Tag archives for Africa

A Change of Pace on the Kenya Coast

It feels good, after four safaris in a row, to spend a few days on the southern tail of Kenya’s 333-mile coastline that stretches between Somalia to the north and Tanzania below. As far as the eye can see, white-sand shores greet the turquoise Indian Ocean.

A Snapshot of Samburu

An elephant is between my tent and the Wi-Fi. I watch it wander from bush to bush. Pulling twigs off trees, munching on leaves. Looking around. What else do you expect when you’re staying at a place called Elephant Bedroom Camp? And yet, I catch myself actually upset (for a second) that this elephant is keeping me from my Twitter.

Searching for Kudu in the Green Hills of Africa

Konee grins and offers a fist bump. I return it. “Woowww,” he says, in disbelief. This jolts me. Over our past two days together in eastern Kenya, it’s become clear that Konee isn’t really a fist-bumping kind of guy. His sudden enthusiasm is due to the fact that we—or rather he—had tracked down for kudu in the dusty ten-foot-tall bush, off road, and under a mid-day sun.

The Rising Stars of Kenya’s Greater Mara

I’m on a night safari at Kenya’s Olare Orok Conservancy, something you can’t do in neighboring Masai Mara National Reserve. True, the 932-square-mile reserve’s big skies and open plains are stunning. But I’m finding that making the adjacent conservancy my home base in the Mara region has doubled my experience: There are more options and fewer visitors to compete with.

Letters from Londolozi

Monday I’ve never been so intrigued by the sex lives of animals as to gawk at the television when David Attenborough is narrating mammalian copulation, but TV is quite a different matter than sitting ten feet away from a grown male lion as he impregnates one of the lionesses in his pride, with a growl.…

Back in ZA

I thought I’d been selected for a secondary search. The man motioned at me from behind the table, lulling me away from the security line at Johannesburg’s Oliver Reginald Tambo International Airport—and so I grabbed my bags and dropped them on the table. But it was all just a ruse—as I stepped closer, his uniform…

National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary Expedition: FULL MOVIE

Superlatives are the bane of travel publishing. Magazines tend to shout their hot pink sans serif headlines, boasting the highest, remotest, southernmost, fanciest, nicest, cheapest, most sophisticated, most beautiful, and most wonderful; in short—the best. But who decides these things, and what exactly constitutes the very best travel experience? Playing with pandas in China? Riding…

Tracking Gorillas in Rwanda

I never in a million years ever believed I would get to spend time with gorillas in the wild. The shock of living the pages of National Geographic magazine, over and over, is what makes this 125th Anniversary Expedition so spectacular. For me, Rwanda marked the final stop in what has been, truly, a life-changing…

In the Kalahari with the San

More than the lions or the elephants or the hippos—it’s the smell of Africa that I find so intoxicating. Right now, in November, it’s the smell of the driest dust—grey Kalahari sand so fine you can taste it on your teeth at the end of the day—and the smell of the promise of rain. Scientifically-speaking,…


I packed two separate suitcases for this trip. The green one is for Africa, the grey one is for Iceland. July means different things in different parts of the world. In Tanzania, July means winter, so I packed flip-flops and T-shirts, shorts and a wide-brimmed hat—then a tube of SPF 70 sunblock and a sweatshirt…