African people – the living Africa
How to book a Kenya safari: It is generally believed that human life first began on the continent of Africa – some 7 million years ago. Today, Africa is a continent with a fascinating diversity of peoples, who make up about 10% of the world population. These peoples together make up about 50 nations and some of these have 20 or more different ethnic groups living within their boundaries. Thanks to this diversity, at least 1,000 different languages have been identified in Africa reflecting unmatched ethnic diversity of this continent.
The majority of the countries in Africa are inhabited by peoples of African origin. Some ethnic groups have been affected by the migration of Arab peoples into northern Africa. There are also Europeans whose families moved to Africa during the colonial period and have stayed on. In some parts of Africa, you will also find people of Asian origin, for example from the Indian subcontinent.
Despite these microcosms, the peoples of Africa are often described in terms of their ethnic background or their languages. There are several thousand ethnic groups in Africa, ranging in physical stature from the short Pygmies to the tall Maasai, each with its own cultural traditions. Each ethnic group has its own distinct language, traditions, arts and crafts, history, way of life and religion. At the same time, over the centuries the different groups have also influenced one another and contributed to and enriched one another’s culture.
Africa can be divided into five regions: North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa. Each of these represents a cultural and geographic region which is different from the others in many ways. Some of the more widely known ethnic groups in Africa are: Arabs, Ashanti, Bantu, Berbers, Bushmen, Dinka, Fulani, Ganda, Hamites, Hausa, Hottentot, Kikuyu, Luba, Lunda, Malinke, Moors, Nuer, Pygmies, Semites, Swahili, Tuareg, Xhosa, and Yoruba.
Although the majority of the people in Africa lead a rural life, the continent is urbanizing at a fast pace. Over a third of the population now lives in cities. Those who live and work in the major metropolitan areas live in ways similar to most people in the industrialized world. Those who live and work in many of the smaller towns dress in western style and do the kind of work – in the manufacturing industry or the services – that people in many urbanized parts of the world do. However, they may not always have all the advantages of those who live in the larger more modern cities.
In contrast, there are a number of different ethnic groups living in rural Africa whose lifestyles have remained virtually unchanged for centuries. They have a rich cultural heritage that they have passed down from generation to generation with very little influence from the outside world.
Simply, Africa is actually a continent made up of a wide variety of worlds. Its people live in diverse conditions that represent present extreme contrasts as well as a middle ground. There is extreme poverty and vast wealth; there are people who suffer from droughts and famine and people who have plentiful food; there are vast, magnificent nature reserves with an abundance of wildlife and there are highly urbanized parts with major cities with high-rise buildings and modern amenities. Africa, its Just Diverse!
10 tips on how to book a Kenya safari
This tips on how to book a Kenya safari have arisen from questions received over the years. If you love traveling like me, you will agree that vacation time needs planning ahead, and some research is called for. Depending on where you want to vacation, prior information comes in hardy.
Here are 10 factors to consider on how to book a Kenya safari. This could make your African safari a dream come true or a disaster.
1. Check the best seasons compared to the time you have for vacation time.
Whatever you want to do/see during your safari, first thing you should do
Is to consider when the best times are. While all-year round could be
Good, the rainy seasons can make things very hard. And if it’s the annual migration you have in mind, the months of July till early September is what you need.
2. In addition, what other places of interest would you want to see?
Lonely planet has good suggestions off course, but there are other
Sources like friends, family, online directories and reviews that are great source of updated information.
3. After you know what you want to see/experience, its time now to know what it might cost you. Avoid disappointments by not being aware what you might be expected to part with. Get a rough idea by enquiring from travel agents and park authority sites, Tour Operator Association sites. Be informed!
4. Accommodations vary greatly, both in level and in prices. Some lodges and Camps are high end, while others fall somewhere medium level. And in addition there is the option of camping. Definitely the accommodation type you choose affects what you have to pay in the end. How much do you want to spend or can afford to spend? That’s up to you.
5. You are informed. You know what you want to do/see, and you know when you want to do that dream safari, to see Kenya wildlife at close range or vacation on beach. You also have a rough idea how much it might cost you. But you have to choose your tour operator. Again recommendations from those who have first experience are great. If not, check online, contact several tour operators and make a list of several that gives you confidence.
6. This is now the most important part. From the mails or your contact with agents/tour operators, you may have an idea of what kind of a company you are dealing with. But that is far from enough. Check the operator(s) you have settled for. Check for reviews from previous travelers. Get their email address/phones from testimonials and comments pages. Hear their experience with that company.
7. You have settled for one? Good. Now go pin down last details of your itinerary. Have your itinerary finalized to the last bit. Be sure/aware what prices includes and what not and what costs what. Day –to-day program and if possible driving times/distances between parks/towns. You don’t want to be driving at night or spending all your time on road.
8. Ask for discount, especially if booking in advance. Besides, am yet to hear of a law against asking for discount.
9. How to book a Kenya safari.
Depending on when you want to travel, some seasons demand booking in advance. The peak seasons, usually the months of July, August, September, January/February require that you have booked your safari several months in advance.
10. Then go enjoy your Kenya safari. Remember, the best prints you can leave are to leave none.