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Afghanistan – What To See

Former fort - Qala-e-Panja, Afghanistan

Afghanistan is the most beautiful country I have ever seen – their mountains command your attention. My experience was limited to the region of the Wakhan Corridor.  Ishkashim is the border town and only entry point to the area and I found this to be a fascinating and friendly place.  However, you will need to […]

Tajikistan – Is It Safe?

Family home – near Rang-kul, Tajikistan

Tajikistan is safe in terms of security issues, despite its proximity to Afghanistan. There has been unrest due to local protests in Khorog in 2012, and as a result that town was closed to tourists. This posed no physical danger to foreigners, but it obviously an caused enormous amount of frustration for those wanting to […]

Ethiopia – Is It Safe?

Pre-dawn St Mary’s Day Ceremony – Axum, Ethiopia

Overall, Ethiopia is a very safe country. I’ve never had even the slightest threat to my safety or possessions during my six visits to the country. This of course does not mean that you should dispense with your common sense, so activities such as walking in dark areas alone at night, not keeping an eye […]

Afghanistan – Practical Information

A harsh life - Kizkut, Afghanistan

  Before you go: Obtaining a visa is necessary for all visitors prior to entering Afghanistan, and it is likely that you will need a Letter of Introduction from an accredited travel provider.  Visa requirements can differ with the embassy or consulate.  In Khorog, Tajikistan, visas are provided in 30 minutes, whereas in Dubai the […]

North Korea – Is It Safe?

The Mass Gymnastics and Artistic Performance – Pyongyang, North Korea

North Korea is one of the safest countries you will ever travel. During my 2009 visit, I was always accompanied by a driver, party official and guide, and because the only people who are likely to speak to you have been authorised to do so, the chance from petty crime is almost nil. The most […]

Yemen – Is It Safe?

Market in the Old City - Sana'a, Yemen

Note: Due to the current conflict, I cannot recommend a visit to Yemen at this time, except for Socotra Island which continues to be a safe destination. The situation is Yemen is volatile and security is patchy – with an irregular line between safe and potentially dangerous provinces.  Yemen is considered universally dangerous by foreign […]

Somaliland – Is It Safe?

Welcoming smile - Hargeisa, Somaliland

My visit over the Christmas-New Year period in 2013-2014 demonstrated that Somaliland is one of the safest countries I have ever visited.  Hargeisa is extremely secure – money changers can leave a fortune of cash on the streets without any weapon or guards and not fear theft. Elsewhere in the country mirrored that same feeling […]

Tajikistan – What To See

Camel trek - near Rang-kul, Tajikistan

An isolated country surrounded by Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, China and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan hosts one of the great road journeys of the world – between Dushanbe , the capital of Tajikistan, to Osh in Kyrgyzstan.  One will see fellow travellers following this route in all manner of vehicles – such as bicycle, motorcycle, 4WD/SUV or campervan. The […]

Kurdistan – Is It Safe?

Mountains of Harir - Kurdish Region, Iraq

Note: Due to the current conflict encroaching into parts of Kurdistan (from the western border with Iraq), one should exercise extreme caution if travelling through the that part of the country. For many years, the Kurdish regions of Iraq (namely the provinces of Dohuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah – known collectively as Kurdistan) have been safe […]

Zambia – What To See

Sunset - Victoria Falls, Zambia

Zambia is an underappreciated destination in Africa that has plenty to offer the visitor.  Zambians are a friendly and welcoming people and even the touts who approach you do so in a genteel manner. In my opinion, probably the best wildlife spotting outside of the Serengeti/Mara during The Great Migration can be found in South […]