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Africa: The Bucket List

Egypt's El Alamein Miliatary Museum

Paying Respects at Egypt’s El-Alamein Battlefield and Museum

To one side of me is the deep, oversaturated blue of the Mediterranean. To the other, the beige sands of the Sahara glare in a sun suitable for neither mad dogs nor Englishmen. Every once in a while there is barbed wire fence, less often, a sign warning people to ...
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An East African mask

What to Buy in East Africa: Souvenir Shopping in Kenya and Tanzania

It's a slow day at the Arusha crafts market, meaning that an obviously foreign woman is going to get a lot of attention. The banter starts immediately, and I don't even have to respond to set the bargaining process in motion. As I walk toward a booth, a soapstone bowl ...
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Zambia safari

A Safari in Zambia, the Lesser Known Africa

Any trip that starts with an elephant sauntering past the front door of your African lodge promises to be good. And it was. "A couple of weeks ago, we had an elephant up on the deck drinking from the plunge pool," said one of the staff at Robin Pope Safaris’ Luangwa ...
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Taking the Plunge At Victoria Falls, Zambia

Oddly, the high point of my trip to Zambia in Africa wasn't watching nearly extinct white rhinos from 30 paces, or seeing so many hippos in a river that I lost count, or walking next to zebras, or even the surprise bubble bath with a river view. No, it was jumping ...
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Giraffes and zebras are among the wild animals that are plentiful in Tanzania's Ruaha National Park. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

On Safari in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park

From my seat in the Cessna I peer down at the red dirt that is the landing strip at Ruaha National Park. Safari vehicles are scurrying around like ants at a picnic and I wonder what the heck is going on. The pilot circles one more time, telling passengers he’s waiting ...
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Saqqara Carpet Workshop

What to Buy in Egypt: Souvenir Shopping Among the Ruins of the Nile

"When you come out, you must walk like a camel," says Mohammed. We are getting ready to tour the Valley of the Kings, and Mohammed is telling us where and when we will meet after we split up to explore on our own. Apparently, there is a souk we must walk ...
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Moroccan Glass Chandeliers

Shopping Adventure in Tangier, Morocco

As I rushed through the crowded streets I tried to mind my steps and keep up with the pace: Our day in Tangier had become a shopping marathon with a guide we nicknamed "speedy Mustafa." Earlier that morning, the shops were still closed when we arrived by ferry from the Spanish ...
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Baganda Drums

Exploring the Royal Culture of the Baganda of Uganda

My drum is meant for royalty. It has a sleek black calfskin drumhead, and the cords that keep it taut are carefully knotted in precise geometric patterns. There is something pleasing about the proportions of this drum. I bought it at a road-side workshop, from Baganda drum-makers who are part ...
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