Monday, April 24, 2006

South Africa

We haven't Posted in a while because of Easter.

Here are some interesting facts about South Africa.

Capital: Pretoria
Highest point: Mafadi 11,306 feet
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 feet
Desert: Kalahari
Oceans: Atlantic, and Pacific
Rivers: Limpopo, Orange, and Vaal
Provinces:Eastern Cape, Free State, Guateng, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North-West, and Western Cape
Religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs, Islam, Hinduism
Currency: rand

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hanseatic League

A little off topic here. Ria and Electroblogster were following the "random article" link on Wikipedia that the Mapguy discovered for us. We came upon the Hanseatic League. This group of trading cities from Sweden, Germany, Poland, Holland/Netherlands etc. created a monopoly on trade in the Baltic Sea for 400 years!! (c. 1300 - 1700)

And coolest of all is this high resolution ancient map called the Carta Marina. Check out the seamonsters and ancient names (Lappia - where the Laplanders live.) I know about Lapland because of a book I read when I was a kid called Snipp, Snapp and Snurr and the Reindeer. The three little Swedish protagonists spend a holiday in Lapland. Lapland is in Finland.

[posted by electroblogster]


Tanzania only became a country in 1964 when the mainland country of Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar united. The capital is Dar Es Salaam. You can read the official website in English or Kiswahili. Tanganyika had been part of the German East Africa territory. The British got rule of it in World War I and ruled it until it became independent in 1961.

Sissal is used to make rope and twine. Sissal happens to be one of Tanzania's main crops. Yummy!

Whoaa! Wait a minute here. This is a cool country!! They have Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti Reserve Park, Lions, Giraffes, Leopards, Elephants, sandy tropical beaches, HALF of Lake Victoria, and how cool is the name of that archipelago (group of islands) Zanzibar?!?!? It seems like there are lots of exotic tours that go to the Rufiji River.

There is a lot of water in this African nation. The east is on the Indian Ocean. Part of Lake Victoria (Lake Vicky for short) is in this nation. On two other borders are Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa. And there is a big river running down the middle called the Rufiji River. And here is a place that will take you on tours all over Tanzania including Beho Beho. They have videos if you would like to SEE what Tanzania looks like - look out for the elephant in Beho Beho.

By the way, the country is south of the equator. They have a national park (one of those that are comprised of a little land, some islands, atols and an archipelago and a lot of water) that has 61 genera of coral alone!! That's a lot of different kinds of coral!

Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Tanganyika, Serengeti and so forth. These words are just plain FUN to say. I think that this Kiswahili language would be really neat to learn!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mt. Kilimanjaro

This week is Tanzania, the home of the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Unlike the dangerous snow-coated pile of ice and rock that is Mt. Everest, Mt. Kilimanjaro has much plant and animal life living amazingly high on it's slopes. These creatures are a trifle exotic, but what could you expect from plants and animals living on the high slopes of a mountain?

The cold, though thoroughly bone chilling I'm sure, is not nearly as severe as those chilling temperatures on Mt. Everest which pass out frost bites and worse with an eager hand.

Here is a really interesting link about Kilimanjaro.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is made up of three different volcanoes. Kibo, the youngest, is in the middle, Shira is on the west side and Mawenza is on the east.

Anyways, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro sounds like it would be much more enjoyable than doing the same to Mt. Everest, and I intend to climb it as soon as I can.