10 Of The Most Endangered Animal Species In Britain Examining the Contributing Factors to the Bushmeat Trade and Crisis in Ghana

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Examining the Contributing Factors to the Bushmeat Trade and Crisis in Ghana

Abstract

The paper examines contributory factors facilitating the Bushmeat trade in Ghana, reveals the multiplicity and complex nature of the trade, some conservation measures attempted to control the trade and crisis and suggests avenues for future research and policy makeovers.

Keywords: Bushmeat, Ghana, Crisis, Wildlife, Trade

1 Introduction:

The unsustainable and illegal harvest of bushmeat occurring at a commercial scale is a primary threat facing many wildlife species in Ghana today. Bushmeat, the meat of wild animals, is a highly valuable wildlife commodity in Ghana and has gone from traditional, subsistence to mainly commercial trade. By some estimate, Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998, found that the once traditional way of life, has evolved into a $350 million dollar industry in Ghana that threatens endangered animals driving several primate species in the Upper Guinea forest to the brink of extinction. This has come at an enormous cost to a country that lacks the resources to assure sustainable management of their natural resource potential. Distinctive amongst the species is the Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus Monkey (Procolobus Badius Waldroni), a primate taxon endemic to the forest regions of Ghana and enlisted as extinct by IUCN Red List 2006.

Obviously the current unsustainable pattern appears to be the outcome of overexploitation evidenced by the extensive outtake of species. The multiplicity and complex nature of the trade suggest various contributing factors facilitating the bushmeat crisis. I examine these factors, reveal some avenues for policy makeovers and suggest opportunities for future research.

2 General Background

The ‘bushmeat crisis’ is a term without succinct definition. A much general definition would be the unsustainable exploitation of wildlife for human consumption leading to widespread loss of wildlife populations, further endangerment of species, and diminished livelihoods for current and future generations of wildlife-dependent communities. It is an agonizing topic for anyone concerned for wildlife. In a distant past, large areas of Ghana’s forest and savanna lands supported significant and diverse populations of wild animals and were the main source of animal protein, biogenetic resources, a symbol of cultural identity and ethnic origin. (Conservation International, Ghana, 2005).

Today in Ghana a rather brutal slaughter is going on, only this time, instead of arable farm animals the victims are the monkeys, porcupines, and duikers etc, locally called ‘nwuramunam’ . Bushmeat trade, in the manner currently operated is equal not only to the illegal trade in exotic wildlife but the illegal drug trade which emphasize more on profits of trade. The multibillion-dollar trade in bushmeat according to Brashares et al., 2004, is among the most immediate threats to the persistence of tropical vertebrates, with minimal empirical data and understanding on the underlying drivers and effects on human welfare.

Very little attention is paid to wildlife habitats but meeting the demands of the burgeoning middle class either in the urban centres or in international cities, who consider eating bushmeat a delicacy. To some, the problem is lack of adequate laws and their enforcement. Others claim it is poverty. However on close examination, the trade reveals contributing factors either than the popular poverty maxim. It is hoped that this exploratory report would reveal these many problems contributing to this ecological predicament in Ghana.

2.1.1 A Brief Description of Ghana and the Bushmeat Trade

Many scholars have indicated the existence of the bushmeat trade from of old. Grubb et al., 1998, indicated that the bushmeat trade has a long history in Ghana. Clark, 1994 commented that trade in smoked game in Ghana has been in existence since the fifteenth century. Some estimates by Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998 indicate that every year 385 million kg of bushmeat are harvested (estimated at US$350 million) and 92 million kg are marketed (US$83 million). A recent research by Cowlishaw et al., 2003 revealed a general trend with the major animal groups being rodents (59% of total mass), duikers (25%), and invertebrates (15%) and a less than one percent being primates. A probable implication of the latter maybe the result of primates extirpations or a change of consumer taste has occurred or probably trade in meat of primates may have been attracted into some sought of black market.

A study by Tutu et al., 1993 revealed the Kantamanto market in Accra, Atwemonom market in Kumasi and the Tarkoradi market in Tarkoradi as notable bushmeat market centers in Ghana. The city of Kumasi alone has three vibrant bushmeat market centers, Atwemonom, Kejetia and Central markets. These markets are highly organized as small family businesses passed on from one generation to the next.

Comparing the volume, weights and prices of the animals entering the Kantamanto market in 1974, 1985 and 1993, an FAO report 1993 revealed that whilst the composition and volume of individual species marketed varied from year to year the price per head of all species had increased several times fold and there was no indication of decreases in the sizes of animals being hunted. This would suggest that although the populations of most wild animal species are believed to be declining in the West African sub-region, hunters continue to put sufficient effort into hunting to maintain supply levels.

2.1.2 Actors in the Bushmeat Trade

According to Falconer, 1992, there are five main types of actors participating in the bushmeat commodity chain in Ghana and come in distinctive divisions among groups. These are commercial hunters, farmer hunters, wholesalers, market traders and local restaurants operators commonly referred to as ‘chopbars ‘. ‘Chopbars’ are local restaurants that specialize in the preparation of traditional meals recipes containing ‘nwuramunam’. Falconer further reveals that commercial and farmer hunters are mostly men, operating in rural areas whilst the wholesalers, market traders and chopbar owners are all women. Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998, commented that commercial hunters are full-time hunters who depend on the trade in bushmeat as their primary source of income. Farmer hunters on the hand are part-time hunters who hunt bushmeat in order to supplement their income from the seasonal agricultural produce. Although retailers claim the activity is seasonal, research has revealed more fulltime operators than part time. Out of 300 bushmeat retailers interviewed in 2001 through a Conservational International Study in 2002, 61.4% were found to be full-time bushmeat traders’ whiles 38.6% respondents stated that they engage in the trade only during times of the year when they cannot find any income generating alternatives. This suggests that a greater portion of the sampled retailers depend on the trade at full time basis. Below is a suggested pattern of interaction suggested by Cowlishaw et al. 2003.

Fig 1: Pattern of Bushmeat Commodity Chain in Ghana. Source: Cowlishaw et al.

Fig 2. Patterns of Bushmeat Commodity Chain.

Source: Cowlishaw et al. 2003

Particularly unrevealing is evidence on the investment behaviour of the ‘capitalist’ bushmeat entrepreneurs. What levels of profits do they make and where do they invest them? Back into the sub-sector or elsewhere? Most importantly, commentaries are silent on the illegal rogue economic actors who in my opinion are the most active and destructive. Information about them is not forth coming but they exist to sustain the crisis.

3 Contributing Factors to the Bushmeat Trade

A vital significance of this issue is the complex nature of its contributing factors.

Almost certainly, the key facilitating reason for the sudden increase in the bushmeat trade is logging. [Ape Alliance, 1998]. Ghana is a major producer of tropical timber in an African industry dominated by international logging companies. As they plow into the forests, they not only destroy and fragment African wildlife habitats, but they also expedite the bushmeat trade. Logging roads are used by bushmeat hunters to gain access to the deep forest and to transport the bushmeat out of the forest to markets, often with logging trucks . As much as the local people should be held accountable for the trade, international loggers must equally be held responsible too.

The emergence of intensified hunting strategies continues to contribute immensely to this wildlife demise. According to the Conservation International study in 2002, six methods of hunting were identified in Ghana. Methods include guns (60%), chemicals (32.5%), fire (3.2%), dogs (2.8%), cutlasses/clubs (1.3%) and traps (0.2%) as depicted in Fig 2. It is however interesting that among these six methods only guns and traps are approved legally by the LI 685 of 1971 under the Ghana Wildlife Law. [GWD, 1999]. The high use of guns as a hunting strategy continues to be of concern to conservationist in Ghana. Molade, 2000 have indicated that most professional hunters use rifles and other licensed automatic weapons. It is quite unfortunate how trapping, with time has been neglected. Trapping though non-selective it is less destructive. The survey revealed only about 0.2% use of traps and it’s the only sanctioned method under the wildlife law whilst the use of dogs, fire and cutlasses have no legal backing the Ghana Wildlife Law [GWD, 1998].

The widespread use of chemicals in hunting remains another crucial contributing factor that needs to be urgently addressed. Chemical use is not selective and kills indiscriminately. Consumption of the affected meat poses deleterious health risks to consumers. Two types of chemicals identified by the Conservation International Ghana study were organophosphates and organochlorine. A locally prepared concoctions referred to as ‘tangen or local poison’ was also identified by the study. Tangen is prepared by grinding the roots and bark of an indigenous tree called ‘Nkradadua ‘ and broken bottles, mixed with some urine and kept for two weeks. Mixing it with any meal would kill instantly. [Oral Source].

The use of fire in hunting is rather prevalent in the grassland savannah areas of Ghana. This is usually done in groups locally termed as ‘floater ‘ with the indication of scattering the animals with the use of fire. Members of the group are positioned strategically whilst fire is set around wildlife habitats. Animals are chased with dogs and cutlasses as they try to escape from the fire.

A maxim propagated through time as reason for this hideous trade is poverty. Some say that the exacerbations of poverty have fuelled bushmeat trade whilst others debunk that idea due to its unsustainable paucity. [Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998]. According to Robinson and Bennett (2002), the twin imperatives of addressing people’s needs and conserving the world’s species, has suggested the alleviating poverty as an antidote to solve the bushmeat crisis. The perspective continuously being contested is the onerous view if alleviating poverty can stop the crisis. Although the importance of bushmeat hunting as a component of livelihoods is widely recognized, its implications have not been extensively analyzed. Bowen-Jones et al., 2002, in their assessment for solution orientated research to promote a more sustainable bushmeat trade indicated that bushmeat use is primarily driven by nutritional need for animal protein and as a livelihood. However this view may be seriously misleading. It encourages the view that bushmeat extraction for trade will readily be reduced through the provision of alternative protein foods. Hard evidence on the extent to which the bushmeat trade is sustainable as a livelihood is difficult to come by. Most available data are qualitative and based on researchers’ perceptions. There is therefore the need for better baseline and longer term monitoring information to inform the sustenance of the trade and its impact on wildlife if any idea of livelihood could be nurtured. Wildlife populations, dynamics and rate of extinction by off-takes must be accessed under the available best practice to provide information to overcome the generally assumed impacts of the trade. One should also be careful in nurturing the trade of bushmeat as a livelihood in market driven indigenous economies. This looks rather uncertain. There is no guarantee that the trade will generally guarantee favourable outcomes for poor people and there is no justification that its long-term sustainability may be an objective of those who may be involved in the trade. Potentially the private sector could capture the market rather than by those marginalized rural poor peasant. The onerous application of demand and supply may have untold consequences on bushmeat as a commodity of trade.

It is also interesting how indigenous people continues to be accused worldwide due to their efforts to sustain the trade whiles little, if not nothing, is being done to address the international demand for wildlife resource. It is obvious that sustained demand directly motivates supply. It is time the government to look at its tourism promotion drive vis a vis the bushmeat trade. Ghana in 1985 moved up from the seventeenth position to eighth in 1998 among the top 20 leading tourism revenue-earners in Africa [WTO, 1999]. According to World Tourism Organization, International tourist arrivals in Ghana has increased steadily from nearly 114,000 in 1988 to about 348,000 in 1998, at an annual average growth rate of about 20 percent. With respect to tourist’s expenditure, international tourism receipts grew at an average annual rate of 41.3 percent from about $55.3 million in 1988 to about $285 million in 1998. This makes tourism the third largest earner of foreign exchange currently, ranking behind mineral and cocoa exports in Ghana. It therefore does not follow logic for the government to sacrifice this achievement for trade in bushmeat. The challenge rather is to find ways of harnessing this significant potential for wildlife-based growth to ensure that it benefits poor people.

Recent studies have also identified emerging infectious wildlife transference diseases and its risk to human health. Studies of SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses) infection have revealed the risk for acquiring SIV infection which is expected to be highest in persons who hunt primates, prepare their meat for consumption or keep them as pets. [Peeters et al., 2002]. The handling of freshly butchered bushmeat, in particular primates, brings about a risk of transmission of new zoonoses the report reveals. This risk, though cannot be adequately assessed because the prevalence, diversity, and geographic distribution of SIV infections in wild primate populations are unknown, it however clearly implies a probably potential health hazard which should discourage the consumption and trade of wildlife meat especially primates.

It is also important to mention that natural resource-related legislation in Ghana as in most part of Africa has been long based on the preservationist logic governed by national legislations with an ‘assumed sense’ of protection. Prior to the 1920s, communities in Ghana managed their wildlife resources through traditional rules that protected some species and regulated exploitation. [Kotey et al., 1998]. Most West African countries adopted since the colonial periods a highly centralized, state-controlled protectionist approach to wildlife management. The aim of this protectionist approach is to control and regulate resource use, enforce regulations, monitor resource condition and use patterns and impact and where possible deter illegal and unsustainable use pattern practices. The first forest policy on wildlife was prepared in 1948 with little or no defined guides to ensure the protection of wildlife. The government later developed a conservation policy, which was adopted in 1974 as the Ghana Wildlife Conservation Policy (1974). The main deficiencies of this policy were its strict protectionist approach and its failure to involve local communities in managing their wildlife resources. The year 1994 witnessed the formation of the Ghana Forestry and Wildlife Policy, which fortunately elevated the Wildlife Department to become a full-fledged Wildlife Agency when it became obvious that most of the provisions in the old policy could not adequately deal with the totality of the emerging issues.

A major contributing factor to the failure of these policies has been the overly technocratic style of policy formulation with little input from customary regulations for which hunters and the general public understand. Evidently, present day legislation has a poor recognition of human contribution to the development of landscapes and biodiversity thus creating the unfortunate perception that wildlife management is the responsibility of state institutions. Rather than reinforcing the powers of local authorities (including decentralized local government), most program serve to diminish local ownership, being expatriate-led, top-down and trivially observe local potential. At the same time, the enforcement of government laws are not adequately effective because there is a serious lack of resources, and a poor capacity to monitor national regulations nation-wide. For example, on the basis of national statistics, it is usually argued that the number of field agents active in wildlife issues is usually 1 person for 50,000 to 85,000 hectares, in most of West African countries. [Kotey et al 1998]. This situation is worsened by the very poor equipment of these agents (lack of transportation means, communication, shelter, extension tools, etc), and the fact that a majority of them are part-time workers. Interestingly, Ntiamoa-Baidu [1998] found that hunter income was the same as an entry-level graduate Wildlife Officer and 3.5 times the government minimum wage. It is obvious what the implications are.

4 Recommendations for Future Research

According to Salafky et al., (2002) any effective conservation would require addressing three fundamental questions whose answers can only be sought in conservation practice: (i) What should our goals be and how do we measure progress in reaching them? (ii) How can we most effectively take action to achieve conservation? And; (iii) how can we learn to do conservation better? Extinction is truly irreversible, once gone, individual species and all of the services that they provide us cannot be brought back. Objective scientific information and methods are needed in Ghana for listing species, subspecies, and distinct population segments as endangered or threatened under the wildlife laws. While non-scientific factors should appropriately be considered, biological defensible principles are immediately needed. Critical scientific information should not only include current empirical data, but also, for example, historic habitat and population information, population surveys, captive breeding, behavioural data, habitat and population modelling, and taxonomic and genetic studies. Recovery plans must be prepared based on the best available science identifying threats, mitigate those threats, and must predict how species and their entire bio-synergy are likely to respond to mitigation measures that may be adopted.

Another area worth researching for further redress to the crisis in Ghana is investigating the linkages between indigenous people knowledge in biodiversity conservation. Campbell (2005) commented on the insufficient attention paid in recent literature to the social and environmental factors which regulate hunting in Ghana. An analysis by Hens (2006) on series of biodiversity related subjects in Ghana show that indigenous knowledge has the potential to contribute to the conservation of species, genes and ecosystems. As Rose, 2000, puts it, conservation must pursue human-nature bio-synergy in the era of social chaos and bushmeat commerce. A recent survey by the Conservation International on totems in Ghana revealed that over 200 totems in Ghana are represented by wildlife, and among these about 98% of these animals are endangered, threatened or extinct. [Conservation International 2003]. Totems which some suggest have helped to conserve wildlife in the past have been rendered ineffective by this ferocious trade which rarely observes wildlife rules. The local people’s culture and its symbiotic relationships between animals are therefore considerably threatened. As these cultural objects and perspectives become endangered their roles in biodiversity conservation become meaningless. Chiefs, tribes and clans could begin the search to restore their totems with the attributes of the wild. A typical example is the cultural efforts undertaken at the Buabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana . As part of the indigenous people’s commitment to conservation, they have maintained sacred groves and protected areas of forest that have a strong cultural and religious significance. The groves are sacred sanctuaries for wildlife and home for the Campbell’s Mona Monkeys and the Geoffrey’s Pied Colobus Monkeys. According to Fajey (1992) and Ntiamoah-Baidu (2002) villagers who live in the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary traditionally have a taboo against killing these black-and-white Colobus (polykomos) and mona monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli), which inhabit the forest around their villages. The reconciliation of the diverse views and perspectives on conservation at this stage is most critical. This in no doubt affects the socio-cultural life of many communities in Ghana that are inextricably linked with wildlife. Thus our history and culture are in danger says Okyeame Ampadu-Agyei . It is about time all endeavour are brought to bear on all conservation efforts.

At the very heart of this complex phenomenon is the reasoning questioning the critical importance of wildlife to local people and how dependent they are on wildlife. In looking for solutions further research could be extended to assess pragmatic mechanisms for working through wildlife to reduce poverty and improve livelihood. Any effort to enhance trade without critical reference to some of these important questions would have disparaging ecological impacts on the environment.

It is also essential to note why people would prefer meat to fish even though significant freshwater fish stocks exist in many bushmeat source areas. [Redford and Robinson, 1987]. Fish farming, as a substitute animal protein should be supported to reduce the demand for bushmeat. Probably the preference for hunting over fishing is largely cultural, and indicative of some kind of irrational preference for meat on the part of consumers. Some scholars are with the view that fishing tends to become more attractive when human population densities increase to the point where returns to farming and hunting decline appreciably [Boserup, 1965]. This assertion may be a general case and further studies should be pursued to study the decision-making issues involved in selecting either bushmeat or fish.

Furthermore, the development of captive breeding or game farming could be supported as an alternative to active hunting of wild animals. Several authors have advocated for captive breeding of game species as an alternate way to satisfy local demand without compromising the wild stock. [Auzel and Wilkie, 2000]. There is evidence that major species with potential for domestication have long since been discovered especially for grasscutters in Ghana. An analysis of differential benefits and conservation impacts of alternative modes of production compared to the wild harvesting would be most appropriate. This has obvious attractions where bushmeat fetches a high price [Asibey and Child, 1990], and logically, it could lead to a reduced demand for bushmeat. Probably more pilot schemes could be established to test the viability of such game ventures.

5 Conclusion and Summary

It is very clear that the bushmeat trade leading to the crisis has been motivated by several other factors than poverty, as popularly claimed. The multiplicity of the problems require a multi-disciplinary approach both in decision making and policy enforcements. Though a number of conservation organizations have raised the alarm over these issues an effective action would require the cooperation of all stakeholders, including governments, conservation groups, scientist, cultural and religious groups, logging companies, and both local and international consumers. This has become necessary because it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish traditional from commercial hunting. Severe knowledge gaps on the phenomenon needs to be addressed before concrete conclusions can be made. Wildlife conservation in Ghana must pursue the bio-synergy of humanity and nature in order to find alternative ways to satisfy the human needs that drive the destructive commercial trade in wildlife bushmeat. It is at this point clear that when wildlife is gone, it goes with it all its important benefits, be it protein for the poor or ecosystem diversity. And without the animals, any shot at sustaining tourism in Ghana is history. Adams (2004) poses a question for conservation managers in the 21st century. He says ‘the big question for the 21st century must not only be broader, nor how to stop species but how to prevent our dazzling technical capacity and our seemingly endless desire to consume natures diversity, from fatally undermining the resilience of the biosphere’. No piecemeal strategy will stand this complex bushmeat trade phenomenon in Ghana.

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10 Of The Most Common Endangered Animals In Africa Ten Reasons Why People Travel on Safari

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Ten Reasons Why People Travel on Safari

When we go on an African safari we make a point of chatting to other visitors and over the past sixteen years we have compiled the following list of top ten motives people leave the comfort of their homes in order to travel to Southern or East Africa on a guided or self-drive safari.

If you have been on safari, or are thinking of going, see if your motive ties up with any of the ten that are listed below.

They are listed in order of importance:

1. Relaxation – People need to escape the stress of work and just relax. Some people relax at the swimming pool, read a book on the camp lawns, while others want solitude – the peace and quiet that you get at the Kruger bushveld camps or Kgalagadi wilderness camps. However you relax, recharging your batteries by breaking away from routine in an African national park is good medicine!

2. Photography – The ‘big-five’, ‘super-seven’ and ‘elusive-eleven’ are all exciting animals to photograph and your photos will provide perfect souvenirs for you to take back home. The Southern African parks of Kruger, Kgalagadi, Etosha and Pilanesberg are ideal game-viewing destinations as they all provide excellent opportunities for wildlife photography.

3. Nature – Some people go on an African safari for educational reasons such as to observe endangered species, documenting certain animals and plants or to see how many different birds and mammals they can see and tick-off.

4. Family and Friends – Many people have friends and/or family members scattered all over the world and going on a safari together is the ideal way to be together while experiencing wildlife and the wilderness.

5. Food and Culture – People want to experience different cultures and an African safari will expose you to many unique cultures, from the Himba tribe in Namibia and the Zulus in South Africa to the Maasai in Kenya. And don’t forget the many different foods! We have had delicious German food in Namibia; succulent seafood in Mozambique & Tanzania and tasted nearly every game animal in South Africa, of which elephant and impala were yummy.

6. Attractions – These could be natural attractions such as impressive landscapes like the Victoria Falls or luxury accommodation such as is found in the Kruger Park’s private lodges or the East African parks. Another attraction is the climate – when it’s snowing in Europe and America, Africa has sunny skies with balmy evenings!

7. Activities – Nature photo-tours, hiking, mountain biking, horse-back or elephant-back safaris and even conferences are activities that can enhance your safari experience.

8. Honeymoon – If you are getting married you want to go to a special place to celebrate and most of the southern and east African national parks provide the ideal setting for you. Most game reserves and rest camps have at least one private chalet that is perfect for honeymooners.

9. Spiritual – The African safari experience will affect most people and they should start thinking about life – appreciating what they have, thanking God for His many blessings and also pondering on questions like ‘where do we come from?’, ‘what is the purpose of life?’ and ‘what happens to us after we die?’.

10. Healing – People often visit national parks to scatter the ashes of a loved one as the place has special significance for them. The Kruger Park is one such popular place where you can combine a safari with the healing act of returning a loved one to nature.

So, you may identify with one of the reasons above or your motive may be a combination of the above points. Whatever the case, travelling on a safari can, and should be, an unforgettable experience.

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10 Of The Most Common Endanged Animals In Africa Head to the Pilansberg For a Wonderful Safari

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Head to the Pilansberg For a Wonderful Safari

As winter settles into the northern parts of South Africa, our striking Highveld turns from summer’s gorgeous greens to winter’s browns, oranges & yellows. The vegetation thins and this heralds the start of the Safari season in Southern Africa. Due to the grass being thinner and water being scarcer it becomes much easier to see the animals who gather at watering holes and are more visible in general.

South Africa’s northern provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga host some of the most famous and wildlife rich reserves in the world where you can see the Big Five animals of Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino & Buffalo, as well as countless other noteworthy species. For many a Safari does not only represent seeing the big five but it is also about experiencing the breathtakingly beautiful landscape and interacting with the welcoming local population.

Pilansberg Game Reserve is in the Bojanala region of the North West province adjacent to the world renowned Sun City hotel complex. The reserve was created in 1979 and is located in the crater of an extinct volcano. It is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world and its rare rock types and structure makes it a unique geological feature.

The area is fringed by three concentric ridges or rings of hills with the formation rising from the surrounding plains like a bubble. The structure of the park is termed the “Pilanesberg Game Reserve Alkaline Ring Complex”. Ancient, even by geological time scales, this extinct volcano is the most perfect example of an alkaline ring complex. A number of rare (but not necessarily economically important) minerals occur in the park. Pilanesberg Game Reserve is one of the world’s outstanding geological phenomena.

An abundance of wildlife proliferates in the bushveld terrain, with an excess of 7 000 animals including 24 of the larger species. It is home to healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo – Africa’s “Big Five”. A wide variety of rare and common species exist like the nocturnal brown hyena, the fleet-footed cheetah, the majestic sable, as well as giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodile. The Park is the fourth largest park in South Africa and covers an area of 55 000 hectares.

With over 200 kilometers of excellent quality roads for either self-drives or guided drives and numerous hides and scenic picnic sites there is much to explore.

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10 Native Scottish Animals And Where To Find Them Cultural Festivals in Long Beach, California

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Cultural Festivals in Long Beach, California

The Pacific Coastal city of Long Beach, California has long since been known as an international city. The city is home to one of the largest shipping ports in the world bringing with it a large influx of people from around the world. Many cultural groups exist within the city limits of Long Beach, which is why it earned its nickname, “The International City.” Long Beach prides itself on its unique blend of inhabitants by celebrating all the different nationalities and cultures that exist within the city. Throughout the year residents and visitors can participate in any number of cultural festivals. Here are just some of the festivals that are held in Long Beach:

Queen Mary Scottish Festival

The Queen Mary Scottish festival is a celebration of the Scottish heritage. The festival will take place in February each year on The Queen Mary, which is one of the most famous ships ever built on the River Clyde and a testament to the great craftsmanship of the Scottish people. The cultural celebration will include the music of Scottish bagpipes and drums, several highland dancing competitions, whiskey tastings and more.

SoCal Italian Festival

The 2010 SoCal Italian Festival take place each May, at the Seaport Marina Hotel within the inner gardens and pool area. The festival aims to keep the “taste of Italy” alive within the SoCal area with a variety of vendors including Lucci’s Gelato & Italian Ice, Unico Los Angeles Pizza and Mediterranean Marble, just to name a few. A portion of the SoCal Italian Festivals proceeds will benefit the Long Beach Friends of Animals.

Ho’olaule’a Tiki Beach Festival

The 10th annual Ho’olaule’a Tiki Beach Festival will takes place every August on the beach from sunrise to sunset. The festival hosts a number of activities including “Night of Fire” torch lighting, fire walk, fire knife dance, Crazy Al Evans’ Tiki Museum and island music. The festival has a Taste of Aloha Food Court where you can try island style fare and Island Market Place and Cultural Center when you can purchase traditional island arts and crafts. On the Sunday morning a Hula praise & worship service will be held.

Greek Festival

For more than 60 years the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Long Beach has celebrated Greek Festival on Labor Day weekend. The festival boasts a number activities for the whole family including carnival rides and games, church tours, Greek dancing lessons, dance performances, live music and a variety of Greek foods and desserts to try. The festival is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. Entrance into the festival requires a small donation to the church and parking is free.

Brazilian Street Carnaval

The annual Brazilian Street Carnaval take place in September in the promenade amphitheater and features a colorful parade of costumed participants, dance performances, live music and the traditional foods and drinks of Brazil. The inhabitants of Long Beach, California are a diverse group of people who embrace their heritage and invite others to experience a bit of their culture through a host annual festivals. These cultural festivals are a great way to spend a weekend while getting to know your neighbors.

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10 Movies That Stole From Anime Without Getting Caught Fall 2018 Anime Watch List

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Fall 2018 Anime Watch List

This latest season of anime has brought with it a storm of great stories. I never usually keep up with many anime at a time, especially during the season, but this time is an exception.

So, let’s go through what I’ve been keeping up with this season.

Sword Art Online: Alicization

It’s no secret that I’m an SAO fan. This season has brought be great joy, as season 3 is finally here. I’m super stoked since I’ve completed the light novels, so this is the first time I actually know what is going to happen. It’ll be interesting to see how much they stick to the source material, and how often they deviate.

The story is set after the GGO incident, and after the Ordinal Scale incident. Kirito is doing some part time work for Rath, working with a machine called a “Soul Translator”. It has the ability to create a virtual world indistinguishable from real life.

After being attacked by the third perp of death gun, Kirito is rushed to the hospital! Then… he awakens in a mysterious, yet nostalgic, world. Where is he? Why is he there?

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Boy was this a pleasant surprise! This has turned out to be one of my favorite anime of the season, just for the banter between the two main characters. It is so sweet, and funny, I just fell in love with them.

“Puberty Syndrome” is a phenomenon that affects adolescents. Currently, it is affecting Mai, a high school actress. She is finding that less and less people can see her. So, she walks around periodically in a bunny suit, to see if she gets any reactions. That’s when she runs into a classmate by the name of Sakuta… and he can see her.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

The first episode of this had me hooked. I mean, any episode where a man’s dying wish is to have is hard drive wiped, has got my vote. This turned out to be a pretty funny twist on the over-saturated genre.

Satoru is a middle aged man that agreed to join his junior, and his new girlfriend, at a meetup. What he didn’t plan on was jumping in between them and a perp with a knife. Before he knows it, he’s dead, and suddenly alive again… in another world… as a slime.

Goblin Slayer

Goblins, goblins, goblins.

Goblin Slayer shocked everyone with its very… intense first episode. While others were put off, I welcome the nice change on the genre. It’s a serious show, with some pretty great comic relief moments.

Goblin Slayer is the name of an adventurer who only takes on goblin hunting quests. After saving a priest from a pitiful fate, she joins his party. Later, more and more come looking for him, seeking his skills.

Zombieland Saga

I’ve never, ever watched an idol show. But… this season, I’m watching an idol show. This show is hilarious. I love it. I don’t even care that it’s an idol show. The comedic punchlines are on point.

When five former pop idols suddenly wake up as zombies, they have no idea what’s going on! Things only get more weird when their manager declares them to be a new idol group, and they are to play at shows! But, of course, no one can find out they’re zombies.

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10 Most Intelligent Animals By Brain To Body Ratio Reinventing Yourself After Sixty

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Reinventing Yourself After Sixty

Sixty years of age is a key milestone for the baby boomer generation. Some say sixty is the new forty with all the advancements in medicine and health consciousness. The fact is, people today are living longer and enjoying a higher standard of living and better health than did their parents and grandparents. According to the 2010 statistics published in The State of Aging and Health in America by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average life expectancy for American citizens has increased to 78.5 years old.

Since people are living longer, the years from age 60-80 have become a very important period in the lives of senior citizens. These are the retirement years. This demographic has fewer career and family responsibilities than other age groups, plus more money and powerful spending potential from investments, and large equities in their homes. They know what activities are fulfilling and have the spare time to learn and do new things. Rather than stay home and watch soap operas, many seniors are now starting new financial enterprises and activities such as stock trading, golf, travel, running a new home based business, volunteering, working in their church, participating in community groups and committees, sports, or joining new social circles such as dance groups, card clubs, fraternal organizations, and country clubs. For those who want to reinvent their life, all of these activities and interests are proving that this period of life can be very fruitful, productive, and fulfilling.

Retirement is different for every individual according to their personal situation and when they plan to retire. For many, a lot depends on their social security income and when they elect to receive benefits. The monthly benefit amount varies according to when a person retires. For seniors born during 1943 – 1954, the full retirement age is 66. Some will choose to retire as early as age 62, providing they meet the 40 minimum earned credit requirement, and their benefit amount will be reduced depending on how many months they receive benefits before they reach full retirement age.

Conversely, there are those who plan to delay retirement and work up to age 70, or longer, in order to draw an increased monthly benefit. Those working past age 66 and born during 1941 – 1942, will receive a 7.5% increase, while those born in 1943, or later, will receive an 8% increase up to age 70.

For many seniors, plans for an early retirement went down the drain along with the equities in their homes when the economy slipped into recession and many people lost their retirement nest eggs. Those not forced to extend their career will no doubt retire, however, those who must work until age 70, or longer, will be forced to reinvent themselves, like it or not. Here are some basic guidelines to help those who will have to experience the ordeal of change during their peak retirement years.

Before you can reinvent yourself, however, you need to take an inventory to see where you are now and determine where you want or need to be. This self-evaluation should include as many aspects of your body, mind, and spirit as you can identify. You need to examine your present belief system and determine your values, your ethics, your morals, and your attitude. One of the primary things you need to evaluate is your ability to change and how you handle stress and new circumstances. You will find that there are some things you can change while there are others that you cannot. It is not true that an old dog cannot be taught new tricks. Just because you are sixty or older doesn’t mean you are set in your ways and cannot adapt.

Remember, nothing changes if you change nothing, or cannot change, so for those who are motivated to alter their present lifestyle and situation; here are some suggestions to help you plan your own metamorphosis and get the ball rolling. Change begins with taking the first step and with baby steps thereafter. Change need not be so dramatic and stressful, or traumatic, but rather it can be a very pleasant experience composed of curiosity, discovery, experimentation, and acceptance; resulting in increased self-esteem, pride, and a new feeling of self-worth and renewal.

Reinvent Yourself Socially –

  • Get involved with others. Meet new friends. Join clubs, committees, and online dating services to maintain communication and interaction with people with common interests.
  • Do more things together with your spouse… take dance lessons, attend a pottery class, play bridge, go swimming, join a health club or country club, golf, browse thrift shops and book stores, watch videos, etc.
  • Do more things with your children or grandchildren… attend their functions, help with homework, teach them a craft, go to the zoo or a ball game, bake cookies, tell stories, or go shopping together.
  • Volunteer at your church or fraternal organization. Organizations always need organizers and workers and directors. Attend regular city council or town hall meetings and get involved in your community. You can also become a companion to shut-in seniors in nursing homes or visit patients in the hospital. Local government always needs volunteers for voter registration, jury duty, planning committees, advisory boards, and similar positions.
  • Get a cell phone. It doesn’t have to cost much. You can use a pre-paid minute phone and learn to text message on it. Texting will keep your fingers nimble and your mind sharp. Just don’t text message while you drive.
  • Get a laptop computer and get on the Internet. Join one, or several, social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or any forum that interests you. Surfing the web is a great way to improve your social skills and to stay informed and connected with current events.
  • Host more dinner parties, barbeques, or get-togethers with friends, neighbors, family, suppliers, customers, and coworkers.
  • Join a network marketing business and attend meetings and recruit new members.

Reinvent Yourself Mentally –

  • Take personality tests in books and online to find your personality type, temperament and preferences
  • Join luminosity.com and participate in their program daily.
  • Play mentally challenging games such as chess, bridge, poker, Sudoku, Mahjong solitaire, and cross-word puzzles.
  • Attend lectures and take personal development classes at a community college or monitor any classes on subjects you are interested in. For example, if you are an art lover, consider taking a primer on Art History. If you have artistic skills, consider taking a drawing or painting class. Learn a new language for an upcoming vacation trip, or just for the sake of challenging your ability to speak a new tongue. Many people devote much of their lives to raising children, building careers, or both, and never took the time to learn new things, so now is a good time to learn something new.
  • Read more and watch less television. Write your autobiography or articles on various subjects that pique your interest. Learn to speed read. Try to read at least one book a week. If you don’t have the spare time, then subscribe to an audio book club and listen to at least four books per month to stay informed.
  • Start a new hobby or expand an existing one. Collect rocks, stamps, coins, or go bird watching; whatever brings you joy and satisfaction. Make a little hobby area where you can make candles, do pottery, grow plants or bonsai trees. Learn to paint landscapes or portraits. Learn to knit or crochet or perhaps you want to finally restore that old car out in the garage.

Reinvent Yourself Physically –

  • If you want to reinvent yourself quickly and effectively, stop smoking, stop drinking alcohol, eat less red meat, eat more vegetables, stop eating fast foods, take vitamins, and exercise more. It’s the same advice your doctor and mother probably gave you in high school and just think if you’d followed it back then, where would you be now? I know you didn’t want to hear this again, but it was true then and its true now.
  • Join an athletic club if you’re looking for moderate activity with some social aspect, or join a walking group, or start one with your neighbors. Keeping fit and active is vital to make the most of the years after 60. Play tennis, racquet ball, or ping-pong with friends, or join a team sports league for bowling, volleyball, soft ball, or some similar sport designed for senior adults. The exercise will keep your energy up and the interaction with other participants will enhance your social life.
  • If you are on a tight budget, get more aerobic exercise any way you can. Walk, swim, ride a bicycle, or climb a hill at least three to four times per week. Increase your heart rate up to training levels lasting for twenty minute durations. Do something to work up a sweat. If you are overweight, then try to exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes each time to increase your metabolism and burn more calories. Cardio exercise is recommended, but check with your doctor first. Compute your body mass index (BMI) and follow guidelines for your ideal height-weight ratio. If you cannot be active, then try yoga or tai chi or chi gong exercises which will strengthen and stretch your muscles, improve your breathing, balance, and coordination.
  • Pay more attention to your diet and eat less. Stay within the recommended calories per day for your body and try to maintain your proper weight in proportion to your height. Your diet should contain fewer simple carbohydrates and more vegetables and fruits. Avoid fast food, sugar, salt, candy and try to eat more green salads. Try juicing and eating more dinners with less red meat. Fasting one day a week is also highly recommended.
  • Take food supplements and vitamins. Visit your health food store and start reading more information about your health. You should take a multi-vitamin supplement daily at the very least, but you can also custom design whole cocktails of supplements to accentuate and support desired conditions and specific areas such as memory function, eye sight, digestion, diabetes, stress, sleep, heart, liver, and colon cleanse.
  • Determine your body and blood type and follow the recommendations for your category. Check your blood pressure and pulse daily
  • See a medical professional for exams; at least twice a year, and have a complete blood work performed at least once a year. A complete annual physical exam should include monitoring blood pressure, temperature, blood oxygen, peripheral circulation, weight, listening to your heart, examining your body for lumps, moles, lesions, abrasions, bruises, and examining your mouth, ears, nose, throat, feet, and genitalia. Women should receive a pap smear and men should have their prostate gland examined and a hernia exam.
  • See your dentist at least twice a year, or if you have dentures, schedule an annual exam to ensure your dentures fit properly and your mouth is not changing which could result in discomfort or sores later on.
  • Develop an active lifestyle… which may include boating, hunting, fishing, skiing, jogging, bicycling, and similar activities if you are able.
  • Get adequate rest; at least seven hours of sleep is recommended with a twenty minute long nap after lunch. As people age, they tend to need less sleep, but don’t become a night owl and stay up late. If you snore, ask your doctor about the potential for sleep apnea and follow his advice. If you find yourself sleeping a lot, especially during the day, or experience fatigue with wide spread flu-like pain, then ask your doctor about anemia and fibromyalgia. Don’t sleep your life away.

Reinvent Yourself Spiritually –

  • Attend your church, temple, or religious group regularly. Spiritual growth enriches life and gives hope and support for difficulties that arise as you age. You may wish to join yoga or a tai chi group in your community or attend Bible studies or even make a pilgrimage to some city or country that you have wanted to visit all your life.
  • Volunteer at public organizations, religious functions, food banks, free clinics, blood donation centers, parks and recreation departments, and local animal shelters so you can give back to your community by donating your time. Volunteer for an organization or cause that you truly care about. If you have loved animals all your life, then volunteer to walk dogs, socialize cats or organize fundraising events for your local shelter. If you have previously supported development projects in other parts of the world, contact the organization and ask if you are able to volunteer your time in your community as well. No matter what you do, reinventing your life after 60 should be about making your life the one you want to live. You only go around once, so make it count, and do it your way.

Reinvent Yourself Emotionally –

  • Change your diet so that you consume less alcohol, less fat, and eat more foods that support serotonin and dopamine production in the brain.
  • Fight bouts of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with SAMe and herbal supplements and exercise.
  • Find someone or a pet to love. Love is the best medicine for almost any problem and you can never get or give too much of it.
  • Laugh daily. Surround yourself with positive people who cause you to laugh and maintain a positive attitude despite difficult situations. Watch comedies more often and find funny and interesting videos on YouTube.com and similar web sites. Read funny stories, jokes, and watch uplifting and inspiring television programs.
  • Don’t live alone. If you can’t live with family or friends, find a roommate so that you always have someone who can look in on you and keep you engaged. Loneliness breeds fear, solitude, depression, and withdrawal.
  • Join a senior center for regular companionship and scheduled activities such as potluck dinners, bingo, card games, and music entertainment.
  • Visit family members often and call them all on a regular basis just to stay in touch. Remember birthdays with a card or gift and try to attend all holiday dinners and traditional get-togethers.
  • Nothing improves your self-esteem better than changing your wardrobe. If you have always wore blue jeans, then buy some nice slacks. If your old shoes have seen better days, then buy a nice new pair of shoes. Try wearing a suit around once a week; that will perk you up. When you look good, you feel good.

Reinvent Yourself Financially –

  • These are hard times. If the economy has robbed you of your nest egg and forced you into austere circumstances, then you may have to swallow your pride and apply for public assistance. With high unemployment, you may have no choice. You have to eat. Contact your local food bank, Health and Welfare office, and any free medical clinics for assistance. Do what you have to do to get by until things improve. Make the smart move. Do the right thing. This is a temporary economic condition that will pass.
  • Instead of retiring early, or at the regular age; work longer and your monthly social security benefit will increase when you do finally retire.
  • If you lost your life savings when the “too large to fail” banks collapsed, then you may be reluctant to save or invest. However, making safe investments is still one of the best ways to increase your net worth. Consider safe growth stocks.
  • Day trading and saving your money in a bank are not good ideas. Consider buying tax deed certificates (paper trading) from county governments which yield high interest rates.
  • Finding employment that pays a realistic living wage is tough these days. You may have to return to school and retrain in a new occupation or field. For example, there are many loggers and construction workers who have switched to become insurance salesman, truck drivers, welders, CADD drafters, project managers, inspectors, and similar alternative occupations when their industries collapsed during the recession. Search online and find the best source for your training and secure a loan, or pay as you go, in order to acquire the knowledge necessary to change careers. It will be worth it.
  • Consider moving to a new city if you can’t find work in your community. If you have always wanted to live in a different location, take the opportunity to do it after 60. If you want to test out living in a new town without committing long-term, sublet an apartment or room for a couple of months. Check with the Chamber of Commerce and Senior Centers for recommendations. If your children have already relocated to another city, try to visit them and check out the area before you commit to a permanent relocation. If you don’t want to change cities, but do want to see more of the U.S., consider using a recreational vehicle for part of the year. You can live in RV parks and stay in new locations in comfort, providing the weather and fuel prices cooperate.
  • If you are inclined to gamble, then trading in binary options online promises higher gains in a short period of time with a potential of earning thousands of dollars monthly from the comfort of your home.
  • Start an online affiliate business. Create a web site with affiliate links that point to major league suppliers like Amazon.com and ClickBank.com, and drive traffic to that site to earn sales commissions. There is a learning curve involved, but the dividends are well worth it.
  • Turn your hobby into a small business operation. If you enjoy making things, you can sell your crafts on eBay, in local auctions, craft fairs, at garage sales, and at farmer’s markets. Make your venture low-risk and stay focused on something you like doing, regardless if sales are adequate or consistent. Reinvest some of your profits back into the business to grow and earn more income. Don’t forget to take all your tax deductions.

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10 Most Horrible Animal Attacks On Humans Compilation 2015 10 Best Shopping Paradises In Kenya You Will Love To Explore

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10 Best Shopping Paradises In Kenya You Will Love To Explore

Kenya sports some great shopping malls which will attract anybody, and are perfect for hanging around. Let’s see some of these fabulous places.

1. Village Market, Nairobi: Located in Gigiri, Nairobi, Village Market is an upscale shopping mall sprawling over an area of 20,000 sq ft. Two Kenyan brothers started this market in 1995 which has 150 stores. Starting from tourist and ending in casual visitors, village market is a favorite destination for all. You get a broad range of choice from fashion accessories, electronic equipment, and African artifacts. One of the events that interest me is the traditional dance that takes place here. Starting from recreational facilities, food court, food stores and some promotional events that take place throughout the year, this shopping mall attracts visitors from all walks of life. Diplomats and expatriates love to spend evenings and weekends in this mall.

2. West Gate Mall, Nairobi: Opened in 2007, West Gate Mall is one of the finest shopping centers in Nairobi. Situated at Westlands, this mall suffered the worst terrorist attack ever in 2013, claiming a large number of lives, and wrecking the mall altogether. Kudos to the spirit of the Kenyans, the mall again rose with its head held high in 2015. Be it branded accessories, eateries, African artifacts, electrical gadgets, food joints or some zonal offices; you can find everything in the mall. It’s a fantastic place to hang around with friends. You will find traditional African attire, artifacts and other objects of interest.

3. Two Rivers Mall, Nairobi: Inaugurated in 2017 by President Uhuru Kenyatta, this mall is one of the latest in Kenya. Sprawling over an area of 11 acres, it’s one of the largest malls in sub-Saharan Africa. The mall proudly showcases global fashion leaders like LC Waikiki, Swarovski, Carrefour, and Zara. You may enjoy a cup of coffee in Attibassi or get entertained in Magic Planet.

4. Nakumatt Nyali, Mombasa: Situated beside Nyali Bridge, this mall is one of the biggest in Mombasa. Open 24 hours a day, Nakumatt Nyali is a major attraction for both visitors and residents. Sporting various well-known brands, Nakumatt Nyali is a great place to hang around on the weekends. Nakumatt is a famous Kenyan supermarket chain which has three branches all over East Africa that attract buyers of all profile. You may halt here for a sumptuous lunch and then carry on with your site seeing activity while you are in Mombasa.

5. Akamba Handicraft, Mombasa: If you are fond of home décor, never miss a visit to Akamba Handicraft. Established in 1917, Mutisya Muge started selling his carvings to the army men. Today it has almost 100 workers and 2800 active members. It has some mesmerizing collection of animal carvings, decorative carvings, masks and ornaments, human sculptures, functional carvings and abstract art. The mind-boggling artwork will get a permanent place in your dining hall to impress your guests.

6. Sarit Center, Nairobi: Sarit Center is one of the city’s busiest shopping centers. Situated in the heart of Westlands, Nairobi, this shopping mall will impress you with the list of national and international brands showcased. The ongoing culture show, exhibition and promotional events conducted here are the main attraction for any visitor. If you are fond of sweets, savory and Indian spices, then your hunt ends here. A perfect place to spend weekends, Sarit Center is one of the most desired places to quench one’s shopping spree.

7. Diamond Plaza, Nairobi: Situated in Nairobi, Diamond Plaza is a luxurious shopping complex which accommodates a 22 story building, six cinema lounges, restaurants, and cafe. Diamond Plaza is one of the oldest and biggest shopping centers known to each Kenyan for the boulevard of the international brands it displays. The unique plan, design, and architecture of the building once took the media by storm. You will find various food courts, food stores, offices and other recreational activities.

8. Diani Beach Shopping Center, Diani Beach: Located on Diani Beach, Mombasa, this is one of the famous shopping centers of Kenya. Having a plethora of shopping options, the Diani Beach shopping mall has one of the best collections of accessories, food courts, and electronic gadgets. If you are a visitor in Kenya, never miss a chance to visit Diani beach for a sumptuous lunch break.

9. TRM, Thika Road: TRM mall in Thika is one of the modern state-of-the-art shopping malls of present times. Having a collection of international and national brands, TRM is one of the busiest hubs during the weekends. Come to shop for your wedding or might be for a movie, TRM will entertain you with all possible facilities.

10. West End Shopping Mall, Kisumu: If you are in Kisumu, never miss the opportunity to chill in the west end shopping mall. You will surely appreciate the enormous collection of international and domestic brands or may indulge yourself in the pleasures of having an excellent meal at the food court. You will be amazed to find the myriad of artifacts, paintings, sculptures, books, and merchandise.

Kenya is a perfect combination of amazing wildlife, excellent hospitality, and modern accessories. It preserves both modernity and primitive tribal life with utter perfection. Kenya and its treasured assets coupled with the hospitality and warmth of its people are unforgettable. And as far as shopping is concerned, you have the best of the malls here to quench your shopping spree.

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10 Kinds Of Wild Animals In New York City Top 10 Beautiful Countries To Spend Holidays

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Top 10 Beautiful Countries To Spend Holidays

The word ‘Holiday’ is very favourite to all of us. That means a lot of pleasure and brings happiness to our regular life. We all are very busy in this earth with our daily works. There are many people all around who have even no time to spend a while with their friends and family because of their busyness. Those kinds of situation can bring a lot of stress and unhappiness to their life. To overcome that boring life, people need a long break from the works. Making holidays with friends or family can be the best idea and when it is possible to spend holiday in a world most beautiful country or place, nothing can be worth than that.

There are many beautiful countries over the world where spending holidays will bring refreshment in your mind for sure. Here are top 10 most beautiful countries where you can make your vacation memorable,

1. Switzerland

There is no doubt that Switzerland is one of most beautiful countries to spend holidays where have some outstanding nature full of crystal lakes and mountain tops covered with snow. Lots of people choose this country to visit for its fusion of culture. This country has both sites of historical and archaeological value to the modern humanity. The museums here are too unique of treasurer for art lovers and historians, which are a mixture of France, Italian, German and the Swiss cultures. This country has more than enough attractions, which will keep you busy enough to enjoy your holidays. The Swiss National Park is a place where you can see many species of animals, plants and birds. You will get the opportunity to see how various kinds of birds living in their natural habitats. Some people choose this place to spend their honeymoon. Most people prefer to spend holidays in Bern the capital of Switzerland because of its beauty and shopping experience. The shops in Bern are located in the Medieval Streets that run about six kilometres long. You will be presented here with both local and some international fashion designers products. Another important thing is that, this city has some international organizations including UNESCO. The Chillon Castle is another major tourist attraction in Switzerland that will offer you a lot in terms of history and ancient culture. This oldest Castle stands in the bank of Lake Geneva. There are about hundred buildings, three elaborate courtyards, several dungeons and four great walls from where you can enjoy a mind-blowing view of Lake Geneva. This place you should give the first priority when you spend your holiday in Switzerland I recommend.

2. United State of America

Another major tourist attraction place is USA where people come to enjoy wildlife, nature, frolic and fun. There are lots of cheapest USA tours in Washington D.C the capital of America while living in New York is very expensive for people but some economical tour packages also available which people always look for. Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, and Metropolitan Museum of art and Times Square are the main attraction of the New York City. You must visit Florida to enjoy the beautiful beaches, cities, and also Disneyland. People really like to spend time here in water parks, restaurant, theme park and resorts.

If you want to have some movies fun, then you must go to Hollywood in Los Angeles where the primary award programs held each year. Hollywood Wax Museum, Grumman’s Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame and Ripley’s Believe it or not are the main attractions in Hollywood. Another city California will provide you much more pleasure with its Golden Gate Bridge, Alamo Square Park, San Francisco Zoo, Palace of Fine Arts, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz Island.

Las Vegas one of the cities of USA is known as world’s entertainment capital, which is very popular for casinos. This city also introduces you with Golden Nugget, Flamingo Garden, Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and Guggenheim Las Vegas In the Venetian.

3. Turkey

Turkey is another tourist outstanding destination where you will get total refreshment during your holidays. The natural beauties will take you in your dream world. The mineral pools there bound the people dip into and heal naturally and enjoy the attractiveness of Dalyan during passing a perfect day on the river. You should visit the Lycian tombs 2300 years old on the hillside from where you might see the sea turtles frolic and feed them if you lucky enough. Paragliding is much popular there which will make you feel weightlessness and thrill of flying. You also can go for fishing on the sea where you can meet tuna, Red Snapper, Amberjack, Mahimahias, Barracuda and so more. Here you have a great chance to catch those fishes as much as you can. Scuba diving and boating also much popular pastime here which will give you much pleasure. If you want to see the real Turkey with your full family, then go to the Jeep Safari that will take you through various villages of Turkish countryside like Saklikent, The mud baths and Yakapark Trout Farm etc.

4. Mauritius

Mauritius is one of major tourist destinations of the world that is known to uplift souls and give some break taking moments to visitors. It is very famous for its mind-blowing sceneries. People who come here to visit, lose their mind into the sceneries. Mauritius Botanical garden is one of the best tourist destinations in Mauritius and known as one the oldest Botanical Garden in the world. The main attractions of this garden are giant water lilies and a big collection of varieties of palm trees. The beautiful beaches of Mauritius are the key attractions of this country. Gabriel Island is one of the top tourist places in Mauritius which is known for its clean and beautiful beaches and perfect for those who love snorkelling. If you are a bird lover then you can got to Aux Aigrettes a small island where you can see some rarest birds in the world like Pink Pigeon and Kestrel. It is a home of some of the rarest plants of the world as well. Another attraction of Mauritius is the Eureka Creole House where you can enjoy the inland beauty pictures of Mauritius. That is a huge museum house and one of the best tourist attractions of Mauritius. The proper time to visit Mauritius is between August and February when it is a nice cool temperature. So Mauritius is one of those places which make you fascinated with its outstanding sceneries.

5. France

France is the most popular destination to spend holidays, which has a lot to give you much pleasure. This country earns a huge amount of money from the spectators every year. The Eiffel Tower is the main attractions here. It is situated next to the river Seine in Paris. The visitors have to ascend 1665 steps to get the top, as it is 300 metres excessive. The visitors can view about 67 km far by French landscape from the top. Your Paris tour will not be completed if you do not visit Eiffel Tower. It is so popular that a long queue always waiting for you before the entrance.

There are many camping sites in France, where your own tent can be pitched on. Those campsites usually provide some amazing services like playgrounds, clubs, swimming pools, shops, bars and entertainment while some of them offer you with more services like cycles of hire, fishing, tennis, snooker and French boules, which are not expensive at all. Paragliding, rafting, hiking, canoeing, horse riding and abseiling also available for the adventure lovers.

There is a great facility for cycling in France. The extensive national network of veloroutes will bring you into canal towpaths, quiet country lanes and converted railway lines will take you towards the heart of countryside by using voies vertes, which is known as green ways and that is totally motorised traffic free.

There are some excellent ski areas in France. The Alps And the Pyrenees are the major ski areas with lots of ski resorts. Trois Vallees is one of the greatest ski resorts in France. So this place will not make any skiers disappointed as they have a lot of things to do there.

Some more places which will give you unlimited pleasure like National Parks and wildlife reserves, The Dune de pilat the biggest sand Dune in Europe, Canal du Midi the oldest canal in Europe, Millau Viaduct the world tallest traffic bridge and Thermal Springs etc.

I think there is nothing more you need to make yourself happy during your holidays over the world as much as you getting just in France.

6. Maldives

This is the one of my most favourite places, where I like to spend my holidays very frequently. Not only me but also lots of people come here to spend their vacation every year. As a result, it is very hard for instant booking in Maldives with a big rush. So you should book your holidays as early as possible. The beaches here are really mind-blowing where you can lose your mind very easily. The main attractions are here beaches, crystal clean water, coral reefs and marine life where you can enjoy boating, scuba diving, snorkelling and living in the best resorts. The resorts have some services just like Jacuzzis, heart-throbbing spas and personal swimming pools. Indoor Sports, Windsurfing, Scuba diving and lots of more functions will enhance your excitement. Though some of the resorts do not have scuba diving function so make sure you check this out before booking a resort. The main transportation system is boat in Maldives and you always need to carry your jacket with you as the weather changes here very quickly.

One more last thing, you should book for a total package for your holidays, as that will be a fix amount of money. Otherwise, that will be very expensive for you just paying for food and entertainment functions with an extra 20% taxes on food bills.

7. Australia

It is always a great experience to spend holiday in Australia. You will definitely get the real adventure from the rain forests, beaches, cities and wineries in Australia. The cities in Australia provide all budget’s accommodations for the visitors. Most of them are situated close to Central Business Centre where you also can see cultural centres, shopping precincts, nightlife and restaurant nearby. April/May and September/October is the best time to spend holidays in Australia while the sunny weather comes with a low temperature and that is perfect heat for swimming in the water. However, some of the states of Victoria and Tasmania can be a bit cool but overall will be perfect for you. An Island in Queensland named Fraser Island is world largest Sandy Island, which is about 1840 km long. Here you can enjoy mangrove forests, coastal heaths, wallum and peat swamps, rainforests, sand dunes and eucalyptus. Sydney Opera House is another tourist attraction in Australia. For the rich Chinese visitors casinos and shopping are the vital draw card here. Harvey Bay is one of those Australian Towns where you can watch Whales.

8. South Africa

South Africa is another beautiful country where you can spend your valuable holidays. Table Mountain is the most attraction in Cape Town the capital of South Africa that was selected to be number seven natural wonders of the world. This mountain is about 1470 meters high from the sea level, which looks like a table. The travellers can enjoy the natural views by riding a cable car from top of the mountain for more than 750 meters. Garden Route National Park is another tourist attraction for viewing rich wild animals like elephants and many others species. If you want to see some historical buildings, different kinds of animals and birds then you can go to Robben Island approximately 7 kilometres far from Cape Town where Nelson Mandela spent most of his life. Another tourist attraction place The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront will offer you entertaining sections like shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, discos, resorts and some museums. Those who love wildlife must go to Kruger National Park, which is situated on about 18000 square kilometres where the park accommodates about 2000 kinds of rare plants, 500 species of birds and a big collection of wild animals.

9. Wildlife Holiday in Brazil

Brazil is another huge beautiful country, which is considered as one of the best holiday attractions destinations of the world. Amazon Rainforest in Brazil provides 20% of the world’s oxizen. This huge Rainforest is native to at least 40,000 plants species, 3,000 fishes, 1,294 birds, 378 reptiles, 427 amphibians, 427 mammals, 2.5 million species of insects and 33% of world known species. This ecosystem looks always green, luxurious and teeming with its animals and vegetation. There are lots of lodges in the rainforest from where you can see a number of the flora and fauna, some unfortunately endangered species as well. Another attractions Patanal Conservation Area which is the biggest wetland over the world and where you will get the chance to see marsh deer, Giant River Otters, Hyacinth Macaw, the Crowned Solitary Eagle and Giant Antear. If you want to see some endangered species like Marmosets, Woolly spider monkeys and Lion Tamarins, then you should go to Atlantic Rainforest, which is considered as a UNESCO world Heritage Site. The temperature changes here very quickly especially in the north to south, that shows more variation of temperature.

So I will recommend you must visit Brazil if you love wildlife.

10. Wales

Wales is the best place to spend your Christmas holidays if you want to make it memorable. Here you can pass some relaxing time with your family and the holiday cottages are the best place to spend your holidays that are bounded by mountains beauty and a mind-blowing green river valley. These types of cottages can be found in a good unlimited number of the scenery that is motivated by some great artists and photographers. This place is a historic land of castle and mountains also you can discover here some art galleries and quantity of wildlife. Some people prefer to live in a nice cottage on their holidays and Wales is very much perfect for finding those kinds of nice cottages, which are really outstanding and fashionable also with a very reasonable price. Most of the cottages are very nearby of beaches or seaside from where you can enjoy the beautiful view all around.

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10 Funniest Dog Breeds In The World Animal Fair 10 Girl Dog Names and Their Meanings

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10 Girl Dog Names and Their Meanings

Naming your new pet is, for some, one of the most challenging parts of pet ownership. You realize that you and your pet are going to be stuck with this name for a long time, so take your time when choosing. Below is a list of 10 girl dog names along with their meanings. Maybe you’ll find the perfect name for your new four-legged friend.

Lola

Meaning: Strong woman

This name would be perfect for a dog that is known for strength, such as a bulldog. It is among the most popular names for female dogs.

Pixie

Meaning: Playful, fairy like

This is a good name for a dog that is small in stature. It would be a good fit for any of the toy breeds. Some owners of very large dogs named their dog Pixie as a way to show their sense of humor.

Molly

Meaning: This name is the Irish version of Mary

Because the name is decidedly Irish, it is an obvious choice for the Irish Setter, perhaps a bit too obvious. This name continues to make the list of top dog names for girls, and its use certainly is not limited to a certain breed.

Sassy

Meaning: Lively, spirited, full of life

This name is often given to dogs who are very playful – or disobedient – as puppies. It is a perfect name for a dog that seems to have a mind of her own.

Millie

Meaning: Gentle advisor The name Millie, while long popular, picked up a bit of speed during the administration of the first President Bush. Millie was the name of his Springer Spaniel, and that dog was one of the most well-known pooches to ever live in the White House.

Sasha

Meaning: Helpmate or Helper

This name is likely to increase in popularity for both pets and people being that one of the first children bear this name.

Trixie

Meaning: Bringer of joy

This name just seems to belong to playful, energetic dog. Not as popular as it was during the 1950’s, the name is once again gaining traction.

Lucy

Meaning: One who brings light

Lucy has consistently been on the list of most popular names for dogs for 40 years. Doesn’t everyone know a dog named Lucy?

Sadie

Meaning: Princess, royalty

This name was once among the most popular for dogs. Oprah Winfrey helped bring this name back into the spotlight when she adopted a Cocker Spaniel and named her Sadie.

Jasmine

Meaning: A lovely, pleasant smelling flower

If you let your little girl choose the name for your dog, this name is very likely to come up. The reason for that, of course, would be because this is the name of a popular Disney princess.

When choosing a name for your dog, try to match both physical characteristics and personality. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that you are going to have to spend the next 15 years yelling this name at the dog park, so choose wisely!

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10 Fun Animal Facts About African Animals For Kids Swimming With the African Penguin at Boulders Beach – Near Cape Town!

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Swimming With the African Penguin at Boulders Beach – Near Cape Town!

Remember my previous post: Swimming with dolphins at Kizimkazi? Well this time, I’ve decided to let you discover another great African destination: Boulders Beach, near Cape Town. The protagonists of today’s story are not dolphins nevertheless. Rather, they are very pretty little creatures: African Penguins!

Location

Boulders beach is situated in Simon’s Town, a little haven near Cape Town. The area is protected under the Cape Peninsula National Park, one of the city’s most fascinating tourist attractions. It is home to one of the largest African penguin populations, with an estimated 3000 individuals!

African Penguins or Jackass Penguins?

In a variety of bird books, the little fellows are known as Jackass penguins (and no, this has nothing to do with the famous American series on MTV lol)! Strange name, huh? Well you see, the reason for this is due to their distinctive mating call that happens to sound just like a braying donkey! Recently however, scientists have changed its name because other species from South America apparently make the same kind of noise. Nowadays, Jackass penguins are called African penguins.

Another name for the animal is the Black-footed penguin (quite explicit), or Cape penguin!

Interesting Penguin Facts

Scientific Name: Spheniscus demersus.

Description: Black above, white below (for camouflage against predators). Black horseshoe on chest.

Juvenile: plain gray/brown.

Habitat: Breeds on inshore islands. Feeds strictly at sea, foraging regularly out 9 miles (15 km).

Diet: Mainly fish (anchovy and pilchards).

Height: around 50-70 cm.

Body weight: between 2.1 and 3.7 kg.

Speed: While penguins are quite clumsy on land, they are excellent swimmers and can reach speeds of up to 15 mph (24 kmph). If you have the chance to see them under water, it is almost as if they are flying!

Breeding season: mostly February-May, but all year around really. Just like humans (at least for most of us), African penguins are monogamous and will partner for life.

Nesting: Nests in small colonies. Digs nest in sandy area or guano deposit under a boulder or bush, or in a burrow. Lays 2 eggs, which hatch after 38 days. Both parents incubate and feed the chicks.

Range: Restricted to Africa. Off western coast of South Africa, Namibia, South Angola and Mozambique.

Conservation status: numbers decreasing by about 2% a year.

International & South African Red Data Book Status: vulnerable.

My Experience

There are two beaches in Simon’s Town: one where only penguins are king (Foxy Beach), and the other where both people and penguins share the same sunning, bathing and resting space ;). The two beaches are adjacent to one another, so you can definitely plan to do both excursions on the same day.

On the one hand, Foxy Beach is accessible through a boardwalk that overlooks the spot. The admission fee is relatively affordable (R25 for adults and R5 for children; prices may vary over time of course). It is here that the largest part of the colony resides, and no immediate contact with the birds is possible. Really nice scenic view though, and quite fascinating indeed! It’s a perfect venue to see them swim, eat, breed and preen almost without being noticed! I could stare at them all day!

On the other hand, Boulders Beach is where the real action takes place. Here you get to come face to face with these funny beings! I wouldn’t try to touch them though (forbidden). Penguins can be quite vicious with their sharp beaks, and could cause serious injury in no time. So please keep your distance!

The idea is to have a good time, while still respecting the fact that these penguins remain wild animals!

Swimming is also possible, though you have to be more than courageous to take a dip (the water temperature is freezing, rarely reaching 15 degrees Celsius). I tried it a couple of times, but didn’t last very long :).

As far as swimming WITH the penguins: good luck! The little creatures are extremely agile and quick in the water; it is quite frankly impossible to keep up with their rhythm!

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