African-Persian population converted to Islam and adopted many Persian traditions. (Even today, most of Zanzibar’s African population calls itself “Shirazi,” in echo of the ancient Persian principality of Shīrāz, from which the earliest Persians came.)
Steidl – In Edward Burtynsky’s recent photographs, produced across the African continent, the patterns and scars of human-altered landscapes initially appear to form an abstract painterly language; they reference the sublime and often surreal qualities of human mark-making.
While chronicling the major themes of terraforming and extraction, urbanization and deforestation, African Studies conveys the unsettling reality of sweeping resource depletion on both a human and industrial scale.
From natural landscapes to artisanal mining and mechanized extraction, several distinct chapters culminate with China in Africa: a series depicting the economic inroads being made by China, including the interiors of gigantic newly built manufacturing plants. This project brings together the work of seven years, presenting the latest installment in Burtynsky’s ongoing œuvre.
AirPano VR – Namib, Portuguese Namibe, a cool coastal desert extending for 1,200 miles (1,900 km) along the Atlantic coast of Africa from Namibe (formerly Moçâmedes) in Angola southward across Namibia to the Olifants River in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It reaches inland 80 to 100 miles (130 to 160 km) to the foot of the Great Escarpment. The southern portion merges with the Kalahari on the plateau atop the escarpment. Its name is derived from the Nama language, implying “an area where there is nothing.”
The Namib is arid and is almost totally uninhabited, except for a small number of scattered towns. It is important because of the trade routes that cross it, its mineral deposits, the fisheries of the bordering sea, and its increasing utilization for recreational purposes.
Located on the shores of Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest lake, Makuzi Beach Lodge is secluded, isolated and offers fantastic views of the water. Guests’ meals are cooked with ingredients from the lodge’s huge garden — or from the lake on the doorstep. With concepts like this, eco-friendly and sustainable tourism is being promoted in Africa.
Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. The lake’s southern end falls within Lake Malawi National Park – sheltering diverse wildlife from colorful fish to baboons – and its clear waters are popular for diving and boating. Peninsular Cape Maclear is known for its beach resorts.
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