After much research my first trip to mainland Africa was to be to Tanzania. South Africa appeared to be too much like a staged show of the game - but I still will visit this wonderful country.Our first stay in Tanzania was not to one of the safari parks but to a small island. Chole is just off Mafia Island and we had booked at the Chole Mjini Lodge. The magic started the moment we got off the car, at the sea shore. I saw a holiday resort on the beach - it looked really nice and just as I had started to smile at the prospect our driver and guide said “not there - we are on the island just across from here”. The mode of transport was a boat bobbing in the sea. I failed to see any jetty and then caught on - with shoes off and rolled up trousers we waded out to the boat. As we scrambled in, the luggage was also added to the boat.
I have seen tigers before - in Ranthambore National Park as well as at Kanha and Bandhavgarh. But wonderful though it was to see these majestic creatures I wondered what it would be like away from all the other jeeps or cantors in Ranthambore. Was it becoming more like a zoo?
So it was with interest that I read about a National Park where you could experience “a real wildlife experience”. What did it mean – particularly as it went on to say that if your idea of a vacation is to lounge comfortably with a glass of wine and cheese at hand with no insects about then this is not for you. I love tigers with comfort – especially enjoyed that in Taj Camps at Kanha and Bandhavgarh though the latter was not as sumptuously luxurious as Kanha. All I wanted was to experience the viewing of tiger in a more natur....
Outside of Africa, India accounts for the highest number of Malaria cases, around 1.5 million per year. Therefore, when travelling to India it is wise to understand Malaria, the places that are of a high risk and also, most importantly, preventative measures that you can take to try and avoid contracting Malaria in the first place as well as what the future holds with regards to vaccines.
At this point in time there is no vaccine for Malaria. Preventative methods are largely seen in the forms of mosquito nets and prophylactic anti-malaria drugs. The drugs can have drastic side effects so lasting vaccine prevention would be infinitely better. As a result of this train of thought, researchers in the U.S. have been trialling a new intravenous vaccine which currently has around an 80% success rate within the trials.
I suppose elephants and I don’t get on. My first experience of wild African elephants was at Kigelia Camp, Ruaha Park in Tanzania. On introduction to our really sumptuous tented accommodation we were shown a good old fashioned whistle sitting on the table, just like ones used by referees in football. Apparently we were to use it should we run into problems – scarily they failed to specify what sort these might be. After lunch in the dining tent I was drawn to a confortable sofa and a book on African wildlife. Slowly other guests and the camp staff drifted off to have an afternoon nap – ready for the drive in the evening.
A loud munching noise drew me to the entrance of the dining tent. Outside, about 10 yards away under the shade of a tree, was a herd of elephants. Actually only 3 but when they are only 10 yards away it seemed lik....
Elephants don’t like me – see my blog on making elephants bend to my iron will.
So here I was in Andaman Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, closer to Myanmar and Thailand than India. I was expecting pristine white beaches, superb diving and snorkelling and an idyllic time just lazing away from any wild life. At first it was all as I expected and more including pristine white sandy beaches, hardly any people, and I could sense the superb diving and snorkelling.
It was on the second day that the guys at the hotel asked whether we were “going with the elephant”? I expressed my puzzlement – elephant on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Had it swum there I asked? Ignoring the kick under the table I looked enquiringly at the waiter. My joke (or sarcasm as my wife tells it) was wasted. App....
I had been looking forward to enjoying a holiday in Kerala but in the end it was a business trip, close to Kerala, which finally got me there. The first impression was the huge difference from the north – tranquillity, greenery and the abundance of water.
What can I say? Gorgeous Kerala, with its palm fringed beaches and lush tropical backwaters, is the perfect combination of culture and relaxation – India at a slower, more relaxed pace than the cities of the north. This short trip showed me how good are the holidays where you can just relax and let the world drift by.
I thought that breakfast at the German Bakery – freshly baked croissants, and the delicious farmer’s breakfast, which includes bacon-potato-cheese scrambled eggs – would keep me going all day. But a speedboat ride ....