Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Dispatches tagged as:
africa (33)

Attended a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society - which counted amongst its members Darwin, Shackleton, Livingstone and Stanley both, and Hilary... and that sponsored Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton's expeditions to darkest Africa!...   (read more)

So I actually spent a lot of time worrying about, and trying to figure out how to avoid, dying in that Land Cruiser we took to Serengeti....   (read more)

Dawn on the Crater Rim - and major themes seemed to be brutal cold, and sophomoric humor...   (read more)

Morning on the Endless Plain. We crept along in the sharply slanting light and windy, slightly chirpy quiet - five fleshy periscopes extended through the roof panels, and not another vehicle or human in sight...   (read more)

That's what "Serengeti" means, in Swahili. (So "Serengeti Plain" - like "tse tse fly" - is redundant.) Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's - and almost certainly the world's - most famous wildlife preserve....   (read more)

Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater, that's what reason we have for leaving. In Tanzania, the town of Arusha is the gateway to these places, and that's where we're heading today. But first a few last orders of business in town....   (read more)

I emerge from my "life enjoyment break" in African Gelato Heaven into the lightest, gentlest sprinkle, which has floated in on the offshore breeze. Looping hotelward, but wide, I find myself in the proper, local (non-tourist) market - filled with stalls, vendors, shops, honking vehicles, and thousands of faces (all of which but mine are non-white)....   (read more)

If Africa is the continent the world left behind, but can't stop thinking about, then Zanzibar is the Arab world's Africa. Across oceans of time (as well as the Indian Ocean), the Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phonecians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Dutch, and English have all dropped in here....   (read more)

Right, then - so one more beach camp site on the shores of Lake Malawi. And although this one would be indistinguishable from Kande Beach to, say, Martians, it sure was a whole new kettle of worms for us....   (read more)

Lake Malawi is the 3rd largest in Africa (behind Tanganyika (Burton's discovery) and Victoria), and the 9th largest in the world. It is 580km long, and believed to be 750m at its deepest point. Moreover, due to it's waves, winds, tides, and unpredictable weather, it is officially classified as "the sea."...   (read more)

I suppose that the trouble really started in Cape Town - the truck trouble, that is. I'm much more amazed than angry that Nomad doesn't maintain their trucks - given that their business pretty much is their trucks, and they (not to mention their customers) are going nowhere fast without them....   (read more)

We moved to a rougher camp site (a bit too rough, in my view), on the banks of the Zambezi River. Mark: I just saw a mamba. Me: Is it dangerous? Mark: Heh heh, ha ha. I wouldn't say it's dangerous. I mean, if it bites you, you're dead. But it's a pretty happy, peaceful snake . . . Though, again, if it bites you, you're dead....   (read more)

What can be said of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe? How about, "Get the *&%$ back right now, you massed, marauding swarms of human stinging flies!" for starters? ...   (read more)

Betwixt the Delta and Chobe, we paused for a brief respite at something called Planet Baobob - a camp site situated amidst 3,500-year old baobob trees....   (read more)

We woke with the dawn - to beat the heat, and ideally to meet the animals, who were also beating the heat. We quickly spotted more red litchri, splashed with steeply slanting sunlight, as well as a lonely elephant in the (far) distance....   (read more)

Our last night in the world, Paul sat us down before dinner, and gave us the scoop about the Delta: how to avoid becoming meat for any of the local Delta denizens....   (read more)

She came out of the sun, as we motored our way out of Etosha. Mark and I were fast asleep, and roused by Jo's piercing cry: "Lion, lion!"...   (read more)

We arrived in Etosha Park earlier than expected on Tuesday afternoon, allowing us the opportunity of a 70km game drive straight off, basically just to get to our camp site. Etosha is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest wildlife-viewing parks...   (read more)

When we did roll on into the camp site - nestled between two tremendous, towering piles of rocks (with others nearby) - jaws were on the ground; and there seemed to be a general consensus that this was the best setting for a camp site anyone's ever seen....   (read more)

"But mad dogs and Englishmen / Go out in the noonday sun." - Noel Coward ... Astute readers will recall that the above quote has been previously used on Dispatch from the Razor's Edge. However, it turns out that it really, really bears repeating - the moment one sets foot in the Namib Desert....   (read more)

Well, I've really gotten completely over this Cool Guy Hat Flaps Up pretension, let me tell you. The African sun - as advertised - is a brutal, insidious, and insistent beast....   (read more)

I'm sitting in the shade of a bungalow just above the banks of the Orange River, in Namibia. I've just survived being swept down a fair portion of said river, in the process of which misadventure I nearly lost both a fiberglass canoe, and a very nice German gal named Astrid. ...   (read more)

Well, this is it. I met an American woman at the bar yesterday morning, while writing and drinking tea, who just got back from Nomad's Cape Town -> Victoria Falls tour (ie the first half of ours). Okay, for one thing, her left arm was in a cast. For another, she advised against the optional elephant-back safari....   (read more)

Special Dispatch Commemoration: On this day five years ago I set foot off my homeland - landing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada - for the first time ever. Was November 1, 1997 the best night of my life?...   (read more)

This is it. I've got my last, my very last bit of gear - down to a collapsing travel toothbrush. In the spirit of my first big trip, here it all is (well, except for a few missing items, like the camera for instance)....   (read more)

Michael - I'm sorry I haven't replied before - I've been away on 2 holidays no less! One to North Wales and one to the South of France - Nice to be precise - and both were lovely in very different ways. I'm about to embark on a third before the month is out, to ... wait for it... Amsterdam....   (read more)

Sara landed in Quito three nights ago. All four of us, my three adult sisters and I, seemingly following some genetically hard-wired agitation timer, have simultaneously thrown ourselves into massive transition. ...   (read more)

Michael, After some serious consideration, I don't think I could pass up the opportunity both to tour Africa and to have a real adventure with a true friend....   (read more)

Today, of my own free will - and, in fact, at not inconsiderable personal expense - I went out and had myself injected with Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhus. How's that for a dreamy Wednesday morning?...   (read more)

Michael, Welcome to the world of the properly-shorn, ya hippie bitch! "Razor's Edge" is *obviously* a reference to your deeply-seated homoerotic bald-head attraction. :)...   (read more)

Oh, Yeah, and What Exactly Am I Doing Anyway? (aka THE SCOOP): I'm closing out my apartment, putting all my stuff in storage, bidding the Bay Area adieu, and flying Back East...   (read more)

Saturday, and it's REI run time. Yeah, boeeyyy . . . Picked up: Microfiber Pack Towel: 25"x54" - but folds up to the size of a small paperback and weighs in at 8oz. Ultra-absorbant, and mega-fast drying....   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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