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Tour of Africa: West Africa


Our tour resumes in West Africa - and for anyone traveling across this landscape, you'll find countless mud and thatched roof huts dotting the land for as far as the eye can see. The ones we see here in Rural Congo are simple, yet beautiful - they've been a staple for the locals for thousands of years, and for good reason. They're easy and efficient to build - and they withstand the elements fairly well.


We travel further west through Nigeria and into Benin, but from this point forward, the only transportation option is by boat. We've entered one of the many swampy lagoons that dot the shoreline, and with a little help from the locals, we'll soon find one of the most unique destinations in all of Africa.


We've made it to Ganvie, Benin - called the "Venice of Africa", there's really nothing else like it in the world. When translated into English, Ganvie literally means "we survived" - a reminder of events that happened hundreds of years ago. The Tofinu people that lived in the area needed a way to escape the slave trade - so they moved to stilt houses on top of the surrounding Lake Nokoué. It was their only option - and they were finally able to find peace here.


West Africa is known particularly well for its beautiful beaches and scenery - and few can compare to the ones you might find on the coastlines of Ghana. With their natural beauty and an occasional shipwreck or two like the ones found in Fete - these beaches have attracted countless tourists from across the globe.


As we make our way further west through the dense jungle, its a common sight to see local markets dot the landscape in countries such as Guinea. Just about everything imaginable is sold here - livestock, poultry, yams, sweet potatoes, and of course, lots and lots of green bananas. We take a look around, picking up a couple pieces of authentic African clothing as well - a beautiful reminder of our tour.


Although elephants have been hunted to the point of near extinction in West Africa due to the demand for their ivory tusks, there's still a number of places to find them if you look hard enough. Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal is one of the best remaining spots, and jungle safaris are one of the most popular tourist attractions. Move slowly, though - you never know when a wild chimpanzee might dart across the road in front of you..


Our last stop is one of the most historically important cities in all of West Africa - Timbuktu. This desert city was once a great trading post for goods traveling from West to North Africa - back in the 1300s, you might have even seen the legendary Mansa Musa (emperor of the Kingdom of Mali) pass through these streets with his caravan. Musa himself played a pivotal role in this history of Timbuktu - with a net worth of over $400 billion, he built mosques wherever he went. This included the great Djinguereber Mosque back in 1327, among others - all of which would be turned into universities and helped to turn Timbuktu into a great educational city as well. When you walk through these streets, you really feel like your stepping back in time - not much has changed over the years, and its truly a one of a kind experience.



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Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: Central Africa"


Big thanks to @nRVOUS, @bladeberkman, @RobertLM78, @CorinaMarie, @matias93, @Manuel-ito, @Andrey km, @RandyE, @Odainsaker, @MushyMushy, @tariely, @bobolee, @Toby Ferrian, @_Michael, @TMTS, @mrsmartman, @mike_oxlong, @SC4L0ver, @juliok92012, @Marushine, @Jonas_Chaves, @MAW, @Ceafus 88, @raynev1, & @Urban Constanta for all the likes!


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Thanks @mike_oxlong! *:)

I attribute it mostly to the fact that at the beginning/middle of the year, I started about a million different projects, but never had enough pictures to make "proper" updates out of all of them. So, I pretty much had a whole bunch of pics laying around for a while *:P I've finally found enough time here recently to finish things up and start making updates out of them - so I've been able to keep up a really good pace as of late.

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True Earth. wow.  I'm grateful for the ability to see and hear the truth.  Its humbling, comforting, sweet and beautiful in a somewhat painful, but not fearful, way.   Art is good and good art is even better, it is great.

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Amazing work as usual! 

I love the new buildings you made, when will we get to download them?


Are you going to make North Africa  and Egypte too? 

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I've got to get another look at this.  :)

Stepping back in time... that's exactly it!  That's the feeling I was having looking at Timbuktu, and you described it perfectly.  The street markets sort of make me imagine something that might have existed in my region a long time ago.  There's something that's just so organic and real about the scene.

I didn't even realize it at first, but there are even power lines here.  Nice added touch!

Beautiful work, Korver!  *:thumb:

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Impressive work once again, Korver. Hats off. :thumb:


P. S. When reading Timbuktu, it's unavoidable to think of the good ol' starter region in SC4 *:rofl:

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@RandyE Thanks for the great comment, Randy! *:thumb:

@TekindusT Thank you for the nice words! *:)

@IL. Thank you! *:) Egypt and North Africa is coming in the next update *;) I do plan on uploading some stuff eventually when I have time, but in the meantime anything is available on request.

@elavery Well I modeled and textured pretty much all of the unique buildings in these updates, so I can send you those (including the Djinguereber Mosque). There were a few small exceptions though like the adobe houses, I downloaded some models and textured those, so I'm not too sure on what the ruling is on that..

@metarvo Thank you! *:) I spent a long time looking at various pics of Timbuktu to make sure I didn't miss any of those small details that bring the scene to life - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

@SC4L0ver Thank you! *:) Yeah, with that pic I really wanted to show everybody the other Timbuktu *:P

@MAW Thank you for the kind words - glad you enjoyed it *:)

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