To celebrate the 100th issue of msafiri, we’ve compiled the ultimate feel-good round up of 100 unforgettable experiences on Kenya Airways’ global network. Touching down in all 50-plus KQ destinations, prepare to be amazed and inspired as we reveal the best days out, once-in-a-lifetime views, not-to-be-missed activities, pick-of-the-food, shopping hotspots, city landmarks, natural wonders and more…
1 DRINK Bangkok, Thailand
Get high and flighty
Discover the latest in Bangkok bar chic – skyline rooftop drinking. Here are five of the hippest high-rise hangouts:
• Sky Bar at Sirocco, Lebua Hotel – Sip a Sunset 63 (vodka, Cointreau, pineapple, orange juice) on the 63rd floor, claimed to be the world’s highest bar.
• Blue Sky, Sofitel Centara Grand – Don’t miss the monthly Full Moon club nights.
• Three Sixty, Millennium Hilton – Epic views with a laid-back vibe and regular jazz.
• Red Sky, Centara Grand – Watch the bar glow in seven shades of neon.
• Moon Bar, Banyan Tree – Work through the fine winelist, 61 floors up.
2 VIEW Paris, France
Find the best lookouts
Get a gorgeous overview of the City of Lights – here are our top three viewpoints:
•Tour Eiffel – The 324m Tour Eiffel may be celebrating its 125th anniversary this year but it remains the tallest structure in Paris. Earn the awesome outlook by climbing the 704 steps to its second level (115m) or take the elevator up to floor three (126m) for the loftiest lookout.
• Tour Montparnasse – There’s only one thing wrong with looking over Paris from the Eiffel Tower: you can’t see the Eiffel Tower. The 210m Tour Montparnasse is the city’s most central high point, and from its 56th-floor observation deck you can gaze down on all the finest sights.
• Sacré-Coeur – Sitting atop the city’s highest hill, the terrace in front of Montmartre’s wedding-cake basilica offers a fine Paris panorama. But you get an even finer one if you climb the 300 steps to the top of Sacré-Coeur’s dome – on a clear day you can see for over 30km.
3 PHOTO CALL Moroni, Comoros
Set a slow shutter for sunset
Even by the idyllic standards of the Indian Ocean, this is a photographic dream: gaze as the sinking sun casts a pink-orange glow over the winding, whitewashed Arab Quarter, wooden dhows and lapping waters of Moroni harbour, while fruit bats flap above.
4 CLASSIC Cairo, Egypt
Hang out with a hookah
Shisha, nargile, hubbly-bubbly, hookah – whatever you call this traditional pipe, puffing away in a cafe is a quintessential Cairo experience, the air hanging heavy with sweet tobacco and lively conversation. Top tip: if you’re sharing your pipe, always pass it clockwise. Try El Fishawy in Khan al-Khalili, reputedly serving for over two centuries.
5 ARTS Yaoundé, Cameroon
Find carvings among the cloisters
Traditional abbias are among the crafts displayed at Yaoundé’s Musée d’Art Camerounais, in the library of a former Benedictine Monastery on the slopes of Mt Fébé. The fine collection of Cameroonian arts ranges from masks to musical instruments.
6 LOCAL TIP Guangzhou, China
Discover the hipsters’ hangout: “Redtory (www.redtory.com.cn) is a cool art space housed in an old factory, with lots of indie art shops, galleries and cafes.” says Simon Foster, China expert, Bamboo Trails.
7 VIEW Hong Kong, China
Peer down from The Peak
Drink in the best views of Hong Kong’s skyline from this timeless perch. Ride up on the historic tram (opened in 1888), then pick a lookout: the free Peak Galleria observation deck; Sky Terrace 428 (where you can dine, too); Lion’s Pavilion view point; or, for a
scenic leg-stretch, the 3.5km Peak Circle Walk.
8 TOUR Guangzhou, China
Glide down the Pearl River
The Pearl River – Zhu Jiang, as it’s called locally – is the second-longest waterway in China, snaking 2400km from the central provinces to the South China Sea. But it’s in Guangzhou that the river gets most interesting. Capital of Guangdong province, Guangzhou is the manufacturing powerhouse of 21st-century China, a dynamic boomtown where skyscrapers seem to sprout faster than bamboo. On a night cruise through the city you can combine the timeless flow of the river with unbeatable views of all this surging modernisation. Climb aboard after dusk, when the towers of steel and glass are lit up like Christmas and reflected in the jade-hued waters. Trips float under Guangzhou’s key bridges, past the historic buildings of Shamian island, into White Goose Pool and via the swan-like Xinghai Concert Hall. There are also views to the Canton Tower, the twisting 600m-high observation spire that’s currently the tallest structure in China.
9 CULTURE Johannesburg, South Africa
Follow in Madiba’s footsteps
Nelson Mandela died in his Houghton Estate home, in Greater Johannesburg, on 5 December 2013, but his memory is very much alive in the city. Start your Mandela tour at the Liliesleaf Heritage Site, where ANC members plotted the overthrow of apartheid; it was raided by police in 1963, which led to the Rivonia Treason Trial and Mandela’s imprisonment. Continue south, detouring to Sandton’s Nelson Mandela Square to see the 6m-tall statue of Madiba, before reaching Constitution Hill, site of the infamous Old Fort jail, which housed many political prisoners – including Mandela. From here, cross the Mandela Bridge – opened in 2003, and a symbol of the city’s rejuvenation – before visiting the Apartheid Museum, to chart the history of the regime. Finally, enter Soweto, via upmarket Diepkloof and the Soccer City stadium, to reach Vilakazi Street. Mandela lived at House 8115, now a museum dedicated to him.
10 FOOD Djibouti, Djibouti
Feast on fresh seafood
Slurp oysters, crack lobsters and gorge on fresh fish in this coastal capital. Try Restaurant La Mer Rouge for some of the most sophisticated seafood (lamerrougedj.com).
11 CULTURE Ndola, Zambia
Test your metal at the Copperbelt Museum
Discover how Zambia’s economic clout was built on the russet-hued element at this fascinating museum on Buteko Ave. Even if geology and the periodic table aren’t your bag, you’ll discover insights into central Zambia’s culture and heritage – including crafts and local history dating back hundreds of years.
12 PEOPLE Brazzaville, Congo
Meet the style-king Sapeurs
Don your sleekest finery to fit in with Brazzaville’s Sapeurs – the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People. These dapper chaps, seen across the city, are the ultimate in sartorial suave, donning tailored suits (pink, pinstripe, dandelion yellow), polished brogues, bow ties and bowler hats, as if transplanted from 1920s Paris. It’s Congo at its classiest.
13 SPORT Port Louis, Mauritius
Watch historic horseraces
Champ de Mars racecourse opened in 1812 – making it reputedly the world’s second-oldest. Join the weekend crowds placing bets and hollering for horses in the historic stands during race season, running late March to early December; (www.mauritiusturfclub.com).
14 ANIMALS Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Escape to the lake
Not far north of Lubumbashi lies Lake Lufira, a hill-hugged reservoir surrounded by swampland and reeds, and designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. Bring your binoculars for a chance to spot the endemic Lake Lufira weaver.
15 DRINK Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Sink a Simba
There’s no better place to finish the day with a fresh Bière du Lion than in Lubumbashi, home to the Simba brewery.
16 VIEW Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Get above Addis
The slopes of 3200m Mount Entoto are the domain of gods and champions. It’s here that you’ll find the colourful frescoes of Kiddus Raguel Church. And it’s here that Ethiopia’s world-beating distance runners come to train (Haile Gebrselassie among them). Climb – or run – to the summit for super city views.
17 ARTS Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Move to some Burkinabe beats
Ouagadougou is a city with unstoppable rhythm: music – from hip hop to folk to Balafon – drifts from street corners and nightclubs citywide. Visit the Musée de la Musique (currently closed for refurbishment), then head out to dance away until dawn.
18 FOOD & DRINK Paris, France
Sip amid fin-de-siècle style
No ordinary station cafe, the Gare de Lyon’s Le Train Bleu is a soaring, glittering confection of a dining room. Order a cocktail and pretend it’s 1902.
19 ARTS Paris, France
Admire world-class canvases
The Louvre is bigger, but Paris’s Musée d’Orsay is, for lovers of Impressionists, more rewarding. Housed in a former station, it has Monets, Manets, Cézannes, Gauguins and a Van Gogh Starry Night. Visit the first Sunday of the month – it’s free!
20 SPORT Accra, Ghana
Cheer on the Black Stars
Ghanaians LOVE football. Climb the terraces to watch a match at Ohene Djan Stadium, which hosted the Africa Cup of Nations final in 2008.
21 LANDMARK Mumbai, India
Make a dramatic entrance (or exit)
The Gateway of India – a 26m-high portal of Indo-Saracenic architecture, built 1911 – dominates south Mumbai’s waterfront. It’s the entrance to this pulsating Indian city, and the exit to the Arabian Sea. Admire its detailed decoration, then drop to the jetty to board a ferry to Elephanta Island and view the arch from the waves.
22 QUIRKY Accra, Ghana
Gasp at creative coffins
Death needn’t be dismal – as proved by the casket-makers of Teshie, where carpenters specialise in bespoke fantasy-coffins. Want to be buried in a beer bottle, big fish or bullock? No problem! Visit the Kane Kwei Workshop to see where the craze began.
23 QUIRKY Douala, Cameroon
See the sculpture of scrap
La Nouvelle Liberté is a 12m-high salvage sculpture, designed by artist Joseph Sumégné and built from various bits of industrial detritus. Spot it lording over Deïdo roundabout.
24 PHOTO CALL Delhi, India
Capture images of Old Delhi
The Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, is free to visit, but there’s a fee for carrying a camera. To justify the cost, plan for perfect shots. Climb the south minaret for panoramas; visit late for the best light (it closes 30 minutes before sunset); or capture the moment when myriad birds flock around the Mughal monument.
25 CULTURE Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Meet your ultimate ancestor
Unearthed in Afar in 1974, famed pre-human fossil Lucy is 3.2 million years old. See a cast of her skeleton at the National Museum.
26 CLASSIC Mumbai, India
Bite into a bhaji on the beach
Mingle with Mumbai’s multitudes on Chowpatty Beach, the city’s favourite sunset spot. Promenade along Marine Drive, munch a traditional snack or hit Dome, the Intercontinental’s eighth-floor skybar, for sublime sundowners.
27 TOP TIP Delhi, India
Let a travel classic guide you
‘Delhi was full of riches and horror… a city of palaces, an open gutter…’ For unsurpassed insights, read William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns.
28 ARTS Cotonou, Benin
Admire the art of Africa
There are no rules at the sleek Fondation Zinsou – contemporary African painting, traditional sculpture and all forms of artistic expression rub shoulders in its eclectic displays. They also hosts workshops, events and guided tours, and don’t miss the chic boutique and cafe.
29 ANIMALS Bujumbura, Burundi
Hang out with hippos
Rusizi National Park, protecting the eastern bank and delta of the Rusizi River just 15km from Bujumbura, is an unexpected wonderland of acacia forest, populated by hippos, crocs, antelopes and a wealth of birds among the channels. Join a boat trip to explore the waterways.
30 CLASSIC Tokyo, Japan
Sing like no one’s listening
Party like a Japanese salaryman: head to the Shibuya district and seek out a karaoke bar – the quintessential Tokyo night out. Most have private booths where you can warble to your heart’s content; some even come with disco lights, Hello Kitty themes and if you’re lucky you’ll find one with rentable tambourines.
31 FOOD Eldoret, Kenya
Taste the passion
The fertile folds of the Rift Valley are perfect for producing plentiful passion fruit. Buy a handful from a roadside vendor, bite in and savour the rich juice.
32 STAY Kisumu, Kenya
Retreat to an island idyll
Picture this: you’re reclining on a private terrace, cocktail in hand, gazing over lush gardens to lapping waters beyond, gradually ticking off the 369 resident species of birds… Intimate Rusinga Lodge, nestled on an island in Lake Victoria, is a three-hour journey from Kisumu airport – and an total escape from the world (US$625 per person; www.rusinga.com).
33 TOUR Gaborone, Botswana
Join Mma Ramotswe
Follow in the footsteps of Botswana’s first (fictional) female sleuth on a No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency tour of Gaborone. Visit Precious Ramotswe’s home in Zebra Drive and drink a cup of her favourite red tea in the President Hotel. www.africainsight.com
34 DID YOU KNOW? Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
The Rumble in the Jungle happened here
The legendary bout between George Foreman and Muhammed Ali was held at Kinshasa’s Father Raphael Stadium on 30 October 1974.
35 SPORT Eldoret, Kenya
Spot running greats
Tiny Iten, near Eldoret, has a population of just 4000 – but 1000 of them are athletes, among them the world’s best distance runners. Rise at 6am to watch the elite train, or visit Eldoret’s Wall of Champions – a muralled stretch of concrete commemorating every Kenyan to win the London Marathon. It’s a long wall…
36 TOUR Entebbe, Uganda
Saddle up in Kampala
Want to discover the tastiest local food and highlights of Kampala? Leap astride a motorcycle with Walter for a Boda Boda Tour (www.walterstours.com).
37 RELAX Monrovia, Liberia
Escape to the beach
Leave the mayhem of the city behind – and head for Mamba Point Beach. This Atlantic-tickled stretch of sandy shore is lined with bars pumping out hipco – a uniquely Liberian vernacular hip hop. Order a beer and tuck into specialities including jollof rice and fufu.
38 TOP TIP Mombasa, Kenya
Dawn or dusk at the Fort
Looming above Mombasa’s labyrinthine Old Town, Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in 1593. And boy, did they need it: this seaboard was much coveted – these battlements saw plenty of action. Today it’s a quieter spot, as long as you come early to avoid the tour buses. Explore the ruined church, storerooms and courtyards; check out the crude wall paintings, doodled by bored Portuguese sentries; and visit the Fort Jesus Museum. Finish with a cold lime juice in the small cafe – or return later for the thrice-weekly sound-and-light show, ending with a candlelit dinner in the fort itself.
39 ACTIVE Malindi, Kenya
Dive into the blue
Malindi Marine Park is a tropical soup of dolphins, turtles, triggerfish, parrotfish, sharks, snappers, corals and – February to March – wonderful whale sharks.
40 VIEW Incheon, South Korea
Teeter atop the tallest tower
If you want a really good lookout, build your observation point on a tall hill. That’s what the Koreans did with Seoul’s N Tower – a 236.7m spire built on 243m Namsan Mountain. For the most sweeping views, try the fourth deck’s revolving restaurant
41 ACTIVE Kisumu, Kenya
Ride to the rock
Cycle to the sacred stones of Kit Mikayi, west of Kisumu, to learn local Luo legends and climb the 40m-high formation (Ksh5000; www.bikeventures.org).
42 JOURNEY Bamako, Mali
Ride the ferry to Timbuktu
The River Niger flows through Bamako – and all of life seems to flow on the Niger: this waterway bustles with ladies doing laundry and men paddling pirogues. For the classic river run (when the water level’s high), catch a bus 50km northeast to Koulikoro and board the boat to Timbuktu.
43 ANIMALS Lilongwe, Malawi
Support crucial conservation
Meet Bella the blind lioness, Aly the orphaned duiker and other needy creatures at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, dedicated to helping injured animals. The emphasis is on conservation and sustainability, but it’s also a great escape from the city (www.lilongwewildlife.org).
44 QUIRKY Lilongwe, Malawi
Experience auction action
Be dizzied by the tumult of Malawi’s tobacco sales – head to the public gallery of Lilongwe’s Auction Holdings warehouse (March–September, 7.30am–noon, Monday–Friday; book via www.ahlmw.com).
45 ANIMALS Antananarivo, Madagascar
Watch leaping lemurs
Around 80% of Madagascar’s wildlife is endemic – lots of it wonderfully weird, and much of it tough to spot. A visit to Tsimbazaza Zoo guarantees glimpses of a range of species, from colourful chameleons to various charismatic species of lemur. Don’t miss the night-day house, which houses a few rare, bulgy-eyed aye-ayes.
46 VIEW Nairobi, Kenya
Revel in the Rift
Drive north from Nairobi on the Nakuru road; after about an hour, as the highway crests a ridge, the world just drops away as the awesome, ancient Rift Valley plummets down to acacia-cloaked plains. A shack-lined layby offers the best views.
47 FOOD & DRINK Nairobi, Kenya
Let’s do brunch
Sip own-brewed beers at the classy Brew Bistro – come on Sundays for the delectable brunch served on the terrace, accompanied by live jazz (www.thebigfivebreweries.com).
48 STAY Malindi, Kenya
Weekend in Watamu
Plan the perfect mini-break to this tranquil town just south of Malindi. Stay in a trendy treehouse (www.treehouse.co.ke, right), relax on the soft white sand and watch for turtles.
49 PHOTO CALL Shanghai, China
Shoot sunrise synchrony in Shanghai
Every morning at sunrise, locals in Zen moods and loose garb gather at The Bund, Shanghai’s historic riverside boardwalk, to practise t’ai chi beneath the skyscrapers. Their graceful moves make for beautiful compositions – and you could join in.
50 NATURE Douala, Cameroon
Head for the top of West Africa
It takes a few days to summit 4095m Mount Cameroon, but drive to Buea, 80km west of Douala on the eastern flank of West Africa’s highest peak – an active volcano – for views of lava flows, tea plantations, waterfalls and a bounty of butterflies.
51 QUIRKY Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Delve into Cu Chi’s tunnels
Claustrophobes beware: the 250km-long network of war-era tunnels inhabited by the Viet Cong are narrow, dark and stiflingly hot. They’re also fascinating. Head to Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc, 50km north of Ho Chi Minh City, to learn how thousands of families lived underground (www.cuchitunnel.org.vn).
52 CULTURE Jakarta, Indonesia
Immerse yourself in Indonesia
Jakarta’s National Museum – known as the Elephant House, on account of the be-trunked statue outside – has been showcasing Indonesian treasures since 1868. Today, some 110,000 objects are exhibited, ranging from fossilised skulls to Hindu-Javanese bronzes. To take in the best bits, join a free museum tour, led by the Indonesian Heritage Society; English-language tours run Tues, Thurs and some Saturdays (www.heritagejkt.org).
53 LANDMARK Luanda, Angola
Get an eyeful of Eiffel
Don’t miss the ornate latticework on the recently restored canary-yellow Palácio de Ferro – a little piece of Parisian flair in Angola. Reputedly designed by Gustave ‘Tour’ Eiffel, it was built in France in the 1890s, then shipped south and reassembled in Luanda in 1902.
54 ACTIVE Livingstone, Zambia
Tackle the Zambezi
The Zambezi crashes down Victoria Falls at up to 3000m3 per second – no wonder rafting the rapids here is arguably the world’s most thrilling whitewater ride.
55 FOOD & DRINK Hong Kong, China
Make time for cake!
Baking is big in Hong Kong – for proof, visit during the spring Bun Festival. Seek out pastel de nata (left) or bo lo bao (pineapple buns) year-round; locals flock to Kam Wah Cafe in Mong Kok.
56 TOP TIPS Nairobi, Kenya
Go wild in the city
You can spot lions, leopards and more just 7km from Kenya’s capital city. Here’s how to get the best from Nairobi National Park:
1 Visit early The park is open 6am-6pm, and animals are most active first thing in the morning.
2 Hire a guide They’re adept at spotting game, and know the areas where animals tend to hang out.
3 Ask for info Rangers keep note of the movements of the bigger animals, so ask at the gate for advice on where to look for lions and rhinos.
4 Time it right Game viewing is best during the long dry season (July–October), when vegetation is minimal and animals gather at permanent waterholes.
5 Don’t look for elephants This is the only one of the Big 5 not present in the park. For elephant encounters, head to the nearby Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org).
57 ANIMALS Dzaoudzi, Mayotte
Watch humpbacks make a splash
Cast away between Mozambique and Madagascar, the Comoros island of Mayotte is a remote Eden for adventurous travellers – and humpback whales. From July to late October, the charismatic cetaceans come here to calve; with luck, you might see an acrobatic breach.
58 CULTURE Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Buy the brightest art
Seek out some authentic Tinga Tinga. The home of the Tanzanian art form – stylised and vibrant enamel paintings, often of animals – is Dar’s Tingatinga Art Co-operative Society
59 RELAX Seychelles
Bathe on the world’s best beaches
Top 5 beaches:
1 Anse Lazio, Praslin – Pure-white sand and shallow waters, ideal for families.
2 Anse Takamaka, Mahé – 2km of uninterrupted sand, with a great beach restaurant.
3 Petit Anse, Mahé – Empty idyll, reachable on foot from (also gorgeous) Grand Anse.
4 Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue – Powder sand, granite boulders, swaying palms… perfection.
5 Beau Vallon, Mahé – Sail, snorkel or dive off this spectacular 3km strand.
60 DRINK Amsterdam, Netherlands
Settle into a brown cafe
Cosy, convivial, quintessentially Amsterdam – brown cafes are the city’s most traditional drinking spots. Try In ‘t Aepjen or In de Wildeman.
61 RELAX Bujumbura, Burundi
Loll by the lake
Find white sand, lapping waters and lively bars (serving ice-cold beers) on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, just 5km from Bujumbura city. Saga Beach has the best buzz.
62 FOOD & DRINK Mombasa, Kenya
Feast your eyes
Dine with divine ocean views at Tamarind’s atmospherically Arabian-styled Mombasa restaurant, set on the best spot on the waterfront (www.tamarind.co.ke).
63 STAY Windhoek, Namibia
Rest like a royal
Three elegant castles, built by the same German architect between 1914 and 1917, nestle in the hills above Windhoek: Sanderburg, Schwerinsburg and Heinitzburg. The latter is now a hotel, and its lofty terrace is the best place to have afternoon tea or sink a sundowner with fine city views (www.heinitzburg.com).
64 CULTURE Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Discover hidden history
Track down Bait Al-Naseef, a time capsule in fast-modernising Jeddah. This 19th-century merchant’s house, once home to King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, is now a museum. Visit its 107 rooms, climb the wide ramps (used by camel-back messengers) to the rooftop for the call to prayer.
65 JOURNEY Moscow, Russia
Ride the opulent underground
Board the world’s most palatial public transport system – the Moscow Metro. Opened in 1935, its grandest stations are adorned with marble columns, stirring mosaics and colossal chandeliers. Mayakovskaya is the pick of the stops, a vaulted Art Deco confection of pink and chrome.
66 SHOPPING Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Get lost at the market
Shop til you drop at Souq al-Alawi, the country’s biggest market – a tangle of old alleys, new shopfronts, commerce and chatter.
67 ACTIVE Freetown, Sierra Leone
Surf virgin Atlantic waves
The village of Bureh, a 90-minute drive from Freetown, is home to Sierra Leone’s first surf club. Opened in 2012 by an expat Irishman, Bureh Beach Surf Club provides access to the coast’s great untapped breaks as well as boosting the local economy.
68 ANIMALS Juba, South Sudan
Spot wild elephants
Less than 200km south of Juba sits Nimule National Park. Here, you can take a boat to Opekoloe Island for the best chance of spotting some of the park’s 7000 elephants. Top tip: head to the riverbank at dusk – this is when the eles gather to drink.
69 ACTIVE Jo’burg, South Africa
Make a unique leap
Call it extreme recycling: Soweto’s disused Orlando Cooling Towers have been reinvented as the world’s quirkiest bungee jump. Ascend 100m to a suspension bridge strung between the towers… then plunge back down (orlandotowers.co.za).
70 BEACH Lagos, Nigeria
Seek out sand
Escape from the clamour of Lagos by the Gulf of Guinea – secluded Tarkwa Bay is the pick of the city’s beaches.
71 ANIMALS Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Safari without crowds
Arusha National Park is diverse and teeming with life, but often overlooked. Particular pleasures include canoeing on the Momela Lakes and the chance to summit 4565m Mount Meru.
72 CULTURE Bangkok, Thailand
Get hands on with Thai massage
The Wat Pho Buddhist temple is home to a famed reclining Buddha – and renowned massage school: get pummelled by a pro, or learn techniques (www.watpomassage.commassage.com).
73 JOURNEY Mombasa, Kenya
Sail off into the sunset
The flap of a lateen sail, waves slapping the wooden hull, ocean breeze… There’s nothing more romantic than a late-afternoon cruise aboard a traditional dhow. Take a trip on Tamarind’s sailboat and you’ll enjoy a seafood supper too (www.tamarind.co.ke).
74 ANIMALS Kigali, Rwanda
Track mountain gorillas
Just three hours from Kigali you can be in Volcanoes National Park, home to a third of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas. Joining a guided trek is mandatory and permits are expensive – but quite simply, it’s the world’s most moving wildlife encounter.
75 ACTIVE Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Test yourself on Africa’s roof
No time to climb the world’s highest trekking peak? Make a day foray on Kilimanjaro’s slopes instead. Try the nature loop from Marangu Gate, with cuts through cloudforest, or hike to Mandara Huts (2723m) from where, in good weather, you can look out over the plains and up to Kili’s 5895m summit.
76 LANDMARK Khartoum, Sudan
Watch the rivers roar
Gaze down from the steel-trussed White Nile Bridge to witness the two tributaries of Africa’s mightiest river become one. Here, the White and Blue Nile converge, combining forces for their long dash to the Med.
77 JOURNEY Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Sail to Zanzibar
It’s too tantalising to resist: Zanzibar, the mellifluously monikered, spice-scented, palm-shaded isle is just a 2.5-hour ferry ride from Dar, or you can fly KQ from June 2014. Wander maze-like Stone Town, meet the monkeys of Jozani Forest and dip in the azure ocean.
78 MUSIC Dakar, Senegal
Dance to Dakar’s beats
Music matters in Senegal. Local legends including Orchestra Baobab, Baaba Maal and Youssou N’Dour have won global acclaim, but Dakar remains the best place to hear Senegalese music: head for the pumping patio of Just 4 U or N’Dour’s own club, Thiossane.
79 STAY Blantyre, Malawi
Sleep in the past
Bed down in one of Malawi’s oldest homes – Huntingdon Lodge, nestled amid leafy plantations an hour’s drive south of Blantyre. Here you can sleep in the former chapel, ’Mother’s Room’ or old nursery, and spend days tasting the estate’s own teas, hiking and biking its trails, spotting birds or playing croquet.
80 SHOPPING Lusaka, Zambia
Get crafty at Kabwata Cultural Centre
Carved masks, wooden hippos, colourful fabrics, jewellery, musical instruments
and more – find handicrafts from across Zambia among the forty-odd traditional rondavels on Burma Rd.
81 ACTIVE Djibouti, Djibouti
Swim with behemoths
Go from big city to big fish in a jiffy – a world of wonderful diving is accessible from the capital’s location on the Gulf of Tadjoura. Plunge off nearby Moucha Island to scuba with a rainbow of reef life or visit October–February to swim with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish (www.djibouti-divers.com).
82 ANIMALS Harare, Zimbabwe
Eyeball an impala at Mukuvisi Woodland
Encounter Africa’s spectacular animals just a hop from central Harare among msasa parkland and woods at this 265-hectare environmental centre. A guided walk, birdwatching event or horseback safari offers terrific photo opportunities with zebra, impala, chameleons, giraffes and wonderful birdlife – look out for the dazzling malachite kingfishers and bee-eaters. www.mukuvisiwoodland.co.zw
83 ARTS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Meet the Dutch masters
Amsterdam’s recently renovated Rijksmuseum is brimful with the finest Dutch art including Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, Frans Hals’s joyous The Merry Drinker and Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Don’t miss the new commission from Turner Prize-winner Richard Wright: a ceiling of 50,000 black stars.
84 ACTIVE Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pedal the paths
Amsterdam’s flat, canal-lined streets are some of the world’s most cycle-friendly – the city boasts some 400km of bike lanes. Hire your steed from Centraal Station or join a guided tour.
85 CULTURE Maputo, Mozambique
Admire African architecture
Get the measure of handsome Maputo in Praça da Independência, the heart of the city. This broad square is flanked by the soaring white cathedral (completed in 1944) and the neoclassical City Hall; just off the plaza is the steel-walled Casa do Ferro, designed by Gustave Eiffel – although he never actually visited Mozambique.
86 QUIRKY Abu Dhabi, UAE
Explore mangroves by moonlight
Kayak among the dense mangroves past flamingos and kingfishers with the city skyline as a backdrop – or, for an alternative perspective, by the light of the full moon (http://noukhada.ae).
87 HISTORY Ndola, Zambia
Did you know slavers traded under a tree?
Gaze at the ancient mupapa (mahogany) tree on Makoli Ave, under whose shade 19th-century Arab slave traders gathered.
88 CULTURE Lagos, Nigeria
Feel the Afrobeat
Pay homage at the Shrine – base of Fela Kuti, father of Afrobeat. Born just north of Lagos in 1938, Kuti became a musician, producer, radical and showman who took traditional Yoruba strains and mixed them with brassy tones, jazz riffs and pointed political messages, creating the sound of anti-establishment Africa. Kuti died in Lagos in 1997 but his legend lives on. His Kalakuta commune has been turned into a museum; his famed nightclub, the New Afrika Shrine, has been rebuilt; and the Felabration Festival (13–19 October 2014; www.felabration.net) is a mass celebration of his music.
89 ANIMALS Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Meet the relatives
The bonobo is one of humankind’s closest relatives – we share 98.7% of our DNA with these pygmy chimpanzees. Encounter them at Lolo Ya Bonobo, a sanctuary just outside the city, where you can watch the mammals feed and play (www.friendsofbonobos.org).
90 HISTORY Nampula, Mozambique
Taste island life
It’s hard to believe today that the tiny Ilha do Moçambique, just 180km east of Nampula, was the capital of Portuguese East Africa in the 16th century. It lost that honour to Maputo in 1898, but retains a faded grandeur. Wander its Unesco-listed warren of crumbling churches and colonnaded squares and imagine the island’s former glories.
91 ARTS London, UK
All the world’s a stage… and, with more than 230 professional theatres across London, the British capital is the planet’s best place to watch a play. But in 2014 the best stage on which to watch a performance is at Shakespeare’s Globe (www.shakespearesglobe.com) on the South Bank. Recreating the building that stood here four centuries ago, this playhouse runs through the Bard’s masterworks – what better way to celebrate his 450th birthday this year?
92 ANIMALS Livingstone, Zambia
Ride a tusker
The sight of an African elephant is awe-inspiring. But the view from the back of this mighty creature is simply unforgettable. An adult male stands 3m-plus high at the shoulder – which is where you’ll be sitting during an elephant-back safari from Thorntree River Lodge, 10km from Livingstone in the heart of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Here, you’ll meet Madinda, Bop and Co., a small herd accustomed to carrying visitors, and learn to see the park’s other inhabitants – giraffes, zebra, buffalo, perhaps even white rhino or wild dogs – through their eyes.
93 VIEW London, UK
Gaze from Britain’s tallest sculpture
Chase your Olympic dream at the site of the 2012 games, London’s newest park – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Here you can take in the sweeping vistas from the new Anish Kapoor-designed ArcelorMittal Orbit viewing platforms.
94 ANIMALS Entebbe, Uganda
Go ape with chimps
Come face to face with our closest relatives at Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria, home to 48 orphaned chimpanzees in the lush Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Join for a half-day feeding session or, better still, spend some quality time with these amazing apes, which share 98.8% of our DNA, on a special caregiver-for-a-day experience (www.ngambaisland.org).
95 QUIRKY Hanoi, Vietnam
Watch a water dance
For a uniquely Vietnamese take on marionette artistry, catch a performance of mua roi nuoc – literally, ‘puppets that dance on the water’, a recital of traditional folk tales and music (with the odd firework thrown in). Hanoi’s best theatre is Thang Long. (www.thanglongwaterpuppet.org)
96 LANDMARK Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Explore a town lost in time
Grand-Bassam, inscribed on Unesco’s World Heritage list in 2012, lies 45km east of Abidjan – but a century away in atmosphere. This French colonial enclave was once the coast’s main port; now it’s crumbling. Wander its atmospheric old quarter, where mansions are being reclaimed by nature, and visit the traditional fishing village of N’zima.
97JOURNEY Dubai, UAE
Cross the Creek
While skyscrapers soar ever higher above Dubai, some things stay pretty much unchanged: the souks, the dhow wharfs and especially the abras (water taxis) that flit across, up and down Dubai Creek, the waterway that’s been the city’s lifeblood for centuries. As the sun sets, hop aboard one of these wooden boats, and sit under the shade of its canopy, and take in the activity along the waterfront – for a couple of dirham you can chug the regular route between Bur Dubai and the spice souk of Deira, or for a little more charter an abra for an evening tour of the Creek.
98 SHOPPING Dubai, UAE
Stash the spices and sparkles
Dubai’s souks are famed for gold, spices and textiles – and now the Shopping Festival each January adds bargains plus street fairs, fireworks and traditional performances (http://www.mydsf.ae/en).
99 FOOD Abu Dhabi, UAE
Like your food flapping fresh? At Abu Dhabi’s Mina Fish Market, fish go from Gulf to gutting to grill to gullet in just minutes. Arrive early morning to watch the catch being unloaded, then wander among the stalls, pick your ingredients and take them to one of the experts to prepare and cook to your liking.
100 ANIMALS Lusaka, Zambia
Meet an elephant orphan at Lilayi
Did you know that a baby elephant needs to be fed special formula milk every three hours? Raising ele orphans is intensive but vital work – and you can watch it in action at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery just 35 minutes from central Lusaka. Here, infants under two are raised before being weaned and transferred for release into Kafue National Park. Open daily 11.30am–1pm (www.gamerangersinternational.org/ourprojects/elephant-orphanage-project international.org/ourprojects/elephant-orphanage-project)