Know the Lingo
African Terms Explained

© Himba tribes people.Namibia

Africa always has something interesting to offer up as discussion, such as wars and famine or big game and culture, and other topics relating to what animal reigns supreme in the animal kingdom and the African attitude to time keeping.

What is Africa Time?

"Africa Time" is a colloquial term used to describe the western attitude to the perceived tardiness of African people when it comes to timekeeping. It is believed to be a cultural tendency among the people of Africa.

Generally today the tourism industry has moved beyond old-time ideals although there are still places where Africa Time seems to be the norm and it is advisable to remember that in Africa patience is a virtue.

'Africans do not wait for time, rather, time waits for Africans'.

What is Suicide Month?

In the more northern countries of southern Africa the first rains of the rainy season usually fall in November or December. The dry season comes to a head in October when the earth is parched and the temperatures are at their highest. The sky is a stained blue from all the dust in the air and the vegetation is denuded.

October is known as "Suicide Month" in these countries as people tell you that they would rather kill themselves than go through another day of heat and dust.

Is the Lion the King of the Beasts?

It is not certain when and why the title of King of the Beasts was attached to lions historically but the title has survived into the 21st century. It may well stem from the regal look of a male lion in full mane. Lions have been depicted in art from as early as 32 000 years ago and many royal families around the world have had the lion on their coats of arms.

But is the lion the king of the Beasts? The lion is at the top of the predator chain in most parts of Africa, although there are places where hyenas are dominant over lions. The only predators that will deliberately attack lions are the hyenas - although only if numbers are in the hyenas' favour.

The lion in relation to other animals: elephants, rhino and buffalo often chase lions off when the two species are in close proximity to each other, however the lions prey on all three species in certain areas of Africa. So is the lion the true King of the Beasts? Maybe, possibly.

What is the Definitive Animal Call of Africa?

There are number of animal calls that can vie for this position. Some will say that the roar of lion heard from a distance is the most inspiring sound in Africa whilst many will grant the piercing call of the African fish eagle the top spot.

The whoop of a hyena at night is spine-chillingly incredible and on moonlight nights in Africa the haunting call of the fiery-necked nightjar never fails to impress. With all the variety in Africa everyone has a personal favourite.

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