When late afternoon falls and the day comes to a close in Southern Namibia, a ritual begins: the sundowner.
Prepare yourself by four-wheeling it to an overlook, high perch, or just about anywhere you can catch the sunset bathe the vastness of the Namibian desert landscape.
Then wait. Continue Reading »
It’s just past dawn and as the sun begins its arc, the Namib Desert sand dunes turn from tinted pink to deep orange. The contrast between the cloudless blue sky and the dune’s edge becomes a clear line in starkness. In this early morning, there’s a narrow window of time until the angle of the sun and the heat of the desert strip away the crispness and the vibrance in one of the world’s oldest deserts.
On the edge of that window, we arrive at Big Daddy Dune. Continue Reading »
To suggest that one could experience Johannesburg and Soweto properly in 24 hours is almost patently absurd. But you do what you can, you make the best with the time you have. That’s what we did. And here’s how we did it. Continue Reading »
When they say “off the beaten track” in South Africa, Northern Cape is what they mean. And why it’s not more beaten, we’re not sure. This is the sum of our short time there, including a surprising and deeply moving human encounter at the very end.
As we carved a path into the sunset along the Orange River border between South Africa and Namibia, it dawned on me (or would the appropriate phrase in this time context be dusked on me?) that we were far away with the trappings of something eye-catching and mind-wandering, wowing and calming, all without being contrived.
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Cape Town. You may come for beauty, but you’ll leave with a story.
Cape Town, a city we had heard so much about over the years, but for so many reasons never took the opportunity to visit – until recently. Like most, we were originally attracted to Cape Town for its natural beauty – think Table Rock cut by coastlines – but we also knew there was more behind that exterior. Continue Reading »
This is a story about visiting a South African township by bicycle, where people and life and answers to questions are up close and personal.
As we rode to the end of our visit, a big white van, way too clean, rolled passed us in almost slow-motion like you might expect in a movie. From the side windows, faces peered out, their eyes snagging on us. Others pressed cameras. They were touring the township from above, behind closed doors. They looked at us on our rickety bicycles, a tad perplexed.
We looked at them much the same way.
They were missing out. Continue Reading »
This is a story about an afternoon in Durban, South Africa where everything seemed to go wrong, but somehow ended up right. It’s also everything you ever wanted to know about bunny chow but were afraid to ask.
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There are certain parts of the world that simply cry out: Road Trip! You know the requisite ingredients: rugged cliffs dropping into blue ocean waters, waves crashing against rocky outcroppings, and pockets of white foam shooting into the air. Roads wind, barely two lanes wide, cars hug mountain turns. Drivers and passengers crane their necks to catch a glimpse — the glimpse — over the next cliff, wanting to pull off for the perfect photo.
The whole thing sounds cliché, perhaps, but maybe that’s just because that’s the way it really is. There are a few drives in this world that deliver on all of this. And Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town happens to be one of them. Continue Reading »
This is a slice of backstory regarding our current visit to South Africa. It’s about a man named Tutu, a book entitled Invictus and a musician called Rodriguez. It’s about South Africa and about our relationship to places before we’ve ever visited them. Finally, it’s about our journey from Cape Town to South Africa’s Northern Cape.
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Banana beer and biryani. Night markets and nutmeg. Kilimanjaro and Kendwa beach. Safaris and Stone Town. Zanzibar and zebras. Maasai and Manyara.
This is Tanzania in three weeks. See it all in the slideshow below. Continue Reading »