Entries by Chris Johnston

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Botswana: A Day in the Delta

Water here is so vital that even the Botswana currency – pula – is the Setswana word for rain.Water is everything in Africa. In a desert more so. The rains come and life thrives. Nowhere is this more evident than in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. And it is this phenomenal and bizarre geographic accident that I […]

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Nyiragongo: Mountains of Fire in the DRC

“Do you not have volcanoes like this in England?” A straightforward enough question from my guide, whose home – Ibirunga – is literally translated as “mountains on fire”, but I shake my head slowly. 3,400 metres high, on the summit of Nyiragongo – Africa’s most active volcano, standing on the edge of the world’s largest […]

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Uganda – The Karamojong of Kidepo

Our tiny plane flew north from Entebbe over the rugged Mountains bordering Kidepo Valley National Park in the remote north-east where Uganda, Kenya and Sudan meet. In the foothills of these mountains, patches of red earth scratched out from the surrounding greenery showed small manyatta’s and villages, isolated by distance, politics and geography, home to the […]

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Kenya: Changing perceptions

Times are changing in Kenya. Blixen’s “Flame Trees of Thika” have grown into a thriving agricultural heartland, Silicon Savannah (a district on the outskirts of Nairobi) is attracting the likes of google and Microsoft and the incredible rise of mobile banking M-Pesa (Pesa being Swahili for cash) means it is easier to pay for a […]

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Steppes Beyond | Uganda & Rwanda: Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is an excellent option for those looking for a more comprehensive wildlife experience but are more flexible on time and budget. Despite the trekking being much tougher than in Rwanda, Uganda is certainly no one trick pony. Below is copy of my presentation on Gorilla Trekking holidays at our Steppes Beyond event in March […]

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Film Review | Virunga

The new Virunga film is getting incredible reviews and is a powerful story of an element often overlooked in conservation – the people. It manages to shine a light on this desperately complex and beautiful part of Africa. In particular the political, social and economic forces at work in a region that despite the troubled […]

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The Best Cold Beer in the World

“They are just in here” said our guide Kelvin, frantically pointing to the thick green curtain of vegetation that separated us from 25 lowland gorillas in the Odzala Kokoua National Park in the Congo. Five of us sat, stony faced looking unconvinced and ready to return to Ngaga camp which we had left nearly 10 hours ago, […]

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A Close Encounter of the Silverback Kind

The first thing that struck me about Rwanda was the colour. The bright red and yellow fabrics wrapped around women with babies asleep on their backs, with bunches of yellow, ripe bananas (and jugs of banana beer!) all set against a backdrop of lush, forested volcanoes. As our car climbed higher and higher through the […]

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Steppes – Discover Uganda

We have been travelling regularly to Uganda for over 15 years. Such is our knowledge of the country, that over this time we have arranged tours to Uganda for ITV and BBC film crews, shown CNN journalists the ropes and even been approached by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority to help habituate a group of gorillas […]

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The Mountains of the Moon

Africa brings people together. It provides an unbreakable common thread which endures and serves to unite friends and family. Here are a few of my most favourite itineraries that I have put together for my clients. For a holiday to Kenya, I helped bring together four generations of family, exploring the Mara and Laikipia by […]