Note: Since this is an ongoing situation, we’ll be updating this article every day! Last updated: March 16, 2020.
If you are like me, you must be anxious about when this Coronavirus mess will end and when your life would get back to normal! Well, worry not because like everything in nature, nothing goes on forever and this too shall pass away!
Microscopic photo of Coronavirus. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus resemble a crown thus giving it that name.
At the time of this writing, the virus has spread to over 160 countries and territories. Therefore, for now, we strongly recommend that you maintain social distancing, stay put in your home, save some money, catch up on great books, finish those binge-worthy TV shows, and start that passion project of yours that you always wanted to do!
Note:Do Not Travel Right Now(even if you can, because you may not show any symptoms and therefore can carry the virus with you and infect the otherwise isolated population and other people at higher risk. Please use common sense and exercise patience.)
Let’s say, coronavirus gets under control (maybe even completely gone) and we are all in the clear. Also, let’s say if you have been itching to get out of your town and you are ready to travel, the first thing to check would be any still-remaining effective travel restrictions.
Assuming most of the travel restrictions have now been lifted (let’s say by May 2020), below are our top 10 recommended destinations which are either Covid19 free or with only foreign cases (i.e. no community transmission reported).
We have traveled to 6 continents so far and Antarctica has been on our list for a long time now. Well, keep in mind though if you live in the northern hemisphere (US, Canada, Europe, etc.), your winter month is summer-time in Antarctica.
So, why not visit a place which has no permanent human settlement and no cases of Coronavirus!
Big Island, Hawaii
Although Hawaii (Oahu) has cases of Coronavirus, all of them except one were imported. There are no reported cases of Coronavirus cases in the islands of Kuai, Maui, and Big Island.
The isolated environment, which Madagascar hosts, makes for exotic flora and fauna. The biodiversity that is present here is unique, in comparison to anywhere else in the world.
If you ever visit Madagascar, you will fall in love with the island’s plants and animals, which exist nowhere else in the world.
So far there has been no positive cases of Coronavirus here and therefore makes it a safe destination to visit.
You may have heard of the Galapagos Islands from Charles Darwin’s voyage. It is a remote volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador. It’s considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing.
The isolated terrain of Galapagos makes this island a heavenly shelter for a diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
Just at 134 kilometers, southwest of Mauritius lies the magical destination, Reunion Islands. It abounds in volcanic scenery and the tropical climate makes it a beautiful getaway for travelers.
Furthermore, Reunion’s magnificent volcanic landscape makes it a paradise for hikers. With little to no crowd and the remoteness of this destination, nothing gets safer than this island in the Indian Ocean.
Well, if North Korea has open borders then they would have been severely impacted just like South Korea and since they are a closed border country, they seem to be doing fine at this time of the global pandemic.
But Why am I talking about North Korea! Because it’s not easy to go there and it may not be on your travel bucket list. But, Mongolia might be.
And if it gives you any reassurance then know that just a few weeks after the first coronavirus case was announced in China on December 31, 2019, Mongolia announced they would be closing the borders with China. They were the second country to do so, after North Korea.
They have had Covid19 cases but if it’s among the isolated, less crowded countries in Central Asia and therefore a safer place to visit compared to any other country in that region.
Alaska announced its first case of Coronavirus on March 12 (much after the rest of the US). Furthermore, the case happened to a foreign tourist. So far, Alaska due to its remoteness and harsh winter condition has been safe from Covid19.
Like Alaska, Greenland reported its first case of coronavirus on March 16 with a person with travel history. That said, in the western hemisphere, remote places like Alaska and Greenland are safer destinations as compared to densely populated cities of Europe and North America.
I wish we could say the same about Iceland. We’ll continue to monitor the situation in Iceland and update this blog if it seems to be a safer place to visit in 2020.
Nepal has only reported one case of coronavirus (a student who traveled from Wuhan, China). Since then the student has recovered and there has been no additional cases of coronavirus reported in Nepal.
Given that there are active Covid19 cases in both neighboring India and Pakistan, I would wait a few more weeks to see how the situation progresses in South Asia. Also, note, like Nepal, Bhutan has only reported 1 case and there have been no cases reported from Bangladesh.
Islands of the Caribbean
Most of the tiny island countries in the Caribbean have been either coronavirus-free or with less than 5 cases at maximum. The hot and humid climate definitely helps this region.
However, we recommend flying instead of taking a cruise for now until everything settles down. The point is to minimize human contact. Both flights and cruise have their how risks but flights are shorter. Also, pick one destination instead of a multi-day cruise that visits several islands.
Many of these parks are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They can be visited for safaris and to see the African flora and fauna.
The mighty lion in Botswana
Some nations also have considerable areas designated as private parks, game reserves, forest reserves, marine reserves, national reserves, and natural parks.
We have selected the most popular Game Reserves to be included in this list of National Parks because we believe you should not skip them. They are equally as impressive as any National Parks on this list.
National Parks in Africa
Listing all countries alphabetically (A to Z).
Sahara desert, Algeria
Alhaggar National Park
Belezma National Park
Chrea National Park
Djebel Aissa National Park
Djurdjura National Park
El Kala National Park
Gouraya National Park
Taza National Park
Theniet El Had National Park
Tlemcen National Park
Sunset in Angola
Bicauri National Park
Cameia National Park
Cangandala National Park
Iona National Park
Longa-Mavinga National Park
Luenge National Park
Luiana National Park
Mucusso National Park
Mupa National Park
Quiçama National Park
Antelope calf drinking mother’s milk, Benin
Pendjari National Park
W National Park — also called W of the Niger National Park spanning Niger, Benin & Burkina Faso
A leopard in Okavango Delta in Moremi National Park, Botswana
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Chobe National Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Moremi National Park— in the heart of the Okavango Delta
Oryx Antelope (almost near extinction in the wild)
Arli National Park
Deux Balés National Park
Kaboré Tambi National Park— formerly called Pô National Park
W National Park — also called W of the Niger National Park spanning Niger, Benin & Burkina Faso
Kibira National Park
Risizi National Park
Rurubu National Park
Mount Cameroon, Africa
Bénoué National Park
Bouba Njida National Park
Boumba Bek National Park
Campo Ma’an National Park
Faro National Park
Korup National Park
Lobéké National Park
Nki National Park
Waza National Park
Fogo National Park
Central African Republic
St. Floris National Park
André Félix National Park
Bamingui-Bangoran National Park
Dzanga-Ndoki National Park
Mbaéré Bodingué National Park
A Caravan in Chad’s Sahara
Aouk National Park
Goz Beïda National Park
Manda National Park
Zakouma National Park
Democratic Republic of the Congo
A chimpanzee in the wild
Garamba National Park
Virunga National Park
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park
Kundelungu National Park
Lomami National Park
Maiko National Park
Mangroves National Park
Salonga National Park (North and South sections)
Upemba National Park
Okapi Wildlife Reserve(Note: This is not a national park. This is a reserve with core protection and multi-use areas)
Republic of the Congo
A Mandrill Monkey in Congo
Conkouati-Douli National Park
Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park
Ntokou-Pikounda National Park
Odzala-Kokoua National Park
Ougoue Lekiti National Park
Assagny National Park
Banco National Park
Comoé National Park
Îles Ehotilés National Park
Marahoué National Park
Mont Nimba National Park
Mont Péko National Park
Mont Sângbé National Park
Taï National Park
Day Forest National Park
Djibouti National Park
Yoboki National Park
White Desert National Park, Egypt
Gabal Elba National Park
Lake Burullus Protectorate
Lake Qarun Protectorate
Nabq Protected Area
Ras Muhammad National Park
Saint Katherine Protectorate
Sannur Valley Cave Protectorate
Taba Protected Area
Wadi Allaqi Biosphere Reserve
Wadi El Gamal National Park
Wadi El Rayan Protectorate
White Desert National Park
Monte Alen Park
Mountains in Eritrea
Dahlak Marine National Park
Semenawi Bahri National Park
Simien Mountain Gelada, Ethiopia
Abijatta Shalla Lakes National Park
Awash National Park
Bale Mountains National Park
Mago National Park
Nechisar National Park
Omo National Park
Simien National Park— stunning mountain scenery and important wildlife populations in Ethiopia
Yangudi Rassa National Park
Aberdare National Park
Amboseli National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park
Meru National Park
Mount Elgon National Park
Nairobi National Park
Samburu National Park
Sibiloi National Park
Tsavo National Park (East and West)
Maasai Mara Game Reserve(Note: not a National Park but the most popular destination in Kenya)
A herd of African Buffalo
Akanda National Park
Batéké Plateau National Park
Birougou National Park
Crystal Mountains National Park
Ivindo National Park
Loango National Park
Lopé National Park
Mayumba National Park
Minkébé National Park
Moukalaba-Doudau National Park
Mwangné National Park
Pongara National Park
Waka National Park
Abuko National Park
Bijilo National Park
Kiang West National Park
Niumi National Park
River Gambia National Park
Life in Ghana, West Africa
Bia National Park
Bui National Park
Digya National Park
Kakum National Park
Kalakpa Game Production Reserve
Mole National Park
Nini-Suhien National Park
Badiar National Park
Haut Niger National Park
Cacheu River National Park
João Vieira Marine Park
Orango Islands National Park
Sehlabathebe National Park— a remote mountain reserve great for hiking with rare wildlife, impressive waterfalls, and ancient rock paintings and stone shelters
Lake Malawi National Park — pictured above
Kasungu National Park
Lengwe National Park
Liwonde National Park
Nyika National Park— a large highland national park in Malawi
A Nyala Antelope in Mozambique
Gorongosa National Park
Limpopo National Park
Antelopes in a flowers meadow in Etosha National Park, Namibia
Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park — including the Fish River Canyon Park
Bwabwata National Park — composed by ex “Caprivi Game Park” and ex “Mahango Game Reserve”
Etosha National Park — abundant wildlife in the “big white place”
Fish River Canyon Park — the second largest canyon in the world
Khaudum National Park— maybe the most remote of all Namibian national parks, known for its tourist-terrorizing elephants
Mudumu National Park
Namib-Naukluft National Park— contains the famous Sossusvlei valley and the world’s highest dunes
Nkasa Lupala National Park
Skeleton Coast National Park
Waterberg Plateau Park— another good place to watch wildlife
W National Park — also called W of the Niger National Park spanning Niger, Benin & Burkina Faso
Zebra is common across sub-sharan Africa
Chad Basin National Park
Cross River National Park (Okavango and Oban sections)
Gashaka-Gumti National Park
Kainji National Park (Borgu and Zugurma sections)
Kamuku National Park
Okomu National Park
Old Oyo National Park
Yankari National Park
Rwanda is the best place in the world to see Silverback Gorillas
Akagera National Park
Volcanoes National Park— in Rwanda is full of impressive rainforest and volcanic scenery of the Virunga Mountains and is perhaps the best place in the world to see rare mountain gorillas. Across the border, in Uganda, it is known as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
São Tomé and Príncipe
Obo National Park
Basse Casamance National Park
Isles des Madeleines National Park
Langue de Barbarie National Park
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary
Niokolo-Koba National Park
Saloum Delta National Park
A beach in Seychelles
Curieuse Marine National Park
Morne Seychellois National Park
Praslin National Park
Ste. Anne Marine National Park
Gola Rainforest National Park
Outamba-Kilimi National Park
Western Area National Park
Hargeisa National Park
Hobyo grasslands and shrublands
Jilib National Park
Kismayo National Park
Lag Badana National Park
A Yellow Billed Hornbill in the mountains of Pilanesberg in South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park
Agulhas National Park
Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Augrabies Falls National Park
Bontebok National Park
Camdeboo National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Karoo National Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Knysna National Lake Area
Kruger National Park
Mapungubwe National Park
Marakele National Park
Mokala National Park
Mountain Zebra National Park
Namaqua National Park
Table Mountain National Park
Tankwa Karoo National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park
West Coast National Park
Wilderness National Park
Bandingilo National Park
Boma National Park
Nimule National Park
Southern National Park
Nile Crocodile in Sudan
Dinder National Park
Lantoto National Park
Radom National Park
Suakin Archipelago National Park
Hlane Royal National Park – known for its Rhinos
An Elephant Family in Serengeti, Tanzania
Arusha National Park
Gombe Stream National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Mikumi National Park
Mkomazi Game Reserve
Ruaha National Park
Rubondo Island National Park
Serengeti National Park— the biggest national park in Tanzania, perhaps the archetypal African game park; becomes the Maasai Mara National Reserve over the border in Kenya
Selous Game Reserve
Tarangire National Park— one of the best places in the world to see lions
Fazao-Malfakassa National Park
Fosse aux Lions National Park
Kéran National Park
Bou-Hedma National Park
Boukornine National Park
Chaambi National Park
El Feidja National Park
Ichkeul National Park
Jebil National Park
Sidi Toui National Park
Zembra and Zembretta Islands National Park
A mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Kabelaga National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Murchison Falls National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Rwenzori National Park — home of the almost mythical, otherworldly scenery of the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda
Blue Lagoon National Park— very accessible
Kafue National Park— the largest national park of the country
Lavushi Manda National Park
Liuwa plains National Park
Lochinvar National Park— excellent for bird watching
Lower Zambezi National Park
Luambe National Park— used to be the president’s private game reserve, now pristine wilderness without mass tourism
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
Nsumbu National Park— used to be very popular in the 1970s but has declined in the last decades
North Luangwa National Park— one of Africa’s great safari destinations
Nyika National Park
South Luangwa National Park
Victoria Falls National Park— one of the world’s largest waterfalls (pictured above)
Africa marks our 6th continent. Since Kenya is one of the best destinations to go for a Safari, we picked it as our first country to explore in Africa. It has been on our bucket list for so long and at last, we were about to experience a new continent!
We were excited! Moreover, we were going to see the “Big Five” in the wild! We picked Australken Tours and Travel as our safari company and they thoroughly impressed us! In short, we highly recommend them! They are mid-budget-range, locally owned and operated, flexible, and very, very professional!
In Africa, the Big Five game animals are the Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant, and African Buffalo. The term “big five” was coined by big-game hunters in the colonial past, and it refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on “foot” but is now also widely used by safari tour operators.
That said, we were in for a surprise because on our 7 days safari we saw animals which we did not even know exists (such as the ones pictured below)!
Our 7 Days Kenya Safari
We’ll first share what was on our safari itinerary plan which then follows our experiences!
Day 0: Get to Nairobi
We arrived in Kenya late evening. This is the day where you will mostly rest and meet your tour operators and discuss your final safari logistics and trip plan!
Day 1: Nairobi to Amboseli
Trip plan: Depart from Nairobi for Amboseli National Park. Check-in and have lunch at AA Amboseli Lodge. Later proceed for the evening game drive in search of gigantic elephants the park is famous for, with chances of seeing lions, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, hippos, and different species of birds not forgetting the views of Mt. Kilimanjaro on a clear day. Meal plan (Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Jambo, Kenya!
Giraffe and Zebras are everywhere in Kenya! You don’t even have to go to a park!
We woke up early morning (partially because we were jet-lagged and also because we were super excited to begin our safari!) We ate breakfast at our hotel and met Zippy our tour operator. She introduced us to our safari guide/driver, Albanus who has been doing safari tours for the past 29 years!
Since we chose a private safari tour, it was just two of us and our safari driver/guide. After a warm introduction, we were picked from our Nairobi hotel and started our first day of Safari towards the Amboseli National Park.
It was a lovely, sunny day. The warmth of the sun was so energizing. As we started our drive south towards Amboseli, to add to our adventure, our vehicle broke down midway. While we waited for it to be fixed, we saw Giraffe, Zebras, Donkeys, and pretty wildflowers by the roadsides.
Our safari van was fixed in 2 hours and we took some cool photos and stretched a bit and talked about the culture, tribes, and wildlife in Kenya!
Highway to Mombasa
The drive to Amboseli along the Mombasa highway was spectacular. One thing that really stood out at first was the magnificent landscape of Kenya. Red soil, beautiful landscape, cattle grazing, almost everything along the road was something new and different for our eyes!
During our drive, we crossed multiple small towns. It was very interesting to see life in rural Kenya as we drove through these small towns. Many people waved and smiled as we passed through; such a great welcome.
Not to forget the Acacia tree with birds nest and butterflies humming around, it was truly a moment of bliss. Mid-January is the season for mangoes in Kenya, so we also grabbed a bag of mangoes from the street vendors.
Morning view from our AA Amboseli lodge
Finally, we reached our lodge, quickly grabbed lunch, checked into our super cute tent and in the evening we headed out for our first game drive. We saw tons of Zebra very close to the park.
Next, we entered the park and caught a family of elephants grazing. We were surrounded by elephants and it was just so spectacular.
Amboseli is known for its huge Elephant population
Oh, another fun story, while we were entering Amboseli National Park, a Maasai man came to sell us handicraft. We did not want to buy a souvenir on our first day so he proposed bartering since he loved our The Art of Travel wooden watch. We exchanged our wood watch for a Maasai women wood sculpture.
It was the first time in our travels that we have bartered. This was an amazing experience! He was happy and we were happy! What a day! With all these fond memories our Day one of African safari came to an end. What an adventure!
Day 2: Amboseli National Park
Trip plan: After breakfast, we spend the day exploring the park. We also walked to the observation hill for the scenic view of the park and picnic lunch. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: A spectacular view of Kilimanjaro
Glorious view of Mt. Kilimanjaro
With sounds of rain and thunder, we woke up early morning. The rain had stopped during sunrise and we caught glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro standing tall in all glory. We were very lucky.
After a quick breakfast at the camp, we started our day at the park. During our drive, we saw many new animals.
A Cheetah family
Playful yellow baboon monkeys, a lonely wildebeest, happy family of hippos, family of 3 cheetah all out for their fresh meal hunt, happy flamingo and Pelicans in the swamp, sneaky fox, busy Pumba, cunning hyena, skeptical ostrich, sassy giraffe, curious buffalo, herds of elephants, impala, and gazelle all around the park. Not to forget hundreds of species of birds on the ground as well as flying.
We went to the observation point for lunch where we had 360-view of the park. We ended the day at Masai Mara village where we saw cultural welcome dance and learned how the community functions in the tour through the tiny village.
Maasai tribe of Amboseli
Day 3: Drive to Lake Naivasha
Trip plan: After an early breakfast departs from Amboseli passing via the outskirts of Nairobi en route to the Great Rift Valley where we will have a stopover to admire the escarpment before we proceed Lake Naivasha where we will arrive in time for lunch at West beach camp. Later we will proceed for an hour’s boat ride with chances of seeing hippo and different species of birds. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Everything happens for a reason
Early morning we started towards Lake Naivasha from Amboseli. Our van broke down again (Ugh!). So while our van was getting fixed we had some unforgettable moments interacting with the locals.
Our van broke it in front of a local handicraft store which was perfect for us to buy some souvenirs and check out local handicrafts. The lady at the shop was really sweet and she had some really cute collection. We bought a few souvenirs here (pictured below).
We moved along but the car needed more maintenance. We had to stop by a small town. While we were thinking about how unfortunate it is to have our car broken and possibly miss the activity planned for the day we spotted a beautiful Masai mother feeding her little baby girl.
A Maasai with her baby
I was watching her and the baby who was very friendly. The Maasai woman could not speak much English but she looked at us and smiled. I asked if I could take a picture with her and she was absolutely okay. After the photo and some interactions, she said “little money” and I was happy to give some money to the mother.
Next, we realized that there is a street market across the road selling shoes and all kinds of stuff. I was in much need of shoes since my only shoes broke on day 1 of safari (what a stroke of luck, right) so I bought a pair of safari type boots for 400 Kenyan shillings (i.e. $4 USD). It kind of looked somewhat tarnished but it did serve my desperate need since I was in my flip flops.
Shopping for shoes
It also made me appreciate simple things in life and to be humble. I have nearly 50 pairs of shoes back home but all I needed was one.
Moving on to another mishap we were out of our camera’s SD card capacity in just 2 days. We underestimated how many pictures we would take and we needed an SD card which is really hard to find in small towns. Still, we inquired the guy who sold shoes if we can find an SD card anywhere. He directed us to the cyber cafe nearby.
We went to the cyber cafe but they did not have an SD card for sale. Turns out that the guy working there is a photographer himself. He offered us to loan his SD card but we were not coming back there. We asked if he could sell to us and buy a new one for himself.
He was really sweet (and helpful and honest). He agreed to sell his memory card for the price that is sold in the market rather than asking us for an insane amount since we were in high need of that. (Needless to say, we are friends now! When you travel with an open mind you make friends from all walks of life.)
By the time we did all our necessary shopping our van was ready. We were really happy that we used the time and found what we needed. Just when we hit the highway the van started acting up again. The radiator got so heated that smoke and water was coming out, the car stopped again for the third time absolutely In the middle of nowhere.
We had a deep sigh this time because now we are not only missing the boat ride at Lake Nakuru which was planned for the day but we are stuck absolutely out of nowhere. Our driver was thinking and figuring out what to do, what is the nearest town, etc.
Suddenly an old Maasai man who lived nearby came for help, then another young Maasai shepherd came to help. They all greeted us with a handshake and smile. The old man’s wife also came by and got some clean water for the car. They were curious.
The old man asked Salil to let him see things through the camera lens. He was so happy when he could see things far away up close through the zoom lens. It was a moment of joy.
Then all the men pushed the van if it could work after we put the clean water but it didn’t. Luckily since our van was not functioning as well from day 1 another van was on its way from Nairobi. We waited a while and it finally came to our rescue.
We got on the new van and started to contemplate that if our van did not break maybe we would not have such an authentic local experience and get to know how warm, nice, and helpful Kenyan people really are.
We stared towards Lake Naivasha and stopped by Great Rift Valley which was spectacular. Finally, late in the evening we reached our accommodation near Lake Lake Naivasha and ended the day with some really memorable experience and a delicious dinner.
At this time we were thinking that we have made the best of every situation thrown at us. We made lemonade when life gave us lemons for real.
We ended the day at West Beach Camp by the shores of Lake Naivasha! It was a gorgeous lodge and we were the only guests besides one another couple! Both the sunsets and sunrise in Kenya are spectacular.
Sunrise from West beach camp
Day 4: Lake Nakuru
Trip plan: After breakfast, we will depart from Lake Naivasha for Lake Nakuru National park where we will explore the park with a chance of seeing rhino, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, baboon, monkey, leopard among other wild not forgetting a visit to the baboon cliff for the scenic view of the park. We will also explore the shores of Lake Nakuru with the chances of seeing flamingos. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Something unexpected
Morning view at West Beach Camp, Lake Naivasha
We woke up, ate breakfast and as planned we headed to Lake Nakuru national park which has the salty lake Called Nakuru. On the way there we saw a lot of wildlife!
As we were exploring Nakuru, out of nowhere, we saw a lone male lion. This was the first time we saw a lion. He was a big male taking a nap under a bush. After about 30 minutes of waiting, he did stand up to watch us. He did not seem bothered at all and we felt the thrill of seeing a huge lion so close.
Next, we saw a huge troop of olive baboon monkeys, the zeal of zebras, heads of buffalo running, mommy and baby white rhino chilling, Waterbuck, gazelle, pumbas playing, and dozens of birds.
It was unreal for us to see a lion, we were not even expecting. We had picnic lunch at baboon cliff where we got a good view of the park and salty lake. It was really peaceful up the hill.
The water level is rising at the park and it’s flooding a lot of sections in the park. The view at Lake Nakuru was unreal; the trees were half under the water and dead, making them home for birds to stop by.
It was a lovely day at Nauru. The camp where we stayed had such amazing food we were relaxed and excited for Masai Mara.
A mother and baby Rhino at Nakuru
Day 5: Lake Naivasha and Maasai Mara
Trip plan: After breakfast, we will continue with our safari to the renowned Maasai Mara game reserve which is Kenya’s premier game reserve. It is the home of the “big five” – lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant, as well as cheetah, zebra, giraffe and vast herds of plains antelope and numerous other wildlife. We will arrive in time for lunch at Osero luxury Camp followed by afternoon game drive before you return to Osero luxury camp to wait for dinner followed by overnight. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Hakuna Matata
We woke up early morning and headed to Lake Naivasha for a boat ride. We were supposed to do the boat ride on day 3 but we did manage to squeeze this on day 5.
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake, unlike Lake Nakuru which is a saltwater lake. We had a memorable boat ride where we spotted numerous birds singing, cruising, and sunbathing on the trees.
We also saw a lot of hippos here! They are mighty creatures and the babies look so cute!
The highlights of lake Naivasha were seeing green plants grow on the lake, the fishermen catching fish, hippos with their family and an eagle hunting fish from the water. These are some moments we will always remember.
After Lake Naivasha, we headed towards Masai Mara straight. It was a long drive but we could see so much of the country by land. Finally, after a long drive, we reached Masai Mara.
The moment we reached Masai Mara we could instantly feel how different it is from other parks we have been. Not just the size but the landscape. It was interesting and unique. Vast grassland, meadows, small hills around, different kinds of trees (like the sausage tree and fig trees) and scattered acacia trees it was all adding to its beauty.
It was late afternoon game drive we were spotting new animals we have never seen like Topi, Dik-Dik, and Steenbok.
We were driving and suddenly we spotted three young male lions sleeping and fooling around. They were muscular, strong, and powerful. We watched them take a nap and change bushes. It’s rare to see three male lions all together but we were lucky.
Two teenage lions
As it was about time to exit the park we spotted a family of Cheetah. A mother and 3 cubs chilling. This was the first time we saw cheetah so close. They are so lean and curious. They look adorable too.
With an amazing first game drive at Masai Mara, we headed to our lodge. On our way back just outside the park, we saw so many Pumba running around with their tail up. They are so cute to watch.
There was also a Jackal running across the road. We followed him for a while and it ran away.
Our lodge was deep inside the park in the wooded area. We had dinner at the lodge where Maasai people danced for us. They asked Salil to join and so Salil did participate. We’ll share the Maasai dance video on YouTube.
Maasai welcome dance
At night we could hear Hyena howling. We also heard elephants and we woke up to birds chirping. What an experience!
Day 6: Maasai Mara
Trip plan: We will spend the whole day exploring the expansive Maasai Mara game reserve in search of Elephant, Zebra, Wildebeest, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and other plains game with a visit to the Mara river where we might have a chance to see hippo and crocodile. We will return to Osero luxury camp to wait for dinner followed by overnight. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: A very special moment
It started with pretty heavy rain early morning in Masai Mara but our guide assured us that it will still be a great game drive because animals, unlike humans, are not bothered by the rain.
We were driving towards the park early morning and the rain started to slow down a bit. On our way, we spotted two Masai kids in school uniform trying to cross a stream and go school.
They were small and after the rain, the stream had got to the road. We asked our guide to stop and offer them a ride to school. They were very happy. We dropped them at their school and they smiled and said ‘Asante’ which means ‘Thank you’ in Swahili.
We had just started our game drive in Masai Mara and thankfully the rain had also stopped. As we were watching some game around the park our guide got a call from his friend. After the call, he said, “guys, sit down. I think we’ve got something.”
Usually, the guides have a radio where they share what animals are spotted or they call and let other guides know about any major game around.
Also until the very end of our safari, we realized that guides usually don’t tell you what you’re going to see next or what can be seen. It totally makes sense because until today we were never told what exactly we are seeing, so every time we saw something we were always pleasantly surprised.
We knew there is something coming up but honestly, we did not pay much attention to what it would be. During that drive, we were just admiring the beauty of the park and landscape.
Suddenly we were on a road where few vehicles were stopped. We then knew there’s got to be something here hence so many vehicles. Our guide said “here is a pride of lion sleeping on the road”.
Our jaws opened wide as we saw 13 lions 8 females and 5 cubs having their siesta time. It was such a wonderful surprise. We luckily got a good spot to admire these sleeping lions on the road. Some cubs were curious and looking at us. Some were going back and forth around the female lioness for milk.
We saw them pet each other, cuddle, nap, stretch, stand, and sleep again. It was just magical. Hard to comprehend in words.
An hour felt like a minute. That mother-child bond and love we encountered was one of the most special moments at Maasai Mara. Our heart was filled with joy.
As of the 6th day of our Safari, we have seen 4 of the big 5 and many other interesting and important members of Africa’s beautiful savannas. Now we were on a hunt for the big cat aka Leopard.
Leopards are very shy animals unlike cheetah and the hardest to spot among the big five. Since it rained all night the road was very muddy. We went on a hunt around a lot of places where we could spot leopards like the fig tree, sausage tree, and the famous acacia tree.
We saw a wildebeest leg handing on a tree. Most likely a leopard must have had its meal there. There were no signs of leopard around and in all honesty, we did not feel sad about that. Nature and animals have their own rule and we cannot challenge that.
This was not a zoo where one can always trace an animal. The wildlife here is part of the vast African Savanna where we humans are no one but visitors in their homeland. With that registered in our brain and with much respect for the wildlife we drove towards the Mara River where the great migration from Serengeti of Tanzania to Masai Mara of Kenya happens.
On the border of Tanzania (behind us) and Kenya (in front)
On the way, we stopped at the border of Kenya/Tanzania. Such an interesting place. We were also thinking about how all these animals cross borders and that nature is not bound by any county or borders.
We reached the Mara river and took a short hike around the river with a ranger. This was our first hike experience at the park. It was beautiful and remarkable to set our foot and walk through the land of some deadly predators.
The famous Mara river full of hippos and crocodiles
We spotted some hippos in the river and the guide gave us a lot of information about the wildlife there. After that, we started our way back to our camp. On the way back we spotted two Waterbucks mating putting in a show for everyone. We also saw a lot of African Ostriches.
By sunset, we made it back to our camp to enjoy the evening. We enjoyed our gorgeous tent, had a wonderful conversation with the Masai guard, and a very scrumptious dinner with our guide. It was a day filled with the most pleasant surprise of all.
Day 7: Maasai Mara to Nairobi
Trip plan: Early morning game drive followed by breakfast then we will depart from Maasai Mara as we continue with your journey passing via Narok town then proceed to Nairobi where we will be dropped to catch our homebound flight. Meal plan (Breakfast provided)
Our Experience: Farewell until we meet again
The last day of our Safari. Just the thought of this made me teary and sad. As I was contemplating over my cup of Kenyan tea about this entire Safari trip and all the beautiful encounters with all different species of wildlife.
With Maasai people
The breathtaking views of the African savannah, the gorgeous Acacia trees, the bushes, the insects, the birds, the view of Masai cattle grazing, the smiles of kids waving, the people, the food, the smell of the air, the red land, everything almost everything that we had experienced in these 6 days will be safely treasured as beautiful moments in Africa.
Our Osero luxury camp in Maasai Mara
We checked out from our camp and went for one last quick drive around the park to bid farewell to the beautiful land and then headed towards Nairobi. We reached Nairobi and wanted to meet our Facebook friend from Kenya at the local mall (we
have never met her in person) we were excited.
Our tour operator also came to say goodbye. She got us a beautiful souvenir. She was very apologetic about the vehicle incident but it was all unexpected and we had nothing but good memories out of the trip. We told her that we’ll be back for more!
The terrain inside the park is pretty rough and with rain gets very muddy. We have seen a lot of vehicles break down as well so it comes with the experience. Overall we had an amazing time and actually we did not miss any activities as planned so we were very happy with our overall adventure in Kenya!
With our friend Anita at Nairobi airport
We finally met our friend and ate our last meal in Kenya together. We shared hugs, laugh, and wonderful conversations. Our friend offered to drop us to the airport, and we had more conversations in the car and such an amazing time overall in Kenya.
With all of this in our hearts, it was time to bid farewell to beautiful Kenya. The memories made in the continent of Africa will always be very dear to us. Back from the trip, we feel extremely rejuvenated, fulfilled, and grateful for all the experiences we had along the way.
The Sahara Desert has always been a center of attraction for the tourist who visits Morocco. It is impossible to resist the beauty of orange sand around you.
You could feel the ancient culture of Morocco by riding the Camel in the Sahara. I bet when you ride camel you would feel like Aladdin searching for Jasmine!
Note: You may think (based on the movies or books) that Sahara is just about riding a camel or walking barefoot in the sand. Let me tell you, it’s much more than that. Also, I will share some really interesting ideas which you can do in Sahara and make your trip more memorable.
Must-Do Things In The Sahara Desert
The beauty of Sahara is very unique and it is different from many pieces of nature that you have ever seen in your life.
To experience the place where there is no civilization, no buildings and no signs of footprints because the sand will cover your footprint is a treat in itself. In this short guide, I will give you some tips to enjoy your Sahara tour to the fullest.
A native desert girl
Many people think that camel riding is a very tiring and uncomfortable thing but most of them do not know that in the evenings they are padded with blankets and supplies. You could easily ride and enjoy the journey in the evening.
Have fun with Sand boards
Sand boards will be provided by your hotel. Ask the staff they will give you the sand boards to enjoy. If you are with family, they will give separate boards to kids. What you can do is slide down the dune.
Look for highest dunes with good slopes and you will have a time of your life. Trust me!
Enjoy the beauty of Sahara
Most people waste a lot of time taking pictures of different places. I recommend enjoying the tour fully. See the beauty around you with your own eyes, not by the eyes of the camera.
Sitting alone outside of your camp and gazing the sky full of stars is an experience which you will never forget.
Watch Sunrise & Sunsets from the sand dunes
Wake up early and see the sunrise. See how the sun rays turn the sand into Golden. You could find orange sand dunes in the western part of the Sahara near Morocco.
Similar to camel tours and walking tours, you can also do a desert safari. These desert safari drivers (a 4×4 jeep or other SUVs) are experienced and you’ll have one thrilling experience of a lifetime. It’s a ‘must try’.
Set up a desert tent
No trip to the Sahara is complete without having spent a night in the desert in an open (or covered) tent while laying down directly under the night sky and cold sand.
All of the above can be either self-organized or booked as a tour.
Do not rush
Enjoy the trip in its deepest sense. A lot of people try to explore the Sahara Desert very quickly and when their time gets over, they usually said they did not explore even half of the desert. You must plan your desert tour for at least 3 days.
8 Pro Tips Before You Embark on the Sahara Adventure
Before you go to Sahara make sure you should know what to pack and I will show you the necessary item which you should not leave behind. Leaving these would cause unnecessary pain in the Sahara. So, without further ado here is the list.
Don’t forget sunglasses
This is the most obvious thing to pack because there would be strong UV rays which can damage and may even burn your eye’s soft tissues. According to the American Optometric Association if you do not wear sunglasses in that kind of area where the sun is at its peak then you risk of macular degeneration.
As a bonus, glasses will also protect your eyes from any sand that might get into your eyes with the breeze.
Speaking of strong and hot sun, do not forget to bring sunscreen. Moreover, wear full sleeve shirts to protect your arm and wear a hat is also highly advised to protect you from sunstroke.
Carrying a water bottle is also highly recommended because when you ride the camel you will dehydrate very quickly.
Wear comfortable shoes
You might watch in the old movies like in Aladdin in Lawrence of Arabia where the main protagonist walks in Sahara with no shoes or in sandals. But please do not make this stupid mistake in the afternoon when the sun heats up the sand becomes very hot.
Believe me, you do not want to be out in the dunes without proper protection for your feet. If you are with some good travel company, they may provide you with some extra pair of shoes which you can use in your desert excursion.
Pro Tip: You will get a chance to walk bare feet on the sand in the morning and evenings when the sand is cool.
Magnificent desert sunset in the Sahara
Carry a light scarf
You should buy a scarf before going to Sahara. It will help you when you are going to sleep outside of your camp at night.
Although most of the times you should not have to worry about the sandstorms if there is a little wind, you could cover your face with the scarf
Pack a jacket
Many people thought that Sahara would be very hot then why should we buy jackets? You should know that Sahara will not be hot every time. It would be cold in the mornings and evenings.
If you are coming in winter then you should definitely pack a pair of jackets with you.
Carry a chapstick
The air in the Sahara is very dry and will take a toll on your lips for sure. Couple of time I have seen men wearing their wife’s lipstick to keep their lips from peeling.
So, protect yourself from this kind of embarrassing situation and keep lip balm or Chapstick with you.
Pack a great camera
Sahara is considered as a heaven for photographers. There is an unlimited number of interesting photos in Sahara like sunrise, changing colors of sand dunes in the morning, sunset, Camel riding, Clear sky with thousands of stars, etc.
If you bring digital Camera then I recommend bringing its bag to protect it from dust also do not forget to bring its batteries or charger.
Book your tour with a credible travel agency
My final tip would be to book your Sahara Tour with some credible travel agency. Last year before going to the Sahara Desert, I have found that there are a plethora of travel companies out there making false claims.
You should book your extrusion with some specialists and with locals who knew the place very well.
I booked my Sahara trip with Marrakech Desert Trips. I have found them very professional and they guided me very professionally throughout my trip. They told me the accurate expenses before and did not charge me with any extra dime.
Best Time To Visit The Sahara Desert
A morning walking tour exploring the sand dunes
Sahara is open for almost all year. You could plan the tour any time any day. But according to me, the best time is from October to early May. During these months’ temperatures would be not that much as in June to September.
You may encounter some sandstorms in January to April but they are just mild sandstorms and you could easily get away with them by putting the light scarf as I mentioned above and you would be fine.
Sheraz Shahzad is a part-time travel blogger, part-time digital marketing specialist, and full-time dreamer. He loves the photographic medium for expressing what he loves about life. He always finds himself lost during travel.
Aside from his taste for adventure, he loves doing two things while traveling: meeting new friends and trying new food. You can contact him on LinkedIn to work on your travel website.
Safe Traveling gives you a sense of security. We love going places, meeting new people, seeing beautiful sunsets. That is what travel is about. But in the excitement of it all, we should not forget about staying safe.
Don’t be so immersed in walking down a bustling tourist street that you get pick-pocketed. There are some basic tips you need to follow for safety.
It is not just theft that you are up against, you never know when you face a natural disaster, or God forbid an illness during your trip. In that case, you ought to be prepared for the worse. Below are the safety rules for wise travelers.
Carry a door lock with you
No matter what kind of destination you go and no matter how high end the hotel you stay in, you always need to have your privacy.
That is the key to safe traveling. A door lock helps you keep unwanted visitors at bay and is particularly useful for women who travel solo.
Along with a door lock pack a smoke detector with you too. Not all the rooms have smoke detectors.
So it is better to have one with you in the case of an emergency it can be a lifesaver. Many buildings do not have smoke detectors, so to be on the safe side take one with you.
Memorize the Emergency Digits
For safe traveling, You need to be well aware of the emergency numbers before you travel to a new country.
For example, the emergency number for an ambulance in America is 911 but in Cuba, it is 104. Google the emergency numbers of your destination before you head out for being safe. It will be beneficial if you find yourself in any trouble.
You might snort and say that “English is Global, Why translate it?”. But just a bit of illness abroad and you will know how important the local language is.
Countries such as China, Japan, South Korea are very serious about their mother tongue. If you give them your health documents in English, they can’t understand it because they don’t know it.
In such cases, download the health app if you haven’t already. And then input the information into it. You can use a translation app to translate all the information, So the translation would not be a biggie.
Prepare all these documents before you head out for your trip, And keep apps like to translate Microsoft Translator, Translator and Google Translator in your phone. They come in handy while traveling.
Sign up with the State Department
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program provides US Nationals with many benefits. But above all in any case of emergency, the US Embassies can help you out in a much faster and swifter way.
It is a free service, so all the US citizens but takes advantage of it. The department also sends travel alerts regarding the country you are about to travel to.
Choose to Stay on Lower Floors
By lower floors, we do not mean the ground floor. You know in case of a break in the ground floor is the most vulnerable floor. But in the event of a fire emergency, the top floor is also going to give you trouble.
The comfy of all floors are the second and the third floor. In the case of break-ins, you are relatively safer, and in the event of a fire emergency, the ladder can reach you.
These are just a few practical tips for those travelers who love their safety. And yes it is also for those paranoid travelers who keep checking their door locks.
With a tour guide, you can complete the hike in 7- 10 days. But if you want to do it by yourself, then you need careful planning. There are alternative routes which will take you to the destination faster.
Then Viola! You see the starry sky unfolding before you.
We included this in our list because it involves the highest mountain in the world. You will be filled with awe once you just have a glimpse of the tip. A 3-weeks trip will do, to make you climb the heights.
You can fly to Nepal during September to November. During this time the cold doesn’t hit in full force so that you can enjoy your cultural as well as historical hike.
Grand Canyon is one of the largest geographical features of the surface of the Earth. You can know the power of its sheer magnificence by the views it grants you.
Hiking from rim to rim will just take a week. But in that time, this 44 miles long hiking trail will offer you some of the best sceneries (that you can ever get on a long hike).
A 2180-miles of beauty and mountains is an adventure you will not want to miss. But hiking from Georgia to Maine is not for beginners with limited energy. You should undertake this task, if and only if you are passionate about it.
Completing this journey takes around three to six months depending on your fitness level and pace.
If you do not have that kind of time to dedicate, then you can do the Appalachian trail in smaller sections. There are several shorter and interesting trails within the Appalachian that will equally thrill your senses.
When we said about the snow-topped mountains we did not joke. Sweden abounds in the frozen landscape; you can have a look at the beauteous landscape.
It is 275-miles long hike. Hence it will neither take much of your time nor energy. From icy glaciers to alpine vegetation, you will see everything that makes Sweden the dream destination of many.
It does not end here; you will get to see Mount Kebnekaise (the highest peak in the country).
Those looking for short trails are in luck. This Canadian trail in Alberta became viral when Ansel Adams posted photos of it online. From then on, it is on the bucket list of many.
Hiking the Valley takes a week. But you will have to struggle a bit to reach this place. Yes, its accessibility might not be up to the mark, but the scenic charms it exhibits will leave you spellbound.
If you are someone who holds an Indian passport and wants to travel the world – backpacking, cruising, or simply wanting to fly and explore a new country, you likely already know the frustrating drill.
As an Indian passport holder, you rank 67th in the world and it is true that the situations for Indians are improving. For example, India used to be ranked #77 just five years ago (in 2015).
With significant improvements made on the diplomatic front with several foreign countries, as of 2019, as an Indian citizen, you get to travel visa-free to 25 countries and get visa on arrival to an additional 39 countries.
Whatever! This all said one should not feel discouraged. As the old saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way. Moreover, there are hundreds of Indians (if not thousands) who have managed to travel all over the world on a budget and average passport power.
As Indians, your biggest advantage is your language skills. If you are reading this blog in English, you will have no problem exploring this planet from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle.
As per the India-Nepal and India-Bhutan treaty, Indians enjoy no questions asked, visa-free travel to both Nepal and Bhutan. You can even work there or teach English or do some volunteering work and take your time while you explore these beautiful Himalayan countries.
If you want to travel to Europe(and you should), the best way to go about it is to apply for a multi-year, multiple entry Schengen Visa. Currently, the Schengen Area consists of 26 member European countries.
Northern Lights in Vik, Iceland
This allows you to travel to all of these countries which are all located in Europe.
Thinking of climbing to the highest point in Africa? We have identified some 10 rules that will assist you to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with ease and enjoy the success you’re searching for. Take note of these tips on how to climb Kilimanjaro as you make plans.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is an exciting adventure especially if you’re into outdoor activities. Just know that by the time you reach its peak, you’ll be at the highest point in Africa.
Therefore, congratulations are in order for even considering making this trip. Although it’s not a very difficult climb, succeeding can be a tricky affair.
Photo: Mt. Kilimanjaro / The Art of Travel Partners
There are some factors to consider such as knowing how to climb Kilimanjaro or being familiar with the Kilimanjaro climbing season which is essential to success.
We have identified 10 rules to help you succeed in your climb:
1. Train to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
You’ll need to do some exercise to climb Kilimanjaro. It’s not something you wake up and just decide to do. It takes quite a lot of prepping and training to climb Kilimanjaro.
One thing you’ll have to do for a month or two just to be safe is some training exercises. You can go on hikes or do lots of gym. Having the know how to climb Kilimanjaro will be futile if you’re not fit.
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
2. Kilimanjaro Climbing Season
Did you know that there’s a Kilimanjaro climbing season? Yes, like other similar places on earth, there are specific suitable times to make such trips. Kilimanjaro has two favorable climbing seasons – January to March, and June to October.
Before traveling, find out the best time to climb Kilimanjaro and check weather alerts. The information is crucial for both your survival and successfully reaching the summit.
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
3. Find Your Best Route to Climb Kilimanjaro
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
Decide on the most suitable route to take. The best route to climb Kilimanjaro, especially if you’re not a skilled climber is the one that takes around 8 days to reach the top.
There are shorter routes, but when it comes to mountain climbing, the trick is always to take the long route. Well, you get to adjust to the increasing altitude with ease.
4. Get the Right Gear
Knowing how to climb Kilimanjaro to the top is a skill that takes patience, and you’ll need all the help you can get. One way to get help is by getting the right gear.
They are essential because they help keep you safe. Get the appropriate waterproof boots, warm clothing including socks – it gets freezing, trekking poles, sunscreen and a hat among others.
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
5. Pack Power Food
There’s a lot of planning and preparation before climbing Kilimanjaro. One thing you’ll definitely need to plan for is food.
You’ll need all the energy you can get to conquer the climb. Carry snacks especially energy bars. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are a part of your climb.
You’ll have the guiding team carry and prepare meals for you.
6. Stay Hydrated During the Climb
Mastering how to climb Kilimanjaro is all about knowing how to handle your body throughout the climbing process.
Just as you’ll need energy, the body will also need to stay hydrated during the trip. To successfully reach the top without developing complications from dehydration, you’ll need to consume at least 3 liters of water.
Add energy bars to the water if you’re having a hard time drinking it.
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
7. Get a Tour Guide and Porter
Part of knowing how to climb Kilimanjaro is realizing that it is a new terrain and you’ll need a tour guide.
It’s not a one-person climb; therefore, you’ll have to get a tour guide or two and three or so porters to help with the luggage.
Remember, you’ll be carrying a tent, beddings, water and other cooking supplies which you can’t do solo and still make it to the top.
Most guides speak fluent English while porters have a better hold of Swahili though they can still understand some English.
8. Have a Budget
What does preparing to climb Kilimanjaro entail? Prepping food, water, gear, and training, among others.
However, all of the above, the quality of your climb is significantly affected by your ability to access cash. You can obtain quality services to make your trip successful and offer a worthwhile experience.
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
9. Get a Medical Check-Up Done
You have a few days to climb Kilimanjaro left. Everything is in order, but chances are you’ve left out this crucial rule. You assume you’re fit because of the training you’ve been doing, but that is not enough.
Have a medical checkup done to give you a clean bill of health. It can stand between you and your success climbing Kilimanjaro.
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
10. Believe in Yourself
What’s the point of climbing Kilimanjaro if you don’t believe you can? Determination and just believing in yourself is key to succeeding this long climb. Knowing how to climb Kilimanjaro is a plus, but without any resolution, chances are you won’t reach the top.
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
Several Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions have been a success. Therefore, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the same. We have identified some 10 rules to help you climb to the highest point in Africa with ease. The details are in the planning and preparation. What other rules do you have? Kindly share them with us.
Malcolm Cano is a scientist on biology corner, professional angler, baseball and hunting lover. Malcolm also has some own projects, including fishing guide school and GearExpertGuides. Follow him on Twitter.
Seychelles, a tiny nation consisting of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, is indeed one giant, never-ending, fantasy right from the time your plane starts to descend.
Located northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km east of Kenya, the majority of the Seychellian islands are uninhabited, with most of them dedicated as natural reserves.
Honeymoon Trip to Seychelles
Photo: Honeymooners at the tea factory
With white-sand beaches everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, with gorgeous, lush jungle covering the semi-mountainous island interiors makes this place “Perfect” in every sense of the word. No doubt why this place is considered as a paradise among honeymooners!
Photo: The Art of Travel Partner
Day 1: Reaching Mahe Island
After a 10 hour of layover at Sri Lanka (will be covered in my next blog post), we finally reached Mahe Island at 5:30 in the morning.
Mahe Island is the main entry point for Seychelles. It is the largest island in Seychelles with the smallest capital city of Africa – Victoria city.
Ferries run frequently between Mahe and Praslin, or you can also fly between the two. The ferry only takes about an hour, though, but is more of an adventure.
It is advisable to avoid ferry during the rainy season or in case you are prone to seasickness. During the rainy season, the sea gets so rough that there are high chances of people getting sick due to heavy wind.
After an hour journey, we reached Praslin Island and our first reaction was WOW!
Photo: Honeymooners paradise / The Art of Travel Partner
Our accommodation was booked in Indian Ocean Lodge which in itself was so spectacular. We booked our stay for 3 nights but, literally we could have stayed here forever.
The property gates open into Grand Anse Beach which is the longest beach in Praslin.
Day 2: La Digue Island
Photo: La Digue Island, Seychelles / The Art of Travel Partners
After relaxing for the whole day and enjoying the sunset at Grand Anse Beach we were ready for a whole day bike tour at La Digue Island.
It is the third smallest island on Seychelles and holds one of the most beautiful beaches of the world, Anse Source d’Argent.
We started our day early and after taking a stroll at the Grand Anse Beach. Then we left to catch our ferry to La Digue Island via Cat Cocos.
By 11 am we were at the La Digue beach and ready to rent bikes for a day tour.
Bike Tour at La Digue Island
Photo: La Digue Beach / The Art of Travel Partners
The island has no car traffic, and bikes are commonly used here. The road of La Digue is divided into three parts:
One goes to famous beach Anse Source d’Argent which is plain hills, another one goes to Anse Bananes which is also a hilly area, and the third one goes to the Grand Anse which is for professional bikers and hence we did not take up that route.
Our first route was to Anse Bananes where we took halt many times at different types of beaches. All the beaches were giving us major travel goals and we even had the beaches to ourselves. Not to forget the weather was pretty HOT! Very Hot!
The path was very steep and after several halts, we conquered our path and reached Anse Bananes which has again a breathtaking view. Amazing views, fresh fruit drinks.
Riding at steep hills and such a humid climate that we were exhausted by the time we reach Anse Bananes.
There we found the famous Cafe, Chez Jules, ordering coconut water and Indian vegeterian food rejuvenated us.
Photo: Seychelles Islands / AOT Partner
Seeing all the neighboring islands was something unforgettable but we also wanted to explore what’s the deal with Praslin, the world-famous Seychelles island.
After exploring La Digue Island, we took our ferry back to Praslin enjoying the cool breeze.
Day 3: City tour of Praslin Island
Photo: Beautiful Praslin Island / The Art of Travel
Our last day in Praslin Island included city tour. We rented a car for the day and headed straight to Vallee de Mai, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is a nature preserve filled with rare Coco de mer palms – they’re so rare that they only grow in Seychelles! They also produce the largest, heaviest seeds/nuts in the world, which are pretty cool to see.
After Vallee de Mai, we headed directly to Anse Volbert at Cote D’or. Here you will find lots of shops to take back momentous for family and friends.
We spent a few SCR (Seychelles Rupees) on momentous and went straight to Anse Lazio, which is considered to be the best beach in the world. To our surprise, it indeed was the best beach we have seen and also a private beach for us.
Day 4: Ferry to Mahe Island
The last two days we were supposed to spend in Mahe. Unfortunately, we missed our morning ferry to Mahe Island. Thankfully our travel agent helped us to get transferred to the next ferry and we also got permission for a late check-out.
By the time we reached Mahe, it was already late in the afternoon and you won’t find anything open in Seychelles post 5:30 pm. So we planned to go straight to our hotel, Coral Strand, located in Beau Vallon.
Photo: Beau Vallon / The Art of Travel PartnerPartner
Beau Vallon beach is the biggest tourist area in Seychelles and largest beach we came across.
It’s a gorgeous, wide bay with calm, gentle waters. The sunsets here are out of this world, and the glassy-smooth water reflects the light beautifully.
Day 5: City Tour of Mahe
Next morning we woke up early and our plan was to see as much as possible which was only doable by renting a car. So we did!
La Plaine St. Andre
Taking delivery of our car from the airport, we headed direct to La Plaine St. Andre, the famous Takamaka factory (however the distillation activity was closed due to Christmas), we tasted different varieties of Rum. We even bought a few for ourselves. 🙂
Jardin Du Roi
Photo: Cocoa Fruit, Spice Garden
Heading South our next stop was Spice Garden, Jardin Du Roi. The terrain to the Spice Garden was so steep it really gave us heebie-jeebies.
Yet there was another adventure waiting for us, the Tea Factory. It’s all the steeper literally taking our breath away. At the end when we saw the view from Tea Factory, it was actually worth both the dare and physical effort.
Our Driver cum Guide then suggested us to visit Mission Lodge, the most famous vantage point in Seychelles. Even after refusing to visit there, he took us to the view point. It indeed was worth the famous vantage point in Seychelles.
Before we head to the airport for our flight to Sri Lanka, we paid a visit to the capital city. Victoria city is regarded as the smallest capital in Africa. We covered the whole of the city walking in just three hours sightseeing Clock Tower and afterward enjoying desserts in La Dolce Vita.
We wanted to explore Eden Island, which is one of the man made island (after 115 natural islands, they created few more ;). But due to time constraint, we couldn’t.
Also, it was late evening by the time we left from Victoria and as I mentioned earlier nothing in Seychelles is open after 5:30 pm except Pubs, Bars, and Restaurants.
Photo: Saying goodbye is always hard
After taking millions of photos of this part of the island, we knew, our vacation in the Seychelles islands is literally over and it’s time to fly back.
Would you consider going to the Seychelles islands? Or have you already experienced this lovely paradise? How long did you stay and what did you see? Tell us more in the comments below!
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, feel free to share it with others. Maybe some of your friends are planning to visit Seychelles in the near future and will need some additional reading on the destination.
This blog post is written by Vishakha, a finance girl by profession and a traveler by heart. You may also get in touch with her through her personal blog at TravelJaunt.
Namibia is one of the least populated and most peaceful countries in the world. Its beautiful landscape and laid-back culture lure tourists from all over Europe. As a white American woman officially in her mid-twenties, and never having been outside the United States, I took the international travel leap across the Atlantic to Heathrow, then another flight down Africa overland, and finally a 2-hour jump to Windhoek.
As a young woman traveling alone, without any international traveling wits and useless guidebook knowledge in my head, here are just some of my mishaps and learning experiences from Traveling Alone in Africa.
Left Side Driving in Namibia
The first thing I learned after touching ground on Namibian soil was how to drive. Sure, I had a driver’s license. But I had to relearn how to drive a stick-shift in a diesel Ford Ranger while driving on the left side of the road, sitting in the right side of the cab, in a strange African city after having been in and out of airports for a day and a half. My foot was so shaky on the clutch I killed the engine several times merging onto busy roads.
Do Not mess with Baboons
I learned that baboons are nothing to mess around with. Baboons loiter along the side of the road and swarm Waterberg. Smart as they are ugly, they have figured out how to knock on your door, and will try to break into your bungalow to look for food. One afternoon while hiking along the plateau, I found myself surrounded by these things. I thought they were going to attack, and I still don’t know why they didn’t at least try to take my small bag. In the end, I made it through them unharmed.
Kids are smart in Africa
Kids that grow up in mud huts are smarter and more tech savvy than I am. I’m not a true millennial; I still walk into the bank to deposit a check. But these kids out in the middle of nowhere know how to work phones and cameras, and a seventeen year old boy fixed the radio in my truck in five seconds. I felt pretty stupid.
If you don’t speak clearly, the gas station attendant might put unleaded gasoline in your diesel engine. That’s what happened in Tsumeb, and I was stuck at the Shell for three hours while the local mechanic tinkered with the gas tank. Everything ended up okay, and I had plenty of friendly people to talk to. But I was sweaty, dehydrated, and more than nervous about making it home.
People did not believe me when I said I don’t have a boyfriend. In their culture, a woman traveling by herself is entirely unheard-of. And some people couldn’t comprehend the choice to remain single as a lifestyle. Most people asked me where my husband and babies were, and some were quite shocked by my solitude. The only other lone travelers I met were old German men.
I learned that the roads are good by African standards, but they are still African roads. They are rough and bumpy as all hell, and I sometimes drove for an hour or two without passing another vehicle. Most tourists I met had at least two tire blowouts.
Keep some buffer time if you are traveling from USA
Its a I didn’t meet many Americans, I think mostly because it takes so long to get to Namibia from the States. It’s a long journey of domestic and international layovers. I took seven planes total round trip, which makes me wish I had gone for longer than just two weeks. At least I could be tired and grumpy and not get on anyone’s nerves. And vice versa.
People are kind
I got plenty of free souvenirs by making friends. Of course I wanted to buy everything that looked pretty and exotic, but my cash was disappearing. I ended up making friends with a part-time art dealer named Luigi. He tried to sell me some bracelets by telling me he’d been to Minnesota, not knowing that’s where I’m from. Turned out he visited my own hometown! The only Namibian I’d met who’d been outside of Africa, it was the master of all coincidences. And when I heard his story, I knew he wasn’t lying. He also gave me tons of free jewelry, baskets, and animal figurines.
Collect memories more than photographs
I wanted to stop at almost every turn to take pictures, but if I did that I’d never get anywhere. Sometimes you just have to drink in the view while you’re driving without stopping to document it. I drove hours through breathtaking landscape without taking any pictures because I wanted to get to my hotel before dark. The view will always be in my memory.
It’s okay to feel lonely sometimes
I was traveling alone, and it’s a remote desert so it would just be natural to feel lonely at times. Most nights the bar was a great place to chat up hotel staff and other travelers, and I met plenty of locals in Swakopmund. But once or twice I had to take a night off.
I was scared at first, but I was never in any real danger. Namibia is one of the most peaceful countries you can find on the globe. I was safer over there than I ever would be at home in Minneapolis. And fellow travelers, guides and staff are more than willing to look out for young ladies gallivanting around the desert on their own
Kelsey Jennen is a street-art photographer, lone traveler, and blogger on Badhazards. She works as a freelance writer and takes odd jobs with landscape companies. Lover of coffee and reading, she collects books, enjoys working outdoors, plays the drums, and has a cat named Pajamas.
Not too long ago, travel and adventure meant going out of your small town (be it even to the nearby woods). You left the comfort and safety behind and took significant risks, especially if you traveled solo.
Today, numerous travel niches have become popular, each with its own tourism appeal and unique perspective that it offers.
In this post, I will list the major types of travels that I consider to be broad enough to deserve a mention as a travel niche. These tourism niches have big enough market demand to sustain as an independent category on their own.
Travel Niches & Trends
Adventure Travel – Adventure tourism is the fastest growing and biggest travel niche today
Genealogy Tourism – tracing or returning to your roots
Jungle Tourism – traveling and camping in the deep and remote jungles
Underwater Tourism – exploring the marine life and ocean through Scuba, Snuba, Snorkeling
Shark Tourism – seeking underwater thrills & shark encounters across the globe
Rural and Village Tourism – countryside relaxation
Astronomy Tourism – visiting sites that provides excellent views of the stars and night sky
Inner city Tourism – exploring your own town or city in great details
Weekend Tourism – traveling every weekend (mostly nearby attractions)
Ghetto Tourism – traveling & exploring the living conditions in slums and ghetto
Deviant & Sad Trends
A beautiful ruin
I was debating at first whether to lost the following sad trends or not? Listing them will give them more exposure, so at first, I thought I will leave them out. But then I thought, these trends are actually growing (financially speaking) so closing my eyes to these problems will not help solve these issues.
The best thing I can do is to use this platform and bring public awareness about these. Some of these may sound harmless or even exciting (drugs and sex for example), but please understand that both drugs and sex causes overall more damage, deaths, and harm to innocent lives (including children).
The best way you can help is first by not participating in them and therefore cutting off the financial incentive. Second, you can be aware that these problems exist and thus help to spread the word. (Fact: Even in Prague or Amsterdam, most of the girls working in the red light district are there against their will via deception, bribery, and manipulation.)
Drug Tourism – mostly illegal and unsafe, please use common sense
Sex Tourism (Male, Female, Trans) – again, please use common sense. Do not do anything that hurts other humans
Dark Voyegeristic Tourism (Underground shady fights, deaths, & stuff) – please do not support or fund this industry by partaking in it. Anyone can be the next innocent victim of it
War & Disaster Tourism – visiting sites with tragic past for pleasure (War, disaster, & genocidal sites, Nazi camps, etc.)
Suicide Tourism (Important: if you are feeling suicidal, know that you’re not alone and confidential help is available for free. Please seek help. US Helpline | HelpGuide | Resource Center)
*Hunting is a personal choice. It’s a complex issue and would need an entire blog to discuss the various impacts and issues surrounding it. If you are not a hunter, please do not partake and support this industry.
As a starting point, please follow the first rule of life, do not kill life unless it is for your own or your family’s survival and safety. Also, the above category is about hunting the big animals (man of them endangered and at the point of extinction).
Besides New Years, Christmas is the most celebrated international holiday. According to Pew Research Center, there are about 2.2 billion Christians in the world, making up nearly one-third of the world population.
This means that about one-third of the entire world celebrates Christmas in some capacity. Just think about all that holiday cheer!
Christmas is traditionally the celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25th and customarily includes exchanging presents, hanging lights, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, and eating meals with family and friends.
These are some of the core practices of celebrating Christmas but many cultures add their own unique twist when it comes to observing this meaningful holiday.
Christmas Food Traditions
Some of the most interesting differences in how various cultures and regions celebrate Christmas is through their food and drink traditions. You are probably familiar with turkey in the U.S. and maybe you’ve heard of tamales in Latin America but what about rum punch in Jamaica, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan, or prawns in Australia!
Whatever it is, you can bet each region has its own holiday delicacy. In order to reveal some of the most interesting holiday meal traditions, Kitchen Cabinet Kings put together a list of top 20 Holiday delicacies from around the world.
If that list got you wondering about other cool and unusual Christmas traditions check out the Philippines’ Giant Lantern Festival or the Parrandas Festival in Remedios, Cuba. If you are looking for more bizarre traditions, look up Catalonia’s defecating figure in their nativity scenes and Austria’s Krampus who goes around beating naughty kids.
Another country’s unique traditions to explore is Africa. In Ghana, people dress up in elaborate costumes and parade around on Christmas day. In Kenya and Uganda, people celebrate in much less commercial ways than many other countries.
Usually, the only gift given is a new outfit for church. On Christmas day in South Africa, many indulge on deep-fried caterpillars of the Emperor Moth.
Traditions may differ around the world but nothing brings people together like food and the holidays, no matter where you’re from or your cultural background. Wherever you call home, there is probably a unique traditional dish, dessert, or drink you look forward to having every Christmas.
Did your favorite dish make the list? Or maybe you saw something you just have to try (personally, France’s Buche de Noel instantly made my mouth water.)
If you decide you want to travel for the holidays next year, use this list and try some of the unique Christmas dishes from the region you find yourself in.
There are very few stories that echo throughout generations to come. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is a tale of wanderlust, resilience, self-discovery, and finding true love. It is the journey of a young boy named Santiago who has the courage to follow his dreams.
While many of us wait for things to get right before we start traveling, this boy embarks on an epic adventure, beats all odds, and finds his treasure. Are you ready to follow your heart?
“People are capable, at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of.”~ The Alchemist
The Route Of Santiago Alchemist
Santiago’s journey is not only a spiritual discovery of his potential but also a travel saga. He covers three countries in his wake. He crosses Spain, Morocco, and Egypt to get to his destination.
As it is indeed said, “It is not the destination that matters, but the journey.” Let us now give you a glance of the journey that Santiago takes in The Alchemist.
This young boy gave up a sheltered life of family to become a humble shepherd, just because he wanted to see the world. In a cold night, he lies in an abandoned church, with is sheep. Besides him is a sycamore tree whose significant role reveals at the end.
He is now in a part of Andalusia, guiding his sheep through pastures and finding the water in the warm temperate region. It is in the dilapidated church that he has dreamed of his treasure. Now, he embarks on his journey.
Santiago comes to Tarifa to sell his sheep’s wool. He wants to test his fate. So, he goes to a gypsy fortune teller. She tells him about his dream of treasure near pyramids and asks him to follow it.
The gypsy strikes a deal with him, that if he finds his treasure, he should share it with her.
Another encounter is due to the Old King. Paulo Coelho draws the similarity from High Priest in the Bible to the Old King in the novel.
He has a breastplate which has glittering stones of Urim (good) and Thummim (bad). The king lends him the stones which will guide his path as omens.
Sadly, the boy’s money gets stolen. He does not have the means to make his journey to the pyramids. So he stays back at the mountain, working for the glass merchant. He saves all the money from work, planning on buying sheep.
After betrayal from the world, he does not want to follow his dream. But when he has enough money to buy sheep, he sees the stones which the King gave him. He again sets forth on his journey from Morocco to Egypt.
Nobody knows, which Oasis Santiago stays at during his journey. We do know however that the Oasis mentioned here is either in Morocco or in Egypt.
One of the important twist in the story takes place here. Here, Santiago meets the Alchemist who inducts him to the universal language. From here he sets forth with confidence and his next stop awaits another great move.
AL PAYOUM, EGYPT
Finally, when he reaches the land of Pyramids, he meets the love of his life. In this desert, Santiago finds a kindred soul who encourages him to follow his dreams. Despite his heart’s dilemma, he goes ahead on his journey promising to come back.
THE DESERT, EGYPT
On his way to The Pyramids Santiago does something legendary. When he and the Alchemist are in clutches of the kidnappers, the Alchemist promises that the boy can turn himself into the wind.
The universal language now culminates in the boy’s soul. He turns to the wind and communicates with all natural elements.
THE PYRAMIDS, EGYPT
His ultimate destination is the Pyramids. In his dreams, a big Pyramid was his treasure home.
He digs and digs but finds nothing in the sands. When he meets a man, who exchanges Gold for Santiago’s life, then Santiago realizes that his treasure was in the Old ruined church beside the Sycamore tree.
THE OLD RUINED CHURCH
In the last scene, we see Santiago digging his treasure under the dark blue sky of night. He chides the wind for not telling him the secret. But it was the journey that should matter to all travelers like it did to Santiago.
Once you begin, everything will start coming together. As it says in the Alchemist, once you set your heart on a particular mission, the whole universe will conspire together to help you achieve what you seek.
Train rides are exciting. Enjoying the beautiful scenery never gets old because it is never monotonous. Below are few pictures of the world’s 10 most beautiful train rides from around the globe that will make you want to hop on a train right now.
Want a change of scenery? The red ravines of Australia await you. The Ghan rides through the heart of the dreary landscape, making it look like something out of an alien world movie.
It is not always about the gorgeous scenery, sometimes it is about a classy black tie extravagance in the heart of Europe. The Orient Express might be one of the oldest luxury trains but it is also the classiest of all.
The route of this luxury train has changed several times, so if you want to check this off of your bucket list, do a quick search on their website.
You’ll feel like a royal the moment you step into the traditionally decorated cabins of The Maharaja Express. It gives you a taste of the elegant Rajasthani Royalty, while you wind through the golden sand dunes of the Thar Desert in India.
Even though it was officially founded in 789 by Idris I, Morocco’s history began centuries before. Morocco retained its independence until the French and Spanish colonization in 1912. In 1956, Morocco regained independence from France, and the Alaoite Dynasty currently rules.
Due to Morocco’s colored past, we can see a variety of influences in the architectural styles throughout the country.
Colorful mosaics and carvings of Moroccan palaces and city walls demonstrate a unique blend of Islamic and European styles. This blended style leaves a legacy of what life was like all those years ago.
Medersa Bou Inania, Fes
The Medersa Bou Inania, Fes’s religious college, is a must-see for design and architectural lovers. The beautiful artwork, including geometric tiles and huge engraved wooden doors, are fabulous examples of Islamic architecture. The most striking feature is the marble courtyard. Carved stone trellises surround the magnificent marble structure.
Glaoui Palace & Dar al-Makhzen, Fes
The beautiful, albeit badly in need of repair, Glaoui Palace, is a great place to visit. Visiting Glaouiu Palace is like stepping into the past. The gracious family will be only too happy to provide a tour of the palace’s rooms.
Amazing mosaics and colorful tiles decorate many of the rooms. On your tour, you will also get a rundown of the history of the Glaoui family. It’s a pleasant and interesting way to spend an hour. You will gain insight into long-lost times in what feels like a hidden part of the city.
While you are in Fes, also check out Dar al-Makhzen.
Note: Although the capital of Morocco was moved to Rabat in 1912 and never returned to Fes, the palace complex in Fes is still frequently used by the King of Morocco. The palace is thus not open to the public.
The gates at the Old Mechouar and at Place des Alaouites (see above) are the closest that most members of the public can get to the palace grounds. The gates are considered an excellent piece of modern Moroccan crafstmanship and are lavishly decorated with elaborate mosaic tilework, carved cedar wood, and doors of gilt bronze covered in geometric patterns.
Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech
Ben Youssef Madrasa was the largest Islamic college in Morocco, and today it is open to the public as a historical site. The Madrasa is a magnificent example of Islamic art and architecture.
Visitors can admire the baroque designs and vivid colors of the mosaics and carvings on the walls. There are also many narrow corridors to wander through if only to escape the heat. The upper levels provide pleasing views over the central courtyard.
A different way to see the old and new parts of the city is to take a walk around the ramparts. Built in the 12th century to defend Marrakech, they remain standing as a symbol of the city.
The ramparts cover some 19 km, so if walking in the heat feels like too much you can always ride in a caleche (a horse-drawn carriage) for a more romantic excursion. Shrubbery, neat gardens and benches line the wall, making it an ideal place for locals to sit and chat in the evenings.
As with most places in Marrakech, there are local guides available if learning the local history and myths surrounding the ramparts is of interest to you.
Dar Jamai Museum, Meknes
The Dar Jamai Museum has an intriguing collection of Moroccan artifacts, jewels, crafts and artwork. It’s a fabulous place for history lovers.
Historically accurate plush floor coverings furnish some of the rooms. It really gives visitors a slice of history as they imagine the grandiose lives of former owners. A beautiful mansion, a stunning sight in its own right, surrounds the museum.
With ornately tiled walls, mosaics, and stained glass, it really shows off the workmanship and thought that has gone into its construction. The Dar Jamai is a quiet place away from the hubbub of the streets. You can bask, surrounded by orange trees, in the gardens as you listen to the chirping of the birds.
Ancient City of Volubilis, Meknes
A short journey outside of Meknes is the Berber and Roman city of Volubilis, a well-preserved, partly excavated site which dates back over 2,300 years.
Visitors can revel in a past life as they wander around the grounds. Enjoy the beautiful mosaicked floors and the remains of the once noble Roman villas. In the shadow of Zerhoun Mountain, beautiful green valleys stretching on for miles surround the ancient city.
Kasbah of the Udayas, Rabat
The Kasbah of the Udayas has been home to Arab tribes, Andalusian immigrants, and powerful Sultans. Thus, it has a very interesting history.
Wander through the narrow lanes and have a chat with the people who live there now. The blue and white colors of the walls are very picturesque, which adds to the charming feel of the place.
Enjoy Moroccan tea and cake in one of the cafes in the kasbah or just sit for a while and watch the splendor of the ocean. Outside, the Andalusian gardens offer a relaxing and peaceful place to read a book or simply watch the world go by.
In a country which is full of historical and architectural delights, visitors flock every year to enjoy everything Morocco has to offer. It is not only a country for history and architecture lovers but rather for all to enjoy. Be transported back to lost times.
Indeed, anyone that travels to Morocco will be left captivated and seduced by the country’s exoticism.
This article was written by Gill Morris, savvy travel blogger at asabbatical.com, a personal travel blog of Adrian Sameli. To connect with Gill, follow her on Facebook.
South Africa is a multilingual nation. It is known as a rainbow nation because of the different cultures. You can travel here to best beaches. The wildlife safaris will take you with awe.When you visit South Africa, you should keep a few things in mind.
NO GOOD PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM
If you are thinking of traveling from one location to other, think of some other convenience. The buses are not efficient. Trains are the same way. You can rent a vehicle. Make sure it is with GPS so that you can get around easily. Many places of South Africa are accessible with the help of road.
We recommend you don’t travel after dark. It is not safe. The number of highway robberies has increased. Another important thing to keep in mind is that drive on the left side of the road. You need to tip the attendant in fuel stations. Drive smart behind the wheel.
When you travel abroad you are worried about the currency rates. Make sure before you visit South Africa where does Rand stand. It can be as low as nine even.Many banks in South Africa close at around 4. On weekend banks have half working days(till 1:00 pm). Take that into account before you draw your cash. If you are big cities like Johannesburg, don’t worry about paying with credit card. When you go to the local area, keep in mind to have extra cash. You cannot find ATMs there.
YOU CAN COMMUNICATE IN ENGLISH
South Africa has 11 official languages. English is primarily used as a medium for business. People here are multilingual. You will face no problem in talking to them. You can ask around if you want help with directions. Don’t talk to strangers who appear shady. You need to keep in mind not to be friendly with them. It might land you in trouble. If you know English, you can travel around fine. If you can learn isiZulu the better. It is the home language of South Africa.
YOU HAVE TO TIP THE CAR GUARDS
Tipping is a huge chore for tourists. We don’t know the rates. That is why it is hard for us to tell what is a good tip. In South Africa, you have to tip 10% in a restaurant. It is the standard custom here. You have to pay the porter as well. You can give them around R10, which is approximate $1.
You will come across car guards if you are self-driving. Guards will watch your car in parking place if you go to mall or beaches. It is not necessary to tip the guards. But they can be very persistent. So it is better to tip them. Hand them R5-R10 and it’s a good tip.
DRINKING AGE IS JUST 18
Travel requires some partying. In South Africa, you can do that very well. It has got clubs in Joburg and Durban. There are plenty of clubs and restaurants in other big cities as well. You can drink here without fear. The drinking age is just 18.
You will have to curb your smoking, though. Smoking in public places is an offense. It is better you get yourself a room. Drugs are plenty in night clubs. You can look for clubs which specialize in this forte. Be aware that Marijuana is illegal here. Stay safe.
MOBILE PHONE NETWORK IS EASY TO ACCESS
If you are here for a month we advise you hire a phone. Phones can be bought at low costs at the airport also. If you are a social media addict, you can have good 3G sims cards.
The cost will be reasonable. You don’t have to worry about the expensive roaming rates. Just ask your tour guide to help you buy one. The network is extensive. It won’t be sluggish. You can instantly upload pictures and make your friends jealous.
“Ethiopia” the name itself sounds like a Utopia. It is an African country which has struggled a lot. Recently it is coming out of a crisis. You can stay here safe and happy. There is less fear of being mugged. Ethiopia is not only about feeding Hyenas it is so much more than that. Here are some things you can do in Ethiopia.
The ancient history of Aksumite empire is to be respected. It is old in respect of culture as well as language. Imagine the Ark of Covenant!That is what Axum is. It is the location of the Ark of the covenant. You will find the ruins in Ethiopia.
The relics of past are the center of attraction in Axum.There are a lot of historical sites you can visit.You can go for a shortened tour if you are not so interested in it.If mountains interest you more then hike the mountains to visit the mountains.
This is a famous African city.It is the location where the meetings of African Union take place.It is cheap in Africa.So you should not worry about the prices.The markets here ae well known.So, have fun with your shopping. It has architectural epics.Addis Ababa has lovely churches, and beautiful mosques to see.You cannot help but feel pumped when you see the active nightlife here.Like any city in Africa, it is safe and cheap here.So have a fun stay at Addis Ababa in Africa.
It is the well-known tourist destination in Ethiopia. The place has so many alleyways that you can walk through it for a year. It’s Like something you will find in The Horn. There is something you ought to do when you are here. Feeding the Hyenas is a thing which tourists will hesitate to do. But if you are adventurous enough, go for it. The place is not a big party destination. It is one of the holy cities for Muslims. You will find magnificent architecture in the mosques. It is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.
Gondar is a city which is full of history.The old castles seem to be a token of past.It has developed to be a modern town.The history is not the only thing in Gondar.The beauty of Ethiopia is in the Simien Mountains. The mountain tops reflect the beauty of castles around it.This city has history and natural beauty.You will love the stunning scenery here.You can hike up the ranges too.There is a monastery at the end of the city is called Gorgora.
RIFT VALLEY LAKE
You can ride on the route of Addis to Harar.The 70 km road leads you to the south of Ethiopia.The tiny shade houses are impressive to watch.There are shops which have flowers and vegetables.The lake Ziway on the countryside is gorgeous to watch. The multi-colored Oromo tombs seem like a dream around the lake.Enjoy your trip to Ethiopia.The history, cathedrals, tombs, scenic beauty will give you a peaceful break.
Are you and your partner wired in a different way? Do you both think of some crazy ideas together? Is he the one? Have you thought of any wedding venue in case he proposes to you?
Romance and craziness are aspects of love which are too common nowadays. You want a wedding, but you also want it to be unique.
If that’s the case, don’t worry. We have found some quirky venues which will match your style.
THE TREE HOUSE, SCOTLAND
Marrying in a Treehouse! Sounds unusual as well as unique.
When you want your wedding to be a small affair you can go with The Tree House. It is a secluded 5 stars lodge in Loch Goil, Scotland. If you have the money to blow on your wedding book this magical retreat and let your dreams come true.
View of Loch Goil, Scotland
The little girl in you would truly want to squeal. It is located on the fringes of Lake Goil. The stunning scenery will greet you as you exchange vows with your beloved.
Moreover, who wants to bother with what would be the food menu or which colors chair covers and linens to rent when you can simply outsource that to an outdoors wedding planner! A win-win and everyone’s happy!
HOTEL DE GLACE, CANADA
Are you both winter lovers? Then we have got the perfect wedding venue for you. A chapel made with snow! Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? You can walk down the aisle in designer gowns which are available in the hotel.
A wedding inside the snow chapel is something you can only wish in dreams. Why not make it real? Don’t worry about freezing. The hotel has got saunas to keep you warm.
UNDERGROUND CAVERN, UK
When people think of wedding people, think of flowers, church, aisle, gowns. But if you want to do something out of the box on your wedding, start with the wedding venue. When you hear a cave, you might be pretty excited about it.
The underground cave can look beautiful when lit with thousands of candles. Invite your family and close friends to the magnificent location.
The green waters of the pool reflect in candlelight. The rock formations glow golden in the light. It adds a bit of mystery when you vow to each other lifelong love.
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, SAN FRANCISCO
We are talking about quirky locations. You read about a treehouse, a cave, and a snow chapel. Now let us take you to the next wedding venue that is a bridge. The romantic in you must be smiling.
Everyone dreams of a day when you can kiss your beloved on a bridge with the sun shining on you.
San Francisco Nights
Golden Gate bridge will give you that opportunity. When the sun goes down in the bay your sun will rise. Hold each other’s hand when you feel this epic moment in your lives.
ULUSABA SAFARI, AFRICA
Some like it intense. If you are a wild couple, Go for a safari wedding. It sounds like you can say “I do” when the lions are hearing you. The safari which Ulusaba offers has it all planned. After your vows, you can have a relaxing day here.
A lion cub with his mommy lion
A message is a must for the couple. Enjoy the night. Then you can have breakfast in bed too. What can be better than not having to cook on your wedding day! Get wild with the wildness of Africa.
Zimbabwe was one of the widely visited countries in the world during the twentieth century. But recently the number of tourists has dropped to 75%. The glory of Zimbabwe still survives. Sadly, there are not many people who travel here. It is full of natural beauty like any African country. There many adventure sports options available here. Something tells us that you would like to visit it. That is why we present to you a list of things you must do here.
JUMP FROM VICTORIA FALLS
Calm down! We did not ask you to do it without protection. We were talking about bungee jumping. It is the highest waterfalls in the world. Discovered by David Livingstone. Victoria Falls at a height of 111 meters. A fall from that high is sure to make your heart pound. Many adventure sports enthusiasts dive from that height.
It is organized by Zambezi Adrenaline Company. People from around the world visit the waterfall to experience the jump. You can even hear the water gushing from two kilometers away. How wonderful is that?
STROLL AROUND CHIMANIMANI
An aerial view of these ancient ruins is breathtakingly gorgeous. They are tokens of past. It was built by Gokomere tribe. Chimanimani, Zimbabwe has been on the ground since the eleventh century. History lovers can spend their time here. The site has been divided into three parts.
The Great Enclosure is an assembly of granite blocks aligned together. The Hill Ruins is the bygone human settlements. They are the most visited. The Valley Ruins is a series of life in structures. A walk around this 750 hectares area will transport you back to ancient times.
Everything about cave sounds primal. You would like to discover the places where ancestors lived. There is an underground pool located inside the cave. It is a limestone structure. Caves are lined up together to form a myriad.
The temperature of the pool is always nice for a dip. You can pitch your tent around the caves. There is a Caves Motel near the Cave. You can relax in the lush atmosphere. Reaching also is easy. Just 120 miles from capital Harare.
Are you tired of the scorching sun rays? Sub- Saharan climate of Zimbabwe can be quite exhausting. Mutare is a town that will be your reprieve. The climate here is pleasant. You can visit the Aloe Gardens here.
The calm atmosphere will soothe you. Another place is the Mzilikazi Art Museum; you will find the crafts here worth your interest. There is Rhodes museum too. Chimanimani is close to Mutare town. Enjoy your day walking around these places sipping something cool.
If you want some time off shopping? Doon estate it is. Located in Harare, which is the capital city of Zimbabwe. There are lovely art galleries to surf here. Dendera, Zimbabalooba are your options. Locally brewed coffee is sold here. You can taste lip smacking dishes in the estate. The local lemonades are yummy. You cannot forget the taste it will leave in your mouth. Shop around in the streets. Visit chic boutiques and local craft stores. A Day in Doon estate will give you a memento you can cherish.
You can taste lip smacking dishes in the estate. The local lemonades are yummy. You cannot forget the taste it will leave in your mouth. Shop around in the streets. Visit chic boutiques and local craft stores. A Day in Doon estate will give you a memento you can cherish.