As you pass a United Nations sniper tower, a truck loaded with mercenary’s thunders past holding rocket launchers, machetes and AK47’s. While political activists rally for the looming elections, Congolese soldiers dressed like Rambo carry mounted machine guns to protect road blocks around the city. With armoured vehicles at every intersection, and police patrolling the streets, helicopter gunships hover above watching your every move. Continue reading
“Whatever you do, don’t run if a Gorilla Charges at you” are the last words you remember hearing as your life flashes before your eyes. As everyone falls back, you are left standing motionless, adrenaline pumping, wide-eyed, the leader of the pack. “Crouch down & look away!” you hear, as 230Kg of Silverback muscle charges towards you. Close enough to smell its breath, you can’t help but stare into its eyes as the fight or flight syndrome kicks in. “Screw this” is your final thought as you run through the bushes and towards the trees. People screaming, guides shouting, everyone running caught up in a perfect moment of chaos. A moment that somehow manages to slow down time. Continue reading
Did you know some of the oldest pyramids in the world are in Sudan? How about volcanic landscapes, unexcavated tombs and sand swept temples? With the dunes of the Nubian Desert reclaiming archeological sites and petrified forests before your eyes, you soon find yourself on an Indiana Jones adventure, hunting for lost treasures and exploring the final frontier. A frontier of secret chambers and hidden passages. A frontier of lost cities and ancient civilizations. A frontier of national treasures lost in the sands of time.
No one really knew what was going to happen. Were the military going to unleash a violent force crushing the revolutionists? or was it going to be a day of celebration? Were the Muslim Brotherhood and Liberals going to clash in the streets? or were they going to unite, forcing an end to emergency controls? As the people of Egypt prepared for another standoff with their military dictatorship, many feared for the worst as unprecedented numbers gathered in Tahrir Square, demonstrating, sending shock waves around the world.
They held her down, chained her up and poured holy water over her naked body. Screaming and shouting she violently reacted showing the devil in her eyes. In fear of the priest and talking backwards, a demonic voice emerges. You begin to feel a powerful presence sending shock-waves to your core. Standing amidst the Christian underworld you witness an ancient tradition few outsiders have seen before. The Christian Orthodox Exorcism.
You live in Somalia where law and order is collapsing around you, a country where warlords and terrorists preach hate against your moderate values and beliefs. A country consumed by war and piracy in which you want no part, a country failing to provide the basic services that you need. Crippled by corruption and poverty, you look for a way out, a distant land rising from the rubble, a shining light amidst the political darkness, a glimmer of hope in the horn of Africa. That future is Somaliland. Continue reading
You scratch another flea bite as you head deeper into the Danakil Depression. As the temperature exceeds 47°c sweat pours down your face saturating you stinking clothes. Choking on toxic fumes you study the alien landscape while you pass turquoise lakes and blinding white salt pans. For a moment you feel a sense of vulnerability as your mind drifts back to the 2007 kidnappings. Losing your concentration you fall once again as a frozen lava chamber gives way beneath your feet. Suddenly Afar nomads surround the expedition team and the real adventure begins. Continue reading
Painted in white and wearing animal skins. Decorated with bones and walking on stilts. Carrying spears and wondering naked. You have been transported back in time. A time when the first adventurers stumbled across African tribes. A time when food was gathered by painted warriors, a time when only the strongest survived.
Intimidated into paying a bribe for a bogus guide you head deeper into the Omo valley trusting only your driver. As an Ethiopian soldier jumps in the vehicle to offer protection, you can’t help but laugh at the poor state of his AK47. Carrying no bullets and speaking only Americ, he sits and smiles, expecting payment for his services. Continue reading
Is walking into the world’s most dangerous city something to be proud of? How about walking into the middle of a conflict zone? Why not hire Congolese soldiers and climb one of the world’s most deadly volcanoes? Sod it, why not camp in a war-torn area next to a lava lake? It sounds extreme, almost insane, but it is all a load of hellfire and brimstone to me. Continue reading