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…