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, […]

Chem Chems, Little and Big

On my most recent visit to Tanzania, I finally managed to visit a place that’s been on Trufflepig’s radar for several years now – Chem Chem, and its smaller but equally charming sibling, Little Chem Chem. Hopes were high and I am glad to say we were not disappointed. The lodge and accompanying tented camp that the owners […]

The Moveable Feast

From the air, the herds looks like a vast black and tan army on the march. Endless columns of Wildebeest move south to the Mara River, assembling in staging areas as if preparing for an invasion of the Serengeti. Almost two million animals make the crossing, in groups of a few hundred to tens of […]

Going Small on Safari

The thing most people don’t know about safari in Africa is that it’s not all about seeing the big animals. Of course the sight of your first elephant in the wild is impressive (even more so if it’s charging you), and hearing a lion’s bellowing roar will rock your eardrums like nothing else. But when […]

Make Like a Tree and Leave

Sometimes—you might even say often—we travel to escape. When routines become audible like the meshing of gears, we feel the compulsion to lose ourselves, to shed skin. Some places encourage fantasies of time travel—where we imagine ourselves living as adults in a different age. Take the ancient Medina of Fez for example, or the caves […]

A Sandy Love Story

Love is in the air. Mostly because we’re trying desperately to ward off the snowy chill of February, but also because of that heart-shaped holiday awaiting us at the end of the week. Whether you think it’s a perfect time for romance or a total Hallmark sham, you can’t lose if you simply look at […]

Conquering Kilimanjaro

I’m a big fan of delayed gratification; a little hard work beforehand makes the reward that much sweeter. For example, when eating lobster (my favourite meal), I’ll start with the legs and the little flanges at the tip of the tail, twisting and tweezing out even the smallest fibre of meat until I can barely […]

East Vs. South

Every campfire conversation in Africa promises a lifetime of embellishment, exaggeration and sweeping generalization. Having sat around many a campfire myself, you’ll have to forgive me the indulgence. I’ve heard many a Kenyan take pot shots at Southern African safaris, and Southern Africans are no less opinionated, so I’ll try here to present a balanced […]

Beyond the Safari

We all want to see lions, giraffes and elephants – these exotic animals have captured our imaginations from a very young age. For most tourists, a trip to Africa means a trip to see the lions, giraffes and elephants, but moving past this simple declaration they become quickly paralyzed by all the choice. This is […]

‘Tis the Reason

Okay, so you haven’t quite gotten around to planning that late December holiday getaway. You don’t need more guilt heaped on your work-weary shoulders. But you do need some help. The Christmas to New Year’s travel window is a busy one, so there’s no more time to waste. Here’s a rundown of of what could […]

The Wild West

Nestled in the depths of the somewhat obscure Katavi National Park, far out in the western reaches of Tanzania, is a camp called Chada Katavi. If you look at a map it’s a touch closer to the Democratic Republic of Congo than to the Serengeti. In other words, the beaten path is nowhere to be seen. […]

Where to go in 2013

Let’s go out on a limb and predict that the world isn’t going to end tomorrow. Christmas and New Year’s will come and go, and then those of us in the northernmost parts of the northern hemisphere will enter what one Trufflepig planner calls “the long, dark tea time of the soul.” Give your soul […]

Zanzibar

In its heyday, Zanzibar was regarded as something of an island paradise. Exotic and removed from the mainstream, it was an unspoilt draw for the rootless wanderers of the world. Benefiting from a bewildering array of influences, epic monuments to colonial vanity rubbed up against medieval medinas and ramshackle hovels. With a small population and […]

Lord of Greystoke

Since we’re friends, I’m going to tell you a secret—but you have to promise you’re not going to tell anybody. Here goes and remember, you promised—Greystoke Mahale, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, might just be one of the greatest places I have ever been. Now, I know you want to hear about the chimps […]

Pool Party: Zanzibar

The beachside pool is the best of both worlds: nature’s spectacular view combined with man-made safety and climate control. Where: Baraza Resort & Spa, Bwejuu Beach, Zanzibar Why: Something you may not know is that while most of the beaches of Zanzibar are idyllic and perfect for sunbathing, the water itself is not. The tides on the […]

Pool Party: Serengeti

The bush pool: it’s not always a necessity, but when you’ve worked up a sweat trying to count all the wildebeest in the Serengeti, you’ll certainly be glad it’s there. Where: Nomad’s Lamai Serengeti, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania Why: After a morning spent watching literally thousands of wildebeest taking a cooling—yet terror filled—swim across the Mara River […]