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Favorite thing: Coming to Africa, there is only one thing you need to do: go on safari.
Safari is a Swahili term, meaning to travel.
Fondest memory: There is nothing compared to going deep into the wild and seeing these creatures up close. You feel youre in the pages of NatGeo!
Updated Jun 13, 2012
Favorite thing: Cape Town is the provincial capital of the Western Cape and the seat of the National Parliament It is famous for its harbour, the Table Mountain and Cape Point.
At the moment it is the second-large city in South Africa. Cape Town is also Africa's most popular tourist destination.
Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company. It was the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony.
Until the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa, larger than any other South African cities.
According to the newest data the low density of population makes the city one of the most pleasant place in Africa.
Updated Nov 6, 2011
I met Haile Gebrselassie! He is one of the greatest long distance runners in history, This amazing man has set 27 World Records! At the age of 35 he managed to record the fastest Marathon in the Berlin Marathon - beating his own World Record of course. He has also won 2 Olympic Gold Medals (different games) and 4 World Championships. He is also a very nice man and he even signed my Ethiopia Guidebook (last photo). And no, he did not drink the champagne he opened. He drinks milk and has to maintain a very good diet to keep turning in amazing performances. It was a real please to meet the most famous Ethiopian in the world and a real champion.
Written Nov 5, 2011
When my guide told me at we were going to a place called ‘Lemur Island’ after a whole day trying to view different species of Lemurs several miles off at the top of trees - I was not excited. It wasn’t until we arrived that I realised I would not only see the Lemurs close up – I would get to feed them! Yes, we had bananas and these little guys went nuts. They climbed on posts, trees and anything they could – especially me! This was a chance to not only see these little guys, but also to really interact with them.
Written Oct 31, 2011
I arrived in Algiers on a warm night and was greeted by the van driver form my hotel. He began the drive to Ain Taya, a suburb of Algiers blessed with miles of beaches. As we made the final left turn for the 3 blocks to my hotel, I saw a gentleman grilling kebabs in the middle of the street. After a long day, that looked like a good quick snack option before bed and I thought ‘I will throw the bags in the hotel and walk back up the hill’.
We went a few meters past and parked at the hotel. I duly checked in and threw my bags in the room. Then I marched back up the hill, still in my work clothes from London, and said hello to the man grilling the kebabs.
That’s when I realised that the grill in the street was nearby a large speed boat on a trailer. And in between in the shadows were 5-6 men over various descriptions. Ahmed introduced himself and asked if I spoke Spanish. No, I didn’t and not a huge amount of French either. Never mind, he began to joke with me and his friends joined in. “The German!” he shouted at a (sparsely) blonde haired man. Ahmed was telling me that Algeria was a crossroads of cultures over the millennia. “The Greek!” he shouted at an olive complexted friend. Then mobile calls were made in Arabic. And 2 English speakers arrived.
Rafik was a muscled bodyguard specialising in protecting oil workers in places like Nigeria. Karim was married and lived in London for 14 years until the good weather called him home to Algeria. They interpreted for Ahmed who, more than being a kebab man in the street, also sometimes worked in Spain on unspecified contracts.
The conversation turned to ‘Why have you come to Algeria – a job?’ to a bit of disbelief that an American would come here for a vacation. They were so please and amazed that I had, as a tourist, come out of my hotel and sat in the street with them and was making new friends.
At one point they pulled a man of about 30 around the corner of the nearby boat and, holding him from seeming to pull away, pointed at him and said ‘Do you see this man?’. I said from about 8 meters away ‘yes’. ‘He was a rebel. He has never seen an American.’
I was suddenly very awake. I was looking at a man sworn by his faith and a religious law to kill me on sight. And he was looking at me.
He never came near and disappeared quickly. He was the only man never to greet me and shake my hand in all the time I was in Algeria. Nor smile.
As soon as he was gone, I asked if he just might be going home to get a weapon. ‘No. He handed in his gun with the other rebels when the peace agreement was signed’. It still made for a few moments of reflective thought.
So back to my kebab that was now ready!
Ahmed made sure it was just right and it was delicious. And only about $1.
After several hours of conversation I said my thank yous, goodbyes and goodnights.
The next day, something magical started to happen.
It seemed at every corner was one of the guys I had met.
And every car ‘DAO! Get in!’
Yes, for the next 3 days I could not walk anywhere. And oddly everyone I met sitting in the street – on the road or in the dirt – had a car in daylight.
Then the 3rd day.
I had gone to a ‘4 star’ hotel to use the free pool overlooking the beach. Afterwards I sat in the grass of their restaurant garden for a late lunch. As I finished I saw a man acrobatically riding his speedy Yamaha Waverider jet ski nearer and near to the hotel landing just past a tall locked metal gate below.
As I videoed and photographed the choreography of the jet ski and its driver I kept thinking something was familiar here. As the man came nearer I though ‘he looks familiar’. Finally he pulled up to the hotel and shouted at the hotel staff member he knew on the other side of the hotel.
Then it clicked!
“Ahmed!” I shouted. He looked over and said “Americaine!”. And motioned me down.
So I actually handed over my rucksack with all of my money to a hotel I wasn’t staying at and climbed over a high locked fence and gate. And handed Ahmed my boots to put inside the Waverider and hoped on the back.
Off we went!
2 hours of jumping waves and out to see some of the small rocky outcrops in the sea.
It turns our Ahmed owned the pizza restaurant opposite his grill in the road and that he ran tours for a business he owned. And his friends? The middle class backbone of the town with good hearts, nice cars and a new friend.
So next time you see a guy in the street making food – you might want to make a new friend.
Written Oct 29, 2011
Favorite thing: "Storms, driving rain and gale force winds have battered Cape Town, leaving some 1,200 people homeless after flooding in shanty towns We had heavy downpours and in our informal settlements we had about 600 dwellings that have been affected, leaving about 1,200 people seeking temporary shelter," disaster management spokeswoman Charlotte Powell told AFP.".Cape Town's stormy ocean.
Fondest memory: Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Atlantic and Indian oceans meet at the point where the warm-water meets the cold water about one kilometre east of the Cape of Good Hope.
"Storms, driving rain and gale force winds have battered Cape Town, leaving some 1,200 people homeless after flooding in shanty towns We had heavy downpours and in our informal settlements we had about 600 dwellings that have been affected, leaving about 1,200 people seeking temporary shelter," disaster management spokeswoman Charlotte Powell told AFP.".
The zone of the Cape of Good Hope has a Mediterranean climate with dry and hot summers. In summer, which runs from November to February, is hot and dry with average maximum temperatures around 26°C.
Updated Oct 24, 2011
Favorite thing: Black colobus or Colobus Satanas are restricted to a small range in Africa, stretching from the Sanaga River in Cameroon, south through Equatorial Guinea and western and central Gabon. Their range extends as far east as the northwestern corner of Congo and as far west as Bioko Island, off the coast of Cameroon. Black colobus spend a majority of their time high in the upper canopy of primary and mature secondary rainforests. They prefer areas of forest with an abundance of tree nuts and young leaves and have large home ranges.
Written Sep 17, 2011
Favorite thing: This mostly nocturnal monkey is one of the many monkeys I could photograph in the forest of Lobéke national park deep in the south-eastern corner of Cameroon. But Pottos are found all across equatorial Africa in tropical rainforests from Gambia and Senegal to western Kenya in areas of thick rainforest vegetation. They can live in a variety of habitats from coastal and lowland forest to mid-altitude montane forest and can inhabit primary or secondary forest growth.
Mass: 600 to 1600 g Length: 305 to 390 mm
Written Sep 17, 2011
Favorite thing: The Taschen publishers have an amazing range of books on so many subjects - but Ive seen some beautiful books that cover anything and everything involving African: architecture, interior designs - country to country
I have some beautiful books made by Taschen specialising in Morocco and in varying scales - beautiful houses, beautiful riads and hotels, famous buildings and designers works, also covering Moorish designs in Andalucia, Spain
Fondest memory: The colour, the diversity, the amazing designs and flow of ideas and creativity seen in the people, their homes, architecture, interior designs, clothing and costumes, festivals, landscapes
Written Jul 17, 2011
Favorite thing: I AM INVITING U TO VISIT ETHIOPIA a country that is 3000 years old
and many history??
from the source of the cradle of man kind to still to see the South omo vally tribes living naturaly in nature, naked body in the 21 st century
Fondest memory: AFRICA IS STILL LIVING MUSEUM OF OOR PAST
SPECALLY ther Omo vally trbies
Written Apr 23, 2011
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