Blogging the road 2 Timbuktu
A trip to Morocco with us takes you into the heart of all that is most enticing about this country. Amongst Westerners it may be viewed as a gateway to the orient, one that lies a convenient stone’s throw from Europe. However, where it becomes the Sahara it is undeniably African, alluring in its combination of desert, mountains and ancient cities.
The great advantage of visiting Morocco with us is that we are capable of creating a trip that is entirely unique to you. The Sahara Overland trip goes through Morocco in November/December and we can arrange for you to explore the country as you wish with a driver and guide. Here are some key Moroccan places to highlight:
Sometimes we all long to immerse ourselves in the bustle and surprise of somewhere other, somewhere truly exotic and unique. With Morocco, we in Europe have the orient just a couple of hours flight away.
Morocco has long been the trading post between Europe and Africa. The great Saharan caravans brought gold across the desert from the south and traded with produce from the silk route, Europe and Morocco itself.
The two great citadels of trade were Marrakech and Fes.
Timbuktu is an evocative name. For over a millenium it has conjured travel, mystery and adventure, salt, gold and knowledge. It is a town located where the Niger River flows northward into the desert. Timbuktu was founded by the Tuareg Imashagan in the 11th century and thanks to its unique geographical position, it became a natural meeting point for Tuareg, Songhai, Wangara, Fulani and Arabs. From the 11th century onwards, Timbuktu became an important port where goods from West Africa and North Africa were traded. Timbuktu is also the crossroads “where the camel meets the canoe," a place of traders and middle-men. Timbuktuians say of their history: gold came from the south, salt from the north, and Divine Knowledge, from within.
When travelling around Africa, one of the main pleasures is the contact with the locals. There are thousands of languages spoken all over the continent, but each one has a word for “hello”. We look at the ‘African Greetings’ guide by Anouk Zijlma, country by country.
Including the English and French, which many countries also use, here is how to say "hello" in:
Bom dia - Good morning
Boa tarde - Good afternoon
Boa noite - Good evening