maarten schafer storyteller for CoolBrands and CoolTravel in chad - CBNWS ATW80B

“Photo shoot in an orphanage in Chad” – Maarten Schäfer

Chad has a chequered history marked by civil unrest, instability, poverty and, more recently, streams of refugees flowing in from neighboring Sudan. Recent developments suggest Chad may be entering a period of greater stability and prosperity. For the time being, however, tourism remains virtually non-existent in Chad, making it difficult for visitors like us to discover the country. Continue reading

“Fight with a toucan at the Iguassu Falls” Maarten Schäfer

The Iguassu River meanders through a forest called the Mata Atlantica before reaching its apotheosis in the Iguassu Falls. In the 16th century, when the Portuguese explorers reached the current Brazilian coast, the Atlantic Rainforest covered the complete coastline from north to south, much further than the eyes could see. ‘Civilisation’ replaced forest with cities and agriculture leaving only 7% of the primary forest.

“Who needs trees, if you can have cities and cars?” I think out loud, while we’re following a track through the wilderness towards the river. “But then again, what will we breath when there are no more trees left? Carbon dioxide?” Continue reading

Swimming with pink dolphins in the Amazon

We leave Manaus Harbour early in the morning, a speed boat taking us across the Rio Negro. After 30 minutes, we are put ashore at a tiny village where a minibus is waiting for us. From here we follow a trail through the woods. The trees get taller and the forest denser. More than an hour later we arrive at the end of the road.

“We’re here,” the driver says. We get out of the bus and look around.

“Where is here?” I ask. Continue reading