Slowing Down in Slovenia

The Prep  Naismith’s rule, magnetic declination, hand signals for helicopter rescue, using a whistle to send an SOS – these were some of the things I had to educate myself  on and impart my new-found knowledge to my two hiking  partners, GC and S. All our hikes so far have been guided and never as…

Peru Beyond Machu Picchu

June 2019  Lima at last! We got in late and were met by our very affable local guide, Dan Soby, holding up an “Oryx” sign.  We were in Lima, Peru – here we were finally on the trip that’s on nearly everyone’s bucket list. (I am yet to meet someone who does not have Machu…

Varanasi – The Spiritual Heart of India 

We left Ranthambore on such a high – feeling happy that we got so lucky with our tiger sightings. Our journey back to Delhi was the same way we had come – by train. We knew the drill now, which was basically – follow Bablu! There is such an overflow of humanity in Indian railways…

Tiger Tales from Ranthambore

Noor’s thoughts:  The sun is relentless. The temperature has soared to an unbearable degree. My lids are heavy and I haven’t eaten in days. I hear the nilgai, sambhar and spotted deer and even those pesky langurs on high alert, emitting loud calls alerting their brethren and the animal kingdom as I slowly and languorously…

Sho’t Lefts Around the Western Cape

South-easterly we go  This was another epic journey of more than 2100kms, this time, around the Western Cape of South Africa. How l love road trips because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination but the discoveries you make along the way.  Back in the Mother City after 4 years.…

Kamchatka: Land of Fire and Ice

9 August 2018 The Kamchatka peninsula lies in the Far East of Russia in the Ring of Fire. You know it because your geography is excellent or you played Risk when you were younger or maybe because you’re a military history buff. Kamchatka has always been of strategic importance. The entire peninsula was closed to…

Japan Journal

After our unforgettable hike in Kumano Kodo, (please see earlier blog post: Discovering Stillness in Kumano Kodo) we left the peaceful countryside of Wakayama Prefecture and headed toward Kyoto.    KYOTO Our drive from Wakayama should have taken 4 hours but roadworks caused a mind-numbing jam that added another hour and half to the journey.…

Discovering Stillness in Kumano Kodo

A journey that has been some time in the planning comes to fruition. For some years now, I have thought about hiking the Kumano Kodo; a network of ancient Shinto pilgrimage trails in the Kii Peninsula of Wakayama Prefecture of Japan that connect the three Shinto Grand Shrines – Hongu Taisha, Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha,…

Georgia – The Heart of the Caucuses

God called for a meeting of all the peoples of the world to assign them their lands. The Georgians were late and the last to turn up for God’s meeting and God said to them “there’s no land left! Why were you late?” The Georgians said they were worshipping Him and were late as they…

A Journey through Ancient Armenia

The Caucuses aren’t on most people’s bucket lists – it wasn’t in ours either but sandstorms in the Gansu Silk Road at this time of year caused us to consider another destination. We’re so glad we made this trip and perhaps you might decide to visit the Caucuses after reading this blog?  We (my best friend…

Zanzibar!

The name had captured my imagination since I was a young child poring over my stamp collection, imagining what these faraway countries must be like – and I liked the way ‘Zanzibar’ rolled off my tongue. It doesn’t need any adjectives to describe it because it is … Zanzibar! After our week in the Maasai…

Magical Mara

 An Exhilarating Start We landed on the dusty airstrip of the Maasai Mara, on a small propeller plane, a 45 minute flight from Nairobi. As we made our way to the Serian Nkorombo Camp, we saw baboons and spotted hyenas. But nothing quite got me sitting bolt upright than hearing our driver say “lions have been sighted,…

Cuba Libre

“Cooks and Coops” Havana Havana! Just the name conjures images of convertibles, cigars, nightclubs, the mafia (remember Michael Corleone in Godfather 2?) … it’s all still there except for the mafia. We first had to battle the humidity and heat in the airport as we snaked our way through immigration. The air-conditioning was supposedly on…

The Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

My departure is nearly upon me and I have allowed the excitement to completely take over! I went through the ‘what to pack list’ carefully making sure every item was checked off. This is no ordinary trip. I will be joining an Oryx Photography group in Ulan Bataar and then travelling to the remote western…

An African Beat

The  Leopard, the Hyena and the Unfortunate Bushbuck Kruger National Park Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge at last! The overnight flight from Singapore via Johannesburg to Nelspruit was nothing remarkable and my travel companions (my dear friend and her two sons) and I were just glad to have finally reached the lodge to a warm welcome…