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Rail travel in Africa

Elegant dining above Rovos Rail
Although Cecil Rhodes never realized his Cape Town to Cairo railway project dream, there is a luxury African expedition-style train journey to satisfy the discerning rail enthusiast. Coinciding with their 30th anniversary, Rovos Rail introduces its epic 15 day itinerary across South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania.  The sojourn begins in Cape Town then takes guests to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Pretoria…

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Recommended Reading - Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

If you like historical fiction, this book will soon be on your top ten list.  Paula McLain brings not only fiercely independent and courageous Beryl Markham to life, but weaves Karen Blixen, Denys Finch Hatton (remember Out of Africa?) and other magnificent Colonial Kenyans into her colorful story as well.  Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her…

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Beryl Markham and Colonial Kenyan shenanigans

Colonial Kenya was an absolute magnet for men and women who dared, as if a visa granted them permission to pursue their wildest dreams and schemes. Over the next few months, we’ll meet some of these larger than life characters, starting with the beautiful and brave Beryl Markham. At a time when the lives of women followed a meek progression from being the daughter of a man to the wife of another man, to the mother of future men, Beryl Markham carved her own blazing path in life doing what…

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Recommended reading - The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell

Alexandria Quartet
Lawrence Durrell’s series of four classic novels is set in Alexandria, Egypt during the 1940s. The lush and sensuous series consists of Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, and Clea.  The first three novels, Justine, Balthazar and Mountolive, use three varied viewpoints to relate the same series of events in Alexandria before World War II.  In Clea, the story continues into the years during the war.  L.G. Darley is the primary observer of the events in the lives of those he…

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Regional Recipe - Moroccan Lemon and Olive Chicken

Moroccan Lemon and Olive Chicken
This iconic dish can be made in a skillet or a tagine, and further enhanced by the addition of a few slices of yummy preserved lemon… INGREDIENTS: • 2 Meyer lemons or regular lemons • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced • 2 garlic cloves, pressed • 1 tablespoon paprika • 2 teaspoons ground cumin • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1 teaspoon ground ginger • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth • 1 4 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed • 1/2…

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Morocco - North Africa’s big surprise

Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah
If you picture Morocco as a desert destination, think again. Morocco boasts alpine villages that could be in Switzerland, rolling green hills reminiscent of New Zealand or Ireland, modern cities surrounding well preserved old towns, a mature wine industry that produces noteworthy roses, and the most delectable French-Spanish-Arabian cuisine. All just a six hour flight from New York.  Marrakesh, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic center and home to mosques,…

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What’s new in Egypt

Balloons over Valley of the Kings
Back in the day, Egypt was a must see. Agatha Christie penned novels in the Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor and the Old Cataract in Aswan. Giza’s pyramids and sphinx, plus a Nile cruise, were itinerary mainstays.  Today’s traveler can look forward not only to those iconic experiences, but also the following, more recently developed options: New Cairo Museum At the edge of the ancient pyramids of Giza, some 5,000 construction workers labor around the clock to finish the long-awaited…

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African Honeymoon Inspiration

A safari is one of life’s romantic experiences; just ask British royalty; Africa is their go to proposal continent.  For an added kick, Africa Answers recommends the following slightly out of the way places: Uganda In addition to classic safari wildlife, Uganda is home to 50% of the world’s mountain gorilla population, over 10% of the worlds bird population and 7% of the world’s butterfly population. It is also the source of the Nile and has the world’s smallest chapel, which can…

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What’s Hot in 2019

Nizwa, a desert day trip from Muscat
With so many destinations in their purview, the Africa Answers team had a difficult task of choosing just one, but decided on Oman as a destination most on the rise. Here’s why: Oman is the choice for those seeking out the modern face of Arabia while also wanting to experience its ancient, authentic soul.  Oman is one of the most open and stable countries in the middle east, which makes it a perfect destination for those who are curious but hesitant to explore this fascinating…

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Adopt an African Elephant or Rhinoceros

Baby ellie
Dame Daphne Sheldrick was an over achiever.  This: not only did she develop the formula on which motherless newborn elephant orphans can survive for three years until they can eat big kid food, but she also personally raised countless ellies who required round the clock, 3 hourly feedings, raised a human family of her own (who also presumably needed sustenance), and somehow found time to write a beautiful book about her life in colonial Kenya.  We lost Dame Daphne in April this…

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