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World's Worst Places: Top 10 Places In The World You Do Not Want To Visit In 2013

World's Worst Places: Top 10 Places In The World You Do Not Want To Visit In 2013 I'm the kind of person who can conjure up an excuse to visit just about any place. I grew up in Buffalo, America's most unfairly maligned city, and so I identify with underdog destinations – places with bad weather, crime, ugly people, rude people, you name it and I...

The Death Of A Good Travel Companion

The Death Of A Good Travel Companion This week I learned the sad news that a friend and coworker in Harar, Ethiopia, had died. Mohammed Jami Guleid helped me out countless times while I explored the Horn of Africa. If you enjoyed my series on Somaliland or Harar, you have him to thank. I first met "Dake," as...

Interview With Paul And Rachel Chandler: British Couple Taken Hostage By Somali Pirates

Interview With Paul And Rachel Chandler: British Couple Taken Hostage By Somali Pirates Nearly two years after being released by Somali pirates who stormed their sailboat and held them hostage for 13 months, Paul and Rachel Chandler are finally ready to get back on their boat, the Lynn Rival. This time they won't be going anywhere near Somalia, but they refuse...

Getting Out Of Quito, Ecuador: Day, Weekend And Weeklong Excursions

Getting Out Of Quito, Ecuador: Day, Weekend And Weeklong Excursions While Quito, Ecuador, offers many opportunities for Inca history, diverse architecture and trendy restaurants, my favorite part about visiting this busy city was its side trips. In less than three hours you can be hiking through waterfall-filled forests, climbing one of the...

Somali National Theatre reopens in Mogadishu

Who ever thought going to a play could count as adventure travel? Now it can, because the Somali National Theatre has reopened in Mogadishu, Somalia. This is the latest sign of growing normalcy in the battered capital. Traffic cops have returned to the streets, the...

Adventure travel in Somalia?

Adventure travel in Somalia? Will Somalia become the next big adventure travel destination? Short answer: Not anytime soon. Long answer: For the first time in two decades, there's a ray of hope shining across that chaotic land. The Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabab is on the defensive as it...

Opinion: Dutch khat ban smacks of racism

Opinion: Dutch khat ban smacks of racism The Dutch government recently announced that it will ban the use of khat, a narcotic leaf widely chewed in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. I've written about khat before. I've spent four months in Ethiopia, especially Harar, a city in the eastern part of the country where...

World's worst places: Top 10 places you do not want to visit in 2012

World's worst places: Top 10 places you do not want to visit in 2012 Update: Check out the World's Worst Places of 2013 here What comes to mind when you think of the world's worst place? While it is easy to complain about rural Wal-marts, La Guardia, Applebee's, and any government office with motor vehicle in its title, none of...

Somali murals: funky advertising in the Horn of Africa

Somali murals: funky advertising in the Horn of Africa One of the fun parts of travel is discovering the street art of a new place. Whether it's the elaborate graffiti of New York or Madrid, the political murals of Mexico, or the current craze of Yarn Bombing, there's always something cool happening on the street. In the Horn...

Eating in the Horn of Africa: camel, goat and. . .spaghetti?

Eating in the Horn of Africa: camel, goat and. . .spaghetti? When my wife and I went to the Horn of Africa last year for our Ethiopia road trip, we were eagerly looking forward to a culinary journey. We weren't disappointed. Ethiopian food is one of our favorites and of course they make it better there than anywhere else! While...

Somaliland: the country without mail

Somaliland: the country without mail Today is World Post Day, celebrated every October 9 to mark the anniversary of the foundation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874. More than 150 countries celebrate this day honoring something that's so vital to our lives but is generally taken for granted. In...

Ancient port discovered in Egypt

Ancient port discovered in Egypt Archaeologists working in Egypt have discovered a harbor on the Red Sea that was used for international trade. The excavation at Mersa Gawasis has revealed traces of an ancient harbor. It's long been known that the Egyptians traded down the coast of Africa, but the...

Sea Shepherd boat "Steve Irwin" heads to Somalian pirate waters

Sea Shepherd boat In a not-too-surprising move last week the Sea Shepherd took its ship the "Steve Irwin" – proudly waving its skull-and-crossbones pirate flag – straight into the heart of real pirate country. While the Shepherd's are regarded among conservation groups as being...

The spread of Somalian pirates

The spread of Somalian pirates Should we be concerned by suggestions that terrorists are taking clues from the Somali pirates and considering hijacking ships across the Indian Ocean for reasons other than ransom? Absolutely. There is increasing evidence of links in Somalia between the mafia-like...

How to pirate-proof a ship

How to pirate-proof a ship Razor wire, Gurkhas and sonic weapons are being routinely deployed on ships sailing in the pirate-infested waters off the Horn of Africa in an attempt to pirate-proof ships of all kinds. While ships try to go through the Suez Canal, pirate attacks on pretty much anything...

Dubai tour company offers pirate hunting cruises off horn of Africa

Dubai tour company offers pirate hunting cruises off horn of Africa After years of murders, kidnappings, and heists, the lawless sea near the horn of Africa seems to be getting worse. A Dubai firm is capitalizing on these pirate infested waters with a strange new form of pirate tourism. The tour company, Dubai based Seahunters LLC,...

Ethiopia's Somali region: a potential adventure travel destination?

Ethiopia's Somali region: a potential adventure travel destination? As I mentioned yesterday, I've been exploring Ethiopia's Somali region. While my quest for Ahmed Guray's castle was a failure, I did see potential for adventure travel in the region. Adventure travelers generally are looking for three things: historical sights,...

Harla: Ethiopia's lost civilization

Harla: Ethiopia's lost civilization Eastern Ethiopia's history is shrouded in mystery. Most archaeologists investigate early hominids like Lucy, the famous Australopithecus afarensis, or study the great civilizations of the north like Gondar and Axum. The east, though, is virtually unknown, and only...

Somali pirates anchor Danish family yacht, threaten death

Somali pirates anchor Danish family yacht, threaten death Now it's a Danish family of five, including three children, that has been taken hostage by Somali pirates who vow to kill them should a rescue attempt be made. The pirated yacht, taken last week, was anchored off the shore of Somalia today. The 43-foot sailboat was...

Somali pirate ordeal ends with death of religious Americans

Somali pirate ordeal ends with death of religious Americans They were on year seven of a ten-year around-the-world voyage, passing out bibles from New Zealand to Alaska to Fiji and all points in-between. Their voyage came to a tragic end today as Somaili pirates shot and killed captives Jean and Scott Adam of Southern California and...

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