Selasa, 26 Desember 2017

Luxury African Safaris - Tanzania - Africa's Most Popular Safari Destination

There's nothing that quite describes the feeling you get when waking up to the sound of an elephant herd marching through the wide open grasslands of Tanzania. Home to the violet gem, Tanzanite, this country is like a deep crack in the crust of Africa which has spawned lush, serene highlands enmeshed with velvety lakes and majestic volcanoes.

To be honest, I'm not exactly a safari-type of traveler who can set up tent just about anywhere. To me, comfort comes first and I'd choose a luxury hotel over a bush camp any day, but there was just something about the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge that really intrigued me. It's true what they say, it really is without a shadow of a doubt the most architecturally impressive safari lodge in Africa.

The Crater Lodge has a rich, antediluvian aura about it and each thatch suite is reminiscent of an era that once was, with tall handcrafted antiques, grand chandeliers and adorned African treasures.

Standing in my lodge bedroom I can see the Crater below in all its splendour through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Fortunately for me, I do not have a fear of heights, which would've been a real problem, since the lodge is situated on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. After a satisfying cup of Rooibos tea I call upon my personal butler to draw my bath as I pack my things and start preparing for the ultimate luxury safari in Tanzania.

Afternoons are spent on scenic game drives on closed 4X4s with a very knowledgeable tour guide, might I add. Throughout our drive across the valley to the lake below, and on the floor of the world's largest crater, I kept asking our guide all sorts of questions only to find myself totally engrossed in his fascinating responses.

I would not have minded spending the entire week of my safari at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. With fine wine, scrumptious gourmet cuisine and a personal butler beckoning at my every call, I was living the life of a king. But we had to keep on track with our itinerary.

A full day was spent at the Serengeti National Park, exploring this large park with morning and afternoon safari drives. The Serengeti National Park is joined to the Masai Mara Park Reserve, which I later learned was named after the Masai tribal inhabitants of the area and the Mara River which divides it.

After much exploring and loading my camera's memory stick full of unbelievable sights, we spent the night at one of the luxurious safari lodges close by. And at that moment, in the middle of the African Savannah with cheetahs lurking in the distance, an overwhelming rush of contentment filled my body. Being in the presence of Africa's spectacular wilderness has that effect on you.

The perfect ending

There is no better way to end off a luxury African safari than a weekend at the beautiful, serene Zanzibar Island. The moment we arrived I kicked off my shoes and dived straight into the crystal clear water which gently sweeps the golden, sandy beaches. A sparkling coral reef lines Zanzibar's ocean, mimicking a kaleidoscope of colours at the bottom of the sea bed.

I spent quite some time lazing in my deck chair, sipping martinis and being waited on beside the resort pool. Fresh, ocean cuisine was served at meal times followed by a trip to the renowned Stone Town, the old cultural city of Zanzibar. Browsing the winding streets of bustling bazaars and regal Arab houses I experienced Zanzibar's enriched cultural and historical beauty.

I must admit, leaving the island almost had me in tears thinking that I'd now have to return to my average life in the city. These last few days on my African safari have shown me a new level of luxury, a luxury fit for a king.

Selasa, 19 Desember 2017

Cheap African Safari Tour Tips And How To Find Them

Grabbing the best deal on a cheap African safari tour means doing a little homework particularly if you are a first time visitor to this mighty continent.

If you are visiting Africa for the first time, then taking an organized group tour is the ideal way to get your first taste of all it has to offer.

It will also save you a bundle in money and frustration!

Why Travel With A Group?

Unless you are a seasoned traveller to Africa, travelling with a group and having tour guides at your disposal means you'll avoid running foul of unforseen harm which could come your way if you travel alone.

Africa can be a volatile place, not just in the wilds of the jungles but politically so if you intend going back at a later date, then getting a feel for the landscape on tour can give you some great initial experience of the country.

Avoiding Peak Season

Planning your trip well in advance is suggested. If you are working on a strict budget, then a cheap African safari tour during the low season makes a lot of sense.

Yes, you'll more than likely need an umbrella but confining your trip to the wet season also means you'll get great discounts. Avoiding the crowds is another big benefit.

The wet seasons can be a little hard to judge but if you plan to travel outside the December-March and July-September periods you should generally be able to find yourself a good deal on a group trip.

Confining your trip to a designated place or country is also likely to help you cut down on the overall cost of your holiday.

Some countries may be a little more expensive than others. For example, Botswana, despite all it has to offer the visitor in the shape of flora and fauna attractions, could possibly leave your hip pocket a little light on by the time you're ready to head home.

On the other hand, Kenya can be a little more attractive for the price conscious visitor and may appeal more as a cheap African safari tour destination. In the end, it's up to you and where you'd prefer to travel.

Selasa, 12 Desember 2017

Adventure Travel - an Alternative To The Five Star Cruise?

Most of us have taken a travel trip sometime or the other in our lives. But if you have been on a travel trip in the recent past, you could not have failed to notice that a new category of travel has made itself very prominent. Known as 'Adventure Travel' this is a new way to travel that is not just popular among the youth and those whose veins are filled with adrenaline, but even among ordinary people like you and me!

It is not really difficult to fathom why. Regular travel, has, over the years gotten boring and predictable. With the prices of airfare coming steadily down and package tours becoming more common than ever before, conventional travel has become stifling, overcrowded and boring. The sense of adventure that is usually associated with travel has become obsolete. Until adventure travel came on the scene that is. With adventure travel, travel ca once more become that exalted activity that brings us in touch with new cultures and people and broadens our horizons. The very reason for adventure travel is unique experiences - something that all of us, irrespective of our personal preference of travel, want!

A sample adventure travel trip for instance could offer you a very unique way of seeing an otherwise popular destination. Now, most people you and I know have been on a Caribbean travel trip. They would have visited the same old beaches, stayed in the same old hotels, driven along the same old roads and seen the same old touristy sights. But sample what an adventure travel trip to the Caribbean could offer. You could take an eco-trek through the Caribbean rain forests, you could see the birds, the insects and the animals up close, you could camp with the local inhabitants and learn more about them, their costumes, their food and their culture by actually interacting with them and you could discover the joys of virtually deserted, unspoiled beaches. All of this while being relatively close to the popular tourist destinations, yet away from the humdrum and drab experiences.

Or imagine an adventure travel trip to Australia. While most travelers do the staid, old, boring city hop across the continent, you could, as part of your adventure travel trip, balloon your way across the continent, snorkel in the great barrier reef, share a billy with a jolly swagman and waltz with mathilda and a joey or two in the bush country! Doesn't the adventure travel option sound like more fun when compared to the regular travel option?

It is precisely to cater to this need for a unique and interesting travel experience that the genre of adventure travel came into existence. And adventure travel is not a genre that is restricted to the teens and tweens. Increasingly, older adults are opting to go on adventure travel trips. And they are having more fun, learning much more and reliving their experiences at every given opportunity, much to the envy and consternation of regular travelers. You too could be the one to go on an adventure travel trip. The only thing stopping you is your imagination!

Selasa, 05 Desember 2017

The Benefits of Personalized Adventure Travel Planning

What type of adventures appeal to you? The kind where you push your body or your mind? Adventure travel is not one thing to all people. Some people would be thrilled and exhilarated to raft down a river in Colorado. For other people, that's a regular weekend activity. Not too adventuresome at all. Those people might love to try hang gliding or sky diving, while for the former person, this is tantamount to committing suicide. Obviously, these people's definitions of adventure travel vary greatly.

That's what's so great about it, though. You can tailor-make a vacation to fit your wants and needs. You just have to know what you want, and where you want to go. Write up a list of the top ten or so things you want to experience in your life and that will get you started as you look through all the fabulous opportunities out there for adventure travel.

If you want to really get outside your personal comfort zone, there are any number of adventure trips you can take that will do that. You can try bicycling along the Tour de France route or hiking fourteen miles in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. How about zipping at 30 miles per hour on a wire line strung between two trees in the jungle, catching air on your snowboard in a Super pipe or white water rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon? Parasailing, riding in a bi-plane or piloting a fighter plane, and rock climbing up a sheer canyon side each provide different thrills too. If you're out for thrills, think carefully about the extent of adventure you'll really enjoy.

Does this sound like too much adrenalin for you? Floating overhead in a hot air balloon while watching lions stalk prey on the plains below or walking through Cambodia's Angkor Thom, where temple ruins nearly smothered by giant trees, are gentler styles of adventure travel. So is walking on trails through the Amazon jungle looking at parrots or catching sight of caimans (types of alligators) sleeping on the river banks at night. To the more laid-back person, this is about adventuresome as you can get.

Adventurous trips are not necessarily something that puts your life at risk. They are travels that change you, enchant you and ensure memories for a lifetime. Some travelers go for the physical thrills and the opportunities that stretch a body's physical capabilities to the utmost degree. Other travelers would rather use their minds, eyes, hearing and cameras to enhance their experiences.

Each person's definition of adventure travel is unique. What's yours? Just don't go on a trip that has activities that you would never participate in. Remember, what is adventuresome to you, might not be to someone else. If you're still deciding, call up a few travel agents for ideas, or visit your local library for exotic places to visit and things to do. Scour the web for packages and deals, and before you know it, you'll be having the time of your life, doing what you've always wanted to do.

Exciting Nevada vacations

Rabu, 29 November 2017

Adventure Travel in Peru - Welcome to the Big City, Country Boy

When I first came to Peru, I lived in Arequipa for over four months while I was studying Spanish. Even though I grew up on a farm in Minnesota, I had lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles for about 20 years so was used to life in the big city. However after living here in Cotahuasi for over a year and a half, I have become a country boy again. When I go to Arequipa, I usually try to make it as brief as possible. Planning to make a short trip there, I left Cotahuasi at 7:00 on a Wednesday morning. I decided to check out the approach to Coropuna on the way, as I was driving right by there. We would be climbing it in a few weeks and I wanted to get a little more hands on information, especially as it had fresh snow since the last time I was near there. I was a little nervous about the climb as well because Coropuna is 21,079 feet high.

I looked around and found a different road and was able to drive closer to the base of the mountain than last time, finally stopping when boulders blocked the road at an elevation of about 16,000 feet. I then hiked up almost 3,000 feet, on what looked like the best approach route, to about 18,800 feet. This was only about 2,300 feet below the summit, so I was very pleased with that. It took me three hours and 35 minutes to get up there and two hours and 15 minutes to get back to the car. Of course where I turned around is where it really gets steep and I was already starting to really feel the effects of the altitude. I was still below the snow line as well, so that will slow things down considerably when we reach that point. Anyway, it got me thinking that it might even be possible to do as a day hike! Will have to see how it goes this time as a two day hike, and then decide if it is possible to do as a day hike or not.

I arrived in Arequipa that evening about 10:00 and was at Marcio's, where I stay, and in bed before 11:00, hoping to get a good night's sleep. Of course the dogs in the neighborhood had other ideas (they bark all night long), I always forget how much noisier it is in Arequipa than in Cotahuasi. And then the combis and taxis start very early in the morning, honking and hollering for passengers, and the room I sleep in is right on the street and is definitely not sound proof!

In the morning I went to the main post office to pick up a package that was being held at customs. After about an hour of waiting, filling out and signing forms, I finally got my package, surprisingly without having to pay anything. Why they couldn't have just sent it on to Cotahuasi, I don't know.

After that I started on my shopping, buying things that I can't get in Cotahuasi or that are more expensive there. I talked with a shopkeeper friend in the central market and she warned me that there were more pickpockets and thieves than ever and to be extra careful. I have learned to take warnings like that seriously. Unfortunately I was out of money so had to go to the bank before I could finish shopping. I got my money in dollars from the ATM machine and then went to the moneychangers to exchange it for soles. When I got my soles, I put most of them into a money belt that I wear around my waist, tucked into my pants. Of course I was trying not to be too obvious about this, not wanting people to see where I was putting the money. I carefully zipped up the pouch and then started back to the shopping area, crossing the street right in front of the moneychanger's office.

As I got to the other side, I noticed a couple of men running into the street and picking up money, I soon realized that it was mine! Here I was, trying to get the money back from them, trying to pick up some that is still in the street, and then realizing that more money was falling on the street as I moved around! I was totally bewildered, as I knew I had zipped up the pouch and was sure it hadn't developed a hole in it since I last used it. I went back into the moneychangers to get off the busy street and checked the pouch; there was no money in it and no hole. I finally realized that in my trying to put the money in there discreetly, I must not have put it into the pouch but in between the pouch and my pants!

Sure enough there was still more money falling down my pants legs so here I was trying to get that out and make sure I got it all, while standing in a corner of the open office! I'm sure I must have made quite a sight, the man behind the counter kept looking at me strangely. Finally sure that I had it all secure; I left the office. Then I realized that it was possible that a "ladron" (thief, pickpocket) might have seen me and was just waiting for me to come out. I went away from the shopping area, looking over my shoulder often and quickly ducked into an open courtyard of a museum and office complex to gather my wits and count the money. I was about 130 soles short (about $40) but was thankful I hadn't lost more.

I felt that it wasn't a good idea to head back to the shopping area on foot, so decided to go get my car and do my shopping with that, especially as I had to get some heavy things like sugar, powered milk, popcorn, a large case of cereal, as well as a large pack of toilet paper. I parked on the street in a busy wholesale shopping area and first went into a shop to get a dozen packages of my favorite cookies, kind of like a vanilla Oreo with strawberry filling. I had to wait a few minutes while she found 12 packs with all strawberry and just as she put them on the counter, a woman on the street hollered something about my car. I was afraid there was a policewoman coming to give me a ticket so ran out of the store to see my car hooked up to a tow truck and they were just starting to drive off with it! I ran to the truck and pleaded with the policeman to not tow it away but to no avail. He said I would have to go to the "deposito" to get it. Of course I had no idea where or what the deposito was so he said I could ride with them in the truck.

To shorten a long story, 142.50 soles and about an hour later I got my car out of the impound yard, after having to take the filled out forms around the corner to have copies made for them. Almost all government offices here require photocopies of all paper work but they don't have copy machines so you have to go to a store and have copies made. Fortunately, there are copy machines everywhere, in all kinds of stores, so it is not too difficult to find one. I had remembered to take a copy of my passport to the customs office at the post office in the morning and sure enough they wanted that as well.

Rabu, 22 November 2017

Adventure Travel An Exciting And Enthralling Experience

You often hear people talking about adventure travel and that makes you wonder as to what adventure travel actually is. It is something by which u can add adventure and fun to your life. So before going for an adventure travel, you must know what it is. Adventure travel doesn't mean that you have to endanger your life for your trip to be called adventurous!

The term adventurous is a concept that is not defined physically when you talk about adventure travel. This concept is defined psychologically. Different people have different definitions of adventure. Earlier adventure travel meant going abroad or just traveling to different places. However, its definition has changed today. Adventure travel is when you experience an event rather than being a mere spectator in your travels. It is actually living in the present and experiencing the place and not just sight seeing.

Adventure is different for everyone. What may appear adventurous to you could be totally boring for someone. And that is reason that there are so many options available if you want to go for adventure travel. You can choose the one which suits you, and more importantly the one which excites you! White water rafting or kayaking can be fun for someone. On the other hand camping in an interesting place can de defined as adventurous by some people. Hot air balloon ride may sound boring to you but it can be the perfect adventure travel for some.

Adventure travel is when you get yourself involved in an enthralling experience. It includes boating, kayaking, hiking, sky diving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, sailing, bicycling and much more! You should not indulge yourself into any form of adventure travel in which you are not comfortable. The level of risk in your travel is defined by you just like term adventure is defined individually. Adventure travel is getting yourself engaged into a new experience but make sure that you are totally comfortable in what you are doing.

You can choose a tour if you wish to go for adventure travel. Such adventure travel tours are available for couples and families. But don't worry in case you are single, adventure tours are also available for you. So you can make a plan for an adventure tour. You can choose a tour which suits you best. These tours usually have two groups of people. One group goes on sight seeing and visits their areas of interest, whereas the other group involves itself in adventurous activities. Of course the type of activity depends on the tour which you have selected.

It is a misconception that adventure travel is only for the younger people. You can indulge yourself into it irrespective of your age. Adventure travel is enjoyed by one and all. It's not uncommon to see an old couple getting engaged in adventurous activities. Having worked hard throughout their life, they want o experience something new and enthralling. You can meet people from all quarters of life in adventure travel. Now, meeting different people from different backgrounds can itself be very adventurous!

You can choose an adventure travel which excites you. It can simply be going out of the country to some distant place or maybe engaging yourself in bunjee jumping. Whichever activity you choose, just make sure that you are comfortable in it, for there will be no fun and no adventure if you are not comfortable!

Rabu, 15 November 2017

Animal Safari - Let Nature Balance Itself

Now think of safari...of Serengeti...of wildlife sanctuaries...what images dominate your thoughts? Yes, animals.

Wildlife aside, safari would only be composed of a number of plant species, of terrain and of strange creatures like insects, bugs and the likes. Without the animals, African safaris would be reduced into a haven of sedentary and rarely moving species. Without the animal of the safaris, ecosystems would not exist. In a sense, animals add to the beauty that life in Africa may present. They give meaning. They add excitement. And they encourage tourism.

It is thought that African safaris started to become famous when the hunt for animals boomed sometime in the nineteenth century. This is because men then were perceived bold enough if they can kill wild animals right in their habitats and in action. This activity provided them a bag full of hunting trophies that adorned the walls of their libraries.

These days, a great thanks to movements for wildlife, hunting is restricted to many areas of African safaris. Nonetheless, there are still areas where slaughtering of wild animals are allowed. Because of the banning, travelers are now limited to only watch the animals hunt each other, predators to prey, and experience the exchange of life and death among them. Some of us still see hunting as a sport though.

The most famous of the animals in safari are known to be the big five which includes rhinoceros, lion, buffalo, leopard and the elephant. Why they became to be, no body is sure. Why other equally wonderful animals are not included in the list remains to be a mystery. It's safe to presume that that's simply the way hunters prefer it.

Adding to the big five are plain animals and mammals that coexist with each other. Some being the prey. Some being the predators. Nonetheless, they all take their parts in the circle of life. They give life.

Though not really considered animals, it is still worth saying that there are thousands of insect species, bugs, butterflies, and other moving creatures found in the African safaris. However large or big they can get won't really matter. They still balance wildlife and they aid in continuing the existence of ecosystems in African safaris.

Some people say, once human intervene with this natural process, even only for once, he may intervene with the succeeding years and life of the species that live in the safaris. And this seem to be true. Sudden and gradual fluctuations of population in the safaris are very much affected by the minute actions of the animals and other living things that exist in it.

Thus it is important that travelers and explorers let things be in the wildlife. Just allow them to exist and do as they were destined to do.