Did You Know...
- Sierra Leone's capital city Freetown was founded by freed slaves in the 1790's. They settled near an old cotton tree that is still alive today and one of the city's main tourist attractions. Just imagine what that tree has seen.
- There are many exciting volunteer conservation jobs available throughout Africa. You can help track animals, train to become a ranger, work with elephants in Cameroon and much more.
- Africa's lowest geographic point is a salt lake in Djibouti called Lake Assal. Salt caravans, manned by the Afar who travel by donkey and camel, still move hundreds of slabs of salt from the Lake to the Ethiopian Highlands every single day.
- The great Victorian explorer David Livingstone died trying to find the source of the Nile River in 1873. Today you can defy death by white-water rafting down the source of the great Nile River which is in the district of Jinja, (Lake Victoria) Uganda.
- You can enjoy some real bargains on nose jobs and other plastic surgery procedures in Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa. Medical tourism is starting to boom and "scalpel safaris" are becoming increasingly popular.
- Mopane worms are a very popular food source in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The larvae of the Emperor Moth is eagerly harvested (the head is plucked off and the guts squeezed out), dried and sold throughout the region. You can buy cans of Mopane worms soaked in brine, in most local supermarkets.
- Zimbabwe's economy is so dire that in August 2008 the government issued a 100 billion Zimbabwe Dollar (Z$) note. The official rate of inflation (November 2008) stands at 230 million percent. Experts think the real rate is actually higher. If you're visiting, it's probably best to exchange your money daily.
- Over 1500 languages are spoken in Africa and most Africans are bi-lingual at the very least. South Africa has no less than 11 official languages. So what phrasebook should you get before you visit?! Find out more...
- You can learn how to ride an ostrich while visiting South Africa. If you're really talented you can even become an ostrich jockey and race professionally.
- You can hone your bow and arrow hunting skills on a cultural safari with the Hadzabe tribe in Tanzania and the San Bushmen of Namibia and Botswana.
Photo: Ostrich Jockey, Oudtshoorn, South Africa -- © South African Tourism