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 …

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 …

Solo Safaris

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 media.

That’s why I haven’t …

Victoria Falls Safari Club, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Safari Club is the ultimate in lodge accommodations. Each of their sixteen club rooms and four spectacular suites have private patios and uninterrupted views across the bushveld. It’s all a potent mix of African wilderness and history seamlessly blended with exotic luxury, complete with a private check-in and butler service.

From the lodge’s lobby you walk into a quarry-tiled hallway showcasing an African-styled chandelier made from fine honey-coloured strips of hide. It’s …

Elephant Adventures

At least 100 elephant are slowly shuffling past our vehicle. They come pouring into the dry riverbed towards us, first appearing over the left bank, then over the right. An elephant traffic jam forms as they filter together, greeting each other, gathering in small social clusters, kicking up dust, then trudging in unison up the dry river. We sit open-mouthed, awed by the immensity of the herd passing within meters of us.

Then one young …

David Livingstone Safari Lodge, Zambia

Soon after missionary and doctor David Livingstone described the sight of the Victoria Falls to the outside world they became a tourist destination. Thus, following the routes he described in his journals, hunters, explorers and missionaries descended upon them. By 1898 a small settlement of white pioneers had sprung up on the banks of the Zambezi River and in 1904, when the railway arrived, the development of the two towns either side of the Victoria …

“Hunting” The Perfect Safari

As part of a larger seven-month trip around the world, my boyfriend and I knew we wanted to complete an African safari somewhere along the way. But where? How? I wondered where to start and how to budget for something like this.

Like many travelers, I started at a travel agent, collecting glossy brochures of U.S. based tour companies specializing in safaris. Mesmerized by the photos of zebras and lions, we started making a list …

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 …

Tanzania – The Camp Elephant

My teenage son and I arrived at the Tarangire Treetops Safari Camp in the late afternoon. A day of safari through the Tarangire National Park had put us face to face with lions, elephants, baboons and a number of gazellelike creatures of varying types. It had been a terrific first day of exploring Tanzania’s Northern Circuit, and we were eager to see firsthand the camp we had heard so much about. As the Range Rover …

Backwater Botswana: Palapye

Botswana, with a population of just over 2 million people, is one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet. If it were a person, standing next to South Africa, boasting nearly 25 times that figure, it might feel inadequate. But the fact that it is so sparsely populated, more than anything, is an undeniable charm. There are few places in the world you can be comfortable with space – a sleepy city or …

Behind South Africa’s Stereotypes: An Open Letter

Dear uninformed tourist,

I’m sorry for calling you uninformed, and I thank you for showing an interest in my home country of South Africa. Unfortunately, you tend to get some facts about the country a little bit wrong. So, before you ask me one of these questions for the umpteenth time, I thought I’d tell you a bit about what’s really behind the most common assumptions everyone makes about South Africa.

“How come you’re white

Safari, Traveling Wild Africa

The word safari is Swahili for travel, trip or journey. In the travel industry, safari refers to a type of travel that typically involves these elements:

At least one country in Africa Extensive sightseeing, with an emphasis on wildlife sightings An expert guide (although some self-guided safaris can be arranged, it is not recommended)

For animal and nature lovers, few types of travel are as rewarding as a safari. Many who have been will tell …

Sri Lanka: A Paradise Rediscovered

For decades, Sri Lanka was battling political unrest. A civil-war between Tamil insurgents and the Sinhalese government almost destroyed the tourism industry. Then, the tsunami of 2004 devastated certain coastal regions of the country. Luckily, the riots have ended and the coastlines have been restored, and this tear-drop shaped paradise off the Southern coast of India is waiting to be rediscovered by travelers worldwide.

It is easy to list generic enticements to visit Sri Lanka, …

Seven trips inspired by Disney Movies

Inspiration for your next trip can come from many places — websites, guidebooks, other people’s travel tales and even classic Disney cartoons. Those idealized landscapes, the sweeping opening shots set to iconic music — no trip could ever be as perfect as it seems in a Disney movie, could it? Here are seven trips to try out and see if life is as wonderful as art.

An African safari (The Lion King)
Perhaps …