Listen to the song of Africa with Superb Africa Safaris

Two million years ago, Africa was the cradle of man. Our ancestors emerged from the great forests of central Africa ad stood on the open, sun shot plains of East Africa for the first time. There were angry volcanoes flanking the Great Rift Valley, elephant larger than they had ever seen, buffalo, lion, hornbill birds and silver lakes of pink flamingos.

The first true Africans were the nomadic Stone Age hunter gatherers who lived in many different parts of Africa thousands of years ago. Not only were they the first Africans, they were also Africa’s first conservationists. Cathedrals of Stone Age art dating back thousands of years ago have bee discovered in the great mountain ranges of the central Sahara, the Brandberg of Namibia and in thousands of aloe-strewn and boulder-tumbled overhangs throughout Zimbabwe. All reflect a symbiotic relationship between man and nature, between man and the array of animals that existed alongside him. Thousands of years ago in the areas of the Sahara that are now desert there were golden grasslands, with giraffe and oryx, leopard and elephant, and rivers of hippo and crocodile.

Today the same plains are bleak and sun ravaged, where only a mystic journey to meditate or a lone Tuareg trader would pause with his caravan. The bleak Tassili hills of the central Sahara, wind and sun blasted folds of rock, searing hot by day and bitterly cold at night, contain more than 4 000 paintings and engravings. In caves and overhangs the arts show us that the Sahara 6000 years ago was literally a land of milk, flowing rivers, pastures and honey. Combined with archaeological finds, we know that there were settled communities here earlier than elsewhere else along the Nile which made pots for cooking and carrying water, and also fished with harpoons in the many rivers in the place called Tassili-n-Ajjer, which means “plateau of rivers.”

At the end of the continent, right across southern Africa, there are rock paintings similar, and engravings of equal beauty, to those in the Tassili of the Sahara. They reflect the all embracing spirituality of the San, or Bushmen as they are known, and the deep importance to them physically, symbolically and mystically of the animals of the wild.

All Africans have a tradition in their folk memory of having arrived from somewhere else. Starting three thousand years ago there was a slow but steady movement of people, farmers and craftsmen skilled in iron, away from the West African rainforests of eastern Nigeria and Cameroon. There were two streams: one went east, reaching East Africa by AD 100 and South Africa 200 years later; the other headed south via Zambia and Angola. These migrations were not exodus with massed columns of people on the move, but rather a long process that took about 1 500 years and, by 1800, when Europeans began exploring began exploring the interior of what to them had always been the dark and unknown continent, they found settled communities everywhere they went. Even then, Africa had a population of around 100 million people.

“Morning has risen, Asobe God, take away from us every pain…..”

Prayer of the Mbuti (pygmy)

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