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Africa: The Bucket List

Cesar Manrique subterranean house Taro de Tahiche

Feeling the Heat of Lanzarote’s Volcanoes in Spain’s Canary Islands

With the toe of my boot, I scrape away a thin layer of coarse gravel and lean down to pick up a handful of the exposed pebbles. I let go immediately as they burn my fingers – the ground I walk on is too hot to handle. I shouldn’t be ...
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Pickled Lemons in Bulk at the Food Market (credit MCArnott)

Buying Moroccan Food at Tangier’s Market

A maze of crooked streets in the medina, lead soldiers at the Forbes Museum, annoying haggling in the souks, perfumes at Medini’s, antiques at Majid’s, traditional crafts at the Centre de l’Artisannat… These are the sights and sounds of Tangier. But its pulse is truly taken through the taste buds. Don’t ...
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sunset over Nile

Visiting Egypt’s Ruins from a Nile River Cruise

Look at a physical map of north Africa -- a map with brown mountains and green forests and beige deserts -- and you will see thousands of miles of sandy beige, and, then, a thin green line. The Nile. Life giver. In ancient times, the rising and falling of the ...
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Lions in Ngorongoro

On Safari in NgoroNgoro Crater, Tanzania

From the rim, 2,000 feet  above the crater floor, you can look down into this vast hole in the earth and see teeny little specks moving about. Wildebeest. Zebra. Even the elephants look like tiny toys. NgoroNgoro Crater is a place of superlatives: the world's largest unflooded and unbroken crater, containing ...
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Storms River Bridge

Exploring Tsitsikamma, South Africa’s Adventure Capital

Some towns just scream adventure: These are the places where weekdays are busy on hiking trails, where fleece is the accepted dress for a night on the town, and where everyone sports a tan. Boulder, Colorado; Chamonix France, Queenstown, New Zealand, Hood River, Oregon. And Tsitsikamma, South Africa. The difference is, ...
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Mt. Kenya

Trekking Mt. Kenya: Chogoria, Naro Moru, and High Peaks Circuit

There is a cape buffalo outside my tent. I know it's a cape buffalo because it is snorting and stomping, and cape buffalos are the snorters and stompers around these parts. All of a sudden, the flimsy nylon that has been protecting me from rain and mosquitoes  seems somehow not up to ...
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A traditional dhow sails by Chumbe Island

Snorkeling Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar

You know that feeling when a destination has been hyped up, and you get there, and you're feeling a bit underwhelmed? Arriving at the tiny spit of land that makes up Chumbe Island, I don't at first see  the soaring air-filled main lodge or the cozy bungalows, both of which ...
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Egypt balloons

Hot Air Ballooning over Luxor, Egypt

We are standing in the cool morning air of a pre-dawn Sahara. We can just make out the colored patterns on enormous balloons that lie deflated on the ground. Men scurry about, lighting  fuel tanks that first roar into life, then send bright orange flames into the mouths of the ...
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