The trouble with Zimbabwe’s stolen elections

The trouble with Mugabe’s apparent continuing election shenanigans in Zimbabwe – formerly the breadbasket of Africa – is that it tars the entire African continent with the same brush of unfree election cycles, which is simply no longer the case. Mali’s highly-praised presidential election just a few days before Zimbabwe’s… Continue reading

Travelling in Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, the month when Muslims participate in 28 days of daylight fasting. Use of the lunar calendar means the Islamic calendar shifts slowly over time against the Gregorian/Western calendar. Over the next couple of years Ramadan will coincide with the northern… Continue reading

Making Geography

  Around AD 150 a man called Ptolemy sat in Alexandria. This was probably not unusual for the time. Perhaps, in need of a break, he watched the fishermen coming to harbour beside the long lost pharos lighthouse.   Modern Alexandria lines the same harbour of ancient times Ptolemy was… Continue reading

To Agulhas and back

Spending the weekend in the Royal Geographical Society’s Ondaatje Theatre at their London headquarters for the annual ‘Explore’ weekend (see last blog) got me to thinking of those adventurers who predated me. The theatre’s wood-panelled walls are marked out in gilding with the names of the world’s most important explorers.… Continue reading