We take a look at the world’s most urban countries and why they go hand in hand with the most stressed
City life is stressful. It presses on our weary bones, wafts through windows on pungent fumes and boxes up our personal space.
We profile the world’s megadiverse countries, from obvious contenders like Ecuador and Brazil to one or two surprise entries
It should be comforting to know that a mere 17 countries hold more than 70% of the world’s species. It should be easy to rally this small group of ‘megadiverse countries’ to protect the planet’s extraordinary biodiversity. Alas, some of these countries are also the world’s biggest consumers and polluters.
Denmark is the greenest country in the world according to the 2020 Environmental Performance Index. Below, we take a look at the broader list
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) evaluates and ranks 180 countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
From mountains to libraries, we take a look at some of the most extraordinary international borders to be found across the globe
Over the last few years, we’ve seen an impressive collection of new websites, blogs and social media accounts dedicated to ‘travel porn’. They’re filled with big, sweeping images of fairytale lands and precarious precipices.
International Dark Sky Reserves are protected areas that offer exceptionally starry nights. We review the 16 places that hold this hallowed status
They sound like something out of Star Trek, these ‘Dark Sky Reserves’ – like they may have been conjured one evening in a lively LA writers room. Unlike the ‘Delta Quadrant’ or ‘Delphic Expanse’, however, International Dark Sky Reserves actually exist.
Climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent – is an improbable dream of mine… but that’s the beauty of dreams
I have always loved trekking and climbing. I usually spend several weeks of any given year on the grades of the Scottish Highlands or Welsh Snowdonia or ideally further afield such as the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland or the K2 base camp trek in Pakistan.
We profile 10 famous environmentalists, from the girl who lived in a tree for two years to the sea captain faced with Interpol arrest
I recently read a fact that stopped me in my tracks: in optimum conditions, some trees can live forever. They are vulnerable to predators, disease and natural disasters, but unlike humans, these ‘biologically immortal’ trees rarely die simply because they get old.
From remote deserts to polar escapes, these unknown treks will get you far off the beaten trail
I spent 10 years living in London, riding the crowded tube to work, fighting for space with those around me and standing in queues at bus stops, supermarkets, anywhere really – I am British after all.
Naturally, this inspired daydreams of escaping it all and running off to the wilderness with only my backpack, tent, camping stove and a handful of freeze-dried meals.
From Kiribati to Kyrgyzstan, we list the most commonly mispronounced country names
When Donald Trump mispronounced Namibia as ‘Nambia’ in 2017, he became the subject of widespread ridicule. Journalists wondered if he meant Zambia or Gambia while social media users mocked up memes and one enterprising tweeter took the opportunity to pitch a new title to Lonely Planet.
A selection of some of the most interesting facts about the world’s least-known countries we’ve picked up over the years
This is a subjective topic I know. What counts as an interesting fact? What counts as one of the world’s least-known countries?
There is no scientific answer but when this question was posed on Q&A site Quora, it certainly threw up some noteworthy particulars about some of the more obscure sovereign and not-so-sovereign states of the world.
The best road trips in the world have inspired artists through the ages, from Kerouac and Steinbeck to the talents at Pixar. Here, we attempt to explain why
When it comes to road trips, we’ve had our fair share of mishaps. We’ve battled a whiteout in Iceland, got stuck in a ditch in Turkey, broken down in Chile and changed a tyre in Namibia’s lion territory.
We share the most interesting facts about South Africa gathered on our two-week trip to this fascinating country
South Africa, if nothing else, is a land of contradiction. This ‘rainbow nation’ ostensibly celebrates multiculturalism, but has a long and dark history of racial segregation. It forms part of the largest conservation area in the world yet remains a hotbed of poaching. It has a high rate of homicide, but is the only country in the world to voluntarily dismantle its nuclear weapons.
Boulders Penguin Colony near Cape Town is home to 3,000 African penguins – but does it live up to the hype?
The ‘African Penguin’ is a contradiction in terms. Somehow, the hottest continent on Earth is home to a bird most often associated with the coldest: Antarctica. And yet, the three species of penguin I’ve seen have all resided in warm climes: the Galápagos Penguin off Isabela Island which lies right on the equator, the Little Penguin in super-dry, super-hot Australia and now the African Penguin in Boulders Penguin Colony in South Africa.
Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are iconic geographic features, but are they really where two of the world’s oceans converge?
It makes for a fantastic publicity slogan, doesn’t it? The point at which two great oceans, the Atlantic and Indian, collide in powerful, eye-catching drama. It’s also highly convenient that this colossal spectacle takes place just an hour’s drive from one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Unfortunately, this bold claim made by countless tour operators in South Africa is not quite accurate.
From Inuit hunting grounds to sacred mountain monasteries, UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites offer outstanding cultural value
The aim of UNESCO’s list is to identify, protect and preserve sites of cultural and natural heritage considered to be of exceptional value to humanity. These sites include a range of locations such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, east Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt and Machu Picchu in Peru.
Hiking Table Mountain isn’t a walk in the park like one might hope. We share our tips for getting to the top
Hiking Table Mountain is a rite of passage for visitors to Cape Town. The iconic behemoth defines the ‘Mother City’ in the same way Rio has a harbour, New York has a statue and San Francisco has a bridge.
This mountain is said to be one of the oldest in the world. Its formation began circa 280 million years ago and some of its rocks date back 600 million years (long before the Himalayas).
An at-a-glance guide to choosing between Kruger National Park and the private game reserves in South Africa
When it came to planning our trip to South Africa, Kia left me to my own devices, knowing how much I enjoy poring over maps and researching potential routes. Mostly, this is fun but also occasionally stressful as I know I’ll be responsible if things go wrong.
With this in mind, I took pains to answer a central question: what are the pros and cons of Kruger National Park vs private game reserves in South Africa?
A safari in South Africa is said to be the ultimate wildlife watching experience. We went to Manyeleti Game Reserve to see for ourselves
Our safari in South Africa was always going to be strange. Our expectations were buoyed by the myth and drama of this renowned destination but equally subdued by our safari in Namibia which was simply unsurpassable. With this in mind, we knew that South Africa would both delight and disappoint us.
We’ve selected our favourite things to do in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), from tracking big game to climbing the world’s second largest monolith
The tiny African nation of Eswatini took us completely by surprise. As Kia said, visiting Eswatini was never high on our bucket list, but it should have been. We spent just three days and two nights in this fascinating destination, which was never going to be enough.
Visiting Eswatini was never high on my bucket list. How utterly foolish of me
I’m not going to lie: visiting Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) was a box-ticking exercise. Landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique, this dot on the map offered an opportunity for Peter to tick off another country in his quest to qualify for the Century Club.
I was less enthused. We had only 11 days to see South Africa and trying to squeeze in Lesotho and Eswatini seemed like a bit of a stretch. Peter insisted it could be done and so I begrudgingly said yes.