Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ebola Up Ahead!

Apparently there is an Ebola virus outbreak in Uganda at the moment. One to avoid for a while. Then again, isn’t Ebola’s main problem that it kills its vectors too quickly?

The rash is just the start..

I still remember the horror of that book about it – and it starts with a headache and slight backache (he stretches out on the chair nervously!), before your body basically falls into a pile of mush on the floor.

African Union - EU Summit Starts
The African Union – EU summit in Lisbon has just started. Mugabe has been banned from the EU, but apparently other African leaders said they wouldn’t attend either if he came, so they caved in. Gordon Brown is boycotting the summit as a result. All sounds fairly childish.

Crackpot dictator who lets his people starve

The African Union is spineless for not dealing with this problem on their doorstep, and the EU for not intervening or pushing for a solution. If we go into Iraq, Rwanda and other places where millions are starving or dying, why let Mugabe and his cronies get away with it? If only Zimbabwe had large oil reserves…

New Scandinavian Cooking

My favourite new programme on television is New Scandinavian Cooking, presented by Claus Meyer!

I can’t wait to get the DVD of the series, and no that is not a hint! He’s so unassuming and funny in the driest Danish way. Incidentally, did you know Danish Pastries in Denmark are called Austrian Pastries? Anyway, this guy travels around Scandinavia, cooking local foods and drinking beer. He even made it up to Greenland, sitting on an ice field, and pulled out some vodka, cranberries, honey and other bits and pieces and made himself a cocktail with the ice. What a guy! Go find this show, it’s on BBC Food, and presumably appears on conventional channels too.

Updated travel plans: I’m about to head to Mozambique. Amusingly, I think I need a visa. Why? Because there is a Mozambican embassy in London. If they have a diplomatic presence in your home country, the theory is that you can apply for a visa before leaving. If not, for example Botswana, then you can get it on arrival. Some marvellous logic behind there somewhere. So I’ll have to go to Jo’berg or Pretoria, anyway a chance to catch up with Sofia, Travis and Colastraw. All in one evening, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Then there are going to be some pretty horrible buses. Also it’s a malarial zone across the whole country.

So, up the coast - Mozambique - Inhambane, Tofo, hopefully with Thabiso and Malebogo, back down to Maputo for a few days, then up, perhaps to the Bazaruto Archipelago, then up to Ilha de Mozambique, Quirimbas Archipelago...

Best places in the world for whale sharks

..maybe via Malawi, but I suspect not, then across the border into Tanzania (pronounced Tan-zayyn – ee aa here in Botswana for some reason). Then boat from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam, then the islands of Zanzibar, and Pemba, before cutting inland to Kilimanjaru, then up to Mt Kenya. I might divert into the Serengeti (Tanzania) or Masai Mara (Kenya), will make a call nearer the time. I feel like I’ve done safari after the three hours on Chobe Waterfront!! Anyway, the plan is coming together – you see how it works out – you start with continents, then drill down slowly as it gets closer and you can be bothered to read the relevant chapters in LP.

So I’m excited! The road ahead is lined with exciting things to do, in particular two of my personal *musts* for Africa, diving in Mozambique and climbing Kilimanjaru. I’ve also been researching Sudan, I don’t think I’m going to risk it – ignoring the Dafur situation, the South is supposed to be quite dangerous, which is where I’d come in from, i.e. Ethiopia. The visa is expensive and takes a long time to issue. And the only place of interest is Khartoum, otherwise it’s just a transit country between Ethiopia and Egypt. And if you check the map, it’s a damn big transit. So I think flying from Addis Ababa to somewhere in the Middle East to hit Jordan and home is the way forward. Plus I note Gulf Air, my favourite Emirate clone with the tastiest curries in the economy-class sky, services Ethiopia. Taste buds watering already!!!

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