Category: Africa

The Long, Unwinding Road

Dune 45 in Namibia

Namibia sometimes scares me.
This southern African country is a desolate beauty of stark desert, glittering sand dunes, intriguing canyons and sheer escarpments. It’s absolutely stunning – yet utterly indifferent to the fate of travellers who come to admire it.
If your journeys are as much a part of the adventure as the destination, dramatic, mind-boggling Namibia is a must. There’s something about its dusty, deserted and utterly straight roads disappearing …

Happiness in Hippo Land

Hippos in the Ruaha River in Tanzania

It’s about 2am when I scare myself by remembering that hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa.

I’ve been taking photos all day of at least 30 hippos in the river right in front of my lodge, especially when they lumbered their enormous frames out of the water and onto an island in the middle. They’re huge, solid things with massive mouths and a lot of attitude. …

Zambia: Swimming with the devil

“We have lost only one man,” said Alpha Omega, our Devil’s Pool guide, a tall stick of a man, “and that was because he saved a guest who chose not to take his advice.” All the guides standing at the edge of the briefing room/cafeteria, considered this statement solemnly, their heads bowed. “We also lost a bull elephant. He was swept away by the strong current,” our guide continued. “This is why you must do

Wild, Watery and Wonderful

The mighty Victoria Falls

It seems unlikely that anything could be thrilling enough to waylay me when I’m walking to Victoria Falls, already armed with a rain coat and a silly grin.

But when the hotel gardener I’m breezing past says: “Hello, do you want to see the giraffes?” it stops me in my tracks.

I’ve never had an offer like that before, so I instantly say yes and follow him into the scrubby bushes.…

This Summer's Unusual Beach Activities

Moonlight Paddleboard Yoga, Greece

The Skiathos Princess: Participants can awaken their senses by performing YOGAqua (Yoga on Stand up Paddle Boards) on the glistening, moonlit waters of Skiathos with stars sparkling overhead – a truly idyllic and unforgettable atmosphere. Days with a full moon are revered in the Ashtanga yoga tradition due to the understanding that the moon affects tidal rhythms. As humans are made up of seventy percent water, the moon is said to have …

Foreigners win with South Africa’s financial woes

Johannesburg, one of the greenest cities in the world

If you ever think about how politics influences your travel, it’s probably because you want to avoid war or terrorism. I never imagined politicians could affect travel by making a currency so weak that you should jump on a plane and go immediately, because a country has become so cheap to visit.

Well – say hello to South Africa! Come and experience amazing safaris, be awed by …

The Hotel that Rose From the Ashes

Stunning Hout Bay and The Sentinel, Cape Town

Gnarled chunks of solid silver  mounted in a picture frame are the only evidence that an elegant hotel near Cape Town isn’t the same building it used to be. The silver was once an ornate chair, destroyed along with 70% of the hotel when fires ravaged the Cape peninsular in South Africa in March. The main lodge and several bedrooms of the Tintswalo Atlantic Hotel were reduced to …

Exquisite African Isles

The Anantara Medjumbe lodge

Skimming over the Indian Ocean towards the gorgeous islands of Mozambique is like entering a kid’s over-imaginative coloring book.
Water in a dozen shades of blue washes over the crisp white sand backed by vivid green palm trees. Your camera works overtime to capture some of the world’s most stunning islands owned by one of the world’s poorest countries.

Mozambique on the east coast of Africa has numerous islands, with the …

Solo Safaris

Africa lies waiting for you

If you’re a solo traveller, you’ll have noticed how the world tends to revolve around couples.

You’ll probably be hit by single room supplements unless you’re happy to stay in a hostel dormitory, and may feel rather lonely having dinner for one in restaurants full of happy friends and lovers.

And then when you see a brilliant sight, there’s no one to share it with except distant acquaintances on social …

Johannesburg finally wins tourism kudos

Joburg may have rough spots, but locals love its grittiness

I’m worried about Johannesburg. It’s getting a reputation that really isn’t doing us much good.
If we carry on like this, our image as a dirty, violent and gangster-ridden city will no longer fool anybody. Everyone will see that’s just tough talk designed to scare away the tourists and keep the city to ourselves.
In the old days, tourists were advised that Joburg was best …

Island bliss in Africa

Sunset on Bazaruto island

Africa isn’t normally associated with tropical islands where you can wallow in luxury. It’s a continent painted with the brush of poverty, but beneath that false impression lie some wonderful countries waiting to be explored – and you don’t even have to be adventurous or a fan of roughing it to do so.

For an exotic holiday where the taste of Africa is wrapped in style, take a magnifying glass to …

Livingstone: Things-to-do

The sweet, raw-onion and acrid wood-smoke smell of Africa rushed to greet me as I stepped off my plane in Livingstone. I was here to experience the famous Victoria Falls which was first discovered by explorer David Livingstone, a Scottish medical missionary, in 1855. But first, I had a date with an elephant.

On arrival at the Elephant Camp for our elephant-back safari, the head guide provides insight into the lives of these gentle giants …

24 hours in Soweto – Leaving the Ordinary Behind

If the name Soweto is familiar, it is probably for all the wrong reasons, as it’s where the struggle against Apartheid played out, turning the township into a virtual war-zone in the 1970’s and 80’s. Now the city of 4.5 million people, the most populous black urban residential area in South Africa, are keen for tourists to stay and experience the real Soweto rather than a mere tour bus stop-over. Locals are opening their homes …

Living it up in Livingstone, Zambia

The sweet, raw-onion and acrid wood-smoke smell of Africa rushed to greet me as I stepped off my plane in Livingstone. I was here to experience the famous Victoria Falls which was first discovered by explorer David Livingstone, a Scottish medical missionary, in 1855.

 

The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya, which in Lozi means ‘the Smoke that Thunders’, have captivated the imagination of mankind for thousands of years and is one of the world’s seven …