It has been a number of years since I was fortunate enough to visit the African bush and I had really started to miss it. As both a lover of nature and an avid photographer of landscape and animals there are few places that have managed to capture my attention in the way that Southern Africa has done.
Flowers in the dry
My most recent excursion took me on a wildlife experience like no other. I spent 5 days walking in the far northern tip of the Kruger National Park,in the Makuleke concession entering via the most northern of the parks entrances: Pafuri Gate. An area that is as much about the landscape as the animals that inhabit it, making it as magical place for someone like me as I think you could find on the planet.
Zebra in the fever trees
There are parts of the Kruger and definitely other parts of South Africa where the game sighting will be more bountiful. There are certainly places where the scenery will, to some, perhaps rival or beat what I saw but I would be extremely surprised if any other could match the experience of walking with elephants in a setting quite so exquisite.
Well I guess it’s time that I start to share some of the things about a place that is increasingly on people’s list of places to visit and has for the last 4 and a bit years been my home – Dubai.
Dubai, a fast paced city with a uniquely Middle Eastern flavour, is the ultimate travel conundrum, as it is:
- An open and accepting place welcoming tourists from around the world that is also a devoutly Muslim country governed by Sharia Law.
- A land where vast tracts of desert sit within 20 minutes of some of the largest, smartest and most extravagant shopping malls on the planet.
- A land of sand and desert that is home to the most northerly permanent flock of flamingoes in the world in its wetlands.
- A place that has less than 15cm of rain a year (compared to 120cm per year in Brisbane and 60cm in London) but has some of the best municipal plantings I’ve seen around the world.
- A progressive city looking for ways to maximise its “green credentials” but relies on oil and aviation for the bulk of its economy,
- Known to be one of the most expensive cities in the world and yet you can go out for and a fabulous lunch for the same price as a cup of coffee in cities like London, Sydney and New York.
- Home to the world’s busiest long haul airport and yet only has a population of about 2.5 million
I will try to give my view of this amazing place and hopefully inspire a number of you to visit.