Africa Local Customs

  • Lunch is ready
    Lunch is ready
    by zanzooni
  • local drinking mint-tea Meknes
    local drinking mint-tea Meknes
    by EviP
  • tourist drinking mint-tea, Meknes
    tourist drinking mint-tea, Meknes
    by EviP

Africa Local Customs

  • Djellabas and kaftans

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    The traditional Moroccan dress for both men and women is this long hooded garment known as a djellaba. It seems very practical – the body is protected from weather and from the dirt of the street, and the hood can be pulled up to give warmth at the start and end of the day, or shade from the intense midday sun. Men mostly choose a neutral shade...

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  • Dress Codes for Women

    Cairo Local Customs

    The nile river cruise is apparently not only popular with tourists going to egypt as even locals do this as when we were at the cruise, there was a wedding party present and the reception is at the Nile river cruise. the bride were a traditional white wedding dress and since Islam mandates women to wear modest clothes, the bride has her hair and...

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  • Ethnic / Cultural Diversity

    Johannesburg Local Customs

    The selection and performance of national anthems must be one of the most emotive of cultural issues. To my mind, national anthems are meant to be rousing and inspirational pieces of music that reflect a nation's sense of self image: however, it's all too easy for them to descend into the realms of worthy-but-dreary dirges burdened with...

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  • ALEXANDRIAN culture

    Alexandria Local Customs

    Alexandria is blessed by a long Corniche, and this, of course, gives rise to a very healthy café culture. In the areas of the city such as Montazah, where there are many tourists and locals who come to enjoy the beaches, you'll find a large number of locales where you can enjoy coffee, tea, juice and backgammon (shesh besh). Many of these places...

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  • Bargain!

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Some people love the challenge of haggling, others find it an unwelcome stress. It's best to try and enjoy it if you plan to buy something in the souks, and the best strategy is to stay firm and calm, and preferably keep a smile on your face. It's hard to give a guide to what to offer if you don't know the value of it yourself. Rough guides like...

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  • Islam

    Cairo Local Customs

    Take caution when traveling to Egypt! Make a honest person you know meet you at the airport, or some trustworthy person! The taxi drivers there will rip you off if you don't know the rates, so keep someone trustworthy with you. There should be a trustworthy person with you all ways there advising you what to do there. Make sure you only talk to...

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  • Food & Drink

    Johannesburg Local Customs

    if your'e into wines , as so many are or you want to be seen or you want to meet the Cape's best winemakers. or you want to taste the top wines of the year or Platter's 5 * star wines or just have a cheap evening out WITH FRIENDS or oenophiles then every year last week of October at the Sandton Convention centre 5 -9pm daily the RMB Winex is...

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  • Henna Ladies

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Moroccan ladies desperate to paint henna designs on foreigners' hands and feet seem to be everywhere in the Medina, with the biggest concentration in el Djemaa el Fna. There are two types: natural brown henna and a chemical dye known as black henna. The latter lasts longer, but it is dangerous, as it can cause bad skin reactions and even...

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  • Bargaining

    Cairo Local Customs

    Bargaining. Us Anglo's just don't get it, do we? In England about the only time we enter into any negotiation over price is when we buy a car or a house. Here' it's different. A love of the deal is part of the Levantine culture. You have to understand, and go along with it. Price is always flexible. In practise everyday items are more or less...

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  • Public Baths

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    The hammam is an ancient and integral part of the Moroccan life. Every single neighborhood in the city has got a hammam, a Mosque and a oven to cook the bread. With all these three elements they are auto sufficient. The water is considered sacred, and cleanliness, are essential elements of Islam. In a part of the world where family and community...

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  • Traffic

    Cairo Local Customs

    The automobile traffic and rules on the roadway in Cairo is unlike any conventional heavy traffic. a. donkeys, camels and donkey drawn carriages hauling garbage share the roads with cars b. the traffic circles are a recipe for disaster as the 4 lanes of unlaned cars merge, change lanes, and exit. c. taxis from the 80's running on egyptian sweat...

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  • Moroccan music

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    The Jmaa El Fna square is a UNESCO heritage site, largely due to the story tellers that pass on stories in Arabic, but also note the musicians and various other stalls. However, be prepared to pay a small tip of 5-10Dir whenever taking pictures/videos of their performances. These interesting performers are most commonly spotted at night. During...

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  • Moroccan Wine

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Despite the huge growth in tourism in Marrakech, it's still surprisingly difficult to find places selling alcohol, especially in the medina. On our last night in the city, we wanted to get some wine for a meal on our rooftop terrace. The only place we could find it was in a shop in the Ville Nouvelle, which we remembered from our last visit to the...

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  • Taking Photos

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    People in Morocco often don't like having their picture taken, although as long as you don't stick your camera in someone's face you probably won't have a problem in Marrakech. There are some people who expect money, even if you accidentally take their picture. Most of them are hanging around Djemaa el Fna, like the colourful water Sellers, the...

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  • Water man

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Around the Medina and some of the historical sites you will see men in funny looking attire with brass cups hanging off them. These are water men who supply the locals with water usually from local wells in goatskin bags. To announce themselves they ring their bells. I’m not sure that these guys are the real deal to the locals or more for the...

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  • The Pink City

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Well all the houses inside and, nearly all outside are pink ... why??? well the material with wich the outside wall makes the wall be pink, ... nowadays people MUST by law paint their houses that way ... to preserve the name of the "Pink City" ... I like that because its make Marrakech a unique place in the planet ... as I like andalucian villages...

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  • Ogali.

    Ogali is a local dish in Kenya and eastern Africa, and it is eaten like potatoes or rice. I think it is the poot man´s food, but I am NOT sure about it. I ate it in different restaurants in Nairobi and I liked it. It was similiar as porridge for me, but it is my personal opinion.

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  • GATHERING WATER

    If you really want to see and understand the real Africa, you need to get up early and get onto the road. Many people live in homes without running water. So every morning you have to get up early and take a large plastic container and walk to the village well. Then you have to carry this now very heavy container back to the house. OK, that’s the...

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  • THE SCARS OF WAR

    If you get a chance to visit large parts of Africa, you will come across the scars of recent wars. The scars are not just on buildings. They are on and in the local people. Just do a search about war in Africa on the internet and you get endless drivel about the sins of Colonialism and a huge amount of focus on South Africa. What you find hard to...

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  • BEER CELEBRATING BEING TRAMPLED TO DEATH

    On December 8, 1922 Kenya Breweries was founded by brothers George and Charles Hurst. They had previously worked as gold prospectors and farmers. One week later they brewed their first beer and bottled the first 10 cases by hand. They were delivered to the famous Stanley Hotel in Nairobi and their brewing business had begun. In 1923 George was...

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  • YOU CAN HAVE 4 WIVES IN SOMALIA !

    In Somalia it is legal to have up to 4 wives. Before you get too excited, just remember that all wives must be treated exactly equally or her family will take offence and you would not want that. What this means is that if you have 4 wives, then you must have 4 houses. If one is given a car, all 4 get a car. If you live in an apartment building,...

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  • HAND WASHING CEREMONY - ETHIOPIA

    Ethiopians are very observant of hygiene, especially when eating. The national dish is Injera with different dishes being placed up on it. All Injera is eaten with the right hand and food is traditionally shared. So it makes a lot of sense that you will always be offered for your hands to be washed by your hosts before you eat. Whether it is in a...

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  • BEER REVIEW: MÜTZIG BEER

    I kept seeing Mützig being advertised, and sold, all over Rwanda.It seems very popular. I have no idea why. I found the one bottle of Mützig I drank tasted like pure pig’s swill. Yes, it was cold. Mützig is a pale lager from eastern France. Originally the area was German; hence the Beck’s like bitter taste. This beer has a good reputation in France...

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  • MYSTERY! THE BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION -...

    Ever wonder why some countries have Embassies and some have High Commissions? A High Commission (with the attendant High Commissioner) means that the country is a member of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth was the Former British Commonwealth that was formed by nations that were former British Colonies and Possessions before individual dates of...

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  • THE FLAG OF CAPE VERDE

    The current Flag of Cape Verde is relatively new (1992) and is very befitting an island nation. It has 10 stars on it represent the 10 islands making up the county – which are clearly to one side. That’s because the stars are on the hoist side of the flag making it a flag for land and a naval ensign all-in-one. It was officially adopted when Cape...

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  • THE TIRE GAME

    I first really noticed this on the island of Zanzibar. During my stay in Jambiani Village I kept seeing kids playing with old bicycle tire rims. They would use a good stick and propel the tire along the road at great speed with the stick pushing along the groove. Not only is this not easy to do – these kids were amazing fast. If you think its easy...

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  • ANIMAL CONSERVATION - SWAZILAND

    THE REILLY FAMILYThe Reilly Family created Mlilwane Game Sanctuary in Swazialnad to help restore the wildlife that was depleted in Swaziland in the past. James Reilly settled at Mlilwane in 1906 and began to mine tin. He became the largest employer of industrial labour in the country and introduced electricity to Swaziland. He was known the locals...

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  • African tattoo's

    African art is more than wooden masks and sculptures alone. The local youth is trying to express themselves with a western art form such as tattooing. They have very basic instruments but the results sometimes are fascinating.

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  • THE SINK EXPERIMENT

    What is the sink Experiment? Scientifically water going down a sink will rotate counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. I set out to conduct this experiment for Virtual Tourist here in Zimbabwe, which is in the Southern hemisphere. This is due to the Coriolis Effect, a force caused by the rotation of...

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  • NOT GOOD - SLASH & BURN AGRICULTURE

    You are looking at a crime. This is both against the law and an environmental disaster. Slash & Burn agriculture is just like it sounds. It happens all over Africa, but my pictures and story are from Madagascar (Photo 5 is in Burundi). In Madagascar this traditional way of clearing land is called ‘Tavy’. Local farmers mark of a few acres of, often...

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  • African dances

    Dancing is a common activity in Sub- Saharan Africa, there are so different African dances as there are cultural differences. Many dances have a social connection they dance to learn patterns in life, to praise and pray, they use it to celebrate weddings and maturation,….. Most of the dances are accompanied with African drums and music. The modern...

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  • The internet

    Anno 2011 the internet is widespread around Africa. The first time I visited the African continent they didn’t have any connections with the WWW. These days you can find the internet almost everywhere in the larger cities. Prices vary from place to place, but never pay more than 5€ for an hour.Connections arn't always that fast as at home!!!

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  • Local toys

    Many African kids don’t have the luxury to afford toys as they do over here, but the elder people are inventive and they prepare there own. Maybe next time you should bring some cars or dolls along. Give them to the mothers and never directly to the children otherwise you could create beggars.

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  • Water transport

    In many places of the African continent water is still transported manually or should I say head(ly)? In rural areas water supply is the day job for women and children, the fill their jugs or buckets with river-, source- or pump water. Sometimes they have to walk for mile before they reach clean and potable water. I once tried to balance a jug...

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  • Salaam Aleikum

    “Salaam Aleikum” or “Peace Be Upon You” is a common welcome in many areas or Islamic countries in Africa. You only have to answer with the words “Aleikum Salaam” and a conversation is started.Only use it when arriving or leaving.

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  • THE COFFEE CEREMONY - ETHIOPIA

    Coffee originated in Ethiopia and they celebrate its discovery with great appreciation. The Coffee Ceremony is an elaborate way of being welcomed into someone’s home. A lot goes into it. First fresh grass is placed all over the floor. This means that when you walk your guest’s home you have a pleasant smell and feeling of freshness. You host will...

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  • THE FLAG OF UGANDA

    The very colourful flag of Uganda is one of the most striking national flags of the world. It is comprised of 2 stripes each of Black, Yellow and Red and Red with a crested crane in full colour on a white disk in the middle. Black represents the African people, Yellow stands for sunshine and the Red symbolizes the brotherhood of man. The 3 colours...

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  • You've got to read this: Notes from a...

    "The Innocent Anthrolopogist. Notes from a Mud Hut."This fantastic little book (Penguin 1986) written by Nigel Barley is just hilarious. His task is to study the customs and manners and beliefs of the Dowayo people of Cameroon. In short, theory and reality were far from meeting each other in his study and his book just accentuates the danger of...

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  • GUNS TURNED INTO ART - MOZAMBIQUE

    A lot of art in Mozambique seems to require weapons. Land mines, machine guns and hand guns all add to the lethal mix. This is rather disturbing when you keep seeing this art in many places. Oddly this unique art style has a positive purpose. When the massive civil war ended here in 1992 there were between 400,000 and 5 MILLION landmines scattered...

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  • THE SHORTEST WAR IN HISTORY- ZANZIBAR

    Zanzibar fought the world’s shortest war against the British Empire – and lost after 38 minutes. Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini had been cooperating with the British when he suddenly died on 25 August 1896. His nephew, Khalid bin Bargash, seized power at the expense of another would-be pro British Sultan. Khalid was ordered to step aside. He did not. On...

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  • BEER REVIEW: PRIMUS

    Hail the King ! King Primus!Primus is the undisputed heavyweight champion of beer in east/central Africa. It is brewed in 4 different countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. This pale beer with a light refreshing taste has one great quality. It comes in awesome 600 ml (20.3 oz) bottles!...

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  • DUMA - MEAT ON A STICK IN THE DRC

    Duma is a meat dish found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Essentially the meat is skewered through the centre (length-ways) of the meat, sprinkled with a lotes of spices and deep fried. This is definitely street food you will find in the markets here for about $1 or less. I did not have a chance to sample one, but 2 of my guides described...

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  • THE HANDSHAKE OF RESPECT

    I first noticed this in Ethiopia, but I have actually seen this done all across Eastern Africa and in Southern Africa as well. Sometimes when local people go to shake your hand and they will hold their right elbow or wrist with their left hand. This can also occur when handing you something you have purchased or when the bill is brought to you in a...

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  • CHUKUDU - THE WOODEN CARGO SCOOTER - DRC

    Seriously – do not laugh. You are looking at a seriously well engineered, practical, low cost and environmentally friendly method of goods transport. The Chukudu is a solid wood scooter that has forked steering bars, a wide wooden platform sloping from the steering handles down and to the rear. Finally its wooden wheels have some rubber tyre tread...

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  • THE SUNDOWNER

    A Sundowner is a delightful expression used across Southern Africa to describe having an adult beverage at sun down. Of course it can be any time, but the best time to do so is at sunset watching a beautiful African sky. This can be enjoyed anywhere. All you need is: You, a few friends (optional but preferred), a drink and nature. Please have a...

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Africa Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Africa local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Africa sightseeing.
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