Features // Africa

Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?
Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?

Follow us on a whistle-stop tour of the latest travel stories, including news of a super-fast train line between Moscow and Beijing, the suitcase that heats up to kill bed bugs, and the airline that wants passengers to start checking in with their thumbprints.  Two-day Trans-Siberian Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the world’s…

11 pictures of Morocco at its most magical
11 pictures of Morocco at its most magical

Our roaming author and photographer Anthon Jackson has travelled to over eighty countries, from journeying across Iran and Egypt to researching for Rough Guides in Indonesia and India. Here he shares some of his favourite images of Morocco, a country with “plenty of dreamy spots to wander around with a camera.” “On my first visit to Morocco it…

12 incredible pictures of South Africa and Botswana
12 incredible pictures of South Africa and Botswana

On a recent over-landing trip through Africa, one Rough Guides reader made this beautiful video – inspired by our Make the Most of Your Time on Earth ultimate experiences book: A F R I C A from Rod Gotfried on Vimeo. Now, he’s shared a selection of stunning photos from his trip across Botswana, Zimbabwe,…

Top 9 destinations for American travelers in 2013
Top 9 destinations for American travelers in 2013

If you’re looking for the latest travel hot-spots, check out the top picks from US readers on RoughGuides.com. From Europe to Asia, the Americas, and Australia, here are the most popular overseas destinations for US travelers: 1. Netherlands No larger than the US state of Maryland, the Netherlands is a surprisingly diverse country for its size.…

22 stunning images from the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards
22 stunning images from the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards

After a search for the most captivating, exciting and beautiful travel photography, the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards announced their final winners last week. Here is a selection of our favourite images from this set of talented photographers. Eagle hunter, Alti Region, Mongolia By Simon Morris | www.tpoty.com Powell Point, Grand Canyon South Rim, USA  By Gerard Baeck…

Camel trekking into the depths of the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
Camel trekking into the depths of the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Following in the footsteps of the late explorer and travel writer Sir Wilfred Thesiger, Rough Guides writer Anthon Jackson takes to the back of a camel across the Danakil Depression, in pursuit of Lake Abhe Bad on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border.  Just after dawn on our fourth day in the dusty frontier town of Asaita, Go’obo,…

Incredible photos of the world’s rarest tribes
Incredible photos of the world’s rarest tribes

There are places in the world where little sign of western development exists, but it still threatens to change traditions and beliefs forever. Jimmy Nelson found and documented 31 of these traditional isolated communities in his quest to photograph the “purity of humanity”.  “I wanted to witness their time-honoured traditions, join in their rituals and…

Map: beer from around the world
Map: beer from around the world

Beer-lovers rejoice: the British Government recently announced that a pint of beer in the UK will be a whole one penny cheaper than before. Not exactly saving a fortune, but why would that matter when you have thousands of alternatives from around the world? From the Belgian Chimay to the Turkish Efes, Europe alone has much…

The best places to go in spring
The best places to go in spring

From the shores of Morocco’s Atlantic coast to the post-Mardi Gras partying in New Orleans, our editors give you their picks for the best places to go in spring time: Cornwall, England Becca Hallett, Editorial Assistant: Cornwall has plenty of activities to help burn off all the delicious seasonal food available, like a wander among…

Why Cape Town deserves to be World Design Capital 2014
Why Cape Town deserves to be World Design Capital 2014

Cape Town has been crowned World Design Capital 2014 – a celebration of a city that has used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve the lives of its residents. Meera Dattani went to discover what Cape Town has done to deserve this title. You hear the word “design” and an image forms…

Cairo through the ages
Cairo through the ages

As visitors slowly return to Egypt after years of political instability and unrest, Keith Drew traces the history of Cairo, the largest city in the Arab world.  Midan Tahrir was strangely peaceful. A handful of tourists milled around waiting for the Egyptian Museum to open its doors for the day. Taxis, trucks and donkey carts…

Taliouine: the source of Morocco’s Red Gold
Taliouine: the source of Morocco’s Red Gold

Morocco-based travel photographer Chris Griffiths shares a visual insight into Taliouine: where Morocco’s “red gold” – saffron – is grown and harvested.  The Sirwa mountains are located in the Souss region of Morocco and are known for their distinct seasonal changes in climate. The vast rocky valleys making up the range appear somewhat inhabitable and infrastructure…

The best places to visit in August
The best places to visit in August

With festival season in full swing, August offers no end of opportunities to party, from the off-the-wall Burning Man to the arty Edinburgh Festival; but there are plenty of options for chilled-out breaks too. Here are our tips for the best places to visit in August: Bike the Black Forest, Germany The Black Forest may…

The best places to visit in June
The best places to visit in June

Whether you’re after beaches, culture or countryside, June’s glorious weather and long days make it the perfect month to travel in Europe. Elsewhere, wildlife enthusiasts can spot whales in Iceland or bears in Yellowstone, while the World Cup will be in full swing in Brazil. In a bumper round-up, Helen Abramson and Eleanor Aldridge run…

Ten unforgettable things to do in Namibia
Ten unforgettable things to do in Namibia

From a deserted town to enormous sand dunes and sunset cocktails above the city, here are ten unforgettable things to see and do in Namibia. Hike Fish River Canyon Second only in size to America’s Grand Canyon, Namibia’s Fish River Canyon is one of Africa’s unsung wonders. Starting just south of Seeheim, it winds 161km…

Travel disappointments: Marrakesh
Travel disappointments: Marrakesh

For some reason, be it popular culture or words of mouth or gushing travel pieces, Marrakesh has held an esteemed spot in my imagination for years. A name that never came dressed without adjectives like “beguiling” or “captivating”, the Moroccan city has long been a byword for exotic adventure in my head, which is probably…

10 eye-opening underwater videos
10 eye-opening underwater videos

The oceans cover over seventy percent of the Earth’s surface, yet when it comes to travelling most of us stick to dry land. It’s a shame, as there are some amazing experiences to be had underwater – from swimming with whale sharks to diving around World War II wrecks. Thanks to advances in camera technology,…

The best photography on Picfair: the locals
The best photography on Picfair: the locals

For the second piece in our “Best of Picfair” series, we take a look at locals around the world. From Haiti to Vietnam, here is some of the best travel photography from some of the top photographers on Picfair – a website that lets amateurs and professionals upload and sell their photographs for a fair price. Next month’s theme…

Five reasons to go to Zimbabwe
Five reasons to go to Zimbabwe

It’s been a tragedy for the people of Zimbabwe that the country has garnered so much unfavourable publicity over the last ten years, with headlines ranging from its controversial land redistribution programme to the ensuing collapsed economy. In the last few years, however, it has made a steady recovery following a new currency, a fairer…

Exploring Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
Exploring Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

In preparation for the new Rough Guide to Ethiopia, the book’s editor, Edward Aves, travelled to the remote and little-visited Bale Mountains National Park.   “Another two hours? This is interminable!”, blurts out one of my fellow passengers, as frustration at the bus’s glacial progress along the single, winding dirt track begins to set in, sparking snorts…

9 of the world’s best white­water rafting spots
9 of the world’s best white­water rafting spots

Rough Guides’ adventure sports expert Helen Abramson gives us her top tips on some of the world’s best adrenalin­-pumping whitewater rafting. Rapids are classified from I–VI, where grade VI is “un-runnable”, so the Grade V rivers listed here are essentially as thrilling as it gets. 1. Zambezi River, Zimbabwe Africa’s most exhilarating rafting is found on…

15 things not to miss in Kenya
15 things not to miss in Kenya

From gorgeous Indian Ocean-lapped beaches to the wildlife-filled Maasai Mara, here are fifteen things you shouldn’t miss on a trip to Kenya. EXPLORE MORE OF THE WORLD WITH THE ROUGH GUIDES YOUTUBE CHANNEL.  Explore more of Kenya with the Rough Guide to Kenya. Book hostels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.

Why Morocco is a perfect babymoon destination
Why Morocco is a perfect babymoon destination

While some people suggest avoiding travel to Morocco when you’re pregnant, Hayley Spurway discovered it’s an ideal babymoon destination for a prenatal break.  “Morocco?” Friends raised their eyebrows when I told them where we planned to take a babymoon. Didn’t I know about the risks of food poisoning? Was I aware that it’s all bit…

From city slicker to castaway in Mozambique
From city slicker to castaway in Mozambique

After exploring the streets of bustling Maputo, Emma Thomson finds solace on a desert island off the coast of Mozambique.  The setting sun turns the sea copper and the black silhouettes of palm trees are stamped against a violet sky. But we’re not on our castaway island yet: we’re speeding around Maputo – the Mozambican…

Video: things not to miss in Morocco
Video: things not to miss in Morocco

Trekking in the Atlas Mountains, traversing the Sahara on camel-back, or surfing along the Atlantic Coast: Morocco offers a plethora of things to do and places to explore. Here are 26 of our favourites: Subscribe to Rough Guides on YouTube for more inspirational travel videos >  Explore more of Morocco with the Rough Guide to…

Nile be back: why it’s time to return to Upper Egypt
Nile be back: why it’s time to return to Upper Egypt

On a cruise from Luxor to Aswan, along a stretch of the Nile lined by some of the world’s most impressive ancient monuments, Keith Drew makes the most of Egypt’s greatest sights while they’re still crowd free.  “Come closer, my dear family,” says Addy, our Orbital guide, “you need to see this.” We gather round like wide-eyed school…

Quiz: can you name these famous sights?
Quiz: can you name these famous sights?

Do postcards and travel posters paper your walls? Do you pride yourself on your travel knowledge? We’ve selected ten of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sights around the world to put you to the test. Can you identify the famous sight from the picture? Be warned, sometimes places can look surprisingly similar…

23 incredible pictures of Kenya
23 incredible pictures of Kenya

Beyond the wildlife, Rough Guides photographer Tim Draper took an intrepid trip through Kenya to visit remote tribes and see stunning landscapes. Here, he shares his favourite pictures of Kenya with us.  Like Kenya itself, the country’s capital is a place of absolute contrast. It’s hard to believe that just a short drive from Nairobi’s…

7 places to sample Cape Town’s hedonistic nightlife
7 places to sample Cape Town’s hedonistic nightlife

Whatever your scene, from sweaty electronic music dancefloors to open-air beer gardens, Cape Town has it all. Being a hedonistic city – especially in the summer – Cape Town has plenty of great bars where you can drink and party, especially on Long and Bree Streets where it’s safe and busy, and there are taxis to…

Quiz: can you identify the country from its outline?
Quiz: can you identify the country from its outline?

Are you a cartographic clever-clogs or due a geography refresher course? We’ve compiled the outlines of ten different countries – large and small – without any rivers, seas, mountains or cities to help you. Can you deduce the country from its shape alone? Take the quiz to find out…

8 off-the-beaten-track experiences in The Gambia
8 off-the-beaten-track experiences in The Gambia

Think of The Gambia and sun, sea and sand package holidays might spring to mind, but visitors are starting to explore beyond the beaches. Lynn Houghton tells us eight of the best ways to get off the beaten track. The tiny West African country of The Gambia is dissected by its namesake, the River Gambia.…

Video: things not to miss in Egypt
Video: things not to miss in Egypt

The oldest tourist destination on Earth, Egypt has a multitude of things to see and do. There are ancient pyramids, crumbling temples and vast deserts to explore – on foot or by camel – not forgetting the great river Nile. Find the top things not to miss in Egypt for your next trip. Explore the…

7 unforgettable places to go trekking in Morocco
7 unforgettable places to go trekking in Morocco

Few countries boast such impressive natural diversity as Morocco. From its balmy coastline to the remote landscapes of its interior, the country offers visitors everything from relaxed beach breaks through to mountain escapes. Yet trekking in Morocco remains the highlight for many. Beginners will enjoy gentle forays into the Atlas Mountains in summer, while tacking some of Africa’s toughest terrain in the…

Boda boda tours: getting under the surface of Uganda’s capital
Boda boda tours: getting under the surface of Uganda’s capital

There’s only one way to avoid the traffic-burdened streets of Uganda’s capital, Kampala: hop on the back of a boda boda, the city’s motorcycle taxi. The motorbikes got their name from the slang term “border border”, because back in the 1960s and 70s people took motorcycle taxis as a fast, and inexpensive way to cross…

12 captivating pictures of Egypt
12 captivating pictures of Egypt

Rough Guides author and photographer Anthon Jackson has travelled to over eighty countries, from Morocco to Indonesia and Ethiopia to India, capturing many of his experiences through photography. Here, he shares some of his favourite pictures of Egypt. “I’d been to Egypt a few times before getting into photography, including one stint studying Arabic, so I wasn’t completely…

Discover Nairobi’s flourishing foodie scene
Discover Nairobi’s flourishing foodie scene

Compile a list of the world’s top foodie destinations and it’s a pretty safe bet that Kenya wouldn’t make the cut. Up until now, the country has failed to gain any kind of glamorous status for its food culture, predominantly because traditional eats are created to be filling and inexpensive. Staple meals like ugali –…

Nyamirambo: Kigali’s coolest neighbourhood
Nyamirambo: Kigali’s coolest neighbourhood

Rwanda’s capital is often described as a city that sleeps, rather than one that doesn’t. Rwandans are, by nature, more reserved than Kenyans, or other Africans. Loud music isn’t tolerated after 8pm and bars tend to close early. Some may call it boring, but Kigali’s residents embrace the city’s quiet calm. Yet, the oldest part…

Chefchaouen: Morocco’s best-kept secret
Chefchaouen: Morocco’s best-kept secret

Morocco’s tourist track isn’t well-beaten, it’s been thumped flat. Ask anyone who has been and the chances are they’ll have visited some combination of Marrakesh, the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains and Essaouira – and they’ll probably have a small stuffed camel and a leather purse to prove it. These are all worthwhile destinations in…

Video of the week: Vive le Maroc
Video of the week: Vive le Maroc

YouTube and Vimeo are a treasure trove of stunning travel video. From round-the-world epics to underwater exploration, you can visit almost anywhere in the world at the click of a button. Each week, we’re going to highlight one of our favourite videos from the moving image ether. First up, we’ve been whisked away to Morocco…

Quiz: can you locate these national parks?
Quiz: can you locate these national parks?

National parks are some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural places, taking in mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and forests (sometimes all in the same one), but how much do you know about them? Can you tell these national parks apart? Compare flights, book hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go. 

How Africa became the new music festival destination
How Africa became the new music festival destination

With events to rival America and Europe, Africa is now drawing music festival fiends in their thousands. Harriet Constable finds out more. Demand worldwide for music festivals shows no signs of slowing, and Africa – home to the most diverse cultures, sounds and achingly beautiful locations on earth – is starting to host some of the most exciting…

Passport to write: the runners-up!
Passport to write: the runners-up!

After weeks of deliberation, we’re thrilled to announce the results of the Rough Guides and Journeys are made @gapyear.com writing competition. The winning piece can be read here, but we’ve also picked two fantastic runners-up.  Kyle Cunningham chose the theme “my greatest adventure”, writing about several days of searching for the rare silky sifaka in the lemur-filled jungles…

7 things you probably didn’t know about Senegal
7 things you probably didn’t know about Senegal

Say Senegal or mention West Africa and misinformed mutterings of ebola start to spread quicker than the virus itself. Sitting on the western shoulder of Africa, Senegal is frequently overlooked by travellers – but for little good reason. While the excellent birding and beaching in The Gambia – the country that slices Senegal’s coastline in two…

Fez: Morocco’s new culinary capital
Fez: Morocco’s new culinary capital

Morocco‘s third-largest city tends to go overlooked, and it certainly isn’t shouted about as a culinary hotspot. Even getting here – with limited flight connections and rail services – requires some effort. And once you’re inside the largest medina in Africa, a colossal walled labyrinth of around ten thousand lanes, things get even trickier. It’s a…

12 beautiful Kiswahili proverbs from Tanzania
12 beautiful Kiswahili proverbs from Tanzania

Kiswahili is the glue that binds Tanzania together. It’s essentially a Bantu tongue, enriched by thousands of loan words, primarily Persian and Arabic, but also Hindi, Portuguese, German and English. Kiswahili is pronounced exactly as it’s written, with the stress nearly always on the penultimate syllable. Where an apostrophe precedes a vowel (eg ng’ombe; cattle), the…

Dhow boats and dawas: it’s time to come back to Kilifi, Kenya
Dhow boats and dawas: it’s time to come back to Kilifi, Kenya

With the recent lifting of the British High Commission’s travel ban on parts of the Kenyan coastline, you should once again think about Kilifi when planning your trip to Kenya. At this lesser-known resort around two hours north of Mombasa, you can still sail on dhows in the pristine Indian Ocean and soak up the golden sun on…

The travel bucket list
The travel bucket list

If you’re after unforgettable experiences to add to your travel bucket list, look no further. With some help from our authors, editors and other travel experts, we’ve run-down 30 of the most incredible sights and activities around the world. Whether you want to embark on an epic journey, encounter some of the world’s most fascinating…

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