#EarthDay: Located in the Horn of Africa and expanding over the area known as the Afar Triangle - spanning across Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, lies a salty terrain known as the Danakil Desert.

Despite extremely high temperatures - the highest recorded temperature being 64.4°C/148°F - the region is home to the Afar People who have lived in the area for centuries. Afar People are highly skilled at mining the salt in the area by hand, aided with the use of specially crafted tools.

The Danakil Depression, which forms part of the Afar Triangle, hosts the lowest point in Africa - Lake Asal which lies at 155 metres or 509 feet below sea level.

Many volcanoes also exist in the region, including Erta Ale and the Dabbahu Volcano. In recent years, the Erta Ale volcano has erupted three times - in 2005, 2007 and 2008. The most recently recorded eruption of the Dabbahu volcano was on September 26, 2005.

Within the Erta Ale range lies the Dallol volcanic crater which was formed by a combination of the intrusion of basaltic magma in Miocene salt deposits and subsequent hydrothermal activity. The green liquid, which can be seen above, that surrounds the crater are discharged from hot springs in the area that release brine and acidic liquid. The term Dallol was coined by the Afar people and means dissolution or disintegration describing a landscape made up of green acid ponds (pH-values less than 1) iron oxide, sulfur and salt desert plains.


#EarthDay: The Mandara Mountains of Rumsiki, Cameroon (1989).

Rumsiki is a village in the Far North Province of Cameroon, located in the Mandara Mountains region - 3km from the north-eastern Nigerian border.

Home mostly to the Kapsiki people, due to its breathtaking natural scenery the village of Rumsiki has become a popular tourist attraction - mostly Westerners - where children in the village are known to act as tour guides and several pre-arranged attractions are put together for the benefit of these ‘visitors’. For this very reason, the village has unfortunately turned in to a tourist trap where most of the villagers lives and incomes are centered around these foreigners who ‘visit’ their home.


Divided Family: Through Music, Cubans Trace Their Roots To Sierra Leone

It is often said that music has the power to bring people together. That sentiment is definitely an understatement when it comes to the Afro-Cubans community Ganga-Longoba of Perico. 

Cuba’s Ganga people have been singing the same African chants for generations, but it wasn’t until an Australian researcher took interest in the songs, that they were able to trace their chants to a remote village in Sierra Leone, 170 years after the slave trade.

“When I first filmed the Ganga-Longoba, I believed their ceremonies were a mixture of many different ethnic groups,” says historian Emma Christopher, of Sydney University. “I had no idea that a large number of Ganga songs would come from just one village. I think that’s extremely unusual,” she says.

After tracing their roots back to Sierra Leone, four Cubans made the trip to the African country to delve more into their history. Christopher captured the moment for the documentary They Are We.

"Cuba was cut off at a time when other nations in the Americas were going through black pride and fighting for some justice for what happened to their ancestors," says Dr. Christopher, who points out that the island’s 1959 revolution declared racism ‘solved’. That left a lot of Afro-Cubans adrift, not knowing how to celebrate where they came from and be proud of it," she says.

Whilst many Cubans of Spanish descent have rushed to seek out their ancestry—and passports—Afro-Cubans have been far less anxious to do the same. Organizing a reunion for the divided “family” wasn’t easy given restrictions on traveling from Cuba at the time, and limited resources. But eventually, four Cubans did make their ancestors’ voyage in reverse - to Sierra Leone.

“When I opened my mouth to sing, they just stood there staring,” Elvira Fumero recalls of her arrival in Mokpangumba. “Then it was like an explosion. They started to sing the responses, and dance with me. And I knew then that this was where the Ganga came from,” she says, smiling.

For Alfredo Duquesne, visiting Sierra Leone changed everything.

"It was as if I’d just left the previous weekend. I touched the soil and thought: ‘This is it. I’ve come back,’" he says, describing himself now as ‘at peace’. "At last I know where I come from," Alfredo says. "I’m not a stranger anymore."


(via ourafrica)


#EarthDay: "Unlucky fisherman" by Amine Fassi taken in Rabat, Morocco.


#EarthDay: A man rows through Kongou Falls in Ivindo National Park, Gabon

(via ourafrica)


#EarthDay: Thomson’s Falls, Nyahururu, Kenya.

Thomson’s Falls is a 74 m (243 ft) scenic waterfall on the Ewaso Ng’iro river, which drains from the Aberdare Mountain Range. It is situated two miles from the town Nyahururu in central Kenya, at 2,360 m (7,750 ft) elevation. Upstream from the falls is one of the highest hippo pools in Kenya.

Ewaso Narok River is a tributary of the Ewaso Ng’iro river. The falls spans a height of 72 meters. It is a major economic resource for the adjacent town Nyahururu. Most of the revenue is received from tourists both international and domestic who are charged at the gate. According to the community around the falls, the falls is notorious for people who come from far and wide to commit suicide by dropping from the steep cliff.


If you’re wondering where the name comes from, Scottish geologist and naturalist Joseph Thomson (the first European to reach the falls) took it upon himself to name the falls after his father when he got there in 1883, nevermind that those who lived in or around this area probably already had a name for it.

(Source: atravelersphotos)

"Scare the world: Be exactly who you say you are and tell the truth."

The Shock of Honesty (via nostalgicjoy)

Y’all can’t handle it tho

(via missauset)

(Source: imfeelingmorethanalive, via eyebrowgamestupid)


U.S. Apartheid Abuse Cases Against Ford, IBM Go Ahead

Apr. 18 2014

A federal judge on Thursday declined to toss out decade-old lawsuits that accuse IBM Corp. and Ford Motor Co. of supporting apartheid by letting their subsidiaries sell computers and cars to the South African government.

The three lawsuits seek to hold IBM and Ford responsible for race-based injustices including rape, torture and murder under apartheid, a system of race-based segregation and discrimination against nonwhites that ended 20 years ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on the legal reach of the statute under which the plaintiffs are suing, the Alien Tort Statute. The 1789 statute originally was enacted to prosecute pirates and was revived in recent decades to permit lawsuits in the United States against those who violate human rights abroad.

Thursday’s ruling from Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan allows plaintiffs to file amended complaints that fit within the reach ruled upon by the Supreme Court.

Emails seeking comment from Armonk-based IBM and Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford weren’t immediately answered.

Close to 80 companies initially were named in the lawsuits, filed about 12 years ago, and the vast majority of those claims were rejected.

A district judge threw out the lawsuits in 2004, saying he did not have jurisdiction. He noted that Congress had supported and encouraged business investment in South Africa as a way to achieve greater respect for human rights and a reduction in poverty. And he cited vigorous objections to the lawsuits by the U.S. and its allies.

The U.S. had said the lawsuits posed a foreign policy problem, threatening to inflame U.S. relations with South Africa. The South African government had said the cases interfered with its rights to litigate such claims itself, though it later reversed its position.

(via drapetomaniakkk)


#EarthDay: Situated across the north-western stretch of Northern Africa, the Idurar n Watla (Atlas Mountains) is a mountain range that spans roughly 2,500 km (1,600 mi) through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

The highest peak is Toubkal mountain with an elevation of 4,167 metres (13,671 ft) in southwestern Morocco. The Idurar n Watla range separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert.

These mountains have been home to various flora and fauna, many of which are unique to Africa. Many of these plants and animals are endangered any many other plant and animal species have become extinct. Examples include the Barbary Macaque, the Atlas Bear (Africa’s only species of bear; now extinct), the Barbary Leopard, the Barbary stag, Barbary Sheep, the Barbary Lion (extinct in the wild), the Atlas Mountain Badger, the North African Elephant (extinct), the African Aurochs (extinct), Cuvier’s Gazelle, the Northern Bald Ibis, Dippers, the Atlas mountain viper, the Atlas Cedar, the European Black Pine, and the Algerian Oak.

Some of these animals were victims of the illegal animal trade, such as the Barbary macaque, others became extinct due to human interference such as the Atlas bear that was hunted for sport or used in the execution of criminals by the Romans during their expansion into North Africa. Similarly, it is believed that the North African elephant became extinct during the Roman conquest into this part of Africa. Barbary lions were often given as gifts to royals of countries such as Morocco and Ethiopia.

The Atlas are rich in natural resources and contains deposits of iron ore, lead ore, copper, silver, mercury, rock salt, phosphate, marble, anthracite coal, and gas among other resources.



The Long-tailed Widowbird:

The Long-tailed Widowbird is found in Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. 

The first time I saw this bird was in book when I was a little girl.  We had to create a project and I instantly fell in love with this beauty.  I first witnessed it with my own eyes a little later riding in a packed minicab with my mother traveling from South Africa to Lesotho to attend a funeral in our village. One flew alongside us as though chaperoning us to the pain and heavy freedom of a family burial.  Squashed in between tired mine-workers, city dwellers going home, I fell in love even more. It’s my favourite bird. 

I admit I forgot it was Earth Day today until I came across Dynamic Africa's posts on my Dashboard.  Everyday is Earth Day for us Africans I believe.  Nonetheless, seeing all that natural beauty reminded me of my favourite animals, birds, insects from home.

 Photos from various sources. No copyright infringement intended.


#EarthDay: Undeniably the most iconic symbol of South Africa’s ‘Mother City’, Table Mountain is a flat topped mountain that overlooks the second most populous city in South Africa - Cape Town.

A Sandstone mountain with a mixture of Silurian and Ordovician rock, Table Mountain is flanked by Devil’s Peak on the left and Lion’s Head on the right and has an elevation of 1,084.6m (3,558 ft).

The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orographic clouds, formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain’s slopes into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form the so-called “table cloth” of cloud.


Frances Benjamin Johnston. Native American & African American Students. Hampton Institute. 1899.

(via yearningforunity)

Agapanthus, commonly referred to as Lily of the Nile or African Lily, is considered to be both a magical and a medicinal plant, and a plant of fertility and pregnancy. Xhosa women use the roots to make antenatal medicine, and they make a necklace using the roots that they wear as a charm to bring healthy, strong babies. The Zulu use agapanthus to treat heart disease, paralysis, coughs, colds, chest pains and tightness. It is also used with other plants in various medicines taken during pregnancy to ensure healthy children, or to augment or induce labour. It is also often used as a love charm. - Kwaku Nyame Dua

Sahara Desert, Mauritania

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