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  • Nanyuki | The Central Highlands Guide | Rough Guides
    at the equator just south of town There s a sprouting of curio shops and signs This sign is on the Equator and even an Equator Professor who claims to demonstrate the Coriolis effect of the earth s rotation using a bucket of water and a matchstick aided by sleight of hand In the northern hemisphere a large body of still water in a perfectly formed vessel would gurgle through a plug hole anticlockwise whereas in the southern hemisphere it would flow clockwise though in practice the direction of flow is controlled by the operator because the Coriolis effect is too tiny to have an impact especially anywhere near the equator itself where the effect is zero The demonstration is free the certificate comes for a fee Nanyuki has the dual distinction of being Kenya s air force town and playing host to the British Army s training and operations centre And although it has taken in thousands of refugees in recent decades escaping from rural poverty and ethnic violence it remains very much a country town in atmosphere and an oddly charming one Yet the town is becoming popular with foreign and Kenyan investors and real estate prices have doubled in recent years The town s modern Nakumatt supermarket the funky new Lily Pond Arts Centre and assorted coffee shops and restaurants are a sign of things to come A wide tree lined main street and the mild climate lent by its 2000m altitude bestow an unfamiliar cool spaciousness that seems to reinforce its colonial character shops lining the main road include the Modern Sanitary Stores aka Modsan they sell camping gas and the Settlers Store 1938 Brief history The first party of settlers arrived in the district in 1907 to find several old Maasai manyattas a great deal

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/kenya/central-highlands/nanyuki/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Best Places to Eat in Nairobi | Rough Guides
    is home to a varied population of races ethnicities and edible influences that are centuries old As far back as 1496 the Portuguese landed on Kenyan shores bringing with them foods from Brazil such as pineapples and chillies Later with the arrival of more Europeans came cucumbers and tomatoes At the turn of the twentieth century the British enlisted thousands of Indians to build the railway line and so too arrived spicy dishes chapattis and more Today these influences continue to grow and develop at a rapid pace in line with the development of Nairobi itself There is pop up dining naked pizza with a healthy edge and urban eating in a trendy setting You can even have a tub of almond or cashew butter delivered to your door Fancy a piece of the pie Here are six of the best places to experience Kenya s gastronomic transformation in Nairobi Eat Ethiopian at Habesha A weekly go to for locals and expats alike Habesha has earned its reputation as the best Ethiopian restaurant in Nairobi through a combination of great service a homely atmosphere and delicious food The traditional Ethiopian cuisine is served with injera a giant spongy flatbread that arrives on a silver tray filling the whole table Accompanying dishes such as shiro a smooth chickpea stew and wat spicy curry with a variety of spiced vegetables are placed on top The real charm though is in the setting as dinner is served around a rustic flaming fire pit Chow down on Indian at Chowpaty Traditionally Indian and strictly vegetarian Chowpaty is immensely popular with both vegetarian and carnivorous foodies and championed by locals as offering the best Indian food outside of India It s a simple no frills place in terms of decor situated in Diamond Plaza Nairobi s answer to little India But frankly looks don t matter little when the food is this delicious Try the dahi pouri crunchy balls of spiced veggie goodness served with cool pouring yoghurt to be scoffed whole These little bundles of joy go excellently with the creamy mushroom tikka masala a garlic naan and some cracking paneer The best spot to soak up the atmosphere is from one of the outdoor street stalls Head to Talisman for a fusion Undisputed by many as offering some of the best food in Nairobi Talisman promotes itself as an elegant gastrolounge situated in affluent Karen The food a fusion of European Pan Asian and African is no doubt excellent from the crispy feta and coriander samosas served with a gingery soy sauce to the blue cheese salad with a sweet maple dressing The atmosphere is romantic and the outdoor seating tranquil with pretty surrounds Though do avoid Friday nights when shady characters come out in droves and it becomes more sleazy pub than elegant bar Try Thai at Soi Meaning street in Thai Soi is possibly Nairobi s most gleamingly sophisticated restaurant A new kid on the block that forms part of the

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/discover-nairobis-flourishing-foodie-scene/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Beneath the Mountain of God: Tanzania’s Lake Natron | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    women who seem to have materialized out of the earth beneath our feet They hold up colourful beads and cloth for sale and ask us to take photos of them in their traditional garb in return for a small fee It s suddenly apparent that although this area remains irresistibly isolated for now we are not the first intrepid tourists to tread here Credit Christopher Clark In fact a number of local operators including our hosts Tanzania Experience are looking to tap into Lake Natron s hitherto under explored offerings and have started to include it on their Northern Circuit camping itineraries After all we re just a few bumpy hours drive from safari icons including the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater as well as the transport hub of Arusha We continue along our route and soon we can see Ol Doinyo Lengai Maasai for Mountain of God rising serenely ahead of us Ol Doinyo Lengai is an active volcano and around its peak an uneven white coat that resembles a giant bird dropping bears witness to the last eruption back in 2007 A solitary cloud hovers directly above the summit like a halo After skirting the rugged escarpment of the Great Rift Valley finally Lake Natron comes into view ahead its mirror like soda and saline surface akin to a great shallow ocean coruscating in the harsh light of early afternoon At over a thousand square kilometres in size the lake stretches all the way to the Kenyan border somewhere inside the haze on the horizon It s home to more than two million crimson winged flamingos while fauna in the surrounding area includes giraffe and zebra Credit Christopher Clark We pull up at our campsite for the night which has plenty of shade and raised views from the hillside right across the lake Our guide Enock tells us the property is owned by an enterprising Maasai businessman who was born in the area and has great faith in its tourism potential as evinced by the various unfinished developments a pool a conference centre and luxury safari tents dotted around his property Today though we are his only guests Maasai men lead a life little changed in the last hundred years A few lean Maasai teenage boys with large knives on their belts emerge from one of the outbuildings and help us set up our tents Every so often one of the boys will pause and pull a mobile phone out of his robe type furiously for a moment or two and then resume his work I wonder what impact this technology has had on a way of life that otherwise seems to have changed little over the past hundred years I also wonder whether these teenagers will still be in this place living this way in another ten years The world outside is drawing ever closer and the area s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage are threatened by deforestation oil and gas exploration and a proposed soda ash plant

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/beneath-the-mountain-of-god-tanzanias-lake-natron/?wpfpaction=add&postid=411765 (2016-02-16)
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  • Slow safaris in Africa | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    with game viewing Choose between rides over grassland among giraffes hartebeest and impala or explore the forest at the foot of Mount Kenya You ll spend between four and seven hours in the saddle every day camping out overnight in the bush if you wish The lodge is luxurious yet was built using only local building materials and dead wood from the ranch Each of the eight cottages has its own veranda and shares the wonderfully well sited pool that overlooks a watering hole popular with elephants This is safari tourism made easy The ranch caters for all riding abilities and there are a few smaller bush ponies for children For more information about Borana Lodge see www borana co ke For prices and bookings of horse riding trips based at Borana see www aardvarksafaris co uk Trek through the roof of the world Kenya Follow an ancient game trail on foot up to the Losiolo escarpment to one of the best viewpoints of the Great Rift Valley then tackle a 3000m descent to a riverside camp in the beautiful Lerachi gorge And that s just day one Donkeys will carry all the equipment as you follow a guide from one of the Ndorobo tribes accompanied by ten Samburu warriors among the isolated mountain ranges of Samburu that are home to leopards hyenas and mountain reedbucks Choose between a five day trip or a more strenuous eight day trek into the Rift Valley including three days in the private wildlife reserve of Mugie En route you ll explore several flat topped peaks with views of the arid plains below swim in natural pools and visit traditional Samburu villages in this ancient volcanic land For further details info about the Samburu region prices and reservations see www samburutrails com Walk on the wild side Tanzania Watching the annual mass migration of wildebeest and zebra as they move from the Serengeti back to the Maasai Mara is impressive enough on any game drive but on a walking safari you feel even closer to the action On this unique trip walking no more than 15km per day Maasai guides will lead you to safe vantage points on rocky mounds where you ll feel the ground tremble as thousands of animals roam across the plains Each night you ll camp out next to waterholes or small tributaries in lightweight fly camps and you ll eat dinner around a camp fire wondering if there are as many wildebeest in the Serengeti as there are stars in the African night Trips depart January to March For itineraries prices and bookings see www wildernessjourneys com Walk with camels in Kenya Don t want to carry your bags on a walking safari Then let the camels do it On a tour with Karisia Walking Safaris you ll follow game tracks with Maasai warriors across the Laikipia Plateau in northern Kenya Walking itineraries vary from a few days to a seven night hike along the Ewaso River En route

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/african-safaris-in-the-slow-lane/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Ethiopian Christmas celebrations in pictures | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    by Theme Activity Architecture Beaches Belief Boats sailing Budget travel Coasts islands Crafts and markets Cycling Deserts Discovery Diving snorkeling Everyday Life Extreme Adventure sports Family friendly Festivals events Food drink Heritage ruins Indigenous culture Leisure Luxury Mountains Museums art Music National parks reserves Nature Nightlife Novelty Off the beaten track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports Ethiopian Christmas celebrations in pictures By Karoki Lewis January 7th 2016 View Comments Today Ethiopia is celebrating Christmas Following the Julian calendar this East African Orthodox Christian nation celebrates Christmas on the 7th January each year In Lalibela one of the holiest sites in Ethiopia tens of thousands of pilgrims gather for mass in the town s 12 rock hewn churches All through the night there s chanting singing swaying and praying an evocative sight if you re lucky enough to witness it Photographer Karoki Lewis travelled to Lalibela for Christmas and here he shares his best pictures of the spectacular event Pilgrims gather on Christmas eve for the all night Christmas celebrations at the Bet Maryam Church of the Virgin Mary Lalibela Ethiopia Pilgrims visit Bet Giyorgis the Church of St George Young pilgrims wearing Ethiopian national dress Pilgrims celebrate the end of their 43 day fast drinking the local honey based liquor tej Pilgrims arrive from all over Ethiopia some having walked for 4 5 weeks Priest and deacons line up for King David s dance the final ritual at the Bet Maryam Priest and deacons get ready to dance in Bet Maryam Pilgrims light candles to the new born Jesus A pilgrim waits for Christmas day in Lalibela Priests and deacons wearing white Shemas shawls and cloaks perform ritual dances Pilgrims gather on Christmas eve Pilgrims

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/ethiopian-christmas-celebrations-in-pictures/?wpfpaction=add&postid=410663 (2016-02-16)
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  • Around the world in 10 literary festivals in 2016 | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    Indias Colombia Cartagena s brightly painted buildings and cobbled streets offer a radically different backdrop to Hay s UK base on the edge of the Brecon Beacons but the line up in Colombia is no less stellar In 2016 speakers will include Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz director Stephen Frears and writer Lionel Shriver Talks and concerts are hosted in the city s splendid Teatro Adolfo Mejia and on the historic Plaza de la Aduana January 28 31 3 Tokyo International Literary Festival Japan Featuring plenty of homegrown talent plus big name writers from around the world including Tash Aw Jeffery Eugenides and David Mitchell Tokyo s annual festival offers a small but thoughtful programme Panel events staged in city theatres and cafés debate love stories and showcase contemporary Asian writing while Granta magazine will launch a special Japan issue Feb 28 Mar 9 4 Port Eliot Festival England Self styled as a creative festival Port Eliot s programme covers food music and art as well as words But its imaginative literary events and spectacular setting on the ancient Port Eliot estate make it distinctive among the UK s many book oriented festivals Journalists poets and novelists perform to laid back crowds on the Bowling Green stage and in the estate s walled garden Festival goers can also take a dip in the River Tiddy or watch bands play in one of Cornwall s oldest churches July 28 31 5 Paraty International Literary Festival FLIP Brazil Forest clad mountains pristine coastline and colonial buildings make Paraty a hard to beat backdrop for a literary festival Listen to highbrow guest authors speak in round table discussions then while away the afternoon on an unspoiled beach Running since 2003 FLIP is firmly established on the international literary circuit with past headliners including Julian Barnes and Don DeLillo Film screenings exhibitions and plays give it a broad vibrant focus June 29 July 3 6 Sydney Writers Festival Australia If book readings on Bondi Beach appeal to you head to Sydney in May With other venues including heritage wharves the Opera House and the Blue Mountains the city s annual festival is a scenic celebration of the written word A jam packed programme features over 400 international writers and events are attended by 80 000 avid readers each year Programme details go live in March 16 22 May 2016 Image Prudence Upton 7 Edinburgh International Book Festival Scotland Every August Edinburgh s tranquil Charlotte Square Gardens transform into a huge tented village dedicated to all things literary Founded in 1983 the city s book festival hosts around 800 speakers a year from bestselling authors to debut novelists and performance poets Children s workshops and storytelling sessions entertain fledgling bookworms while grown ups can be inspired by Nobel Prize winning scientists and writers Line up announced in June August 13 29 8 Berlin International Literature Festival Germany City museums theatres and cultural institutes host an impressively global programme during Berlin s ten day annual

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/literary-festivals-2016/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Travel Features by Meera Dattani | Rough Guides
    the Kalahari Desert remains South Africa s least visited province But it just doesn t make sense according to writer Meera Dattani Here she tells us why it s one of South Africa s top destinations So why should I go If empty roads flanked by saltpans sand dunes Meera Dattani 06 01 2016 8 unexpected reasons to visit the Florida Keys Unexpected sums up the Florida Keys Just one road the Overseas Highway connects these long narrow islands strung out between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic With names as varied as No Name Key Fiesta Key and Fat Deer Key this coral cay archipelago has North America s only coral barrier reef indigenous Key Deer and Meera Dattani 07 08 2015 How technology will shape travel in 2015 Imagine checking in with your thumbprint using your smartphone as a room key or opening your hotel door to find a robot butler handing over the extra towel you requested from front desk It may all sound pie in the sky but these are the types of initiatives operating or being researched and tested in the travel industry Here Meera Dattani 08 01 2015 Moreish Moorish Malaga Don t head for the hills or the overcrowded beaches and resorts as soon as you land in Málaga and you ll be pleasantly surprised Meera Dattani lets us in on the best things to do in Málaga one of Spain s most underrated cities A strange thing happens at Málaga airport Almost everyone grabs their luggage and heads for Meera Dattani 16 12 2014 Why Glasgow is great for cycling In anticipation of this year s Commonwealth Games Meera Dattani finds out how to explore Glasgow on a bike There are no brakes The gears are fixed Your shoes are clipped

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/author/meera-dattani/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Why the Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s must-see destinations | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    vineyards along your route Where should I go Covering one third of the country it s impossible to see South Africa s largest least populated region in its entirety Sand dunes and saltpans are the main sights along the Red Dune Route north of Upington Stay at lodges en route to small town Askham before the region s holy grail of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park where game drives weave in and out of Botswanan and South African territory Lucky visitors will hear the roar of black maned Kalahari lions and all can enjoy unpolluted sparkling night sky Another highlight is the Green Kalahari area between Namibia and Botswana combining desert adventures with the Orange River and waterfall at Augrabies Falls National Park From Upington town the Orange River flows west along the easily navigable Kokerboom Food Wine Route through Keimoes Kakamas and Marchand Upington s small town charm is worth experiencing with nearby vineyards and sunset sailing aboard Sakkie se Arkie From Tierberg Hill in Keimoes see how the Orange River has irrigated an otherwise dry landscape by exploring one of the 120 odd islands Kanoneiland is South Africa s largest inhabited inland island What is there to do Spot wildebeest and klipspringer in rocky Augrabies Falls National Park home to the 184ft high Augrabies Falls Khoi for place of the Great Noise The park offers opportunity for river gorge walking white water rafting and canoeing The region is also home to 10 percent of South Africa s vineyards Visit Bezalel in Kanoneiland De Mas Wine Cellars in Kakamas and Orange River Wine Cellars in Upington Keimoes and Kakamas In Riemvasmaak where apartheid policies scattered Xhosa Nama and other communities who have since returned there s Nama cuisine cultural tours hot springs and hiking At Kalahari Trails on the Red Dune Route Welsh born Professor Anne Rosa takes visitors through her 8640 acre farm and interprets the night s wildlife action often accompanied by resident meerkats Rooiduin Guest Farm offers sand surfing and dune safaris or head to Zoutpanputs game farm home to Cape birds meerkats and the elusive pangolin You can also see springbok and gemsbok lick salt off the pan go camel riding or book floating salt pool sessions and salt work tours At Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park so called from Tswana for waterless place wildlife includes the Kalahari lion ostrich Cape fox cheetah aardwolf and spring hare Double the size of Kruger it s run by Mier and San communities with South Africa National Parks Where can I stay Guesthouses lodges and tented camps are how the Northern Cape rolls In Upington guesthouses include A La Fugue Riverplace and Brown s Manor Along the Kokerboom Route consider De Werf Lodge Ou Skool Guesthouse and Ikaia B B in Keimoes or if feeling flush a suite at African Vineyard in Kanoneisland run by Elmarie de Bruin and photographer husband Theuns En route to Augrabies Fall National Park is Lake Grappa Guest Farm in Marchand The national park s cabins are

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/northern-cape-south-africa/?wpfpaction=add&postid=410207 (2016-02-16)
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