“The Darkest Thing About Africa Has Always Been Our Ignorance About It.” – George Kimble
Here at OLV we usually concentrate on filming in the U.S. but this month we have been inspired by Vanity Fair’s Africa Issue and have decided to explore travel to some recent filming locations in Africa.
We have chosen 2 recent films and one that is on the way to explore possible destinations. Blood Diamond and Hotel Rwanda were both filmed in South Africa. Blood Diamond was filmed specifically in Port Edward. Here is a wonderful article about the filming that brings to light how a movie production will often help the community it is filming in. The article notes that all props and clothes used in filming were given to local orphanages and the movie construction crew offered to build desks and chairs for local schools and orphanages.
We will also look at Morocco which was one of the locations used in the upcoming Bourne Ultimatum.
South Africa has become a must for celebrities and common-folk alike. Cape Town has become a luxury destination offering fine food and accomodations. There is so much to do in the immediate area, an aquarium, botanical gardens, shopping, a vibrant nightlife, and of course the waterfront. One must while visiting is Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held from 1964 to 1982. As we can imagine, everyone who visits is moved by the experience. For more ideas, check out this link.
Port Edward, the location used in Blood Diamond is not quite as popular as Cape Town but it looks just as lovely. Located in KwaZulu Natal, there are several tours and resorts located in this region. Here is a resort in Port Edward and here is tour information from go2africa.com. For general information about what to do and see in Port Edward, try this site, who knew there would be a crocodile farm in South Africa?
Morocco may be slightly more familiar to many of us as a vacation destination. This exotic destination offers everything that makes a great trip, great food, adventure, and luxury accomodations. If you are planning a trip to Europe, Morocco may be a great detour since you can easily take a ferry to and from Spain. One of the most popular destinations in Morocco is Tangier. Tangier was once a hot spot for celebrities and writers in the mid twentieth century and remains a popular tourist destination because it offers both beaches and a starting point to explore the Rif Mountains. We do not want to mislead you, there is some risk in traveling to Morocco, especially in light of recent terrorist attacks in Casablanca. Be sure to check any warnings from the U.S. Department of State before traveling to any foreign country.
We sometimes have a vision of Africa as a place filled with bloated children in extreme poverty swatting flies away from their face, what some call “the Sally Struthers effect” but this is not the case. Here is some practical information you need to know when traveling to Africa and also some affordable travel packages. Here is some information about heath and safety when traveling to Africa from the U.S. consular office and a second link with useful information from about.com. This is a link to iexplore which offers an array of tours to Africa, from Safaris to Egypt to Cape Town, the prices are affordable and the trips are all inclusive. Here are packages for safaris from gotoafrica.com. United also offers packages to Cape Town, South Africa, the prices seem reasonable, definitely worth a look.
We have one last point of interest for movie lovers. Africa is home to Fespaco, the continent’s largest film festival held every other year in Burkina Faso. Here is an article from VF describing more about African film and Danny Glover’s involvement. The article also mentions Ousmane Sembène, the Senegalese director who is considered the father of African cinema and creator of Fespaco. The next festival will be held in 2009 so there is still plenty of time to make arrangements if you are interested in going. Lonely Planet has some practical information about traveling to Burkina Faso. For instance, you will have to fly to Paris or Marseilles from the U.S. to get a connecting flight, to learn more check out their website.