Lac Rose (Pink Lake) or Lac Retba is supposed to be pink in color but when we went there, the water was blue grey (normal lake water color). What’s up? We wondered. It’s supposed to have a special kind of algae that makes the water pink. Is it the time of day? Will it be … More Lac Rose Senegal
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How often do you get a chance to go inside a working lighthouse? They’re usually “Restricted Areas”, too noisy with all the machinery or the interesting parts are sealed and automated. But not “Le Phare des Mamelles” (the lighthouse of breasts) in Dakar, Senegal. How can one resist such a name? Right?The best part was … More Lighthouse of Breasts
Fadiothe (pronounced Fadiot) Island is made entirely of shells! People collect clams, eat the meaty part, throw the shells on the ground. Over thousands of years, an island of shells formed and rose out of the water. The ground is made of shells, houses are built with shells, people still collect, eat and create with … More Fadiouth: the Shell Island
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After a grueling “set plus” ride, we arrived tired, sweaty and hungry at Mbacke Kadior. An Eco community in the Senegalese desert. Lucky for us, they were about to eat lunch and invited us to join. Many trays of “Thiaboudienne” kept appearing, placed on the mats and people gathered around in circles around the trays. … More Worship through Service
Young boys wearing torn dirty clothes carrying tin cans, plastic containers or cups asking for money. A common scene at every corner in Senegalese towns. As soon as they see a foreigner, they hound like scavengers on a carcass. I learnt to say “etcho” (go away) which seemed to work most of the time. It … More Spiritual Opportunism
If there’s anything people in Senegal are passionate about, it’s football (aka soccer). Any empty space doubles up as a football field; a beach, an empty lot, a non busy street, a yard, a driveway…etc. It doesn’t even have to be flat or big. Boys of all ages gather around and play. Some in flip … More Senegal Football (Soccer)
We’re sitting in a circle on a straw mat on the ground. A piece of fabric is spread in the middle. A big round covered tray is brought from the kitchen and placed in the center of the fabric. The cover is lifted revealing a pile of vegetables and fish (or chicken) on top of … More “Teranga”: Senegalese Hospitality
When the accidents caused by the huge pothole caught media attention and became the talk of the town, city officials met urgently to discuss solutions. Many suggestions were offered; more ambulance cars, parking an ambulance fleet by the pothole…etc. Then one genius said “Instead of carrying the dead and injured all the way to the … More Senegal Transportation
Etosha National Park in Namibia is huge and sparsely populated. Most of the big animals we saw were far away. We would get excited upon seeing a silhouette of a giraffe or an elephant from a distance. I had a bad headache that day and I really wanted to close my eyes but I didn’t … More Leopard Encounter…
“WHAT! Don’t do it! You’ll get attacked by hippos and crocodiles. Whoever offered you this trip is desperate for money. They’ll sell you anything. It’s not safe”. People started recounting dangerous encounters with wildlife (one was very recent) and the conversation deteriorated fast into fear mongering. They were obviously scared and I could feel the … More Dodging Hippos
In 40°C (104°F), we walked, took a collective taxi (a sardine can of people), another taxi to finally arrive 3 hours later at Sichilonge; a small Zambian village of 110 people near Victoria Falls. No electricity. No tap water. No (gasp) internet and no paved roads. Wait, it gets more interesting: want to pee? Go … More Village Life
Mosi-oa-tunya! (The smoke that thunders). Sacred waters where the gods live. For countless generations, the Tonga people who lived on the Zambezi river, worshipped and prayed to Nyami Nyami, the mighty God of the river. He protected them and gave them sustenance in difficult times. The river was sacred, the falls were sacred and there … More The Smoke that Thunders
“Watch out for the elephants” she yelled from her car as she slowed down and passed me. It was dark and I was walking home to my lodge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Up until then, I was worried about getting mugged (after my bad experience in South Africa). But now, elephants entered the picture! Instead … More Mighty Mind-Falls!
How do you travel in a place where your phone doesn’t work, your ATM card doesn’t work, they use 3 different currencies and exchange rates change daily? With a lot of help from friends!When I landed in Zimbabwe, Zim for short, I had no idea about the economic sanctions, their financial meltdown or any of … More In the absence of money…
We all learnt about it in geography class. It fascinated me for some reason. I would see, in my mind’s eye, ships sailing around it, feeling triumphant and hopeful about the rest of their trip. When I finally made it to South Africa, I had to go see the Cape of Good Hope. I wanted … More Deadly Spices!
Even the taxi driver warned me against doing it alone. “Why is it dangerous?” I asked. “You might slip and fall”, he said. “Is there a chance of robbery?”, I asked. “Very unlikely. But you should go with someone. They can take pictures of you”.I checked in with myself and I really wanted to do … More A Table like no Other!
I didn’t expect to stay that long, but South Africa sucked me into its charm and intensity. It’s a fascinating country with probably the most diverse pool of human genes. People from all over the world came here, willingly and unwillingly, interbred, often through rape, and found a way to make this part of the … More South Africa
Imagine someone killing you to get your nails and hair. How stupid is that? Nails and hair grow back and are renewable. One would think you’re more valuable alive than dead because you’d be able to provide a lot more “crop” of nails and hair. Sadly, greed, short sightedness and cruelty are abundant in humans, … More On the Brink…
When I think of sub Saharan Africa, animals come to mind. Big animals. The most famous are the so-called “Big 5”: lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. They’re named as such because they’re the ones that fight back when hunted. They’re not your average Joe animal that you encounter anywhere, and they are indeed a … More Fancy meeting them here…
It didn’t dawn on me that I was being mugged until he said “give me your phone”. Up until that point, I thought he was a beggar trying to get some money by pretending to help. I was walking up the highway ramp and there was no other soul in sight. “FU¢KING SH!T”, I thought … More The most dangerous animal…
“Bite the hand that feeds them” doesn’t only describe ungrateful people, it also applies to wild dogs. Not because they’re ungrateful, far from it. Biting, for wild dogs, is the only way they know how to show emotions, good or bad. Sadly for the hand that feeds them, their bite is much stronger than that … More Cats & Dogs on the wild side!