Tourism: Latest News
Joe Kennedy, 2:02 pm
The 28-mile Fanie Botha hiking trail is considered one of South Africa’s best. One of the country’s first officially designated hiking trails, it was originally imagined as the start of an Appalachian Trail-inspired hike stretching from the Soutpansberg in the north to the Eastern Cape escarpment. The big dream wasn’t realized but you can hike the Fanie Botha, named for the man who pushed for a national hiking trail system. Hikers often start in the town of Sabie. Four huts can be booked to spend the nights along the way.
Dana Sanchez, 1:15 pm
Tourism has been the fastest-growing sector of The Gambia’s economy until now, accounting for 18-to-20% of the country’s revenue. The country, population about 2 million, is marketed to vacationers as “the smiling coast of West Africa.” In the wake of the current political unrest, tourism revenue will likely fall 50%, a stakeholder said. The sector will have to rebuilt just as it was after the 1994 coup that brought longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh to power. “I feel sorry for everybody here,” an evacuating Brit said. “It’s going to take years for tourism to pick up again.”
Guide To Kairouan, Tunisia: ‘If It Looks Like You’re Staying At A Nice Resort, You’ll Pay Higher Prices Here’By Kate Thomas, 8:01 am
The road is short from Sousse, Tunisia, to the Islamic city of Kairouan. Just 32 miles separate the two, lined with dusty olive groves baking in the Tunisian sun. And yet Kairouan’s Mosque of Uqba, the world’s fourth holiest site according to Muslim scholars, feels a world away from the clubs and 24-hour bars of Sousse. As my taxi driver pulled up in front of the mosque, he recited a line from the Koran and urged me to remove my wristband from the hotel in Sousse. “If it looks like you’re staying at a nice resort, you’ll pay higher prices here,” he confided.
Staff, 2:20 pm
It’s somewhat disconcerting to look at gazelles with the roar of traffic as your soundtrack, or see a line of skyscrapers on the northern edge of the park, but this is Africa. If you’re visiting Nairobi and don’t have time to head out into the bush, you’ll find one of the best urban wildlife parks in the world just a few miles from the city’s central business district. All you need is a few hours. At the Nairobi National Park, I saw giraffe, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, baboons, impala, a rhino and her baby, and — unexpectedly — lions mating.
Staff, 4:14 pm
Seeing goats in trees never gets old. Learn how to pour a proper mint tea and see goats hanging out in a tree on a mountain biking trip through the Atlas Mountains. As part of a two-week trip around Morocco, cinematographer Evan Burris Trout did a four-hour Atlas Mountain bike trip. He visited a mountain souk, learned about local customs and experienced Moroccan hospitality during a delicious home-cooked meal at a mountain vacation rental home.
Barbara Bean-Mellinger, 1:11 pm
There’s more to Libya than deserts and dictators. You can sunbathe on bountiful — and empty — beaches. More than 1,200 miles of beaches line the northern Libyan coast. When city-dwelling Libyans want to get away, they prefer going to the countryside than to the beach. Visitors who know this can have the beach to themselves, and possibly get the added bonus of an ancient Roman site to explore next door. Guides are required when travelling in groups.
Dana Sanchez, 5:03 pm
Democratic Alliance opposition leader Maimane met this week with the Palestinian and Israeli business leaders to discuss how trade can be used for peace when politics fail. Zuma has endured overwhelming criticism from South Africans over corruption. Citizens voiced their displeasure at the polls in the August municipal elections. All major South African areas are now controlled by the DA except for Durban, Bloemfontein and Kimberley. Zuma needs a place to hide, a critic said. The narrative of the “oppressed” is a safe place for him.
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.
Kate Thomas, 8:03 am
Forty kilometers off the coast of Vilankulo, you’ll find luxury island eco-retreats like Azura. Its 16 villas — $550 per person per night — each have a private infinity pool, curved tub and outdoor monsoon shower. For your money, you get your own private butler, usually a Benguerra islander who will greet you with champagne from the owner’s French vineyard and organize every detail of your trip. At dusk, tables are laid on the sand beneath the stars, and the chef serves fine food made with simple, fresh ingredients.
Alexis Borochoff, 7:43 am
Owls have been feared since ancient times, considered symbols of death or bad omens. Some Swahili believe owls bring illness to children. In parts of Cameroon and Nigeria, some consider owls right up there with Voldemort in the Harry Potter series — too evil to name. But owls also have fan clubs — birders who have the passion and means to travel to Africa and look for owls on birding tours. If you don’t agree that owls deserve their bad reputation, owls can be quite amusing. Here’s a little levity on the topic.
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