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Hartebeest nairobi kenya safari photo

This sleek antelope species is omnipresent in the savannas of East Africa and is much less skittish than its gazelle cousin. The lack of fear is understandable given the powerful frame of the animal and the speed with which it can escape predators. Like many names for wildlife in Africa, the word “hartebeest” comes from Afrikaans/Cape Dutch.

In the image above, the portion of the hartebeest herd captured blends with the dry season grasses and makes the creatures less obvious to the lions that inhabit Nairobi National Park. While they were certainly aware of our safari car, not a bit of anxiety was evident from the group.

Born Free Ethiopia Menagesha

As someone who has dwelled in cities throughout my adult life, one of the great thrills of my time in Africa has been the opportunity to experience wildlife on an intimate basis. I happily awake at dawn for game drives, monkeys have stolen my dinner and I’ve looked up from more than one sundowner into the eyes of a zebra confused at my presence. But as much as I love safaris, care for animals in need is an equally, if not more, important component of interacting with wildlife. During a visit to Born Free Foundation in Ethiopia, I was able to learn about their efforts and wander the surrounding forest afterward. [click to continue…]

benches barcelona spain travel photography

When I come across public seating like these bench seats in Barcelona’s Gracia neighborhood, I am reminded why I’ll always be an advocate for this city. The idea of bench occupants gazing in the same direction had never seemed an antisocial proposition to me. But the placement of these benches serves to foster interaction with the people around you and is an invitation to friends to enjoy a face-to-face conversation outdoors. The ability to reconsider and improve our traditional conception of a bench is admirable.

These seats – and a few additional pairs – are located on the Travessera de Gracia, across from the grand Mercat de l’Abaceria Central. What a great setting for a couple of people to recap a busy morning in the market.

barcelona spain markets

I strain to recall a travel television show that skips Barcelona’s central and historic La Boqueria market. While you certainly can enjoy yourself in La Boqueria, an entrance on La Rambla can translate to annoying crowds, especially during peak tourism times. I haven’t been to La Boqueria in years, but still delight in the Barcelona market experience. Here are my favorite spots. [click to continue…]