Sentinelis lined up on the shore of North Sentinel Island, ready to fight off visitors

North Sentinel Island: a timeline of the world’s most isolated tribe

North Sentinel Island is unlike any other place on Earth. Home to a fiercely independent tribe, it is both ferociously dangerous and worryingly fragile

On a map, North Sentinel Island looks like any other idyllic spot in the Indian Ocean. Fringed with beaches and crystal cobalt waters, it lies in the Andaman archipelago of the Bay of Bengal.

Borobudur in Indonesia, the most multilingual country

95 most inspirational travel quotes ever penned

Our favourite inspirational travel quotes have encouraged us to travel with abandon over the years. Perhaps they will do the same for you…

For us, there is no such thing as luxury travel; travel is, by default, a luxury. It is a privilege provided by the country of our birth, a privilege that many are not as fortunate to enjoy.

Sometimes, we have to pinch ourselves at just how ridiculous our lives have become: an ex-teacher and jobbing writer travelling the world for a living. It is absurd, it is astonishing, it is luxury.

Jaipur Cycle Tour: testing my mettle in the frantic Pink City

The Jaipur Cycle Tour is not for the fainthearted – but is it worth the panic? Kia finds out

The legend of Jaipur is that it’s India’s first planned city. Historians will tell you that its founder – scholarly prince Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II – was passionate about astronomy, mathematics and science, that he studied European cities and collected maps from all over the world.

Horsetail Falls illuminated by the setting sun

The most stunning natural phenomena on Earth

From the famous northern lights to the lesser-known sea of stars, we share the world’s most stunning natural phenomena

It’s firefall time. Every year, beginning around late February, the setting sun hits Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall at just the right angle to light the cascade in blazing orange and red hues, giving the appearance of flowing fire or lava. To celebrate the spectacle, we’re exploring the world’s most stunning natural phenomena.

The Taj Mahal reflected during our Essential India tour

Essential India: the highs and lows of our two-week tour

From the rush and thrill of New Delhi to the pyres of Varanasi, we share the highs and lows of our Essential India tour

“India is not a holiday; it’s an experience,” says our guide in what sounds like a promise but might also be a warning. India, she’s trying to say, is unpredictable – not easily tamed and packaged for the average tourist. 

The UN world food programme helps the world's poorest countries

Poorest countries in the world 2024 – ranked

African nations continue to dominate the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank

We all have preconceptions about places. Take Ethiopia, for example. As children of the eighties, Kia and I were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia has faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine.

It was easy then to imagine a vast desolate dust bowl ahead of our visit in 2017. 

Siberian tiger in Russia – one of the countries where you can see tigers in the wild

Countries where you can see tigers in the wild

From the Russian taiga to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, we profile the places and countries where you can see tigers in the wild

A century ago, as many as 100,000 wild tigers stalked the planet but by the dawn of the 21st century, that figure had plummeted by around 95% largely due to habitat loss and poaching. Current numbers are hard to confirm – tigers are masters of camouflage after all – but estimates by the Global Tiger Forum put the global population at approximately 5,574 in 2023.

japan has the most powerful passport

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2024

In 2024, the world’s most powerful passports are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain. Holders can enter 194 nations visa-free

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2023, international travel got going again with arrivals reaching 87% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 975 million tourists travelled internationally during the first nine months of 2023, an increase of 38% on the same period of 2022.

A tiger crosses a riverbed while visiting Jim corbett

Tips for visiting Jim Corbett National Park: 12 dos and don’ts

Our essential tips for visiting Jim Corbett National Park, India’s legendary tiger reserve in the foothills of the Himalayas

The state of Uttarakhand in India, bordering China and Nepal, takes its name from the Sanskrit words uttara meaning ‘north’ and khaṇḍa meaning ‘land’. To Hindus, it’s known as Devbhoomi – the land of the gods – because of its cluster of high-altitude shrines shrouded in mist.

crowds at Yellowstone national park watch a geyser erupt

9 US national parks that require a reservation in 2024

America’s outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly congested, so more US national parks will require a reservation in 2024

In 1872, the US established Yellowstone National Park. It was the first protected site in the country and only the second in the world after Bogd Khan Uul in Mongolia. Yellowstone soon became the international standard for the preservation of biodiversity and cultural history; a standard that has since been widely replicated around the globe.

A bright emerald lake in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2023

After a hiatus from the blog, Kia looks back at our top 10 posts of the year

There’s a slight break from tradition this year here at Atlas & Boots. Our top posts of the year are usually a balanced mix of articles by me (Kia) and Peter. This year, however, all but one are by Peter thanks to my hiatus from the blog. 

A scene from Antarctica

30 best books about Antarctica: updated for 2024

From harrowing accounts of survival to a heartwarming tale of a rescued penguin, we list our favourite books about Antarctica

The most inhospitable place on Earth is an engrossing setting for any story, be it fictional or factual. Unsurprisingly, Antarctica’s literary canon is filled with tales of tragedy and/or survival against the odds. It would be easy, then, to fill this list with biographies of Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton alone. But Antarctica deserves attention beyond its tales of tragedy.

Lenin's bust surrounded by snow

Poles of inaccessibility: the middle of nowhere

The poles of inaccessibility are arguably the true last frontiers for explorers. But what and where are they?

I’ve long been fascinated with the most remote places on Earth and the epic journeys of discovery to reach them. I’ve spent countless long mornings in bed leafing through giant reference books on the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and even longer afternoons poring over immense maps detailing epic quests across untamed oceans.

Whitehaven Beach is one of the best beaches we've ever seen

The best beaches we’ve ever seen

After visiting 100 countries and seven continents, we share the best beaches we’ve seen on our travels

When I first went on holiday, I was 18 years old and on the lookout for the perfect beach. You know the sort: powdery white sand and clear turquoise water set against a blazing blue sky. In those early years of travel, I saw beautiful beaches in Barbados, Tunisia, Thailand, Mexico and Dubai, but none were quite the same as the brochures and the billboards.

A turtle seen while snorkelling Baros Reef Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives offers encounters with turtles, sharks and octopuses just steps away from powdery white sand

The private island of Baros in the North Male atoll of the Maldives is one of our favourite places on Earth. We first visited in 2012 on a press trip with flights, accommodation and all excursions included.

America's most dangerous hikes

Not for novices: America’s most dangerous hikes

From an exposed ridge on a Colorado fourteener to a remote Hawaiian jungle trail, these are America’s most dangerous hikes

While most will – and do – complete these hikes unscathed, the trails can be perilous enough that a spot of bad luck, small mistake or slight miscalculation can leave you seriously injured, or even dead.

Exposure, crevasses, avalanches – all the usual threats can be found on America’s most dangerous hikes. But there are also a few wildcards here that can turn a walk in the park into a dice with death. Huckleberries, anyone?

Masaya is one of the most active volcanoes in the world

Most active volcanoes in the world

From stewing lava lakes to fatal eruptions, we chart the most active volcanoes in the world

Nature has many fearsome wonders – earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis – but none so fearsome as the most active volcanoes in the world. These hellish peaks feature in tales of ardour and heroism, loom over humble settlements and whisper threats of violence and destruction. Though potentially lethal, they hold a magnetic beauty that thrillseekers find irresistible.

Most beautiful mountains in the US: Grand Teton

21 most beautiful mountains in the US

The most beautiful mountains in the US are a contentious subject, for this is a land that brims with beauty. We scoured the states and whittled them down to a list of 21

Legendary climber​​ Reinhold Messner said that there are three rules of mountaineering: “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.”