Harsh Beauty Lake Natron Area, Tanzania

A few hours drive north of the town of Mto wa Mbu, near the border to Kenya, lies Lake Natron. Away from the safari- and therefore main tourist trail, this was supposed to be a relatively cheap adventure (compared to the safaris). Pictures on Google showed a red colored salt lake, thousands of flamingos, and…

Stone Town Zanzibar, Tanzania

Traders used to travel the route by ship, we took the plane: From Muscat to Zanzibar. The archipelago of Zanzibar is made up of the big islands of Unguja, commonly known as Zanzibar, and Pemba, as well as many small islands. In 1698, the archipelago came under the control of the Sultanate of Oman. Even…

Desert Dream Sharqiya Sands, Oman

Sharqiya Sands is a desert region in Oman. Through a friend of mine (thanks again!) we got the number of Bader, a local beduin. We called him and he immediately agreed to meet us and take us around the desert. Ibra Before reaching Al Wasl, where we were supposed to meet Bader, we made a…

Reminders of Centuries Past Nizwa, Bahla, Jabreen, Misfat al Abriyyin, Al Ayn; Oman

A 1.5 hours drive from Muscat brings you to Nizwa, a town at the foot of the Western Hajar mountains. It was once a center for trade and education and is still an important town – the biggest in the region – due to its good location at the roads linking Muscat with the interior and the…

A Unique Blend of Tradition and Modernity Muscat, Oman

Muscat has for centuries been an important trading port due to its strategic location at the Arabian Sea. Today, it’s the capital and biggest city of Oman. Don’t expect a city like Dubai or Doha however, because Muscat is different. Tradition is still very important in Oman and Omanis are proud of their culture and tradition….

Across the Bamboo Bridge Luang Prabang, Laos

Back in Southeast Asia. I expected the door of Luang Prabang airport to open and there to be dozens of taxi drivers waiting to make some good money with the newly arrived tourists. The doors of the airport did open but there were no taxi drivers. Maybe on the main road, we thought and started…

Lion City Singapore

It was a very long day traveling from New Zealand via Australia to Singapore and we arrived in the big Asian city tired and hungry. After a big bowl of delicious noodle soup we went straight to bed to be ready to explore the city the next day. We had been to Singapore once before…

Music on the Beach and a Post Office under Water Efate, Vanuatu

Efate is Vanuatu’s most populous island, has an international airport, and is home to the capital city of Port Vila. Port Vila may be the capital of Vanuatu but that doesn’t mean it’s a metropolis. Probably the only thing to do here – and that’s a must-do! – is a visit to the central market. The produce…

Uluru: The Big Rock Northern Territory, Australia

Uluru/Ayers Rock is one of Australia’s most iconic sights. In fact, a picture of Uluru is like a synonym for Australia and of course it ranks high on any traveler’s bucket list. But is it really the greatest sight in the country? The one place you absolutely have to see if you’re going to Australia? A…

Kakadu National Park: Open Air Gallery Northern Territory, Australia

The area of UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park has been continuously inhabited by Aboriginal people for over 50’000 years. Aboriginal history and culture is illustrated by some 5000 recorded rock art sites; however, only very few of them are accessible to tourists. The national park covers a huge area (about half the size…

Tana Toraja: Living Among Dead Getting to know the unique culture of the Torajan people in Sulawesi

Death is just another part of life for the Torajas. When someone dies, that person isn’t buried immediately because the deceased is not considered dead but sick and keeps on living in the family home. Dead but not really With our guide Yacob (a very kind and knowledgeable man who last year guided a National Geographic…

Born to Die: Funeral Ceremonies of the Toraja Sulawesi, Indonesia

In the land of the Toraja In Indonesia there are over 300 different ethnic groups. One of them are the Toraja, who live in the highlands of South Sulawesi. Tana Toraja, the “Land of the Toraja”, is known for its good coffee but also for the – for an outsider rather strange (or, more accurate,…