The Lion Returns

Forty years ago today the Lion of Judah disappeared in mystery yet as the fog of time clears, his legacy becomes the legacy of Africa. When Haile Selassie “disappeared” on August 28, 1974, a new era of democracy and freedom exploded onto the continent. All of us were ecstatically hopeful. What a mess. It went […]

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Cecil & Swales

The killing of Cecil the lion has now been followed by the killing of Swales the guide. Both tragedies are pathetic examples of horrifically poor safari management typical of Zimbabwe. Neither would have happened in Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa. I haven’t written about Cecil until now, although canned hunting, which was the cause of […]

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Pork Pies

Preparing for the first-ever WTO leadership meeting on African soil in December, Kenyans are coming out swinging. Against western trade deals. Against western “communism.” They have a point. Developing countries overriding responsibility is to feed their population. Many developing countries, like those in East Africa, have large amounts of agricultural land, relatively modern farming techniques […]

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And Crackerjack

Ugandan little leaguers are representing Africa better than expected in the Little League World Series. Francis Alemo is the star pitcher, pitching faster and harder than virtually any other pitcher on the playoff roster. “Francis Alemo [is] virtually unhittable,” a sports broadcaster was quoted today on NPR. The African little leaguers are here thanks mostly […]

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Politics or People?

You probably have no idea what an illegal immigrant is. You’ve heard of course of the hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterners and North Africans sailing to Greece to get to Macedonia to get to Serbia to get ultimately and mostly to Germany. You might even know of a nearly equal number from west and […]


In The Pink!

Paleontologists have some really new important bones from Olduvai Gorge, and they so perfectly fit into my collection of bones against paleontologists! Olduvai is one of my favorite places in the world, a bit overrun these days by too many tourists but weathering it all well, and on every Tanzanian safari I lead we visit […]

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Polio Plus a lot More

Polio may have been eliminated from Africa. Although the context is Africa, this is an uniquely American story. It’s a hero’s tale of misplaced generosity: More than 30 years ago a generous group of American middle class business leaders decided they would eradicate polio. Last week the Global Polio Eradication (GPE) Initiative announced that it […]

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Rihandling Elephants

Here’s a flash: elephants aren’t capable of human emotions. Neither are whales. Or your dog. Despite whatever pretenses we might employ for our own happiness, animals don’t share our consciousness. That doesn’t mean they might not have “animal emotions,” but since we aren’t elephants, whales or dogs, we’ll never fully understand what “animal emotions” are. […]

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Crossing in the Night

Thirty-five years ago I regularly stood abreast a Cuban or Russian in Sal, Cape Verde. We stared blankly at one another trying but unable to smile or offer a handshake. That paradox – during South African sanctions and the height of the Cold War – defined U.S. global relations that finally today may be changing. […]


Smiling Terrorists

If you’re an American, you probably don’t understand terrorism. Your egoism’s unique fears cloud your rational analysis. Two excellent examples of this, today: The first is simple. On a not-very-left but not-right morning TV show, today, Morning Joe, a quick mention of the ISIS beheading of a Croatian oil worker who was kidnapped in Cairo […]

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Strongmen Clapping

Obama’s speech to African Heads of State in Addis Ababa several weeks ago was both naive and inspiring and made me realize how weak a President but how strong a role model he is. Obama minced no words when calling out African leaders for corruption, misuse of power and insensitivity to human rights. It was […]

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Disappointment follows Delay

If you’re planning a vacation next year, you better get your reservations now. Americans are back on the road! The number of Americans traveling overseas has finally exceeded the peak in 2006 before the Great Recession. And it did so with a bang in 2014, with 10% more foreign vacations taken by Americans than in […]

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Which to Visit? Kenya or Tanzania?

My five months in Africa ended this week. If you’re trying to decide between visiting Tanzania or Kenya, I’ve got the answer. My answer, if you’ve got the cash and time, is both. But if you’re watching your vacation dollars and have limited time, the answer is Kenya. Here’s why. First of all why does […]


Vigilance in Tanzania

Vigilance in Tanzania, folks. A surprising political situation has developed which might bring enormous benefit to the country or … might cast it into turmoil. For 50 years the Tanzanian government has been ruled by a single party, the CCM [Chama Cha Mapinduzi]. Although certified by western powers as democratic, it never really has been. […]

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OnSafari: Kenya vs. Tanzania

The border between Kenya and Tanzania has been closed in the Mara since 1979, but that didn’t stop us! Historically, the great wildebeest migration has been in the Mara regions of the Ngorongoro/Serengeti/Mara ecosystem from July – September. This is when – historically – the rains have ended in the south while continuing here in […]

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