Editorial column
Changing times
Edition 65 (Winter 2013/14)
At the start of a year, many of us tend to reflect on changes we may wish to make in our lives, or consider the things we would like to improve. I view it as evolution ­– the ongoing journey through life.
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Love, life and travel
Edition 64 (Autumn 2013)
I love travel. I love life. In my mind, they are one in the same – journeys of exploration. And how much you discover along the way, whether it be something incredibly interesting on the other side of the planet or something amazing within you, is typically related to how much of yourself you are willing to give to the process. There are no guarantees, of course, but those who can overcome their fears and throw themselves headfirst into things tend to be the ones with the largest smiles (and the best stories).
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A life's legacy
Edition 63 (Summer 2013)
As I waded into the crowds on the rooftop area of the Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg’s Braamfontein precinct recently, I couldn’t help but notice that the throngs of young South Africans enjoying the music and drinks together on the sunny Saturday afternoon were from diverse ethnic backgrounds. It was a scene that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago, and one that surely would have made Nelson Mandela proud to see. 
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Moving forward
Edition 62 (Spring 2013)
We do a lot of work in Kenya, and have watched with particular interest as the country has moved forward since its disintegration into post-election violence in 2007. Besides a new constitution approved by voters in 2010, there have been visible signs of rapid development over the last five years – new roads, construction on nearly every street corner, and an entrepreneurial young generation eager to push the country forward, to mention a few. Nairobi is also emerging as a thriving, cosmopolitan city with much to offer investors and tourists alike. This is a Developing nation with a capital D.
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Breaking new ground

Edition 61 (Winter 2012/13)

If there was one story from the past year that I was most looking forward to landing on my desk it was Celia Topping’s feature article on her journey to South Sudan (‘New horizons’).

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New milestones
Edition 60 (Autumn 2012)
It was an incredible summer of celebrations in the UK, first with Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee and then with the unprecedented twin successes of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. There was no shortage of Africans playing memorable roles in each: the African Children’s Choir, Mombasa’s Ayub Ogada and Nairobi’s ‘Slum Drummers’ all made their mark in Sing, the official Jubilee song; Kenya’s David Rudisha sprinted to a world record in the 800m, a display Lord Sebastian Coe described as “the performance of the Olympics”; and Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic legend from South Africa, fittingly closed out the festivities in the Olympic Stadium with a masterful gold-medal run in the T44 400m.
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An age-old question

Edition 59 (Summer 2012)

The higher I climbed up the lofty, narrow confines of the Grand Gallery, the thicker the air became. By the time I reached the top – the point at which I had to get down on all fours to crawl into the dark confines of the King’s Chamber – the atmosphere was stifling. Soaked in sweat and somewhat proud of overcoming minor claustrophobia, I quickly noticed just who had been nipping at my heels on the way in. Standing in the corner, patting his brow with a white handkerchief, was a sweet-looking octogenarian in a lovely grey linen suit. Although we were separated by several decades in age (not to mention our choice of attire), it was obvious we had one thing in common – we were equally mesmerised by the elaborate inner workings of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

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A matter of balance
Edition 58 (Spring 2012)
The Masai Mara is lauded by the travel press for hosting the wildebeest migration, one of the world’s most spectacular natural events, and for being home to the iconic big cats of Africa. At the same time some factions of the world’s news media tell a different story, casting the famous reserve as a fragile environment teetering on the brink. Both are dramatic stories, but does either give the full picture?
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Questions and answers
Edition 57 (Winter 2011/12)
I don’t fully understand Africa. Nor will I ever. And I love that.
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Risks and rewards
Edition 56 (Autumn 2011)
I woke to raised voices, an air of confusion, and police outside my window. With but a few dusty shafts of light cutting through the dark cabin, I was certain of only one thing: we were no longer moving.
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The source of everything

Edition 55 (Summer 2011)

As we rumbled onto the bridge at the edge of Mocuba we were met by a swell of people. The roadway was packed and the truck had to slow to a crawl to navigate its way through.

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Head to head
Edition 54 (Spring 2011)
When I first returned home after spending a year travelling from South Africa to Morocco, I was peppered with questions from friends, family and acquaintances, asking me which were my favourite places and why.
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Africa calling

Edition 50 (Spring 2010)

Travel Africa was not conceived in one life-changing conversation or dramatic awakening, but rather it emerged slowly, taking shape from a seed born of and fed by frustration.

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Old with new

Edition 49: Winter 2009/10

Horns, headlights and a slice of panic cut through the dusty air of the Cairo night. I had just managed to extricate myself from an airport taxi whose driver seemed all too much in a hurry. While I didn’t have to shouldter-roll out of the moving vehicle, the whole experience felt a little too close for comfort, and I was rattled. As his dented chariot danced off through traffic, disappearing into a swirling sea of brakelights at Midan Orabi, I felt a slight sense of accomplishment... and then it hit me – I’m in Africa, and my backpack is still in that car.

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Hand in hand

Edition 48: Autumn 2009

Wildebeest have been circling the East African plains for over a million years, and during the 20th century their annual migration became one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions – little wonder, considering the sheer scale and drama of the natural spectacle. Today, with two million or so animals taking part, it continues to enthral those who visit each year.

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Highs and lows

Edition 47: Summer 2009

Having personally felt the strains on my body and mind each time I have climbed above 4000m in altitude, and having witnessed others, many of whom were in great shape, give up on their lofty goals and turn back due to increasing symptoms of acute mountain sickness, I was incredibly impressed with the success of the recent Comic Relief climb of Kilimanjaro. Not only did all nine of the celebrity climbers make it to the 5892m summit, but so did all 25 of the support staff and media.

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As good as it gets

Edition 46: Spring 2009

People attending the grandiose show can’t believe their luck. Considering the discounted price of their tickets, they’d been expecting seats in the upper reaches, as well as a few annoying punters rustling with candy wrappers, but now they are firmly planted in the front row, experiencing an intimate performance seemingly put on for them alone. 

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Connecting the dots

Edition 45: Winter 2008/9

My first taste of West Africa was actually of its far east, and it wasn’t too pleasant. Although very exhilarating – we’d just rounded the northern side of Lake Chad and crossed into Niger at the most remote and desolate frontier I had ever encountered – the process of repeatedly digging out ‘Mr Harry’ (a friend’s 1982 Land Rover) had led to me ingest rather a lot of the desert itself. Suffice it to say, it was not the most appetising of meals, especially as it was more like silky powder than sand.
 

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Changing our tune

Edition 44: Autumn 2008

I have been lured to Africa on many occasions, but African music has never been the driving force – it has always been the wildlife, the landscapes, the history, the local culture (music aside), the physical activities, or simply the thought of a great journey. 

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A change of guard

Edition 43: Summer 2008

Although I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively across Africa during the last decade, setting foot in over two dozen of its nations, I have not had many chances to retrace my steps and gauge the extent of change.

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African value

Edition 42: Spring 2008

Looking back to my first safari in Kenya 15 years ago, I can still feel the exhilaration of closely following a rhino on foot in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and the excited anticipation upon arriving at the Masai Mara and gazing across the wildlife-teeming savannah for the first time.

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The Ultimate Family Holiday

Edition 40: Autumn 2007

As William Gray illustrates from page 90, there’s no shortage of child-friendly activities across Africa. So I’m always amazed – and saddened – when I meet parents who are reluctant to go on safari with their children, afraid that it will be unsafe or too complicated.

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Reaching an understanding

Edition 39: Summer 2007

Zimbabwe is widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, with abundant natural attractions and a welcoming population. A decade ago it was the fourth most-visited country on the continent. Today it receives only a trickle of travellers, due to mainstream tourists and tour operators avoiding it as a response to its political instability or out of fear for their safety.

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A question of confidence

Edition 38: Spring 2007

How many of us would visit West Africa without having an itinerary finalised in advance? Would you take a self-drive trip into northern Kenya, or use public transport to explore Mozambique? Conversely, would you join an organised tour to the Congo or Angola?

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The Fine Line

Edition 37: Winter 2006/7 

When we first visited the Masai Mara in 1994, my wife and I were treated to a fascinating talk on Maasai culture by our moran tracker. At the end of the evening he asked if we could help him go to America. His predecessor had been taken there by an impressed tourist who wanted him to conduct a lecture tour.

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The Path to Success
Edition 36: Autumn 2006
Having grown up in Africa, I must confess to a certain degree of cynicism when I hear politicians pledge to make the world a better place.
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Changing Perceptions
Edition 34 Spring 2006
It took me several months to convince my neighbours that there was nowhere better than Africa for a family holiday, and even then Cape Town was as adventurous as they got. I have a more difficult task ahead in reassuring a London policeman friend that it is safe to visit the continent. In his mind, every African country is war-torn and unwelcoming.
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In the safest of hands
Edition 33 Winter 2005/6
Visitors are drawn to Africa’s abundant wildlife and extraordinary landscapes, and quite rightly too. But the glue that holds it all together is the people.
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For the people, by the people
Edition 31: Summer 2005
So, do you think western governments should be writing off debt to Africa? Do you think musicians should be lobbying politicians to rewrite trade laws? Do you think the West should leave African states to sort their own problems out?
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A positive environment
Edition 32: Autumn 2005
No visitor to Africa can fail to appreciate the precariousness of our environment. We’re made aware ‐ often too late ‐ of the severe circumstances that hit countries like Sudan and Niger, but almost every nation faces its own battle with deforestation and desertification. Erosion, crop failure and degraded water supplies are some of the more conspicuous reminders that immediate and urgent action is required.
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Striking a balance
Edition 30: Spring 2005
Writing this column from the magnificent Sand Rivers camp overlooking the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, I have to say I cherish few things more than the solitude of a vast African wilderness, where the only sounds are red cuckoos, cicadas, the occasional grunting of contented hippos and the distant rumbling of thunder.
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