A Maasai Circumcision After-Party [VIDEO]

Maasai warriors

“There’s a circumcision party in a nearby Maasai village. Mela is inviting us to join her. Do you want to go?” Kisioki asked in the sort of unassuming manner one might use to ask a friend to a new restaurant around the corner for lunch.Circumcision party?After repeating the phrase and looking at my shoes, I ruminated on this concept, turning my knees inward … [Read more...]

Uganda Beyond the Gorillas: From Boda Boda to Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

While mountain gorilla trekking is the big draw and anchor experience for many people visiting Uganda, the country offers a lot more in terms of atmosphere and experiences. Prior to our trip to Uganda, we’d heard from other travelers that the country was among their favorites in Africa due to its friendly people and laid-back feel. Beyond the critical human element, … [Read more...]

The World Doesn’t End With The Blue Sky

maasai woman

“You can call me Airport,” Esupat said, laughing.She sat atop a Maasai hut with her legs crossed, straddling a half-built chimney. Small piles of bricks surrounded her; wet cement fell from her hands.She was dressed colorfully, ornamentally. But this is how she goes to work. When she smiles, it is wide. Wide from unforced practice. Wide with pride, wide with … [Read more...]

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: A Beginner’s Guide

Kakona, the Silverback Gorilla - Bwindi National Park, Uganda

I followed just behind our lead mountain gorilla tracker. In the hush of the moment under the canopy, I remembered our guide’s advice earlier that morning: “On your way to the gorillas, don’t forget to enjoy the sound of the jungle. There’s nothing like it.”My focus had been on climbing through the tendrils, on getting there. I could feel the heat around me, … [Read more...]

Travel to Rwanda: First Impressions

Fishing Boats on Lake Kivu - Kibuye, Rwanda

Rwanda.  A country where the first thing that comes to mind when people hear the name: the horrific, tragic genocide of twenty years ago. When we mentioned that we were looking forward to visiting Rwanda, we weren’t entirely surprised by the confused looks and cocked heads: “Why?” … [Read more...]

Ethiopian Food (An Overview of Ethiopian Cuisine)

Ethiopian food

When we headed to Ethiopia recently, I went packing with high expectations of the food. Years ago, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Ethiopian food fresh out of university. In Washington, D.C., just new to world cuisine, I clearly recall my first pull of a round stretchy pancake-like injera bread, beautifully colored mounds of what looked to me like … [Read more...]

Travel to Ethiopia: First Impressions

Ethiopian monk

When I was growing up, I remember Ethiopia having a long run on the nightly news. Unfortunately newscasts all pointed to the grim. Newsreel images featured fly-ridden babies with distended bellies, drought-ruined landscapes and a ravaging famine made only worse by civil war.Sounding familiar?Prior to our visit, we figured some distance between the Ethiopia … [Read more...]

The Ancient Rock-Carved Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia [360-Degree Panorama]

Lalibela churches

The story goes: almost 900 years ago in Ethiopia there lived a visionary king named Lalibela.Lalibela traveled far and wide, including an extended pilgrimage he took to Jerusalem, after which he brought back home to Ethiopia all he'd seen and learned.When Muslims conquered Jerusalem in the late 12th century and it became too dangerous for devout Ethiopian … [Read more...]

Up Next: A Journey to East Africa

Simien mountains

Our journey to East Africa, just about underway. What follows includes not only our itinerary and a call for your recommendations, but a personal note and a couple of back-stories including $100 given to us with a purpose on a ship in Antarctica.As you read this, we're on our way to Ethiopia to begin a six week journey through Eastern Africa. We expect the … [Read more...]