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I stopped into fekete last week on my way somewhere else because it was just THERE and my veins were whining for a refill of energy that only a double espresso could quell. I've gone back every day since. The espresso is good, yes. Some of the best I've had outside of Sweden, actually. But what makes fekete different is that the miniature shop sort of wedged into a city block of establishments, between a gelateria and a McDonald's, is cozy and efficient. The staff literally stands in the back corner and makes everything to order. There's no countertop to hide any sort of uncondoned behavior. It's a very basic, minimalist setup. No frills, no ancillary luxuries. And yet, in this compact mini-kávéház that's hardly bigger than a closet, they've managed to fit a three-stool bar, and many types of coffees and accessories for sale on shelves on the walls. Then, of course, there's the service. Hungarians are a friendly people by nature, but I've noticed that some of the sunny disposition seems to go out with the brewed coffee grounds in high-traffic, service positions. This is definitely not the case at fekete. I'm always greeted with warmly and with a smile, even when my Hungarian pronunciation is laughably horrible. Come here for coffee, come here to buy a little bag of artisan beans, come here for the smiles and genuine light-hearted nature from the baristas.
13 minutes ago
The most contemporary of the five lodging options within the 350,000-acre Singita Grumeti game concession, Faru Faru Lodge sits amid dense woodland on the bank of the Grumeti River. Originally inspired by a mid-20th-century botanist’s camp, each wood-and-glass–enclosed suite comes with a private outdoor shower, comfy stuffed sofas, and an artist’s desk equipped with watercolors and colored pencils. General game viewing is excellent year-round; from June to early November, experienced riders can book eight-day mobile horseback safaris on the plains. Guests who want to be close to nature but prefer the security of solid walls between them and wild animals—including lions, elephants, and hippos—will prefer Faru Faru over its colonial-themed and more formal sister, Singita Sabora Tented Camp, where African buffalo might brush the canvas at night. During migration season, the wooded location of Faru Faru is also far more peaceful, being removed (though still within driving distance) from the vast herds of noisy, grunting wildebeest.
24 minutes ago
The Sine-Saloum Delta in Senegal offers a nice respite from the dusty streets of Dakar and the extreme heat of Saint-Louis. Consisting mostly of mangrove swamps, the delta encompasses 24,000 sq. kms. and has been dedicated as a UNESCO Heritage site for its wealth of wildlife and pristine waters. It's a great way to get out into nature and meet the indigenous Serer people who inhabit the area. One of my favorite spots is Toubakouta, a steamy, 6-hour slog from Dakar on mainly pothole-ridden streets. You can also get there by pirogue in 3 hours, which I did on my return trip. Once in town, you soon realize you are far away from any sense of city life. Time inches along and there's not much to do except walk and bike through town, watch boys play foosball and chat with the locals - probably my favorite thing to do. One afternoon, I was fortunate enough to witness a wrestling match, a favorite Senegalese pastime. I also ventured to nearby Sokone for market day, traveling by local bus, which is an experience in itself. Jam-packed in a rickety old van, the only white person aboard, the ride is the true way to experience local life. A true highlight was a 3-day trip to Keur Bamboung, an ecotourism spot that has been designed with local materials and functions on solar panels. I arrived via mule-driven cart and I slept under a mosquito net. My days were spent kayaking through the calm waters, learning about mangroves, eating oysters, and visiting the local Serer village.
35 minutes ago
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