A man for all seasons: Escaping New York’s summer heat

New York in August. The hot, greasy air hangs motionless in the Manhattan canyons, ripe with the aromas of rubbish, halal- food carts, dog urine and traffic fumes. Everyone who can afford it has gone somewhere cooler and fresher — the Hamptons, Fire Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Europe. It’s the season of sweltering subway platforms and…

Details

Lower Omo Valley update

Dramatic news from the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia. Lale Labuko, who has been working for years to end the practice of ritual infanticide among the tribes there, has scored a major triumph. In a ceremony in Dus village, the elders of the Kara and Benna tribes announced that the killing of babies and children…

Details

A man for all seasons: Koh Samui, Thailand

This spacious, restful Koh Samui villa could easily sleep five or six people. I’m sharing it with one big lizard. He was prowling the walls when I arrived, a Tokay gecko about 18in long with a bluish-green body and red spots. The more time we spend together here, the more impressed I am by his…

Details

Rainy season in Koh Samui

Rainy season in Koh Samui for the Telegraph. This is what I call great weather: monsoons blowing in, rain squalls and storm light, then sunshine. I have been marvelling at electrical cables, attending water buffalo fights, and taking philosophy lessons from an eighteen inch long Tokay gecko who lives in the rafters of this villa.…

Details

Atlas Mountains

I’m just back from a fantastic trip to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco,set up by an off-beat travel company called Natural High. Me and the owner of the company, Alex Edwards, tagged along with a family of Berber nomads as they made the spring migration from the Sahara up to the summer pastures in the…

Details

Daily Telegraph | Monthly column

I’ve got a new monthly column for the Daily Telegraph travel section on a Saturday. Over the next year I’ll be going to twelve different travel destinations around the world and staying there during the off-season. Brace for hurricane season in the Caribbean, rainy season in Thailand, Canada in the dead of winter, reverse migration…

Details

Saving the condemned children of Ethiopia –

Out today in the Telegraph magazine: My story about saving children from ritual infanticide in tribal Ethiopia, and Lale Labuko’s extraordinary journey from a hut to Harvard http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/ethiopia/9189136/Saving-the-condemned-children-of-Ethiopia.html

Details

Malagarasi River

Thanks to Rick Markell, who came to my reading in Berkeley, CA, we can see some photographs of the Malagarasi river taken in September 1896. His great uncle Heinrich Fonck spent over 10 years in what is now Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, ending up as the acting governor of Burundi in 1908-9. When he returned…

Details

Fat Possum Label Keeping Blues Alive

The offices of Fat Possum Records are located with wild incongruity between a police station and a Baptist church in the small, god-fearing town of Water Valley, Mississippi, where the lawns are deep and green and possession of beer is a criminal offence. I walk through the unmarked front door and past two weasel pelts…

Details