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Africa, Urban and Wild


Sudáfrica: Savage, impressive and exotic

Basic data

*** Population: 41 million inhabitants, of which 75% is black race, 13% is white, 8% mestizos and 3% are Indian.

*** Currency: The Rand

*** Language: 11 official languages exist
- Afrikaan
- English
- Xosha
- Isizulú
- Sesotho
- Isindebele
- Salebowa
- Siswati
- Xitsonga
- Setswana
- Tshivenda

* * * Necessary documents: Visa is required, the tourism operators generally take charge of this.

* * * Vaccines: To be able to travel until África, it is necessary to have the vaccine of yellow fever.

Other interesting data

The dance
Still keeping in mind the great existent musical diversity in Africa, you can generalize the fact that music and dances are inseparable in the whole continent. Whenever you hear songs and palms, or the rhythms of a drum, somebody will be dancing. One thing always attracts the other one.

The same as in the rest of cultures, in the African cultures the traditional dances are intimately related with the climate, the earth and the ceremonies of the community. A great variety of rhythms exists according to the cultural differences of the diverse African towns. For these dances are used the feet, the hands, the hip and the head, marking different rhythms.

The family
In most of África, the societies are culturally agricultural and, the same as in other societies, the family has a conception of "extensive or extended family", that is to say, contrary to the nuclear family of the "modern" societies, constituted by the couple and the children, the Africans are composed by all the relatives and in many cases, included the ancestors as members that continue belonging and participating in the matters of the family.

Leaving from Suramérica, they are approximately 12 hours of flight in an airplane that crosses the Atlantic ocean until arriving in Johannesburg. This long trip is an opportunity to separate the esstres of the city and get ready for a wonderful experiencie in a different world.

Johannesburg (Also call "Jo'burg") is the main economic center of the South region of África, there they concentrated during more than 20 years the sky-scrapers of the "International banking" and the multinational companies, what configured their center like a modern metropolises. However, the pressures of the political and racial conflicts, besides the massive migration of the inhabitants of the region (affected by hunger and political persecutions), transformed it for a while into one of the most dangerous cities in the country.

Today, this has been overcome and a new series of called projects "The new Jo'burg" have given impulse to the center, which actually have recreation places, housings and public spaces. But you don't hope that all África is a place with wild animals and vehicles 4x4 like it is shown in Television. In the populated area is still necessary a lot to discover, because it has been main character of the political and economic history of Sudáfrica, in the Neighborhood "Sowetho" several movements were lived, there is located the house where "Winny Mandela", Nelson Mandela ex-wife (Nobel of peace), lived while Nelson, from the jail moved the peaceful residence.

The economic force of the region is based on the mineral wealth, so, a characteristic of the city, is that in the middle of the urban área, appear the mines to sky open of: Gold, Nickel, Platinum and Diamonds.

At 1 hour in a bus of tourism, for a freeway of perfect specifications, you arrives to the "Pretoria" city, is the administrative capital of the country, contrary to the cosmopolitan life of Jo'burgo, it is a city of traditional and low-height buildings, with long streets in a very historical tone. There, those "Jacarandas" create a splendid view, because in times of bloom, they transform the streets in kind of a covered tunnels for the flower of color Lilac.

Pretoria was (in XVIII and XIX centuries) the historical heart and the economic and political center of the country. There are the main administrative buildings and the president's residence, as well as the historical mark of the home of "Kruger" that was one of the big men in the configuration of the "Boer" State.

In the outskirts of Pretoria there are diamonds mines, among them a call "Cullinan" that still in activity, but to enter there, requires strict security controls and they present all the details of how a mineral mine of this valuable one works. The journey concludes in an exhibition place and sale of diamonds.

Africans Waters

The mighty and peaceful river "Zambezi" is the line that divides two African nations, of shared histories but of very marked identity: Zimbawe and Zambia. They also share a natural marvel, the "Waterfalls Victoria", but before discovering them, is advisable to continue for the waters of one of the most wonderful rivers of the área, one of the show that was surely is the main reason of your trip until this continent. From there you will be able to appreciate an elephant in wild state, "hidden" among the trees.
It doesn't care how many perfect pictures of elephants offer in the stores… Although the travelers don't have the best photographic cameras, you will feel that one of the biggest treasures that can acquire will be to take your own picture of a wild elephant among the grove.

If you want to see more elephants cohabiting, you can go until the " Chobe Park " in Bostwana, a deeper walk for the "Zambezi" will present to you antelopes, hippos, and the beauty of a beautiful afternoon in many orange tones and red, on a plain of trees and birds.

Toward Bostwana
You can begin the trip toward this nation in one of the buses and then to take a quick boat to take the safarial vehicles in the other side of the river, these accompanied you from this place.
The lodging is generally in an "Echo-Lodge", typical of the area, it is lodgings type "Bungalow" of adventure, with all the comforts and overalls details that they make it some delicious and comfortable places.

The "Chobe Marina" also has their own port in the Chobe river, it is at dusk the starting point for the sailing, just when the animals go to the river to drink before leaving to their night refuges. The show of the river won't be a lot for what you will see in the following days, a visit to the territory of more than 70.000 elephants that inhabit the park and that they usually live in flocks of 500 individuals.

The "National Park of Chobe" (11.000 Km2) is a place protected for the wild animals, where the hunt and the fishing are restricted, as well as the room and housing. It is recommended to enter very early in the morning, generally before the sun appears. You will be able to leave in a special vehicle and go into for the powder roads of the park.
For the traveler's and animal´s security, is fobidden left the routes and is very important not get off the cars, which are endowed with radio systems to communicate with other cars and guides and to announce the location of the animals in the expeditions.

You soon will be able to appreciate some big vultures in the trees. The elephants, looking for food, can be destructive and throw to the floor the trees, but in Fact, they are very peaceful. Here you will also be able to contemplate the organization of the elephants: the mothers go Ahead, closing to the oldest; and the "children" are in the center, very protected… while younger they are, more deep they will be.

Many times it will be necessary to stop the vehicles and allow to pass the flock, sometimes with threatening looks to the tourists (the "intruders"), here is where the guides explain the importance of always staying inside the vehicle, without taking out the body for the sides, because the animal sees the car like another animal, sufficiently big as for not fight with it, if the elephant sees that only is a group of people, it could attack to defend the flock.

Avianca Magazine
Year: November of 2005
Title: Our África

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