HASHTAG CHEFCHAOUEN, #NOFILTER

You may know Chefchaouen already, but under a different name: Xauen or Chaouen among others. Or perhaps you’ve seen any one of the millions of photos of it on Instagram, “The Blue City” or “The Blue Pearl” being some of the confoundingly inaccurate nicknames for Chefchaouen that I suppose sounded good to some PR folks […]

My Morocco Moment of Ambedo

Most of my chatter these past few months has been to talk about the travel world pre-Covid19. From reminiscing about the “old days“, to sharing discoveries just before lockdowns swept in that now take on different meanings with our new reality, or simple yearning to get back out there and explore. This period of staying […]

Where’s Oualidia?

About 45 minutes into the drive south from Casablanca, the landscape starts to change. Fertile agricultural land gives way to firm red earth and barren rocky soils. Waist-high stone walls of marine limestone punctuate the empty rolling hills. You turn off the new tollway for the old coastal road, beginning at the unattractive port town of Jorf […]

Social Distancing in Mahale Mountains

Times have changed, but then again in some places they haven’t. As social distancing and seeing people in masks becomes the new normal, I’m reminded of a place where this has always been the status quo –  visiting the chimps of Mahale. Such precautions have been in place ever since Nomad Tanzania opened Greystoke Mahale, […]

A Tangier Episode

Thursday November 18, 1999. Some dates stay with us. In these times of pandemic when we can’t make new travel memories, I’ve set my sights backwards, revisiting the travel moments that have marked me, or even made me. Today I remember a younger, more reckless version of myself aboard a ferry that pitched and rolled its way […]

I, Claudio

Speaking as both an individual of Chilean descent and a lover of all things Morocco, it took surprisingly long for Claudio Bravo to come into my orbit.  Surely due in part to the fact that in neither Morocco nor Chile was Claudio Bravo ever particularly well known.  Even to this day, no museum or art […]

Safari Njema

The word safari conveys a much deeper concept than modern travel marketing might have you believe, and the commonly understood idea of bouncing around in a 4×4 looking at animals barely scratches the surface. The word is Swahili, derived from an Arabic word that roughly translated means journey. The title of this post translates from the Swahili as […]

Wanted: Europe & Africa Trip Planners

Trufflepig has grown slowly and carefully in our 16 years of snuffling. We have no sales team. No real marketing budget. If you call up looking for the IT department, we’ll patch you through to the Iceland expert. Sure, we’ve laid on some layers of bacon over the years, but we remain at core a […]

Zambezi Magic

I’m not alone in finding that the Zambezi Valley always has a special draw – flying in invariably gives me a frisson of excitement. Once you climb over the hills east of Lake Kariba, you begin to descend as you cross into Mana Pools. As you get low enough, you’ll see an elephant or two, moving through the […]

Adventuring in the Congo

The name Congo tends to conjure up images of war, exotic diseases and sweaty impenetrable jungles. Like most things though, the reality is often less frightening that the reputation, and this is particularly true when talking about the Republic of Congo, the smaller safer neighbour of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Congo, a conservation […]

Globe Trotters

We’ve been out on the road this year…. a lot. At half-time on 2019, our trotters are worn smooth, and it’s time to take stock. The pictures above flooded my inbox when I naively wrote to our planning team to ask for a few shots from recent research trips. I was struck by the awesome […]

Rookie Africa

Working in the travel industry affords you the opportunity to travel quite a lot. We get to explore lands both near and far, whether it be a new city in the states or a whole new continent (Antarctica, you’re next on my hit list). Working mainly in New Zealand, Australia and Asia, I have had […]

Duba from the air

Not that I ever look for a justification for a doors-off helicopter flight, but if you feel you need one, Duba Plains in the Okavango Delta in Botswana is it. Duba Plains is in a remote area of the Delta, so the best way to get full exposure to the camp’s huge area is by helicopter. […]

Amazigh Grace

Taking a trip down Memory Road just got a lot more sandy.  And adventuresome.  This epic 6-night road trip, much more romantic when given its French title, La Route du Sud, will take you to some of the most remote and captivating areas of Morocco. I undertook the Route not long ago, thinking that after decades of living and […]

Planet of the Apes

After an hour of crawling through a bamboo forest and scrambling up a muddy slope before finally bushwhacking through nettles, I saw him. Just briefly at first, on the opposite slope, even at a distance a full size Silverback Gorilla is massive. After a brief look at me, he loped off into the forest, moving […]

Notes from a Shithole Country

So, it would seem according to the recent pronouncement of one particular world leader, that I live in shithole country. Mind you, while I won’t pretend I wasn’t surprised, I’m not particularly bothered.  Shitholes can have some real appeal.  To describe the country I’ve moved to (or back to, I should say, since I previously lived many years in […]