Zimbabwe’s fortunes are as varied as its landscape. Once a British colony known as Rhodesia in honour of empire builder Cecil John Rhodes, it won independence to become Zimbabwe and build a seemingly unassailable reputation as ‘the bread basket of Africa’. Its fertile soil and balmy climate is perfect for agriculture - it’s still the centre of Africa’s lucrative raw tobacco trade - but then came political turmoil once again as the government launched land reform programmes.
I’ve travelled across most of Africa – from South Africa’s Cape Winelands to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, throughout Botswana and Zimbabwe, to the archipelagos off Mozambique, from sultry Lagos in Nigeria to East Africa’s triumphant trio: Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. I’ve spent two decades in a love affair with this continent, mostly as a solo traveller.
Ebola is a scary illness. The very words 'haemorrhagic fever' sounds like something out of an apocalypse movie. Africa needed the world to know about the outbreak so that we could work together to stop it spreading. And, make no mistake, we are winning the war on this virus.
Wild animals seem to have a knack for getting themselves into sticky situations. In these video clips we watch as people step in to lend a helping hand and the joyful response from our four-legged friends.
Dawn on an African savannah and the impala are cautious. Ears swivelling, the wide-eyed antelopes move closer together, staring at the tree line where shadowy figures lurk. The reason for their distress is suddenly clear. Streaking out from the trees come Africa’s most efficient predators, putting the impala into instant flight.
We’re often asked by travellers what they should be booking by when to avoid disappointment. There’s nothing worse than having your heart set on doing a southern Africa safari with your kids for the Easter holidays and thinking you have oodles of time to arrange it all, only to find that all the best accommodation was booked up months previously. It’s no fun staring at the four walls of your living room when you could’ve have been watching endangered wild dogs take down an impala or a leopard snoozing peacefully in the branches of an acacia tree…
If you’re in the mood for a giggle, I’ve got just the thing for you. These three compilations do a stellar job of rounding up common scenes found in nature and dubbing voiceovers to give us a comical nudge. Enjoy…
It’s no secret that Hermanus is home to what is arguably the world’s best land- and boat-based whale watching. Every year, thousands flock to this picturesque town lying on Walker Bay (about 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town) to be enthralled by the mating and calving antics of southern right whales as they arrive on their annual migration from the icy Southern Ocean to the balmy shores of South Africa's Garden Route.
October in Africa and the weather is in charge. In East Africa the short rains have begun and the landscape replies with a blanket of fresh green grass. South of the Zambezi, however, it has barely rained since May and animals mill around the remaining waterholes, eyes wide and ears flicking at every snap of a twig.
After three thrilling days exploring Odzala National Park's lush rainforests – and having one of the most authentic wild encounters with a family of western lowland gorillas – we journeyed to Odzala’s open savannah plains, meandering rivers and towering swamp forests. Our home for the next two nights was Lango Camp.