Paul Clammer


United Kingdom

Freelancing since 2003. Guidebooks for Lonely Planet Publications and Bradt Travel Guides, copy for travel media and tourism boards. Currently trying to rebrand the pandemic as a staycation gone badly wrong.

Swoop Antarctica
Antarctica's fin whales: are their numbers finally in recovery?

Recent surveys point to a slow but real recovery in the numbers of fin whales in Antarctic waters. I spoke to Dr Helena Herr, the lead scientist on the first major research project to monitor fin whale numbers to discover more.

Swoop Antarctica
Following in Shackleton's footsteps on South Georgia

No figure towers over the history of polar exploration than that of Sir Ernest Shackleton. On polar expedition cruises, it's a rare voyage there that doesn't include a lecture about Shackleton's life and the epic survival story of his Endurance expedition.

Swoop Antarctica
Interview with Jayne Pierce, curator of the South Georgia Museum

One of the highlights of any trip to South Georgia is a visit to Grytviken and the South Georgia Museum. At the heart of the old abandoned whaling station, overlooked by mountains and facing out to the wide sweep of King Edward Cove, few museums have a more spectacular location.

The Telegraph
The beautiful winter sun island you've never thought to visit

The best view on Haiti is reached on horseback, past the ruins of a palace that looks like Versailles transposed to the Caribbean. A winding path takes you up a lush mountain that's crowned with an extraordinary stone battleship called the Citadelle.

Where to experience Bedouin culture in Jordan

Few peoples have been more over-romanticised in literature than the Bedouin, traditionally the nomads of the Arab world. English writer-adventurers of a certain stamp, such as TE Lawrence and Wilfred Thesiger, deliberately sought them out, believing that their tough lifestyles (the name Bedouin derives from the Arabic badawi, or 'desert dweller') would provide solace from the apparent corruption of modern life.

A mini guide to Suva, Fiji

Those wondering why Suva is rarely troubled by visitors should look no further than the Pearl Harbour attack. Despite Suva being Fiji's capital, most travellers instead touch down 120km away at Nadi International on the opposite, western side of Viti Levu, the country's largest island, from where they're quickly whisked away to their beachside resort.

Scott's Cheap Flights newsletter

Cultural guide to Marrakesh, for the US-based Scott's Cheap Flights newsletter, a membership club for budget flights.

Travel's Slow and Steady Recovery | LOJEL Journal

The global pandemic has meant that 2020 has been the longest and hardest year that anyone in the travel industry can remember. But as medical science has raced to develop new vaccines, it feels as if 2021 will finally bring the light at the end of the tunnel.

Birdsong in Beirut | LOJEL Journal

Beirut is not a quiet and retiring sort of place. This is a city that gets to the weekend and likes to do its hairs and put on its best outfit to show the rest of the Middle East how to have a good time.

Beirut: time to rebuild

Beirut, the Lebanese are proud to tell you, is an ancient city. The Phoenicians, those great merchant sailors of the ancient world, first set up shop here some 5,000 years ago, and since then Beirut has seen them all come and go - the Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Ottomans and French.

History Today
First Among Equals

REVIEW: 'I am Toussaint Louverture, you have perhaps heard my name. You are aware, brothers, that I have undertaken vengeance, and that I want freedom and equality to reign in Saint-Domingue.' Few historical figures can have made their introduction to the public sphere in quite so stylish a manner as Toussaint Louverture to the French authorities in Saint-Domingue in the summer of 1793.

How To Spend 3 Days in Beirut, Lebanon

The restaurant waiter had the deepest baritone I'd ever heard. 'Welcome!' he boomed, ushering us inside. Menus were battered and the decor looked like it hadn't been updated for decades, but we took our seats with the promise of a good meal.

AFAR Media
The Essential Guide to the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is easily one of the most unusual bodies of water in the world. Take a dip, then slather yourself with the purifying local mud or treat yourself to some pampering at a spa in one of the many hotel resorts along the coast.

AFAR Media
The Essential Guide to Wadi Rum

A dramatic desert of sweeping dunes, craggy mountains, and narrow canyons, Wadi Rum is Jordan's adventure playground. Home to many traditional Bedouin tribes, it's synonymous for many with Lawrence of Arabia, but also served as the setting for several of the recent Star Wars films.

AFAR Media
The Best Historic and Religious Sites in Jordan

Jordan is an ancient land with enough historic sites to spend a lifetime exploring. Check out the sublime ruins of Petra, the ancient city of Jerash, the mosaics of Madaba, Mount Nebo, the baptismal site of Jesus Christ, and more.

What The Bob Marley Jamaica Tours Are Really Like

Few countries are as associated with a single person as Jamaica is with Bob Marley. Nearly 40 years after his death, visitors to the island find him everywhere. I've had taxis drivers switch their music to Bob Marley when picking up my fare, on the basis that, as a foreigner, I knew no other Jamaican music.

G Adventures
Get to know souvlaki, the king of kebabs

Few cuisines epitomize the healthy promise of the Mediterranean Diet as much as Greece's. There are plenty of crunchy salads and fresh salads, tangy feta cheese, thick yoghurts and a generous glug of olive oil - ideally all washed down with a glass of wine served overlooking a gleaming whitewashed village on some perfect Aegean island.

G Adventures
Falling for falafel

It may seem hard to remember, but there was a time before falafel conquered the world. But to experience it at its tastiest best, head for a Middle Eastern cooking class to prepare a fresh batch of these crunchy pillows of chickpea goodness.

7 of Fiji's Best Island Experiences

ADVERTORIAL CONTENT FOR TOURISM FIJI. You could spend half a lifetime exploring Fiji's many tropical islands, which makes choosing a potential destination for first-time visitors dizzying. Some islands are perfect for soaking up the sun, while others are more suited for outdoor activities, cultural or wildlife experiences. To help guide you, here are our top 7 Fiji island experiences.

Fiji's top 5 nature and sustainability projects

ADVERTORIAL CONTENT FOR TOURISM FIJI. As a South Pacific nation facing the challenges of climate change - and being increasingly vocal in demanding increased action from the world's richest countries - Fiji has long understood the importance of the environment when it comes to its tourism industry. Fijian resorts are world leaders when it comes to operating sustainably.

Fiji's top 3 culturally-enriching experiences

ADVERTORIAL CONTENT FOR TOURISM FIJI. Food is one of the great pleasures of travelling, and while resorts offer up a wide variety of international cuisines, there are plenty of tasty local offerings to enjoy. When you think Pacific islands, there's a good chance you think of coconut palms and an abundance of fish.

5 of Fiji's best underwater experiences

ADVERTORIAL CONTENT FOR TOURISM FIJI. Fiji is surround by the rich waters of the Pacific Ocean and claims its place as a premier diving destination with ease. It is home to two of the longest reefs on the planet - the Great Sea Reef and the Astrolabe Reef - which stretch for hundreds of kilometres, and are one reason why divers often refer to Fiji as the soft coral capital of the world.

G Adventures
Why tajine is the tastiest way of experiencing Morocco

Every country has its national food, though few are so clearly defined by the dish they are cooked in as Morocco's tajine. A cookery class in a Moroccan kitchen is a great way to learn about this endlessly versatile meal named for the dish it is prepared in.

G Adventures
Everything you need to know about camel trekking

Is there a better way to experience the desert that from the back of a camel? From the Saharan sand seas of Morocco to the Martian landscapes of Jordan's Wadi Rum and beyond, there is no better way to experience the desert that from the back of a camel.

G Adventures
Do you really know the Great Wall of China?

In the 1920s, an idle National Geographic journalist mused that the Great Wall of China was so massive that it would surely be the only man-made object visible from space. So attractive was the idea, and so distant seemed the idea of space travel, that a myth was born that has lasted almost a century.

Mapping Early Haitian History

In 2016 I was in Cap-Haïtien, working on an update for my guidebook to Haiti. Mapping is a key part of writing travel guides, and I spend a lot of time physically locating places and dropping pins on Google Maps.

G Adventures
Seeking Inca culture right in downtown Cusco

When the Spanish conquistadors toppled the Inca empire in the 1530s, they set about trying to remake the great civilization of the Andes in their own image. Catholicism was in, and sun worship was banned.

Lonely Planet
Finding the Force: exploring Star Wars film sets in southern Tunisia

Luke Skywalker was not a fan of his home planet, Tatooine. 'If there's a bright centre to the universe,' he moaned to C-3PO at the beginning of the original Star Wars film, 'you're on the planet that it's farthest from.' Its galactic coordinates might be unknown, but Tatooine is a real place, and if you want to visit you just need make your way to southern Tunisia.

G Adventures
Following the Silk Road to the beautiful - and superstitious - Samarkand

Few cities along the Silk Road carry such a resonance as Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Travellers have been waxing romantic about this storied city for a centuries. When Alexander the Great found himself here at one of the farthest reaches of his empire-building, he declared: "Everything I have heard about Samarkand is true, except that is even more beautiful than I had imagined."

G Adventures
Why is Chefchaouen, Morocco's "blue city", so, well, blue?

The Pink City of Marrakech has always been the beating heart of Moroccan tourism, but in recent years the charms of another colourful town have rightfully become a lot better known. Chefchaouen, with its compact medina washed in blue and topped with red tiled roofs, is quite simply one of the loveliest towns in the country.

G Adventures
The importance of the Okavango Delta

Botswana, like much of southern Africa, is a dry place. Almost half of the country is taken up by the parched Kalahari Desert. But amid this thirstiest of lands sits a shining green gem. Braided by a hundred seasonal rivers that never reach the sea, the Okavango Delta is Africa's greatest wetland and offers one of its greatest safari experiences.

G Adventures
From Matisse to the Rolling Stones: Tangier's artsy, gritty history

Most of Morocco's cities have storied histories, but few have carried such a libertine reputation as the ancient port of Tangier Tangier is a great city for myths. Classical mythology has it as the home of the Pillars of Hercules that marked the end of the known world, beyond which lay the sunken city of Atlantis.

G Adventures
A (brief) guide to the churches of Armenia

The tiny country of Armenia sits in a landlocked sea of mountains in the Caucasus, and it seems that on just about every other peak there sits a church or a monastery. It's testament to the devout history of this nation, which claims to have been the first country to officially make Christianity its national religion.

Nick Cave: Mercy on Me

REVIEW: The graphic biographer of Elvis and Johnny Cash turns the career of Nick Cave into a visual mythology narrated by the characters of his songs.

Lonely Planet
Hiking the Jordan Trail, the Middle East's newest trek

From the Appalachian Trail in the eastern USA to New Zealand's island-spanning Te Araroa Trail, today's hikers are going big and going long. And now in the Middle East, there's a new opportunity to lace up your boots with the newly opened Jordan Trail.

G Adventures
The rich story of Kolmanskop, the Namib Desert's ghost town

In 1849, a gold strike in California helped turn the village of San Francisco into a global city. Fifty years later, the worldwide demand for rubber built opera houses deep in the Amazon jungle, as the obscure Brazilian river station of Manaus became the richest city in South America.
In search of (the real) Vodou in Haiti

For as long as travelers have visited Haiti, they have been intrigued by Vodou. Far from the pre-packaged, plastic religion pushed to tourists en masse, Paul Clammer heads to Haiti in search of the real spiritual deal.

G Adventures
In Zambia, all roads (and rivers) lead to Victoria Falls

There are plenty of sites that claim to be one of the world's natural wonders, but Victoria Falls - straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe - lives up to that marquee billing. The falls are the product of the great Zambezi River, which lazily spreads itself out before dramatically plunging over a cliff nearly 2km (1.2 mi) wide and twice the height of Niagara Falls.

Age of Revolutions
Touring the Haitian Revolution: A Photo Journal

On my first trip to Haiti, I was, like many people, shamefully ignorant of its history. I had heard of Toussaint Louverture but little of what he did, though I knew enough to realize that packing a copy of CLR James' The Black Jacobins might be a good idea.

The Independent
Jamaica: Traveller's Guide

For many people, Jamaica is the archetypal Caribbean beach holiday, a fly-and-flop destination of all-inclusive resorts. But recently - perhaps inspired by the spring in Usain Bolt's steps - travellers have started to realise that the country offers so much more than rum punch and a beautiful sunset.