Sensible Payment Options for your African Safari Tour

An African safari can be a truly magical experience, with the chance to see some of the most famous animals in the world in their native habitat.

But whilst the gorillas, lions and hippos can be enthralling, you need to make sure you take good care of the practicalities too. 

Paying for the bulk of your trip whilst you are in the UK is highly advisable, but there will be some costs which you have no option but to pay for after you arrive.

We take a look at the sensible payment options and how you can manage your expenditure whilst on an African safari. 

Local payments

Part of the cost of an African safari is the daily food provided, plus camping equipment and local charges and road tolls.

This is not normally included in the cost which can be prepaid, and will normally need to be paid directly to the driver after your arrival. This won’t include the cost of bottled water or refreshments throughout the day so you will need to budget for this too.

The money paid to the driver is often known as a ‘local payment’ and this will normally need to be paid in cash. Local currency is the normal way to do this but US dollars, UK sterling and Euros are typically recognised too. 

Using technology

As part of a safari trip, you may stop off at certain towns along your route. This enables visitors to experience a different side of African culture as well as purchase souvenirs too.

Although it’s not guaranteed, many towns have an internet cafe which visitors can use too. Online payments systems can be a nice alternative.

This reduces the amount of cash you need to carry, which is a very significant advantage.

Taking credit cards

You will be able to use credit cards at a number of destinations along the route, and this is a particularly secure way of paying for goods.

Credit cards often offer protection for items which get stolen, and if the card itself gets lost, you can quickly and easily stop the thief from being able to use it.

Most safari organisers suggest that travellers carry two separate cards just in case something happens to one of them.

A common problem which can arise is a stop being placed on the use of the card. This is an anti-fraud measure which bank and card issuers often use if they spot that a credit card is suddenly being used in an exotic location. To prevent this happening to you, give your card issuer a ring before you leave and let them know you are going on a safari. This should virtually eliminate the possibility that your card will be stopped.

You will find various ATMs in Africa and you will be able to use your card to withdraw money, preventing you from having to carry too much at the beginning. But remember you will receive your cash in local currency and there are likely to be hefty charges for cash advances plus the exchange rate used is normally particularly poor.

Travellers cheques

Travellers cheques remain a good way to carry money whilst you are travelling on Safari in Africa, combining the convenience of cash and the security of credit cards.

 

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Travellers cheques – sound as a dollar

Image Source: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7070/6917194027_971591efe4.jpg 

Don’t forget to also take the receipt that you were given when you purchased the travellers cheques; many places will ask to see this before accepting them. For this reason, always carry your receipt separately to your travellers cheque to make sure if they are stolen they won’t be useable, even before you have a chance to cancel them.

Conclusion 

An African safari can offer you the holiday of a lifetime but you won’t want those memories marred by the hassle of losing all of your money. Take advantage of using internet payments when you can and carry the minimum cash possible so that if the worst does happen, you won’t be left out of pocket.

Image Credits: iliveisl and libertygrace0

 

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What to expect when travelling from Victoria Falls to Dar es Salaam

Africa offers a stunning diversity of landscapes, from the crystal clear waters of the lakes and rivers to the desolate beauty of the wild plains and savanna.

There are lots of different African adventure holidays to try, but travelling from Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe border to Dar es Salaam on the coast of the Indian Ocean is a particularly special route.

Offering the chance to visit local villages, as well as see some of the most famous sights, the route includes some of the most iconic locations in east Africa. Here’s an idea of some of the things you can expect to see and do during your tour.

Victoria Falls
One of the most visually breath-taking sights in the world, Victoria Falls tumbles over a sharp 100 metres drop but stretches out far further, being more than a mile wide.

The roar of such a huge amount of water crashing over the edge is almost deafening, and the spray radiates out for 500 metres so if you want to see Victoria Falls up close, prepare to get wet!

The Falls covers the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, but two thirds of the Falls actually lie on the side of the latter, which is the better side to view it from.

But staying near Victoria Falls offers far more than just views of the famous landmark, there is lots more to see and do.

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The spectacular Victoria Falls

Image Source: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1421/923931009_941c3cb248.jpg 

For those who want a more active holiday, there’s the chance to try out white water sports, such as rafting or canoeing, whilst for an even greater adrenaline rush, there’s bungee jumping too.

A view from the air is difficult to resist, and helicopter rides over the Falls offer a very different view, but is a simply stunning experience. Don’t forget your camera!

South Luangwa National Park

Around five days into the trip, you will arrive at South Luangwa National Park, camping just outside, close to the river bank.

The Park itself offers both day and night game drives, two very different experiences of the African wilderness. If you opt to go at night, you might even see the elusive leopard, as there are some of the highest concentrations in Africa of this secretive animal in South Luangwa National Park.

Other animals you might see during a game trip include crocodile, lion, hippo, antelope, elephant, wild dog, buffalo plus water and bush buck.

 

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Elephants crossing the Luangwa River in the National Park

Image Source: https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6209/6137851415_7767599834.jpg 

South Luangwa holds some of the greatest numbers of wildlife, but due to being relatively inaccessible compared to other parks isn’t overrun with visitors. It’s also one of the very few which permit night-time safaris. 

Simply cross the bridge over the Luangwa River and you’ll immediately spot crocodile and hippo, whilst along the banks there’s almost certain to be elephants grazing. Several prides of lion call the park their home, so your chances of seeing this king among beasts are excellent.

Zanzibar

At the end of your trip you will reach Dar es Salaam, and whilst there is lots to see and do – as well as a lovely beach to relax on – you could finish off your tour with a trip out to the exotic island of Zanzibar.

An archipelago approximately 90 km long and 30 km in width, Zanzibar is easily reachable by ferry from mainland Tanzania. 

Zanzibar is also known as the Spice Island, having previously been an important stop-off in the thriving Spice Trade, many centuries ago. Visitors today can see for themselves why this was the case; Zanzibar remains one of the very few locations in the world which produces saffron along with other fragrant spices such as nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom.

 

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Visiting a spice market in Zanzibar

Image Source: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8373/8368014527_e137710104.jpg 

Going on a ‘spice tour’ is a great way to see the island and visit some of the plantations, where you can also buy teas or spice packs as well as sample some of the more unusual fruits grown on Zanzibar. 

If you haven’t yet had your fill of wildlife, you could also pay a trip to Jozani Forest on the island. There are lots of nature trails and even the trees themselves are magnificent. But the real stars of the show are the almost-extinct Red Colobus monkeys who are playful and will even pose for a picture with you if you are lucky!

Conclusion

The tour starts spectacularly at Victoria Falls and the standard doesn’t drop for the entire experience. Whether it’s a walk with lion cubs, a trip to a local village or horse-riding into the game reserves, there’s so much to see and do, you will wish your stay was far longer than a fortnight!

Image Credits: Zest-pk, ggallice and Romanboed

 

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Preparing for your African tour: Things to remember

A tour of Africa promises the holiday of a lifetime and understandably you are going to be very excited! However amongst the excitement of it all, it is important not to forget the important things you need to do in order to prepare for your African tour. Here we have outlined some of the things you need to remember, to give you a head start.

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Image source: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2791/4092914530_97262bd71b.jpg

Get vaccinated

Before travelling to Africa, you need to make sure that your vaccinations are all up to date, including all common childhood vaccines for Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio. It is also highly recommended that you receive vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Meningococcal meningitis, rabies and typhoid before your trip. 

Since 1st October 2011, travellers over the age of one who arrive at or are transitioning through South Africa from a yellow fever infected country are required to have a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. You can find the list of regions affected by yellow fever on the World Health Organization website. If you cannot provide evidence of your vaccination, you will be refused entry to South Africa.

You will also need to visit your doctor for a prescription of malaria pills. If you need any other medical advice regarding any existing illnesses and how they may affect your trip, it is important to seek your GP’s medical advice at the earliest point possible.

Check visa requirements

Whilst most people will be able to obtain visas on the borders at their time of travel, it is worth checking before your holiday that this is possible. Residents of some countries may be required by immigration laws to apply for visas prior to making their journey. If you are from the EU, this is unlikely, however it is still worth double-checking, as you do not want to risk spoiling your trip to Africa!

Ring up your bank

It is recommended that you take two credit cards on your African tour holiday, just in case one stops working or is blocked by your bank. Speaking of cards getting blocked, it is a good idea to ring up your bank before you go on your trip and let them know that you are travelling to Africa. Sometimes banks stop individuals being able to use their cards in foreign countries as a security measure, but ringing them up and informing them of your travels should prevent this from happening.

Buy travel insurance

You will be responsible for organising your own travel insurance, just as you would on any holiday. Travel insurance is compulsory, so make sure that you buy it before your trip abroad. You will need to be covered for medical, baggage, repatriation and currency. If you want to get a good deal on your insurance, an online comparison website will prove to be a very handy tool!

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Image source: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2306/2308100933_b4929aa6f5.jpg 

Make a packing list

To prevent you from forgetting to pack essential items, we highly recommend making yourself a packing list. There is plenty of information on both our website and blog about the best clothing to take on your holiday to Africa, as well as the other essentials you may need on the tour. Remember that whilst we do not have a luggage limit, your airline will, so be sure to weigh your suitcase to check that you are within the limit before heading to the airport.

Conclusion

With all the excitement of booking and preparing your African tour, it is easy to forget some of the essentials that can go a long way in making your trip all the more successful. Keep in mind the tips provided in this post and be sure to check out our FAQ page for more information on preparing for your journey of a lifetime.

Image credits: USACE Europe District & kozumel

 

 

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5 must-have items for your African safari trip

Wondering what to take on your African safari trip? Luckily for you, we have curated a list of five must-have items to help you pack. 

  1. Neutral clothing

Neutral clothing is an absolute must for African safaris. It will help you to blend in with the surroundings and go unnoticed by the wildlife. The problem with wearing bright clothing is that it will make it easier for the animals to spot you. If they notice you are there, they are more likely to hide out of sight, spoiling your safari.

Green or khaki is ideal for forest or savannah settings, whereas beige is better for desert areas. It is also recommended that you choose lightweight clothing that allows your skin to breath. Although cotton is always a good choice, you will find that many companies now create lightweight, moisture wicking clothing that is designed to keep the body cool in hot temperatures.

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Don’t forget your binoculars or you’ll end up missing out on seeing some of the African safari animal’s close-up.

Image source: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/13570027834_8d4475f5de.jpg 

  1. Binoculars

One of the most important items you take on your African safari will be a pair of binoculars. There is only so close you can get to the animals, so if you want a real close up view, a pair of binoculars is going to come in handy. It will also help you to spot some of the smaller creatures on your African safari tour, like birds. If you are travelling with a group, it is recommended that you invest in a pair of binoculars each, as if you have to wait your turn, you may miss your chance to see the animals.

  1. Camera

Whilst you don’t need to invest in the most expensive DSLR camera to take on your safari trip, we do recommend packing a camera, as it is likely you’ll want to capture photographs of the animals and scenery to keep as mementos of your trip. If you are packing your camera, make sure that you also invest in long-life batteries and extra memory cards. You will also need a good camera bag to keep your equipment safe.

  1. First aid kit

Although the safari tour guide will have a safari kit, it is recommended that you take your own. Some key items to put in your safari kit are plasters, hand gel and painkillers. You will also need to make sure you pack sunscreen (at least factor 50), malaria tablets and mosquito repellent. Travellers’ diarrhoea is one of the most common illnesses that people suffer from when travelling through other countries, so we highly recommend that you pack anti-diarrheal tablets like Imodium.

 

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Remember to break in your shoes or boots before going on your African safari.

Image source: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8045/8112837909_86b0914bee.jpg

  1. Comfortable footwear

Another essential for your African safari is comfortable footwear. If you are planning on purchasing a new pair of boots for your trip, we advise that you break them in beforehand, as to avoid blisters and discomfort. If you do end up with blisters, make sure you cover them with the plasters in your first aid kit. Never pop them as this can lead to nasty infections!

The best sort of shoes for African safaris have thick rubber soles. These will protect your feet from any thorns or sharp branches, which could cause injury to your feet if you tread on them whilst out in the African bush. When it comes to choosing footwear for your African safari, think comfort over style. You’ll thank us later!

Conclusion

Although there are plenty of other things you will need to pack for your African safari, the five items featured in this post are all very important and can go along way in making your holiday even more enjoyable! 

Image credits: PMillera4 & virtualwayfarer

 

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5 Desert Holidays to Experience around the World

Despite the fact that they are some of the most inhospitable places on earth, deserts have always held a certain fascination. It is not surprising, then, that desert holidays are becoming a more and more popular vacation choice.

There are numerous deserts in the world, many of which are so barren that they hold no attraction for visitors. The five that we feature below, however, provide, in their separate ways, some fascinating holiday opportunities, which are as far removed from a conventional package deal as you could imagine!

Sahara

The largest warm desert in the world by far, the Sahara Desert is a great holiday location. The Sahara stretches from the Atlantic coast on the west of the African continent to the coast of the Red Sea in the east. In all, the Sahara spans ten separate African countries.

Guided tours within this enormous expanse can provide the tourist with a close look at the life of the local inhabitants and animals, the exact detail of which will depend on which part of the Sahara you are visiting. Wherever in the Sahara you find yourself, however, journeying in a camel train is an essential component of the holiday. From your seat aboard your personal “ship of the desert” you can witness the vast rolling sand dunes and spectacular landscapes during the day and the incomparable starlit skies after night has fallen. A Sahara desert holiday is a truly unforgettable experience.

Kalahari

Further south on the African continent is the Kalahari Desert, which ranges across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Kalahari wildlife safaris are extremely popular, with the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Khutse Game Reserve providing the opportunity to see lions and leopards in their natural habitat. Accommodation is available in camps and lodges, putting you right in the centre of desert life. The Red Dunes of the Kalahari and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa offer further destination options within this immense desert.

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The Gobi Desert in Mongolia
Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Gobi_Desert.jpg 

Gobi

The Gobi Desert, in Mongolia, has long been a favourite destination for the more intrepid international traveller as it holds a number of fascinating attractions.

The Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park has a varied landscape, with mountain steppes, wetlands, meadowland and oases. It also has a wide range of wildlife, including the endangered snow leopard. In addition to the national park, the Gobi desert offers the tourist the chance to visit Bayanzag’s Flaming Cliffs, the Yolyn Am Valley and the vast expanse of the Khongoryn Els sand dunes. For these reasons and more besides, the Gobi Desert ranks amongst Asia’s best holiday destinations.

Atacama

Covering the South American countries of Peru and Chile, the Atacama Desert is one of the most arid and inhospitable of desert holiday locations. Nevertheless, it is popular with those travellers who prefer their holiday to have an adventurous flavour to it.

Touring the Atacama will bring you into contact with ancient ruins, sites of archaeological significance and desert areas that are reputed never to have had any rainfall. The Atacama can be traversed on foot, by bike, on horseback or by conventional motor transport. Whichever method of travelling is chosen, the Atacama holds a world of wonders for the visitor.

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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley in the California Desert
Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Death_Valley_%282187915854%29.jpg/1024px-Death_Valley_%282187915854%29.jpg 

California Desert

The California Desert, in the USA, covers twenty five thousand square miles of territory in the state of California. It is a holiday attraction for American citizens and overseas visitors alike.

Unlike other deserts, it has a road system that is well constructed and maintained, although many tourists still prefer to take a trip “off-road”. The most popular places to visit include Death Valley, where the temperature can be blisteringly hot, Palm Springs, The Mojave National Preserve, the Joshua Tree National Park and the Desert Hot Springs.

Summary

The world is a truly remarkable place and there are few places more remarkable than the desert lands that can be found on every continent on the planet. Visiting a desert may not be the most conventional way of spending a holiday but it is likely to be one of the most rewarding.

Image Credits:  Wikipedia 1 and 2

 

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5 cultural tours in Senegal

A francophone country, tourists have been attracted to Senegal ever since the first Club Med resort was set up here in the 1970s. In particular drawn by the beautiful beaches and luxury beach resorts, there’s a lot more to Senegal than just sun and sand.

1) Jazz festivals – St Louis

The most characteristically French colonial destination in West Africa, St Louis is on an island and preserves much of its 19th century character. Since becoming a World Heritage Site in 2000, many of the historic buildings are now being preserved, or converted into restaurants and hotels. At the mouth of the Senegal River, there is an interesting system of quays that give the town a very distinctive identity. Hosting Africa’s number one jazz festival, jazz has been important here since the 1930s. 

Easily reached from St Louis are two significant areas of outstanding beauty well worth a visit for nature lovers. The Langue de Barbarie National Park and the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary are located where the Senegal River meets the sea. Here are some of the most important wetlands in Africa, home to hundreds of species of birds and to wildlife. 

2) History of slavery – Île de Gorée 

In effect a suburb of Dakar, Gorée Island is a small island two kilometres out from Dakar’s main harbour.  Many visitors come here to learn about the old Atlantic slave trade, even if relatively speaking, fewer slaves were processed or transported from here than places like St Louis. You can stay in the homes of families, explore the quiet streets and intermingle with the local people. There are three little museums worth looking at (women, history and maritime) and a castle.

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Gorée Island – Dakar, Senegal

Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e2/2007-02-13_Ile_de_Goree_D_Bruyere.JPG/640px-2007-02-13_Ile_de_Goree_D_Bruyere.JPG 

3) Pilgrimage and religion – Mouride holy centre of Touba

Touba is the holy city of Mouridism in central Senegal. Here the founder, Shaikh Aamadu Bàmba Mbàkke is buried. Beside his tomb is the huge mosque that was completed in 1963 and is one of the largest in Africa. It has five minarets and three large domes. The central minaret stands at 87 metres (285 feet) and is one of Senegal’s most famous monuments. Every year one to two million pilgrims come for the Grand Magal from all over Senegal and beyond.

Touba is sacred to Mourrides and the Mouride order maintains absolute control over its “capital.” The city is administratively autonomous with a special legal status within Senegal.  Strictly Muslim, it is forbidden to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, play games, music or dance. The order manages education, health, the water supply, public works and so on independently of the state.

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Interior of a mosque in Touba http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dc/Touba_moschee2.jpg/360px-Touba_moschee2.jpg

4) Villages and locals cultureBasse Casamance National Park

Located in the far southwest, you can go on ecotourism and tropical forest excursions. If you want to enjoy the beach, there is also a coastal beach resort. Owing to the Cassamance conflict this area is less developed and many areas are even off limits due to the risk from landmines. However there are some companies still running eco- style tours, visiting villages that provide an insight into local culture and life. 

You can explore villages, see the local telephone tam-tam and travel out to sea in a pirogue (dug-out canoe).  With a strong tradition of animism you can visit shamans (witch doctors) on some of the islands. You get a chance to interact with farmers, young people who perform live dance and percussion shows, and villagers making batik and crafts. You can learn about Senegalese cooking (a delicious mix of French with exotic local produce), or try the local Sabar dance steps.

5) Plant a tree and nature – Saloum Delta National Park 

A large area of mangrove estuaries and islands, this area is primarily visited by tourists for its wildlife. Wildlife including hyenas and jackals live here and it is a bird watcher’s paradise. It has cultural interest too, and is the home of the minority Serer people, the River Saloum delta area is where to go for eco-tourism practice.

The Palmarin rural community live on the edge of the Petite-Côte and are engaged in traditional fishing and tourism. Here tourists can contribute directly to the area’s environmental well being by purchasing carbon offsets in the form of trees. 

Out of the twenty ethnic groups in Senegal, the most ancient group and third in terms of numbers are the Serer people (about 15% of the population). As well as the clam shell mounds, their ancestors built Senegambian stone circles.

Conclusion

Wherever you go in Senegal there is a fascinating variety of places to visit, make sure you rent a car, Senegal is a vast country to visit. Attractions include St Louis with its jazz and colonial atmosphere; Touba with its religious significance; Gorée Island and its history; or the rural people and natural environment of the Casamance and Saloum. There’s much more to Senegal than just beach resorts and rolling Atlantic surf.

Image Credits: Wikipedia 1 and 2

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What Cape Town, South Africa has to offer for Tourists

Cape Town is the most popular tourist destination in the entirety of Africa. With thousands of people visiting throughout the year from across the world, tourism is a very also economically key for Cape Town.

It has many fantastic sights, both man-made and natural, and an amazing culture, so it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular location. Below are 5 of the top tourist attractions Cape Town has to offer.

Table Mountain

This renowned landmark has a flat top and is famous for its spectacular views overlooking Cape Town. The mountain is very popular among those seeking adventure on holiday as many enjoy the challenge of hiking to the top. However, if that’s not quite your cup of tea, there is also a cableway so you don’t have to miss out on the stunning view.

The flat surface on the mountaintop is 2 miles long and is surrounded by breath taking cliffs, which are second to none. Table Mountain stands at the Northern end of a sandstone mountain range, which are absolutely amazing to look at.

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A view of Table Mountain from the beach

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/Table_Mountain_DanieVDM.jpg

Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak is a mountain on the side of the Cape Peninsula. The western side of the mountain falls dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean, but the main reason it is a great tourist attraction is because of the amazing road trip it offers.

Winding around the mountain is the trail known as Chapman’s Peak Drive, which hugs the side of a vertical drop but offers once in a lifetime views. The road was hand made between 1915 and 1922, although it was closed in 1990 due to a landslide injuring many and causing the death of 1 person.

In 2005 it was re-opened as a toll road and is thoroughly enjoyed by tourists from across the globe.

Beaches

Cape Town has various beaches up and down the coast, which all offer something a little bit different. The beaches along the West Coast are very popular surfing and kite surfing locations, so if you’re looking for somewhere with more activities, the west coast beaches are definitely the best choice.

Along the Atlantic Seaboard, the beaches sit at the bottom of the incredible mountains, and this area is famed for expensive sea front homes that offer amazing sunset views.

Finally, the False Bay area boasts long golden sands and clear blue waters, just as you might image paradise to be. The peaceful atmosphere and perfect tranquility are ideal for a relaxing break.

 

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One of the picturesque beaches of Cape Town’s False Bay

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Noordhoek_beach_jan2005.jpg

Two Ocean’s Aquarium

Located in the inner city of Cape Town, right on the waterfront, this amazing aquarium is perfect for a day out while you’re in Cape Town. It is home to sharks, stingrays and many more incredible sea life creatures.

If you have the appropriate diving qualification you can also dive into the predators tanks and come face to face with some of the most amazing ragged tooth sharks in the world.

Culture

The waterfront and port itself is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cape Town. In this area is the aquarium, but also one of the cities most popular shopping venues. Visitors enjoy watching ships dock and leave the port on a daily basis.

The city is also rich in culture; for example, every January they host the Minstrel festival. This see’s minstrel groups from across Africa join together in full costume and play Cape Jazz music. This is a popular tourist attraction and known to the natives as the second New Year.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Cape Town is an amazing city with lots to offer tourists; from exciting festivals to sky scraping mountains and relaxing beaches. 

Cape Town is definitely a great holiday destination whatever type of holiday you’re looking for.

Image credits: Wikipedia and Wikipedia

 

 

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Camping Jargon and Terminology

If you are new to the world of camping it can be easy to get confused with some of the jargon and terminology that you are hearing. Don’t be put off by what sounds like a complex hobby, learn more about the jargon and terminology and you will be all set for a camping trip that is a lot of fun.

Equipment

When you are camping you need to get the equipment right and with our jargon buster you can understand what various terms mean before you set off.

GPS – this is your Global Positioning System and something that a lot of campers will use, especially if they are going off the beaten track. 

Dome tent – a tent that is shaped like a dome that has flexible fibreglass poles for ease of use.

GSM – this is a term used when talking about how warm a sleeping bag is. If you find that one has a GSM (grams per square meter) number that is high this will be very warm.

Citronella – if you have a problem with insects you can use this as a repellent. You can find these in spray form or as candles which can be really helpful to avoid being bitten.

Taped seams – these are important when you are buying a tent as it means that all of the seams of the tent have been sealed to ensure that they are waterproof.

Cyalume light stick – these are cheap but useful sticks which contain chemicals that when activated will create a low level of light that can be used for a few hours. 

Ground sheet – a waterproof sheet that is put under a tent before it is pitched to provide extra warmth and dryness for the people inside. 

A-frame Tent – this is a type of tent that most people will have seen before. They have a classic design and are easy to put up and can withstand wind and rain.

Rain bag – a bag which should be waterproof in which you will need to keep a set of dry and clean clothes for each person, just in case the worst happens and everyone gets soaked to the skin.

Out and About

Bearing – this is your orientation on a compass.

Cross bearings – this is a method that is used to determine your position on a map.

Base camp – this is where you will be staying and pitching your tent.Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 16.34.00

Picking a great location is a vital part of camping.

Image source: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3501/3956549650_7321803ccc.jpg 

Circle Plan – a term that is used for setting up a campsite and then deciding on the radius that you will be venturing into. Do this when you are in unfamiliar territory and you want to make sure that you always know your position. 

Fire pit – this is a dug out hole that can be used to protect a fire in camp and prevent it from being blown out by the wind.

Hiking trail – if you see this sign you are entering a part of the area where hiking on foot is the only form of permitted travel.

Horse trail – this is a trail that allows people to walk on foot or on horseback.

Jerry can – you will use one of these to keep your water in and it should be taken everywhere with you to provide a source of water.

Kindling – this is the name given for light sticks, twigs, grass and leaves that can be used to start a fire.

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Kindling is great for starting campfires.

Image source: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4143/4877961040_65b1a4feb7.jpg 

Conclusion

There are of course many different terms and names that are related to camping, but these are some of the main ones that you will probably come across. Take notice of them and you will have a really enjoyable camping trip that will encourage you to do it again in the future.

Image credits: Cruiznbye and ilkerender

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Ideas for a Classic Holiday in Namibia

Namibia is one of the most visited destinations in Africa, which attracts a variety of travellers and holidaymakers. There are so many things to do and see in Namibia that you may feel spoilt for choice. If you want to immerse yourself in the African culture, then here are some classic places to visit and things to do.

Safari in Windhoek

Windhoek is one of the most visited places in Namibia, being the capital and largest city. Many people travelling to this African country will make this there first port of call due to the many different activities on offer.

One thing that really must be done is a safari trail. You can find a whole range of tour operators and vehicles to take you through the fantastic wilderness. Whether you just want to see elephants in their natural habitat, or camp for a few days in the plains, there will be something for everything.

Some of the best tours will show you a wide range of animals and scenery, even stopping at a local restaurant to taste some of the local cuisine. You can feast on zebra steak or an ostrich kebab, if you’re feeling brave enough!
If you want to go it alone, you can always rent a car and venture into the wild yourself. Most car rental companies will suggest a 4×4 due to the rough terrain that you may come in contact with. Make sure you follow the advice and safety procedures from the rental company and within safari guidebooks.

zebra

Namibia is home to an extensive array of wildlife including zebras, elephants and the oddly named Pangolin. 

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Equus_burchelli_4.jpg 

The Namib Desert 

The Namib Desert in Namibia (the reason the country is named as such) is one of the most dominant and astonishing landmarks in Africa. Stretching nearly 1000km along the coast it is one of the oldest deserts in the World.

It is highly recommended that you take a drive through the spectacular sand dunes, some of which are the highest in the World. The distinct rust colour of the sand makes for some fantastic photographs and mementos.

If you would prefer, there are several tour operators that will take you on a drive through the desert in groups of up to 20. They can show you some of the best sights, as well as make sure you get home in one piece!

Near the South African border you can find the Fish River Canyon which is around 160km long! This is a great place to visit, as it is one of the largest canyons on the planet. You can easily see this canyon and much of the Namib Desert in one day trip. 

Boating in Walvis Bay

Namibia has a stunning coast line, which makes it perfect for those who love the water. Walvis Bay is a beautiful part of the country, which is located on the west side of Namibia.

If you’ve become hot and tired due to safaris and deserts then you’ll love the refreshing coast activities that Walvis Bay has to offer. Charter a sailing boat to take you down to Pelican Point (a famous landmark in Namibia) or go on a group tour on a catamaran.

There are plenty of sea creatures you may be lucky enough to see, including beautiful dolphins, whales, seals and turtles. There are organised tours that will take you to the best places to catch a glimpse of one of these wonderful creatures, if not all of them!

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A boat tour across the Namibian coast can uncover even more wildlife, including dolphins, whales and seals.

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bottlenose_Dolphin_KSC04pd0178.jpg 

Conclusion

For a real classic holiday in Namibia, these are the three main things that you simply must do. No trip to any country in Africa would be complete without going on some type of safari adventure, seeing stunning animals in their natural habitat.

One of the oldest deserts in the World is something not to miss out on, especially when you see the beautiful rust coloured sand. Finally, take a break from all that heat with a trip on the waters at Walvis Bay. 

Image Credits: Wikipedia 1 & 2

 

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Open your mind and activate your body

For those who enjoy adventure sports and outdoor pursuits, travelling often comes as second nature. Dedicated adrenaline junkies will travel the globe in search of the best surfing, the best climb or the best trek.

By doing a little careful planning you can combine your love of adventure sports with a love of adventure travel. Opening your mind to the wider world at the same time as getting your blood pumping.

Tanzania

As far as volunteer placements go, Tanzania has a lot to offer. Most projects involve working with local people which can include teaching, working with communities to develop infrastructure and working with orphans.

The cost of volunteering in Tanzania can vary widely, but organisations such as Original Volunteers offer placements in the central town of Iringa, for just a one off donation of £50. You are then free to stay at their project for as long as you want.

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Kilimanjaro stands high above the African plains

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During your time off, or once your placement has finished, you are free to take advantage of all of the adventures on offer in Tanzania. And if you’re a keen climber, there are none better than climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Standing at an impressive 5,895m, Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Six routes of varying difficulty lead trekkers to the summit with ascents lasting around five to seven days.

If you want to climb Kilimanjaro, there are plenty of tour operators who organize regular treks to the top. If you’re thinking of going it alone, make sure that you’ve don’t your research, the weather can be unpredictable, as can the effects of altitude sickness.

Trek the Himalayas in Nepal

Like Tanzania, Nepal is a trekker’s paradise. The magnificent Himalayas dominate much of the country and provide some of the most scenic walks in the world. 

Volunteering in Nepal is also a fantastic experience. The warmth and hospitality of the Nepalese will strike you from the moment you get off the plane. 

One organization that offers a wide variety of placements is Best Volunteer Nepal. Work in a monastery teaching English to young Buddhist monks, assist children with disabilities or help with sanitation and environmental care. 

Programs last from two to twenty weeks and cost an average of 300 euros a month. 

Most outdoor opportunities in Nepal of course revolve around the Himalayas. An expedition to the Everest Base Camp or a trek around the famous Annapurna circuit are both easy to organise during your stay. And although physically demanding, a trek in the Himalayas is an opportunity not to be missed.

Peru

In Peru, you’re entire placement can be filled with adventures with many of the communities in need based high in the Andes Mountains. 

With mountains all around you, opportunities for trekking and climbing are plentiful. From the classic Inca trail to the lesser known paths that crisscross the country, you’re simply spoilt for choice.

However other activities are also on offer in Peru, why not have a go at kayaking or rafting during your trip? Or if you’re feeling really brave, how about paragliding?

Affordable volunteering opportunities are available through Sharing Dreams Peru. Volunteers can choose to work with community development or with their Children’s program, and costs are around $75 a week.

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Enjoy the beach life in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the perfect location for anyone looking to combine volunteering with a little bit of paradise. Situated in the Indian Ocean and surrounded be white sandy beaches, islands don’t come much more idyllic.

If you’re a student, graduate or already in employment you can volunteer with SL Volunteers. With a focus on sustainable volunteering, they provide placements working with children with special needs.

During your spare time you are free to enjoy Sri Lanka, and with so much to do, you’ll need a bit of time to take it all in. A dip in the Ocean is always welcome, and diving, windsurfing and deep-sea fishing are all on offer in Sri Lanka’s waters. 

On dry land you can visit the Pinnewala elephant orphanage or even go on safari at the Uda Walawe National park.

Wherever you’re heading on a volunteer placement this year, there are likely to be some opportunities to get out and about, experience some great adventure activities and get your adrenaline circulating.

So when you’re getting ready to leave, just make sure you pack your head for heights and your spirit of adventure.

Image credits: Wikipedia 1 & 2 

 

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