Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Great Tour to Kenya

The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100km north south between Nairobi and Thomsons Falls. The Aberdare National Park was formed in 1950 to protect the forested slopes and moors of the Aberdare Mountains. While the park has elephant, rhino, black leopard, lion and the beautiful but elusive bongo antelope, it is rarely visited by safari companies and individual travelers. Soils are volcanic origin and red. There are two main peaks Kinangop (3,906m) and Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m) separated by a lengthy saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000m. The high rainfall turns the roads to mud and you need a 4x4 to get anywhere. The park often closes in the wet season. There are many clear streams and waterfalls.

Shaba National Reserve, which lies east of the road linking Isiolo with Marsabit, form a trio of unusual and attractive game sanctuaries very different from others in Kenya. Shaba National Reserve has a particular place in the history of Kenya game conservation for it was in this reserve that the authoress, Joy Adamson, died; her trilogy of books on the rehabilitation of the compliant leopard to a wild environment remained unfinished. Shaba was one of Joy Adamson's greatest African loves; it was in this tranquil wilderness where she released the first hand-raised leopards Shaba took its name from the Mount Shaba (1525 meters), a volcanic mountain that became extinct around 5,000 years ago. Mount Shaba lies on the border of the reserve.

Mt. Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands, East of the Rift Valley. Mt. Kenya lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator. The mountain has two main peaks - Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m). The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mt. Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems. Lake Nakuru is a very shallow strongly alkaline lake 62 km2 in extent. It is set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and grassland next to Nakuru town. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest on the eastern perimeter.

The Masai Mara is one of the best known and most popular reserves in the whole of Africa. At times and in certain places it can get a little overrun with tourist minibuses, but there is something so special about it that it tempts you back time and again. Serengeti national park in Tanzania occupies 14,763 square km. The park boasts the highest wildlife concentrate in the whole of Africa and one of the best places to see the “big five” elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo. The annual animal immigration led by the thousands of wild best starts in May and lasts until June. Gazelle, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and eland in search of water share the movement. Along side this migration are predators and scavengers such as lions, hyena and vultures. Other common species fond here include hippo, giraffe, eland, impala, baboons, monkeys and a profusion of almost 500 bird species.

Mara Balloon Safari 1-hour Hot air Balloon safari over the game filled plains and riverine forest of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Champagne type breakfast is served on landing followed by a game drive back to camp. For Information:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 describes the history of Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest tombstone on the list of the Seven Wonders of the Antique World. The Great Pyramid took about 20 years to complete, and several theories are debated by scholars as to how it was built and by whom. Some theories point to slave labor, but it seems more reasonable that Egyptians themselves lent their efforts, working during the times of year when the Nile was flooded and their farm work would not have been possible. It would have been a sort of civil service.

Sphinx is an image of a recumbent lion with a human head invented by the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom, and is a cultural import in Greek mythology. Sakkara is one of the most wide archaeological sites in Egypt! It was the burial ground for Memphis, the capital of Ancient Egypt, yet it is still one of the virgin archaeological sites, despite the fact that so much has already been found here! The Egyptian museums describe the history and historical events of Egypt.

Mohamed Ali Mosque is surrounded by the most attractive Mosques in Egypt. It stands proudly on the highest point inside the courtyard of the Citadel of Saladin, and is also called the Alabaster Mosque. The architect was Yousf Boushnaq, a Turkish man who had come over from Istanbul to construct this huge Mosque for Mohamed Ali, the ruler of Egypt from1805 until 1849. He based his strategy on the Sultan Ahamed Mosque in Istanbul, and the building began in 1830 A.D. The work sustained ceaselessly until the death of Mohamed Ali in 1849, and had to be over during the reign of his successors.

Construction of the Abu Simbel Temple complex started in approximately 1284 BC and lasted for circa 20 years, until 1264 BC. Their purpose was to impress Egypt's southern neighbors, and also to support the status of Egyptian religion in the region. This is the great temple of Abu Simbel, dedicated to the glory of pharao Ramses II. Philae Island was a rocky island in the middle of the River Nile, south of Aswan. It was called in Hieroglyphic “Apo” which means Ivory. It was also known by the Greek “Elephantine”, most likely because it was an important centre of trade, especially for ivory.

Righttravel is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It is much more than what we refer to as the Valley of the Kings, though many have called the whole of the area by that name. The Egyptian faith that "To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again" is surely carried out in the building of the tombs. The king's formal names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with his images and statues.

The temple of Karnak was known as Ipet-isut (Most select of places) and was devoted to the Theben triad of Amen, Mut and Khonsu. It is actually a complex of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples. This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. Karnak is the biggest temple complex in the world, covering an area of 100 hectares.

Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the city today known as Luxor. Many festivals were celebrated in Thebes. The Temple of Luxor was the center of the most important one, the festival of Opet. Built largely by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, it appears that the temple's purpose was for a suitable setting for the rituals of the festival. The festival itself was to reconcile the human aspect of the ruler with the divine office.