Karen Elowitt, 1:01 am
Africa’s vast landscapes beckon, but sometimes the roads themselves are the attraction. Angola’s Serra da Leba Pass is a favorite with cyclists. The most challenging part of the 6,053-foot climb is a one-mile section with 7 hairpin turns — one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world. Located 20 miles west of the city of Lubango on the road to Namibe, the road crosses three different climate zones. There’s little room for error on this road, which offers not much guard-rail protection and has been the site of many fatalities. You might want to give it a miss on a windy day.
Karen Elowitt, 8:37 am
From most angles, this sculpture looks like a bunch of jagged-edged steel columns jutting out of the Earth, but shift slightly to one side and a profile of Nelson Mandela appears. Located near Howick, the sculpture marks the spot where Mandela was captured and arrested in 1962. This arrest set in motion a chain of events that would make Mandela a legend: 27 years in prison, his evolution as a freedom fighter, and his subsequent release to become president of a newly democratic South Africa. The Mandela Capture Site and its themes of fracture and transformation are a top Mandela tourist destination in South Africa.
Karen Elowitt, 8:01 am
Humans evolved with day-and-night rhythms of natural light-dark cycles. Most of us no longer experience dark nights. Exposure to artificial light disrupts our circadian rhythm, increasing our risk of cancer. Far from city lights, Namibia’s Sossusvlei Desert offers uncompromised views of the night sky. The Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is an International Dark Sky Reserve. It’s almost totally free from light pollution. Located on the private NamibRand Nature Reserve, it has its own observatory and astronomers.
Karen Elowitt, 8:02 am
Lions had strayed out of Nairobi National Park and they were preying on livestock. After combing the area for three hours, we were unable to locate the culprit. A community member proposed using tracker dogs. Sure enough, the lion roared inside the bush and we called in the vet team for sedating and relocating it back to the park. After the vet darted the lion, the lion didn’t move. We thought it was dead. We approached on foot. In a split second, the lion roared, jumped over the vehicle and ran away with the dart still in him. We gave chase for a while, then the drugs took control and he fell down. We narrowly escaped death that day.
Karen Elowitt, 5:09 pm
Wildlife photography is all about being able to read animal behavior, says James Suter, a photo and video safari guide based in Cape Town. “We often chuckle at what clients say,” he told he told AFKTravel. Like “’Do wildebeest hunt in packs?” African wildlife guides are careful to not criticize humans unaccustomed to the wild. “Everyone who goes on safari wants to see a kill, then the most gruesome kill occurs in front of them and half the vehicle is in tears or wants to leave. Or we’ll come around a corner and see lions, and the guests will cower and hide.”
Karen Elowitt, 12:01 am
In the 1920s when this photo was taken of a Xhosa man with a pipe, the South African government was busy reinforcing the foundations of apartheid. The government reserved skilled work for whites and denied black workers the right to organize. Legislation in the Natives Urban Areas Act of 1923 entrenched urban segregation and controlled movement by means of pass laws. The hated pass laws were designed to force blacks into labor and to keep them at wage levels that suited white employers.
Karen Elowitt, 7:08 am
African travel is not only about safaris. It’s also a great place for a beach holiday, which can mean a remote island hideaway, an urban beachfront, or a lakeside retreat. Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh is known as world-class beach destination. Tourist friendly resorts, warm water and wide beaches are popular with Europeans just a one- or two-hour flight away. For a less touristy experience, head to the Sinai’s hippie-ish enclave of Dahab. It’s less developed.
Karen Elowitt, 6:00 pm
Rangers may be the only thing between rhinos and extinction. South Africa’s Kruger National Park is home to 90 percent of the world’s rhino population, and that’s where most of the poaching occurs. The park is larger than the Netherlands, mostly undeveloped, has few roads, and shares a border with Mozambique. All these make it difficult to patrol. Hundreds of rangers risk their lives every day to save rhinos. As poachers get bolder and more heavily armed, the chance of rangers getting involved in armed contact has risen from 2 percent up to 60 percent.
Karen Elowitt, 1:32 am
White Desert National Park, which is located about 45km north of the oasis town of Farafra, gets its name from the giant, surreal rock formations made from white chalk. These stark limestone monoliths, which were carved by sandstorms over thousands of years, contrast sharply with the brilliant orange dunes. Enjoy this visual journey through White Desert, an otherworldly place that will mesmerize, haunt and amaze you.
Karen Elowitt, 7:47 am
Zimbabweans do love their festivals, and come September/October, the country positively explodes with music, dance, theater, poetry and crafts. Hundreds of artists descend on Zimbabwe from across Africa and abroad to show off their talents — and show revelers a good time. Here are 10 of the best festivals, with apologies to the many excellent events that did not get included!