Fulani Griots – Keepers of Africa’s Heritage

The griots of the Fulani people, as with many west African peoples, are historically the keepers of the peoples’ most important stories and family histories in West African culture. Their knowledge has been passed down through the ages as part of the oral tradition of story-telling, the sharing of poetry and music.

Griots have been in existence in the region for thousands of years. Masters of the spoken word as well as of sound and rhythm, they occupy a unique place in West African culture.

Trinidad Carnival and Water Safari

Join us this February for an unforgettable Caribbean experience. More than just a trip to catch some winter sun, our fantastic break takes in the best of the Trinidad Carnival and a Water Safari to boot.

From 6th to 20th February we are leading a trip to Trinidad and Tobago, a stunning destination, beautiful all year round, but particularly outstanding during Carnival. This is Carnival at its best, where the island goes topsy turvy for a little while and carries on the tradition of letting one’s hair right down before the dry days of Lent.

The benefits of an armed escort to Bamako

I love Mali. However bad things get here on the uber political level, things on the ground remain the same: chilled, humorous and wonderfully naive. 

With the country now playing host to the latest western allies resource grab, sorry protection from extreme beards – Jesus what am I saying, sorry i don’t know what’s come over me, big breath, start that sentance again… With the country now playing host to the French military helping them liberate their territory of fundamentalist Islamist terrorists, I had been informed as I apporached the border between Mauritania and Mali that whiteys would have to pay for an armed escort from the border to Bamako.

Given that i have already claimed that the risk of kidnap is very small (see this post), and that I was going to be entering from the east of the country so over 2000miles away from where the nasties have been pushed back to, this wrankled with me a bit.

So i thought I’d seek out a remote border post where few people would cross, hoping the directive may not have got through. It was so remote that the police in the last Mauritanian town of Selibaby weren’t too sure if they needed to stamp me out or whether the post at the frontier had their own stamp.

After “keeping to any right hand track” for 60 kms we finally found Mauritanian Malga, the frontier village. The But the very genial customs guy who gave me my laisser passer (and took my word for the euro/cfa exchange rate)  

 

Throughout this crisis I’ve been seemingly flogging a dead donkey by claiming that although Al Qaeda affiliated groups control the northern two thirds of this vast land, in the rest of the country life goes on in as friendly and easy a way as it always has done. Of course, for outsiders i sound ridiculous. They 

 

 

Senegal – Relaxation on the River

We lead trips in Senegal lasting 8 to 14 days, where you can cruise on a comfortable river boat from the Atlantic to the edge of the Sahara.

A full 6 days can be spent cruising, following France’s colonial route into Africa, with the options of time spent in Saint Louis the “Manhattan of Africa”, up to 3 nights in Dakar and up to 3 nights on La Petite Côte. Essentially, the trip will be organised for you on a tailor-made basis, to suit your particular travel wish-list for the trip.

The charming river cruiser, which has been operating for over 60 years, is well-appointed and full of character.

Tanzania – Wildlife, Landscapes and Nomads in the Cradle of Humanity

Let me hook you up with my brother who is a a wildlife vet in the Serengeti National Park. He lives on the slopes of Mount Meru. Together we will send you on an off-the-beaten-track journey through the Great Rift Valley.

This is more than just a wildlife safari. Your journey will take you through the Massai and Hadzabe region of the rift valley where the pristine natural world of the Serengeti meets the human world of pastoralists and hunter gathers, a dynamic that goes back to the beginning of time.

You will be at a loss to know which takes your breath away more, the majestic landscapes and endless skies, the fascinating cultures or the humbling chance to get up close to my own guaranteed “Big Five”: