Mauritania’s biggest attraction is the very desolation that keeps so many people away. ln this mysterious, wild, confounding country resources are scarce and sand is plentiful. Among the vast, blank, shifting dune-fields and strange, flat-topped mountain ranges, the only fertile land is found in the oases along a narrow strip bordering the Senegal River. Set […]


Tiny Togo, a thin sliver of land wedged between Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin, is blessed with deserted beaches, a fascinating culture and friendly people. Upcountry are beautiful hills and plateaus, while the region around Kpalime, near the Ghanaian border in the southwest, is particularly scenic and is known for its butterflies. The famous fortress-like […]


Among the 115 coral islands that make up the Seychelles are some of the most idyllic island getaways in the lndian Ocean, or indeed the world. Here you will find the luxuriant, tropical paradise that appears in countless advertisements and glossy travel brochures. But however seductive the images, they simply can’t compete with the real-life […]

Equatorial guinea

While most of Equatorial Guinea’s two regions remain densely covered with the type of forest that made Tarzan swing, the recent discovery of underwater oil looks set to change the face of the country. Bioko lsland has been thoroughly taken over by oil money and an influx of foreign workers, but a trip to the […]

Sierra leone

Despite its rich diamond mines, Sierra Leone’s development has been challenged by political instability since independence in 1961. Throughout the 1990s it was gripped by savage civil war between the government and Revolutionary United. Freetown, pumped full of international aid, has a happy-go-lucky and vibrant atmosphere and Freetown Peninsula has some of west Africa’s most […]


The ancient Egyptians knew Sudan as the Land of Cush-a source of great hidden treasures that made Sudan-the largest country in Africa-the object of invasion and exploration for much of its long and tumultuous history. This land that stretches from the Sahara to the Red Sea to the swamps of the Sudd, is a diverse […]


Tiny, verdant and fractured by waterways, Guinea-Bissau is a gem for those prepared to seek it out. Sleepy towns, quiet beaches and sacred rainforests dot the mainland, while offshore the Arquipelago dos Bijagos has a unique culture and fantastic marine and animal life. Guinea-Bissau is not a well-developed nation-even by African standards it’s gut-wrenchingly poor-and […]


While Mozambique has had more than its share of difficulties-not least of which was a long, horrific civil war-the atmosphere is upbeat, and reconstruction has proceeded at a remarkable pace. The country’s modern face reflects a unique blend of African, Arabic lndian and European influences-its cuisine is spicier, its music more tropical, and its pace […]


lt’s hard to imagine how the German colonizers of Namibia coped with the unlimited elbow room, vast deserts and annual quota of 300 days of sunshine, but that’s exactly what draws travelers nowadays. Wedged between the Kalahari and the chilly South Atlantic Ocean, it’s land of deserts, seascapes, wildlife reserves, ancient rock art, gentle bushwalking […]


Niger sits precariously on the edge of the Sahara, a barren windswept land ravaged by drought and colonial conquest, yet somehow surviving against the odds. Lt’s a country of aristocratic desert nomads, skilled artisans and s race tall, lithe people so physically beautiful that even the men enter beauty contests. With unmissable sights like the […]