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Top 10 most romantic destinations in Africa

I am a hopeless romantic at heart. It’s a symptom I inherited at birth when my mother decided to deliver me to this world on Valentines Day. Ever since then my birthday has become sidelined for love. Why not a Valentine’s card? I moan, when the deluge of waffly sentiments from granny gets posted through […]

Top 10 Things to do in Greyton – South Africa's Little England.

Greyton is a wee, twee village a couple of hours drive from Cape Town. Set in the Overberg region, with the Sonderend mountains as a backdrop, Greyton is all oak-lined lanes and itsy, bitsy country cottages. I recently spent a weekend here and it felt like I’d wound back the clock and time travelled into […]

12 Safari Highlights from the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s greatest attractions. It covers an area about the size of Israel, and is consequently the biggest national park in South Africa. Living in South Africa and not having been to the Kruger is considered a cardinal sin. I decided to make new year’s eve my first visit, […]

Boathouse to Botswana. New Travel Book Looks Behind-the-Scenes of African Safari Camps

A chance conversation at a friend’s wedding takes a very English restaurant manager from Oxford to the remotest deserts of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and the tropical swamplands of Botswana’s Okavango Delta.  Learning to cope with the heat and the tribal customs of the Himba and the San (Bushmen), adapting to work in an environment where […]

Prince William Backs African Conservation Awards

HRH The Duke of Cambridge has agreed to support a new annual award scheme that aims to celebrate outstanding achievement in the field of African conservation. Tusk, the African conservation charity of which Prince William is Royal Patron, has established The Tusk Conservation Awards in partnership with Investec Asset Management. Photo © Chris Jackson and Getty […]

Africa's Top 6 Travel Stories of 2012

With the close of 2012, and the 10th edition of Safari having just been released, we look back to some of our most favourite travel stories from the last year. 1. Magnificent Mara Africa Geographic founder Peter Borchert experienced the high drama of the annual migration of wildebeest through Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. ‘It […]

Attenborough's Epic New 'Africa' Series is released!

The grandfather of wildlife documentary, David Attenborough, presents his latest series – Africa. Now 86 years old, Attenborough first visited Africa to look for a strange bird called picathartes back in the fifties. Over half a century on since that first quest, and a lifetime of filming in Africa, you’d of thought he’d have seen it […]

Sylvester, Zimbabwe's Orphaned Cheetah, Finds a Home in Victoria Falls

In April 2010, in the Lowveld area of Zimbabwe, a cheetah gave birth to five cubs. Sadly within two days, in a cruel act of nature, she and four of her cubs were fatally attacked by a male lion, something which is common between apex predators in the wild. The sole survivor was discovered by […]

Tanzania Withdraws Proposal to Downlist Elephants

Earlier this year Tanzania applied to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for permission to hold a one-off sale of 101 tonnes of stockpiled ivory and to reduce protection for its elephant population. The African country intended to seek approval for trade in hunting trophies for non-commercial […]

10 Gifts from Africa this Christmas

1. Kanga from Kenya The kanga is a colourful piece of cotton cloth, worn by women and occasionally by men throughout Eastern Africa. The fabric is painted with pretty Arabic-style patterns, and along the one edge there is always a printed message in Swahili – usually a riddle or proverb such as “Mkipendana mambo huwa sawa — Everything is all […]

World Press Photo Contest: Winning Images from Africa

The 2012 World Press Photo Exhibition is currently being showcased in Luanda, the capital city of Angola, after which it will travel to the remaining chosen 45 countries on a world tour. For over 55 years the World Press Photo Contest has encouraged the highest standards in photojournalism, with an archive of winning images recording more […]

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts 2012/13 Lineup

It’s that time of year again, when South Africa’s leading musicians tune-in to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.  Every Sunday afternoon, the floral heart of Cape Town hosts the quintessential mother city get-together – a lazy summer evening with friends, music and eat-your-heart-out mountain views. From November to early April the botanical gardens – a natural World […]

Top 10 Franschhoek Restaurants

With stately manor houses and vineyards setting the scene, the Cape wineland region is famed for being the culinary capital of South Africa. Here are ten, top Franschhoek eateries: 1. Monte Rochelle’s Country Kitchen is like a scene from provincial France – fillet medallions and asparagus risotto can be enjoyed outside on a cobbled terrace, overhung […]

Meskel, Ethiopia’s most Mesmerising Festival

With the heady scent of incense burning, and priests parading  in their finest regalia, Meskel is Ethiopia’s most mesmerising orthodox Christian festival. Even for non-believers, Meskel offers an excuse to experience Ethiopia in celebration, with bonfires, feasting and parties lighting up the country as they have for over 1600 years. The focus of the celebration is […]

Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior in Africa

The third, brand-spanking-new Rainbow Warrior is currently sailing in the Indian Ocean on a two-month-long fisheries campaign. Greenpeace has a long and tumultuous history with campaigning at sea. The first Rainbow Warrior was bombed by French intelligence in 1985, and after 22 years of tireless ocean front-lining (helping to end nuclear testing in the Pacific, […]

6 South African Spring Flowers

Every year South Africa comes alive with a carpet of colourful wild flowers. A good area to witness the Spring bloom is the dry and dusty Namaqualand region. Each year this semi-desert outback is transformed by a pageant of wild flowers. The Namaqualand flower route belongs to a series of drives within the region, from where you […]

Ryan Sandes Interview: South African trail runner Conquers Fish River Canyon

Ryan Sandes is a South African trail runner whose feet have taken him across China’s Gobi Desert, Chile’s Atacama and Egypt’s Sahara. Last month he tackled Namibia’s Fish river Canyon and smashed the record set in 2003, of 10 hours and 54 minutes, by just short of four hours. Ryan ran the second largest canyon in the world […]

Weekly Wanderlust: Kenya’s Lamu Island

Every Friday, as the working week draws to a close, my mind starts to wander off to far away lands and I sit here and salivate over exotic, come-get-me-now locations. Instead of dribbling and drooling all to myself, I’ve decided to share my travel lusts with you in a weekly blog post. This is my […]

Once in a Blue Moon. What does it mean?

Look up at the sky tonight and you’ll witness a rare blue moon… A timely cosmic salute to the late Neil Armstrong, whose memorial service happens to be today and whose family have asked us to pay tribute by looking at the moon and giving the astronaut a wink. Photo © NASA. Earth’s moon, photographed […]

6 Reasons to go to Kenya’s Rock-Rollicking Rift Valley Festival

Here’s why you should boogie-on-down with the bongos and birds, sounding-off on the shores of Lake Naivasha… 1. The festival takes place along the waters of Kenya’s Lake Naivasha, which means you can get foot loose and fancy free beside one of the valley’s few fresh water expanses. Fringed by thick papyrus, fertile farmland and […]

Saddle up for Kenya’s Camel Derby

With the Olympics coming to a close, Kenya’s competitive spirit has turned to next weekend’s annual camel derby. The event promises to be a hump-jerking contest, bringing colour and action to the remote desert outpost of Maralal. This year celebrates the 22nd derby, marking a sporting event that challenges locals and visitors to a 10 km camel […]

Kiteival: Mauritius’ Kite Surfing Carnival

Kite surf around the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in this wet n’ wild week-long water sport event. Kiteival invites riders to kite around the fringe of the Mauritian island in an event staged across five days.  The festival brings together amateur and pro-surfers from across the world, and culminates in a weekend competition held […]

5 African Olympians tipped to topple the podium

With the Olympic torch currently flaming through the streets of London, and the 2012 Olympic ceremony set to light up the stadium tonight – the entire world is in anticipation of the day the games begin. We take a look at some of Africa’s top sporting stars, tipped to be in with a chance of […]

Ramadan: Top 8 Travel Tips

This year the Muslim holy month of Ramadan falls between the 20th of July and the 18th of August 2012.  Ramadan dates change every year because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle.  Throughout north Africa including Morocco and Egypt, as well as much of east Africa including Zanzibar & Tanzania, Kenya’s coastal […]

Graceland Reunion Tour brings back Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo

My first memory of Graceland is at age six, dancing with my mother to ‘Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes’ in our garden in England. For me it represented the far-off, exotic land where she was born. I hadn’t yet been to South Africa, but she’d play me Graceland and tell me about her home in […]

Kenyan Photojournalist zooms in on ‘The World of Women’

Georgina Goodwin is a young white Kenyan photojournalist who speaks fluent kiSwahili. She is currently exhibiting work exploring ‘The World of Women’ in which she looks at the different roles of women in Africa.     [quote]Being the only young white female Kenyan photojournalist in the world…my view of the stories I photograph are unique, a bridge […]

Just a lick of paint? Multinationals mar Maputo

When in Maputo, you can’t help but notice that nearly every single house lining the busy road between the city centre and airport, has received a very generous lick of paint… [slickr-flickr tag=”cocacola” captions=”on”] And with each paint job comes the big, fat, greedy stamp of some giant global brand. According to a Maputo resident […]

Michael Poliza Interview

Photographer Michael Poliza was en-route to Madagascar when he stopped by South Africa and, in his own words, ‘fell in love’… Native to Germany, Poliza ended up settling in Cape Town and used the ‘mother city’ as a base to start work on his first photographic book – AFRICA. Since then Poliza has had many […]

Charley Boorman makes South Africa his Extreme Frontier

Actor and travel adventurer Charley Boorman is currently in South Africa filming the new season of his television show ‘Extreme Frontiers’… You might recognise Charley from when he and long-time pal Ewan McGregor motorcycled from Scotland to Cape Town in the television series Long Way Down. Or perhaps from Race to Dakar, when Charley had much […]

Interview with Bradt Travel Guide Author Phillip Briggs

Philip Briggs is a travel writer specialising in Africa. In 1991, his Bradt Guide to South Africa was the first such guidebook to be published internationally after the release of Nelson Mandela…. Over the rest of the 1990s, he wrote a series of pioneering Bradt Guides to destinations that were then – and in some cases still are – […]

Stranded off Swahili Shores

My colleague and Editor of Safari, Paul Steyn, is currently stranded in the middle of the Indian Ocean, on the tiny island of Medjumbe.  I could think of worse places to be stranded…in fact, I’m pretty much seething with a putrid-green envy as I write this blog post from a cold, wintery Cape Town. Paul is […]

World Oceans Day 2012

On World Oceans Day people around the planet celebrate and honour the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents.  Every year  on June 8th communities around the globe celebrate World Oceans Day as an opportunity to learn more about our ocean and take action to help conserve it. World […]

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay 2012

World class surfers head to Jeffreys Bay in South Africa to ride-out the legendary ‘supertubes’ this July. Rated seventh in the world, Jordy Smith will be returning to his favourite wave in the world, ‘supertubes’ in Jeffreys Bay. [quote]I love surfing at Jeffreys Bay…I spent so much time surfing there when I was younger, and it always feels […]

Kenya: where Princess Elizabeth became a Queen

Sixty years ago, in February 1952, Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth learnt of her accession to the throne while in Kenya. Princess Elizabeth was just twenty-six years old, and had travelled to Africa along with her husband Prince Phillip. It was in Kenya, as part of a Commonwealth tour spanning four continents, when her father […]

Sardine Run Set to Stir-Up South African Seas

The sardine run has been likened to the great wildebeest migration across the Maasai Mara and Serengeti. A geographic wonder and a spectacular marine event dubbed ‘the greatest shoal on earth’. Sardines are winter’s gift to Durban; every year at some point between May and July, locals anticipate the glittering deep-sea wave as it rolls […]

The Last Safari

Photojournalist Elizabeth L Gilbert set out on a journey through remote Africa to present slide shows to Maasai warriors, whom she documented in her books decades earlier. Many have never seen photos of themselves before, let alone a projection on a silver screen under the stars. The Last Safari is a documentary project ‘in motion’ […]

Afrika Burn: Through the Lens

Strapped up, weighed down, covered in animal fur and steam-punk goggles. I met photographer Stuart Shapiro at Afrika Burn, a festival devoted entirely to radical self expression in the middle of the Karoo desert. There he was walking the sands, this crazy, Mad-Max, half man, half machine, completely and utterly dedicated to the lens. His […]

South Africa’s Rare Pygmy Hippo weighs-in at 10kgs

Harry, a rare Pygmy Hippo born in South Africa just one month ago, has toppled the scale at a whopping 10kgs this week. The update of his health is good news, as carers at the Cango Wildlife Ranch in Outdsthoorn were initially concerned about Harry’s welfare, after his parents Hilda and Herbert rejected him. Harry’s […]

Zimbabwe: Harare International Festival of the Arts 2012

‘The Harare International Festival of the Arts is probably the best organized festival in the sub-continent and one of the most manageably diverse’ – Robert Grieg writing in the South Africa Sunday Independent This week Tuesday sees the start of Zimbabwe’s flagship 6-day annual festival. Founded by Zimbabwean concert pianist Manuel Bagorro, and his actress […]

Zanzibar: Top 10 things to do in Stone Town

Zan-zi-barrr the very name evokes mystery, intrigue and exotic, sultry adventure. Stone Town is where it simmers, with its crumbling coral-rag palaces, winding, walled alleyways, and a history steeped in spices. I would be lying if I told you it was as if time had stood still, the ancient trading hub of East Africa is now […]

Rare spotless cheetah sighted in Kenya

Armed with a spotter plane made by the Israeli army (and coincidentally called Cheetah), a radio and a LandRover in hot pursuit, wildlife artist Guy Coombes went in search of the elusive ‘morph’ cheetah. “I was told about this incredible ‘morph’ phenomenon that has not been seen for over 90 years…the last one recorded was […]

Swaziland’s Bushfire Festival – Richard E Grant to attend

Internationally renowned actor, Richard E Grant will attend this year’s annual Bushfire Arts & Music Festival, which takes place in his home country of Swaziland 25 – 27 May 2012. Grant, known world wide as the star of films such as Withnail and I and Gosford Park, was born and raised in Swaziland. He wrote […]

Burning Man meets the Karoo at Afrika Burn

Imagine a temporary town of thousands of people, with dance floors, themed camps and mutant vehicles. Only this town is in the middle of the desert, with no money and a community of people devoted entirely to radical self expression. Friends of mine have returned from Afrika Burn utterly speechless – ‘mind-blowing’, ‘life-changing’, ‘self-altering’ – […]

Croc piggy-backs on hippo in Kruger dam

Caught on camera! This is the moment a cheeky little snapper crawled onto the back of a hippo for a ride across a Kruger park dam in South Africa. The opportune shot was captured by 21 year-old field guide and wildlife photographer Richard Millar. ‘When I arrived at the dam the hippo was almost fully […]

Southern Africa set to host world’s largest radio telescope

KAT-7 is the world’s first radio telescope built in the Karoo, South Africa’s semi-desert hinterland. It’s the basis for what’s known as the MeerKAT array, a world-class radio telescope that will be made up of 64 dishes designed to do ground-breaking science. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8JixOfSneY&feature=player_embedded All of this is just a prec-cursor to what people are calling the […]

Easter born ducklings in Madagascar signal hope for world’s rarest bird

The Madagascar pochard – arguably the world’s rarest bird – has bred successfully in captivity building hope that it can be saved from extinction. The pochard was believed to be extinct until its rediscovery in 2006 on a single small lake, Lake Matsaborimena (or Red Lake), in northern Madagascar. Two years ago an emergency expedition […]