Our PR girl and avid solo traveller Cynthia has taken her voice onto the digital airwaves with a funky weekly conversational radio show concept#GistWithCynthia on digital radio station Urban Jazz Radio.
#GistWithCynthia is a fun conversational concept covering a variety of topics weekly on fashion, beauty, travel, business, money, relationships and a review of social media trending items topped with ofcourse a selection of music tracks from afrobeats to dancehall from Cynthia’s playlist. “The show is a place where myself, my guests and my audience can air our views and just gist on a variety of topics affecting our daily lives or our community in an informal and fun way.” states Cynthia.
The show which kicked off at the beginning of this year amidst positive feedback with special guests fashion blogger Hilda Ngelo, fashion brand manager and accountant Sonya Foretia and mind strategist Dee Burrowes is now well into its 12th episode this coming week. So far, Cynthia has received over 20 guests all from various backgrounds in music, PR, events, content creation, health, fashion, art & design, film production etc and is looking forward to speaking to many more.
“The great thing about #GistWithCynthia is that anyone can be part of the show.” added Cynthia. Yes, YOU too can be part of the weekly gist sessions by either tuning in and listening online on link below and contributing your views by using the hashtag #GistWithCynthia or following Cynthia @brownschuga on Twitter. You can also call the studio on (0044) 0203 432 1333 and if you are in London, ofcourse you are welcome to join Cynthia at the studio in South East London!
Launching or launched a new business, new project, new initiative or have a client who fits the bill? Feel like guest presenting with Cynthia? No sweat, just drop us a message on the social media profiles listed or email address given.
Just be ready to join the conversation and gist! Tune in, Tuesdays 7.30pm-9pm.
Audios from past shows will soon be available to listen to online. Sincere thanks to all the guests and listeners/contributors so far! See you on Tuesdays…!
“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
~ Ibn Battuta
It’s no doubt that travelling has in the past 2 years become a favourite pastime of mine. Within this time, I must have visited about 13 countries and 26 cities, with some visited more than once.
When I was planning my summer 2017 trip my number one spot to visit was South East Asia. I had heard so much about Thailand that I wanted to experience it too for myself but I did not just want to go to Thailand on its own. My travel preference is once I visit a part of the world, I try as much as possible to see as much as possible of the area and surroundings so if you one day become my travel buddy do not expect to have days of rest! With that in mind, it was only normal that I added Cambodia and Vietnam since as they were quite close to Thailand and the transport links between the 3 countries were very adequate and reliable. It would have been an even greater pleasure to add Laos on the trip but with already 3 countries to visit, I was really pushing it with just 2 weeks to spare.
As the days drew closer for me to jet off, I was getting very excited as well as anxious for the experience that this trip was going to offer me. I knew I was pretty much prepared for anything besides, I would say I am a laid-back type of traveller who is neither strict nor rigid – I go with the flow!
With my bags packed, visa to Cambodia sorted; I was ready to head off. My first stop was Bangkok and I flew (for my first time!) with Emirates on the luxurious twin deck Airbus A380 (what an experience) where we made a stop in Dubai and changed planes.
Six hours to Dubai and six hours to Bangkok with a few hours in between meant by the time I reached my final destination, I was completely knackered! Bangkok is certainly a buzzing city with lots to experience and see and I can see why it is the number one most visited city in the world this 2017 and the traveller’s favourite city to visit.
Getting to Bangkok: As previously mentioned, I flew Emirates from London to Bangkok via Dubai. The stopover was certainly a great idea but if you prefer direct, you may want to check what is available. I booked my flight via Skyscanner and so far, this site has merited my trust.
Days Needed: I had in total about 4 days in Bangkok and I would say it was not enough! I would recommend 5 days minimum nonetheless, you might be able to cramp a lot of things in 4 days or 3. I spent 2 days sightseeing which included checking out the temples, tailoring boutiques, walking, mini boat trip etc
Where to Stay: Throughout my time in Bangkok, I stayed in different hotels and in different areas. I stayed in a £50 a night deluxe room at the Chillax Resort a 10 mins walk away from the famous Khao San Road. The main features of the hotel that I loved are definitely the roof top pool and the massage facility. The staff was nice and I would certainly recommend the hotel. The next hotel I stayed in was the Eastin Makkasan although the room was a bit dated and the décor in the hotel was not so modern, I loved the pool area and the views across Bangkok. To see even greater views take the lifts to the roof top restaurant…on my final day in Bangkok, I stayed in a cheap and cheerful surprisingly modern and clean hotel near Suvarnabhumi airport at a cost of about £15 a night…I recommend A-Port in Lat Krabang.
What Not To Do: Don’t do like us, in case you take a metered taxi, please do not haggle the price beforehand! We realised much later that we were bargaining and paying a lot more than we should have had we just let the taxi man use the meter. Don’t be like us!!
Also when you jump on a tuk tuk for sightseeing, you will be taken to places and shops you do not need to go to just because they need to fulfil a certain criteria to collect stamps for food and petrol. Though you pay like 10 or 20 Baht for about 4 hours it is not worth it and the driver can become very irritated with you if he fails to meet the criteria to collect stamps because you did not spend as much time as required in the store/place.
Getting to Chiang Mai: We left for Chiang Mai on the overnight train. Our tickets were bought online via 12GoAsia.com and picked up from their office near the main train station an hour before. The train journey took about 12 hours and about an hour or so into the journey, the train assistants came to change the seats into cosy berths complete with new sheets, pillows and a blanket.
What to Know:
The overnight train berth was quite comfortable but the train was just a little too cold for me at night because the AC was on full blast. So my tip, either request a second blanket or pack an extra one in your suitcase.
If like me you are unable to sleep well with the lights on, bring your eye mask! Guess where mine was – in my suitcase under the lower berth *d’oh*
For vloggers doing a post along the way, there is no Wifi on the train therefore ensure you record and post before an hour and a half into the journey because there will be no phone internet signal for a few hours after that!! I actually lost a few videos I was trying to upload on social media *sad face*
Days Needed: We had almost 2 full days in Chiang Mai and that was certainly not enough to see and do what we wanted to do however when I visit a city, I don’t necessarily want to see and do everything because I want to leave some things for when I next visit. I keep a reason to push me to go back and not doing everything means I have more to look forward to next time. We did a lot of walking around the old city but because it was so hot, it was very exhausting. My tip would be to take little breaks in-between to refresh, relax and replenish the body.
Where to stay: We stayed at the Hyde Park ChiangMai hotel which was a superb brand new hotel with modern, stylish warm tones. I felt as if I was nestled away from the hustle and bustle in a lovely retreat location! One tip I must share is when I made my booking online, there was no option to book the one-bedroom apartment however when we got to the hotel, the one bedroom apartment was going for 2,000 Baht a night! Great value if you ask me!
Getting to Siem Reap: After reading much online to plan our Thailand to Cambodia part of the trip by ground, I was getting pretty worried about what was going to be involved but luckily, I fell on a website online which pretty much provided a simplified version of the trip to be made. I booked our journey on the Giant Ibis bus via 12GoAsia.com at USD 32 per person plus payment fee. The bus left from Khao San road, we were about 10 people on the bus therefore allowing us to spread out on the bus and enjoy the 8 hour journey (seriously, it did not feel like it was that long!). There was Wifi on board, we had breakfast and even lunch provided to us. The journey was very relaxing and the assistance given by the bus staff was A+! We sailed through from Bangkok to Siem Reap and through the Thai and Cambodian immigration like pure pros!
What to Know:
The Cambodian visa was even sorted (on an American passport) during the journey at a cost of USD 40 extra. If you have time on your hands like I did, you too can sort out your Cambodia eVisa yourself online by going to: evisa.gov.kh
Make sure you have a digital photo available to upload. The process was pretty simple and took about 3 working days for me to receive their approval and a copy of the eVisa which I had to print 2 copies and take with me.
Always have tissue in your handbag or pockets because during the toilet stop, you would need it! Also be aware that there is an option to use water for cleaning yourself if you use the squatting toilet!!
Days Needed: We had a full day and a half in Siem Reap which was not long at all but our main target was to see the temples and get a feel of the town so we agreed to let the tuk tuk driver who picked us up from the Giant Ibis stop in Siem Reap to our hotel to be our guide the next day. We agreed to pay him about 500 Baht for the day which was from 10am till about 4pm. We chose to pay him in Thai Baht because we knew the currency in equivalent to Pound and the Dollar and we were advised not to change our money to the Cambodian Riel because they accepted dollars everywhere we needed to go to but as you can see we were a bit headstrong and changed about 10 or 20 Dollars! Obviously, you would have to decide what exactly you would like to see and allocate your days accordingly, but I would suggest a minimum of 2 full days.
Where to Stay: We each stayed in a spacious one bedroom apartment at Chateau d’Angkor La Residence, a colonial style modern hotel centrally located in the Old French Quarter which has many beautiful and stylish colonial style mansions. You could sense some of Cambodia’s French past by being in this area. I would very much recommend this hotel however the apartment is far too large for one person alone and you might feel lonely and secluded in it as I did and couldn’t sleep a wink at all coupled with the fact that my apartment had all these artefacts that did not sit well with my spirit *big sigh*
Getting to Phnom Penh: Our journey to PP was quite early in the morning, we had booked our trip online via BookMeBus.com with the Cambodia Post VIP Van at a cost of USD 9 each and the journey was scheduled to take 5 hours. The Cambodia Post office (which is where you’ll take the bus from) luckily was located just behind the Chateau d’Angkor La Residence hotel so we were offered a lift by the hotel driver and it took less than 10 mins. Again, we were not many on the bus and therefore could seat comfortably however there was no Wifi available. We had about 1 stop on the way and got to PP on time.
Days Needed: We had about a full day and a half in PP which we used to relax a bit and to go see the Khmer Rouge killing field which was both a reflective and emotionally disturbing moment. It was distressing to still see human bones, teeth and clothes unearthed from the ground by rain and time *huge sigh* Nonetheless, this did not meddle with the fact that PP has now become one of my favourite cities in the world a tie with Ljubljana in Slovenia. What I love about PP was the vibe it oozed and the outdoor nature of life. We saw people picnicking in the middle of the city, families outside enjoying and appreciating life…this lifestyle got me weak in the knees! The weather too was more bearable than Thailand which I found to be extremely hot and uncomfortable.
Where to Stay: We stayed in a 2 bedroom Presidential Suite at the Chateau The Meliya Hotel & Apartment located in the Daun Pehn area. The hotel was fabulous and the breakfast was also delicious! The staff too was helpful. I’d recommend it!
Getting to Sihanoukville: Our trip to Sihanoukville took about 6 hours on the Giant Ibis bus with a stop along the way for snacks and toilet use. Ticket cost about USD 11 each booked online via 12GoAsia.com
Days Needed: You definitely need more than a full day in Sihanoukville *don’t be like us!* We did nothing but relax and take pictures at the hotel and the beach which was needed. Our bones were too tired and weary from all the days of travelling.
Where to Stay: We stayed at the Naia Resort a beach front property with views from our balcony onto Otres beach. Would I recommend it, definitely yes!!
Getting to Ho Chi Minh City: We were getting to the final leg of our journey and our trip from Sihanoukville which is down in the south of Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City – HCMC in Vietnam was very long and tedious on the Mekong Express. We left on the 8am bus and arrived HCMC around 8pm with a stopover in PP to change buses. The driver and his assistants handled our passports and getting through the Vietnamese immigration was pretty much simple. Ticket for Mekong Express cost USD 12 and can be booked online via BookMeBus.com
The bus was small and not very new however they offered a direct(ish) journey from Sihanoukville to HCMC with a stop in PP for bus change. There was Wifi on the bus but, sometimes it was switched off and I had to keep reminding the bus driver to turn it back on!
What to Know:
If you are taking a taxi, do not haggle the price but get on a meter taxi. We ended up paying 5 times the price of the taxi ride and got duped by the taxi driver *sigh* When we got to our apartment, our host was very sympathetic because he had tried to help by corresponding with me on email but I hadn’t checked my mail on time*sigh*
British passport holders get a 15 days visa free entry into Vietnam. Please check the status of your passport before you travel. For American passport holders, you need a visa before entry and should you leave it last minute, it could cost you USD 60 for an express visa which is done in an hour at the embassy. Mekong Express handled this for us. Standard visa fee is usually USD 25.
Days Needed: We had 2 full days in Saigon (HCMC). At this point of our trip we were all clearly exhausted and just wanted to relax and keep it low key. We spent one day visiting the war museum and the other just looking for food and planning our respective return to normal life. You would obviously need more days in Saigon and if you also wish to see other parts of Vietnam.
Where to Stay: We stayed at an apartment on the Icon 56 Saigon block located in District 4, a walking distance to Ben Than market and surrounding areas. We booked a 2 bedroom apartment at a cost of about USD 165 for 2 nights however we were upgraded to a 3 bedroom apartment for free! The apartment we were given was definitely top notch and it came complete with a washing machine and a roof top pool with views across the city. Our final night, we spent it in another apartment because we had decided to stay one more night than planned and we paid USD 90 for the 2 bedroom. For group stay, an apartment is more economical than a hotel. I found the hotels in Saigon (HCMC) to be the most expensive of our entire trip hence why we opted for an apartment and overall, it was the better choice.
Getting back to Bangkok: We flew back to Bangkok from HCMC by Thai Lion airlines at a cost of USD 116.45 per person one way on a lastminute booking decision. Had we booked a few days earlier, we would have paid around USD 75 nevertheless the return flight was easy peasy lemon squeasy. Within an hour we were already landing at Don Mueang airport.
My summer seventeen South East Asia trip is my best summer holidays yet and I mean that!! The experience, the memories, the people, the food all made this trip unforgettable and incredible. Despite us being stared at many a times and people sneakily taking pictures of us – given another opportunity to visit these countries, I would jump at it!
Thinking back and asking myself; would I have done anything differently on this trip? I’d say yes and no! Yes, maybe I should have chosen to fly in between cities/countries to save time considering two weeks was not that much time. On the other hand, no! I don’t think I would have wanted to change anything because part of the memorable moments of the trip included the bus and train travels and everything in between. These journey times also allowed me to soak up on my environment, contemplate, appreciate, see things/places along the way that I would not have had the opportunity to see if I had flown. The whole experience of this trip included every single detail – good and bad!
Things to Remember when planning your trip:
Check visa requirement for each respective country and allow time to sort before you depart if needed.
Plan ahead by booking your connecting transportation online.
Carry sun cream; even though it was rainy season (Aug/Sept) it was extremely hot!
Remember to bring a raincoat or an umbrella.
Haggle in the markets, start at 50% off the price you are told and don’t be scared to walk away and walk around to see if you can get a better price before buying.
Take metered taxis, and don’t haggle! Don’t do like us!
Wear appropriate clothing if you want to go into the temples. Exposed arms and legs are prohibited.
If you would like to see more of my South East Asia pictures and visuals/videos from my other travels, please follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/brownschuga
Le Magazine VAULT dévoile en tête d’affiche de son troisième numéro le célèbre artiste nigérian Davido. Ce dernier sans tabous nous parle de sa nouvelle vie de papa et des influences que cela a sur sa musique, mais aussi de ses futurs projets musicaux. Son envie de transcender les frontières à travers ses sonorités et mélodies africaines est plus que jamais son leitmotiv quotidien.
L’artiste nous raconte sans détour aucun le changement qu’a apporté la venue de sa fille dans sa vie de musicien, les bons moments passés avec ses fans mais aussi les événements marquants de sa vie. Il nous révèle son goût prononcé pour la nourriture des Caraïbes.
Cette édition présente aussi la collection printemps/été de la styliste Camerounaise basée en Belgique Louise Assomo, tout en faisait un détour dans l’univers BefabNstaychic de la fashion bloggeuse Lily, qui à travers son blog nous fait découvrir l’art de l’élégance, mais aussi un style de vie glamour le tout dans le chic et la simplicité. Un retour aux sources avec notre bloggeuse Dominique Hodieb et son concept #Domptezlefoulard, un rappel à notre culture vestimentaire, qui nous donnera d’ailleurs quelques astuces pour sublimer nos tenues en attachant un foulard.
VAULT est un magazine trimestriel bilingue, de mode, de beauté et de lifestyle dans une perspective camerounaise et africaine, institué par notre agence basée à Douala. Lire VAULT ci-dessous et n’oubliez pas de partager au max!! Le hashtag #IamVaulting
Social networks aren’t just for bragging while you’re on vacation, they’re an indispensable tool for planning and making the most of your trip—even if you don’t know a hashtag from a hashbrown
BARE FEET IN THE FOREGROUND, aqua-blue ocean in the background. This Instagram cliché is the extent of many people’s knowledge of social media when it comes to travel. But besides letting you humble brag (otherwise known as plain-old brag), many apps and sites offer real value to travelers. Among the best reasons to befriend, follow and be followed: You can get leads on great airline and hotel deals, keep a tidy visual diary while you roam and find the hot spots in every city ever ’grammed about. And, sure, you can also let all the sad souls back home see what you see, when you see it, bare feet and all. Here, a few tips on clearing the clutter and making social media work for you.
The constantly evolving social network has long been the go-to place to share your vacation pics (yawn) and, more usefully, to hit up your friends and their friends for recommendations on where to stay and what to do in any given destination. And in recent years, a series of beefed-up features is making both the planning and sharing process more efficient.
Go Live | Launched world-wide last month, Facebook Live lets you live stream whatever you’re seeing and hearing directly into your friends’ Facebook feeds. You can broadcast in real-time your ski lift ride in Telluride or your truffle hunt in Umbria, then keep those broadcasts in your timeline until you delete them.
Gang Up | If you’re planning a getaway with a number of people, create a group and invite all your fellow travellers to use the “timeline” (think of it as a message board) to discuss logistics and make suggestions. “On an email thread, it’s easy for stuff to get lost in the shuffle,” said MoMo Zhou, a spokesperson for Facebook. “This helps you stay organised.”
Show and Tell | Facebook’s Events tab isn’t just a collection of invitations from people you met at networking events a decade ago. Within the past few months Facebook’s mobile app has rolled out the ability to browse events (live music and art exhibits, for example), by time and city, making it easier to snag tickets to see your favorite sax player, say, in a little-known jazz club in Amsterdam.
Twitter has turned into an all-in-one spot for sharing—briefly. Along with disseminating your travel woes and triumphs in 140 characters or less, you can now post a slideshow of up to four photos and even edit and post a 30-second video. But it has, arguably, more-practical travel functions as well.
Bargain Shop | “Twitter is a quick, cost-effective way [for travel companies] to push out a last-minute deal or flash sale,” said Lauren Smith, vice president of marketing for tour operator Trafalgar U.S.A. “Search specific destinations, keywords and hashtags like #traveldeals.”
Troubleshoot | Twitter can also help resolve travel snafus, especially of the airline variety. “Twitter teams [on some airlines] are usually more empowered than phone agents,” said Gary Leff. “You can avoid hold times and get through to someone quickly. A seatmate on a recent flight tweeted @AmericanAir that he was going to miss his flight, and they rebooked him before we landed.”
Armed with a series of flattering filters, the photo-sharing Instagram app is a nearly foolproof way to make your deskbound colleagues back home jealous, and perhaps more important, serve as a daily travel diary. That’s old news. What’s new is that the app now makes it easier to help map out your next trip and guide you when you’re on the road.
Window Shop | Last summer, Instagram rolled out a more robust search feature that lets you look up photos taken at practically any place you might be interested in visiting (beaches, museums, restaurants, you name it). That means if you type “Paris” in the search window, you’ll be led to all hashtags and posts with Paris-related tags. “I look for photos from people based in the city I want to go to,” said Amanda Spurlock, the social media manager for Zagat, the restaurant-review company. “They usually lead me to cool insider spots, like their favorite coffee shops.”
Show Restraint | “When you’re traveling, you can get so stoked on [all the images] you’re capturing that it may seem like you can’t get it out fast enough,” said Chris Burkard, a travel photographer with approximately 1.6 million Instagram followers. “But restraint is key.” Unlike on Twitter, where even the most zealous of tweeters are excused, on Instagram, there is such a thing as over-saturation. “I don’t have a magic number,” said Mr. Burkard, “but I typically post one to two photos a day.”
Snapchat launched in 2011 primarily as a way of sending short-lived pictures (and, later, videos) to friends. But in 2013, the app added Snapchat Stories, where a user can post a day’s worth of snaps and videos compiled into a movie of any length that anyone (followers or not) can view for 24 hours. True, you could share a picture or short video on Instagram or Twitter, but Snapchat is the only social app that lets you seamlessly string together a chain of photos, videos and commentary to sum up your travels.
Make a Travel Video Actually Worth Watching | The most well-crafted Snapshot Stories have a narrative arc. “If it’s all stills or selfies, it isn’t that engaging,” said Beth Kirby, a photographer and founder of the food blog Localmilkblog.com, who recently “snapped” her way around ceramic studios and hot springs in Japan. Start with some early exposition—perhaps a selfie video at the start of your bike ride through the Pyrenees—snapshots and clips as you approach the Col du Tourmalet and a big finish. It’s like mapping out a PowerPoint presentation, only more fun.
Dive Into Your Location’s ‘Live’ Stories | Not really into making a little home movie? That’s OK. Thanks to Snapchat’s “Live” stories feature (swipe right from the home screen) you can view a curated collection of photos and videos from the geographic region you’re currently in. It’s a quick, snappy introduction to some of the people, places, news and events that are trending nearby.
The newest of the apps here, Periscope—owned by Twitter and launched last March—has one main function: It lets you turn your smartphone into a live video camera, letting you stream whatever’s around you directly to anyone on the app and Twitter, and respond to comments in real-time. Your Periscope feed can pop up in your Twitter feed and stay live for 24 hours, and then—poof—it’s gone, meaning a less-than-perfect broadcast won’t live to haunt you. And earlier this week Periscope announced it’ll allow users to preserve their streams by adding #save to the title of the broadcast.
Take Viewers for a Ride | Like an increasing number of media outlets and bloggers, Kalyan Karmakar, the founder of Mumbai-based food blog Finelychopped.net, uses Periscope to transport viewers to far-flung corners of the world—in his case, through the food markets and back streets of Mumbai. “I like to use [Periscope feeds] to give people a chance to learn about other cultures,” said Mr. Karmakar.
Don’t Sweat It | According to Ms. Spurlock, who runs Zagat’s Periscope account, many people are hesitant to use live-broadcasting because they’re worried that it won’t be good enough. “There’s the added pressure of not being able to perfect and edit and add filters,” said Ms. Spurlock. “But the Periscope community’s take is: Just hit broadcast.” And don’t stress about your phone’s memory. Periscope ’casts are streamed rather than downloaded, so they don’t take up any memory.
A Word About Hashtags
Think of hashtags as breadcrumbs leading the way, in the vast universe of social media, to topics of interest to you. For travellers, there are more hashtags than stars in the sky, but according to Janice Morris, Twitter’s head of lifestyle, a few of the most popular ones are:#CruiseChat (a Tuesday forum for all your pressing cruise questions), #TravelTuesday (another Tuesday forum for Tweeters looking for all kinds of travel tips) and #FamilyTravel (an anytime, any-day handle that offers a wealth of kid-friendly travel advice and recommendations).
Credit: Frederica Del Proposto (Image) | Andrea Bartz (Content) | Wall Street Journal
L’Afrique, avec ses terres ensorcelantes, ses couleurs chatoyantes, sa nature, est souvent désignée comme étant “le berceau de l’Humanité”, elle nous intrigue et nous séduit à la fois. Ce vaste continent offre un panel de destinations et de cultures atypiques et incomparables. L’OMT souligne d’ailleurs que le continent Africain est celui qui, après l’Asie, a enregistré la plus forte hausse de fréquentation avec une performance de 6% entre 2012 et 2014.
L’Afrique est tellement vaste qu’on ne peut se permettre d’émettre des préférences. Chaque région, chaque pays a sa richesse et ses trésors. Voici tout de même quelques pays qui par leur beauté ont attiré de nombreux visiteurs ces dernières années…
L’Egypte: Berceau de la civilisation regorge de nombreux monuments, musés et sites pittoresques, sans parler de ses plages. Quelques noms de sites à visiter : les Pyramides d’Égypte à Guizeh, Le Caire, Louxor, Le Sphynx, Alexandrie, Assouan, La mer Rouge, Quoseir, Hurghada, le Sinai. La monnaie utilisée est la livre égyptienne qu’on appelle Pound en anglais et Guineh en arabe. La cuisine égyptienne est avant tout un mélange de nombreuses spécialités méditerranéennes (turques, grecques et surtout syro-libanaises).
Les Égyptiens affectionnent particulièrement le principe du mezze: tous les plats sont mis sur la table, et les convives piochent à volonté cela permet de consolider les liens.
L’Afrique du sud: avec son brassage culturel est l’un des pays du monde les plus riche en matière de faune et flore. On y retrouve beaucoup de réserves naturelles des parcs nationaux, des massifs montagneux et des magnifiques plages. Sites à visiter: Le parc national de Kruger, Les plages ensoleillées de Durban, le massif de Drakensberg, Les chutes d’Augrabies pour ne citer que ceux-ci. La monnaie de change est le Rand. En Afrique du sud, la nourriture possède une dimension, haute en couleurs et en saveurs. Voici quelques mets à découvrir; le Waterblommetjebredie, les Breddies, le Mieliemeal, les Braaivleis et le biltong. Vous aurez une preuve de l’exotisme du pays, en découvrant toute la panoplie de tous les fruits du monde ainsi que les fruits tropicaux.
Le Maroc: Un pays majoritairement montagneux, célèbre pour ses chaînes de l’Atlas. Casablanca sa ville principale est dotée de la deuxième plus grande mosquée du monde, la mosquée Hassan II. Entre les vestiges anciens, les souks animés, les rues médiévales le désert etc…le Maroc a de quoi faire rêver plus d’un. Quelques villes incontournables à visitées Fès, Agadir, Marrakech, Essaouira, Volubilis, Meknes, Ouarzazate, Erfoud, Merzouga, Rabat, Tanger. La monnaie utilisée est le Dirham, mais certaines régions du pays utilisent encore le Rial comme monnaie d’échange. La cuisine marocaine est très réputée, avec des plats aux influences très diverses, méditerranéennes, africaines et arabes. Les plats les plus connus sont bien-sûr le couscous et le tajine, accompagnés de viandes et de légumes mijotés pendant plusieurs heures dans un pot d’argile.
Le Kenya: pour les mordus de Safarie c’est le pays par excellence, entre la Réserve nationale de Masai Mara, le Mont Kenya, sa faune et sa flore le Kenya est le lieu de prédilection pour les aventuriers. La devise utilisée est le Shilling Kenyan. Coté gastronomique au Kenya le plat national est le Nyama Choma, un plat à base de viande grillée. On retrouve aussi le long des trottoirs, et sur les marchés, des vendeurs proposent des mandaazis, des beignets plutôt bons quand ils sont frais (le matin), des épis de maïs grillé ou de l’igname frite.
La Tunisie: Bien qu’elle soit plus connue pour ses plages, ses stations balnéaires et son chaud climat méditerranéen toute l’année, ce pays possède un patrimoine étonnant avec quelques vestiges archéologiques exceptionnels à explorer, dont la célèbre Carthage. Voici quelques lieux qui méritent de faire un détour: Djerba, tozeur, Carthage, Tunis, Hammamet, Sousse, Monastir. La monnaie d’échange est le Dinar tunisien. Les spécialités culinaires tunisiennes sont ancrées dans la tradition maghrébine, avec des couscous et des ragoûts similaires aux tajines marocains. Les plats sont en général très épicés avec beaucoup de harissa. L’agneau se retrouve dans de nombreux plats, tel que dans le “Shorba Frik”, une soupe d’agneau ou la Coucha, de l’épaule d’agneau cuite avec du curcuma et du poivre de cayenne.
Le Sénégal: situé en Afrique de l’Ouest, le Sénégal offre l’un des plus beau et somptueux paysage de cette région. Il possède des lieux magiques inoubliables qui vous apporteront un dépaysement total. Ses parcs naturels, riches en oiseaux de toutes sortes et en gros mammifères, ou encore ses plages agréables, bordées d’une végétation luxuriante et variée, ont tout pour séduire le voyageur. Quelques sites à visiter à tout prix : le parc national du Niokolo-Koba, l’île de Gorée qui abritait le commerce des esclaves, Dakar la capitale du pays offre des attractions incroyables. La devise utilisée est le Franc CFA. La gastronomie sénégalaise est surtout constituée de poissons et de fruits de mer, fraîchement pêcher. Le plat national est le « thiep bou dien », fait à base de légumes, de poisson et de riz. Il peut être préparé avec du riz blanc ou du riz rouge. Mais il y a également le mafé, le yassa, le soupe candia, le domada ou encore le caldou.
Le Zimbabwe: ancienne Rhodésie du Sud, le Zimbabwe est située dans la partie australe de l’Afrique. Avec trois langues officielles à savoir l’anglais, le Shona, et le Sindebele, ce pays posséde un important site archéologique appelé le Grand Zimbabwe situé près de la ville de Masvingo. Ses autres sites naturels sont : les chutes de Victoria, Matopos National Parks et le Matusodona National Parks. Capitale: Harare, Monnaie nationale: Dollar américain
L’Algérie: il se distingue par sa richesse historique et culturelle, il compte d’ailleurs sept sites classés au Patrimoine Mondial de l’UNESCO. L’Algérie est réputée pour ses ruines antiques, on y retrouver encore des vestiges phéniciens, romains et byzantins. Les plus célèbres sont Timgad près de Batna, Hippo Regius à Annaba, Djemila à Sétif, Calama à Guelma, et Tipasa. N’oublions pas aussi ses magnifiques plages les plus réputées sont celles de la région Oranaise, et le désert. La cuisine algérienne est aussi variée que riche. Le couscous, la chorba, la rechta, la dolma ou bien d’autres encore constituent les spécialités culinaires de ce pays. La pâtisserie algérienne est exceptionnelle. Parmi ces délices, on distingue la Tamina, Chrik, Cornes de gazelles, Kalb el louz et le Samsa, sans oublier les pains: le Kessra, le Khmira et le Matlo. Capitale : Alger, Monnaie nationale: Dinar Algérien
Les Seychelles: situées aux larges des côtes africaines dans l’océan Indien, les Seychelles sont classées dans les destinations paradisiaques du monde avec son sable blanc, son eau limpide, sa végétation tropicale luxuriante, difficile de rêver mieux ! Cet archipel compte un grand nombre de plages reparties sur 115 îles ; les plus connues sont Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, Denis, Alphonse, Desroches. On y parle Créole, anglais et français. La capitale est Victoria située dans l’île de Mahé. La devise utilisée le Roupie seychellois. La gastronomie seychelloise est toute aussi métissée que sa population, la cuisine des Seychelles mélange allègrement les influences française, chinoise, indienne et africaine. Tous les plats sont relevés d’herbes aromatiques et d’épices (cannelle, muscade, gingembre, cardamome…), et accompagnés de fruits, de légumes et de patates douces. Le résultat est un vrai délice.
Le Madagascar: du fait de son isolement l’île de Madagascar présente un écosystème unique. Ainsi, la côte orientale de l’île se donne à voir comme une zone de forêt tropicale humide, tandis que les côtés ouest et sud abritent des forêts tropicales sèches et des forêts d’épineux. La capitale de Madagascar, Antananarivo, a été influencée par les nombreuses familles royales et plus tard, par les colons français. L’architecture de la ville est un mélange de style colonial français et d’architecture traditionnelle malgache, très coloré. Un itinéraire doit inclure une visite de la vieille ville et du palais royal, ainsi que le zoo et les différents musées, mais il est peut-être plus intéressant de tout simplement flâner dans les rues, d’aller sur les marchés, de traîner dans les cafés; bref de vivre au rythme de la capitale Malgache. La langue officielle est le Malgache mais on y parle aussi français. La monnaie nationale l’Ariary. Côté gastronomique, la cuisine est très copieuse. Parmi les plats traditionnels phares on compte le romazaya (bouillon de viande) et le ravitoto (ragoût de porc).
Nous espérons avoir incité votre intérêt pour le tourisme à travers l’Afrique et nous vous invitons à voyager autant que vous le pouvez! Bon voyage!