KwaZulu-Natal: Circa turn of the century… It was a difficult safari. The vegetation was dense and green. The rainy season extending very late this year. Two of us were in pursuit of a pair of Nyala worthy of the adjective “trophy”. They seemingly were on holiday at an undisclosed location. Our daily marches had yielded nothing but wet clothes, run ins with various ill tempered Jumbo’s and more than a handful of reptile encounters in the armpit high riverine habitat. Riverine nyala habitatThe red pepper ticks were in the midst of a population explosion that yielded results in the ounce per leg category nightly, despite our best efforts and applications of all repellants known to man. Gaiters capping boots and socks soaked in various concoctions, and liberal dousing of pant legs would do nothing to deter the hungry hordes. My friend Con and his lifelong tracker Eric were in shock at the severity of the infestation. It seemed everything from ticks to jumbo were thriving. One evening Er..
Three days in Dubai is really not enough to take in all the elements this city by the sea has to offer, especially if it is over the Eid al Fitr holiday period. There is simply too much to see, do, savor and enjoy. We made Raffles Dubai our headquarters. It proved to be an excellent choice. The staff was unimaginably attentive. Our room came complete with private butler and Club floor privileges. The morning buffet, included in the room rate, surpassed expectation. Julia our “butler” was helpful, efficient, and most personable. The concierges, Nour and Joseph were the epitome of organization and control. IF you go be sure to engage Zee the buffet manager. He is a wealth of inside information regarding the city. From the above you may gather I recommend Raffles Dubai without hesitation! One more thing the location is spot on, about half way between the city center and the airport, about 10 minutes from each. While here be sure to make the trek to the Burj Khalifa “At the Top Sky,” 148..
A regular guest and friend of Omujeve, Ted Schall, has just set off on an epic African safari travel adventure. Follow his adventures on his blog called Ngruma The first article describes how Ted met Omujeve's owner, Corne Kruger, back in 2002 and how their relationship has developed over the years. [...]
OK, maybe I am a little over the top regarding our recent Emirates experience, that’s precisely why I waited several days before writing this piece. I am old enough to remember when air travel was an event. People dressed well, passengers were treated with respect, and the entire experience was one of smooth operations and expected results. Our A380-800 being rolled out @ SFOThe current state of all air travel is little better than a bad third world bus terminal. Replete with the usual suspects, few standards, animals of most varieties (think service animals), uncomfortable cramped spaces and questionable hygienic facilities. Occasionally I think a good representation of hell is any long haul carriers restroom at the end of a twelve plus hour flight! I have flown most of the truly long distance international carriers with the exception of Singapore Airlines, Aeroflot (I had to be honest), Italia, Aer Lingus, Eithad, and Qatar Air. I fondly remember flying the old PanAm, the original K..
We landed in Dubai, UAE a few evenings past for a whirlwind three days of exploration in this very adult Disneyland on the Arabian Peninsula. We will do what we can to highlight the ordinary and extra-ordinary. This city of contrasts, made up of immigrants, tourists, and UAE citizens is testimony to the wildest architecture imaginable. I cannot express the magnitude of what lies before us. A dictionary full of World’s largest, World’s best, World’s – fill in any adjective you may choose -, and I’m sure it will NOT be descriptive enough. Burj al Arab from the Jumeirah mallCayman Building on left, corners rotate 90 degrees!It is HOT, HOT, HOT here in this city on the edge of the Persian Gulf in early July. The strategic Straights of Hormuz separates Iran from the United Arab Emirates by a scant thirty miles or so. The comedic attribution by Tina Fey to Sarah Palin of, “I can see Russia from my house,” nearly applies here. You almost can see Iran from your hotel on a clear day! I am tol..
Welcome to those of you who took a moment to visit with us! Regardless of how you stumbled upon us, I wanted to temper your expectations a bit with our reality. Over the next seventy five days our focus is as broad as Africa herself; Wildlife, conservation, food, accommodations, indigenous peoples, hunting, famous writer’s words, original stories, opinions, recipes, anecdotes, tips, guidance and generally useful stuff we encounter along the way. It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to have lived a life of adventure. I began reading a family book of substantial proportions, “African Game Trails” by Theodore Roosevelt at the age of three. It fired my interest in all things Africa, and forged my path towards adventure. Today’s Africa bears testimony to the scope of the changes it has endured. Nation states of enviable environmental riches lay in economic shambles everywhere. The colonization of this continent created nation states, that more often than not, were a reflection o..
One basic thing about rural Africa you must remember is the simple axiom when it comes to luggage, “less is more”! This statement is never more true than when visiting remote safari camps. Daily laundry, is the norm here. African cities, especially in summer (by calendar) have an entirely different set of requirements. Dubai represents first rate hotels, shopping, dining, and nightlife establishments. Dubai (UAE) as an Islamic culture, dictates men and women adhere to relatively conservative standards for attire. Daytime temperatures average well over 105 degrees fahrenheit during the day, and a warm 86F at night. The humidity can be intolerable. So how to dress? All cotton fabrics rule the day.. Traditional arabic clothing for men is surprisingly comfortable and cool. Western dress is well accepted. Slacks, a cool button up shirt and a light linen jacket make a good foundation. For women it is advisable to dress with an eye towards modesty. When you think coverage of skin, more is g..
The first step is always the most difficult, well, not really when it comes to air travel. Booking is tedious, especially when multiple flight segments require proper intervals for retrieving and re-checking baggage. Then there is the TSA (Transportation Security Agency) an oxymoron of monumental proportions if there ever was one. I will not comment on the people of TSA. I will leave the reader to make their own judgements, BUT all I can say is we pay for this? It seems the old adage, “You get the government you deserve (by voting),” is more than applicable. It seems in today’s world of air travel, most U.S. airlines will not check through your checked baggage UNLESS the international airline is one of their recognized travel partners. Well DELTA is in a huff about EMIRATES. Seems to be a fairly well published dispute about market shares with some airlines purportedly being subsidized by their foreign governments. Hmmm… Well EMIRATES is really in a class by itself. They offer great f..