Category Archives: Africa

Why ordinary pleasantries make the difference

“Welcome to Morocco,” was the greeting not just from the front desk reception at hotels but from shopkeepers, people on the street, vendors in the Medina and waiters at cafes.

A simple statement, yet time taken out of their day to make one feel less of an outsider had a major impact. It made one think why these ordinary gestures were important. Hospitality was not learned in university courses; it was embedded into a nomadic culture in a land of rugged beauty that preceded the Prophet Mohamed’s reinforcement of the concept.

Read more in my Hellenic News of America travel column…

Welcome to Morocco


The Medina, Tangier

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Hellenic News of America

Travel Pen and Palate Argentina

Original World Insights


Zimbabwe’s Inns and Lodges in the National Parks

Throughout Zimbabwe visitors have abundant opportunities to view Africa’s array of animal life on a guided safari photo tour or from their room’s balcony.

Breakfast on the lawn at Antelope Park Lodge, Gweru, Zimbabwe

Within National Parks

Sikumi Tree Lodge, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

At stunning natural wonders

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

At historic sits

(top & bottom center) stairway & doorway at Great Zimbabwe, (lower left) a room at Lodge at the Ancient City

Travel with Pen and Palate in Zimbabwe:

In the Land of Kings: Zimbabwe’s Ancient Treasures

Zimbabwe Inns and Lodges: Nature Up Close and Personal

Zebra in the Eastern Highlands, Nyanga National Park, Zimbabwe

Antelope Park, Zimbabwe: When ALERT is Being Alive

lion videos at Antelope Park Lodge 

Zimbabwe Cuisine: A Tale of Three Meals 

(Editors Choice Award, Suite101)

breakfast at Matopo Hills Lodge in Matopo National Park, Zimbabwe

Luxury Lodges at Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls

(clockwise) sunset on the Zambizi River, at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, rafting on the Zambizi River, Victoria Falls, at Gorges Lodge

The Smiles of Zimbabwe

children in Mutare, Zimbabwe

(for visitor information:  Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.)

Antelope Park, Zimbabwe: When ALERT is Being Alive

At Antelope Park, Gweru, Zimbabwe, a dozen journalists take two cats for a walk, actually two lions. Laili and Lewa, barely one year old cubs but already weighing nearly 200 pounds each, play like kittens as they roll around on the ground, licking and nipping each other.

The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT), a non-profit founded at Antelope Park, actively pursues a four-stage method to stem the rapid decline of these roaming majestic cats. In less than 30 years, the population of wild African lions has decreased an estimated 85% from 200,000 to 30,000.

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The mission incurs tremendous costs and funding is dependent on donations, volunteers and the income generated by guests at Antelope Park Lodge.

You can read my article at…

Antelope Park, Zimbabwe: When ALERT is Being Alive                    

Increase screen to full size for best viewing of my video Feeding Adult Lions


Zimbabwe Cuisine: A Tale of Three Meals

The cuisine of Zimbabwe, not surprisingly, represents a fusion of traditional foods, Colonial influences and modern marketing.

Three meals illustrate Zimbabwe’s cuisine

Gazelle Stew on Sadza, beans in tomato sauce, collard greens & creamed spinach

On any photo safari through Zimbabwe springbok (African gazelle), kudu (large antelope), impala and warthogs are seen by the dozen. Crocodiles make venturing into the rivers for a swim unwise. It does not take that much imagination to realize that these animals, exotic to Western palates, must have been part of the Shona and Ndebele cultural diet.

Marinated Warthog with White Wine BBQ Sauce at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Gazelle, warthog and crocodile are still available yet, ironically, they are usually found in either luxury restaurants or an average home in the Townships.

In urban areas the working man or women and students in brightly colored, starched uniforms are more likely to be found in one of four fast food establishments – Chicken Inn®, Pizza Inn®, Bakers Inn® and Creamy Inn® – all serving industrialized products recognizable to anyone in Liverpool or Detroit.

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Three meals illustrate Zimbabwe’s cuisine


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The Smiles of Zimbabwe

Whizzing by on the bus in the dusty southern rural countryside a women flashes a big smile as I snap a picture through the windshield.

5th grade girles at the Hartzell School

If the future of a nation is in its youth, a visit to two rural schools confirms for me the resourceful exuberance of Zimbabwe’s young generation.

A young student at the Hartzell School in Mutare takes a break from his chore hoeing kale at the school’s vegetable plot to give me a wave.

The tables are turned as a student with a smartphone photographs the travel journalist while I snap away.

These were the facial expressions I encountered as I toured this beautiful land for two weeks in October, not the quizzical expressions of mild shock when I informed American acquaintances of my travel plans.

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