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Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, in the Kwale District of Kenya's Coastal Province, was created in 1933 to preserve a large corridor along an ancient elephant migration route. The aim was to protect the African elephants from poachers. It was opened to the public in 1995 by then Director of Kenya Wildlife Services, Dr. David Western. Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary conserves the serene surroundings, rare and endangered African elephants, the moist deciduous forest, riparian vegetation, and other special attractions including a rare cycad forest. Dinosaur Cycads are fan-like plants that evolved around 300 million years ago, and can be sighted while driving across the terrain. The ecosystem in Mwaluganje has rolling hills, steep ridges, cliffs and winding water shades, and a watering hole. It is a forested area of approximately 23,736 hectares, comprised of Shimba forest, Mkongani West, Mkongani North, and Mwaluganje forest that surrounds it.

Published in insight

In the Northeastern region of Uganda lies a large, remote, seldom visited lake: Lake Opeta. The lake was designated a national conservation area in 2006 due to its numerous bird species— including the globally endangered shoebill (balaeniceps rex).

Published in insight

As soon as we had crossed into Algeria, it was clear that something wasn’t right. Our shared taxi was slowing down and speeding up, and staggering from side to side on the winding hillside road, like an overloaded, drunken donkey. To the side, lay a sharp, deep drop from the mountain to the surprisingly verdant valley.

Published in inexpensive
Tuesday, 01 September 2009

Into the Sahara: Timbuktu

The blowing sand rocks our Land Rover as we reach the outskirts of Timbuktu.

Mahkmoud leans over the steering wheel and peers into the hazy lemon yellow that fills our windshield.  There is no horizon between earth and sky and I wonder how he can continue to drive with no reference points, yet on he goes with the instinct of a desert nomad.  I realize for him, this is normal.

Published in indigenous

There is something about volcanoes that fascinates me, and finds me craving to conquer their summits to be able to satisfy my curiosity and peer down their crater rims. Having climbed Mount Etna (3350m) in Sicily and Gunung Agung (3142m) in Bali, (Cotapaxi (5897m) in Ecuador was weeks away but the trip was cancelled at the last minute), the time had come for something African – Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania was the next conquest. At an altitude of 5895m, it is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, and I promised myself that one day soon I would have my picture taken at the summit, Uhuru Peak.

Published in in-depth
Wednesday, 27 February 2008

This Bus Departs at Nine in the Morning

"This bus is going to fall," I stated and asked concurrently in my Swahili 101.  The buddah-bodied, sarong wrapped woman to my right laughed at my big worried eyes.

"No, young sista," her electric white teeth glowed through me.  "Hamna tabu."

Published in individual

There is nothing better than disappearing to some insane, off the beaten path place that nobody in their right mind would go to, and Tichit delivered on all accounts.

Published in interest

There is something so romantic about the restored riads (traditional houses) of Morocco. Dar Seffarine is an exceptional example of that. Its tile work is intricate and exquisite and its carved cedar wood gorgeous. The architecture is outstanding with huge carved doors and passageways that lead you up to secret balconies. Part of what gives it its romantic feel is the fact that it is nestled in some of the busiest, most confusing, and somewhat threatening tangle of alleyways in the ancient city of Fes, so it feels like a calm oasis in the midst of the storm.

Published in in love
Sunday, 29 April 2007

Running The Sahara

Have you ever thought it was possible to run across the vastest desert in the world? How about running for over 100 days in the hopes of helping to improve the lives of the people in African communities that don’t have access to clean water? On November 2, 2006, three runners, Ray Zahab, Charlie Engle, and Kevin Lin set out across the world’s largest desert on a life-changing quest that lasted 111 days and covered 4,300 miles.

Published in interview
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