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Popular tourist destinations in east Africa

Africa is most known for its tourist attractions and natural expositions; wildlife, landforms, and other geographical as well as the continent’s historical sites and diverse cultures. South Africa is the most visited African country by tourists, which is best known for the wildlife conservation centres situated there alongside other attractions. Although, the South Africa tourist industry is one of the top beneficiaries from African tourism, other parts of the continents also still earn well from the industry as they have major tourist attractions.

The eastern part of Africa also plays roles in the development of the African tourism industry. Eastern Africa constitutes over 20 territories/ countries. It has many tourist centres and point of attractions. East African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda are all major contributors to the worth of the African tourism industry. Tourism contributes over 10 percent to Kenya’s GDP; Tourism is the nation’s second revenue source after agriculture. This depicts that they have attractive tourist centres while Tanzania is the biggest player in the industry earning over USD 2 billion a year. Rwanda and Uganda are not isolated too; Rwanda and Ugandan tourist centres are worth USD 317 million and USD 1.1 billion respectively.

After a completed survey in 2015, Uganda recorded the highest number of tourist visitors, 1,303,00, while Kenya followed with 1,114,100 tourists also and Tanzania and Rwanda with 1,104,00 and 987,000 respectively. These are impressive numbers, and some of these are yet to fully actualise their tourism industries probably because they have other major sources of revenue. What are these attractive sites that attract tourists to these parts of the continent? There are many points of interests in these countries, but the popular ones are the main perpetrators in attracting tourists.
Popular tourist destinations in East Africa:

The Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

This wildlife conservation centre is situated in Kenya and is recognised as one of Africa’s safari destination. The diversity in wildlife is a major pointer in this tourist centre. This reserve is one of the major contributors to the country’s GDP.

Tourist savour watching herds cross Mara river and the cultural exhibition of the Maasai resident is another major highlight of this reserve. The big five; the African lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo and rhino, could be both seen in a day especially in the dry seasons when there is a major migration occurrence of the wild beasts.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Located within the Virunga Mountains, in the deep vegetation region of Rwanda lies the Volcanoes National Park. It is the oldest national park in Africa and is most famous because of the critically endangered mountain gorillas situated in the park. These gorillas are subspecies of wider ranges of Eastern gorillas; there still exist over 800 of these creatures.

Other creatures of rare species can also be found in the park as well as 29 different species of bird.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

This tourist centre which is located off coast region of Tanzania is most known for its beaches. It is surrounded by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. This was once a trade route for the island Arab rulers that trade spices.
Stone Town is also one of its biggest side attractions boasting ornate houses, mosques and ancient Sultan palaces. The white-sand beaches are ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling.

Kibale National Park, Uganda

This is also another park, conserving evergreen rain forest. It is popularly known for the different primate species that live in the park; monkeys, chimpanzees’ etc. The Kibale forest has the highest abundance of primates.

With over 200 species of trees in the park, there are rainforest plants that thrive in the park that serve as food to these primates too. Trees including pollia condensata, Cordia millenii and so more. It’s a conservation centre for wildlife and plants.

Conclusion

East Africa still has a lot of tourist points of interests which are yet to get prominence and popularity as these, that’s because the tourism industry is still undergoing development. It is expected that some of these East-African countries would fully depend on their cultural and natural heritages as revenue soon.

Some selected readings

Mungai, E. (2017, June 1.) Lesson for East Africa: In tourism, the race is not to the swift. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from the Web

African Development Bank. (2016, January 1.) Africa Tourism Monitor 2015: Tourism in Africa is on the rise, but has not yet reached its full potential. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from the Web

Zijlma, A. (2017, July 17.) A Top Ten List of East Africa’s Best Travel Destinations. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Photography and tourism in Africa

Africa is the second largest continent in the world with a population of approximately 1.216 billion. In this population, exists people of different tribes, cultural values and beliefs. This diversity in culture makes Africa a good tourist centre for foreigners and tourists. Photography is also an intrinsic quality in the African culture. Photography helps Africans to tell their stories without misconceptions.

Tourism is an important economic sector for most African countries. Although, some African countries benefit more from it than others due to their eye-catching points of interest. Tourists have always been intrigued with the African culture; the people, their beliefs, their mythologies, and everything that encompasses of the African culture.

African tourism is based on a variety of point of interests: diversity, landscapes and landforms, wildlife, as well as her rich cultural heritage. These variations in interest points have made some African countries to be better tourist centres over others.

Africa is divided in three groups in relation to tourism namely:

Countries with developed tourist Industry: These are African countries that do have a successful tourism industry already, such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia. They are the top benefactors from tourism in Africa.

Countries with developing tourism Industry: These African countries are still undergoing current development in their respective tourism industries. They have steady and consistent revenues from tourism, such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mauritius.

Countries yet to develop a tourism Industry: These African countries are anticipating to have a tourism industry and want to gain from it. They are yet to gain any economic value from tourism because they don’t have a functioning industry that facilitates tourism. These are countries like Tanzania, Algeria and Burundi.

South Africa is one of the most visited African countries by tourists. The wildlife conservation centre; Safari, is one of the country’s major point of interest. The variation of wildlife such as Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Monkeys and other wildlife has been a significant influence in the country’s tourism industry tourists. In 2016, the nation recorded 3.9 percent increase in international arrivals in Cape Town alone. In 2017, the nation’s travel and tourism have contributed to its economic factor and GDP growth by a staggering 2.5 percent –That is USD 27.3 billion which is equivalent to R402.2 billion and South Africa is just a one case scenario amidst other major touristic countries.

Photography also facilitates the tourism industry in Africa and has been used as a tool for democracy, freedom and equality and cultural expression. It gives tourists of what is to be expected when they visit tourist centres. In early South Africa, photography played a significant role in many countries cultural movement in the form of artistic expression. Photography tells stories about these African countries and their cultures; people, food, attires, traditions, etc. in pictures. Their point of interest is also expressed through photography, landscapes, wildlife, past heroes and heroines, religious beliefs and historical events.

These photographs or artistic drawings are hoisted up in museums in Africa and even in foreign countries. They tell about events that have occurred and the diversity in the African culture. These photographs play good roles in convincing tourists to visit the respective African countries and see the point of interest themselves. Another important point is, these photographs can be shared as free stock photos of Africa, and can be explore by other people to have an insight about the continent.

The tourism and photography industry in Africa has contributed immensely to the economic development of the continent; jobs are being created for the locals to maintain these tourist centres and revenues are being generated when tourists visit. Photography and Tourism go hand in hand. They both facilitate the growth of each other.

Some selected readings

Peffer, J., and Cameron E. (2013.) Portraiture and photography in Africa. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

UNWTO. (2017, July.) UNWTO Tourism Highlights: 2017 Edition. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Coustas, W. (2017, September 6.) South African Tourism Facts – Proof that the World loves South Africa. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Tutu, D. (2011, April 3.) Photography and the Liberation Struggle in South Africa History. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Rogerson, C. (2007) “Reviewing Africa in the global tourism economy”, Vol. 24 No. 3 United Nations World Tourism Organization. September 2007.

The 8 regional cooking styles of China

China has the world’s oldest culinary culture and diversity that is hard to imagine. The country has eight major culinary traditions which are known as the 8 Great Chinese Cuisines originating from the eight provinces of the vast country including Fujian, Anhui, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Guangdong, Hunan, and Zhejiang. These eight major culinary schools have predominated in China, and their popularity has reached different corners of the world.

Zhejiang

Sited in the delta of the Yangtze River, Zhejiang is a very rich province. Its cuisine embodies the plush lifestyle of its citizen and is fresh, smooth, tender and high-class. Their dishes are not spicy and usually light. The main cooking ingredients are seafood, fish, bamboo, and poultry. The primary cooking methods are stir-frying, deep-frying, quick-frying and braising. Some of the most popular Zhejiang dishes include Fried pork belly in a stew of wine and soy sauce, Braised fish, grass carp served in syrup, and Shelled shrimps.

Sichuan

Sichuan is home to China’s most popular dishes. Sichuan is a combination of Chengdu and Chongqing cooking styles. Sichuan food is famous for its hot and spicy flavour and features the use of many seasoning ingredients. The common spices used are Sichuan pepper and chilli. The main cooking method is stir-frying, steaming, braising, quick-frying, baking etc. Popular Sichuan dishes include Gongbao Jiding which is spiced diced chicken and Mapo Tofu.

Jiangsu

Jiangsu cuisine is not very popular but has a rich and sophisticated cooking culture. The meals are prepared using elaborate methods and artistic arrangements. The diet is usually fresh and is made up of mostly seafood. Cooking methods include braising, stewing, roasting, simmering, and warming. The dishes have a little amount of seasoning to preserve the natural flavours of the ingredients. Some of the favorite dishes include Jingling salted duck and the sweet and sour mandarin fish with its elaborate presentation.

Anhui

Anhui cuisine is also not so popular. The cuisine is dominated by vegetables and herb from the land and the sea. The cooking here is not so rich because the region is not very prosperous. Cooking methods is mainly braising. Some of their favourite dishes include Li Hongzhang stew and yellow crab shell cake.

Shandong

The cuisine of Shandong usually consists of light seafood and soups because of its proximity to the sea. The primary cooking methods are quick-frying and deep-frying. The style is very popular in Beijing and other parts of Northeast China. One of the most popular dishes from Shandong is the Sweet and Sour Carp.

Guangdong

Popularly known as Cantonese, Guangdong cuisine is the most famous Chinese cuisine served outside China. The dishes have a distinct flavour which is the result of an impeccable cooking style with rare ingredients. The dishes have the low seasoning to retain the natural flavour of the ingredients. Common ingredients include fresh seafood, fresh herbs, sweet sauces, and meat. Cooking techniques include braising, stir-frying, deep-frying, stewing, roasting, sautéing, steaming, and stewing. The region is famous for its dim sum which makes a great serving of breakfast.

Fujian

Fujian cuisine is highly flavoured and light. Common ingredients include bamboo shoots, woodland mushrooms, turtles, fish, wild herbs, and shellfish owing to its proximity to the coast and mountain country. Soups are a prominent part of this cuisine, and they like to add assortments of seasonings and herbs to their dishes. Cooking methods include stir-frying, deep-frying, stewing, baking, boiling, grilling, simmering, braising, and smoking and so on. One of the most popular Fujian recipes is the Buddha jumping on the wall which is made from close to 30 ingredients including sea slug, mushrooms, chicken breast, dried scallops, pig’s trotters, and duck and so on.

Hunan

Just like Sichuan, Hunan cuisine has a spicy and hot feel. It is usually moist, rich and either creamy or crispy with a powerful flavour of chilli, pepper, shallot or garlic. The dishes are also oily and colourful. Rice, fish, chilli, and many other ingredients are used in the cuisine. The basic cooking methods are stir-frying, pickling, fermenting, steaming, smoking, and sautéing
A popular dish in Hunan is the Steamed fish head with chopped pepper and Dong’s chicken.

Check out this article about popular tourist destination in east Africa.

Some selected readings

Sigurðsson, A. (2010, November 4.) The eight major regional cuisines of China. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Zhu, W. (2013, May 27.) Eight Regional Cuisines of China. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Parkinson, R. (2017, February 17.) Chinese Regional Cooking Styles. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Hua, S. (2015, October 9.) 8 Major Cuisine Types in China. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

 The African beauty and fashion industry

The African beauty and fashion industry express African ethnic traditions and cultural heritage through adornment and ornamentation. Fashion is a significant part of the African culture; it shows how diverse Africans are through adornments, local jewellery, and traditional attires.

The most scintillating and impressive trends in African beauty comes from a variety of African tribes; the combination of different tribes in just one attire. Africa accounts for a small percentage of the global fashion industry worth USD 1.5 trillion along with the sub-Saharan apparel and footwear market which is worth USD 31 billion. Europe is the main dominator of the global world fashion industry.

Africa still remains important today because its fashion industry stays true to its various cultural heritages. Although, today, African fashion industry is being influenced by the western culture. Africa’s fashion and beauty industry goes way beyond its culture and pattern designs and ornaments, it is also a tool for driving the continent’s future and providing solutions which target issues like youth unemployment and slow economic growth of certain African countries.

Nowadays, Africa’s fashion has gained a lot of attention from the other part of the world and some of Africa’s fashion ideas are being incorporated into their respective fashion industries. A new generation of African designers with wider Diaspora has risen over the last decade and have contributed immensely to the development of the continent’s fashion industry. They are fusing the African culture with the European culture together and in the process are attracting a wider wave of global interest into the fashion industry.

In the next five years, the African industry is expected to be worth USD 15.5 billion as the continent’s economies grow. In light of this, local and foreign investors have seized the opportunity to invest as they have seen the blooming potential of the industry.

Recently, the media has also played a major role in this recognition of this industry by broadcasting the continent’s local fashion shows, exhibitions and other television shows and media outlet that expresses the African fashion industry. Most African designers also feature in international fashion shows, exhibitions, and other fashion functions. Some of these designers have even been selected to participate at the Africa Fashion Week, New York and the success of these designers on the international platform have promoted the recognition and credibility of the African fashion industry.

Africa’s population is also a driving factor in the development of the continent’s fashion industry. The United Nations have estimated the continent’s population to rise to 4 billion by 2100 in relation to the current natality rate. This means a larger market for the industry; who better to patronize the continent’s fashion industry than its own indigenes? Also, job opportunities emerge for these designers to meet the large market demands. With these facts, Investors, both local and foreign have seized on this opportunity to leverage on.

Africa is also noted as the continent with the youngest population. Approximately 200 million of the continent’s populace is within the youth bracket, between ages (15- 24). This means that the fashion industry comprises of modern day youths that are current on the latest fashion trends; they have younger minds and better fashion ideas that are not obsolete. These youths also promote the brand through social media platforms and wear them to different occasion bringing recognition as well. The fact that the youth play a major role in the continent’s fashion industry is a major point of interest for investors because they’ll have a larger shell life for creativity than the older aged designers and fashion influencers.

The African fashion industry is rising fast among the ranks of the global fashion industry. Investors know that the continent’s maximum potential is yet to be materialized and with the current rate of development, it’s only a matter of time before the industry becomes a threat to the European Fashion Industry.

Check out this article about photography and tourism in Africa.

Some selected readings

Brown, A. (n.d.) Africa’s Fashion Industry: Challenges, Opportunities. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Jennings, H. (2015, April.) A brief history of African Fashion. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Saka, H. (2012, May 29.) African Beauty, Threatened By Western Civilization. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Aderibigbe, N. (2014, September 8.) Why the world should invest in African Fashion. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Useful tips for exploring photography in a tour of Africa

Planning to tour Africa for some mind-blowing shots? If yes, you can be sure of having a swell time with your digital camera. That said, there are quite a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you start clicking away. For starters, Africa boasts unique scenes, and its people are no different; however, it’s ill-advised to begin taking shots without asking for permission. As we know, it can be super rude to start pointing a camera at anyone you see — it can even cause an offence in some countries. The bottom line; always ask for permission before you snap locals — this is crucial.

It’s good to point out that African children love to smile at the camera. That said, you can be sure of capturing a few shots and have fun while you’re at it. It’s also great to show them the pictures in your camera — doing this can create a better connection, and that’s huge.

Now, it’s also in your best interest to keep your camera in your bag when you’re around any military area, airport, border crossings and ports — these are no click zones! What’s more, be sure not to take photos of bridges, harbours, military installations, army personnel and more. The thing is, there’s a good chance of getting arrested when you take shots in these places, and the worst part is, you may lose your dear camera in the process.

What should you pack for the trip?

For starters, there’s a good chance that you’re already with a digital camera and that’s great. Now, it’s in your best interest to have a spare memory card as well as a fully charged extra battery — you wouldn’t want to run out of space or juice while taking shots, right?

What’s more, you’ll want to bring a polarising filter along as it can work with the bright African sunlight to increase the saturation of vegetation and more. It’s also recommended to have some sort of dust protection for your equipment as some places can be really dusty. This is especially true if you’re travelling to remote areas and national parks.

What about wildlife photography

Your tourism in Africa won’t be complete without exploring its wildlife. Essentially, early mornings and late afternoons are the best tunes to get the perfect glimpse of wildlife activity. As you probably guessed, these are the best times to start taking shots — the light is soft, and you’ll also get a better definition of the animal against its background.

Note: The weather in Africa is usually hot, and animals’ activity is typically low during the hottest parts of the day.

Two things come into play when exploring Africa wildlife; you’re either in a vehicle or on a walking safari. First off, you should be aware that a tripod will be impractical in a vehicle — it’s better to use a cloth bag filled with uncooked rice to get the job done. On a walking safari? If yes, be sure to get a monopod with a detachable camera shoe — this should help you get super perfect wildlife shots.

It’s also essential to note that most if not all the animals will be at a distance, as such, you’ll want to get a zoom lens. Just be sure to do your homework before buying the lens — 300 to 500mm should work great.

To sum it up, wildlife in Africa can scare easily, so it’s in your best interest to limit the use of flashes at night. The good thing is, there are quite a few useful techniques you can use to capture beautiful shots at night. What’s more, it’s great to turn off all noises on your camera while taking shots of animals in the wild, remember, scaring them off is not part of the plan!

Happy touring! Also don’t miss this article about photography and tourism in Africa.

5 effective ways to achieving weight loss

There are thousands of quick-fix weight loss solutions floating around the Internet. But the majority are outright dubious while many that work are not sustainable in the long-term. Achieving optimal weight is a long-term process, and you need to make adjustments to your lifestyle to maintain your weight after shedding the excess pounds. Here are a few strategies to help you lose weight.

Stay committed

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most essential steps towards long-term weight loss is to commit to making the necessary changes required to provide the results you desire. You must be ready and willing to make adjustments to your life so that you can concentrate on your weight loss goals. You may find it hard to focus on weight loss if other things are competing for your attention. For example, if you are facing some financial challenges or your relationship is going haywire, losing weight may not be the most important thing on your mind. To make the most of your weight loss programs, get rid of distractions or limit them to the point where they don’t affect your weight loss goals.

Self-motivation

Losing weight is one of the hardest things you can ever try. This is because weight gain is intrinsically tied to nutrition and lifestyle, two things that are difficult to change. To lose weight successfully, you need to muster a tremendous amount of self-motivation to pull yourself through the difficult task. Since you are the sole beneficiary of a banging, fit body, you don’t expect encouragement from anyone except yourself. Search for motivating factors around you, and write them down. Whenever you feel the urge to stray from your goals, fire up your inspiration by calling to mind some of the motivating factors. It also helps to have supportive people around you. Associate with people who can give you support without judging you. A weight loss support group can be an excellent source of motivation. These groups are plenty on the internet, and you can join one or two to interact with people who are facing the same challenges.

Eat whole foods

According to the National Institutes of Health, a diet rich in whole foods, especially single-ingredient foods can help people lose weight because it eliminates the excess fat and added sugar from the food. Also, whole foods make you full faster, which reduces the number of calories you consume per meal. Whole foods are also rich in essential nutrients which helps the body stay healthy and function at optimal levels. The deficit in calories plays a huge part in the attainment of your weight loss goals. But this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice good taste for weight loss. Take more of vegetables, fruits, and grain.

Exercise

While nutrition plays a larger role in weight loss, you still have to exercise if you want the best results. Even after reducing your caloric intake by adjusting your diet, regular exercise will help you burn excess calories which your body doesn’t use for metabolic activities. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies reveal that people who maintain their body weight in the long term engage in a regular physical activity. One of the best ways of burning extra fat is to engage in daily aerobic exercises such as running or brisk walking. Your goal should be to increase your physical activity as your body burns calories whenever you are active. You can build a routine into your lifestyle that helps you to burn fat continuously throughout the day. It may be jogging in the morning or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Whatever it is, keep moving.

Set realistic goals

Despite your good intentions, setting goals that are too high does your weight loss program more harm than good. If your goals are too high, you end up not being able to achieve them, which demoralises you. When you become demoralised because you don’t get the results you desire, you may be frustrated and lose sight of the more important goals, leading you to drop losing weight altogether. If you can’t lose more than 1 pound in two weeks, don’t set a two pound milestone for yourself. The most important thing is to keep dropping the calories, however, slow you may be.

In summary, losing weight can undoubtedly be challenging, but following the above strategies with dedication will definitely help. You can also check out these healthy ways of losing weight.

Good luck!

Some selected readings

Kramer, J. (2015, February 9.) The number 1 reason you’re not achieving your weight-loss goal. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

Mayor Clinic. (2016, November 16.) Weight loss: 6 strategies for success. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

James, W. (2001.) Achieving weight-loss maintenance. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web