The Lake of Stars Festival

One of Africa’s best music festivals, in Malawi, the Lake of Stars festival at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, at Mangochi on the shores of Lake Malawi, is covered in the Observer today. It’s a lively piece, highlighting the festival’s hugely positive influence on one of Africa’s poorest countries.

Kudos to Will Jameson for getting it off the ground, and to the thousands of people who support it. Still time to book for this year!

Posted in Festivals, Malawi, Music | Leave a comment

Zambia travel update

News of border crossing scams at Livingston/Victoria Falls (drivers beware).

And there’s a new requirement for travellers who have been in Zambia to have a Yellow Fever certificate issued at least ten days earlier, when entering South Africa, based on changes to the Yellow Fever map by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is treated as the authority on these matters.

Many foreign visitors would be likely to have a YF certificate already, for crossing borders further north and in some instances as a health precaution. But for South Africans, and Southern Africa-based tourists this is new. It’s still not required for Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique or South Africaif you’re only travelling between those countries.

Presumably the authorities in all the southern African countries will apply the same YF rule to visitors who have been in Zambia, as they already do (in theory at least) to visitors arriving from, for example DRC or any other YF transmission country.

Posted in Botswana, Health, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe | Leave a comment

Cycling in Uganda

Bikes are such a great way of travelling in Africa – not least because you get to travel the way most local people do, under your own steam (and sweat) – that it’s not surprising it’s an increasingly popular way of getting around. This post on is admirably detailed for anyone contemplating a tour of the mountainous southwest corner of Uganda.

It seems you can do some of the parks by bike, as well – assuming you’re intrepid enough. Pete Gostelow recently cycled through Queen Elizaebeth National Park and Shane’s report includes confirmation that it’s allowed, and also somewhat dangerous.

Posted in Cycling, Uganda, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Somalia unravelled

For anyone even contemplating a visit to Somaliland – or even less likely one of the other parts of what used to be Somalia – this detailed Wikipedia map is worth poring over.

The most recent “autonomous” creation is Jubaland, a sort of buffer zone near the Kenya border intended to keep Al-Shabaab jihadists well to the northeast.

Posted in Somalia, Somaliland | Leave a comment

Mauritius off the beach

Adrian Mourby in the Independent on getting away from the sun and sand formula on Mauritius.

Posted in Mauritius | Leave a comment

Travel in Lesotho

A nice piece on travel in the land-locked nation of Lesotho by the Guardian’s Africa correspondent, David Smith.

Our Lesotho page is here.

Posted in Lesotho | Leave a comment

New railway line for Guinea

This planned freight line might prove to be quite useful, especially in the rains, when roads in northern and western Guinea can be so slow. Whether it will have any actual passenger transport is another matter.

And don’t expect it before 2014.

Posted in Guinea, Railways | Leave a comment