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Marinda Louw-Coetzee, 8:01 am
In Namibia, where driving distances can be vast, a lodge that offers a range of activities ensures everyone has a great holiday. Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch is 50km from town on a gravel road leading to the red dunes of the Kalahari. You arrive at a farmhouse to welcome drinks and friendly animals like Skunky, a tame springbok who hangs around in the lounge. There is a treatment room for massages, a pool, and telescope for stargazing. Guests can go for game drives in the reserve, walk with resident San people, go horseriding or feed orphaned cheetahs. Stay an extra day to enjoy the silence of the Kalahari.
Staff, 8:01 am
Traveling in the spirit of ubuntu can mean trying local African beers, wine and spirits instead of international brands, says scientist and travel expert Louise de Waal. It means you’re supporting the local economy and reducing your carbon footprint. Most African countries have their own beer brands — Tusker in Kenya, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Windhoek & Tafel in Namibia, and Kuche Kuche in Malawi. Try South African amarula liqueur, Malawi gin or Tanzanian Konyagi. Craft breweries are on the rise in SA, with labels like Jack Black, Darling Brew, Porcupine Quill, and Smack Republic.
Staff, 8:00 am
Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells a TED audience how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if you hear only a single story about another person or country, you risk epic misunderstanding. For example, she says all she knew about Fide, a worker in her parents’ home, was how poor he was. When she visited his village, she saw a basket his brother had made. “It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could actually make something,” she said. “All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.”
Becca Blond, 8:08 am
A five-minute drive from Victoria Falls, Lokuthula Lodge — its name means “place of peace” — is a good fit for families. The 31 thatched-roof bungalows are made from natural materials to blend in with the environment. Warthogs, bushbuck and mongoose graze on well-manicured grounds. Guests have views of the unfenced Zambezi National Park with baobab and mopani (balsam trees). If you’re headed to this beautiful southern African country and are looking for a place to sleep – be it in Harare, Bulawayo, Hwange or Victoria Falls — we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 places to stay in Zimbabwe.
Dana Sanchez, 9:59 am
The waves seem to roll down the coast for miles. The water is cold and great white shark-infested, “but those barrels are oh, so inviting; inviting enough to forget the sharks, take the beatings, fight the current and try to pump that little rubber body of yours out the other side.” Skeleton Bay has been identified as one of world’s 10 sharkiest spots that you can’t help but surf. Its waves are “reeling, pale green lefthand zoomers that cull all nonsense and set the brain to froth overload … going and going like the Energizer Bunny.” There have been no recorded shark attacks there yet, “but ask anyone who’s surfed there and they’ll tell you: The vibe is there.”
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.
Becca Blond, 8:09 am
The bustling port of Toliara is the region’s entry point and is worlds apart from the rural countryside. Bedecked in bougainvillea and jacaranda, narrow corridors wind through the city smelling of salty ocean water and fresh baguettes. There’s also a hint of ethnic spiciness and the air feels gritty. The wide boulevards are home to Arab and French architecture, with elaborate domed mosques sitting next to crumbling, whitewashed colonial buildings.
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.”
Joe Kennedy, 7:00 am
Climbing Egypt’s Mount Sinai on a camel means you get to experience one of the most biblical hikes on the planet without a workout. If you can’t climb, rent a camel and let it negotiate the switches for you through arid, craggy terrain, to the 7496-foot summit. Also known as Gabal Musa, it’s the possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai, mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus and the Quran. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faith agree. Mount Sinai is where Moses received what forms the basis of law today: the Ten Commandments.
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