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  • Nanyuki: the Kenyan town where your Valentine’s roses are grown | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    to arrive at your door Kiki Deere visited an independent flower farm in Kenya to find out what it s like to be an African rose A young woman gingerly places a dozen white roses in yellow plastic buckets Behind her a man walks the rose beds painstakingly removing dead heads from each plant The flowers large heads have opened beautifully emanating a strong fruity smell that fills the greenhouse I am in Nanyuki a small market town 195km north of Nairobi by Kiki Deere With ten hours of sunshine a day and 800mm of annual rainfall the market town of Nanyuki has the perfect conditions for growing flowers Thanks to the area s cool climate Nanyuki is right on the equator at 1900m above sea level it has become a magnet for expats after an alternative base to the country s chaotic capital Large European style country homes are dotted throughout the verdant countryside surrounding the town and a smattering of restaurants have opened to cater for the growing expat community A busy matatu platform serves as the town s hub where Kenyans travelling north and south gather among a gaggle of hawkers and life goes on uninterrupted without much of the country s tourist trade passing through at all A landscape just like an English garden Sprinkled around Nanyuki are dozens of flower farms vital to the livelihood of many living in the area I am at Tambuzi a flower farm south of the town where unlike the mass produced varieties the roses here are big headed and full of scent Scent causes flowers to age more quickly explains owner Tim Hobbs so most producers grow non scented roses so they ll have a longer lifespan Tambuzi aims to grow real flowers with strong scent and a distinct shape with a just picked them from your garden look by Kiki Deere British expats Tim and Maggie Hobbs bought the 64 hectare farm in 1996 and developed it into the country s only supplier of traditional garden scented roses Sitting on the patio overlooking the farm cup of tea in hand I look around and feel I could be in the heart of the British countryside a leafy garden stretches out in front of me with a calm river meandering among the trees Rose snobs Rose breeding and production is a complex business it s like horse breeding says Tim Looks scents shapes and disease resistance must all be taken into consideration We stop occasionally to smell the roses Each has a different scent citrus vanilla honey fruits A bright pink rose a Greffe de Vie smells of grapefruit Our knowledge of roses is quickly developing Consumers are becoming more sophisticated rose snobs effectively just as over the years we have become wine snobs knowing our Malbecs from our Cabernets Maggie believes by Kiki Deere From the greenhouses we move on to the grading shed where employees carefully package the roses before placing them in the cold store They

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/nanyuki-flower-farms-kenya/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Beneath the Mountain of God: Tanzania’s Lake Natron | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    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 Credit

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/beneath-the-mountain-of-god-tanzanias-lake-natron/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Ethiopian Christmas celebrations in pictures | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    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 carry

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/ethiopian-christmas-celebrations-in-pictures/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Why the Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s must-see destinations | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    many 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

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/northern-cape-south-africa/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Cape Town’s irrepressible township revolution | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    it s hard to argue with them Here are five of the best ways to see the irrepressible township revolution in all its glory Enjoy the sounds of Jazz in the Native Yards Just around the corner from the raucousness and revelry of Mzoli s Place in Gugulethu you ll find a live jazz venue with a difference Jazz in the Native Yards the brainchild of former arts journalist and local boy Luvuyo Kakaza takes some of the best jazz musicians from across South Africa away from overpriced and exclusionary city centre venues and squeezes them into a cozy township living room When the music isn t playing drinks can be ordered through the kitchen hatch and there s a braai barbecue lots of banter and a distinct lack of racial boundaries to enjoy outside in the yard as the sun goes down A photo posted by Andreas Karlsson anytimefromnow on Jan 25 2015 at 10 22am PST Get your caffeine fix at the Department of Coffee In 2012 The Department of Coffee was the first artisan coffee shop and espresso bar to open in a Cape Town township Found behind the busy Khayelitsha train station and the labyrinth of market stalls that surround it this shop run by three local twenty somethings is showing the surrounding community that a good brew is not just for the affluent none of the delectable creations on offer cost more than R10 about 50p and all are made with local beans roasted specially for Department of Coffee You can sit and enjoy your coffee and the incessant hustle and bustle of this part of town on one of the shaded stone tables out front Image by Chris Clark Catch dinner and a show at Theatre in the Backyard Acclaimed theatre producer and director Mhlanguli George has teamed up with Cape Town experiential tour operator Coffeebeans Routes to offer an innovative and interactive twist on traditional dinner theatre George s visceral hard hitting theatre pieces are staged in a township backyard in Nyanga where his actors make use of the various props that are available to them while the audience with no allocated seating have to negotiate their way around the performers and the space After the show you join the unfailingly affable director and his performers for a home cooked dinner and a couple of beers and George will tell you more about his Theatre in the Backyard concept Image by Chris Clark Experience the urban creativity of The Langa Quarter According to the Langa Quarter s creator Tony Elvin a black Brit who has settled in Langa this so called Social Enterprise Precinct will one day be to Cape Town what the French Quarter is to New Orleans Langa is both Cape Town s oldest township and interestingly the geographic centre of the metropole The Quarter thus serves both as a museum of the city s past and a creative hub of contemporary music art culture and design Various artists living in

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/cape-town-township-revolution/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Why it's time to go back to Kilifi, Kenya | Rough Guides
    more about why you should choose Kilifi for a coastal break in Kenya Why go to Kilifi Kilifi has always been something of a secret Because of its hidden location tucked into a the estuary leading to the Goshi River it has escaped the development that has affected beachside towns like Mombasa and Diani Tourism first emerged in Kilifi on a small scale around 25 years ago when the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Wellcome Trust partnered and set up camp here to research tropical diseases With the growing influx of non locals to the area tourism slowly started to grow The result is that Kilifi is well set up for tourists without being busy Visitor numbers have taken a hit in recent years due to the British High Commission s travel ban but now it s been lifted this is the perfect time to support the local community by exploring this lesser visited corner of the Kenyan coast UN Photo Milton Grant license What should I do there As you enter the Kilifi area the busy roads from Mombasa open up to luscious countryside Palm and baobab trees line the horizon the latter so alien they somehow look the wrong way up a thick trunk and a tufty splay of roots sticking indignantly in the air The first sight as you cross the Kilifi Bridge is the spectacular creek leaking out into the Indian Ocean a lusciously calm expanse of azure with just a few yachts nonchalantly floating about Waves of teal cobalt and icy blue lap over each other in the shallows while a deep sapphire sea spreads out beyond As Kilifi is a calm tranquil place it s somewhere to do not much at all except kick back and relax into the pace of life on the Kenyan coast But when the beauty of all that lounging on the beach wears off there are dhow boats a traditional wooden sailing boat with long thin hulls and a single sail for hire Sail down the creek at sunset for a most rewarding experience at this hour it s completely still and the estuary is teeming with life Expect to see plants sprouting happily from the riverbanks and birds skimming across the water silhouetted against the sunset Also worth a visit is the Boatyard an outdoor seafood restaurant overlooking all the old fashioned ships that sit in the creek the perfect place for a sundowner Where can I stay Kilifi isn t home to the huge resorts other parts of this coastline are popular for but there are plenty of excellent options for all budgets Either side of the creek there is a smattering of lodges hotels self catering properties and restaurants For a comfortable budget stay try Distant Relatives eco lodge It s relaxed and friendly with huge cushions made from Kenyan Kanga material a games room and a bar serving dawas a cocktail made from vodka lime juice and honey garnished with a stick of sugar

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/dhow-boats-and-dawas-its-time-to-come-back-to-kilifi-kenya/ (2016-02-16)
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  • 15 beguiling pictures of Uganda | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    Mexico USA South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Peru Uruguay Venezuela UK View 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 15 beguiling pictures of Uganda By Clare Wise de Wet November 19th 2015 View Comments I m an Aussie girl and have been living and working in Uganda for the past fifteen years Apart from my regular day job I m also a freelance photographer I arrived in Uganda in August 2000 with my husband after an eight month 4 4 overland journey we started in London in December 1999 It was during this journey I realised how important it was to document both photographically and in writing the extraordinary people and places we had encountered Soon after arrival in Uganda we volunteered to build a school in Gulu in the north Once the school was completed we decided to stay for the foreseeable future and make Kampala our home Through travel and documentary photography my sole intention is to show the beauty that abounds both in Uganda and other parts of the world by providing a visual gift to those who may not have the means to experience it as I have Golola the boda boda rider Kampala Rainforest at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains A troop of roaming baboons Ishasha Sunset Kalangala District Ssese Islands The Bahá í House of Worship Kampala St Balikuddembe Market Kampala A gathering of family

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/pictures-of-uganda/ (2016-02-16)
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  • 12 Beautiful Tanzanian Proverbs | Rough Guides
    journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports 12 beautiful Kiswahili proverbs from Tanzania By Rough Guides Editors October 15th 2015 View Comments Kiswahili is the glue that binds Tanzania together It s essentially a Bantu tongue enriched by thousands of loan words primarily Persian and Arabic but also Hindi Portuguese German and English Kiswahili is pronounced exactly as it s written with the stress nearly always on the penultimate syllable Where an apostrophe precedes a vowel eg ng ombe cattle the vowel is accentuated something like a gulp The ability to pepper conversation with appropriate proverbs methali is also much admired in Tanzania as elsewhere in Africa The pithier sayings even find their way onto kangas worn by women to express sentiments that might be taboo if spoken aloud Here are a few of our favourites taken from the new Rough Guide to Tanzania 1 Every bird flies with its own wings Kila ndege huruka na mbawa zake 2 Hurry hurry has no blessings haraka haraka haina baraka 3 He who wanders around by day a lot learns a lot Atangaye na jua hujuwa 4 A heart deep in love has no patience Moyo wa kupenda hauna subira 5 The gratitude of a donkey is a kick Fadhila ya punda ni mateke 6 Better to lose your eyes than your heart Heri kufa macho kuliko kufa moyo 7 He who praises rain has been rained on Asifuye mvuwa imemnyea 8 Don t set sail using somebody else s star Asisa firie nyota ya mwenzio 9 Put a riddle to a fool a clever person will solve it Fumbo mfumbe mjinga mwerevu huligangua 10 Where there s a will there s a way Penye nia ipo njia 11 If you love

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/12-beautiful-tanzanian-proverbs/ (2016-02-16)
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