James Bainbridge

  • Where To Hear Live African Music, In Africa

    live african music By James Bainbridge, 7:00 am

    African music is famously sunny and happy, keeping everyone smiling and their feet tapping across the soulful content. A few countries have an especially strong discography, and it is possible for music-loving travellers to catch live music in their clubs and venues. Here are a few of the best places on the continent to listen to African music live, from Mali, to Zimbabwe, from small clubs to giant festivals.

  • #InLoveWithAfrica: An Expat’s Enthusiasm For Cape Town

    By James Bainbridge, 9:47 am

    AFKTravel recently launched a series called ‪#‎InLoveWithAfrica‬, which comprises a series of “love letters” to various African destinations, written by travel writers who are passionate about the continent. In this installment, expat James Bainbridge writes that Cape Town is “one of the world’s most beautiful cities, from the fynbos growing on Table Mountain to the beaches fringing the Atlantic suburbs. And once visitors have gotten used to this jaw-dropping setting, they receive the next surprise. Cape Town is not an African city, but, true to its position on the maritime trade routes of yore, a cosmopolitan town with a European attitude.”

  • Spirits, Shrines And Spells: The Story Of West African Voodoo

    By James Bainbridge, 9:54 am

    In Africa today, voodoo is an animist religion with plenty in common with the indigenous beliefs found across the continent. It does have a dark side, of course — market stalls in Benin and neighbouring Togo sell voodoo dolls riddled with nails. However, for millions of Africans, voodoo is less about skullduggery than about showing respect to their ancestors. Fetish shrines stand guard outside family compounds, topped with animal skulls and littered with offerings such as food and palm wine.

  • An Expert’s Guide To Hiking The Anti Atlas

    sissi-de-giuli-anti-atlas By James Bainbridge, 6:00 pm

    Swiss trekking guide Sissi de Giuli Jadid spends half the year leading tours in southern Morocco. She runs a tour company, Zafrani, with her Moroccan partners in the picturesque town of Taliouine. As well as being Africa’s saffron capital, Taliouine is a base for trekking in the Anti Atlas, the relatively little-visited range between the High Atlas and the Sahara. In this Q&A session, Sissi gave writer James Bainbridge her top tips for visiting southern Morocco and hiking the Anti Atlas.

  • Surfing The Sahara, From Taghazout To Tarfaya

    taghazout-camels By James Bainbridge, 6:00 pm

    Since the days when Jimi Hendrix strummed his guitar in Essaouira and the Rolling Stones hung out in Marrakesh, hippies and travellers have sought out Morocco’s 2,000km-long Atlantic coastline, to enjoy the sea views and local calamari. Today the long hair and incense are mostly gone, but board shops, bustling cafes and surfers coexist alongside tagines, tèlèboutiques and men in djellaba robes.

  • Exploring Agadir: Sun, Sand And Sightseeing In Morocco’s City By The Sea

    agadir-kasbah By James Bainbridge, 8:00 pm

    Fifty years after Agadir was levelled by an earthquake, the dependably sunny resort is moving upmarket, with luxurious beachfront hotels and a gleaming marina. Its concrete boulevards and tacky Irish pubs remain, but the sandy crescent beach, excellent facilities and regular flights from Europe make it a great base for families in particular. The following are Agadir’s best sights, activities, hotels, restaurants and day trips, from the 16th-century Kasbah to the Berber souk.

  • Beyond The Big City: The Small Towns And Villages Of Morocco

    essaouira kittens By James Bainbridge, 10:07 am

    Beyond the medina walls of Morocco’s big cities, there lies an altogether more relaxing side of the country – one where Berbers sip mint tea at cafes with views of the Atlas Mountains, turban-wrapped nomads lead their camels into the desert, and country life continues at a slow pace. Morocco’s small towns are the best places to slow to the rural rhythm of North Africa and get under the skin of this fascinating nation.

  • History In The Mountains: Lesotho’s Trading Post Lodges

    Roma trading post Lesotho By James Bainbridge, 6:00 am

    For most of the twentieth century, trading posts were the primary centres of commerce in Lesotho’s high mountains and remote villages. In the twenty-first century it a feasible adventure to visit the numerous trading posts that have been converted into lodges, where guests can appreciate the swashbuckling romance of a bygone era, in the stirring setting of the rugged Drakensberg and Maluti ranges.

  • The Country Life: 10 Of South Africa’s Best Farm Stays

    south african farms By James Bainbridge, 6:00 am

    arm stays are popular for a weekend adventure in South Africa, offering opportunities to see a working farm in action and experience country life. These rural getaways offer a hands-on experience of the agricultural lifestyle, through touring the fields with the farmer or just wandering the vineyards with your camera.

  • Activities And Attractions On South Africa’s Wine Estates

    98108836 Vineyard, South Africa Getty By James Bainbridge, 5:00 pm

    In South Africa’s Cape Winelands, tasting the local vino is not just about swilling, spitting and pontificating about terroir. The Cape’s historic estates are expanding into all sorts of non-alcoholic areas, allowing you to mix a sample of the local pinotage with activities from vineyard safaris and garden tours to river cruises and wildlife watching. The following wine estates offer a surprising range of activities and attractions.