Friday photo: Big Five

This Friday, a memory from South Africa. A bit of quirky souvenir shopping (when I travel, I never ever shop for anything else) – this cute menagerie. I wrote about this for the ‘Souvenirs’ section of this month’s Outlook Traveller – read Trophy Hunting here…

A French facelift

Bordeaux is a bit worried that nobody looks beyond its wines. It is not complaining, mind you, just fretting. After all, the city did not win the title of ‘best European destination of the year’ on the strength of its luscious reds alone. Just a decade ago, Bordeaux had slipped into near obscurity, become Europe’s…

My Spafari experience in South Africa

This is how it works at the Karkloof Safari Spa. They stop you at the main gate to verify your credentials and then phone the reception to expect you. You drive on further on the mud track and reach the reception area. After those last fifteen bumpy minutes on a gravel path, those cold towels…

Hotels I love: Chamba Camp TUTC

There are those who, when they go camping, want to leave it all behind. And then there are those who want to take it all with them. And want to have it all when they get there. I belong to the latter group. Love and fresh air may be enough for some; I look for…

No rhyme or reason

I had not been in Limerick for an hour before someone mentioned Angela’s Ashes. The most famous book to come out of this city is the depressing story of a poor, dank, Catholic Limerick from the 1940s. And I had gone there, fully expecting to feel as dejected as I did when I first read…

Burning bright again

Tigers are back in Panna, and how! (Published in the special Wildlife issue of Outlook Traveller in October. Click on the image to read the story in pdf form. Photographs and video not part of the published story.) On my evening safari into the Panna National Park, my companions are not happy. They have promised…

Remains of the day

Among the stories at the ‘Voices of the First World War’ exhibition at the Brighton Museum, is that of Subedar Manta Singh, who served with the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs. Manta, along with over a million other Indian soldiers, went to war over a cause that had no relevance for him, for a king who was…

Roos of the game

I so want the life Tim Williams has. He drives people around Kangaroo Island, showing them the local colour that comes in the shape of kangaroos and koalas, seals and sea lions. He takes off from work every Wednesday to go sailing with friends. He stops the jeep every few miles to check on his…