Category

Africa

A Plague of Caterpillars

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Nigel Barley returns to Cameroon in this hilarious follow up to The Innocent Anthropologist. “Returns” is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, he’d only just left. Barley spent 6 months in London upon completion of a year and a half of anthropological fieldwork among the Dowayo people, a group of mountain pagans. But he’d barely settled back into academic life when rumours reached him via the bush...

The Innocent Anthropologist

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Nigel Barley was a rather unhappy “desk anthropologist” at a British university. His fieldwork-hardened older colleagues never stopped reminding him of this, because back in their day, it wasn’t enough to camp out in a library cordoned off by stacks of journals. You had to get out and live with the natives. I can relate to Barley, in a sense. Not just because I read Anthropology at uni, but...

My Humble Rock Art Discoveries

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I’ve had a few readers ask me about the prehistoric rock art sites discovered on our recent Chad-Tibesti Expedition. The rock art we found dates back to the Holocene, between 8,000 and 6,000 years ago, when the Sahara was fertile. It was created by the cattle herders and hunter gatherers who inhabited the area during its brief wet interlude. Friends have said how amazing it must be to discover...

Tibesti Expedition – Exclusive Footage

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I’ve put together some video for you of my recent expedition to one of the Sahara’s most remote corners. Only one previous expedition has reached the Ouri plain in Chad’s Tibesti mountains. That was about 15 years ago, and given the difficulties, I can’t see anyone else trying it anytime soon. I’m no cinematographer by any stretch, so please don’t expect a movie. I simply want to give you a sense...

Don’t Eat This at Home — Expedition Food EXPOSED!

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Thanks for all your great feedback on my recent Tibesti – Chad expedition. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the story, and the outstanding photos by Tomoko Goto. I’m often asked what the food is like on a deep desert expedition. What do we eat? And how do we pack so food stays safe in 36C heat? Well, first of all, unlike the pampered driving trips I’ve done in the southern part of Africa, these Land...

Chad – Tibesti Expedition 2015

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It’s been over a month since I posted a new blog. But hey, I’ve been in one of world’s least visited countries  — and in an area that’s considered incredibly remote, even by Sahara standards. I signed on for another expedition organized by my good friend Andras Zboray, who has been patiently searching out and meticulously cataloguing prehistoric rock art in the Sahara for well over a decade. This...

Operation Salam: High Adventure in the Eastern Sahara

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The desert is on my brain these days… I’m gearing up for a big expedition to the Tibesti mountains in northern Chad. And I’ve been going through my library of Sahara books as the anticipation builds. I want to share one of my favourites with you today. It’s called Operation Salam. And one of the  coauthors, Andras Zboray, is a good friend. I traveled with Andras to the remote Jebel Uweinat back...

An Interview with Sahara Explorer Andras Zboray

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Andras Zboray is one of those rare kindred spirits you sometimes bump into on the road. Someone with a shared love of the desert, a taste for remote places, and a drive to see what’s up around the next bend. Andras has probably found more prehistoric rock art sites than any other living explorer. And he certainly knows Jebel Uweinat — an isolated granite and sandstone mountain on the remote...

A Postcard from the Naqa Temple

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Fifty kilometers east of the Nile — a camel or donkey’s journey in ancient times — sits one of the largest ruined sites in Sudan. Today it’s an area of wild and remote desert. But the Wadi Aeateib was once fertile and well watered, and this was the site of an important city in the Kingdom of Meroe. The remains of three temples greet the traveler who makes the rough desert drive out to visit this...

A Riverside Room As Large As The Dead

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Everyone knows the pyramids of Egypt. But few seem aware that there are even more pyramids farther up the Nile in Sudan. Unlike the more familiar Egyptian style pyramids, those found in Sudan are tall, narrow structures with steeper sides and a smaller base. Most have a rectangular room attached to one side which acts as an offering temple for the deceased whose body is entombed beneath the giant...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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