Jambo 2.0 : A Return to Africa

In this latest build, part of the *80Days* series, sim designer Camila Runo introduces us to the open grasslands of East Africa.

The concept of *80Days* has always fascinated me. Reimagining and re-creating RL locations in SL is a challenge because the sim designer needs to stay true to the atmosphere and feel of the region despite perhaps never having been there to experience it. The last build in the *80Days* series, The Bayou, took us to the American Deep South where we explored swamps crawling with wildlife, tranquil sunlit beaches and alligator farms.

This time, in her latest build, sim designer Camila Runo takes us to Africa – a land of beauty and wilderness. This is not Camila’s first venture into creating Africa in SL. Some of you may have visited her hugely popular build – Jambo : A Voyage into Africa – last year. However the primary difference between both builds is the time they represent. Last year’s build was a take on Africa in the 1920s whereas Jambo 2.0 is based on East Africa of the present day.

*80Days* – Jambo 2.0

Our journey through this fascinating region begins in a tourist office. One of the rooms in the office also doubles as a school and another as a makeshift hospital. This offers us a glimpse into rural Africa and the rustic nature of facilities available there even today. Jambo 2.0 is a region you are meant to explore and there isn’t a defined path you are supposed to take. It is often the side tracks and lanes which lead you to the best spots.

The title of the region – Jambo – comes from Swahili, the primary language of Kenya in which the word is used to welcome someone, almost like a “Hello” in English. To experience the region in the best possible way, Camila recommends you to set your Graphics on “Ultra“. If that is not possible because of low frame rates, at least try and increase your draw distance to 256. Much of the land in Jambo 2.0 consists of open plains and grasslands, so short draw distances will not give you a complete overview of the region.

*80Days* – Jambo 2.0

As you step out of the tourist office and start your journey through the open grasslands of East Africa, bathed in the warm glow of a beautiful sunset, you will be greeted by several of Africa’s original and true residents – its diverse wildlife. An elephant and some monkeys wander around right outside the tourist compounds while in the distance we see a herd of gazelles and a family of giraffes grazing quietly by the water. It is the small details which add to the authenticity of this region. On one of the trees we can find a honeycomb swarming with bees.

On the eastern side, the region is flanked by hills from which a stream falls down a huge distance into a pool of water below, creating a spectacular waterfall. A tip for you while exploring this region would be to take a peek behind the waterfall by exploring one of the trails. You will be pleasantly surprised by what you stumble upon.

*80Days* – Jambo 2.0

Your journey through Jambo 2.0 will inevitably lead you to a rural village along the water with a huge flock of flamingos next to it. The village is representative of the harsh conditions which prevail even today in most of rural Africa. Camila has placed a grand luxurious villa belonging to a wealthy person right next to the village, thus displaying the divide between the rich and poor which exists in modern day Africa. The villa is furnished with the most modern amenities while the houses in the village lack even the most basic facilities. It is a cruel but accurate picture of economic disparity in developing or under-developed regions on the world.

*80Days* – Jambo 2.0

While wandering through these lands is obviously a lot of fun, another way to explore this region is by water. There are two places where you can get a boat – one is available at the rural village while another is at the pool near the base of the waterfall. Taking a round trip around the region by boat offers some unique perspectives on the wildlife.

Photographers, explorers, groups of friends, couples – everyone is bound to have a great time at this region which offers a glimpse into East Africa – a land many of us would never have been able to visit in RL. Camila and her team have done a spectacular job at giving visitors to Jambo 2.0 an immersive experience complete with visuals and sounds perfectly suited to the location.

This region is particularly great for photographers as it offers rezzing rights once you join the *80 Days * group. Joining the group is free.

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