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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Beit beit, dar dar, zanga zanga

Posted by dan on April 14, 2011

The video might be, but otherwise it is not funny… we will see, isa.

Text translated:

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Matopos – the place of benevolent spirits

Posted by dan on January 25, 2011


Charles Dume Sana - meaning Praise the Lord - and his family

Charles Dume Sana - meaning Praise the Lord - and his family

It’s been called the place of benevolent spirits, and Cecil Rhodes, as he wished, was buried there at Malindidzimu hill. Today Zimbabwe is off the main tourist path, but even when it was on the main route few people visited the Matopos region – also known as Matobo Hills. Much of the area is a national park – the Matobo National Park -and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is close to the town of Bulawayo and shorter or longer safaris and treks can be organized locally. The local people belong to the Ndebele tribe, which is split into a southern and northern branch – first live in South Africa, the second in the southern part of Zimbabwe and parts of Botswana. The following images were made in 1996 in a small Ndebele settlement just outside the national park, where I’ve spent a week staying at Fortune’s family with two fellow travelers, Mark from Holland and Ian from Scotland. People are almost self-sufficient – if the season is good – and earn a little cash from making carvings or working in town – and would love to receive visitors in their homes. It is a magical and sacred landscape – as powerful as the Red Center in Australia, the Sinai mountains in Egypt or Hampi in India – and could develop into a trekking, cultural and retreat destination, if things were going better in the country. The locals would definitely deserve it – let’s hope things will get better one day.

More about the Ndebele:

Northern Ndebele people, located in Zimbabwe, and Botswana
South Ndebele people, located in the South Africa

More about the Matobos National Park:

Matobos National Park official website:…

Useful link:

Matobo Conservation Society:


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Northern Kenya – community based tourism

Posted by dan on December 5, 2010

Samburu couple - drawing by friend Ester based on Amin's photograph

Samburu couple - drawing by friend Ester based on Mohamed Amin's photograph

Sitting on the coach to Edinburgh, I read an article about the Samburu, published in the Saturday travel section of a major paper. It was a long time ago, but visiting Northern Kenya was one of the highlights of my journey in Africa. I saw it in many places – in Port Saint Johns in South Africa, the Matopos region in Zimbabwe, in the villages of Malawi and so on – that locals are trying hard to benefit from tourism, but with little resources and a lack of experience it is very difficult to succeed. It was in Kenya where I have seen a different approach, where the whole community was involved in tourist projects together, for the benefit of the whole community. Community organizations, also called Youth Self-Help Groups, were involved in making and selling handicrafts, running guest houses and tours. I don’t know how successful they are today – but they weren’t mentioned in the paper.

Community based tourism organizations in Northern Kenya:

Lake Baringo, Kampi ya Samaki village: they were running a guest house and boat tours on the lake. From the profit they built a water cleaning plant for the village.

Maralal: calling themselves the Plastic Boys, they were running a guesthouse, making the best selection of authentic handicrafts and running shorter and longer tours and camel/walking safaris.

Wamba and Isiolo: quite small and disorganized groups making handicrafts, the later with a bit of Somali touch.

Tribute to Mohamed Amin and Brian Tetley

Daily Nation article and book by Amin-Tetley

Daily Nation article and book by Amin-Tetley

Mohamed Amin was one of the best photographers of Kenya, working often with author Brian Tetley in the most remote places. He had an arm blown off by an explosion in Ethiopia, but carried on with work with an artificial limb. In November 1996, coming home to Kenya yet from another assignment, the plane carrying them was hijacked and eventually crashed in the sea, killing both of them along with more than 100 other passengers and crew.

Further info on Mohamed Amin:

The Mohamed Amin Foundation:

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