A lonely tree standing in front of red sand dunes in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia.
Wadi Rum was one of the highlights of my visit to Jordan. I spent one night camping in the desert and watched the sunset from the top of a rocky outcrop. The weather was perfect – cloudless and not too warm. A few other people were around (at the base of the outcrop on the left and some on the plain below), but otherwise it was a very tranquil and peaceful spot. A highly recommended experience for anyone visiting Jordan!
Getting to the top of Padar Island is hard work in the heat – but so worth it for the view from the top. We did a day trip around Komodo National Park, leaving from Labuanbajo at sunrise. Our first stop was Padar Island, but even first thing in the morning it was incredibly hot. The 45 minute hike up with no shade didn’t help, but come one – for that view I’d happily do it again!
I spent a day in Newport, Rhode Island – a beautiful town to wander around with historic buildings. It’s a haunt of the rich and famous with incredible mansions built on the shoreline over the last century, some of which are now open to the public to visit. Nearby is this small lighthouse, built in 1890, called the Castle Hill Light.
A few dozen kilometers west of Ende on the island of Flores in Indonesia lies Blue Stone Beach. It’s named after the beautiful blue stones that wash up on the shore. Apparently it used to be covered in them and locals have gradually taken them away (presumably to sell) – but there are still plenty lying around on the black volcanic sand.
Tsitsikamma National Park lies just east of Plettenberg Bay, and is most famous for the Otter Trail, a multi-day trail 44km long which follows the coastline. We only had half a day, so did the Waterfall Trail, which is actually the first few km of the Otter Trail and leads to a waterfall (the name kind of gave that one away!) There wasn’t much water flowing when we got there, but it’s a beautiful hike (and relatively challenging) with stunning coastal views along the way.
Lots of people fly to Johannesburg and drive straight to Kruger National Park, several hours east of Joburg. In their rush, they miss the beauty that is Blyde River Canyon – the third largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in the US and Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia.
This view is at the Three Rondavels viewpoint, where we stopped off on our way back to the airport in Joburg.