Africa, Countries, Skiing

Snow in Africa this Christmastime

Sorry, Midge Ure, I love your humanitarianism and New Wave/electro-sound but there will be snow in Africa this Christmastime.

Yes, I know I’m coming over all Self-Righteous Brother, but Paul Whitehouse makes a good point about Africa’s diversity.

I know from experience about the Atlas Mountains where Moroccans and Morocannophile skiers go to fly down the mountains

It wasn’t snow though that was coming down the Atlas Mountains when I visited but the mud from the sides of the slopes.

Rocky road to the Sahara


It was Ramadan and our driver was bravely skirting the narrow cliffside roads to get us to the Sahara Desert.

In truth, that was the least of my problems as a tajin did for me and I ended up being sick in the sand.

And had to retrace our steps the next day to the rendezvous point, on my camel Larsson.

Abdullah, to be fair, did his best around the roads the next day with me dry heaving at every corner.

Enough already, you want to know more about the skiing.

And I do too, like when are the French borders reopening? I only have a well-deserved trip to Val d’Isere with Ski France waiting on me.

Morocco on the slopes

Camel ye faithful: Back on the camel in Jordan

My passport is jumping up and down in my drawer because of the lack of love I’ve shown her this year.

Yes, I personalise my passport, and its holder, particularly as it was given to me by my old friends Hayes & Jarvis during my time in Ireland

H&J are your go-to people for just the thing in Morocco.

They have a seven-day £2,199pp Luxury Sahara Desert Tour from Marrakech.

But H&J are all about the bespoke so contact them and they’ll look into a package for you.

While My Chalet Finder have the skinny on everything you need to know on the Moroccan mountains.

Riad R&R

Moroccan life: A rich culture

The resort of Oukaimeden, 65km south of Marrakesh, is Morocco’s best ski resort and is home to Africa’s highest ski lift at 3258m and second highest peak, Jebel Toubkal at 4167m, after Kilimanjaro.

There is a large variety of accommodation to choose from in and around Marrakech from 5-star beach hotels, mountain hotels, B&Bs and camping to the traditional riads, ranging from budget to boutique luxury. 

Keep your feet: In Morocco

Most people who go skiing in Morocco either stay in Marrakech and make the short journey to the base lift (around an hour’s drive) or split their holiday spending some of the time in Marrakech and the rest in the ski resort of Oukaimeden.

Yes there is Snow in Africa this Christmastime.



This sporting weekend – rugby’s big in Japan

There are those with round balls and those with oval balls. And you’re born either one or the other…. a rugby or a football fan.

The good news is that you can change as an adult.

My Dear Old Dad was a young footballer of some ability. He played in the Scottish Schools Final at Hampden and later got offered professional terms.

But he decided to doctor instead.

And when he went up in the world he sent his boys to fee-paying schools which meant we played rugby and not football.

Reach for the skies. Photo by Aleksandar Makaric on

I enjoyed it for a while and would go to the Scotland matches at Murrayfield.

Until l turned my attentions to running, my wiry frame not cut out for the crunching game of egg-chasing.

My passion for football was reignited (my Dad, in fairness, never really lost his love for the game) when I went to University and took up social five-a-side.

And it’s never left me since, developing into an honest stopper, and a sports journalist to boot for half of my career.

So where does this take us in Travel?

Well, sports fans plan their time off around major sporting events, the annual seasons, but also the big competitions.

Get behind your team. Photo by Tembela Bohle on

It’s rugby’s big year with the World Cup next month. And those who are going will have worked out their travel plans by now.

But if like me you’re at home when they set the atmosphere with pieces on the country then let bespoke specialists Hayes & Jarvis take you.

Visit (01) 513 6063.

Tokyo is where the final is, and living in Ireland I am duty bound to say that they will be there, although I will vainly hope that Scotland can forget they are Scotland and win some games.

Tokyo, I’m reliably informed by my Japanese friend in Scotland is a fashion and shopping haven.

Passport to success: My H&J passport cover

It has spectacular cityscapes, such as the historic Shibuya intersection. And why not transfer by bullet train to the ancient imperial capital city of Kyoto?

H&J’s Tokyo and Kyoto ten-day Multi Centre itinerary will include return flights from Heathrow to Tokyo. And an overnight tour of Hakone and Mount Fuji.

I’ve got my personalised Hayes & Jarvis passport ready… I take it everywhere with me.

And don’t forget to check out your Holiday Snaps’ passport to the world… your weekend noticeboard of all the best offers home and abroad.