« Adventure »

Is Saudi Arabia a Dangerous Country to Travel?

Safety in Saudi Arabia The question of whether Saudi Arabia is a dangerous country to travel is a bit ambiguous. Usually, for westerners, this Arab kingdom is primarily known for being the motherland of one of the world’s most prominent religious, and where annually millions of people perform the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina – the Haj. Saudi Arabia is indeed a very strict country regarding following the ways of Islam, and where Sharia law rules. Segregation of women vs. men, the strict ban of practicing other religions, and the death penalty by public decapitation or crucifixion did not help to create an image of Saudi being a safe haven for foreigners. Sharīʿah, also spelled Sharia, is the fundamental religious concept of Islam, namely its law, systematized during 8th–9th centuries CE. Quote. Being Islam for most of us, a very different religion both culturally and in practice,…

Visit Tajik Wakhan Corridor – 15 Amazing places to travel in Wakhan

Visit Tajik Wakhan Corridor – 16 Amazing places to travel

Mysterious Tajikistan. Possibly one of the last destinations on your endless travel list, right? Tajikistan is a fascinating country located in the eastern part of Central Asia. International tourism statistics show that the annual number of arrivals in Tajikistan is not higher than a quarter of a million. Although being among one of the least visited countries in the world, Tajikistan has a lot to explore. In my humble point of view, the most beautiful mountain landscapes in Central Asia are in Tajikistan. But wait… my page is not about Tajikistan, the country, but a region that is even more remote. I’ll focus on the small 220 km / 140 mi stretch of road from Khorog to Langar, inside the Ishkoshim District of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, the “infamous” GBAO province of Tajikistan. OMG!!! Central Asia? Tajikistan? Gorno-Badakhshan? GBAO? Ishkoshim District? Whakan? Are you confused now? Yes! I know… Let me…

Adventure travel videos

Adventure Travel Videos from Nomad Revelations blog

A collection of exciting adventure travel videos filmed and edited by Nomad Revelations. Sprinter 4X4 Driving Icy Mountains in Kyrgyzstan 3,112 meters / 10,210 feet Published on Apr 13, 2018 – Central Asia #DiscoverKyrgyzstan – Travel Video, Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia Published onOct 28, 2017 – Central Asia Timbuktu, Mali – How to get there the hard way Published on 09/05/2017 – West Africa The Greco-Roman city of Ephesus: a magnificent return to the past Published on 25/02/2017 – Middle East Running down Fogo Volcano, Cape Verde Published on 23/12/2015 – West Africa Qurut cheese by mountain nomads, Kyrgyzstan Published on 12/06/2015 – Central Asia Djemaa El Fna Marrakesh, Morocco Published on 10/06/2015 – North Africa 16th century holy wars in Gorgora Nova, Ethiopia Published on 25/04/2015 – East Africa African bread recipe – How to make bread, DRC Published on 18/04/2015 – Central Africa Wild beasts encounter – Feeding hyenas,…

Chernobyl & Pripyat, Ukraine – Surviving the Dead Zone

Chernobyl & Pripyat - Surviving the Dead Zone

Chernobyl is an infamous place in Ukraine that got the world’s attention on April 26th, 1986, when the Reactor No. 4 of its Power Plant exploded. The worst nuclear disaster in the history of mankind caused 400 times more radioactive contamination than Hiroshima atomic bomb launched by the USA over Japan. As the old concrete sarcophagus is slowly collapsing (which had already happened in 2013), a new $1.4 billion dollars / €1 billion euros steel sarcophagus is being built over Chernobyl Reactor No. 4. This huge steel arch-shaped construction is 190 m / 623 ft wide and 200 m / 656 ft long. Today it’s possible to visit the site of the worst nuclear catastrophe which affected mankind. Apart from being a sad place to visit, the Chernobyl tour is shocking, ecologically outrageous, yet historically interesting. Chernobyl Tour Highlights This page is about my trip and personal experience inside Chernobyl Exclusion…

Visit Half Moon Island – forsaken humid Antarctica

Visit Half Moon Island - forsaken humid Antarctica

It was dark and foggy in Antarctica. My descent towards the south end of Half Moon Island was disagreeably damp, musty and cold, but yet it captivated me from the first moment. At first glance I noticed the wreck of an old Norwegian wooden whaling boat, thousands of penguins and a few dozen Antarctic fur seals on the shore. If I could describe this place in a few words, I would say that Half Moon is an Antarctic island below of 60° South, covered by ice and populated by thousands of penguins. The sinister dark rocky mountains gave me an apocalyptic sight of this extremely remote destination. Half Moon Island – in the South Shetland Islands, has various types of rare plants and an important colony of Chinstrap penguins, Gentoo penguins and many Antarctic fur seals can also be seen. Gentoo penguins are long-tailed, with a bright orange bill and a…

Mesopotamian Marshes, The rebirth of Iraqi Venice

Mesopotamian Marshes, The rebirth of Iraqi Venice

The Mesopotamian Marshes are a wetland region located in southern Iraq, a natural monument that also includes part of Southwest Iran. These are considered to be Western Eurasia’s largest wetlands ecosystems. This unusual place in the desert had plenty of water, so it used to be very productive and prosperous. Throughout history, it has always been well respected, because, among the arid climate of southern Iraq, the Mesopotamian Marshes allowed human beings and livestock to have a high quality of life. In 1950 during a massive oil exploration project, the drainage of the wetlands started. This process was taken to an extreme during the mandate of Saddam Hussein. This lead to the expulsion of local tribes, creating political and social tension in the southern parts of the country. Currently, the Mesopotamian Marshes slightly recovered. Unfortunately, the last decade severe drought and the previously built infrastructure have left irreversible results in this…

Masirah, a desolated island on the coast of Oman

MASIRAH ISLAND OMAN

Masirah Island is a beautiful yet desolated place located on the coast of Oman, in the Indian Ocean. Due to its distant location and peculiar desert landscapes, probably only travelers that appreciate off the beaten path destinations will enjoy this place. I’m going to tell you about my visit to Masirah. Unexpected things happen while traveling. It seems that those destinations that are not mapped, always keep a particularly distinctive spot in our travel memories. I mostly don’t organize or plan trips, and Oman wasn’t really an exception. Masirah Island was just at the end of the road of a not planned itinerary. Late at night, after driving through the desert, I arrived at Shannah, a small village where I had dinner. The waiter told me there was a morning ferry heading to an island. As this sounded fascinating and following my instinct, I spontaneously decided to go. After sleeping in…

Nomads, Tombs and Petroglyphs – Jebel Adad in Ouarzazate, Morocco

Nomads, Tombs and Petroglyphs - Jbel Adad in Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate is a famous south Moroccan destination. Often called as the “The door of the desert,” Ouarzazate is the starting point for several desert tours, the route of the 1001 Kasbahs, the Rose Valley and the UNESCO site of the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou. The region around Ouarzazate offers lush landscapes with villages camouflaged in the arid scenery of the mountains and with hidden oasis covered with palm trees. Seven months per year, Ouarzazate is surrounded by the 4000 m / 13123 ft High Atlas snowy mountains. The uniqueness of its landscape provided the backdrop for many films, some of them historical as Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, The Kingdom of Heaven, Gladiator and Game of Thrones – Season 3, among others. Still, beyond all these famous sites, Ouarzazate has much more to offer, and many hidden gems are reachable within 20 minutes from the city center. Although I have been living…

Cycling the Sahara Desert – Bicycle trip in Morocco

Cycling the Sahara Desert - bicycle trip in Morocco

Traveling slowly, humbly and with the simple company of a bicycle can be very rewarding. A few years ago I decided on biking the Sahara Desert tracks from Erfoud all the way to Erg Chebbi Dunes. Erfoud is a Moroccan desert city where I lived during 4 years. This city is the entrance point to reach Erg Chebbi Dunes also known as Merzouga Dunes. A small section of the itinerary is done on asphalt but quickly the road changes to rough desert tracks, sand and rocks. Erg Chebbi Dunes are located on the southeastern part of Morocco just aside the Algerian border. From my house and back the trip was roughly 100 km / 62 miles. When biking Sahara Desert, the weather conditions can be very tough due to the dry air, strong direct Sun, harsh terrain and strong chilly winds. This trip is not as easy at it seems, because…

Lake Tana, Stone Castles and Holy Wars – Ethiopia

Lake Tana, Stone Castles and Holy Wars - Ethiopia

All along the 16th and 17th centuries, the ancient region of Abyssinia was struggling to maintain its millennial-year old cultural values, protecting its religion and language against Islam. This was a time of ferocious Holy Wars. On the shores of Lake Tana – Ethiopia, there are still the remains of a small village, dating from the early 1600’s, that totally changed the country’s architecture style. Throughout history, Ethiopia has always been a leading Christian territory. In 1487, D. João II – the Portuguese King, sent Pêro da Covilhã and Afonso de Paiva to Ethiopia to investigate the location of that mythical kingdom, in an attempt to make it a possible ally on a subsequent expedition to India. Pêro da Covilhã stayed there and eventually integrated himself within the community, mixing with the locals. Documents are proving that, around the year 1543, there was a small Luso-Ethiopian community in the region. As…

Ben Amera & Ben Aicha – Mauritania Isolated Desert Monoliths

Ben Amera & Ben Aicha - Mauritania Isolated Desert Monoliths

The mighty void of Sahara Desert reveals interesting facts and fascinating legends. 4 km / 2.4 mi from a little desert village on the railway stretch from Nouadhibou to Zouerate, we can spot an enormous mass of dark rock belonging to Ben Amera monolith, rising up to 633 m / 2076 ft. Totally controlling the desert skyline, Ben Amera is the biggest monolith in Africa. Other smaller size monoliths can be seen nearby. To get to Ben Amera, there is no road. You have to get a 4WD and drive from Nouadhibou to Choum, on a two-day desert adventure. A natural monolith is a large block of stone, consisting of a single element – most times being confused with a mountain. There are only 2 bigger monoliths in the world after Ben Amera, the monolith Uluru and Mount Augustus, both located in Australia. Throughout time, these huge rocks became very useful…

Masjid e No Gonbad – 9th century ruins in Balkh, Afghanistan

Masjid e No Gonbad - 9th century ruins in Balkh, Afghanistan

Balkh is a city in northern Afghanistan, about fifteen minutes drive from Mazar-i-Sharif. Throughout history, Balkh has always been an important Buddhist, Zoroastrian and Islamic religious center. The Greeks called it Bactra. Today, this great ancient city is in ruins, and only a few monuments and the majestic city walls survived. The region is extremely rich in historic features with Arab, Mongol, Persian, Greek and Roman heritage. Afghanistan has always been the scene of conflicts due mainly to its Geo-strategic position but also to exploit its natural resources. The Afghan culture is quite marked by political conflicts and several decade-long fighting. The Afghan population, due to wars and extreme poverty, failed to have a normal daily life. Yet, Afghanistan is extremely beautiful. In fact, the country possesses astonishing landscape and very welcoming people. Whoever has the courage to visit Afghanistan, will bring back incredible travel experiences. The history of Afghanistan begins…

Laas Geel – Incredible 9000-year-old rock paintings in Somaliland

9000-year-old rock paintings in Somaliland

I entered Somaliland walking, coming from Ethiopia through the Wajaale border. After exploring the capital Hargeisa, I went further north to the coastal town of Berbera. After staying a couple of days on the beach, I finally got the plane back to Ethiopia. Somaliland is a self-proclaimed country that technically, and according to the United Nations, is located in the most northwestern region of Somalia. Although it’s not internationally recognized by the UN, it has protected and delimited land borders, its own military, its own president, its own currency, its own police. And it also proudly holds democratic elections since 1991. People of Somaliland are very friendly, and I felt very safe during my stay. I have a particular obsession with rock art in general, no matter if it is pictographs, petroglyphs or earth figures such as geoglyphs or intaglios. On my way from Hargeisa to Berbera, I made a small…

Visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo – Ancient Egypt

Discovering the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo - Ancient Egypt

Pyramids of Giza Egypt is a country that takes us back in time. One cannot mention the city of Cairo without thinking about the Nile River, the pharaohs and the pyramids. This chaotic Arab metropolis offers several nice places to visit, but among the major tourist sites, there is only one considered to be “The best”. I’m referring to the Necropolis of Giza a.k.a. Giza pyramid complex archaeological site on Cairo’s Giza Plateau. Giza Plateau lies inside the desert and is about a half hour drive from Downtown Cairo. This complex consists of three sets of pyramids, better known as the Great Pyramids. In this place we can also visit the impressive Great Sphinx, various smaller pyramids, the tombs of noble people, several cemeteries, the Solar Barque Museum and a village where artisans and workers used to live back in the pharaohs era. The most impressive of the three pyramidal structures…

Timbuktu, Mali – How to get there the hard way

HOW TO GET TO TIMBUKTU

“This journey remains, to this day, among the craziest of experiences I’ve ever had in my life.“ So, you think this title is a dramatic attempt to assure you visit this adventure blog? Well, my trip to Timbuktu stands by its legend and getting there was, indeed, not as easy as most might think! One of Africa’s ultimate travel destinations and a dream come true for off the beaten path travelers, Timbuktu’s history is rooted as far back as the year 1100. A Tuareg nomad camp in origin, it became one of West Africa’s most important commercial and religious outposts within only a couple of centuries. Always a dream of mine to go to Timbuktu, I didn’t even think twice about traveling there while on a trip to Mali a few years ago. Many people used to access the godforsaken city from Mopti, but I decided to do it the hard…

Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan – Thumbing from Dohuk to Aqrah

Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan - Thumbing from Dohuk to Aqrah

If you’re thinking about Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan, I hope this travelogue motivates you for such an adventure. I visited Northern Iraq for eleven days in 2009 and again for one month in 2018 driving my campervan. Kurdish people are very welcoming and friendly, and I loved my trip to this part of the Middle East. After traveling in Iraq using shared taxis, I decided to try to hitchhike in Iraq to see if I could get a closer contact with the people, whether Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs or Assyrians. I hitchhiked two times in Iraqi Kurdistan: from Dohuk to Aqrah from Dohuk to Amedi Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan It was Friday, the weekly Muslim holiday, when everything is closed between 11.00 am and 3.00 pm. I spent the morning exploring some areas of the city where I had not been yet: the amusement park Dream City and the nearby supermarket, where I bought…

Djemaa El-Fna Marrakesh – Insanity Beyond Expectations

Djemaa El-Fna Marrakesh - Insanity Beyond Expectations

Marrakesh is a fascinating city. Founded back in 1071 by the Berber Almoravid Sultan Youssef Ibn Tachfine, Marrakesh has one of the most chaotic urban environments on the planet. I lived there for one year and have been visiting it for several times since 2001. Many people tell me they didn’t enjoy Marrakesh because it’s too touristic and that Djemaa El Fna Square is just made up to get money out of visitors. On this page, I’ll try to demystify this amazing square and tell you some curious facts to make you understand its history, so that you will appreciate it differently. Djemaa El Fna? How to understand it Well, indeed Marrakesh is a bustling commercial city, but we have to realize that Marrakesh has been welcoming foreigners for centuries. It’s not just the casual hippy trail city, nor did it start to receive travelers since the 1970’s. We are talking…

Follow Nomad Revelations on Instagram