Mesoamerica with the Zapatistas

In an ideal world we would have continued our journey overland from Cusco in Peru to the Northern coast of South America and from there through Central America. We wanted to visit anarchist groups in both Colombia and Venezuela. In Bogota, an anarchist skinhead group called RASH had existed for a number of years as…

The indigenous heights

Bolivia contains the world's richest, most unique and most varied ecology, geography and the greatest complexity and historical depth of interacting human social structures with distinct origins. The Westernmost third of the country is the altiplano – a great plateau in the middle of the widest part of the Andes at an elevation of just…

The turbulent Southern Cone

I - On to Latin American Having scoured much of sub-Saharan Africa, the next stage of our journey in search of anarchists and archaeology took us to Latin America. It is probably fair to say that socialism never had much influence in Africa beyond small groups of urban educated intellectuals and a few trade unions…

The ruins of apartheid

I Pretoria Pretoria was established by a gun-loving, white-supremacist Christian fundamentalist sect – the Boers – who migrated into the interior in the early 19th century to occupy the temperate and fertile highveld plateau and establish their own settler colony unencumbered by the constraining hand of the British who now ruled Cape Town. The Boers…

Zimbabwe tries to kill me

We reluctantly dragged ourselves away from Cape McClear, the land of the mystical philosophers where marijuana grows in cobs, and set out for the last phase of our trip. The battered and cramped hi-ace vans that took us back to Balntyre were the last time we would enjoy the intimacy of this type of public…

The Backwoodsmen of Tropical Portugal and Scotland

It is possible to cross the border between Tanzania and its Southern neighbour, Mozambique. There are immigration control posts on either side of the border which provide the required passport stamps. They are located near the coast and mark the only legally sanctioned way of crossing the border. Coming from the Northern, Tanzanian side of…

The Swahili coast

Western Tanzania is not a face-paced place. A vast savanna, parched and dusty in the middle of the dry season, sparsely populated by subsistence farmers and wildlife. The 19th century slave trade and the subsequent German colonial campaigns of pacification thinned out the human population. Big game-hunting safaris did the same for the wildlife. A…

Rwanda – after the genocide

Although Lake Bunyoni lies alongside the Rwandan border, there are no roads through the region, so in order to continue Southwards we first had to catch a pickup truck North to Kabale, the major regional town which lies on the road to the border. On our way to the lake, a few days beforehand, we…

Uganda – guerillas and chimpanzees

I - The Great Lakes The Great Rift Valley contains a series of vast lakes which between them contain 25% of the world’s non-frozen fresh water. The Western edge of the valley merges into the great Central African rainforest. It is marked by a series of long, narrow and deep lakes which run from north…

Into East Africa

Having ignominiously failed in our attempt to cross from West to East Africa overland, we arrived with our tails between our legs, early on a Wednesday morning, to the empty cavernous modern arrivals hall of Jonah Kenyatta airport in Nairobi. Coming from Central Africa, this felt like stepping into a completely different, and much more…