Birds have feathers for different reasons. It gives them good insulation against cold conditions and a waterproofing ability against rain. In the breeding season, it gives a colourful and attractive look to impress each other, more specifically, the females. Do not forget the very importance of camouflage as a part of their survival. This very light and strong aerofoils (feathers), make it possible for sustained flight in the most efficient way.

Feathers demand respect for its strength when you realize:

  • A bat’s webbing is not as strong or light.
  • The wings of insects are much more vulnerable and not as resistant to damage as those of birds.

This light aerofoils have different functions and can be divided into five basic types. The most visible feathers that provide streamlining, protection and shape are called the contour feathers. Like humans, the body of the bird needs to operate at the most ideal temperature. The feathers that provide warmth and insulate the body are called down-feathers. Young birds are covered with these feathers.

With adult birds between the contour and the down feathers, there are gaps that need to be filled. The feathers filling those gaps are called semiplume feathers.

The visible organs of birds get protection from the bristle feathers. These bristle feathers act as eyelashes for the eyes, cover the nose and sit around the beak. It is important to keep these feathers in tip-top condition. This action is called preening. The feathers that act as sensors and which will tell the bird when some of the feathers are out of place is called filoplumes and is scattered throughout the body.

The light aerofoils or feathers are made out of dead protein material called keratin. This keratin is tucked away within a follicle in the skin of the bird. From the follicle, it will grow to a strength greater than the hair, horns or hoves of mammals. Feathers grow in lines called tracks. When a feather is shed a new growth starts from the same follicle.

Birds use their bills or claws to zip up ruffled feathers. This is made possible by a part of the feather called barbicels and not all feathers pose this part.

We will talk more about birds in later blogs:

What do you think……?

  • Why do birds fly in formation?
  • How high can birds fly?

Author: Reinier Bredenkamp

As we probably are aware of keeping our wellness on point while we travel is a major challenge every individual. Hotel fitness centers regularly don’t fulfill our expectations or possibly there isn’t one in any way. This is the reason regardless of where I am I generally utilize my encompassing as my gym. You need not to bother with a gym out and about as long as you are focused on getting somewhat innovative. Regardless of whether it’s doing pull-ups or doing some breathing exercises on the sanctuaries, running two or three rounds, or simply climbing the pyramids, there are a vast number of and ways free strategies to remain fit. Breathing exercises and mindful activities on Safari helps in keeping your health and wellness on track while you are on your favorite trip to the excursion.

If we talk about the health on safari it is better to say that prevention is better than cure. Here are some of the ways which can help you out on keeping your health and wellness on safari on point.

BE AWARE OF THE COMMON AFRICAN DISEASES:

It is good to get prepared for common Africa diseases when you intend to visit. If you feel that you don’t feel well, you are likely to get attacked by infections soon. You need to have some research on the basic African disease such as Zika virus outbreak, Dysentery, Malaria or typhoid fever are the most common. These on-time researches can spare you loads of inconvenience. When I became ill with typhoid fever, I didn’t know about manifestations, and when I got the mellow skin rash run of the mill for typhoid fever I thought I was chomped by something. I could begin treatment two months sooner than I really did. Same runs with intestinal sickness, perceiving a run of the cerebral pain which is one of the early manifestations is fundamental. Furthermore, having an early blood test can be a positive point.

KEEP MINERAL WATER WITH YOURSELF AND STAY HYDRATED:

Africa4us
Image source: https://www.hydrationwithbenefits.com/

Try to use mineral water consistently. Regardless of whether local people drink normal tap water. Likewise, make a point to check the bottle is fixed and when opens you ought to hear the seal break. This is a particularly helpful hint when purchasing mineral water from road merchants in Africa. Lamentably a few merchants need to spare the cash and refill bottles with tap water. The most ideal approach to remain hydrated on an excursion to Safari is drinking heaps of water. Brewed and soft drink beverages won’t hydrate you appropriately. Coconut water is an incredible regular option, known for being rich with electrolytes. You shouldn’t be wiped out to drink coconut water. In hot Safari you are normally perspiring more and losing electrolytes. Coconut water is incredible while having a high fever that makes you got dried out.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET:

In the event that your feet are cheerful, whatever is left of your body will be as well! Ensure you have additional shoes along on your track to Safari. Give your feet time to inhale when you are capable, slip your shoes off and do some straight stretches, point and flex your feet, circle your feet to relax the lower legs.

KEEP NATURAL ANTISEPTICS IN YOUR BAG:

At whatever point I travel to Safari pack a little portion of antiseptics with me. Such as tea tree oil, ginger or pineapples.
Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is regular antiseptic and hinders an expansive range of microbes and parasites. It is additionally utilized topically as a nearby clean for cuts and scraped spots, bug nibbles, and stings, bubbles, toothache, contaminations of the mouth and nose just as sore throat. Expansive range of microbes and parasites.
Ginger for Ginger Tea:

Africa4us
Image source: https://healthyhints.com

Ginger tea’s capacity to get rid of nausea and drinking ginger tea may help settle your stomach when you feel sick. In the event that there is no tea, you can likewise utilize the ginger powder for cooking, simply be unobtrusive with measurement. On the off chance that you have new root, bite a little bit of ginger, don’t swallow. Helps a similar impact. Furthermore, don’t savor it the night, its known for a stimulant.
Pineapple for Constipation:
A few explorers experience the ill effects of traveling constipation because of new toilets, change of eating habits out and about and different reasons. Pineapple is an incredible answer for traveling constipation. In the event that you have an issue with constipation have new pineapple for breakfast each day.
Aloe Vera for Sun Burns:
Aloe Vera is your closest companion with regards to sunburn and on the off chance that you don’t have a sunburn soothing cream, simply take the plant, use the gel in aloe leaves and put it on the skin. It will have the same if worse impact than mitigating moisturizers purchased in store.

Other than the precautions you can keep your hands on fitness by breathing exercises or keeping yourself fit by yoga on Safari. Other than this there are a lot of fitness centers on safari where you can keep your health and wellness on point Safari is all about having fun evolving in the beautiful midst of nature.

Ever wondered why the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is one of the up and coming Hubs of Africa?  It’s simple – the Victoria Falls also known as Mosi-Oa-Tunya to the locals, has expanded in recent years to provide tourists with a variety of Adrenaline, Culture and Food experiences.

So for the Foodies out there, there are a number of fabulous restaurants, cafes and pubs for you to sink your teeth into such as – Zambezi House, The Three Monkeys, The Boma, the River Brewing Company and Wild Horizons Lookout Café.

Victoria falls is definitely the up and happening spot for adrenaline junkies with activities such as the famous Bungee Jump, Sky Diving (just recently introduced this year), White-water rafting and so much more.

If you are after gifts and souvenirs with an African vibe, then there are plenty of little gift shops in the city centre for you to browse in, everything from themed t-shirts to cutlery can be found.  All with authentic African touch and feel!

What activities do we recommend in Vic Falls?

We have picked a few of our top favourites:

Book a meal at the Boma – Dinner and Drum Show:  Enjoy a mighty feast with local delicacies and a live drum show.

Sunset Cruise – there are a variety of sunset cruises to choose from in the Victoria Falls, enjoy some light snacks, drinks and endless views of Zambia and Zimbabwe while cruising on the Zambezi — pure Bliss!

High Tea – at the Victoria Falls Hotel, one of the oldest and longest standing hotels in this idealic town.  The Stanley terrace has breath-taking views of the falls and spray in full flow season, the perfect location to enjoy Traditional afternoon tea.

Wild HorizonsOffers a variety of adrenaline focused activities, from Bungee jumping to Culture tours in nearby Villages.

Another of our favourites and must dos – Tribal Trap Escape Rooms, with only one hour to escape you have to solve a variety of clues, puzzles and riddles, the host Sangoma Nyathi is great and definitely worth a visit.

Victoria Falls, has something to offer everyone!  Choose between our Camping or Accommodated Adventure tours to exprience one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. We always recommend booking at least two nights pre or post tour to be able to enjoy Victoria Falls to it’s fullest.

Written By: Daina Walters

Yep, it’s the ultimate African adventure, and it’s all about the journey across thousands of dusty roads or bumpy rides off the muddy beaten track to reach destinations only dreamed of on an overland safari.

Meeting indigenous people who still live in a forgotten century, getting close to the entire spectrum of wildlife ranging from the majestic Big Five in the Okavango Delta, to the smallest beetle eking out an existence beneath the surface of the Namib and Kalahari Deserts, these are all just a fraction of what awaits any traveller finally ticking the box on their bucket list that says ‘go on an African adventure’!

There is also another side to this adventure of a lifetime, and that is the range of exciting activities and experiences awaiting you at various stops along the way, especially for those with a hankering for serious adrenaline highs!

On the more sedate side of African activities on an overland safari is a slow sunset boat cruise along the Chobe River, gently gliding past game like elephant, buffalo, kudu, hippo, giraffe and sable as they slake their thirst along the edge of the river, and you slake yours on your favourite cocktail.  

Exploring the Okavango by Mokoro, which is a traditional Delta dugout canoe, is a unique experience not to be missed! Sitting back and going with the flow as an African gondolier glides you soundlessly through reed beds teeming with dragonflies, frogs and kingfishers turns chilling in Africa into an art!

On the other end of the scale, adrenaline junkies can take to the water for white water rafting or bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, or hop into a helicopter for a real bird’s eye view of the sheer magnificence of the Victoria Falls and the stunning beauty of rain forests surrounding them.

Taking a pony trek in Lesotho is a must for anyone who can stay on the back of a four-legged animal, and if you really want to go out on a limb to do something completely different, visit a local Sangoma, which is a traditional healer, to relieve you of any aches and pains sustained on your adventure!

These are just a few of the added titbits hidden in your African Safari overland tours assembled with great care by the Africa4us team, they will show you what a truly authentic African adventure really is from a passionate local perspective!  Keep your eyes peeled for some of the fabulous specials available on the Africa4us website as well, book your luxury seat and pack your bags for the adventure of a lifetime!

Getting to know the Rhino family has to start with the struggle this beautiful animal has had just to survive, and in Africa, thanks to massive global efforts to protect and save them from extinction, the Southern white rhinos now thrive in protected sanctuaries and are now classified as a ‘Near Threatened’ species. Thankfully Black rhinos have doubled in numbers over the past two decades from their low point of just over 2000 individuals, but total numbers are still just a fraction of the estimated 100 000 that existed in the early part of the 20th century.  Mankind has much to answer for!

There are a few distinct differences between the black and white rhino as you will see from the information that follows, however, no matter what the differences are, these beautiful giants of nature are a natural wonder to be treasured by every generation.

The black rhino (which are actually grey) are browsers who use their pointed upper lips like a miniature elephant trunk to twist off the lower branches of trees and shrubs, and have a bit of a reputation for being bad-tempered, not true, they are actually just shy and inquisitive and will run towards anything that is unusual in their surroundings, but just as surely run away if they get a whiff of humans!

It’s a really good idea to climb the nearest tree, or, if you have the nerve, to stand absolutely still if you encounter a black rhino in the wild, especially if it is a female with a calf, she will definitely charge anything that looks like a threat to her baby!  While rhinos have pretty poor eyesight, their sense of smell and hearing is exceptional.  The black rhino has two horns and can grow to 1.6 metres tall and weigh up to 1400kg, and believe it or not, these giants can reach a thundering speed of 55km an hour, pretty much like a tank on four legs bearing down on you!

The white rhino has the wide mouth and also has two horns, growing up to 1.8 metres and easily weighing in at over two tons, making it second only to the African elephant in the size of land mammals.  The white Rhino is a grazer and eats mainly grass.  This rhino is the more sociable of the two, living in social groups that form families who are very protective of the whole family.

If you are having problems distinguishing the white from the black rhino, the black rhino is more likely to be a solitary animal that is shy and keeps to thick bushy areas, where the white rhino tend to be in groups.  Black rhino have short necks and hooked lips to make browsing branches easier, while the white rhino have long necks and wide mouths for grazing the grasslands.

African rhino characteristics also differ in that black rhino adults tend to roam within specific areas considered to be their home ranges. Black rhino also need to drink at least every two to three days, and succulent plants form a large part of their diet so that they can go without drinking water for longer if necessary.  Black rhinos also do more of their feeding and drinking during the cool of the night rather than during the day.

Social advertising is also very important to rhinos, they make use of dung piles or spray-urination sites which are used by both white and black rhino, males especially use spray-urination as a way to advertise their presence and to mark their range.  Rhinos use their horns for self-defence, attacking opponents or predators, while the white rhino groups will stand in a circle facing outwards to form a protective circle around any calves near the centre.

To round off this exploration into the lives of rhinos it is important to note that the rhino mom is one of the fiercest where it comes to protecting her calves, considering that she has a pregnancy that lasts between 15 to 16 months, she has certainly earned the right to trample anyone getting in the way of the safety of her baby!  At birth a baby rhino can weigh anything between 40 to 65kg, and by the time they are 3 years old the calf will be ready to take on the world on its own.  Rhinos can live up to 45 years and it is in our best interests to make sure that as many of these magnificent animals make it that far and keep producing their precious offspring!

If you are interested in honeymooning on the continent of Africa, and pictures of exciting wildlife safaris, breath-taking secluded beaches, beautiful lakes or an incredibly diverse variety of scenic natural landscapes that feature everything from majestic mountains to deserts and islands start blossoming in your mind, you are definitely well on your way to a honeymoon in a million!

We have narrowed down just a few of the best places to honeymoon in Africa in 2017 to just 10 glorious destinations, any one of which will make yours unforgettable!  These destinations are not listed in any particular order because each is unique in its own right:

  1. Zambia: Victoria Falls

If you are looking for a honeymoon spent exploring the splendour of nature combined with exciting activities then the spectacular sight of Victoria Falls in all its awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River is the place for you. If you are interested in a little adventure on the side you can do anything from canoeing to kayaking and bungee jumping just to get the adrenalin pumping!

  1. Kenya: Masai Mara National Park

The best of East Africa with its teeming with wildlife from wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and big cats that make this their home makes this is a honeymoon destination that will be brimming with wildlife encounters, without a doubt!  Masai Mara National Park is home to the famous ‘Big 5’ and this is also a honeymoon that will have you diving into the unique local culture as you spend evenings sipping your favourite drink watching some of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever encounter!

  1. The Namib Desert

Experience the best of an African safari that includes sleeping under the stars among red desert sand dunes; explore Sossusvlei with its petrified trees in a sea of white sand that contrasts beautifully with the red sand around it. This is a honeymoon for the adventurous, no doubt about it, so get ready to take a quad biking adventure or climbing dunes to watch the most breathtaking sunrises you will ever experience.  If it is a sense of being completely alone on the planet, then the Namib Desert is the place for you!

  1. Franschhoek; Cape Town

Nothing beats this picturesque little town set in the Franschhoek Valley winelands with its aura and architecture that is reminiscent of provincial France.  Its cobbled terraces, elegant roadside cafes, fine dining and abundance of world renowned wine farms make it a capital for romance that could make Paris blush!

  1. Lake Malawi

If a complete getaway from the madding crowd is what you want for your honeymoon then this is a place where you can get lost among mango trees and age-old baobabs as you fall under the spell of mythical Lake Malawi, which in itself is the stuff of legends.  The stunning turquoise lake is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving, fringed by pure pebble-white sandy beaches and sleepy fishing villages you may never want to leave!

  1. Zanzibar

Sail into the spectacular east African sunset on board of a traditional wooden dhow and spend your honey moon in total privacy at this remote resort surrounded by mangroves with sandy paths and Makuti thatched forest-cabins, nothing can beat an African honeymoon for peace like lush Pemba can!

  1. Lake Tanganyika: Tanzania

This has got to have its place on this list of the best honeymoon destinations in Africa for a truly ‘Out of Africa’ experience.  A beautiful beach set against a stunningly blue lake and the whitest sand with a forest behind you is definitely the full Monty for romance!

  1. Cape Town: South Africa

Beautiful hotels and intimate guesthouses serve as home base for exploring the beauty of gorgeous mountains, coastlines and wildlife from penguins to baboons!  This is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, offering a completely eclectic mix of art, culture and nature along with out of the world adventures like cage diving with great white sharks.  Enjoy a glass of champagne at the top of Table Mountain and you will know that you have come as close to heaven as possible in Africa.

  1. Mozambique

Nothing calls honeymooners quite like the Indian Ocean, and Mozambique is a stunning introduction to the brightest fish, dolphins and turtles that make their home in its clear waters with pink flamingos flying overhead. This is the perfect unspoiled place for the most intimate outdoors adventures any honeymooner can hope for.

  1. Tanzania

Tanzania is home to iconic safari destinations such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and is undoubtedly one of the worlds wildest and most beautiful honeymoon destinations!  Newlyweds visiting Tanzania will discover a country that is slightly off the beaten track and still be able to enjoy thrilling safaris and opulent accommodation!

The destination for your honeymoon in Africa is not going to be an easy choice, but, whether you are looking for seclusion, adventure or the safari of a lifetime, the wide open spaces of Africa will have a destination that will leave you with the most profoundly beautiful honeymoon experience!

If you want to explore outside Africa, check out these Honeymoon Cruise destinations.