Articles

Happiness in Hippo Land

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. Now these nocturnal feeders are hungry for …

Savoring the San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands affords visitors to the greater Seattle area the opportunity for a quick overnight or weekend connection with the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. On these islands, which are located about three and half hours from Seattle, nature lovers can unwind sans the kitsch that characterizes those seaside island communities marketing themselves to the tourist trade.

The first part of this journey is getting to the islands. While 172 named islands …

Wild, Watery and Wonderful

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.

I’d already seen zebra …

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 …

Splashing about in Thrilling Indoor Water Parks

 

The best thing about summer has got to be splashing about in water, after all, who doesn’t like getting wet when the days are balmy and hot. While many kids and adults look forward to the seasonal opening of the summer water parks there’s always the worry about the unpredictable weather, going on a rainy day or when there is extreme heat, dehydration or sun burn. So, what other way can you enjoy a

Foreigners win with South Africa’s financial woes

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 Table Mountain, pay homage to Nelson Mandela and …

The Hotel that Rose From the Ashes

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 nothing but a yard high pile of …

Exquisite African Isles

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 most tourist-friendly being the …

A Pilgrimage to Bob Dylan’s Minnesota

How does it feel?

A little breezy, actually. Standing on a modest hilltop overlooking the Hull-Rust open pit iron mine, where Bob Dylan, then Bob Zimmerman, used to ride his bicycle with his friends, it is easy to see how his youth in Hibbing, Minnesota influenced Dylan’s work. This endless iron mine pit is the largest in the world. Locals refer to it as the man-made Grand Canyon.

When it was determined about a century …

Skip the Greece Crowds In Aliki on the Southern Shore of Paros

Santorini, Mykonos, Ios…The top spots in Greece’s Cyclades are definitely must-stop destinations on any itinerary through the islands. However, after a period of time you may find yourself burned out on cruise ship crowds or incessant partying groups from Italy, Australia etc.

So how do you get a taste of a real Greek Isles getaway without the crowds? Head for the southern shores of Paros to the little fishing village of Aliki for an idyllic …

Where to stay in Istanbul

For millennia Istanbul has been recognised and admired as one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world. This unique metropolis was once the capital for three world-spanning empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. The hundreds of emperors and sultans that reigned over the city for more than 16 centuries have all left a legacy of valour and beautiful relics.

Istanbul has a broad historical and cultural canvas with Roman architecture and Islamic mosques

Stay in Style in New Iceland Hotels

 

Iceland has neither McDonald’s, Starbucks nor, as of this writing, one single 5-star hotel in all of the country, population 320,000. Does Iceland need a 5-star hotel? Perhaps. What is certain is that Iceland, and its largest metropolis, Reykjavik, need more hotels to meet rising tourism levels. Here’s a look at the newest accommodation offerings on the tiny island nation, ideal lodging choices for your next trip:

Opened in 2013 – Ion

Double room

Port Elizabeth: South Africa’s Sunshine Coast

If you’re looking for cosmopolitan urban culture or beautiful buildings, Port Elizabeth won’t be your first choice for a South African holiday destination. It’s a busy yet relatively crime-free industrial city (important to the South African motor industry) that marks the eastern end of the Garden Route. Although the city has been ravaged by industrialization and thoughtless modernization, one or two buildings do stand out in an otherwise featureless city centre. Thankfully, a couple of …

Leopard sir, or would you rather have a lion?

There’s an exciting moment whenever you set off on a game drive and the ranger asks what you’d like to see.
It always makes me laugh, as if this khaki-clad Dr Doolittle can conjure up spectacular animal sightings on command.
But if you do yearn for a specific view of wildlife – a leopard in a tree or a wild dog hunt, perhaps – you can increase your chances enormously by picking a destination slap …