Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Burkina Faso, Africa

Burkina Faso, Africa
This country is one of the poorest nation in Africa and quite possibly, the world. It lacks in resources and wealth, but makes up for its spirit and natural beauty. The cities in Burkina Faso do not offer many sights or tourist attractions. But anyone interested in music and other forms of performing arts, there are truly some of the greatest on offer in Africa. The main attraction here is the natural landscape which ranges in the rugged outcrops of the sindou peaks to the abundant wildlife found at Lake Tengrele and Burkina Faso’s National parks.

Below is a list of the best places to see in Burkina Faso’s.

Arli National park: the open savannah of Arli National park is traversed by the Tambarga and Gobnangou rivers which provide lifeblood for the lions, hippos, elephants, antelope and gazelle that call it home. Guided safari game drives will get you up close to all the wildlife action, particularly at the famous Tounga watering hole.

Sabou: the town of Koudougou is famed for the sacred crocodiles of Sabou which are highly revered by the local people. It is a great opportunity to get up close to these normally fierce creatures as their constant contact and feeding by humans has left them incredibly tame.

Burkina also boast a number of UNESCO World Heritage listed cultural sites, including ancient fortified settlements and mud built mosque that are a legacy of the rulers, conquerors and traders that once traversed its lands.

Ouagadougou is the capital city of Burkina Faso .The architecture here is very inspiring and the sights will leave you overwhelmed. The city is famous for its arts, dance, live music, awesome festivals and crafts markets. Making a trip to Ouaga is rewarding and worthwhile.

Bobo Dioulasso is a top most attraction in Burkina Faso. Bobo-Dioulasso is a combination of architectural styles. It is a fusion of French and Sudanese designs. The main attraction is the Great Mosque whose design was inspired by the mosque of Djenne. The Grande Marche town is famous for its artwork of tribes from all over West Africa. The city also has an outstanding night scene.

Gorom Gorom Market: Market of different ethnicities comes here every Thursday from all over the country. They are here to sell goods such as jewellery, printed cotton, fabrics, leather and handcrafted items.

Bobo Dioulasso is well known for its attractive streets and the bustling market. The Grand Marché of Bobo Dioulasso is the largest town inhabited by the Bobo people. Musee provisional du Houet with regional relics, arts and crafts and the Grande Mosque in the Kibidwe district is also some of the attractions. An excursion outside the city includes the scenic sacred fish pond of La Mare aux Poisson Sacres de Dafra.

Les Cascades de Banfora: take a dip in the terraced pools of Les Cascades de Banfora, a scenic series of waterfalls along the Komoe River. This place is surrounded by sugarcane fields and mango trees. It is also a popular picnic spot among locals. Admire the pristine nature and watch the water pass through layered sandstone towers. Take your swim gear along.

Mountain biking and hiking are one of the popular adventures around the areas of Bobo Dioulasso and Banfora in Lobi region.

Cuisine in Burkina Faso is similar to the cuisines in other parts of West Africa. Sorghum, millet, rice, fonio, maize, peanuts, potatoes, beans, yam and okra are the basic staple food.

The people here will welcome visitors with warmth and charm and endeavour to make their stay a memorable one.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu – Great Lakes of East Africa

Lake Kivu is one of the Great Lakes of East Africa which lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. It is in the Abertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift and empties into the Ruzizi River which flows into Lake Tanganyika, southwards. Kivu means `lakes’, in some Bantu language like the words Tanganyika or nyanza.

Lake Kivu which is located 100 miles north of Lake Tanganyika is at the highest point of the East African Rift Valley and is one of the three known volcanic lakes in the world containing high dissolved amount of carbon dioxide in its deeper waters, while the other known volcanic lakes are Lake Nvos and Lake Monoun in Cameroon.

It has a rough coast containing various islands, the largest being Idjwi which at one point of time was part of a larger body of water, that filled a structural trough in the Earth. Volcanic outpourings towards it northern shore resulted in a dam which separated Kivu from Lake Edward barring Kivu’s northern outflow, reversing its drainage to the south via the Ruzizi River. In 1958, the hydroelectric dam, Mururu was completed at the River Ruzizi’s outlet

Gaseous Chemical Composition - Unique

Lake Kivu is a fresh water lake together with Cameroonian Lake Nyos. Lake Monoun is one the three which experience linmic eruptions and surrounding the lake, geologists found evidence of massive biological extinction of about thousand years which was the result of outgassing events.

In the case of Lake Kivu, the trigger for lake overturns in not known but it is presumed that volcanic activity could be the cause. The gaseous chemical composition is unique to each lake and in case of Lake Kivu, the methane as well as carbon dioxide is due to lake water interaction with a volcano. The estimated amount of methane is around 65 cubic kilometres – which if burnt over a year, it could provide an average power of around 100 gigawatts for the entire period and the carbon dioxide is estimated to 256 cubic kilometres.

Methane is reported to be produced due to microbial reduction of the volcanic carbon dioxide and the risk from a possible overturn of Lake Kivu would be dangerous, dwarfing other lake overturns at Lakes Monoun and Nyos with around two million people living in the lake basin.

Rich in Volcanic Substance 

The shores ofKivu are densely populated, Bukavu and Goma in Congo being the principal towns and Gisenvi in Rwanda. Count Adolf von Gotzen, a German explorer, was the first European to visit the lake in 1894. Though the lake is supplied with fish, it is poor in fauna but rich in volcanic substance with great volumes of dissolves methane gases existing in its deep waters, which could be utilised as energy sources.

Lake Kivu has remained untouched for thousands of years though in the last few years it has drawn the attention in the scientific field where a heat flux in the lake or other meteorological and limnological forces could cause an overturn or perhaps later, rollover of the lake thereby releasing dissolved carbon dioxide from pressure causing discharge of gas which could be harmful to the communities located in the surrounding areas of the lake.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Timbuktu - African El Dorado

Timbuktu is a word which is often used in several languages to denote a faraway place but in reality it is an actual city in Mali in the African country. It is located at the gateway to the Sahara desert, in the confines of the fertile zone of Sudan near the edge of the Niger River.

The legend of Timbuktu as a rich cultural centre spread during the 14th century throughout the world and the beginning of the legend is traced to 1324 when the Emperor of Mali went on his pilgrimage to Mecca through Cairo.

It was at Cairo that the merchants and the traders were impressed by the quantity of gold which was carried by the emperor who claimed that the gold was from Timbuktu. Moreover, the great Muslim explorer, Ibn Batuta, in 1354, wrote about his visit to Timbuktu and also about the gold and wealth of that region.

Hence Timbuktu came to be recognized as an African El Dorado, a city made of gold. During the 15th century, Timbuktu became very important and produced some of its few goods but served as a major trading centre for salt trade across the desert.

A Centre of Islamic Study/Home of University & Library    

Timbuktu also became a centre of Islamic study as well as the home of a university and extensive library. During the 1400s, the maximum population numbered between 50,000 to 100,000 with approximately one quarter of the population comprising of students and scholars.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and in 1990 was added to the list of world heritage sites of being in danger which was due to the threat of desert sands. A program was then set to preserve the site and it was taken off the list of endangered sites in 2005 but re-added in 2012 after the Islamist Rebels took to arms.

The city is a contrast to the rest of the country’s cities due to the fact that it has more of an Arabic flair than the African.

Mosques/Grand Marche/Well of Bouctou/Timbuktu Museum

Interesting sites to be explored in Timbuktu are the Mosques which remains closed at hours of prayers. Major mosques are closed to non-Muslim visitors as of April 7. There are three main mosques here, the Djingereiber Mosque, which is a world heritage site and probably the largest and the most impressive one.

The Sankore Mosque is another impressive minaret which is worth visiting and the Sidi Yehia Mosque. All of which are within walking distance of each other. The Grand Marche, a two storey market with stalls and shops sells all types of things and is worth visiting just to get an incredible view from the roof across the city of Timbuktu to the desert.

The original well of Bouctou, which is presently dry, is in some back garden along with the Timbuktu Museum having a mixture of interesting artifacts and contemporary folk art. Timbuktu which has come to symbolize back of beyond remoteness is not an easy place to reach.

The drive from the capital of Mali, Bamako, takes around 20 hours which is mostly off road journey. A new airport has now eased the travel to a great extent with several flights now operational to and from Bamako.