Category Archives: Africa

world travel tips

27 Quick World Travel Tips

Here are 27 quick tips to make world travel better. What are your quick tips for world travelers?

1) Say hi to other people who are traveling
2) Don’t flash your bling
3) Catch a cab and talk to the driver about cool things to do (Cabbies are almost always multi-lingual)
4) Scan a picture of your passport and give it to someone you trust
5) Get a nice padlock and use it when necessary (It takes two to steal: the thief and the one who left an opportunity)
6) Wear long pants during long transport
7) Look at the mattress…know what bedbugs look like
8) Stay where you get breakfast for free
9) Make sure hot water is included
10) Find paperback exchanges
world travel tips
11) Stay longer and get cheaper room rates
12) Fill out your couchsurfing profile completely
13) Look for free fruit on the trees
14) Look for language exchanges
15) Don’t leave your phone in your room
16) Bring your own condoms
17) Don’t get so drunk you can’t take care of yourself
18) Trust your instincts about people
19) Eat the local food
20) Always ask for a second price
21) Don’t wander around alone late at night
22) Don’t give up your passport
23) Bring your valuables to the shower with you in a hostel
24) Eat lots of cheese if you get diarrhea
25) A handful of nuts makes hunger go away
26) Get a haircut and a shave (or a wax and a style)

This last one is my personal opinion only.

27) Drink the water.

What are your quick tips for world travel?

red sea diving

The Very Best of Red Sea Diving

From famous biblical accounts to early trade routes and today’s thriving tourism industry, there’s no doubt that the Red Sea plays a deeply important role in Egypt’s past, present and future. For visitors to this ancient part of the world, the glistening body of water is truly a sight to behold. Better yet, viewing the Red Sea from below the surface is perhaps the best way to experience its natural magic.

red sea divingAs one of the world’s most revered scuba diving destinations, the Red Sea is lined with cities and villages that offer a variety of diving experiences. Choosing where to go can be tougher than squeezing on a damp wetsuit. To make your decision easier, check out this list of the best Red Sea diving spots:

The Sinai Peninsula

Sharm El Sheikh

One of Egypt’s trendiest Red Sea holiday spots, Sharm El Sheikh is renowned across the globe for its posh resorts, thriving nightlife and, of course, brilliant scuba diving.

While the city has plenty of diving spots, one of the best is just over 30km south, in the Ras Mohammed National Park. For advanced divers who are comfortable navigating slightly stronger currents, the Yolanda Wreck site is truly a must-see.

Other top dive spots along the Egyptian side of the Sinai include: the Blue Hole in Dahab and just off the shores of Nuweiba.

West Red Sea Coast

Hurghada

As Egypt’s second largest Red Sea city and an established tourist hub, Hurghada serves as a brilliant base camp for travellers wanting to explore the scenic coastline. It is also near the famous St. John’s reef system, a unique collection of colourful reefs.

Habili Ali, an oval reef within the St. John’s system, is considered one of the most spectacular dive sites in the area. In addition to multiple species of exotic fish, it’s not uncommon to spot pods of bottlenose dolphins swimming through its clear blue waters.

In addition to Hurghada, the Brother Islands (off the coast of Al-Qusayr) are also an excellent dive spot along the western Red Sea coast.

Southern Red Sea Coast

Marsa Alam

Traveling further south along the Red Sea coast will bring you to the town of Marsa

Alam, a rising star in the world of scuba diving. The addition of an international airport in 2001 has increasingly made it a top choice destination for Egypt holidays.

Marsa Alam’s most notable diving site is the Elphinstone Reef. Best known as a habitat for several different shark breeds, this dive site may be your best chance to encounter the fascinating animals.While you’re in the area, it’s worth travelling even further south to the ancient town of Berenice, where you’ll find plenty of more secluded dive sites.

A scuba diver’s paradise, there really is nothing like the bright, warm waters of the Red Sea. If you’ve always dreamed of an idyllic Red Sea holiday, why not dive right in?

 

Hanno the Navigator - Finder of Gorillas

Extraordinary Carthaginian Vagabond – Hanno the Navigator

The voyage of Hanno the Navigator 500 BCIn the annals of great explorers, there is one name that is often overlooked – that of the Carthanginian Periplus of Hanno – later known to the Greeks as Hanno the Navigator . Neither a Greek nor a Roman, but a free man of Carthage and perhaps one of the great unheralded navigators the world has ever known.

While the exact dates of his explorations are not certain, historians agree that they took place sometime around the year 500 B.C.E. It was around this time that Hanno left the city of Carthage – for those wondering, Carthage was located approximately where Tunis, Tunisia now sits.

Hanno left Carthage with a fleet of sixty rowing ships for the purpose of colonizing the unknown territories of Northern and Western Africa. With him were an ungodly number of people which counted in somewhere around 30,000!!!! Hanno’s job was to take all of these people and get them set up in colonies in the great unknown areas.

Passing through the Pillars of Hercules (between modern day Gibraltar and Tangiers, Morocco) the fleet set out into the Atlantic Ocean and turned south.

They founded a city called Thumiaterion at approximately modern day Safi, Morocco. From there, having left a number of settlers, he continued Southward to the isle of Cerne – a place much disputed and lost to history but given the voyage of Hanno, probably either Tenerife and the Canary Islands or less likely, Cape Verde. Even more fanciful is the idea that Hanno reached Atlantis…but who knows?

From Cerne, Hanno sailed back to the mainland and found a large river. Judging by the descriptions of the animals and landscape, we can assume that he was in modern day Senegal or perhaps The Gambia.  He encountered not only elephants, reed filled lakes, crocodiles, and hippopotomai, but also hostile natives that drove he and his settlers back to Cerne.

From Cerne, again, Hanno went further south to find a land that was wonderful by day but lit by fires at night.  He rounded the cape of Hespera Keras and encountered a people steeped in mysticism and music. His own mystics (an essential party to any Carthaginian voyage advised leaving quickly) and so they went south again.  This time they reached modern day Guinnea-Bissau and the Isle of Orango upon which they mistook gorillas for a race of hairy men.

Hanno the Navigator - Finder of Gorillas

In its inmost recess was an island similar to that formerly described , which contains in like manner a lake with another island, inhabited by a rude description of people. The females were much more numerous than the males, and had rough skins: our interpreters called them Gorillae. We pursued but could take none of the males; they all escaped to the top of precipices, which they mounted with ease, and threw down stones; we took three of the females, but they made such violent struggles, biting and tearing their captors, that we killed them, and stripped off the skins, which we carried to Carthage: being out of provisions we could go no further.

This is as far as Hanno reached before returning to Carthage with Atlas lions and stories of wonder. He left seven colonies behind (all in modern day Morocco) and presumably returned with much lighter ships. It is no wonder that Hanno became king of the Carthaginians. History knows him as Hanno II of Carthage.
ship of carthageThe voyage of Hanno is much in dispute, in order to come to a greater understanding of it, I’ve referred to many books and online sources, none of which were more helpful than this article which details the fact, the fiction, and the speculation.   http://phoenicia.org/phoewestafrica.html

I too, am guilty of some speculation but in reading the accounts of Hanno the Navigator, the above description of his voyage feels the most right to me.  One thing that can’t be argued is that the voyage of Hanno was one of the great epic voyages of all time.

Can Hanno the Navigator even be classified as a vagabond? To my mind, the answer is yes – in that a vagabond is anyone who sets out on a voyage of discovery where the unknown is the biggest thing that is known.  But, like everything with Hanno – all is in dispute. We don’t even have an idea what he looked like.