Friday, April 20, 2012

Extraordinary Ethiopia

Another memorable trip to one of the most underrated countries not only in Africa but on earth! Far from being the country beset by famine and unrest as is the common misconception, Ethiopia offers an extraordinary variety of cultural and natural wonders. There's no doubt traveling in Ethiopia has its challenges - this time around, burst tire on takeoff from Arba Minch, in southern Ethiopia, resulted in a two delay for me and my group.

Challenges aside and from what you will see from the videos below, the shear abundance of amazing sites and experiences make Ethiopia an obvious choice for the traveler wanting to experience more than the standard cultural and historic experience as is the case with north African countries like Morocco and Egypt or the safari circuit that defines east and southern Africa.

Ethiopia is the only country in Africa where it is possible to do both - see for yourself!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Out of Africa

Another great opportunity to lead a trip "Out of Africa" to the Galapagos Islands with friends from a previous safari to Tanzania. Ten days aboard the luxurious MV Eclipse cruising the archipelago followed by two nights at the beautiful Finch Bay Eco Resort on the island of Santa Cruz. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Do not feed the Hyenas - from your mouth!

The old adage - Don't Feed the Animals! - takes on a whole new meaning on the outskirts of the city of Harar, in eastern Ethiopia. Not only do the animals get fed - in this case, wild Spotted Hyenas - they are often fed from a stick clenched firmly between the teeth of so called "Hyena Men".

Each night, these brave souls take up their positions at the outskirts of the city with their basket of camel meat offcuts. Appearing out of the shadows, the surprisingly well behaved hyenas gather in close proximity to one and other in order to receive their nightly fill.

This practice is said to have started over a century ago during a time of great famine, when it was decided that feeding hyenas was a good alternative to the hungry carnivores satisfying their appetite for human flesh.

Today it could be argued that the practice serves a less macabre purpose - that is, to keep livestock and not humans safe at night. Another perhaps more plausible explanation is that its just good business as the practice has a proved a big draw card for tourists - some of which are stupid enough to try it for themselves!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Attempted Impala Rescue

It's true that it's not a good idea to interfere in nature but when it comes to a distressed female impala stuck up to her neck in mud at sundowners then exceptions have to be made - albeit poorly thought through exceptions!

Remember, when attempting to rescue any animal from a waterhole - always remove your phone from your pocket first! Oh, and probably not a good idea to attempt this sort of thing inside a National Park where authorities don't look too kindly on people getting out of their vehicles and man handling the wildlife. 

By way of a disclaimer, this episode took place on a private concession!