Thursday, September 9, 2010
Volunteer in Africa
Volunteering in Africa is a new trend that is rising in the world. Many people are looking to Africa and find ways to help the local communities. Volunteering in Africa provides a host of new opportunities and challenges to whomever who wants to volunteer abroad. Africa is the second largest continent in the world. Second to Asia, it has a billion people with a diverse set of cultures. There are over 1000 languages spoken from Kiswahili to Arabic. Sudan is the largest country while Seychelles is the smallest. The main official languages spoken are English, French and Spanish. There are also two main religions which are, Christianity and Islam, although there are many more traditional religions or folk religions. The African continent lies on the equator, making most of the countries in Africa being tropical. The main seasons in Africa are mainly summer and autumn. The rainy seasons are mainly in June to July and November and December. During the rainy seasons there could be flooding which occurs in areas near rivers and lakes. Other than that it’s usually sunny all throughout the year. Except from the southern African countries, where they experience winter in the middle of the year. The African Geography is also unique with the highest point being in Mount Kilimanjaro, the second largest mountain in the world, while the lowest points lie in the Rift valley in Kenya. The largest desert in the world lies is the Kalahari Desert which cuts across several countries. The longest river lies in Egypt, River Nile. All these make volunteering in Africa to be a unique and a beautiful experience.
Volunteer programs and projects
Despite the rich beauty and the bountiful resources that are available in Africa, there are a number of problems that continue to plague the continent. One of the main problems that Africa has is unstable governments and human rights abuse which are seen in a couple of countries. For example in the democratic republic of Congo, it is referred to as the rape capital whereby 1 in 5 women have been raped. But in the stable democratic countries in Africa, they have unique volunteer programs and projects available for whoever wants to volunteer. Depending on the country you go to you will find a project where you can be useful. The programs and projects include: orphanage work, teaching kids in primary and secondary school; teaching English as a second language; Health/ Medical work; HIV/AIDS work; community development work; care for the disabled work; conservation work, working with wildlife; teaching basic computer skills; teaching sports; work on marine conservation projects and preserving habitats; help build homes. The opportunities are all different in the countries, like teaching English in Kenya is very different from teaching English in Ghana. The programs prices differ greatly depending on the living standards and the volunteer travel company you use.
Wildlife and tourism
There are over 50 million tourists who visit Africa to see the beautiful landscape and the wild animals. The most popular places visited are the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the azure waters in Mauritius, Cape Town in South Africa and the Maasai Mara in Kenya. In Africa there is the largest diversity of animals and plants. It the best continent to tour if you are looking at adventure tours. The best time to come to Africa is between Julys to December but unfortunately it is the high season. Africa boasts the great wildebeest migration where they move from Kenya and go to Tanzania across the Mara. Africa is the host of the big five animals which are lions, buffalos, elephants, rhino and leopards. For bird lovers, there are ornithological tours which you get to see a great number of species and variety found in certain areas. There are a great number of beaches available to those who prefer lying on the coast. The tour prices range between the travel agent you are using and the season in which you choose to travel.
When you really want to visit and experience Africa then you should see the African culture. With over 1 billion people; 3000 tribes with the Bantu being the largest; 1000 languages, and 1000 folk religions. Africa is said to be the cradle of mankind with most of the early man being found here. And with the oldest civilization being Egypt, there are many unique and beautiful cultures in Africa to see from sharing a meal in Morocco with a family and doing chores in an orphanage in South Africa. Most African cultures are welcoming and love seeing new people. There are many cultures and tribes which vary from each other across the continent. For example the Zulu are the largest tribe in South Africa; Luhya is the second largest tribe in Kenya. These two differ greatly not only in language but in how they do most of the things but they also share some common habits.