Africa & Safari, Animals, Countries, AIDS, Poverty, History
Safari definition, what is a safari?
A safari is an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists to Africa. Traditionally, the term is used for a big-game hunt, but today the term often refers to a trip taken not for the purposes of hunting, but to observe and photograph animals and other wildlife. There are some other things that a safari can be used for, such as hiking and sight-seeing.
Entering the English language in the late 19th century, the Swahili word safari means "long journey." Originally from the Arabic سفرية (safarīyah) meaning "a journey". The verb for "to travel" in Swahili is "kusafiri", the noun for the journey is "safari". These words are used for any type of journey, e.g. by bus from Nairobi to Mombasa or by ferry from Dar es Salaam to Unguja. The person generally attributed to having used the word in English is Sir Richard Francis Burton, the famous explorer.
Today there are many operators throughout the African continent offering different levels of safari service, from lodge based tours, where clients travel between lodges or tented camps often by air, fly in safaris where clients will meet the camps and staff after travel by plane or helicopter, to the true Mobile Safari operation where the clients travel with the Guides, staff and equipment from site to site. The Mobile Safari offers guests a genuine safari experience, and they are often very ecologically friendly as they allow areas to regenerate and wildlife do not become as habituated to human presence as they may with a permanent lodge or tented camp.
In 1836 William Cornwallis Harris led an expedition purely to observe and record wildlife and landscapes by the expedition’s members. Harris established the safari style of journey, starting with a not too strenuous rising at first light, an energetic day walking, an afternoon rest then concluding with a formal dinner and telling stories in the.
Safaris have today diversified considerably from the initial fledgling expeditions of the pioneering European explorers and colonialists. Tourism is becoming an increasingly prevalent economic factor for many Eastern and Southern African nations, in several regions surpassing traditional industries such as agriculture. Lending to specific conditions such as relative infrastructure or inherent geography countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Uganda, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe advertise locally specialised safari experiences ranging from guided safaris, mobile safaris, walking safaris and fly-in safaris to more niche concepts including elephant back safaris, river safaris, primate safaris, horseback safaris, balloon safaris photographic safaris, mobile tented safaris, and accessible safaris for those with disabilities.
Secondly: Safaris are a form of Eco tourism in which the public can become educated on the ecosystems and animal kingdoms of indigenous regions like Africa and Australia on expeditions by vehicles and stations. Through the use of professional guides tourists are provided safe transportation, certified educational services, discovery, photography and expanding the countries exploitation. The many common uses of Safaris are photography, video shooting, Eco and Adventure tourism, hunting, and discovery in which a customer cannot provide for themselves in the wilderness regions of places such as Africa or Australia.
For a lot of people who decide to visit Africa the main interest is to view the Wildlife. No other continent offers the same opportunities to see such diverse wildlife, free and often in very close proximity.
To learn a little about the animals you will see before you travel, will enhance your wildlife viewing experience greatly.
Most people who safari in Africa hope to see the "BIG 5". The Big Five refers to five of Africa’s greatest wild animals - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.
Photographs of Wildlife
Did you Know?
... some interesting facts about African Wildlife
Four of the five fastest land animals live in Africa - the cheetah (70 mph), wildebeest, lion, and Thomson’s gazelle (all about 50 mph).
Having a wingspan of only ½", the smallest butterfly is in the world is found in South Africa. It is known as the Dwarf Blue Butterfly
Madagascar is the home of the worlds largest as well as the smallest chameleons! Almost half of the world’s chameleon species live on the island of Madagascar.
The cheetah is the fastest land animal at 100 km/h (70mph).
The African elephant is the largest living land mammal.
An elephant can weigh up to 6-7 tons and has no natural enemies for he is not a predator and there is none large enough to challenge him.
Did you know elephants drink up to 160 liters of water per day.
An African elephant possesses such "manual" dexterity in his/her trunk tip that he/she can actually turn the pages of a book with it.
The only place where schools of fresh water sardines are found is in Lake Tanganyika.
The world’s biggest frog is found in Cameroon. Named the goliath frog, their body can be one-foot long.
Did you know that the tongue of a giraffe can be as long as 45 cm?
Giraffes are 6 ft tall when they are born.
The world’s largest and heaviest beetle, the Goliath Beetle is found in tropical Africa. It can reach a length of 5 inches and weigh up to ¼.
The Gorilla is the largest of the living primates, male gorillas weight up to 200kg, yet are shy and retiring.
The Nile crocodile is the Africa’s largest living reptile - growing to an average length of 5 m.
South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast near the Cape.
The largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere is a Cape Cross in Namibia.
Countries in Africa
Hunger, disease and poverty in Africa
Despite its natural resources, Africa is the world’s poorest continent, and every third African does not have enough food.
Many African countries are affected by a precipitation change with alternating floods and recurring draughts; especially in northern and southern Africa the rain does not fall in the way it used to, and the crops do not grow the way they used to. Climate changes continually make it more and more difficult to feed the continent’s 900 million inhabitants.
HIV/AIDS is a major public health concern and cause of death in many parts of Africa. Throughout the 1990s AIDS became Africa’s most severe hindrance to development. In some countries, nearly half of the citizens of working age were infected, and it threatened all positive social development.
Although Africa is home to about 14.5% of the world’s population, it is estimated to be home to 69% of all people living with HIV and to 72% of all AIDS deaths in 2009.
Southern Africa is the worst affected region of Africa, as well as the worst affected region in the world, with the epidemic reaching very high levels in Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. By contrast, North Africa has low HIV/AIDS rates.
After a 30 year long fight against the disease, in many countries the number of people who become infected is now dropping; nevertheless, information about modes of transmission and protection is still needed. Women still do not have authority over their own lives and millions of people who live with HIV in their bodies do not have access to the life-sustaining ARV medication.
These years, several African governments are making it gradually more difficult for the NGOs to do their job by introducing new laws that forbid NGOs to inform people about their rights. On the entire continent, corruption is a significant problem, the system of justice is not impartial, and oppression and assaults on women are widespread.
The majority of the world’s civil wars take place on the African continent. But when the wars are over, landmines and unexploded ammunition are left behind and make it extremely dangerous to move about, and the consequent fear of cultivating the land prevents tens of thousands from taking the first steps to creating a sustainable future for themselves and their children.
Poverty in Africa Begins With a Lack of Clean Water
Poverty and Water are Related
There are a number of reasons why poverty has become an epidemic in Africa. Poverty can be the result of political instability, ethnic conflicts, climate change and other man-made causes.
But one of the greatest causes of poverty in Africa is also the most overlooked...the lack of access to clean drinking water.
Nearly one billion people do not have access to clean, safe water - that’s the equivalent of 1 in 8 people on the planet!
For these people, poverty is a fact of life. The good news... This is a solvable problem.
Access to clean water - The foundation of all development
The lack of water is an often insurmountable obstacle to helping oneself. You can’t grow food, you can’t build housing, you can’t stay healthy, you can’t stay in school and you can’t keep working.
Without clean water, the possibility of breaking out of the cycle of poverty is incredibly slim.
With unclean water sources often miles from villages, many of the able bodied members of a community are forced to spend hours each day simply finding and transporting water. The typical container used for water collection in Africa, the jerry can, weighs over 40 pounds (18 kg) when it’s completely full.
Imagine how demanding it would be to carry the equivalent of a 5-year old child for three hours every day. And some women carry even more, up to 70 pounds (32 kg) in a barrel carried on the back. That’s like carrying a baby hippo.
The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; that’s the same as a whole year’s worth of labor by France’s entire workforce! This is incredibly valuable time.
With much of one’s day already consumed by meeting basic needs, there isn’t time for much else. The hours lost to gathering water are often the difference between time to do a trade and earn a living and not. Just think of all the things you would miss if you had to take three hours out each day to get water.
When a water solution is put into place, sustainable agriculture is possible. Children get back to school instead of collecting dirty water all day, or being sick from waterborne illnesses. Parents find more time to care for their families, expand minimal farming to sustainable levels, and even run small businesses.
The social and economic effects caused by a lack of clean water are often the highest priorities of African communities when they speak of their own development. The World Health Organization has shown this in economic terms: for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34!
History of Africa
The history of Africa begins with the prehistory of Africa with the settlement of the first humans in East Africa, continuing into the present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states. Some early evidence of agriculture in Africa dates from about 4,000 BC, and metallurgy from about 2000 BC. The recorded history of early civilization arose in Egypt, and later in Nubia, the Maghreb and the Horn of Africa. During the Middle Ages, Islam spread through the regions. Crossing the Maghreb and the Sahel, a major center of Muslim culture was Timbuktu. Some notable pre-colonial states and societies in Africa include the Nok culture, Mali Empire, Ashanti Empire, Kingdom of Mapungubwe, Kingdom of Sine, Kingdom of Saloum, Kingdom of Baol, Kingdom of Zimbabwe, Kingdom of Kongo, Ancient Carthage, Numidia, Mauretania, the Aksumite Empire, the Ajuuraan State and the Adal Sultanate.
From the late 15th century, Europeans and Arabs took slaves from West, Central and Southeast Africa overseas in the African slave trade. European colonization of Africa developed rapidly in the Scramble for Africa of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Following struggles for independence in many parts of the continent, as well as a weakened Europe after the Second World War; decolonization took place.
Africa’s history has been challenging for researchers in the field of African studies because of the scarcity of written sources in large parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Scholarly techniques such as the recording of oral history, historical linguistics, archaeology and genetics have been crucial.
Africans, disease, history and ecology
Interesting review paper on disease and Sub-Saharan African, Neglected Tropical Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa: Review of Their Prevalence, Distribution, and Disease Burden:
The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most common conditions affecting the poorest 500 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and together produce a burden of disease that may be equivalent to up to one-half of SSA’s malaria disease burden and more than double that caused by tuberculosis. Approximately 85% of the NTD disease burden results from helminth infections. Hookworm infection occurs in almost half of SSA’s poorest people, including 40-50 million school-aged children and 7 million pregnant women in whom it is a leading cause of anemia. Schistosomiasis is the second most prevalent NTD after hookworm (192 million cases), accounting for 93% of the world’s number of cases and possibly associated with increased horizontal transmission of HIV/AIDS. Lymphatic filariasis (46-51 million cases) and onchocerciasis (37 million cases) are also widespread in SSA, each disease representing a significant cause of disability and reduction in the region’s agricultural productivity. There is a dearth of information on Africa’s non-helminth NTDs. The protozoan infections, human African trypanosomiasis and visceral leishmaniasis, affect almost 100,000 people, primarily in areas of conflict in SSA where they cause high mortality, and where trachoma is the most prevalent bacterial NTD (30 million cases). However, there are little or no data on some very important protozoan infections, e.g., amebiasis and toxoplasmosis; bacterial infections, e.g., typhoid fever and non-typhoidal salmonellosis, the tick-borne bacterial zoonoses, and non-tuberculosis mycobaterial infections; and arboviral infections. Thus, the overall burden of Africa’s NTDs may be severely underestimated. A full assessment is an important step for disease control priorities, particularly in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the greatest number of NTDs may occur.
Sub-Saharan African has about 12% of the world’s population, so keep that in mind when viewing this table from the paper:
This incredible disease burden is probably one reason Sub-Saharan Africa was colonized relatively late; Europeans had a tendency of dying very quickly. It is notable that most of the “Arabs” of Sub-Saharan Africa are actually genetically indigenous, with a distant Arab patrilineage. Even then, Arab influence in East Africa was strictly coastal and did not penetrate into the interior despite nearly 2,000 years of mercantile presence. In contrast in the New World it was the natives who died due to European and African diseases.
Other regions of the tropics, such as India and Southeast Asia, are subject to the same issues. But it seems likely that Africa has particular issues in regards to disease as evidenced by genetic data which suggest to many only marginal “back migration” from Eurasia. The widespread exceptions may prove the rule, the peoples of the highlands of Ethiopia seem to have had a fair amount of admixture with the peoples of southern Arabia, but these areas are also ecologically atypical for Sub-Saharan Africa due to the altitude. It may be that because of the long residence of human beings in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the presence of our closest genetic relatives who are ideal candidates for incubating pathogens which we might be vulnerable to, this region of the world is even more deadly than one might expect due to its tropical climate.
Hunger & Famine in Africa
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, population unbalance, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Nearly every continent in the world has experienced a period of famine throughout history. Some countries, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa, continue to have extreme cases of famine.
The famine relief model increasingly used by aid groups calls for giving cash or cash vouchers to the hungry to pay local farmers instead of buying food from donor countries, as is often required by law (for example U.S. law requires that food aid money be spent on food grown in the U.S.), as it wastes money on transport costs, but more importantly, it perpetuates the cycle of dependency on foreign imports rather than helping to create real local stability through agricultural abundance. Emergency measures in relieving famine include providing high calorie ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), through fortified sachets of peanut-based paste such as Plumpy’nut that are given primarily to children.
Long-term measures include investment in modern agriculture techniques, such as fertilizers and irrigation, which largely eradicated hunger in the developed world. World Bank strictures restrict government subsidies for farmers, and increasing use of fertilizers is opposed by some environmental groups because of its unintended consequences: adverse effects on water supplies and habitat.
Famine in the Horn of Africa is spreading as the region’s worst drought in 60 years continues to worsen, according to the United Nations.
Tens of thousands of people have died, and 12.4 million more living across Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti are in serious need of food aid.
The situation in Somalia is especially severe. More than 3 million Somalis are “on the brink of starvation,” and another million are in “crisis,” according to the UN. They have also predicted as many as 750,000 people in Somalia could die as the drought continues to worsen.
Children are most vulnerable to the effects of famine. Their bodies are weak and unable to handle extended hunger, which also makes them highly susceptible to disease. According to FSNAU (Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit), there are currently 450,000 malnourished children in Somalia alone, with bordering countries also suffering from drought and famine.
Cosmos Mutowa, NCM regional coordinator for Africa, recently visited refugee camps in Kenya. He reports hearing many mothers tell stories of losing children on the way to the camps because they were too weak to handle the journey.
Region in Crisis
A man named Mohammed, a leader in the “Church of the Nazarene” in the Horn of Africa, shares how hunger has permanently altered his family. In the past few years, three of Mohammed’s eight children have died due to malnutrition-related causes. Then, in July 2011, he lost both his wife and their four-month-old daughter.
This is not an uncommon occurrence these days according to Horn of Africa NCM staff. They report at least 25 children in Nazarene families have died as a result of malnutrition and related causes. Local leaders expect this number to increase in the coming days.
“This is truly a regional crisis,” says one NCM staff member on the field. “Everyone is affected. Local Nazarene leaders simply have nothing to give when people turn to them for help. The vast majority of them cannot afford to give even one meal a day to their families.”
Why do so many people have to experience terrible suffering before death?
Suffering is a universal part of our humanity that exists in a fallen world. The question of why there is suffering in death for some and not as much for others is really not answerable. For we reckon things from our human experience and do not understand the infinite mind and purpose of God. In the great faith chapter, we often read of the heroes of the faith but neglect the litany of those unnamed who suffered for their faith (Hebrews 11:33-40). These all died suffering deaths yet are heroes of the faith. They are unnamed and unknown among most men, but God values their suffering and includes them in this great chapter of faith as a lesson to us.
Suffering and death are part of the curse of sin on the world (Genesis 3:16-19). Adam and Eve fell, and when they did, they brought to themselves and to all of their descendants the suffering of death. “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17). We know that Adam and Eve did not die physically on the day that they ate of the tree. Adam lived to the age of 930 (Genesis 5:5). But when Adam sinned, he was spiritually separated from God, and this is the first death.
The question of why some suffer at death and others do not could be summed up in one statement: “God is sovereign.” That is not just a trite and easy statement. When Jesus healed a man born blind, the disciples questioned Him. “‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life’” (John 9:1-3). In this passage is a principle that can be applied to our question. God allows some to suffer so that “the work of God might be displayed.” In other words, God allows some to suffer to bring glory to His name and others not to suffer for the same reason. It is His sovereign will that determines each circumstance. Therefore, we can safely say that no suffering is without a purpose in the plan of God, even though we as finite humans may not see that purpose clearly.
The Apostle Paul suffered much in his life and ministry. A litany of that suffering can be found in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27. Paul was killed for his testimony and according to universal tradition was decapitated after a long imprisonment. However, during this time, he wrote this testimony to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Another purpose for suffering is to be a witness to those watching that God’s grace and strength is sufficient to enable a believer to stand in that suffering (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Paul also gives us an example as to how we should view suffering as a child of God. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). And Paul also said, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Therefore, however a believer in state of grace dies, in suffering or in relative peace, it is but a transition to “face to face” with the LORD. Once that transition has been made, all of the sorrow and pain of the suffering will end. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). For those who die without the faith or in mortal sin, their earthly sufferings will not be without its cause since it will serve to diminish their punishment in the next life. It is also worth noting that many people through want and sicknesses avoid committing many more new sins because of their bodily sufferings.