Southern Morocco & Western Sahara
The Souss Valley, where goats climb argan trees beneath the sun-baked Anti Atlas, draws a line across Morocco. South of this fertile valley, the pace of life in mountain villages and Saharan gateways is seductively slow, free from the hassles of mass tourism and modern existence.
Johannesburg, more commonly known as Jo’burg or Jozi, is a rapidly changing city and the vibrant heart of South Africa. After almost 20 years of decline and decay, the city is now looking optimistically towards the future. Its centre is smartening up and new loft apartments and office developments are being constructed at a rapid pace.
To paraphrase that well-known quote about Africa, we envy those who've never been to Northern Tanzania because they have so much to look forward to. This is a land of superlatives, from Africa's highest mountain to arguably the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet. But Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti are merely starting points to so many journeys of a lifetime.
Rugged and starkly beautiful, the Sinai Peninsula’s vast and empty desert heart has managed to capture imaginations throughout the centuries. Coveted for both its deep religious significance and its strategic position as a crossroads of empires, prophets and pilgrims, conquerors and exiles have all left their footprints on the sands here.
A barren coastline of extraordinary beauty, the Sinai Coast has seen some of history's most significant events over the past several millennia played out against its isolated shores. These days, however, the region is more renowned for its superb coral reefs, unique Bedouin culture and sandy beaches.
Red Sea Coast
Egypt’s Red Sea coast isn't often on independent travellers' itineraries, yet some of the most important sites in Christianity’s early evolution lie tucked away amid the barren mountains of the north. Venture south of brashly loud and proud Hurghada and you’ll not only find some of Egypt’s best diving but also the epic, wild expanse of the Eastern Desert.
One of West Africa's most stable countries is definitely not dull: The capital, Dakar, is a dizzying, street-hustler rich introduction to the country. Perched on the tip of a peninsula, elegance meets chaos, noise, vibrant markets and glittering nightlife while nearby Île de Gorée and the beaches of Yoff and N'Gor tap to slow, lazy beats.
Step off the boat or plane onto the Zanzibar Archipelago, and you’ll be transported through the centuries – to ancient Persia and tales of Shirazi merchants that inspired Sinbad the Sailor, to the court of Swahili princes and Omani sultans, to India, with its heavily laden scents. For over 2000 years the monsoon winds have shaped the landscape and culture of these islands.
The Sunshine Coast covers a significant chunk of the Eastern Cape coastline, including Port Elizabeth, the seaside towns of Jeffrey's Bay and Port Alfred, and numerous sandy beaches. In the hinterland are the best wildlife-watching areas within easy reach of the coastline between Cape Town and Durban: Addo Elephant National Park and the nearby private reserves.
Get out into the bush where animals, both predators and prey, wander through unfenced camps, where night-time means swapping stories around the fire and where the human footprint is nowhere to be seen. The rewards of travelling in Zambia are those of exploring remote, mesmerising wilderness as full of an astonishing diversity of wildlife as any part of Southern Africa.
Dar es Salaam
Over the last century, Dar es Salaam has transformed from a sleepy Zaramo fishing village into a thriving, striving, smoke-belching metropolis of over four million people (and growing). Straddling some of the most important sea routes in the world, it is East Africa’s second-busiest port and Tanzania’s commercial and cultural hub.