The Maasai Warrior and the Holy Mountain

Tanzania is home of some of Africa’s greatest natural spectacles but it also feels, well, just that - a spectacle - its roads lined with German tourists in safari vehicles and its traditional African hospitality coming with a (large) price tag. You have to search harder for the magic here than elsewhere in Africa, but…

Madagascar, the Nothing and the Neverending Story

Madagascar feels like a fairy tale. In its varied landscape, around 90% of its 200,000 known species are unique to the island; lemurs, fossas, tenrecs, pygmy chameleons and giant geckos are just some of the wonders. Originally settled by Indonesians, its culture is a strange mix of Indonesia, Africa and France, where people grow rice,…

A Balinese spa treat, plus lessons on tropical architecture and ethics

Cantika is one of my favorite places in Ubud. To mix desert-tropical metaphors, it is an oasis of beauty and integrity in a land already full of beauty, but sadly not presently always full of integrity. I’d been to Cantika Alami (one of three Cantika massage and spa centres) on a previous visit and been…

My special place in the tropics – Nusa Lembongan

A bunch of my mates are currently discovering the place in the tropics I go back to more than any other - a small island off the east coast of Bali called Nusa Lembongan. It draws people for its surf breaks, its dive sites (awesome reef condition, not much big stuff) and it's laid back atmosphere…