Small-Group Cultural Tours by Adventures Abroad
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  • Africa

    Posted on June 5th, 2009 admin No comments

    Africa

    Despite its designation as semi-arid when it comes to climate, there is a great deal of variation across the land. On one end of the spectrum, there are the dry deserts near Namibia, and on the other, there are the fertile subtropical areas near Mozambique and South Africa has just about every degree in between. The vast majority of the South African landmass is constituted of grassland and with its abundance of plant species (about 20,000 or more), the country houses around 10% of all the known plant species on the planet. This, along with the close to 900 species of bird, means that touring nature enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the bounties of South Africa.
    South Africa also has a lot to offer the sun-worshipper and the active holiday-maker.

    The 2,500km of coastline that skirts the Indian and Atlantic Oceans is a prime location for travellers looking to take it easy on the glistening white-sand beaches and for the more active traveller will be delighted to discover that the country’s reputation for housing some of the best wildlife parks in the world is no exaggeration. Kruger Park in particular is a destination not to be missed on a tour to South Africa.

    WEST AFRICA – by Tour Leader Claude Morency Claude Morency

    Over the last four years I had the pleasure and also faced the challenge to develop and lead our Adventures Abroad West African series. This is not a trip for the faint-hearted. The going is tough. We link together six different West African countries. And most of them are among the least economically developed nations in Africa. A lot of travel is done overland. In often difficult road conditions across serious bush country. We reach remote destinations where the infrastructure is poor. No fancy restaurant or super lodge at the end of a long day.

    But the rewards are many. The natural and cultural diversity is incredible, the sites fantastic. They resonate like drum beats in the night. They bring you right back to the origins of civilization in Africa: the arid Sahel; the acacia-studded savannah region; the living rainforest; the Senegal River; the Niger Inland Delta; the stunning Bandiagara escarpment; Dakar; Bamako; Ancient Djenne; fabled Timbuktu; the Kumasi market; the Abomey palaces.

    Great peoples form an interwoven fabric of countless languages and traditions. Wolofs, Bambaras, Dogons, Tuaregs, Lobis, Ashantis, Ewes, Dahomeys. Ancestral beliefs, fertility cults, Voodoo spirituality, Christianity, Islam.

    Nomadic cattle herders share the land with sedentary farmers in vast seasonal cycles. People and land form one. Spectacular traditional architecture provide the background to village markets and celebrations where music, mask dances and rituals bring you back to the true values of the African spirit.

    I strongly believe that Adventures Abroad offers here in West Africa the most extensive and comprehensive tour ever, unequalled by anyone else in the field in its scope and approach. It is a real odyssey.

    We take our people from one end of West Africa to the other providing our travellers, along this dusty West African track, in this modern age of technology, movement and globality, a true human connection and a deep personal experience.

    Almost a millennium ago, the great empires and civilisations of West Africa flourished with riches unimagined by the Europeans and though these kingdoms have long since vanished, their cultural legacy lives on in the traditions and lifestyles of its diverse peoples. A visually stunning blend of antiquity and modernity greets travellers on our West Africa tours; quaint country villages untouched by time and ‘progress’ and the much misunderstood and widely practised ancient religion of Voodoo sharing ground with booming metropolises boasting gleaming skyscrapers and distinctive architecture that rivals cities of the Western World in modernity.

    Join our Africa Travel Tours for an experience not soon forgotten as we journey through vast lands of untamed wilderness, traditional ancient civilisations and excitement without end on a continent that boasts more countries within its boundaries than any other. Long has Africa captivated the imaginations of avid explorers, intrepid adventurers and enthusiastic naturalists for its unsurpassed safari opportunities and our extensive range of Africa Travel Tours guarantees wild times in this unique and special destination.

    Traveller Testimonial:
    [The highlights were] visiting Goree island in St Louis, Senegal; taking a late afternoon camel ride into the desert to have dinner with a nomadic tribe in Tomboctou; the incredible architecture and spectacular dance performance in the Dogon Country; the largest mud building in the world in Djenne (the most impressive mosque in the world); the huge arts and crafts festival in Ouagadoudou.
    -Felicia Grey   Tour WA1 Senegal, Mali & Burkina Faso (West African Wonder)

  • Ethiopia Timkat (Epiphany) Festival

    Posted on March 17th, 2009 admin No comments

    Leading the tour of Ethiopia during the Timkat (Epiphany) Festival this past January was amazing. The whole country goes NUTS! We were in Lalibela for the actual festival and waited along the edge of the spectacular rock-hewn Church of St.George for the procession of the tabots (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) to begin. Not utilizing modern technology, the priests of each individual church signal to the other that they are ready by blowing loudly on a horn. When they finally decided they were ready, it was complete chaos. We followed the procession for the next two hours and it was unforgettable. There’s no way to stay together as you all get caught up in the crowd, but that’s the fun part. So much going on and so much colour! Music, chanting, pushing, laughter, and chaos!

    The festival in Lalibela was great, but what I’ll never forget was our drive the following day when we drove through scores of tiny little villages and towns having their own Timkat celebration and more often than not, our vehicles would get surrounded by locals caught up in the frenzy of the festivities. At one point, my vehicle was completely surrounded by local men all chanting and jumping up and down while waving sticks in the air. They seemed thrilled to have foreigners there to watch and everywhere we went we were greated with cheers and smiles.

    What a beautiful country. It certainly doesn’t live up to any stereotype or preconception I might have had. For me Ethiopia is far from a desert-like country plagued by famine. To me it is gorgeous mountain scenery, unique wildlife, waterfalls, rivers, strange food, great music, a unique culture, and a bizarre and fascinating history bordering on mythology.

    Check out some great tours to Ethiopia

    Serra