Travel Blogs

Responsible Travel Tip – Don’t buy tortoise shell

Hawksbill Turtle
We know that ivory souvenirs should never be purchased; but here is another animal product that you may not have known about, and it is also procured from a gentle, endangered animal – “tortoise” shell from the Hawksbill Sea Turtle. For more information about how these lovely and very necessary creatures - they eat the sponges that are ruining coral reefs - are being driven to extinction, and how you can spot tortoise shell products, please visit …

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No Picnic on Mt Kenya: The Story of Three POWs’ Escape to Adventure by Felice Benuzzi

No Picnic on Mt Kenya
In the shadow of Mount Kenya, surrounded by the forests and creatures of the savannah, life drags interminably for the inmates of POW Camp 354, captured in Africa during World War II. Confined to an endless cycle of boredom and frustration, one prisoner realizes he can bear it no longer. When the clouds covering Mount Kenya part one morning to reveal its towering peaks for the first time, Felice Benuzzi is transfixed. The tedium of camp life is broken by the beginnings of a sudden…

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Climbing Mt Kenya

While many people – including celebrities and influencers –  trek to the summit of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, nearby Mt Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain, is the volcano less climbed. Here is why that makes it all the more compelling.  Mt Kenya is an extinct volcano with jagged peaks rising to 17,057 feet. Two of it’s three highest peaks are only for technical climbers, but the third, Lenana Peak, is achievable by ordinary mortals of all abilities and ages. …

Agent Blog

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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…

Agent Blog

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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…

Regional Recipes

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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,…

Agent Blog

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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…

Agent Blog

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