All Things Blarney in Eire
Every year the St Patrick’s Day celebrations are getting bigger and bigger. Where we live in London, there are two Irish pubs within walking distance and every year around the middle of March we can hear the merriment for days. Last year I thought to myself that if the jollity can spill over as far as England; imagine the high spirits in Ireland. So this year, we decided to spend the St Patrick’s Day (Paddy Day) week in Dublin. Continue reading Silly Hats and Green Guinness in Ireland
How I try to Keep Safe While Travelling in Africa
Friends, family and colleagues often ask about the safety of travelling around Africa. Of course there are crime reports and statistics and some African countries do come across as dangerous places. Not to mention the recent news about a lion attacking and killing an American tourist.
Besides a few minor incidents like being harassed by beggars, and being the victim of petty theft once or twice, I have felt pretty safe in my travels around Africa. When it comes to wildlife, I have only ever been bitten by insects, which is annoying – but certainly not life threatening if you’ve had your shots. Continue reading Africa is not Just About Crime, People Eating Lions and Ebola
Meeting Africa’s Most Enigmatic Animal
Imagine spending hours following a narrow hiking trail through a dense and unforgiving tropical rain forest, the canopy above allowing only a trickle of sunlight through – enough to give your surroundings an almost magical ambiance. You feel tired but energized at the same time, the sounds, sights and smells enveloping you in a cocoon of enchantment. Imagine you hear a rustle of leaves up ahead and you know that somebody (or something) is coming towards you through the forest. It is the tracker, Matsiko, who has been scouting ahead of your group returning from his mission with a look of excitement on his face and three heavily accented words: “They are here”. Continue reading Off to Uganda to Meet Some Giants
How I got up Kilimanjaro
When I first started talking about hiking up Kilimanjaro my friends really thought I lost the plot. I was fit and strong but so are the other some 15,000 people who try to make it up there every year and less than half actually make it. There is always snow up there and if that doesn’t put you off there is altitude sickness, weird insects, dangerous animals and not a single Starbucks. I had been to Tanzania and loved the culture and the people but something in me was sparked and I left quite unsatisfied. For some reason I felt that I had to return one day and make my way up the tallest mountain in Africa: to Uhuru Peak. Continue reading The Uhuru of Getting up Kilimanjaro is Intense
Although you would imagine that a city in a semi-arid climate would look dull and desolate, quite the opposite is true of Marrakech, the heart of the exotic African country Morocco. From the intricately tiled railway station to the exotic architecture of the riads, Marrakech is a mythical marvel. For university students used to going away for party weekends by driving to Brighton or taking a quick flight to Amsterdam, Marrakech was an eye-opener. It is old and new at the same time, both chaotic and peaceful and very, very mysterious. This was not just a party place; it had culture and a heartbeat like only African countries have. Continue reading My First African Experience – Morocco
Zanzibar is an island off the coast of East Africa with beautiful beaches and interesting sites to visit.
Sultans, slaves and spices
What to do when you are craving an African adventure and your fiancée is more interested in lazing on a sundrenched beach? Go to Zanzibar of course! Somehow, Anastasia and I thought Zanzibar would be less exciting and exotic than the other Indian Ocean islands we had on our list, and not quite as adventurous as most African countries. But we decided to go anyway so we could both have our way somehow. Well, we couldn’t have been more wrong… Continue reading Sizzling Zanzibar
One of the only nice things about being based in grey and dreary London is that it is easy to take short hops to countries in the European Union. Last year when winter just did not seem to want to budge in England, I decided to take a trip over the long Easter weekend to see if I could find any sun at all in Europe.
Portugal, here I come!
I decided to pay my native land’s neighbouring country a visit and booked flights to Portugal. I hadn’t been to Lisbon since I was in my teens and had never been to the Algarve. Somebody once told me that the only true contender against Spain’s magnificent cuisine is a ‘Cozinheiro Algarvio’. Compete against paella from Catalonia? I was not convinced. I decided to see what Albufeira had to offer. Continue reading My Easter Trip to the Algarve to Try their Famous Food