5 Amazing Facts About Zambia!

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1. Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls is located there. It is the world’s greatest sheet of falling water. The waterfall stands at an altitude of about 108 m (355 feet) above mean sea level and spans to about 1708 m wide (5,604 feet) with an average depth of 100 m and the deepest point being 108 m. Sprays from this giant waterfall can be seen from a distance of 30 km from the Lusaka road, Zambia and 50 km from Bulawayo road, Zimbabwe.


2. Zambia is completely landlocked and it is number 4 in the world for bordering the most countries. It has 7 neighboring countries: Zambia is surrounded by seven countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.


3. Lake Kariba is the world’s biggest man-made lake and is used for commercial fishing operations and to supply electric hydropower to Zambia and Zimbabwe.


4. Zambia is named after the Zambezi River, which is the fourth longest river in Africa after the Nile, Congo, and Niger Rivers.


5. Zambia has 20 national parks and reserves and 34 game management areas. Over 30% of its land is reserved for wildlife.

“Visit RWANDA!”

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November 30, 2021

By: M. Jackson

After visiting “The Land of a Thousand Hills” in December of 2017, we fell in love with this beautiful place and its wonderful people and knew that we would be back.

Needless to say, we returned in August 2020, during a time in which the pandemic had put a halt to many who had been used to travelling frequently. Up until now, we have truly been enjoying our experience at every turn.

We feel like we have been dropped off in an enchanted place, as we sit surrounded by the most stunning, rolling hills – full of vegetation, trees and plants woven throughout the rural and urban landscapes for as far as the eye can see. The air is clean and perfect when you first arrive, and the views are breathtaking. Unknowingly, it gets even more beautiful as you travel beyond the city limits to the villages and provinces on the outskirts of Kigali.

There is much to see, like the massive Lake Kivu, to the colossal Virunga Volcanoes, to the vast Akagera National Park, to the lush country side where villages emerge and people are still practicing long ago traditions. They are also very warm and welcoming, and we have met and made many friends, who go the extra mile to make sure that we feel at home.

A renewal has taken place here, and it is attracting many from around the world, even those whose minds are still scarred from Rwanda’s past. The history of Rwanda, painted by an ominous occurrence over two decades ago, would indeed shock the soul; however, the way in which this country has been transformed will open the mind to the notion that “anything is possible if there is good will and purpose”.

It is one of the safest places in the world. The people are warm and inviting, and the leadership H.E. Paul Kagame has done an unbelievable job of transforming this country from a decimated land to the buzzing, super modern and vibrant country that we see today. With it’s new constructions, green plan, and made in Rwanda campaign, Rwanda is constantly being recognized as a leading country on the continent.

We have engaged in many cultures activities like: visits to the Inema Art Center and Choose Kigali Art Gallery; cultural experiences with ZaNiheza (pottery making, imigongo painting, dressing in traditional attire, and eating popular traditional foods). We enjoyed adventures to see different regions of the country with Choose Kigali (Akagera National Park safari, a boat ride on Lake Kivu, and driving tours of the eastern, southern and northern regions including a tour of Musanze and Gisenyi).


The cuisine is a mix of local and international dishes. Some of the popular dishes are spiced tea, dodo, goat brochettes, akabenz, pilau, and “the very popular vegetable dish” isombe. Though you can find many restaurants in Kigali to choose from, you can also find more locally prepared items in the surrounding villages.


If you haven’t added Rwanda to your bucket list or your places to visit list, you should definitely consider it. There are so many sights to see, and we can say for sure that it is one of the most beautiful countries we have encountered thus far. Visit Rwanda now…you won’t regret it!

“What Is It Like Being Black In Cambodia?”

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By: M. Jackson

July 25, 2020

The Black experience is usually nearly the same no matter where someone black chooses to live or travel, within the U.S. It is also an experience that is becoming quite difficult, as the thermostat of injustice, hate and discrimination are on a steep incline towards blacks. Many are currently finding their existence in the U.S. devastatingly uncomfortable. Since the recent death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, instances of racism and crimes against black people in the U.S. have undoubtedly increased.

In the light of what is happening worldwide, as many nations are working hard to eradicate the existence of racial disparities, many blacks have begun to travel more and more around the globe to places where they feel more welcomed…places where they feel they can start a new life for themselves and their families. Traveling while black, has recently become an increasingly popular topic. As citizens of the U.S., a country swelling with racial discrimination and injustice, it is really difficult for many, including us, to remain when no solutions to police brutality and racism are anywhere in sight.

In 2019, just as our experience in the United Arab Emirates was coming to an end, after almost 4 years, another great opportunity came along, that would take us farther east to the country of Cambodia. Though our experience in the UAE was a life-changing experience that we will never forget, we decided that it was time to move forward with the next chapter of our journeys. As a black family, the moved to Siem Reap, Cambodia (a small country situated in southeast Asia just east of Thailand),  has definitely given us a different picture of how people in other parts of the world feel about race. Living in another country, on another continent, has definitely opened our eyes to the truth about racism. Though it may still exist on a smaller scale in other countries, I can say that it doesn’t necessarily encompass every aspect of life to the level that we have seen it in the U.S.

In Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat Temple (Siem Reap)

Phnom Kulen Mountain National Park

The largest reclining buddha in Cambodia – Phnom Kulen Mountain National Park

The waterfalls of Phnom Kulen Mountains

Cambodians are indeed, very warm and welcoming people. When we first arrived in Cambodia, our experience getting settled, was quite comfortable. We received smiles and kind words where ever we went. The customer service we received in restaurants, hotels and stores, was very highly rated, and we didn’t receive any rude looks just because of our difference in appearance.

Check out this Interview of 4 Perspectives on the Black Experience in Cambodia!

Not once have we, as a Black American family, felt threatened, belittled or unjustly treated, while living here. We have truly been enjoying our stay, and could easily call it home for a while. It is a country where many religions, people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, and walks of life live together in harmony. Even though there is not a large number of Black Americans or blacks from other countries here in Cambodia, we still feel that sense of calm and acceptance as we travel around.

Pride for their culture is also very visible throughout the country, as it is woven into both city and village life, food, music, etc., and they are eager to share it with any visitor who ventures to come here. Regardless, to their own social and personal issues, most Cambodians continue to treat visitors with just as much respect and warmth as one would a friend or family member.

We definitely suggest a visit to Cambodia to any traveler looking for an adventure, a new interesting culture to explore, or just a really relaxed, vibrant and inexpensive place to live and/or retire. One thing for sure is that we are happy that we made a decision to come here.

Aeon Mall II – Phnom Penh, Cambodia (capital city)

Taking a speed boat on Koh Rong Sanloem Island

All pictures by: Unapologetic Nomads

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“Things to Know Before Visiting Zanzibar, Tanzania”

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By: M. Jackson

July 19, 2020


Zanzibar is one of the most beautiful islands to visit and explore! It is located off the coast of Tanzania and is also a part of the country of Tanzania. However, when travelling there for the first time, there are a few things to know that could help make your trip a great one.

1. Flights:

If possible, try to book a flight that takes you directly to Zanzibar Airport. You can get your visa there, and you are already on the island. However, if you book a flight to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, you will have a layover. The flight from there to the Zanzibar airport is about a 20 to 30-minute flight (this made no sense to us). So, we booked a direct flight the second time we booked a trip to the island.

Visas on arrival for Americans are $100 per person, but they last for one year.

*For reliable transportation/pick-up from the airport to your hotel and for helpful tour guides, etc. contact us for additional information via email.


2. ACCOMMODATIONS:

Zanzibar is an island, so you want to be sure of where you want to stay. If you don’t want a long drive from the airport then maybe you want to stay in an area nearby, like Stone Town. However, many areas (villages) further away are located on gorgeous beach fronts and have many amenities.

Stone Town is a city/town with many things to see (there is a tour that takes place there as well). It is closer to the airport. However, it can be a bit noisy and busy.

Stone Town Harbor

AREAS WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH:

Nungwi (northern tip)

Pongwe (east side of the island)

Kiwengwa (east side)

Stone Town (western side of the island) – near the airport

Paje (east side)


HOTELS/RESORTS WE RECOMMEND:

Kiwengwa Beach Resort – 5 stars

Zanbluu Beach Hotel – 4 stars

Marafiki Bungalows – 4 stars

Kiwengwa Bungalow Boutique Resort (3 stars)

Pongwe Bay Resort (4 stars) – *(We stayed there our first time visiting Zanzibar.) Here’s a link to the video of our first vacation there in 2016 (The Jacksons Visit Africa For the First Time). It was beautiful and relaxing, but the internet was not the best, so be ready to unplug from tv/ electronics for the whole of your stay. They may have upgraded things since 2016, so if you require internet, I suggest contacting them before booking to be sure. However, they have a beautiful open restaurant, pool, private beach, pool table, and a small library to keep you busy. They also have a spa – great massages!

They also offer packages for visiting local attractions, snorkeling and other activities.

If you are traveling with a large group, you may be interested in renting a beach house or bungalow. You can find many choices on sites like Booking.com. 


3.  AVAILABLE TOURS IN ZANZIBAR (we recommend):

ZANZIBAR BLUE SAFARI TOUR (full day tour – excellent)

Drive to another part of the island to take a boat

Includes:

-pick up and drop off

-snorkeling and swimming

-seafood lunch at the beach

– a stop at a goods, arts and crafts market

-Mangroves tour


TURTLE/PRISON ISLAND TOUR (short tour but very interesting)

Includes:

-pick up drop off

-taking a boat to the island

-historical site – prison and old resort 

-hundred-year-old tortoises that still live on the island


STONE TOWN TOUR (great tour)

Includes:

-pick up drop off

-walking tour thru the town

-stopping to get the history on many historical places in town (markets, amphitheater, museum, etc.)

-stop for lunch

-shopping in the town market place

-a stop at the harbor


4.  CURRENCY/SPENDING:

Zanzibar’s currency is the Tanzanian Shilling.

2,300 TZS = $1 USD

11,600 TZS = $5 USD

The conversions may be off just a little depending on where you exchange your money, but you will pay a fee regardless.

If taking money to exchange when you arrive, you can do that before leaving the Zanzibar Airport. You also want to take at least $100 (US)/ per person to cover your visa when you arrive.

In reference to meals, you can spend as much as $5 to $10 at local spots for a nice meal and maybe double at tourist spots/ hotels. It all depends on where you want to eat. We enjoyed amazing local food for about $5/per meal daily. Staying at a hotel or resort where breakfast is included is a great way to cut down on spending for at least one meal a day.

If you decide to withdraw money when you arrive, use the ATM machine outside the airport to withdraw what you need for your trip. (It will come out in Tanzanian Shillings) …no worries. ** We did this because the fee for exchanging currency was less than using the currency exchange booths.

If you are one of those people who like to travel with cash, make sure to take what ever spending money you think you will need for your whole trip because the only ATMs (for foreigners to use on the island) are in Stone Town and at the airport. This is in case you may be staying somewhere that is quite far from these places. Also, while at the airport, think about getting a sim card for making local calls because your mobile phone may not work on the island, and if it does your bill will probably shock you when it comes after returning home from your trip.

If you have any questions about something that wasn’t covered, please feel free to email us at: unapologeticnomads@gmail.com

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope this helps to make your trip an amazing one!

All Photos by:  Unapologetic Nomads


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“Must See – Places to Visit While In Cairo, Egypt”

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By: M. Jackson

July 15, 2020

Saqqara

SAQQARA/ SAKKARA 

Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Giza. There we saw some of the oldest step pyramids in the world. This really enlightened us about the early architecture of the pharaohs and some of the Old Kingdoms’ most amazing treasures. 

On our tour we entered many tombs and took a close up look at intricate carvings (hieroglyphics) and paintings on walls. The famous step pyramid, the Tomb of Djoser or Zoser, built by Imhotep is thought to be the earliest major stone structure erected in Egypt. 

This incredible structure sits in the heart of the Pyramid Complex of Saqqara. The Pyramid of Djoser  was constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser, one of the Third Dynasty kings that ruled over ancient Egypt.

A temple which is part of the Royal Complex


The Great Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are a must see for all, at least once in a lifetime. One fascinating thing we discovered is that the massive stone blocks were created so precisely that they fit tightly together with no mortar or cement in between.

Be sure to hire a good tour guide when you visit in order to get all your questions answered, because you will have many.

Getting a close up of the Great Pyramids of Giza is one of the most memorable and exhilarating moments ever. Riding in the car, waiting anxiously to see the massive structures to appear was exciting. Then out of nowhere, we saw the top of one of the Great Pyramids hovering over everything in sight. In this moment we all just sighed and gasped in disbelief. Even though we were not there yet, we felt like they were up close and getting closer every minute. Within no time, we were looking at one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world.

To enter the complex and see the pyramids up close, the cost is only 80 EGP ($9). Just meters beyond the pyramid site, you can also enjoy amazing camel rides for around 300 EGP ($20) for 1 hour or ($10) for 30 minutes. Camel rides are not included in the ticket price to see the pyramids. There is an additional price to go inside the pyramids: Great Pyramid (Pyramid of Khufu): 100 EGP = $11.20 USD

Meresankh III tomb: 50 EGP = $5.60 USD

Additionally, make sure to do your homework if hiring a tour guide.We hired a tour guide we were referred to by a few friends who met him on prior trips. He was very informed and his packages worked out really great, as he let us customize our trip for our family of three to include: a tour of six sites, two cities (Cairo and Alexandria), and transportation. 


THE SPHINX

The Sphinx is another must see, as it is not far from the site where the Great Pyramids are. This massive beauty makes you feel like you are living in ancient times when you are up close. It makes you appreciate every detail that came from years of work carving through stone.

*The cost to see the Sphinx is included in the ticket price to see the Great Pyramids.


THE MUSEUM OF EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is located in Cairo, Egypt and houses some of the most ancient relics of the early Egyptian civilizations. It contains over 120, 000 items over 2 floors. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes when visiting this site as you will be doing quite a bit of walking. It takes about a half day to get through the entire museum, maybe more if you hire a thorough tour guide.

 The cost to enter is 120 Egyptian Pounds ($7 US dollars per person). 

If you book a trip to Egypt, make sure to check out these historical sites. They are all very interesting and truly worth your time and a visit!

Thank you for stopping by!  

All photo by: Unapologetic Nomads

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“Experiencing Ethiopia”

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By: Michelle Jackson

Ethiopia is nothing short of enchanting and mystifying. It is one of the oldest countries in the world and is full of amazing historical sites, rich culture, delicious food and friendly people. Ethiopia is known as the “Horn of Africa”, and its capital is Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa is a city that is in steady upward movement even though it still shows off its many historical sites, antiquated buildings and monumental structures.

April 28, 2020

view from our balcony

Our trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was really soul stirring. It is a place that is a mixture of traditional and modern elements which weave together nicely and is evidence that the people hold their history dear. Even though over 80 languages are spoken in Ethiopia, the two main languages that are spoken are Oromo and Amharic.Though these two languages are the most popular, there are many people who speak English as well.

our living/dining room at the SolMile Guest House Apartments, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Holy Trinity Cathedral, known in Amharic as Kidist Selassie, is the highest ranking Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was built to commemorate Ethiopia’s liberation from Italian occupation and is the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia. Inside you will find the throne of King Haile Selassie and Queen Menen Asfaw (his wife) , as well as, their tombs. It is a very spiritual place that is highly respected and decorated with colorful stained glass windows and many artifacts. This is definitely a must see!

King Haile Selassie’s Throne – Holy Trinity Cathedral


Our itinerary would not be complete without a trip to the famous Yod Abyssinia Cultrual Restaurant.

Yod Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant

eating and enjoying performances from local dancers, singers and musicians

 

At Yod Abyssinia we enjoyed the live performances of musicians, dancers and singers from around Ethiopia, and we tried some really delicious Ethiopian dishes.

Ala – Yod Abyssinia

traditional lamb and vegetable platter


The “Red Terror” Martyr’s Memorial Museum in Addis Ababa was built in honor of the victims of Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Derg Regime. Anywhere between 500,000 and 750,000 people were tortured and killed during the brutality. The museum is well kept and free to enter, but does depend on donations from visitors to continue to operate. It is a must see for those truly interested in the history and story of the people of Ethiopia. However, some artifacts and images may be too sensitive for young children.

artifacts in the museum


The National Museum of Ethiopia contains many precious local archaeological finds such as the fossilized remains of early humans. The most famous specimen found here is “Lucy”, the partial skeleton of what is believed to be the first human. The museum houses hundreds of pieces: artwork, fossils, furniture, jewelry, etc. It may take a hour or more to see it all, but it is definitely an interesting must see.

The National Museum of Ethiopia

This Olmec head was given to the people Ethiopia from the people of Mexico in 2010.

artwork at the National Museum of Ethiopia

This trip was a fun-filled learning experience for us, and we recommend a visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for those interested in other cultures, history, and those on a spiritual journey.

About to board our flight to depart Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

All Photos by: Unapologetic Nomads

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“Langkawi, Malaysia – 99 Islands”

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By: M. Jackson

April 27, 2020

view from the Sky Cab platform @ the Global Geo Park

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, located east of Indonesia and north of Singapore. Because there are many places that you can visit there, we decided on a place that we’ve only heard about, but never knew anyone who’s ever gone….Langkawi! Langkawi, Malaysia is a group of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea. The islands sit about 30km off the coast of mainland Malaysia.

Even though Langkawi is an island, there are so many fun things to do and adventures to be had. While there we enjoyed things like walks along the local beach to ATV rides that took us into the country side, where our scenery changed from street sidewalks, big buildings, restaurants and hotels to dirt roads that wound along beautiful rice paddy fields, local farms, and historical park areas.

ATV Extreme Zone experience

riding through the rain forest


Another exciting experience was a visit to the Langkawi Global Geo Park, which is named a UNESCO world site because of its prehistoric rock formations and natural sites – which are over 550 million years old. While there we enjoyed the spectacular views of the islands of Langkawi and Southern Thailand from the Machincang Mountain on their famous Sky Cab attraction. The Sky Cab takes you over 700 M above sea level (not for the faint of heart)! The park also offers many other activities that we enjoyed like: shopping with local vendors, eateries, a 6D Cinemotion Theatre and the Art In Paradise – 3D Art Museum, which is the second largest 3D art museum in the world! The Langkawi Global Geo Park was a true family fun favorite for us!

having fun catching amazing views- Sky Cab platform @ the Global Geopark

Fun at the Art in Paradise – 3D Art Museum

For relaxation, we enjoyed the many amenities of the Aseania Resort and Spa (Langkawi), where we stayed during our visit. Onsite amenities that we enjoyed were outside barbeques, choice dining, a gym and spa, lazy river pool with waterfall and slides, a wave pool, children’s games, and pool bars. For breakfast, we indulged in a buffet breakfast, which was a combination of local and international dishes. At night, we were entertained with musical performances by local artists, while we delighted in a delicious 3 course meal at poolside under the stars.

Poolside at the Aseania Resort sunset (lazy river pool with slides and waterfalls)

dinner by candle light under the stars

Langkawi was a win for us, and we definitely recommend it as a fun vacation destination – from the solo backpacker to families traveling with children.

All Photos by: Unapologetic Nomads

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