Talana Hill Heritage Park and Battlesite, South Africa

The first stop on the battlefield leg of my 2013 tour of southern Africa was Ladysmith, partly because of proximity, but partly because the Siege of Ladysmith was one of the most iconic episodes of the early part of the 2nd Boer War. The only thing worth seeing as a casual visitor was the Ladysmith Siege Museum. Dundee on the… Read more →


The central focus of Islamic East Africa has always been Zanzibar Island This was the latter day seat of the Sultans of Oman, and for centuries the main entrépot for the vast inland reach of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade. Trade has in fact been the lifeblood of Zanzibar since the earliest days of settlement. Its ideal location adjacent to… Read more →

Robben Island: A Legacy of the Anti-Apartheid Struggle

Prison Islands occupy a particularly sordid place in the macabre history of crime and punishment. Thanks to the searing autobiography of French detainee Henri Charriere, entited Papillon, or the Butterfly, Devil’s Island has become one of these. The entire Australian continent also lays claim to a penal history. One supposes that the fact of confining dangerous prisoners to an island… Read more →

A Brief Look at the History and Culture of Tanzania

Among African nations Tanzania has an extremely strong history and cultural heritage. It is here that evidence of the earliest human development has been found, where one of the greatest campaigns of World War I was fought, where one of the great oriental dynasties created a sultanate, and where some of the more memorable tussles of the colonial period took… Read more →

A classic journey: Peter MacQueen’s 1909 Summit Attempt Kilimanjaro

The following is an excerpt from American Hunter, explorer and adventurer Peter MacQueen’s account of his 1909 hunting expedition in East Africa AFTER a delightful week with the Germans and the colonists of Moschi we made ready for an ascent of Kilimanjaro. We consulted with Sultan Sulima, and he procured for us sixteen of his strongest young men to carry… Read more →