On the White Nile Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park lies in north-western Uganda around the White Nile and east of Lake Albert and is the country’s biggest national park. Over a hundred years ago, the area’s inhabitants had to leave because of the sleeping sickness spread by tse-tse flies. In the 1950s, the area was declared a national park and in…

Going on Safari Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater National Parks, Northern Tanzania

Arusha is the place for organizing a safari to the national parks in northern Tanzania. Dozens of tour operators, some better, some worse, offer all kinds of tours to the parks. How the safari finds you We stayed at a hotel located one or two kilometers west of Arusha city center, where most of the…

Beaches, Lookouts, and (no) Albatrosses Otago Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand

The rugged, steep Otago Peninsula is one of the only few peninsulas on the South Island’s east coast. Although right in front of the city of Dunedin and easily accessible, the peninsula – probably due to its hilly terrain – is only lightly populated. Driving is on narrow roads, along steep hills, and around impossibly…

Waterfalls and Paua Shells The Catlins, South Island, New Zealand

Not too many travelers go further south than Te Anau and Milford Sound. Those who do, however, and travel between Invercargill and Dunedin, have the possibility to take the scenic route through the Catlins and are rewarded with amazing beaches, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful scenery. And lots of gravel roads, yes, that too. The southernmost…

Go West Coast Wharariki Beach, Westport, Punakaiki. South Island, New Zealand

After crossing to the South Island by ferry – a wonderful journey across the Cook Strait and through Queen Charlotte Sound – we drove along the South Island’s north coast all the way to the beginning of the Farewell Spit at the northern end of Golden Bay. Wharariki Beach The spit can only be visited…

From Darwin to Litchfield Northern Territory, Australia

Welcome to Australia! After four months (I guess it was four… I kind of lost track of time) in Asia, we headed even further south and further away from Europe: to Australia. Australia is different in many ways – landscape, geology, wildlife – from all the places we’ve visited so far. Arriving late in Darwin,…

Arfak Mountains: A Bird’s Paradise West Papua, Indonesia

Situated on the east of West Papua’s Vogelkop, the Arfak Mountains are the habitat of some of the world’s most unique and astonishing birds: birds-of-paradise. Only few people live in the Arfak Mountains and just a handful of tourist guides offer tours and accommodation in the Arfak region. One of them is Hans Mandacan, a…

Thousands of Dolphins & One Boat Sulawesi, Indonesia

Dolphin watching and snorkeling in Batuputih Batuputih is not only the gateway to wonderful Tangkoko National Park, it’s also a great place to go snorkeling, diving, or dolphin watching. Lea, the local guide and divemaster (find her contact info below) with whom we booked a snorkeling and dolphin watching tour, promised us that, if we’d go, our boat…

Tangkoko: Where the Wild Things (Still) Live Sulawesi, Indonesia

On the easternmost tip of North Sulawesi lies Tangkoko National Park. According to the Lonely Planet, it’s possible to get there by public transport from Manado, but in reality this proved to be close to impossible. Even if you’d manage it, it wouldn’t necessarily be cheaper than a taxi from the airport directly to Batuputih,…

Kinabatangan Cruisin’ Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Wildlife spotting in Borneo A great place to spot wildlife in Sabah is along the Kinabatangan river, the second longest river in Malaysia. Actually, the reason why there are so many animals, is a sad one: They have been pushed ever closer to the river by logging and clearing of forest for palm oil plantations. Most of…

Sepilok: All About Orang-Utans Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Endangered orang-utans Orang-utans, native only to Borneo and Sumatra, are endangered due to habitat loss (because of logging and palm oil plantations), poaching, and the illegal pet trade. Until it’s seven to ten years old, an orang-utan baby depends heavily on its mother and if the mother dies, the baby is likely to perish as well….

Borneo: Jungle Dream Palm oil plantations make the rainforest disappear

Borneo. A huge island covered with impenetrable jungle, where orang-utans swing from tree to tree, elephants and rhinos roam the forests, wild cats and leopards hunt their prey, and crocodiles reign the rivers. That must have been Borneo many, many years ago. Now, it’s mostly palm oil plantations as far as the eye can see. I must…