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Burkina Faso is one of the poorest nations in the world. The landlocked location has a high population density and low natural resources. Agriculture is 90% of Burkinabe’ income and that is below subsistent. The variances in rainfall amount make agriculture at best a very difficult way to make a living.

Burkina Faso has a tropical climate with two seasons, a dry and a rainy season. During the rainy season in June-September there will fall between 600 and 900 millimeters of rain, and the rest of the year it is hot and dry. The hottest time of year is from March to June when the temperature is well above 40 degrees. The landscape varies quite a bit. In northern Burkina Faso, you can find deserts, while in the south there are rivers and in the southwestern part green countryside with forests and breathtaking rock formations. There are also plenty of opportunities for both hiking and mountain bike tours.

Burkina Faso

Surrounded by all sides, this West African country of approximate 275,000 sq. Kilometers is surrounded by six sides of nations. To the north lies Mali, to the East, Niger, and Benin on the Southeast, Toga and Ghana to the South with the Ivory Coast to the Southwest. Continue reading “Burkina Faso is one of the friendliest of the West African Nations” »

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The Rila monastery is located in Southwestern Bulgaria, Kyustendil province, Rila municipality. It is established in the 10 – th century by st. Ivan Rilsky, at the Rilska river. The monastery is one of the most valuable cultural monuments in the country, symbol of Bulgaria, included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The now monastery is located near the village of Pastra: not far from it’s first establishment. This is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria: 5 floors, with visible 4 floors. This is because of the restrictions of the Ottoman rulers in 1834, when the nowaday buildings have been created. In the ground floor is situated the museum.

Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery is historical and cultural site in the Rhodope Mountains of southwestern Bulgaria. It is situated in a valley of the Rila massif, 70 miles (110 km) south of Sofia. Rila is a symbol of Bulgarian national identity, and it is the most prominent monastery of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Continue reading “Rila Monastery is a symbol of national identity of Bulgaria” »

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Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago. Brunei’s culture is therefore deeply rooted in its Malay origins, which are reflected in the nation’s language, architecture, ceremonies, and customs governing daily life. Though various foreign civilisations have played a role in forming Brunei’s rich history, the traditions of the Old Malay World have left an indelible mark on the culture of modern Brunei.

Brunei's culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Today, Bruneians are predominantly Malay, though significant Chinese, Indian and indigenous Bornean populations add to the cultural makeup of Brunei. Brunei’s blend of cultures, customs, beliefs and customs is therefore very similar to that of Malaysia. The nation’s official language is Malay, but English is widely spoken by most of the population, and most signs in the country are written in Roman script.

If Malay traditions are Brunei’s cultural root, then Islam is its heart. The nation’s Malay Islamic Monarchy is a uniquely Bruneian blend combining the best of Malay culture with the teachings of Islam and a mutual respect between ruler and subjects. This national philosophy is aimed at forging a stronger sense of identity as well as fostering unity and stability, and it forms the backbone of Bruneian cultural identity.

Brunei's culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

The culture is predominantly Malay, with heavy influences from Hinduism and Islam, but is seen as more conservative than Malaysia. The borrowings and derivations of Brunei culture from these two religions are due mainly to the country’s historical links with the Hindu empire in the neighbouring regions of modern-day Indonesia and Malaysia.

One will find that Bruneian fare generally exudes a unique flavour of cultural fusion due to the influence of the various nations that have left their mark on Brunei’s culture. Arab, Indian and Chinese traders, European explorers and, of course, Malay and indigenous Bornean peoples have each introduced their own cooking styles and ingredients, adding to the masterful fusion that makes Brunei’s cuisine memorable.

Brunei is richly endowed with a cultural heritage that the government and the people have worked tirelessly to maintain. The nation‚ Arts and Handicraft Centre, for example, is a living testimony to the preservation and the proliferation of the arts and crafts for which Brunei was once renowned, including boat making, silversmithing, bronze tooling, weaving and basketry. Visitors will also find Malay weaponry, wood carvings, traditional games, traditional musical instruments, silat (the traditional art of self defence) and decorative items for women to be some of Brunei‚ most unique cultural offerings.

The introduction of Islam, of course, also dramatically changed Brunei‚ cultural landscape, adding its own distinct artistic forms. The nation‚Äôs mosques and other Islamic sites of importance are all works of art in themselves, and many contain some of the most striking examples of Islamic arts that can be found outside the Arab world. Examples include gilded Holy Korans, ceremonial items and the intricate mosaics that adorn several monuments throughout the nation‚ four districts.

Brunei's culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

There is a wide array of native folk music and dance. Adai-adai is a group work song sung by fisherpeople while they fished. Another folk dance is the Benari, or Joget Baju Putih, performed during numerous festivals. It is usually performed by three men and three women.

If Malay traditions are Brunei‚ cultural root, then Islam is its heart. The nation‚ Malay Islamic Monarchy is a uniquely Bruneian blend combining the best of Malay culture with the teachings of Islam and a mutual respect between ruler and subjects.

Epicures will enjoy the vast array of cuisine that Brunei offers, ranging from home-cooked local specialties to the finest of international cuisines.

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Beyond the narrow eastern corridor where the majority of the population is concentrated, Botswana is a largely roadless wilderness of savannas, deserts, wetlands and salt pans. Skinflints and softies beware: this remains a destination for the intrepid, well-heeled traveller.

Botswana is a country to relax in and to have adventure!!

Botswana is an African success story. It achieved independence from Britain in 1966 and in a mad stroke of luck then unearthed three of the world’s richest diamond mines.

Botswana is a country to relax in and to have adventure!!

Outstandingly dramatic, Botswana encompasses striking salt pans, diamond-rich deserts and fertile flood plains which teem with game. The north and south offer superb wildlife-watching opportunities, making this one of southern Africa’s top equestrian horseback riding safari destinations. Hidden Trails offer three excellent Botswana horse back riding holidays – from luxury game lodges to the stunning Okavango Delta. Continue reading “Botswana is a country to relax in and to have adventure!!” »

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Formerly one of the six federal units constituting the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Bosnia and Herzegovina can be described as a federal democratic republic that is transforming its economy into a market-oriented system, and it is a potential candidate for membership in the European Union. The country is home to three ethnic “constituent peoples”: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The most notorious of Bosnia and Herzegovina is its mountainous landscape and extravagant, best seen from its national parks. For some, the country is synonymous with the Yugoslav wars that devastated the Balkans in 1990, there are still remnants of it and today has a fractured infrastructure and parts of the mine-infested country.

However, there are many positive aspects for which is worth visiting the urban centers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the cosmopolitan capital of Sarajevo with his Turkish heritage and atmosphere of cafes. Everywhere there are historic forts, ancient mosques and monasteries and Catholic churches. But perhaps above all this is the rebuilt Ottoman bridge in Mostar, which symbolises the past and a positive new beginning for the country. Continue reading “Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Country Reborn” »

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