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Travel in Africa

December 4th, 2016

Travel in Africa

From Algeria to Zimbabwe, pyramids to safaris, Africa has so much to offer the adventurous traveller.

Map of Africa -

Welcome to the world's second-largest continent.

I don't claim to have visited all the countries in Africa, nor half of them, but I have travelled through West Africa, the Southern portion of the continent, and parts of North Africa.

When you go into Africa, you have to decide what it is you want.

Overland tours are a great way to see some of Africa's diversity. You'll see a lot more of the land travelling across it; although not everyone has the time to travel from Cairo to Cape Town, by bicycle.

For holiday-makers, a two week break in Kenya, blends beautiful beaches with loaded game parks - as the tourist brochures would have it.

There is snow on the peak of Kilimanjaro, and minerals in the ground; bulging rivers and enormous deserts; wealth and poverty.

Some of the tribes are picturesque and famous, while others survive in the bush and would rather be left alone with their spirits, than be clothed by commercialism.

This is the First, not the Third World; and mystic writers cover the traditional peoples well enough for the reader to fantasize about their lives.

Then there are the countries ruled by the largest tribe. Rife with corruption they provide ridiculous wealth to a few close relatives, and poverty for the masses.

This is the real Africa, and to come away from here leaves one asking questions about change. The soul-searching is hard, the questions complex, and helpful solutions harder still.

Life in much of Africa is on the streets, everything is bought and sold in the markets. The clothes on the women are light and colourful, and music from the heart of Africa beats deep in all souls.

If you're on a guided tour in Africa, your chances of encountering problems are minimal. Tour operators make it their business to know the areas they travel to, so you are never at any undue risk.

Africa Travel Tips:
If you're travelling alone in Africa, be sure to keep up-to-date with local news; so that you're fully aware of potential hot spots.

Being in Benin - Lake Ganvie. © Michel -

To give you some idea about what travelling in West Africa entails, let me take you back to Being in Benin, and the route from Niger.

Or perhaps you'd like to start out, like I did, by Landing in Lagos.

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Michel - The Online Guide to Travel.

Remembrance Sunday - Lest We Forget

December 4th, 2016

Remembrance Sunday - Lest We Forget

Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11th November - Armistice Day; when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of deafening noise, death and destruction.

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War years (1914-1918), the 2015 Travel Notes Calendar remembered the fallen.

As we continue to remember at this time of year, the 2017 edition is now available for purchase.

You may also click on the photographs below, to find out more about each individual image.

January - World War One Trenches.

This reconstructed section of original German trench system is located about 2km north of Wijtschate.

February - Hill 60 Cratered Landscape.

Located on Zwarteleenstraat in Zillebeke, south-east of Ypres, the cratered landscaping of Hill 60 bears the scars of a silent witness to an underground war of mines and counter-mines.

March - British Cemetery at Messines Ridge.

Messines Ridge British Cemetery is located 10km south of Ieper on the Nieuwkerkestraat, outside Mesen.

April - German Bunker at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world, contains two large concrete bunkers which once formed a part of the German defensive line on the ridge at Passchendaele.

May - Pozières British Cemetery and Somme Battlefields.

The British Cemetery and Pozières Memorial is located on the D929 Albert-Bapaume road, just south of the village of Pozières; and 6km north-east of Albert.

June - Artstetten Castle in Memory of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg were interred at Artstetten Castle because his wife could not be buried at the Imperial Crypt.

July - American Battle Monuments Commisssion.

American Battle Monuments Commission maintains 25 permanent American burial grounds, and 26 separate memorials, monuments and markers on foreign soil.

August - Montsec American Monument.

The American First Army in its offensive operation of September 12-16, 1918 reduced the strongly fortified St. Mihiel salient, capturing 15,000 prisoners, 450 cannon and 700 square kilometers of territory.

September - Saint-Mihiel American Cemetery.

The 1918 Battle of Saint-Mihiel, from September 12th to 15th, was the first independent battle of the American Expeditionary Force in the First World War.

October - Fort de Douaumont, Verdun.

The Germans captured Fort Douaumont on 25th February, 1916 without a contest. The Colonial Infantry Troops of Morocco finally recaptured it on 24th October, 1916.

November - Armistice Signing in Compiègne.

Fighting on the Western Front ceased at the 11th hour; on the 11th day, of the 11th month after The Armistice was signed in the forest of Compiègne in 1918.

December - Their Name Liveth For Evermore.

'Lest We Forget' comes from a poem, Recessional, written by Rudyard Kipling. Kipling also created other iconic memorial wordings, including 'Known Unto God'.

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