African ball puzzle is a classical string puzzle. This puzzle has different names. African string puzzle or African ball and string puzzle names also used for this puzzle. There are different explications about the origin of the name of this puzzle. I found a nice article about this puzzle by Yutaka Nishiyama. You can read full article from here.
The aim of this puzzle is taking four ball to the same side of the loop. This puzzle has also different variations. The fifth ball in the middle of the rope is optional. You can use also one ball on each side of the rope instead of two. Here another version of this puzzle that I made long time ago.
For this version the aim is taking the ring to the other side of the loop. If you decide to make this version I advise making two ball (balls at the end of the sticks) in different color. Because when you start to solve you can confuse starting and ending sides of the loop. “Sleeper stopper” is also a vertical arrangement of this puzzle. This is a very easy to make puzzle. You can find easily some beads and you can make this in a few hour. You can download PDF solution from here. Or you can watch this video for solution.