Visiting the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in south-western Uganda remains one of my most memorable, thrilling, intoxicating and exhausting journeys to date.
My first attempt to visit Bwindi was March 1999, towards the end of a six week tour of East Africa. A week before our arrival, guerrillas attacked a truckload of international travellers just like us. The remainder of our itinerary was adjusted to avoid this area altogether. Bwindi closed for 18 months after this event. When travelling anywhere in the search for wildlife, one will need a patient and flexible attitude and safety must always come first.
I waited for Bwindi to re-open and finally by October 2000, I had returned to Uganda to fulfil my dream of meeting the Bwindi mountain gorillas. Please forgive my photos here … this is the year 2000 – I was still shooting with 35mm film.
On arrival our group were split into two. We were reminded each group will spend one hour only with the g...
Ecuador is the Spanish word for Equator, but does this explain why Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, is privileged enough to have two Equators? Ciudad Mitad del Mundo lies 25 kilometres North of Quito, and is the official governmental monument for the Equator determined by French geographers on a 1936 expedition. With cloud covered Andes Mountains as a backdrop, I walked the path dedicated to Charles Marie De La Condamine and others, who led the mission.
A yellow line marks their calculations, East to West – West to East, through this Monument to the Equator. A museum shows the history of Ecuadorian ethnic groups within the tower.
It is my travelling duty to pose, straddling the Equator with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the South, with 30 metres of brick tower and globe rising behind me. I also have the opportunity to join a short queue to have my passport stamped Ciudad Mitad del Mundo Quito Ecuador LAT: 0°-0'-0°…..
My guide then informs me that Ciudad Mitad del Mundo...
When one imagines a romantic holiday destination, one conjures images of swimming in the crystal blue waters of Tahiti or strolling hand in hand through the streets of Paris … not climbing stairs at altitude amongst Macchu Picchu in Peru.
Macchu Picchu is an ancient Incan citadel built in the 15th century at 2,430 metres above sea level. The Incas abandoned the city during the Spanish Conquest. Interestingly, locals knew about the site, which was slowly being overgrown by mountainous jungle, but the Spanish never found it, leaving the sacred rock formations untouched. An American explorer, Hiram Bingham, arranged a clearing expedition 1912-1915 to expose this awe-inspiring mountain top fortress.
Some adventurous travellers hike the Inca trail, but for me, the best route was a relaxing journey on the Vistadome train along the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes. My first night here was spent wandering through local markets, resisting the many offers to try an Alpaca Piz...