The Great Farini, Lulu Farini, and the Lost City of the Kalahari

Courtesy: UK National Archives
Courtesy: UK National Archives

The Kalahari Desert extends for 900,000 square kilometres, across three countries: Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. Its name, which comes from the Tswana for “great thirst”, gives a taste of just how inhospitable it can be.

That’s entertainment

And yet in 1885, a former entertainer and impresario – the Great Farini – claimed not just to have become the first white man to cross the Kalahari on foot, but also to have discovered the remains of a lost civilisation. What is more, he had the photos to prove it! Continue reading The Great Farini, Lulu Farini, and the Lost City of the Kalahari

2015 ethical travel guide to South East Asia

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It is an unfortunate fact that the majority of tourists do not choose their holiday destinations based primarily – or even partly – on ethical criteria. Even during the darkest days of repression in Burma (Myanmar), hundreds of thousands of visitors still went there every year.

We believe strongly that tourism can be force for good in the world, but for that to be the case, people need to travel with their eyes wide open. It is our hope that this guide will help inform travellers about the ethical strengths and failings of the ten countries which make up Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations).

In deciding our rankings, we have considered a whole range of criteria, including democratic vibrancy; freedom of belief, whether religious or political; levels of economic, racial and gender inequality; official corruption; and care for the environment. (See Main sources below for more details)

Overall, we have given as much weight to the direction of movement – whether the situation is getting better or worse – as to the present reality. Independent travel has taught us that it often the journey which is just as important as the destination. Continue reading 2015 ethical travel guide to South East Asia