Lake Malawi is known to the world with its enormous variety of the fishes. 500-1000 different species of fish are found, and most of these fish are found only in Lake Malawi. 90% of these fishes belong to the family called “Cichlid”, which includes Utaka, Mbuna, Mcheni and many other kinds. It is thought that all of these 500 different cichlids have developed from thesame origin, for about 2,000,000 years.
Founded almost 1000 years ago on the edge of the Sahara, this southern market town grew to become one of the great cities of the Maghreb and a Unesco Heritage site to boot. But Marrakech isn’t some petrified piece of history that tourists come to gawk at, it’s bursting at the seems with an intense density of life and a modern entrepreneurialism that puts Manhattanites to shame.
This isn’t a place where you can gracefully glide through. Instead you’ll find yourself telling jokes with snake charmers, dining outdoors in the Djemaa el-Fna, hankering after the latest henna tattoos and getting a hands-on scrub down in the local hammam. Pause for unexpected beauty and banter often with multi-lingual locals, because what are the chances you’ll come this way again?
Complex, rich and soulful, Stone Town, once the centre of trade in East Africa, pulses with a spirit that entices, enamours and fascinates. Nowhere else will you find this confluence of African, Arab, Indian and European cultures. You’ll see it in the distinct architecture, a reflection of ancient pasts. You’ll smell it in the enigmatic scent of exotic spices that have become synonymous with Zanzibar, the “Spice Islands”. You’ll hear it in the stirring, Muslim call to prayer and chiming Hindu bells. Just as Muslims, Hindus and Christians peacefully coexist in this small area, mosques, temples and churches stand side by side.
The ancient city—declared a UNESCO cultural heritage site in 2000—is charming, but it’s basically a maze. The act of receiving directions through the town’s winding alleys usually involves a series of confusing hand gestures and head nods, and will probably not get you where you want to go any faster. There are street names, sort of, but no one really uses them. The bright side is that Stone Town is small and safe, and not knowing where you’re going is part of the experience. Locals are helpful, so you can ask for directions as many times as you want, but sometimes it’s best to let yourself get lost.
In Zanzibar, life moves pole pole – Swahili for slow. Things in Zanzibar don’t always make sense, don’t always work, or can take a while. It’s important to enjoy the calm chaos and take a cue from the unhurried pace. Your smoothie might take 45 minutes to show up, but it will be delicious and worth the wait. Lazuli, a tiny but wonderful restaurant in Stone Town is a good place to experience this.
Bo Kaap, formerly the Malay Quarter, is a former township on the slopes of Signal Hill near the city center. One of the oldest sections of the city, this historical neighborhood is known for its colorful buildings, architecture and cobblestone streets. The bright colors attract visitors for pictures, but there’s culture and character found here too, which makes it an interesting spot to come explore with your camera.
Nestled between two of these affluent housing estates is the suburb of Imizamo Yethu. Imizamo Yethu (IY) is comprised of both a designated housing area and an “informal settlement” area, which is largely comprised of small shack dwellings which stretch up the steep slopes of the mountain behind it.
On 11 and 12 March 2017, a large section of Imizamo Yethu was devastated by fires that killed 3 people, destroying 3,500 homes and displacing 15,000 people.
Located at the mouth of Guanabara Bay, Sugarloaf Mountain is Rio de Janeiro’s most renowned peak. In order to capture this iconic Rio locale, snap a photo with this natural beauty in the background or hitch a ride on the cable car system to avoid the climb. If you make it all the way to the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city, including the famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana.
Watch your surroundings and take it all in. Explore. Find interesting compositions, look at the light, and get a feel for the people walking around. Try to go beyond only capturing the grand or iconic aspects of the city. Go beyond the images that you have seen in books. Seek out the little details and let the streets surprise you. (DPS)