Posted by: Rasma R | June 25, 2017

Traveling In Gambia


Gambia is a small West Africa country which is bordered by Senegal and a narrow Atlantic coastline.


This country is known for its diverse ecosystems found around the central Gambia River.

gambia abuko

 Abuko Nature Reserve is a nature reserve that is easy to reach from any of the major resorts and attractions. It is best to explore this nature reserve on foot to get to see over 300 species of birds, reptiles, forest antelopes, monkeys and crocodiles. You can find out about the colonial history of Gambia in the twin villages of Jufereh and Albreda.

gambia abuko 2

The reserve was created in the early 20th century to protect a water collection point. This is Gambia’s first reserve. Conservation efforts are going on here which involve three primate species as well as antelope, porcupine, African palm civets, crocodiles, galagos and about 300 bird species.

One very interesting fact about Abuko is that the nature reserve is the closest tropical forest to Europe.

Tree in Kiang West/The Gambia

Kiang West National Park is a great place to explore varied terrain that consists of grasslands, dry woodlands, mud flats and mangrove creeks. This is the largest national park of its kind in Gambia and is a great place for bird watching.

gambia kiang west warthog

You can see a lot of wildlife here like baboons, warthogs, bush babies, marsh mongooses and colobus monkeys. At times you can also spot crocodiles, dolphins and hyenas.

gambia kotu

Kotu is a wonderful holiday destination. The beach is considered to be the best in the main resort strip in Gambia. It is a lovely white sand beach and the area is a great place to get to see wildlife and do some bird watching in the wetlands of Kotu Creek. If you like to you can take fishing and snorkeling expeditions.

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Makasutu Culture Forest is a well-known eco-attraction where visitors can discover woodland fauna and learn the basics of medicinal plants on a cultural tour through the forest.

gambia makasutu-culture-forest

Boat trips are organized with dugout canoes. You can stay overnight in camps or lodges.

gambia wassau stone circles

Wassu Stone Circles are mysterious stone circles found in Wassau in eastern Gambia. This is thought to be an ancient burial site of ancient kindgs and chiefs. It is a man-made wonder and more than 1,200 years old. The stones stand one to two and a half meters tall.

gambia wassau stone circles 2

These mysterious stone circles are located in Wassu in eastern Gambia and are believed to be ancient burial sites. The Wassu Stone Circles are a man-made wonder that is estimated to be over 1,200 years old. Megalithic in origin, they stand one to two and a half meters tall.

gambia wassau stone circles money

Even though the biggest concentration of stone circles is here there are hundreds of circles throughout the country. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 and local legend has it that if anyone disturbs these stones they’ll be cursed.
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Visit the quiet beach village with around 7,000 people made up of Wolof, Mandinka, Fula and Jola tribes. Sangyang Beach is made up of Paradise, Osprey, and Pelican beaches. It is considered to be the best beachfront in Gambia. The long stretch of remote shore is surrounded by mangroves and lagoons. The main economy here is fishing and the village has a great fish market. There are also many shaded footpaths along which you can to some nature trekking.

gambia janjan

Janjanbureh Island is located in eastern Gambia and is located right in the heart of the Gambia River. Visitors can do some bird watching and take strolls along the walking paths.

gambia janjan main street

The small town Janjangbureh is also known as Georgetown. It is located on Janjanburch or MacCarthy Island in the Gambia River. A walk through the town takes visitors to the old Commissioner’s Quarter. The 200-year-old house was once in habited by freed slaves. Visitors enjoy doing some bird watching.

gambia banjul-skyline

Banjul is the capital of Gambia and home to the National Museum of Gambia. It is a port city located on Saint Mary’s Island.

Arch 22, Banjul

The city has impressive colonial architecture, especially near July 22nd Square Arch. Visitors enjoy climbing the arch to get a great view of the city.

gambia banjul roundabout

It has a busy harbor and visitors enjoy seeing the street hawkers from Senegal and Guinea.

gambia albert market

When in Banjul visit the bustling Albert Market which was created in the mid 19th century and named after Prince Albert. It is an exciting place where you can find most everything like shoes, wooden masks, electronics as well as all kinds of foods. There are also street vendors and drink stalls.

In the city head for Ma Cumba Jallow Street just west of the ferry terminal and you’ll see various colonial buildings and traditional Krio-style clapboard houses.

gambia banjul banjul

The Old Town reminds one of Freetown in Sierra Leone because many Freetown families settled here in the early 19th century. This is a great section to walk through to get a feel of history.

gambia banjul national

You’ll find The National Museum of Gambia in the historic building of the once white only Bathurst Club. There is a wide range of exhibits and displays among them exhibits of traditional Gambian life, the colonial history of Bathurst, information on the Senegambia stone circle sites, music and dance.

Be sure to see the giant Kankurang mask hanging in the main hall. This powerful ritual mask is used during rites of passage and coming of age.

gambia crocs

Visit the amazing nine acre Kachikally Crocodile Pool located right in the heart of Bakau Old Town. Locals believe the water here has healing powers.

gambia crocs 3

There are about 80 crocodiles that call the pool home. On this site you’ll also find an ethnography museum, souvenir shop, cafe and nature trail.

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Bijilo Forest Park or Monkey Park is located just 11 km from Banjul. It is a lovely reserve that is visited by many. The trails are well maintained and there is lush flora, a gallery forest, grasses and low bushes.

The three primate species here are the red colobus, vervet and patas. Tourists are warned not to feed the monkey but they can get to be a handful.

gambia bijilo_forest_park

Bird lovers will enjoy over 100 species among them osprey, bee-eaters and francolin.

gambia brufut 2

The Brufut Resort and village is located between the Kombo South District and the Atlantic Ocean. The beach has golden sand and lots of privacy. To get to the beach you have to climb down cliffs which have paths.

Here you can see fishermen spearing fish and repairing nets. You can sunbathe, enjoy water sports, do some cycling and walk along the beach.

gambia Serrekunda-thegambia-696x484

Serrekunda and the Atlantic Coast is Gambia’s biggest urban center with a bustling marketplace near the Atlantic coast. There are great resorts here for touris like Kololi, Kotu, Strand, Fajara and Bakau. Serrekunda has good restaurants and nightclubs.

gambia serrekunda batik

The largest town is Serrekunda. Here you’ll find the Batik Factory, where tie-dyed and batik fabrics are made.

The Gambian coast has many fishing villages. The busiest and most popular being Tanji. The biggest activity is on the beach where you can do some people watching and go swimming. See the bustling fish market.

gambia Tanji-Museum3

The Tanji Village Museum lets visitors have a look at Gambian traditions and lifestyle.

gambia tanji birds

Enjoy the birds at the Tanji River Bird Reserve with savannah habitats and marine wetland along the river.

gambia green monkey

You’ll find more than 300 bird species including 34 raptors. There are also bushbacks, hyenas, green monkeys and the red colobus.

gambia bijol island

Check out the Bijol Islands which have more than 20,000 birds and seals and whales.

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Posted by: Rasma R | June 20, 2017

Exploring Cape Verde


Our armchair travels have taken us to Cape Verde or Cabo Verde which is a country on a volcanic archipelago off the northwest cost of Africa. The country is known for its Creole Portuguese-African culture, traditional morna music (music and dance genre typical of Cape Verde) and lots of beaches. Cape Verde is more westernized than the rest of the African continent.

cape Pico_do_Fogo_volcano_in_Cape_Verde

Fogo which means fire is the most prominent of all of the Cape Verde islands. The main attraction here is the volcano Pico de Fogo and it can be climbed in about six hours. The largest city on this island is Sao Filipe and the fourth largest city in Cape Verde. It is also home to the island’s airport. The beaches here are fantastic.

cape salcape Pedra-de-Luma-Cape-Verde-Islands

Sal is the sunniest island in Cape Verde. This island is home to an international airport. It has miles and miles of beaches. The island is just off the coast of West Africa. In the east is Pedra de Lume, the site of a former salt mine in the crater of an extinct volcano. It has therapeutic salt water.

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To the north of the capital Espargos you’ll find the

cape terra boa

Terra Boa mirage that appears like a lake in the desert landscape. The island also offers white-sand beaches which include the long, half-moon shore at Santa Maria, a busy town on the southern coast.

cape Porto-da-Palmeira

Also on Sal island is Palmeira, a busy harbor town. For visitors there are restaurants, lively bars and impressive architecture. This town is a favorite with divers who come to experience underwater caves and reefs. After hiking you can relax in salt baths.

cape santa maria

Another town on Sal is Santa Maria, a lively and developed city. Here the hotels are of the highest standard.

cape santa maria 2

This is a great place to come for a classic beach resort holiday with clear blue water, sunny beaches and jet-skiing and scuba diving. If you love history then one highlight here is the Weigh house in the old harbor that in the past was used to weigh salt before export.

cape praia

Praia is located on the fertile island of Santiago and is the capital of Cape Verde. It is the economic and political center.

cape praia presidential

You can see impressive old colonial buildings in the Old Town. There are churches, a presidential palace and parliament building. Lovely sandy beaches.

cape sal rei

Sal Rei is the capital city of Cape Verde’s easternmost island. Its main plaza has a distinct African feel where trades sell good and colorful flowers.

cape sal rei church

One of the main attractions is the Baroque-style church and there are impressive colonial buildings and fantastic beaches.

cape sao vincente

Mindelo is a city with a mix of many cultures. It is located on the island of Sao Vicente. Here visitors can experience a lively nightlife with music clubs and bars. During the day the harbor and the fish market are worth taking a look at.

cape santo antao

Nestled in the valley of the same name Ribeira Grande is an amazing city on the island of Santo Antao.

cape santo antanoa Nossa_Senhora_do_Rosário

There are charming winding street and small restaurants and guest houses. Tourists enjoy the lively food market and a clothes market. Take a look at the Nossa Senhora do Rosario church and relax at the popular hot springs.

cape porto novo

Also on Santo Antao is Porto Novo where hot, dusty winds blow. The city offers a great museum which gives information on the city’s past kings. Take a look at the royal palaces and admire the colonial buildings.

cape Ribeira_Brava.Town_Square.Sao_Nicolau._Large_-1

Ribeira Brava is the capital of Sao Nicolau island. It is a marvelous small city surrounded by mountains. Traders sell their wares from wooden crates in the narrow streets. There are wonderful colorful buildings in the town center and a modern market hall that sells everything from food to clothing and other amenities.

cape tarrafal

A short distance from this city is Tarrafal which has popular places for beach swimming and black sands that supposedly relieve pain due to minerals like iodine. There are many beaches to choose from and here you’ll find the largest harbor on Sao Nicolau. There are also many restaurants and shops.

cape maio villa goat

The island of Maio is known for secluded beaches where you’ll find golden sand and calm sea. It is a great place for bird watching with such birds as rare larks.

cape maio villa

The capital is Vila do Maio, home to a lovely colonial Portuguese church.

cape morro

On the same island the small town of Morro offers beaches surrounded by palm trees with golden sand.

cape morro turtles

Sea turtles come here to lay their eggs in the summer.

cape novo sintra mountains

Novo Sintra is another lovely town perched on the Brava Mountains. There are two story houses with gardens.

cape novo sintra columbus

Here you can see a stone replica of Christopher Columbus’s ship, guarding the eastern entrance to the town.


All this and a lot more awaits you in Cape Verde.

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Posted by: Rasma R | June 16, 2017

Traveling in Benin

benin 2

Benin is a French-speaking country in West Africa. It is a fascinating place and is the birthplace of the vodun or “voodoo” religion. It’s also home to the former Dahomey Kingdom dating from 1600 – 1900. Even though it is a small country it does have a few large cities and beckons to tourist to explore its impressive architecture, museums and markets. A trip here will bring you many adventures, a look at amazing wildlife and relaxing on great beaches.

benin cotonou

Visit the city of Cotonou with lovely beaches full of golden sand and palm trees. It’s a large port city on the south coast of Benin.

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Some of its highlights include the huge Dantokpa Market at the eastern end of Boulevard St. Michel.

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There is the 19th century Cotonou Cathedral with an impressive red-and-white stripped facade.

benin zintsaou museum

At the Foundation Zinsou Museum you can see contemporary African art.


After a visit to Cotonou take the time to explore the Pendjari National Park which is one of the leading animal reserves in Africa. Here you can see such wildlife as antelopes, baboons, warthogs, birds and much more. The park is named after the Pendjari River, creating a natural border between Benin and Burkina Faso.

benin pendjari Elephants_Pendjaribenin pendjari lions

In the north-west end of the park is the Atakora range. This reserve was established in 1961 and in 1986 was added to UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserve list. The larger animals here are lions, elephants, Sudanese buffaloes and leopards.

ouidah slave route

A city that offers a mix of French and Portuguese is Ouidah. This city is where you can learn a great deal about African history. It has museums that explore slavery and voodoo. There are many stunning beaches as well. Among the highlights are The Slave Route which is a track down which slaves were taken to the ships and is lined with monuments.

ouidah door of no return

It leads to the Door Of No Return, a memorial arch on the waterfront.


There is the Ouidah Museum of History based on an 18th century Portuguese fort, chronicling the city’s slave-trading past.

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Porto Novo is the capital city of Benin and the former French capital of Dahomey. Highlights here include the Royal Palace and gardens and the Museum of Porto Novo kings.

benin porto novo first king

Benin First King

It is known for its colonial buildings such as The Musee da Silva, recounting Benin’s history and celebrates Afro-Brazilian culture. The Honme Museum was King Toffa’s 19th century royal palace.

benin Abomey-Benin

Abomey was once the capital of Ancient Dahomey. The main highlight here is that this is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Abomey Royal Palaces.

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Even though most of the palaces are now in ruins there is still much to be seen. It is home to 12 palaces. The surviving palaces of Ghezo and Glele form the Historical Museum of Abomey, which features bas-reliefs on the palace walls and a throne mounted on human skulls.

benin grand popo

The town of Grand-Popo has played an important role in the slave trade. Here you can find great beaches upon which to relax and where to swim.

benin mono river

You can enjoy great walks along the Mono River and see mangroves and exotic birds. The small town is also known for its voodoo culture. It has a celebrated beach lined with coconut palms. On the main road, Villa Karo you’ll find a Finnish-African cultural center with art exhibitions. The local market Marche de Grand-Popo is located next to the Mono River.

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The second largest city in Benin is Parakou. The city’s economy focuses on cotton, textiles and peanut oil. There is a wonderful open-air museum, showing traditional Bariba architecture. The name of the city means “city for everyone”. This is Benin’s final port of call before goods move along the Niger River. It is home to the largest market in Benin Grand Marche Azeke, an international market spanning over a block. The center of the city has a roundabout with a distinctive tall pink column with the red encrypted words “Parakou”.


There is much more to do and see in Benin.


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Posted by: Rasma R | June 12, 2017

The Ivory Coast


In our armchair travels we have been traveling in West Africa. Our first stop was Nigeria and now we have arrived in the Ivory Coast or Cote d’Ivoire. This is a West African country with beach resorts, rain forests and a French-colonial legacy.

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The capital city of Cote d’Ivoire is Yamoussoukro. This city is best known for its

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enormous Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro with lovely stained-glass windows and towering dome. The city is also the birthplace of 20th century President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, whose former palace comes with a lagoon filled with crocodiles.

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Grand-Bassam is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can see elegant Parisian mansions and crafted colonial municipal buildings in the Ancient Bassam District. It was once the capital of the French Ivory Coast.

ivory grand basam Cathedrale-du-Sacre-Coeur

Visitors can see many impressive buildings like the great Cathedral Sacre Coeur.

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The New Grand-Bassam is home to lovely beaches and resort hotels.

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Visit Abidjan a city located on the southern Atlantic coast. It is the country’s major urban center. Its skyscrapers rise about the Ebrie Lagoon.

ivory la pyramid

Among the modern landmarks is La Pyramide, a ziggurat-like building. There is St. Paul’s Cathedral which is a high rising structure with a massive cross.

ivory musee

At the Le Musee des Civilisations de Cote d’Ivoire visitors can see artwork, cultural relics and handicrafts.

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Take a hike to the soaring Toura Mountains deep in the heartland of the country and the rustic town of Man.

ivory Waterfall_Man-Cote-dIvoire

Here you’ll find the Cascades waterfall which always draws crowds. There are plantain farms and cocoa plantations.

The peaks of Tonkoui and Toura are the two highest on the Ivory Coast. There are bamboo forest to explore where you’ll see multi-colored butterflies and in the undergrowth rare insects.

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The Tai National Park stretches for more than 3,000 square kilometers. This is one of the greatest protected areas of what remains of the Upper Guinean rainforests.


This is a feral land with colossal river valleys, moist woods, mountains and rolling savannah. Making their home here are the endangered pygmy hippopotamus,

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swinging olive colobus monkeys, duikers and chimpanzees.

ivory jac

Tiny Jacqueville offers stretches of Ivorian ivory sands right down to the sea. Here you’ll find sundrenched beaches and pineapple groves.

There are clusters of old Parisian arcades and colonial buildings in the shade of palm trees. Beach huts and timber longboats along the shore.

ivory san pedro

Jutting out from the southern forests of the Ivory Coast you’ll find the harbors of San-Pedro. This is the second-largest port town in the country shipping out cargo of metal ore and minerals and fish.

ivory korhogo

Korhogo today is a quiet place. This mud-caked city has fascinating and bustling bazaars offering cotton, cashew nuts and spices and much more. Woodcarvers Quarter has many whittled crafts and the Village des Tisserands is home to batik cloth makers.

ivory boake

Bouake is the crossroads between the Ivorian north and the Ivorian south. It sits between the Atlantic Coast, the northern borders, Guinea in the east and Ghana in the west. Of interest are the markets and arts and crafts.

ivory comoe

Along the Ghanaian borderlands you’ll find the Comoe National Park for eco-tourists and outdoor lovers.

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Here are gallery forests and rolling savannah plains and the Comoe River.

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Visitors can see yellow-backed duikers and Mona monkeys, colobuses and pangolins, leopards, lions and much more.

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The most celebrated beach resort in the country is Assouinde. You’ll find stretches of yellow sand and great hotels and accomodations.

On one side are mirror-like lagoons and winding waterways and on the other the Atlantic surf.

All this and so much more awaits visitors to the Ivory Coast.

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Posted by: Rasma R | June 9, 2017

Abuja, Nigeria


Abuja is the capital of Nigeria and is located in the middle of the country. The city skyline is dominated by Aso Rock, an enormous monolith that rises up behind the Presidential Complex.

abuja Aso-rock

Aso Rock is a huge outcrop lying on the outskirts of Abuja. This 400-meter monolith is the city’s most noticeable feature.

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The Presidential Complex houses the residence and offices of the Nigerian president in the Three Arms Zone on the eastern edge of the city.

abuja National-Assembly-Abuja

Nearby are the National Assembly

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and the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Abuja National Church of Nigeria

The National Church of Nigeria is the primary Christian place of worship. Nigeria has a substantial Christian population.


National Mosque Abuja was built in the 1980s and is located across from the National Christian Center.

The golden dome of the mosque is huge and shiny. It houses a library, religious school and a conference hall. Its golden dome and minarets dominate the city’s skyline.

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The largest public park in Abuja is Millennium Park in the Maitama District of the city. The park is divided in two by a river.

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On one side of the park a system of terraces show Nigeria’s mountain vegetation, savanna, deciduous forest, rain forest and brushwood. There are greenhouses with butterflies and tropical birds.

abuja Millenium_Park_Nigeria

The other side corresponding to the main entrance from the road is dedicated to the scientific knowledge of the natural environment. Here you’ll see a traditional Italian style garden layout. For walking there is a rectilinear path paved with Roman white travertine. Along the path is a series of fountains. This park has become one of the main attractions of the city.

abuja zoo

The National Children’s Park and Zoo is located in Asokoro District behind the Presidential Villa. It lies in the shadow of the Aso Rock.

abuja zoo crocs

This is the place for animal lovers with lots of wildlife including camels, crocodiles, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, ostriches, tortoises, wild cats and zebras.

Domestic animals are also part of this zoo. There are playgrounds and other activities for kids.

For refreshments there is The Lake Cafe.

abuja Arts and culture village abuja sisiyemmie 14

Abuja Arts and Craft Village can be found in the heart of the city. It is flanked on either side by magnificent monuments – Shehu Musa Yar’adua Center on the right and Silverbird Entertainment Center on the left.

abuja arts and crafts

The village offers visitors the opportunity to see and buy Nigerian arts and crafts. The shops are thatch-roofed huts with wall made from red clay. Here you can see and purchase sculpted warrior and horse statuettes, beaded necklaces and bracelets, African traditional masks and much more.

abuja arboretorium

National Arboretum Abuja was established for conservation of genetic resources for research, educational, medicinal and other scientific purposes.

Comfortable concrete seats offer visitors a chance to enjoy the surroundings and relax. The purpose of the Arboretum is to maintain the forest and other plant life in their original natural condition. This is also a great place for birdwatchers.

abuja zuma_rock (1)

Zuma Rock is a large monolith that is located just north of Abuja. At times it is referred to as the “Gateway to Abuja”. This rock is depicted on the 100 Naira bill (national currency). Zuma Rock rises 725 m.

As visitors get closer to the rock they can see a human-like face with engravings that represent eye sockets, the nose and mouth on the side that faces Abuja. It represents a lovely and unusual natural work of rock formation. This is a good place to picnic.

abuja Matsirga-Waterfalls-Kafanchan

Take the time to visit the Matsirga Waterfalls which cascade from a face of sheer rock through four natural tunnels. It is 25 meters tall and plunges down into a pool. Local people call the stream that feeds the falls “River Wonderful”.

The area has amazing natural beauty and you can see parrots and finches.

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Posted by: Rasma R | June 6, 2017

Lagos, Nigeria


Our armchair travels now take us from Northern Africa into Western Africa. Our first stop is Nigeria, an African country on the Gulf of Guinea. It has many natural landmarks, wildlife reserves and lovely beaches for sunbathing.

lagos beach

Lagos, Nigera is the country’s largest city. Its financial center is Victoria Island which is also known for its beach resorts, boutiques and nightlife.

lagos badagry

Badagry Black Heritage Museum is located in the ancient town of Badagry,  The museum has found a home in the former district officer’s office dating from 1863. Here you can see the history of slavery through hundreds of artifacts and historical relics which chronicle over 300 years of the slave movement through Lagos. From the early 1500s slaves were transported from West Africa to the Americas through Badagry. The journey of this movement will take you through nine galleries with trade documents, photos, sculptures among other artifacts from the city’s dark past.

lagos tinubu

Tinubu Square is named after Madam Tinubu, a Nigerian businesswoman and patriot. She lived in this area in the 19th century and was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Western Nigeria.

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The square is located by Broad Street, CMS, Marina and the Brazilian quarters on Lagos Island.

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The longest bridge in Africa and the longest of the three bridges in Lagos is the Third Mainland Bridge.

lagos eko bridge

The other two bridges are Eko Bridge

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and the Carter Bridge. This bridge connects Lagos Island with the mainland. It measures around 11, 8 km long and was built by Nigerian construction company Julius Berger and opened in 1990 by President Ibrahim Babangida.

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Just a short 45 minute drive from Lago’s most affluent neighborhood Ikoyi will take you to Eleko Beach. This is a beautiful palm-lined beach with several small privately owned beach huts. It gets very active on weekends when vendors sell fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, prawns and arts and crafts. Visitors can rent a hut for the day and get someone to make a barbecue. If you prefer there are also places to enjoy a meal and some bars.

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Terra Kulture is a privately owned educational and recreational center. It is just the place for art lovers, culture lovers and those who enjoy everything African. It is located in the Victoria Island area of Lagos City. It also has a mini library and information center on Nigeria and Africa. For its members there are plenty of books, journals and magazines, wireless Internet facilities and flat screen computers.

lagos terra kulture 2

It offers visitors the opportunity to see Nigerian arts and crafts on display and to learn about Nigerian cultures and languages. There is also a multi-purpose hall with facilities for drama presentations, conferences and seminars. You can get a taste of Nigerian cuisine in the restaurant. In the art shop visitors can get a look at tie and dye making, pottery, mat weaving, bastik making and much more.

lagos national-museum

The National Museum Lagos was established in 1957 and has an impressive collection in archaeology, ethnography and traditional art. It is located in Onikan, Lagos. The main highlights here are the galleries that are dedicated to brasses from Benin City, Nok Terracottas and much more. Visitors can find a gallery dedicated to traditional symbols of power with carved ivory and a royal host of crowns. It also has on display the bullet-riddled car in which the country’s former Head of State – General Murtala Mohammed was assassinated in 1976. The museum also has a small crafts village with woodcarvings and other handicrafts for sale.

lagos silverbird

The Silverbird Cinema and Galleria can be found at Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island. This is a most modern place to do your shopping. The mall includes several cinemas and has a space on the ground floor for dance competitions, parties and other ways of entertainment. There are bookstores, boutiques, a bowling center and other kinds of services.

lagos freedom

Freedom Park on Lagos Island is the creative idea of Lagos-born architect and visionary, Theo Lawson. He transformed a colonial prison into a symbol of freedom. At one time the colonial prison was a place of imprisonment and torture for those who opposed colonial rule by the British.

lagos freedom 2

Today it is a memorial leisure park dedicated to preserving Lagos colonial heritage and the history of the Old Board Street prison. The park is also a venue for events and recreational entertainment.

The National Arts Theater was constructed in 1976 and hosted the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977. It is a multi-purpose national monument for the preservation, presentation and promotion of Nigerian arts and culture. It is on the mainland of Lagos and since it was constructed during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo it has been shaped to look like a military hat. Today it’s a landmark that stands out from the rest in the city. The auditorium can seat up to 3000 people and there is a conference hall for 800. The hall is equipped with facilities for simultaneous translation of eight languages. On the premises are two cinemas, a restaurant and a bar.

lagos whispering

Whispering Palms is a conference resort center that sits on around 8 acres of land in Iworo, Badagry, Local Government Area of Lagos State. The resort gets cooling breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, has sillica sands, palm trees and chirping birds.

lagos whispering croc

There is an ecological beach and aquatic tourism where tourists can see some exotic animals and birds like monkeys, turtles, crocodiles and peacocks in a mini zoo.

lagos whispering 3

Whispering Palms offers beach huts, many mini gardens with Nigerian carvings and art work among them bronze heads of different Yoruba deities. Hotel accommodations range from luxury to simple, clean rooms. You can sit along the water’s edge or by a swimming pool.

lagos LaCampagneTropicanaBeachResort1

Another tranquil paradise can be found at the La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort an hour’s drive from Victoria Island. This resort has a blend of natural environments including a fresh water lake, mangrove forest, savannah, extensive sandy beach and the Atlantic.

The beach resort provides world class accommodation and great cuisine. There is a spa and gym with personal trainers. Guests get entertained by cultural dance displays. Other activities include hiking, hunting, horse riding, canoeing, ocean fishing, aqua aerobics, beach volleyball and football and much more.

lagos yankari warthog

Take the time to enjoy The Yankari National Park which is one of the most famous game reserves in Nigeria, located near Gagi River, south-east of Bauchi Town. The park was established in 1956 and opened to the public in 1962.

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The reserve stretches over 2,058 sq. km. of savannah woodland that is home to elephants, primates, waterbucks, bushbucks, oribi, crododiles, hippos and different kinds of monkeys among others. The best time to visit is November and May when animals gather around the waterways.

lagos warm spring swimming

The Wikki Warm Springs are lit up during the evenings. These warm springs are a great way to relax after a long day. The spring spouts out from under a bluff and shoots out for 600 ft. to an open territory.

Among the creatures at the recreation center are gigantic saddle bill stork, goliath heron, bateleur falcon, vultures, kingfishers, honey bee eaters.

Different accommodations are close by and there are small stores at Wiki Camp and B as well as tennis courts and squash courts.

lagos alfi mountain

If you enjoy watching different monkeys of all kinds at play head for Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary in the highlands of Cross River State. You’ll find rare chimpanzees, gorillas and drill monkeys.

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It is also home to the most endangered gorilla subspecies, the Cross River gorilla.

Afi Mountain is also listed as an IBA (Important Bird Area) for Nigeria and hosts one of the largest migratory swallow roosts in Africa.

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There are community protection patrols with local hunters discouraging shooting and trapping and an education program in the 17 villages surrounding the mountain. Today the sanctuary is the best-protected area for drills in the world.

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Posted by: Rasma R | May 29, 2017

Cairo On the Nile


Our next stop in Egypt is its amazing capital Cairo located in a lovely setting on the Nile River.

cairo the nile

Tourists love to come here because they can take a walk back into history and see the site of Giza with its iconic pyramids and the Great Sphinx.

The Pyramids of Giza is a one half-day trip from Cairo. They are located on the edge of the city and have long been one of the country’s major highlights.

cairo cheops

The largest of them is The Pyramid of Cheops also known as the Great Pyramid or Pyramid of Khufu. Visitors can explore the narrow passages in the interior.

cairo boat museum

Directly behind this pyramid you’ll find the Solar Boat Museum. Here are displays of one of the ceremonial solar barques that have been unearthed in this area.

cairo chepren

To the south is the Pyramid of Chephren also known as the Pyramid of Khefre. Here you can enter an inner tunnel area.

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The smaller is the Pyramid of Mycerinus or Pyramid of Menkaure.

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On guard over all of these pyramids is the lion bodied and pharaoh-faced Sphinx.

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Visit the impressive and fascinating Egyptian Museum which counts as one of the world’s great museums. This museum was founded in 1857 by French Egyptologist August Mariette. It has found its home in a powder pink mansion in Downtown Cairo.

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Since it is impossible to take in everything this museum offers take in some of the highlights like the Tutankhamun Galleries. Here you can see Tutankhamun’s death mask, sarcophagi, the pharaoh’s lion throne and his amazing wardrobe collection.

cairo egyptian mummies

Then there is the Egyptian Jewelry Collection and the Royal Mummies Collection.

 cairo al azhar

Al-Azhar Mosque is the finest building from the Fatimid Era. It is also one of Cairo’s earliest surviving mosques, completed in 977AD and one of the world’s oldest universities. Today Al-Azhar University is still the leading theological center of the Islamic world.

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The main entrance is the Gate of the Barbers on the northwest side. After leaving your shoes here you can walk into the central courtyard. To the right is the El-Taibarsiya Medrese, which has a mihrab or prayer niche that dates from 1309.

From the central courtyard you can get the best views of the mosque’s five minarets. Across the way is the prayer hall, spanning a vast 3,000 square meters.

cairo old

Old Cairo or Coptic Cairo

Visitors love exploring Old Cairo where you can wander along many different lanes, past small churches, the walls of Old Babylon and you can still see some of the Roman Towers.

cairo Coptic Museum

The Coptic Museum has lots of information about Egypt’s early Christian period. It is also home to one of the country’s finest collections of Coptic Art.

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Next door you’ll fine the 9th century Hanging Church showing some lovely examples of Coptic architecture. It was founded in the 4th century and originally built over the Roman Gate Towers therefore getting its name. It was rebuilt in the 9th century.

cairo st. sergius

For many the real highlight of a visit to Old Cairo is the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus where local legend has it that the Virgin Mary, baby Jesus and family took shelter during King Herod’s massacre of male babies.

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Further on you’ll come to the Ben Ezra Synagogue which is said to be the spot where the baby Moses was found in the reeds.

cairo amr ibn

Just outside of the quarter is the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As which is the first mosque built in Egypt.

cairo old bazaar

For a great shopping experience head for Khan el-Khalili which is a Middle Eastern souq or bazaar. Here you will find a labyrinth of narrow alleyways in a shopping district that dates from 1400 AD. You can find most anything on sale and many tiny stores and workshops. This is also the place of Cairo’s most famous coffee shop, Fishawis, offering syrupy Arabic coffee and sweet tea.

cairo mohammed ali

Cairo’s citadel was built by Saladin in 1176. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is the most famous monument. It is nicknamed the “Alabaster Mosque” with its white stone and tall minarets. It has become one of Cairo’s great landmarks.

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Gawhara Palace

For fantastic views across the city head for the Gawhara Terrace. .

cairo el-nasir

To the northeast of this mosque you’ll come to the El-Nasir Mosque, built in 1318-35 by Mohammed el-Nasir. On this site you’ll also find such museums as the Police Museum, National Military Museum and Carriage Museum.

cairo bab zwuela

The most fascinating of all of the Islamic Cairo district gates is Bab Zuweila. Visitors can climb to the top of this medieval structure to get some spectacular views over Islamic Cairo. The gate has two minarets,

Right next door is the red and white stonework of the Sheikh al-Mu’ayyad Mosque.

There are many other architectural delights in the citadel so take the time to explore.

cairo ibn tulun

Ibn Tulun Mosque is the oldest standing mosque in Cairo. It was built between 876 and 879 AD. At the time it was built it was considered to be the largest mosque in the world. The Main Court’s colonnades open onto a series of narrow-fronted halls. On the mosque’s northern side is the 40-meter-high minaret with a horseshoe arch over the entrance and a spiral staircase twisting through the interior. You can get wonderful views by climbing the 173 steps to the upper platform looking over the roofs of houses to the north and the Mokattam Hills to the east.

cairo al azhar park

Al-Azhar Park is a lovely green space that was built over a medieval rubbish dump. It opened in 2005 with manicured gardens. Here people enjoy strolling and it is especially lovely at sunset. For relaxing there are some good restaurants here. On the weekend families come here for rest and picnicking.

cairo gezira zamalek

Zamalek district is located on the Nile Island of Gezira. This is the place where you can find most of Cairo’s fashionable boutiques and trendy restaurants. The area dates from the mid 19th century and the entire area has a European feel with impressive architecture and wide boulevards all lined with Jacaranda trees.

cairo palace of arts

While here take the time to explore the Palace of Arts in the Nile Grand Hall. It features rotating exhibits.

cairo modern art

The Museum of Modern Egyptian Art has a fine collection of 20th century Egyptian art that includes art work by Mahmoud Said and Mahmoud Mukhtar.

cairo sports club

Much of the southern section of Gezira has exclusive tennis courts and riding stables at the Gezira Sports Club.

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Towering above all the lush greenery is the 187-meter-high Cairo Tower, built in 1961 by President Nasser. A trip up the observation deck at sunset to see dusk settle over the city is a must.

In Arabic Cairo Tower is known as Borg al-Qahira and it was built for two purposes to function as a TV tower and to act as a symbol of Egypt’s engineering capabilities.

When you have enjoyed the views from the observation deck enjoy the revolving restaurant at the top of the tower that completes one full rotation every 70 minutes.

cairo rhoda island

Visit lovely Roda Island just south of Gezira Island.

cairo monter palace

It is home to Monastirli Palace, once the residence of an Ottoman pasha.

cairo nilo

Inside the palace gardens is Cairo’s Nilometer which at one time was used to measure the ebb and flow of the Nile and predict the annual flood heights.

Outside of the palace it is enjoyable to wander along the streets and see some of the architecture.

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At the north end of the island you’ll find the ornate Manyal Palace which was built in 1805-18 at the time of Mohammed Ali. Presently it is closed for renovation.

cairo downtown

Downtown Cairo offers the feel of the city as it was in the late 19th century when it was nicknamed the “Paris of the East”. Here you can see impressive Belle Epoque buildings.

cairo Abdeen_Palace

On the western edge of Downtown you’ll find the 19th century Abdin Palace. Today it is a museum and has an unusual collection of photos, tapestries and gifts given to Egypt’s presidents by visiting dignitaries.

cairo zoo entrance

The Giza Zoo is a zoological garden in Giza, Egypt and includes Giza’s largest park. The zoo stretches for around 80 acres and is home to many endangered species.

cairo zoo tea island lake

The gardens include black stone flag paved roads, footpaths decorated with pebbles and a pond with a marble island known as the zoo’s Tea Island.

cairo zoo suspension bridge

The zoo also has a suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel which allows visitors to view animals from above.

.This is one of the most beautiful zoos in the world and has a many animal and plant species. It is located near the west bank of the Nile. The hilly areas are planted with cactus trees. It has a huge exhibition of African wild life. You can see mountain goats and rams, Egyptian gazelles and heron.

It consists of five hilly areas:

cairo zoo citadel hill

Citadel Hill is the largest and decorated with statues of the extinct Fayoun rhinoceros, crocodiles and strange birds.

cairo zoo bird lake

There is a small park with plant-covered walks and streams that flow through caves with white coral reefs hanging down into waterfalls, leading to a lake with two islands connected by a wooden bridge. In front of the house of lions are two artificial hills connected by a rare iron suspension bridge.

cairo zoo hippo

There is also a museum that was built in 1906. It has three big halls exhibiting large groups of Egyptian and foreign embalmed birds, reptiles, fish and animals.

cairo zoo and the zebra had the last laugh

And the zebra had the last laugh

The zoo is an institute for scientists to study the behavior of animals and birds. There are five non-governmental organization that carry out campaigns to encourage people to preserve wild life and promote environmental awareness in Egypt.

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Posted by: Rasma R | May 25, 2017

Alexandria, Egypt


Our armchair travels have taken us to Egypt. This is a country that links northeast Africa with the Middle East. There are fascinating monuments in the Nile River Valley and the amazing Pyramids.

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Our first stop will be Alexandria, a Mediterranean port city. During the Hellenistic period, it was home to a lighthouse that was among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina is the reimagining of Alexandria’s ancient Great Library. It is now an incredible cultural center with many museums. Its architecture, a giant sun disk looks upon the waterfront Corniche. Inside you’ll find a huge reading room which can hold eight million books.

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Below the main library visitors can take a look at various exhibitions.

The Manuscript Museum has a magnificent collection of ancient texts and scrolls.

The Antiquities Museum has Graeco-Roman antiquities and statuary that was found during underwater exploration.

There are rotating art exhibitions, a permanent Egyptian folk art collection and a Science Museum and Planetarium just right for children.

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Alexandria’s National Museum offers a look at the history of the city. Inside the collection guides visitors from the Pharaoh era in the basement, to the Hellenistic period on the first floor and on to the Byzantine and Islamic periods. There are displays, statuary and antiquities that have been unearthed around the city.

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Walking along the shorefront Corniche road you’ll come to Fort Qaitbey. This fort has been standing guard over the city’s eastern harbor since 1480.

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Once the mighty Pharos Lighthouse which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World toppled during an earthquake the fort was built by Mamluke Sultan Qaitbey making use of the rubble from the light house. Inside are a series of stone-walled chambers. For a spectacular view over the Mediterranean climb on up to the roof.

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Corniche the wide waterfront road in downtown Alexandria has become a symbol of this city. You can see spectacular architecture as you stroll along.

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Such impressive buildings as the Cecil Hotel and the Windsor Palace Hotel.

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Take the time to explore the area known as Kom el-Dikka or “Mound of Rubble” located in central Alexandria. When the site was being cleared for new housing ancient ruins were discovered including a small Roman theater. Today this park area has the remnants of a Ptolemaic temple and a wealthy Roman-era dwelling known as the Villa of the Birds with mosaic flooring.

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The Catacombs of Kom el-Shuaqqfa were carved from the rock on the southern slopes of a hill in the Carmous district. They are thought to date from the 2nd century AD. There is a spiral staircase leading down into the ground to the main rotunda. You can see the impressive burial chamber and the Sepulchral Chapel. A large room known as the Triclinium Funebre was once used for banquets to honor the dead.


Southwest of the city you’ll find Carmous where there is a hill with the remains of ancient walls, architectural fragments and rubble. Rising from the ruins of the famous Serapeion or Temple of Serapis, once used to store the overflow of manuscripts from the Great Library of Alexandria is Pompey’s Pillar. This is a column of read Aswan granite with a Corinthian capital and rises up almost 27 meters in height.

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Montazah Garden is a peaceful green oasis on the eastern edge of the city. Here you’ll find tall palm trees, trimmed lawns and blossoming flowers. It was built as a hunting lodge in the 1890s by Khedive Abbas Hilmi.

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You’ll see the unusually designed Montazah Palace with impressive Florentine-inspired towers and Rococo. It is not open to the public but you can stroll in the gardens. On the coastal end of the park is a small beach with a bridge leading to a small island.


Ras el-Tin Palace was at one time a summer place for Egypt’s sultans. This is also the well-known location where King Farouk – Egypt’s last king – officially abdicated in 1952 before he sailed out of Alexandria’s harbor to exile in Italy. Today the Egyptian Navy uses the palace so visitors cannot view the interior.

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Cleopatra’s Palace makes for an exciting underwater adventure. No one knows if the famous lady herself ever stayed here but you can view sphinxes, tumbled columns and statuary when you dive into the waters of Alexandria’s Eastern Harbor area.

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Cavafy Museum is a small museum that contains many manuscripts and correspondence from one of Alexandria’s most famous sons, Constantine Cavafy, a Greek Alexandrian poet. His poetry captured the vast history of Alexandria and has become one of the greatly celebrated library figures of the city.

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Anfushi the working-class district stretches west from Fort Qaitbey and the harbor. Here you can explore many different lanes and relax at some of Alexandria’s best seafood restaurants. After sunset you can enjoy the traditional coffee houses. Here you’ll also find the city’s shipyards and a bustling and active fish market.

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The Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque is one of the city’s major landmarks. It dates from 1796 and was built over the tomb of the 13th century Sufi holy man Abu Abbas al-Mursi. He became a highly esteemed religious leader in Alexandria and his teachings are still revered in Egypt. This huge cream-colored mosque is a major pilgrimage site. The mosque has an impressive facade with swirling Islamic calligraphy designs and motifs. Inside are beautiful and intricate mosaic halls.

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Posted by: Rasma R | May 20, 2017

Tunis, Tunisia


Traveling in North Africa our armchair travels have taken us to Tunisia. This country borders the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert. We are going to take a look at the sprawling capital Tunis. The city sits along Lake Tunis, just inland from the Gulf of Tunis in the Mediterranean Sea.

tunis Café-Culturel-El-Ali-tunis

Cafe Culturel El Ali is one of the amazing restaurants in Tunis where the atmosphere and the restaurant itself is worth a closer look. This restaurant has wood-beamed ceiling, a library, sofas and a rooftop terrace that overlooks the Zaytouna Mosque. The restaurant serves traditional meat dishes.

tunis zaytouna mosque

Zaytouna Mosque is a beautiful mosque sitting right in the heart of the medina. Its name means “olive tree” and legend has it that the founder of the mosque Hassan Ibn Noonan taught lessons under a tree here.

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The open spaces of the mosque are very tranquil and you can enter the courtyard to have a look around. The building shows influences from Aghlabids, Romans, Europeans and Byzantines. The exterior is impressive with a red and white dome and marble floors. Non-Muslims can only admire the mosque from the outside and roam the courtyard.

tunis tourbet

The Tourbet el-Bey Mosque has green fish-scale like domes. Inside is an amazing combination of tiles and intricate stucco. This mosque was built during the reign of Ali Pahsa II. The male tombs are topped with  unusual marble renditions of their favorite headgear whether it was a turban or chechia (small, red felt hat) and the number of tassels show their importance.


The Ville Nouvelle offers fine examples of colonial architecture. There is much to be admired in the New Town.

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This is where you’ll find the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul.

tunis vincent cathedral

This is a custard-colored cathedral dating from 1883 combining Gothic, Byzantine and Moorish elements. Regular masses are held here in French and Italian.

tunis ibn statue

The statue opposite the cathedral is that of Ibn Khaldun who was the great Tunis-born Islamic teacher and philosopher.

tunis bardo

The Bardo National Museum is the country’s top museum with a great collection that lets visitors see ancient North African life. The museum has found a home in a glorious, Husseinite palace and has now been given a contemporary addition. Some of the highlights here are a huge stash of well-preserved Roman mosaics, rare Phoenician artifacts and early Islamic ceramics. Particularly impressive are the exhibits in the Sousse Room, Odysseus Room and Dougga Room.

tunis medersa

Medersa Mouradia – Medersas are schools for the study of the Quran. There are some fine examples of these schools close to the Zaytouna Mosque. Medersa Mouradia dates from 1673. It has an ornately studded door. It’s used to train apprentices in traditional crafts.

tunis Dar_Ben_Abdallah

Dating back to 1796, one of the medina’s finest former palaces is now home to the Dar Ben Abdallah Museum. The museum gives visitors a look at how the wealthy used to live n the medina. At one time it belonged to a high-ranking officer. It has a 19th century makeover in Italianate style. In four of the rooms scenes have been created to show the life of 19th century bourgeois, including tea drinking and wedding preparations. Opposite the museum is a cafe.

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Dar Bel Hadj is a grand traditional restaurant housed in a 17th century mansion. It is ever a surprise when walking the narrow streets of the medina.

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The restaurant has a golf buggy that will pick you up and drop you off from Place de Government in the evenings.

tunis association

Das Lasram is a magnificent mansion dating from the 18th century. Today it is home to the Association de Sauvegarde de la Medina, overseeing the conservation of the medina. The interior has impressive tiled rooms, medina maps, plans and photos. Outside are courtyards.

tunis le malof

Le Malouf a great Italian restaurant if you prefer pasta. It has impressive art work in the interior and courtyard tables outside. There is guitar music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

tunis happy land

For something completely different head for Dah Dah Happy Land Park. This is an amusement park with plenty of rides.

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It is part of the ever developing, trendy district of Berges de Lac. You can take a stroll up and down the interesting corniche or coastal road.

tunis theater

Theatre de l’Etoile de Nord is a fringe theater that has found a home in an ex-garage. They offer regular plays in French and Arabic and concerts from reggae to heavy metal.

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Parc du Belvédère and the Museum of Modern Art the park is a great place to get off of the city streets and rest for awhile. The hillside is planted with Aleppo pine, carob-trees, olive trees, fig trees and palms. Taking the short hike to the top will give you some fantastic views all around.

On the east side of the park you’ll find the Museum of Modern Art. It offers a collection of the country’s top art work by Tunisian artists.

 tunis zoo

The park is also home to the Tunis Zoo. This is a child-friendly zoo in a shady, peaceful setting. Among the animals you can view are monkeys and colorful parrots.

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Take the time to visit the beautiful Andalusian-style seaside neighborhood of Sidi Bou Said. This place became popular when three young painters lived here – Paul Klee, August Macke and Louis Moilliet in 1914. They captured the beauty of this area on canvas. Today it remains a sort of bohemian artists’ quarter. Visitors delight in the white-and-blue streets, cliff side cafes and lovely shoreline.

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Brasserie les 2 Avenues is a great street to stroll for some people watching.

tunis marche centrale

Visit the Marche Centrale a covered market which sells fresh produce, olives, harissa and cheese.

tunis bathhouse

To really experience the city visit one of the bathhouses like Sahib Hammam Bathhouse. This is the oldest and most atmospheric hammams or public bathhouses. It can be recognized by its candy-striped red and green doorways and domes.

tunis carthage place

Carthage is a Punic and Roman site that lies northeast of the city. Here you can see remnants of ancient Carthage, once the wealthy, seafaring city of the Phoenicians on the Bay of Tunis.

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You can see tumbled columns and many different kinds of ruins. It offers a lovely seaside setting. You can see fantastic views from the top of Byrsa Hill.


Carthage Museum this museum shows the former glories of the site like monumental statuary, mosaics and other amazing things. On the grounds of the museum you’ll also find The Byrsa Quarter, an excavated quarter of the Punic City.

tunis sidi mahrez

The Mosque of Sidi Mahrez is one of the finest in the city. It was built in 1692 and named after Tunis’ patron saint. His tomb lies opposite the entrance. The mosque is a great example of Ottoman architecture. Its cluster of white domes is impressive.

tunis medina

Tunis Medina or Old Town is an adventure itself with ancient streets and alleyways. Here you can find cave-like souqs that sell everything from shoes to shisha pipes. There are lovely tiled cafes, back streets full of artisans at work and residential areas with brightly painted doorways. There are also a number of ancient bath houses.

tunis medina gate

The main entrance gate here marking the end of the new city and the beginning of the old is known as Bab el Bahr or Sea Gate. It was built in 1848 and was known as Porte de France during the colonial period.

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Posted by: Rasma R | May 13, 2017

Algiers, Algeria


Algiers is the capital and the largest city in Algeria. It offers visitors a wonderful mix of the old and the new.

Stitched Panorama

Rights in the heart of the city you’ll find the ancient Casbah. This old part of the city is a great place to explore with steep and narrow streets. You can see amazing Ottoman palaces. This is a traditional neighborhood which suffered some of the most turbulent fighting during the Battle of Algiers. If you prefer you can hire a guide to take you around the old town.

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The National Museum of Antiquities displays a collection of antiquities from sites around the city and all through Algeria. You can see fine ivory carvings and large, totemic Libyan-period warriors on horseback. You will also find a collection of Islamic art from across the Maghreb.

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The city’s grandest mansion carries the name of its original owner, Dar Hassan Pacha. The building is home to a collection of illuminated manuscripts and contemporary calligraphy by artists from North Africa and the Middle East.

Around 1791 the ruler of Algiers, Hassan Pacha began building the palace on the edge of the Casbah. Once Algiers fell to the French the house became the governor’s winter residence. It was given a European-style front with large windows and balconies.

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Bardo Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography offers visitors a look into the prehistory of Algeria and is one of the best museums in Algiers. The collection includes videos, models , diagrams and information panels. It informs how climate and environment of the region have changed and affected human and wildlife development.

Leaving the museum go up the tiled steps to the “Summer Palace”. This is an Ottoman-era palace with courtyards, fountains and sub-tropical gardens.

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Palais des Rais is actually a row of several large waterfront houses that have been joined to form a single compound. It is now home to the Centre des Arts et de la Culture which offer great art and photographic exhibitions as well as performing arts.

The main building dates from 1750 and was completed around 1798. It was occupied by the French military for awhile, then served as the American consulate, a school and a library.

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The Grande Poste this is Algier’s main post office and a great example of French-designed early 20th century Moorish architecture. At present it can only be seen from the outside while it is being turned into a museum. It will reopen in 2018.

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Leaving the Grande Poste take a walk along Rue Didouche Mourad which is one of Algier’s main shopping strips. It is right in the center of the city with plenty of small shops and restaurants.

Some of the landmarks along this street are the Grande Poste, the Faculty of Algiers and the park of Galland. It is a tree-lined street where you can enjoy sitting at a cafe and doing some people watching. One of its biggest draws in the Haussmann-style architecture.

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The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions is located in the Casbah. It has found its home in an Ottoman-period town house, the Dar Khedaoudj el-Amia. This museum offers visitors an impressive collection of traditional Algerian arts and crafts.

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The mosque Djemaa Ketchaoua has a most turbulent history. It was built sometime around the beginning of the 17th century. The name of the mosque translates as place or plateau of goats. It comes from the time that the place where the mosque sits between the port and citadel at one time was open ground. It is quite impressive with its high steps, three-tiered minarets and part-tiled walls.

To the left of the great doors is a plaque that says on July 5, 1830 a cross was placed on top of the mosque, beginning over 130 years of French occupation. At this time the mosque served as the city’s cathedral. Emperor Napoleon  III went to Mass here in 1860 and the composer Saint-Saens played the organ here in 1873. On July 5, 1962 it was re-consecrated as a mosque.

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Djemaa el-Kebir is Algier’s Grand Mosque. It was built on a rise above the inner port where early Berber and Phoenician inhabitants built a place for prayer. The Romans turned this into a temple and later it was converted into a Christian basilica. In the 11th century it was all torn down and replaced by the mosque.

Inside the five doors the prayer hall is supported by rows of columns. In all there are 72 columns and it contains a cedarwood minbar with the inscription that the mihrab, the niche indicates the direction of Mecca and was constructed in 1097 AD. The minaret is 15 m high and has an inscription saying to contemplate its beauty and the magnificence of its crowns. It is open to non-Muslims outside of prayer time.

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One of the most recognizable landmarks in the city is the Makam Echahid, celebrating the sacrifice of the unknown martyr who fell for his country. The monument was constructed by Canadians in the early 1980s. It consists of three massive concrete palm fronds that come together and rise up 92 m into the sky. They represent the coming together of agriculture, culture and industry, making independent Algeria great.

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Just below the base of the monument is the Musee National du Moudiahid. The surrounding open plaza hosts concerts, events, exhibitions or children’s fairs.

The Musee National du Moudjahid collects, preserves and displays objects that reflects the struggle against colonialism. You can learn about the French invasion in 1830, but the focus is on the struggle from the uprising in Setif, Constantine and Guelma in 1944 to Independence Day in July 1962, The lower floor of the museum is a domed sanctuary, a natural shrine and the walls are inscribed with verses from the Quran.

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The Musée des Beaux Arts has the best collection of art in the country. It was opened in 1930 and shows the progress of European and particularly French art from the 16th century. There is also a collection of art work by local and international artists.

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Dar Aziza Bent el-Bey possibly Aziza might have been a bent (daughter) of the bey of Constantine, who built this house for her. It is one of the loveliest of Algiers’ grand houses with most impressive tile work. The house is home to the office of the National Archaeology Agency. Visitors can visit the courtyard but no photos allowed.

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Notre Dame d’Afrique is one of the city’s most famous buildings. This is a Catholic basilica that holds mass at 6 PM daily. It has impressive neo-Byzantine architecture and a restored interior.


From here there are lovely views out to sea and across the city. The basilica sits on a hilltop on the eastern edge of the city.

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When the day has been hot and you are tired of wandering about the city head for Aquafortland. This is a fun water park and also a relaxing spa. Here you’ll find three swimming pools, four water slides, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a man-made sandy beach. If your into sports there are trampolines, basketball courts, a games room and even an adventure course.

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Aquafortland Spa pampers you indoors with a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzis, a steam room and a fitness center.

The city offers some massive malls among the best are the Centre Commercial Bab Ezzouar and the Centre Commercial Al Qods.

al bab

The Centre Commercial Bab Ezzouar offers you 60,000 sq m of mall with more than 230 shops and services. There are six levels and has many international brand shops like Zara and Adidas.

al al qods

The Centre Commercial Al Qods is the largest mall in Algiers. It offers more than 430 shops and services that are spread over 18 floors.

al hamma

The Botanical Garden of Hamma is considered to be one of the world’s most important botanical gardens. There are more than 1,200 plant species and is also home to the Algerian National Institute of Agronomical Research.

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