OCTOBER 2014

British Museum, A Major London Tourist Attraction

by: Timothy Tye (reading – 1.9. - 7.9.)

The British Museum is one of the biggest tourist attractions in London. It is also one of the oldest and biggest museums in London. The British Museum has over 13 million objects, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive collection on human history and culture in the world. The objects come from all continents of the world. They showcase and document the story of humankind from the earliest beginnings to the present age.

The British Museum was founded in 1753. It was based on the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, a physician and scientist. Sir Hans Sloane had been an avid collector of curiosities. When he died in 1753, he bequeathed his collection to King George II. Within his collection are 71,000 objects of all kinds, including 40,000 printed books, 7,000 manuscripts, 337 volumes of dried plants, prints, drawings, and antiquities from Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Ancient Near and Far East, and the Americas.

The British Museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House, in Bloomsbury. It is still located at Bloomsbury, although Montagu House has seen much changes since then. The expansion of the British Museum over the centuries resulted in the opening of branch institutions, including the British Museum (Natural History) in 1887, now called the Natural History Museum. The British Library spinned off into a separate entity in 1997. Today both the Natural History Museum and the British Library are major London tourist attractions in their own right. As with all national museums and art galleries in Britain, the British Museum does not charge an admission fee except for charges levied for temporary special exhibitions.

The British Museum got off the ground when King George II gave his formal assent to establish it on 7 June 1753. Two other libraries were added to the Sloane collection. They are the Cottonian Library, assembled by Sir Robert Cotton and the Harleian Library, collected by the Earls of Oxford. The Royal Library, assembled by various British kings, were added in 1757. This comes from King George II himself. With it comes also the right to every book published in Great Britain, ensuring that the Museum's collection will grow indefinitely. Within these four "foundation collections" are some of the treasured books of the British Museum, now within its spin-off, the British Library. They include the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving copy of Beowulf.

At the time of its creation, British Museum was a pioneer of sorts. Being a national institution, it belongs neither to the church or the king. Like a sponge, it opens itself freely to the public with the aim of collecting everything of value. Sloane's collection, although encompassing a diversity of objects, tended to reflect his scientific interest. The Cotton and Harley manuscripts introduced a literary and antiquarian element to the collection, so that the British Museum is both a national museum and a national library.

To house the British Museum, the Board of Trustees bought Montagu House from the Montagu Family for 20,000 pounds. This 17-century mansion was preferred over Buckingham House (which today is Buckingham Palace) because the latter was simply too expensive.

The first exhibition galleries and reading room for scholars opened on 15 January 1757. In 1772 the Museum acquired its first antiquities of significance, a collection of Greek vases from Sir William Hamilton. The Thomason Library and David Garrick's Library were added to its collection. At that time, the British Museum has not yet acquired the ancient relics that visitors see today.

The voyages of Captain James Cook resulted in a whole batch of South Sea objects added to the British Museum collection. By 1800, Montagu House has become very crowded and decrepit, and it was clear that space was running out. By the beginning of the 19th century (1800-1825), the antiquities of Greece, Rome and Egypt were added to the British Museum. The Rosetta Stone - key to deciphering hieroglyphs - was added in 1802. The Colossal bust of Ramesses II came in 1818, laying the foundation for the Egyptian Monumental Sculpture collection. The marble sculptures of the Parthenon, on the Acropolis in Athens, were moved to Britain in 1806, and in 1816 were acquired by The British Museum by Act of Parliament.

In 1802, a Buildings Committee was set up to plan for the expansion of the British Museum. The old Montagu House was demolished in 1823. Sir Robert Smirke designed a grand neoclassical building for it. Part by part was completed, with the King's Library on the East Wing ready in 1827, but was only opened to the public in 1857. By then, the collection was growing faster than the building can be expanded. In 1852, the forecourt was opened, in accordance to Robert Smirke's 1923 design. Sydney Smirke's Round Reading Room, with space for one million books, was opened in 1857. Because the British Museum was still pressed for space, the natural history section was moved to a new building in South Kensington, and it became known later as the British Museum (Natural History), now the Natural History Museum. 1884 saw the completion of the White Wing, allowing space for more antiquities and ethnography.

By the last years of the 19th century, The British Museum has once again outgrown the space. The Trustees in 1895 purchased 69 houses surrounding the Museum, with the intention of demolishing them and building the West, North and East sides to the Museum. The first phase of construction of the north wing began in 1906.

In 1918, due to threat of wartime bombing, some of the objects were stored away at the Portal Tube Railway at Holborn, at the National Library of Wales, and at a country house near Malvern. Some of these objects were damaged in transition, necessitating the creation of a conservation laboratory to restore them. This took place in 1920, and became a permanent department in 1931.

In August 1939, with the Second World War looming, the most valuable and portable objects were evacuated. No wonder, for the museum was bombed in 1941. The years following was spent rebuilding the damaged building and returning the stored items.

The British Museum celebrated its bicentennial in 1953. In 1963 the Natural History Museum became a fully independent entity. The Coins and Medals collection, damaged during the war, reopened in 1959. Following that, the Parthenon Sculptures were back on display in 1962, with the restoration of the Duveen Gallery.

1972 saw 1,694,117 visitors coming to see the "Treasures of Tutankhamun", the most successful exhibition in the British Museum history. That same year saw another Act of Parliament separating the British Library's collection of manuscripts and printed books from the Britsh Museum. The growing books collection required a new home, but that was not to happen until another 25 years have passed, when the British Library moves to its new home at St Pancras.

The departure of the British Library frees up the vacant space in the 19th century central quadrangle. It was redeveloped into the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court - the largest covered square in Europe, opened in 2000.

The British Museum was set up 250 years ago as an encyclopedia of nature and of art. Today, it no longer houses collections of natural history. Even the books and manuscripts that were its foundation collection now belongs to the independent British Library. Nevertheless the British Museum maintains its universality in its collection of artefacts representing the cultures of the world.

About The Author

Timothy Tye explores and documents the tourist attractions of the world in EarthDocumentary. Go to www.earthdocumentary.com/london.htm to learn about the tourist attractions of London.



Kruger National Park

by: Jerry Wanga (reading – 8.9. - 14.9.)

In our imaginations the wild places of Africa are timeless and unchanging. That is the reason why Africans and non-Africans seek them out, to restore calm and proportion to their lives.

In reality of course, this isn't true because Africa's landscapes change just like any other as they respond to shifts in their environment and human activity.

For the past million years or so, humans and their ancestors have been the main agents of change in Africa's savannah. Kruger National Park is not an island, but an integral part of a continent, alive with people, their needs and dreams and hopes for the future.

As part of Africa's greatest safari parks, Kruger National Park is part of the great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Elephants can easily be seen in this park and there are 145 mammal species to look out for including lion, cheetah, giraffe, hippo, rhino, and buffalo.

Kruger National Park Accommodation styles range from standard bungalow, to luxury safari lodge, to basic camp site, with prices to suit just about every budget. Whether you are looking for a family vacation, Africa travel or a budget African safari, there's bound to be something for you.

Here are some Restcamps at Kruger National Park.

Berg-en-Dal (with satellite Malelane)

Berg-en-Dal is situated on the bank of the Matjulu Spruit with a view of softly undulating hills to the east. On the northern and southern sides dry riverbeds and a dam border the camp. There are large trees along the streams and dry riverbeds. Special care has been taken to preserve the natural vegetation in the camp. Berg-en-Dal is also the only camp set in a rugged mountain environment and is built on the site of prehistoric settlements.

Crocodile Bridge

This small and delightful camp is situated in the south-eastern corner of the Kruger National Park, on the northern bank of the Crocodile River, from which it derives its name. After an early morning game drive, one can retire from the Lowveld heat to a lunch of prawns before coming back for late afternoon game viewing. The game viewing area is known as the ‘Southern Circle’ and is renowned for its concentration of different prides of lion with different hunting techniques and behavior. It has an abundance of prides, herds, troops, packs and swarms. It is home to a larger percentage of the Kruger National Park‘s total rhino population.

Letaba

The idyllic Letaba Rest Camp is situated on a sweeping bend of the Letaba River, midway between the southern and northern boundaries of the Kruger National Park. The name means “river of sand”, and the sandy riverbed is an excellent location for game viewing, particularly elephant, which thrive in the area. Letaba is a green oasis in the surrounding mopane veld, and remains a firm favorite with visitors.

Lower Sabie

Lower Sabie graces the banks of the Sabie River, one of the few perennial rivers to flow through the Kruger National Park. Visitors cannot but feel soothed by the view towards the river and the Lebombo Mountains beyond. In this rest camp, the bounty and plenitude of nature are very evident, eloquently symbolized by the most conspicuous of its numerous trees, the mighty sycamore fig, which provides generously for the livelihood of many birds and insects. Not only do these giants produce fruit at least twice a year, but different trees produce fruit at different times, extending the gifts of life over many months.

Olifants

The camp is situated atop a hill which towers several hundred feet over the Olifants river. Views from the lookout platforms allow one to see the river below, just as a soaring eagle would survey it, as it hunts from the skies.

Pretoriuskop

When the world was still young, some 3 500 million years ago, molten rock forced its way through the earth's crust and solidified to form the spectacular granite outcrops where Pretoriuskop Rest Camp is now nestled. The impressive granite dome known as “Shabeni Hill” is not far from the camp, which is found in the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park. It is immediately apparent to any visitor that Pretoriuskop is unique as brilliant red trees adorn the camp, pre-dating the decision to make exclusive use of indigenous plants in laying out rest camp gardens. Nostalgia prompted an exception to the rule for Pretoriuskop, the Kruger National Park's oldest rest camp, and exotic flowering plants were allowed to stay, enhancing the strong sense of the past that is so pervasive.

Punda Maria

Punda Maria lies in the northern most part of the Kruger National Park, 8 km from Punda Maria Gate. The camp is situated in the Sandveld region that is often described as the botanical garden of the Kruger National Park. There are numerous plant species which occur that are unique to the area. Game species most likely to be sighted include impala, zebra, buffalo, elephant, eland and sable and the area is a bird paradise.

About The Author

Jerry Wanga is editor of Naady. You can find more information about Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya safaris, as well as hotels and lodge bookings, on the website: www.naady.com



Egypt : Land Before Time

by: Steven N. Ng (reading – 15.9. - 21.9.)

Egypt is famous for a lot of things, from their exotic perfumes, fine cotton, and the mysteries of mummification and their ancient religion. However, I would like to focus on the architectural and engineering wonders of the Egyptian civilization. When the tribes in Europe and Africa were still building huts and shelters, the Egyptians have already constructed monstrous monuments hundreds of feet in height and width. It is this superiority that has elevated the ancient Egyptian civilization as one of the greatest civilizations in the world.

The Great Pyramids of Giza

By far the most famous of Egypt's architectural wonders are the 3 Great Pyramids located at Giza, near Cairo. These monuments are hundreds of feet in height, and have survived the test of time for the last 4500 years. There are over a hundred pyramids of various sizes in Egypt, and more in neighboring Sudan. These monuments serve as tombs for the great pharaohs of ancient Egypt, and stand as testimony to the power and influence of these pharaohs.

When you stand at the bottom of the Great Pyramids, looking up at their magnificence, the feeling is indescribable. You begin to wonder just how the ancient people managed to construct this huge structure with only the help of the simple tools available at that time. And this feeling of awe intensifies when you take the opportunity to descend into the pyramids via the original entrances that were used thousands of years ago. When you touch the walls of the now-empty tombs beneath the pyramids, you will feel as if you were there thousands of years ago when the tombs were freshly carved. (One warning: You might not want to enter the pyramids if you are claustrophobic!)

The Sphinx

Next to the Great Pyramids at Giza is the enigmatic Sphinx. A gigantic statue with the head of a man and the body of a lion, the great Sphinx stares silently at the east, perhaps watching the sunrise, or perhaps protecting the great pyramids from whatever evils that may threaten to destroy them. The Sphinx is just as old as the pyramids, aging over 4500 years (or more, depending on which group of archaeologists you believe).

Almost everyone has heard of the Sphinx with its missing nose, and some might wonder how he actually lost his nose. (Do not believe what you saw in the Disney cartoon Aladdin) Almost everyone has seen many pictures, or perhaps the Discovery channel, showing the Sphinx in various angles. But you have to visit it, to stand there right next to it, to realize why both the Sphinx and the Pyramids are the most famous man-made structures in the world. Just the front paw of the Sphinx is larger than a human being!

The Wonders of the Nile

The architectural wonders of ancient Egypt are not limited to those at Giza. As you travel along the Nile River (incidentally the longest river in the world), you will come across other monuments. Chief of these is the Valley of Kings near Luxor. It is here that many kings from many of the ancient Egyptian dynasties were entombed. Each tomb is unique and is a wonder in its own right. Unfortunately, most of the treasure that was entombed with the pharaohs have long been stolen by tomb raiders. Only the well-hidden tomb of Tutankhamun managed to survive more or less intact to this day.

Further south, near the town of Aswan, are the famous temples of Abu Simbel. Constructed during the reign of Ramses II, better known as Ramses the Great, these two temples feature much-larger-than-life statues guarding the entrances. And beautiful hieroglyphs still adorn the walls of the temples.

The few monuments I've mentioned are just a small fraction of the many wonders that can be found in Egypt. If you have any interest in ancient civilizations, or want to know more about the wonders of ancient Egypt, you owe it to yourself to visit this ancient land before its wonders are eventually swept away by the sands of time.

If you would like to know more about the wonders of Egypt, do check out the following sites:

Pyramids of Giza www.nekhebet.com/w_pyramids.html
Sphinx www.nekhebet.com/w_sphinx.html
Nile River www.nekhebet.com/w_nile.html

And if you want to learn more about the other aspects of Egypt, do visit www.nekhebet.com

About The Author

Steven maintains the informational website Wonders of Ancient Egypt at www.nekhebet.com . Please visit if you want to find out more about the wonders of Egypt such as the Pyramids and the Lighthouse; or mysteries such as mummifcation and conspiracy theories; or its religion and history.



Discrimination - The First Law of Success

by: Oscar Bruce (reading – 22.9. - 28.9.)

As the author of personal development publications distributed worldwide, I am frequently asked why certain people seem to succeed at practically everything they attempt, while others fail no matter how hard they try. My response is "I definitely can tell you, but you're really not going to like the answer." But here it is.

Most people spend 97% of their time with the wrong people. This fact means your best friend could very well be your worst enemy. It's here that discrimination as a process is the essential element that will create success or disappoint.

What the ear hears, the mouth repeats. In short, you absorb the language of the people with whom you frequently associate. If the language is mundane, and loaded with meaningless clichés and useless figures of speech, soon that is the way you will speak. And, it's a well known fact that people judge you by the way you speak.

Your mind is like a giant sponge that soaks up everything it hears. Many words that are not favorable to your well-being and personal success take residence there. Through a psychological process I call: "Psycho-Semantics," they impose a detrimental influence on your imagination and your vision. Those words will direct your outlook and expectations.

Out there is a beautiful world and beautiful people everywhere. Why clutter it with relationships that don't belong in your life? It's an easy life if you don't let others drag you down. You therefore must break ranks from ordinary people whose language you do not want to become your way of speaking. Treat them like you would a cancer: early detection and swift removal.

Unless you discriminate deliberately and savagely, the people around you will engage in conversation about the trivia of their latest ailment, their relationship problems, and gossip in the form of "I said, and then, she said." Even worse, a generous sprinkling of "isn't it awful" and "pity poor me." If all this sounds all too familiar, you must learn to initiate new conversation topics - topics that cause listeners to perceive you as intelligent and insightful.

Albert Einstein is quoted as follows. "The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting a different outcome." In my book "Winning Words Winning Ways" I make the salient point, "Your future will be exactly like your past unless you make major changes."

Now that we've covered the primary liability that holds most people back, I'm going to share the powerful dynamic that will provide all the best that life has to offer.

Since the mind and life abhor a vacuum, you will need new and better friends. This will require new, personal communication skills to make you appealing in better circles. You will need new words and phrases to make your conversation sizzle. That is upgrading the way you verbalize your ideas and feelings.

Why are new communications skills and new conversation topic important? Big things happen when you say the little things right. And, you'd be surprised at what you can get when you ask for it the right way. The power that superior verbal skills will give you has absolutely no limit.

You must become a word specialist, a person who paints beautiful pictures with an invisible brush of magical words, a skilled verbal artist whose conversation is both persuasive and compelling. That draws people to you. They compete to be with you.

You don't see eagles
Hanging out with sparrows.

On the other hand, through the process of Psycho-Semantics there are also certain words and phrases that will be uplifting and tend to expand the mind's perception and vision. Select words and phrases that help the mind to see opportunities previously overlooked.

You don't see eagles hanging out with sparrows do you? After all, gutter language wouldn't work well in the office of your company's C.E.O. "If you want to hang with the natives, you'd better speak the native tongue. Within that simple sentence lies the reason that "discrimination is the first law of success." Chose your friends and associate carefully. DISCRIMINATE SAVAGELY.

About The Author

Oscar Bruce
Make your personal and professional communications more effective.



A Kenya Safari Holiday Based In Chyulu Hills National Park

by: Peter R Stewart (reading – 29.9. - 5.10.)

Before booking a Kenya Safari Holiday, perhaps even a honeymoon in Kenya, you need to do your homework.

It is possible you might never have heard of Campi Ya Kanzi which is in the Chyulu Hills National Park, but this would be the perfect place for a luxury African safari.

Campi Ya Kanzi means ‘Camp of The Hidden Treasure’, but effectively for you the hidden treasure is the sheer quality of this luxury tented safari camp in Southern Kenya, which is almost in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro which is only 35 miles away, and it lies within a 400 square mile private ranch.

There are outstanding features concerning Campi Ya Kanzi making it an outstanding base for a luxury African safari and some of them are as follows.

The maximum number of guests is limited to fourteen in six thatched roof tented cottages, and the two suites called Hemingway and Simba. Each tented cottage is made of stones fabric and wood.

The tented cottages all have different views and are extremely private, just one reason that Campi Ya Kanzi is a must visit on a honeymoon in Kenya.

The suites all feature a king size bed, a dressing room, and the bathrooms have double wash hand basins.

The cottages have either twin or king size beds, and have like the suites a full size bath, shower, bidet, flush toilet and hot and cold running water. Electricity is supplied by a solar system to every cottage.

Elegance is added to, by the fact that the plumbing fixtures are brass, and fresh flowers are replaced every day.

Each cottage as Camp Ya Kanzi has a wide veranda with superb views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Tsavo Hills.

Each guesthouse has a designated Maasai attendant, and at night the camp is patrolled by guards so you can feel safe and totally secure at Campi Ya Kanzi.

The meals are all served at Tembo House which is the clubhouse at the epicentre of the camp. Like the cottages it is made of local materials and thatch. It is open to the outside and the views of Kilimanjaro from the terrace are, to put it mildly, spectacular. It also has a large lounge for relaxing reading and having a quiet drink.

Tembo House is more like being a guest in a friend’s home than a hotel. Even dining is at a large wooden family dining table, set with fine china, silverware and crystal to further this impression, and food which has an Italian theme, and is of course home cooked by specially trained chefs is superb, but stands alongside local and international dishes, plus vegetables from the vegetable garden, local fresh milk and eggs from the chickens.

Campi Ya Kanzi has two goals, the first of which is to help the Maasai preserve their wildlife heritage. The second is to give you the most memorable vacation of your life.

Your safari day will start with coffee or tea brought to your cottage by your Maasai attendant, and then after enjoying the view from the verandah you will have a morning game drive, or if you would prefer a walk. Breakfast follows with fresh local fruit, then possibly an escorted safari on foot. Campi Ya Kanzi is famous and rightly so for its foot safaris. The Maasai game trackers will go out first, then you will follow in your own vehicle, getting close enough to whatever game you have indicated you want to see. It is then on foot, with your armed professional guide and the trackers. In this way you will get close and personal, whilst remaining safe at all times.

All of this is as far as you can get from the mass vehicle pursuit of animals in the Masai Mara, and indeed you will never want it any other way in the future.

All of the activity in the bush is what you want and not part of a rigid program. You will almost certainly see all of the big five, but on foot, and what could be more exciting than that.

If you want to take a luxury African safari, or have your honeymoon in Kenya, then Campi Ya Kanzi could be the perfect solution plus the fact every dollar you spend helps the Maasai preserve their wildlife heritage.

For more information go to www.in-kenyasafari.com/pages/Site-Map.html

About The Author

Peter Stewart writes exclusively for www.in-kenyasafari.com as well as www.worldwidevacationspots.com and has visited personally many of the places he reports on, and has done extensive research on the others