Action Asia - - CONTENTS - Steve White Edi­tor-in-chief Email: [email protected]­me­

AT THE BEGINING OF LAST YEAR WE SAID WE’D START TAK­ING a wider view on the world of out­doors, given that Asian and Asia-based trav­ellers were look­ing ever fur­ther afield for their ad­ven­ture kicks. Our ‘18 for 18’ fea­ture looked at some of the tasti­est ad­ven­tures to be had around the globe, and we brought you sto­ries on Ge­or­gia and Kil­i­man­jaro later in the year. But this is­sue is our most in­ter­na­tional one yet, high­light­ing two of the most talked-about des­ti­na­tions for soft ad­ven­ture tourism: Antarc­tica and Africa. Not that there’s any­thing soft about what Mark Se­don got him­self into fol­low­ing a sim­ple con­ver­sa­tion with cel­e­brated climber Leo Hould­ing. They broke new ground with the way they were able to use their kites to haul them and hun­dreds of kilo­grams of gear up­wind – a po­ten­tially game-chang­ing de­vel­op­ment for self-pow­ered travel at the South Pole. For the mo­ment, most of us would be con­tent just to join one of the grow­ing num­ber of cruise op­tions to the Antarc­tic. My own sa­fari odyssey in Africa was far less ar­du­ous. Though there’s some jeop­ardy at times around bull ele­phants or rhi­nos, the great­est haz­ard seemed to be suc­cumb­ing to over-in­dul­gence in the fine food con­stantly be­ing of­fered. It was a chal­lenge to eat only three meals a day! As my first visit to the con­ti­nent – one I had imag­ined mak­ing since child­hood – it brought its own learn­ing curve. Though I went for the an­i­mals pri­mar­ily, it was of­ten peo­ple that made a big im­pres­sion: from high-fiv­ing hik­ers on Lon­gonot vol­cano in Kenya; to Em­manuel, our cook at the camp in Vwaza, Malawi; and Good­ness, head wait­ress at Sin­gita Le­bombo’s restau­rant. Then there were the taxi driv­ers – as ever, key to un­der­stand­ing what was re­ally go­ing on. It was they who of­ten gave un­var­nished sto­ries of how things are and how tourism is chang­ing them, for bet­ter and worse. Look­ing ahead to the rest of 2019, we aim to em­u­late all the above: more seat-of-your-pants thrills, plenty of prac­ti­cal ad­vice on do­ing more your­self and a dol­lop of no-non­sense dis­cus­sion of the is­sues that face our planet, and there­fore all of us, to­day. En­joy the is­sue and see you soon,

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