Sweltering in Djibouti

Djibouti is damn hot and dusty as all hell. Flying in all you can see is endless rocks and sand. I didn’t have a visa but my sources had indicated getting one was possible on arrival. The only problem was that none of the officers on duty that day had ever seen a kiwi passport.

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Off the Beaten Track – Sudan

The trip got off to an auspicious start.   I was on an Lufthansa flight from Munich to Addis Ababa with a stopover in Khartoum.  As I tried to disembark in Khartoum, the hostess blocked my exit and double checked my boarding card.  “Are you sure you want to get off here?????, I am ok

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Places to Return to – Ethiopia

May 26, Castelsagrat, France I am spending the bank holiday in our house in France.  Our second home here is in a wonderful sleepy village, surrounded by baking fields of sunflowers in the summertime, and the biggest thing that is likely to happen when we are here is a gathering of hearty eighty year olds

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Thwarted Thatcher Coup…

May 14, Ibis, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea Before visiting all I really knew about Equatorial Guinea was the thwarted coup attempt against President Obiang funded by Margaret Thatcher’s son in 2004 (a.k.a the Wonga coup), for which he pleaded guilty (eventually) and was given a four year suspended sentence and a $500k fine in South Africa.

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Sticky, icky and frenetic

May 12,  Star Land Hotel, Douala, Cameroon The Lonely Planet aptly describes Douala as ‘sticky, icky and frenetic’. True dat.   I would also add ‘ cacaphonic’ (not an actual word but an apt descriptor), as there is a constant background honk of horns. Arriving at Douala airport, I was impressed by the levels of filth and how badly it

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Potentially the worlds greatest wildlife destination, but I wasn’t going to find out…..

May 9, Royal Palm Hotel, Libreville, Gabon In the next of a series of mad dictatorships – welcome to Gabon.  Omar Bongo was president for 42 years from 1967 until he died in 2009.  The reins were taken up by his son Ali Bongo who has been in power since, ‘winning’ the 2009 election with 42%

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The other Congo!

May 8,  Mikhail’s Hotel, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo A lovely day wandering around Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo – the formerly french one, a.ka. Congo Brazzaville (not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo – the formerly Belgian one, historically called Zaire). It was weird arriving here yesterday, the flight was 40

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