Archive for February 17th, 2008

The Sahara Desert

Monks and holy men would always go into the desert to pray and contemplate.  When in the Sahara Desert, it is easy to see why.  There are no roads, no people, and total silence.  Spending a few nights in the Sahara Desert in northern Africa is quite a magical odyssey. 

Local Berber guides will aid you in your journey with their history, culture, and desert know-how.  After penetrating deep into the dry, ocean of sand by jeep, around the shifting sand dunes, you can camp under the seemingly endless expanse of stars.  Walks are arranged in the cool, early morning.  Camels and jeeps will usher you onwards during the day to visit ancient camps, cities, and ruins. 

Sahara expeditions are typically found from January to April and from September to December.  They are also often part of a longer expedition originating in Casablanca, Morocco.  This is truly a place of solitude and a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the everyday world.


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Drakensberg Mountains

 These mountains are a must-see for any nature enthusiast.  Few places match the Mpumalanga’s (as the native peoples call it) beauty.  J.R.R. Tolkien was so inspired by this environment in South Africa that it inspired him to create Middle Earth, the world in The Lord of the Rings. 

This mountain range has some of Africa’s highest mountains, most beautiful passes and valleys, and powerful rivers and waterfalls.  The entire area is open for hiking, climbing, and horseback riding over the mountainous passes and flat, pristine, and lush plains.  Fishing and birding is also very popular in the Drakensberg.  The Blyde River Canyon (a 15 mile long gorge) is home to God’s Window, the canyon’s unsurpassed lookout point.  

The surrounding savanna is also a great place to view the native wildlife, including, but definitely not limited to elephants, wild dogs, lions, rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, zebras and wildebeast.

The best time to travel here is from September to October and March to April.  Costs at nearby hotels are only $290 for two per night, but in a place as beautiful and primordial as this, there is absolutely no reason why you should not camp out in the wilderness.  

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