As we wrap up 2022, I end this year’s posts with a two-part series featuring fellow humans I have glimpsed throughout my travels.
All of the destinations in our travels are with one thing in mind: to visit wilderness habitats where we can spot wild mammals and birds. We go to out-of-the-way places observing wildlife.
Humans are not the focus, but of course we find humans along the way. They lead the way. I love humans too; they are, after all, my species.
Although my partner and I like many different places on this planet, Africa is our favorite. We have visited five countries.
While every one of the 54 countries in Africa are different, we found similarities in the people.
One similarity: there are many villages in Africa. The three photos below reflect villages in Botswana, Kenya, and Zambia.
Of course Africa has many large cities and towns as well. We gravitate towards wilderness, so villages and small towns were where we spent the most time.
Livingstone, below, is a city of 134,000 people located on the southern Zambia border. It is near Victoria Falls, a popular tourist destination and therefore a bigger establishment.
Another similarity among the African countries, like every country in the world, is that locals congregate around the markets where they buy and sell wares.
There are market photos throughout this post.
Also evident in much of Africa: many folks walk. They walk everywhere. This family, below, just bought groceries in Livingstone and are carrying them home.
Below is a border crossing at Zambia/Botswana in southern Africa. We went through Customs here four times, and there was always a lot going on–a lively, animated place.
Until last year, crossing the Zambezi River, another border, was tricky because relations between Zambia and Botswana had been strained for so long that they never built a bridge to cross the river.
These villagers in the photo below are waiting their turn for the ferry, to cross the Zambezi to shop and sell; some people work on the other side of the river every day. The ferry was very crowded. I stood on the deck eye-to-eye with a man’s string mop.
Fortunately, the Kazungula Bridge was completed last year, providing another option now than just the ferry.
Transportation in African countries also had similarities. Vehicles are not owned by every adult, so in addition to pedestrians there are many bicycles and shared vehicles.
In the cities at morning rush hour, we often saw vans so full of people that their bodies were bursting out of it–some commuters holding on with one leg on the floorboard and one leg dangling in the wind.
This pick-up truck, below, could not have been any more loaded. Those big colored barrels on top are for carrying water.
This woman has a heavy load too, including her little one.
For locals who have the fortune to live near water, dugout canoes were a frequent scene despite hippo-studded waters. Fishermen make their living in canoes, and canoes are used for transportation as well.
All the bumps in the river below are hippos, except for the canoe with two men (at the bottom).
I hope you enjoyed these passing glimpses of African locals in their towns and villages. Next week we’ll cruise over to the Western Hemisphere.
Written by Jet Eliot.
Photos by Athena Alexander.