Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: A Beginner’s Guide

For many travelers to Uganda, gorilla trekking is the anchor activity and highlight of their trip. To encounter mountain gorillas not only carries some expense, but it also takes planning and preparation to make the most of your visit. In this Uganda Gorilla Trekking Beginner's Guide we share all you need to know to prepare for and get the most out of you gorilla trekking experience in Uganda.

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Travel to Rwanda: First Impressions

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?

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My Date With An Ethiopian Hair Butcher

ethiopian barber

I left my heart in San Francisco, but I left my hair in Ethiopia.

The danger sign was there, quite literally. The two hairstyle options apparently available to me at my Ethiopian barber shop of choice: Ricky Martin and Ludacris.

I was in northern Ethiopia with a mess I’d deliberately grown out for almost two months — saving myself, the African haircut virgin — and I was determined to navigate yet another haircut-as-cultural-experience. A World Wrestling Entertainment match, piped in from somewhere in the Middle East (who knew WWE needed subtitles?), blared on the television. All the men in the shop sported either dreadlocks or close cut afros.

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Travel to Ethiopia: Why Visit and What Might Surprise You

Ethiopian monk

Curious about Ethiopia and what you might experience there? From its ancient history and rock-hewn churches of Lalibela to its mountains, bustling markets, delicious cuisine, coffee ceremonies and more, here are a few reasons why you should travel to Ethiopia. We're almost certain you will be surprised by what you find.

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The Ancient Rock-Carved Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

St. George, the most famous of Lalibela's Rock Hewn Churches

The story of the rock-carved churches of Lalibela 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 Christians to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem itself, Lalibela fashioned a work-around: to build a New Jerusalem in his home country.

But this New Jerusalem was no ordinary holy place.

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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 journey to take us from Ethiopia to Uganda, Rwanda and finally Tanzania.

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How to Enjoy a Namib Desert Sunset

Sundowner in the Namib Desert, Namibia

When late afternoon falls and the day comes to a close in Southern Namibia, a ritual begins: the sundowner.

Prepare yourself by four-wheeling it to an overlook, high perch, or just about anywhere you can catch the sunset bathe the vastness of the Namibian desert landscape.

Then wait.

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Dune Climbing in the Namib Desert, Namibia

Namibia dune

It’s just past dawn and as the sun begins its arc, the Namib Desert sand dunes turn from tinted pink to deep orange. The contrast between the cloudless blue sky and the dune's edge becomes a clear line in starkness. In this early morning, there's a narrow window of time until the angle of the sun and the heat of the desert strip away the crispness and the vibrance in one of the world's oldest deserts.

On the edge of that window, we arrive at Big Daddy Dune.

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24 Hours in Johannesburg and Soweto

To suggest that one could experience Johannesburg and Soweto properly in 24 hours is almost patently absurd. But you do what you can, you make the best with the time you have. That's what we did. And here's how we did it.

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Northern Cape, South Africa: The Land of Far Out

When they say “off the beaten track” in South Africa, Northern Cape is what they mean. And why it’s not more beaten, we’re not sure. This is the sum of our short time there, including a surprising and deeply moving human encounter at the very end.

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