Africa

Addis Ababa: escape from ordinary

The Ethiopian capital and environs defy preconceived notions.

“Ethiopia?!” cried my mother, her eye wide shut. “Why are you going there?” It’s not on everyone’s “to go” list, for a variety of reasons, but for anyone with a devil-may-care attitude to travel, this ...

Video: Amen the printmaker, Tanzania

Traditional batik printmaking in a Dar es Salaam shop.

I spent this past June traveling Tanzania. While in Dar es Salaam, I met a Tanzanian artist named Amen Ntangu. He is self-employed as a batik printmaker. I had the opportunity to interview him and ...

Kenya's elephant orphanage

Safe haven in Nairobi National Park from black-market ivory trade.

Greater Nairobi, home to more than six million people, has a reputation for mayhem. Its international airport just burned; the Kenyan capital’s nickname is Nairobbery. But visitors can still find some extraordinary pleasures. Ranking high ...

Uganda's Batwa Trail

Pygmy tourism in Lonely Planet's "top country to visit" for 2012.

In Uganda, gorilla tourism is an economic engine. It benefits not only the mountain gorillas that the tourists track, but also the human communities in and around the forests in which the animals live. It's ...

Burkina Faso: remote logic and the almighty dollar

The author meets a West African witch doctor.

In my long-range travels I have learned two great lessons: 1) the people most removed from the modern world not only think differently than I do but are far more logical, and 2) Western-style capitalism ...

Fes, Morocco: a trip to the medina

Fes is my favorite city in Morocco. It has the best-preserved medina in the Arab world – dating back to the 14th century – as well as being one the largest living medieval cities in ...

Andasibe, Madagascar

Singing lemurs, jungle treks and reflections on travel.

Tina, my male Malagasy guide, planned a trip to the Andasibe National Park and a small lemur reserve. On the walk there we discussed different cultural aspects of Madagascar and his history. Arriving in the ...

Serengeti hippo pool, Tanzania

Just don't get too close.

Even during the dry season, there is water in the Serengeti. One of the region's most notable watering holes is the hippo pool. Fed by the Seronera River, the site is located towards the northwest ...

Mali: my almost nomad wife

A modest proposal in West Africa's Sahara.

In my capacity as a travel writer, I journeyed through much of Mali's Sahara Desert with the fabled Blue Men in the years before it was desecrated by Al-Qaida. For two thousand years, Tuareg nomads ...

Marrakesh

Sensory overload in a bustling North African must-see.

Our first excursion in Marrakesh was to find the medina where all the souks (shops) were located. Moroccan taxi drivers are on the fast pass to meet Allah. No wonder they have a call to ...