Travelling

Top 5 Things to do in Khartoum

Top 5 Things to do in Khartoum

Khartoum is a fascinating city which sadly doesn’t often get a look in as a potential travel destination.  Fortunately, this is beginning to change, and in the last few years Sudan has witnessed a significant increase in tourism. With more and more people heading to its capital city to explore and discover it’s hidden delights, here’s my top 5 list of things to do in this off the beat travel destination.

Debacle in Debark

Debacle in Debark

We clambered into the rugged Toyota, and headed for the park gates along the now familiar bumpy, dusty roads.  It took an hour or so to reach the park gates, and as soon as we entered the park we weren’t disappointed.  Almost immediately we drove past the endemic Gelada baboons, only found in the Ethiopian highlands.  These hilariously fluffy species of Old World monkeys were beautiful, but paled in insignificance to the scene which had appeared before us... 

Pot Luck: Embracing the Unexpected in Addi Arkay

Pot Luck: Embracing the Unexpected in Addi Arkay

Embracing the unexpected is one of the best things about travel and adventure.  Accepting that even the best laid plans will often not work out exactly as expected can be difficult, but the resultant experiences are often some of most interesting and most memorable, like the time I became a pool shark in rural Ethiopia...

The Danakil Part Four: The Gateway to Hell

The Danakil Part Four: The Gateway to Hell

If you were woken up and told that today, was the day you would be heading to the Gateway to Hell, what would your choice of breakfast be?  A Full English perhaps? Or maybe a giant stack of pancakes complete with all the toppings?  I tell you what it probably wouldn’t be: a packet of banana cream biscuits!  Yes, remarkably someone has actually created this monstrosity, and they are, as you can imagine, absolutely terrible!  This was the reality we faced as we waited outside a small police check point, deep in the Ethiopian desert, for our paperwork to be signed, before we could continue our journey; fortunately, we had been given some excellent coffee to offset the taste of the biscuits, and we both agreed that this was a journey well worth enduring any number of banana creams for.

The Danakil Part One: Bridge Over Salty Waters

The Danakil Part One: Bridge Over Salty Waters

The Danakil depression in Northern Ethiopia is one of the most geographically unique places in the world.  Remote and truly hostile, the Danakil can lay claim to being one of the hottest and driest places on the planet, with daytime temperatures surpassing 50°C and less than an inch of rain falling in the region each year; it is also one of the lowest parts of Africa, and one of the most tectonically active, with steaming acid lakes, rivers of lava, and clouds of volcanic gases creating an almost extra-terrestrial environment.  It is little wonder then, that the Danakil and its features have inspired such enigmatic nicknames as ‘The cruellest place on earth’ or ‘Gateway to Hell’.