This Thursday, August the 2nd, I will be flying out to Mongolia to fulfill my dream of completing the Mongol Derby, a 1000 km (621 miles) multi-horse race across the Mongolian Steppe.
The race follows the tradition of Chinggis Khaan’s postal system, which he used to control the largest land empire ever to have existed, in the 12th century.
The starting gun will fire on the 8th of August and the last riders must finish the by the 17th so 10 days in total.
I will be one of 43 riders from all over the globe to compete this year – 18 men and 25 women ranging in age from 18 to 70, and just about as diverse as you can imagine. // read more >
Usually I try to avoid personal updates in my newsletters because I feel that most people have better things to do than read about the monthly day-to-day accounts of a family in one of the quieter parts of the world. However, 2017 has been a rather eventful year, so I decided to break with tradition.
Just as Lisa and I were settling down to married life after our honeymoon in 2016, we learnt that we would swiftly be joined by a new addition and Adam came around in early March this year. // read more >
October is not necessarily thought of as the ideal time to visit the Mara – at least, according to most travel agencies.
July and August are deemed best for viewing the great migration. The sheer number of vehicles in the reserve at that time of year confirm its popularity. 20, 30, 40+ can align each side of the Mara River, hoping for a wildebeest crossing, all jostling for a clear view of the action.
Firstly, if you are like me, this is not your idea of a fantastic wilderness and wildlife experience, and secondly, animals don’t always obey the rules. // read more >
When people first think of a safari, images of endless open acacia savannahs with thousands upon thousands of wildebeest dotting the plains appear in their minds. Predators stalking from the sidelines, eyeing the abundance of food as the herds crossing in long columns like an infestation of ants.
The Maasai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania are without doubt two of the most spectacular ecosystems on the planet. Few things can compare to the sheer magnitude of species, the perfect evening light, and awe-inspiring landscapes.
On the 50th anniversary of Botswana’s independence our celebrations had already included a wild dog hunt resulting in a hyaena-dog stand off, not to mention our game of dominoes with elephants over lunch.
So, as we headed out that evening, we were content to pass through the local village and enjoy the festivities of a football match and a few sundowners on the Khwai River. // read more >
After spending the morning watching wild dogs fighting hyaenas and feasting on their meal of a young roan antelope, we returned to our camp on the banks of the Khwai river. With our mess tent set up just meters from the water’s edge, we sat in the shade watching storks hunt for snails in the shallows, hippos grunt in contentment and the occasional giraffe or antelope come down to drink. // read more >
Botswana’s history is a proud one and rightly so. In its 50 years of independence it has transformed from the fourth poorest country in the world – maintaining the highest rate of economic growth worldwide – to today’s stable, fair, non-racial government with the lowest corruption rating in Africa.
Needless to say, on 31 September this year, the 50-year anniversary of independence (locally known as Boiputso), there was much to celebrate. And what better way to do so than to be in the heart of northern Botswana camped on the banks of the meandering Khwai river, in one of the best wildlife hotspots that Africa has to offer. // read more >
I was lucky enough to have spent most of the month of June in Tanzania on safari. It was fantastic to return to this amazing habitat.
Game abounds in every corner with huge herds of eland, topi, zebra, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, not to mention elephant, buffalo, and the highest concentration of large predators on the planet.
The great migration consists of the movement of over 1.2 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelles across the Serengeti. Understandably, it is a safari bucket-list item for many travelers. But what most people do not realize is that there is an abundance of game that remains, both during and after the migration. // read more >
The Kalahari Desert can be a lonely and elusive place, one of rich species diversity and surprising arrays of life, contrasted with unparalleled hardships.
To survive in this type of environment, it’s good to have friends.
The number of highly social animals increases drastically in areas that have harsh weather conditions, sporadic food abundance and limited or sporadic resources – from emperor penguins in the Antarctic to tightly organsised wolf packs in the Arctic. The vast thirstlands of the Kalahari are no exception.
Here you find an amazing array of highly social animals including the tower building termites, mole rats, clans of brown hyenas and lion prides, but none more adorable than the meerkats. // read more >
When planning their safari, people often ask what the best time of year is to go.
The answer to this is complicated and not as easy as one would expect.
For starters there are a myriad of different safari destinations to choose from – countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania in East Africa, to Chad in North Africa, Ethiopia and the Congo in central Africa, and Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa in the South, to name just a few.
Each have their own climates and weather systems that affect the animal migrations, climate and therefore the best time of year to go. // read more >