Browsing Category

Culture

Culture, Gateway, Lifestyle, Travel, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized, Vacation,

The Best Train Rides Around the World

Have you been thinking about the best train vacations lately?

See, when making a traveling arrangement, we often use flights or cars. We usually jump on the internet and look for flight deals or check if we can rent a car and drive to our destination and sometimes we check if we can catch a bus. But there is one type of transportation that we don’t pay attention to, which is trains! 

There are many people who have not to catch a train due to different reasons. Some people think the train takes too long to get to its destination. 

Some people live where there are no railway stations. One thing I know for sure is,  taking a trip by train is a great way to get an intimate view of a place.

Railways usually pass where roads cannot pass. Trains can take you over bridges, along the base of the mountains, or next to the ocean without being distracted with traffic jams, etc.

Are you wondering what are the best train rides in the world? There are a lot of them, but depending on your liking you might find one is better than the other one.

All in all, many of the train trips will provide you with breathtaking views, scenery, and cultural landmarks. After doing some little research, we were able to find the best train rides in the world. 

Some of these rides can take a day and some can take more than two days.  But one thing is certain, you will enjoy the ride.

1. The Trans-Siberian Railway

The Trans-Siberian railway is the world’s longest train ride at 6,850 miles. Its route starts from Moscow, the capital of Russia to the city of  Vladivostok, a Russian city that borders China and North Korea.

In other words, we can say the route starts from the western end of Russia to its eastern coast. This is a fascinating trip that will make you cross 2 continents and 8 timezones. 

Trans-Siberian route crosses over the Ural Mountains and through the Siberian forest.  This eight days trip takes you to different landmarks including the magnificent 3227-foot-long bridge that crosses the River Ob at Novosibirsk, the Kremlin Fortress in Kazan, and the breathtaking blue waters of Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume.

2. TranzAlpine Train – New Zealand

TranzAlpine is one of the world’s great train journeys for scenery. The train operates on the South Island of New Zealand and gives you the most dramatic landscape.  

This train trip is 139 miles one-way and takes almost five hours. There are 16 tunnels and four viaducts, with the Staircase Viaduct being 75  246 ft high.  The trip starts in Christchurch and ends in Greymouth.

The TranzAlpine travels northwest through the fertile fields of the Canterbury Plains alongside the Waimakariri River. Then it goes up into the mountains, where it crosses the mighty Staircase Viaduct.

While on the trip you will be able to see the snow-capped mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park and pass through the west coast’s subtropical rainforests.

When you reach  Greymouth which is the destination,  you will be able to explore this historic former gold mining town.

3. Glacier Express Train – Switzerland

red train on focus photography

The Glacier Express train connects railway stations of the two major mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz via Andermatt in the central Swiss Alps. 

The term “express” does not mean it’s a high-speed train, actually, the Glacier Express is known as the slowest express train in the world.  A trip with the  Glacier is the most relaxing way to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Swiss Alps.

Starting from Zermatt, this day-long trip covers a staggering 91 tunnels and 291 bridges as it rolls past southern Switzerland’s alpine meadows, pristine mountain lakes, and picture-perfect hamlets.

While on this trip you will reach  Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the ride at 6706 feet. Also, you can see the famous Landwasser Viaduct, a magnificent six-arch structure standing 200 feet and plunging into a tunnel cut straight into the mountainside.

4.Rovos Rail’s Namibia Safari Train – South Africa

The Rovos rail’s Namibia safari is a train ride to die for. This luxury train safari starts at the Capital Park Station in Pretoria and travels via the historically interesting town of Kimberley, the home to the Big Hole and the site of one of the World’s greatest diamond rushes.

The trip takes 9 days and it is 2112 miles long. In this trip, you will be able to see the open lands of South Africa’s Highveld, to the cool Atlantic Ocean in Namibia. You will come across the arid yet starkly beautiful Northern Cape and on to the border post of Ariamsvlei, which takes you into Namibia.

Enjoy an excursion to the famed Fish River Canyon the second only in size to the Grand Canyon. The train then continues to the north, through the edge of the Kalahari, to Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. Here you get the chance to go on a short tour of this small, yet charming city, with its German colonial history. 

5.The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express -Italy

brown and black train on rail

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a privately-run train. The train has a 24 hours long trip from  Venice, Italy to  London, UK. The trip passes through other European cities such as Paris, France, and  Verona, Italy, and runs roughly once a week from March to November.

While on this trip you will enjoy the wonderful and amazing scenery of Italy, This journey on Venice Simplon-Orient Express travels north from Verona, up through Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and then to England.

During the day the scenery is spectacular, passing through valleys dotted with chalets leading to the soaring mountains of the breath-taking Italian Dolomites, going through the Brenner Pass, and then the Austrian valleys again dotted with chalets against the amazing mountain back-drop.

6. The Flåm Railway – Norway

green train on rail tracks during daytime

The Flåm Railway is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world, one of the leading tourist attractions in Norway and one of Europe’s steepest rail routes.

The train runs from the end of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord, up to the high mountains at Myrdal station. The trip shows the finest aspects of the stunning scenery of Western Norway.

This is an hour-long trip, the railway rises 2831 feet from its starting point in the tiny village of Flåm in the Sognefjord.

While you are on this trip you will pass by deep ravines, cascading waterfalls, and towering peaks to the mountaintop station of Myrdal.

The Flåm Railway is gorgeous in the summertime but it’s magical during wintertime when a blanket of snow turns the trip into a winter wonderland.

7. Golden Eagle Danube Express – Central Europe and Transylvania

The Golden Eagle Danube starts from  Istanbul, Turkey to  Prague, Czech Republic. It’s an epic 2000 mile which takes a 14-day long.

With this trip you will cross an incredible eight countries, the Golden Eagle Danube Express is the best way to see Europe in style and includes stops in some of the continent’s most beautiful cities.

The train starts in Istanbul and travels north via the Carpathian Mountains and into Transylvania, past Bran Castle also known as ‘Dracula’s Castle’. Continues travels through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Poland before arriving in beautiful Prague.

8.The Ghan – Australia

The Ghan trip starts from   Adelaide to Darwin a total distance of almost 1851 miles. The trip takes 54 hours and has a four-hour stopover in Alice Springs.

The Ghan offers travelers the opportunity to experience the vast landscape in pure luxury, it passes directly through Australia’s fiery red center.

In this trip, you will see the tropical coast of the Northern Territory via the red-hued rocks of the MacDonnell Ranges and onto the fertile plains of South Australia.

A trip on The Ghan also features off-train excursions, including a leisurely boat tour of Nitmiluk Gorge and a trip to the quirky desert town of Alice Springs.

9. Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West – Canada

If you want adventure in the Canadian Rockies this train will give you just that.  This trip takes you to stunning mountain towns with stays in Banff and Lake Louise.

The train trips start in Vancouver and end in  Banff, covering the beautiful scenery of southern British Columbia. The  Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West is one of the most scenic train rides in the world.

While on the trip you will be able to see breathtaking sights such as the wild waters of Fraser Canyon’s Hell’s Gate and steep tracks running alongside the Thompson River on top of that enjoying the comfort of luxurious carriages.

You will stay overnight in the lakeside city of Kamloops before they rise over the stunning, snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies and arrive at beautiful Banff.

10. West Highland Line, Glasgow to Mallaig – Scotland

The West Highland Line starts from Glasgow to Fort William, the largest town in the West Highlands of Scotland, and onwards to Mallaig, a tiny fishing port and terminal for the ferry to Armadale on the Isle of Skye.

This train is an excellent way to experience the country’s wild, western coast. The West Highland line takes you through  Scotland’s most diverse scenery. 

The urban landscape quickly succumbs to verdant glens and tranquil lochs once the train leaves  Glasgow.  The train will pass through the remote wilderness of Rannoch Moor before skirting the towering Ben Nevis and touching down in Fort William. 

If you are a Harry Potter fan you will like this trip more because while you are on, it switches direction and moves westward, and passes along the Glenfinnan Viaduct that featured in the Harry Potter film series. Then after that, it will arrive in  Mallaig. 

11. Belmond Hiram Bingham – Peru

Belmond Hiram Bingham is a luxury train operating day return trip from  Cuzco to  Machu Picchu, Peru. The train travels through some of Peru’s most romantic scenery and ends at the amazing  Machu Picchu and is a once-in-a-lifetime luxury train trip.

The Belmond Hiram Bingham crosses over the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a stunning valley formed by the winding Urubamba River. It also passes through the tiny village of Ollantaytambo.

The best part of this trip it’s where it ends, Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is a famous landmark, an ancient Inca citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site set high in the Andes Mountains.

Beaches, Culture, Gateway, Lifestyle, Travel, Travel Adventures, Vacation,

15 Secluded Beaches In The U.S

Have you been searching for secluded beaches near me lately?

For more than two months people have been on stay home orders. During this time most businesses were close except essential businesses and some people are working from home. Recently many states and countries have lifted the stay hame order and some businesses starting to operate as usual.

 As we all know summer is almost here and one of the things people like to do is to go to the beach. Most beaches are open too, we saw a crowded beach in Daytona during the memorial weekend, for some people it was scary because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So what can you do if you want to take a little beach vacation but you still want to practice social distancing? Luckily, there are many secret beaches to be found in the  U.S, places that you might never hear about it or you don’t even know exists. These beaches are affordable and do not require staying at an exclusive private resort etc.

Some of these destinations may not be easy to reach, but gives you a peaceful and pristine beach experience, far from the crowds. Here are some best-secluded and quiet  beaches in the U.S

Carova Beach, North Carolina

Close-up Photo of Shore

Carova Beach is the northernmost Outer Banks community and is only accessible by the unpaved beach. You will not find paved roads, you will drive mostly in sand dunes which will give you a wonderful experience. 

A four-wheel-drive vehicle is highly recommended when visiting Carova beach. Carova beach requires a  parking permit from the Friday before Memorial Day until  Labor Day. 

Covert Park Beach, Michigan

foot prints on the beach during daytime

 

Covert Park Beach located farther north of lake Michigan shorelines. The beach has placid waters and an undisturbed sandy strip. There is a campground at the park which adds value to the area.  A parking permit is required for visitors.

Cumberland Island Beach, Georgia

photography of seashore during sunset

 

You will need to catch a ferry to get to this  Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island.  You can enjoy your day rest on the sand dunes watching wild horses roaming or explore old Spanish mission ruins and 19th-century homes. Or, just relax by the surf. It’s a paradise for a beachgoer who just wants to connect with nature.

Duck Beach, North Carolina

brown rock formation beside body of water during daytime

This North Carolina gem can be found in the Outer Banks between Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. An unspoiled beach destination, Duck offers adventure and relaxation. Visitors will find clean waters and beaches, maritime forests, wetlands, and dunescapes.

Dry Tortugas, Florida

gray lighthouse near trees and sea

Dry Tortugas National Park is actually one of the country’s least-visited national parks. One can argue maybe because its difficult to get there.

The Dry Tortugas beach is only accessible by boat or plane. Its magnificent pristine, blue waters, and white sands it’s all worth the hustle of getting there.

There is a lot to enjoy when you get there such as its picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs, and marine life, the vast assortment of birdlife that frequents the area. It’s also the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson.

Dyer Prince Beach, Massachusetts

photo of sea waves

This beach with hidden pathways in Eastham shores small with calm waters,  but tidal flats stretch out quite far during low tide.

Dyer Prince is perfect for quality time with family and friends or when you need a break from a busy life and you just want to strategize yourself.

When you are looking for secluded, uncrowded beaches   Dyer Prince Beach is your best-hidden beach. Parking is limited but I’m sure there are some alternatives.

Fort Morgan Beach, Alabama

guard house near body of water

 

Fort Morgan is a relaxing getaway to a beautiful beach on the Gulf Coast. It’s a very secluded and charming best beach vacations surrounded by the Fort Morgan stone fortress on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

It has a peaceful environment, which is void of commercial property and beach rentals, serves up a view of the Sand Island Lighthouse and ships cruising over to Mobile.

Lovers Key State Park, Florida

Couple Kissing on Beach during Golden Hour

If you are in search of secluded beaches in Florida this secluded barrier islands were once reachable only by boat. According to local stories this beach was so isolated that only lovers made the effort to seek out the hideaway.

Today the island strip is more easily accessible, but it still retains a secret feel and has become a  popular romantic destination for spectacular, beachside weddings and frequently hosts picturesque gulf-side weddings.

There are a lot of things to do in Lovers Key State Park, such as kayaking, explore the canals and lagoons.

You may also see the calm, turquoise waters broken by a dolphin’s dorsal fin or by the strike of an osprey’s talons.

Montaña de Oro State Park, California

yellow petaled flowers near body of water at daytime

The park features secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Good for nature lovers, they will enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park’s trails.

There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. The best-known beach is Spooner’s Cove, across from the campground. 

There’s wildlife in the park that includes black-tailed deer and the black oystercatcher. The park also includes primitive and equestrian campsites.

It’s a nice place when you want to leave crowds and noise behind, and enjoy the quiet coastal trails that lead down to the water.

Point Sal State Beach, California

palm tree leaf near at body of water

Located in the northwestern part of Santa Barbara County, near the city of Guadalupe it’s one of the state’s most beautiful beaches, and one of the most scenic and least-visited. 

The  Point Sal includes about 80 acres and just over 1½ miles of ocean frontage. The Point Sal views will take your breath away. Lion Rock, located offshore, is an important bird-roosting site and is also used by sea lions and other marine mammals.

There are some activities that can be done while you are there such as fishing, beachcombing, hiking, nature study, photography, picnicking, and sunbathing. 

Swimming is not recommended due to extremely dangerous rip currents, occasional shark sightings, and the absence of Lifeguard service.

Roque Bluffs Beach, Maine

dock with railing near boats during day

This is one of the most secluded beaches in the U.S. It Is not well known by many people that’s why it offers you a private utopia to watch the sunrise. It’s a perfect gateway from a busy life. 

You can enjoy chilly water laps on the shores of Roque Bluffs, a half-mile stretch that shoulders Englishman Bay. There is a lot to do while you are there such as bird watching, enjoy interesting sightings at all seasons.

Bald eagles frequent the area year-round and many migrant species stopovers during spring and fall.  Also, you can be kayaking to explore both Englishman Bay and Simpson Pond.

The  Simpson pond is stocked so anglers you can fish for brook trout in the spring and brown trout through much of the summer. 

Rockport Beach, Texas

brown wooden bridge near beach

This small-town of  Rockport, Texas might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of beaches but you might change your mind when you get tome to explore Rockport beach

Rockport beach is the first Blue Wave Beach in Texas, it offers a healthy, safe, and clean environment and a lot to do activities. 

It offers clean play areas for the kids and a saltwater lagoon for swimming. There are several neighboring piers that offer fishing opportunities. 

Salt Creek Beach, California

five birds flying on the sea

The popular beach park located in Dana Point, California, it features amenities such as a half-court basketball court, beach volleyball,  and offers opportunities for surfing, swimming, and fishing.

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the beach serves up brag-worthy views, and the sandy strip is large enough space not to worry about sharing elbow space.

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia

brown wooden dock on body of water during daytime

Sandbridge Beach is a short drive south of the Oceanfront District, It is a secluded beach hideaway of pristine sand dunes and dancing sea oats.

It is a relaxing and peaceful community where you can truly slow down and unwind on your vacation. You can enjoy the view of the Atlantic which never fails to entertain. 

Also, it is a good place for outdoor lovers, they can enjoy kayaking, hiking, fishing and many more. 

Sunset Beach,  North Carolina

birds in flight from pier over cean

Located in the southern-most Brunswick Islands beach, its the best place when you want to gateway from the crowd. Sunset Beach was recently included on National Geographic’s list of 21 Best Beaches In The World, It has beautiful nature and offers amazing breathtaking views.

While there you can also enjoy the stunning  Bird Island Reserve, which features pristine sandy white beaches, high natural dunes, and tidal creeks. 

You can take uninterrupted evening walks by boardwalks or biking and surfing in the waters. If you are not into those kinds of activities you can collect shells while reconnecting with the natural world and enjoying nature.

 

 

 

 

 

Business, Culture, Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Adventures,

7 Best Digital Cameras for Your Needs | 2020 National Camera Day Review

Photography is the art or practice of taking and processing photographs. One can argue that you don’t need a good camera to take a good picture. All you need is a skill or creativity intention and there is no motivation like the upcoming 2020 National Camera Day.

But do you know somehow a good camera that has brilliant functions can enhance those skills and give you an amazing photo that you want? 

Choosing the best camera can also be a hard task. Today cameras have many functions that you might or might not need.  Some people choose the camera based on functions, portability, user friendly, etc. 

So we did a little research and found some best cameras that might be good for you depending on your needs or skill levels. 

1. Best Digital Camera for Beginners: Sony A6100

 

 

To buy: Amazon

The Sony A6100

It is a  beginner-friendly camera. The functions include a 24 2MP Exmore CMOS image sensor, the latest bionz x image processor, and a front-end LSI as implemented in Sony’s full-frame cameras which combine to deliver all-round enhancements in image quality and performance across all areas of photo and video capture.

This camera has an excellent autofocus system.  The battery can be charged inside the camera, so you can use external battery packs as needed. Great portability which makes it a great all-around camera to use.  

It comes with a great app and built-in  WIFI which is also easy to navigate and make it super easy to transfer photos from the camera to your phone or any gadget you want to.

Another good function is that you can use the app on the phone to control the camera,  I think this is so amazing because it makes it easier to take solo photos, or when you want to include everybody and no one is being left out to control a camera.

With this camera, you will be able to enjoy the high-quality image shots, the superb autofocus speed, and no problems with low resolution.

Sony A6100 is not the fanciest camera but gets a job done especially for beginners.

 

2. Best Digital Camera for Kids: Olympus Tough TG-6

To buy: Amazon

Olympus Tough TG-6

This camera is not only good for kids it’s also good for adventures and those who need a sturdy point and shoot. It is waterproof, can go 50 feet deep in the water,  can also survive a drop from 7 feet, and will even resist 200 pounds of pressure. That’s why it has been considered the best camera for kids. 

A child can drop it in the bath or swimming pool, throw it down the stairs, or walls, and the TG-6 will keep working as normal. Again  TG-6 is not a toy it’s a real camera but was categorized as best for kids due to its durability, but it does get the job done. 

It’s also good for adventurers,  for those who like hiking steep mountain trails,  skiing in the wilderness. This camera has been built to endure all the extreme environments.

You can drop it, step on it, go deep underwater, or out into a freezing blizzard the  TG-6  will keep rolling shooting awesome stills and video.  

The TG-6 has the following features; High-resolution F2. 0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back-illuminated CMOS Image Sensor. 5 underwater shooting modes including underwater microscope, 3 underwater white balance modes.Image File Format: JPEG, RAW.

The variable macro system consisted of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the lens. Waterproof (50 feet / 15 meter), dustproof, shockproof (7 feet / 2. 1 meter), crush-proof (100kgf), freezeproof (14 degree Fahrenheit/ -10 degree Celsius), anti-fog. 4K movies and Full HD 120 fps high-speed movies can be recorded.

Overall the TG-6 is a very good compact camera it takes good high-quality images, Pictures are bright and lively.   It performs well in low lights, and underwater photos are very strong.

 

3. Best Digital Camera For Travel: Sony RX100 VII

To buy: Amazon

Sony RX100 VII

Sony RX100 VII has Impressive performance and image quality. It’s good for photo enthusiasts and pros on the go due to its size and performance.  This camera has the following features; 4 K video with s log3 and Interval Shooting.

Microphone jack and vertical position data recording. Active mode image stabilization in 4K video recording and Movie Edit add on compatible. High-speed Autofocus(AF), 357 points focal plane Phase detection AF, and 425 points contrast-detection AF.

It also has up to 20 fps blackout-free shooting, using up to 60 times/sec. Af/AE calculations.The 20. 1MP 1. 0 Type stacked CMOS sensor, Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24 200 millimeter F2. 8 F4. 5 large aperture high magnification zoom lens

Ai is based on real-time tracking for stills and movies, and touch tracking. Real-time eye AF for human (stills and movies), and an animal (stills only)

This is a good camera that provides good images and not so complicated. It’s easy to carry because of its size, that’s why we pick it up as a travel camera or to go camera.

 

4. Best DSLR Camera: Nikon D780

To Buy: Amazon

Nikon D780

 Nikon  D780 has a balanced performance, features, images quality. It’s good for anyone who still needs an optical viewfinder and marathon battery life. His camera is good at capturing fast-moving action subjects and time-lapse sequences plus the best rich 4K videos.

Thanks to  Its 51-point AF system it helps detect and tracks subjects more tenaciously. The AF system brings huge enhancements in live view shooting, with wide 273-point coverage and eye-detection. 

Not only that it offers a rich array of advanced image-making options, from improved time-lapse movies to shutter speeds of 1/8000 to 900 s, and diverse movie functions including 4K UHD/30p with HDR (HLG) support.

Combined with the effortless handling of a touch-operable LCD, the D780 lets you stay nimble, and seize every imaging opportunity. It has great ergonomic, lightweight compared to previous Nikon generations. 

5. Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7R IV

To buy: Amazon

 Sony A7RIV  

Sony A7RIV  is a class-leading resolution and fast performance camera. This camera is good professional photographers and serious enthusiasts. It’s 61 megapixels (MP) is perfect for most demanding photographers.

The evolutionary leap in image processing power and efficiency of the Sony  A7R IV combines a high-resolution 61MP back-illuminated Exmore R CMOS image sensor with impressive shooting speeds of up to 10 fps with full AF/AE tracking, as well as beautiful 4K HDR video, wide 15-stop dynamic range, and high sensitivity with area-specific noise reduction.

Sony A7R IV has the following features;  a stunning resolution from its world’s first 61MP full-frame 35 millimeters back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor. High speed: up to 10Fps continuous shooting at 61MP with AE/AF tracking; 26.2MP in APS C crop mode.

Fast Hybrid Autofocus with  567 Phase detection AF points and 425 contrast AF points to cover more area. Advanced subject recognition, perform real-time tracking and real-time eye AF for humans, animals, and movies. It also provides accurate color reproduction.

Provide full pixel readout without binning in super 35-millimeter mode; S log and HLG recording feature for 4K videos.  It comes with an electronic viewfinder. 

 

6. Best  Digital Camera for  Video: Panasonic Lumix GH5

To buy: Amazon

Panasonic Lumix GH5

The GH5 is a hybrid camera that can shoot both stills and videos without cutting corners. This camera is for those who put much emphasis on motion content as they do on still photos.

It is the best mirrorless camera for recording video than most camcorders and it shoots stills, too. The Lumix GH5 has the following features; a 20.3 Megapixel micro four-thirds sensor with no low pass filter to capture sharp images with a high dynamic range and artifact.

Freezeproof to 10 degrees the durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use in the field; Splash/dustproof construction with weather sealing on every joint, dial and button.5 axis dual image stabilization corrects all lenses, including classic lenses not equipped with O. I. S, to eliminate Blur and nearly eliminate body and lens shake in both photo and 4K video recording.

Records silky smooth 4K 60P/50P (QFHD 4K: 3840 x 2160/ MOV or MP4) video with internal 4: 2: 2 10 bit 4K video recording, Plus exclusive 6K photo and 4K post focus records photos up to 60Fps. 3.5-millimeter audio port, connect to devices with USB 3.0, an external monitor or external Recorder with a full-size HDMI port; Available Twin SD card slots (UHS-II U3 Compatible)

Lumix GH5 It’s great for photos, video, and has cool features. It has a post focus feature which is great. The other best thing you can find in this camera is high frame rate capabilities and the uncompressed video. It can be used for interviews, professional photoshoots, studio work, and music videos.

 

7. Best  Digital Camera Overall: FujiFilm X-T4

To buy: Amazon

FujiFilm X-T4

The X-T4 is a  high-performance camera. It’s good for enthusiast photographers, or anyone looking for a one-size-fits-all camera. 

This camera is the definition of elegant styling that meets high-tech performance.  X-T4 has a powerful image-making tool that offers professional photo and video functionality that can be quickly and easily accessed at the flick of a switch. X-T4 offers five-axis In-Body Image Stabilization, autofocus sensitivity down to -6EV, and Full HD/240p super slow-motion video recording.

It also provides improved AF tracking performance and enhanced battery life compared to X-T3, along with a new mechanical shutter that is capable of making images at 15 frames per second and 300,000 actuation. High-resolution movie footage can be made at DCI 4K/60p in 10-bit color, while the addition of a newly designed optional.

Vertical Battery Grip uses two extra batteries to provide nearly 2,000 still frames before needing to recharge. X-T4 is the ultimate camera for hybrid image-makers who want the versatility to make the most of their creativity.

 

Africa, Culture, Lifestyle, Travel, Travel Adventures,

9 Best Beaches in Africa To Visit

Whether you’re taking a trip from Africa for some business,  safari tour,  a romantic honeymoon, or just a vacation the other best thing you can do is to have a  chilled beach relaxation on those of the magnificent beaches in the world.  

With clear turquoise water, so many stretches of white sand and different activities to choose from, it’s hard to choose the best beach in Africa.

Here is some guide to nine best beaches in Africa for swimming, kite diving, snorkeling, wakeboarding, sunbathing, and enjoying beautiful beach resorts. (in no particular order).

1. Nungwi Beach- Zanzibar, Tanzania

island

Nungwi Beach is located in the northernmost tip of Zanzibar and is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Zanzibar.

Nungwi has amazing white coral sand that seems to glow after nightfall. In 2014, Nungwi Beach was on  CNN’s list of 100 best beaches. Also in 2018, it made it to the list of Top 25 Beaches in the World in TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards. 

There are numerous beach resorts, hotels, restaurants, and bars that offer a variety of night-time entertainment. Nungwi’s extensive coastline is wide open for diving, swimming, and snorkeling in some of Africa’s most pristine, reef-rich waters.

It’s one of the rare beaches untroubled by severe undulations of high and low tides, making it perfect for all-day water activities. You can also see green turtles, dolphins, and whale sharks, and enjoy a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow sailing boat.

 

Best Place to Stay in Zanzibar  

Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar,  located on Nungwi Beach beautiful white sand and crystalline turquoise water that makes it a paradise. 

This place offers inclusive holidays/vacations with exclusive services of RIU Hotels and Resorts.   The rooms are very sophisticated and are notable for their designs and spaciousness. 

All rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV,  Minibar, and balcony/terrace. For those who prefer more privacy, there are villas with private pools.

Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel, main and theme restaurants. The hotel is  66km (41 miles ) from the airport. Also, there is a spa with a variety of treatments, beauty salons, and massages.

 

2. Anse Source D’Argent  -La Digue, Seychelles 

brown rocks near body of water

Anse Source d’Argent is one of the most photographed beaches in the world. Anse Source D’Argent is an Adventureland and is suitable for adults and children and is one of the most popular beaches of the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.  

The beach is located on La Digue Island and is one of Seychelle’s most famous attractions. Famous for its reef-sheltered, crystal clear water and otherworldly granite boulders.

It’s also famous for having been used in several prominent commercial shoots and films, including movies such as  Castaway by Tom Hanks and the famous Bacardi Ad of the 1990s.  

The beach can only be accessed through privately-owned plantation L’Union Estate with an entrance fee of 100 rupees, ( US$7.40) that is valid all day. 

The beach is very popular so that it can get crowded with visitors.  It will be better to visit early in the morning and return in the late afternoon to avoid many of the island’s day visitors if you don’t like the crowd.

Best Place to Stay in Anse Source d’Argent, Seychelles 

La Digue Island Lodge, this is one of the most unique and vintage establishments of Seychelles – surrounded by a lush green environment and a private stretch of beach.

The hotel is a time-honored establishment with its iconic Yellow House that transcends the island’s traditions and way of life. The unique beachside setting boasts magnificent vistas of the neighboring islands and beautiful crystalline waters where colorful sunsets paint the skies daily.

The hotel offers a lot of activities and leisure such as Spa, excursions & sightseeing, walk & trails, and fishing. Also, there are five different restaurants to choose from.

3. Grand Baie, Mauritius

people by the beach during daytime

Grand Baie is a  large tourist beach located in the district of Rivière du Rempart at the north of Mauritius. This resort town is the most popular holiday/vacation destination in Mauritius.

Grand Baie offers facilities for safe swimming, sailing, windsurfing, and water skiing.  It is also the departure point for deep-sea fishing trips and boat excursions to the islands to the north of Mauritius. There is good accommodation, bars, and restaurants, 

Best Place to Stay Grand Baie, Mauritius

The Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers Resort Its two idyllic beaches are protected from the wind and lined by former colonial houses with thatched roofs.

Glide across the turquoise lagoon on your waterskis, then enjoy some time for yourself in the Zen infinity pool. Embark in a family diving adventure among coral reefs and swordfishes.

Savor the delights of a tasting workshop led by one of France’s top wine sommeliers.

 

4. Nosy Be, Madagascar

two brown wooden armchairs on beach during daytime

 

Nosy Be Island is Madagascar’s number one beach destination.  It has turquoise water, soft white, and don’t forget the wonderful seafood.

Nosy Be is the best place for water activities such as diving which is a famous activity there.  Plenty of swimming, snorkeling, sailing, and fishing. There are also excursions to the surrounding islands. 

Best place to stay in Nosy Be Island

Anjiamarango Beach Resort Hotel, located near a small village of Befotaka 20 minutes from Fascene International Airport.

The hotel has 35 individual bungalows that are facing the sea which gives you a breathtaking view. 

There are a French & Malagasy cuisine restaurant and a lot of activities to do such as outing in the sea in kayaks, traditional fishing, scuba diving, and many more.

 

5. Saly Beach, Senegal

brown wooden shed surrounded body of water

Saly beach is located in the seaside town of Saly- Portudal,  50 miles from Dakar the capital of Senegal, and its 15 minutes away from Blaise Diagne International Airport.

The area has high-class luxurious hotels, casinos, and golf courses. This place attracts many tourists with its long arching beach, and palm-fronded hotel -restaurants. Saly beach has a lot of activities such as windsurfing, jet ski,  and sport fishing.

Best Place to Stay in Saly-Portudal

Lamantin Beach Resort & Spa, this is the largest seaside resort in West Africa. Built-in local style with a flowery garden and coconut trees around the area that is one of the things makes the resort popular.  The resort offers both land and water activities.

 

6. Camps Bay Beach, South Africa

brown mountain near body of water during daytime

 

Camp Bay beach is located in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s the campground for beachgoers. The beautiful Camp Bay beach is surrounded with its white-sand beaches,  hiking trails, and beachfront restaurants serving seafood and local wines, best enjoyed while watching a  colorful sunset. 

Don’t forget a lot of activities such as volleyball, beach bats, frisbees, etc.

Best Place to Stay in Cape Town

The Twelve Apostles dramatically located above the Atlantic Ocean, flanked by majestic Twelve  Apostles and   Table Mountain, our award-winning hotel offers luxurious rooms and exquisite dining experiences.

Savor seafood and fine dining at Azure Restaurant, enjoy delicious cocktails and breath-taking sunsets at The Leopard Bar, and luxuriate in our holistic spa with stunning outdoor gazebos

7. Bazaruto-Mozambique

green-leafed plant

Bazaruto Islands are located in Mozambique and are known for their unspoiled beauty and diverse ecologies. Its magnificent coral reefs are home to more than 2000 fish species as well as whales and dolphins.

There are a lot of activities to do in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Such as the diving and snorkeling in the Bazaruto Marine National Park,  kayaking and parasailing.

For those visitors who would just like to get away from it, all will find Bazaruto just the place to relax, sip cocktails, and indulge in a delicious seafood beach dinner or perhaps sail away on a dhow for a castaway picnic.

Best Place to Stay in Anantara Bazaruto Island

Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort, seats on the Indian Ocean coastline is an aqua playground immersed in brilliant watercolor. Breathtaking views, rolling dunes melt into the ocean.

Here you can swim with dolphins and experience the annual migration of humpback whales from July to September. The resort offers several activities like world-class diving, sailing, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, sunset dune boarding, sunset sail, and award-winning Anantara Spa.

 

8. Santa Maria, Sal – Cape Verde

people on beach during daytime

The fishing town of  Santa Maria is located in Cape Verde,  has beautiful beaches and lively evenings. It is a hot vacation destination. Santa Maria beach is a perfect place to admire the natural beauty.

You can soak up some sun in the afternoon in those golden sand and hit the bars and restaurants in the area. If you happen to visit in mid-September you will be able to enjoy their music festival.

 

Best Place to stay in Santa Maria, Cape Verde

Meliá Dunas Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury all-inclusive pool and beach resort. Located overlooking a coral reef with rich sea life. The tropical gardens make this place a paradise

The best place to watch the sunset, a good place to have fun with kids at the water park, relaxing at the Yhi Spa and enjoying exquisite cuisine in their fine restaurant.  The resort is a great destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing and scuba diving. 

 

9. Essaouira- Morocco

white concrete building near sea during daytime

The whitewashed and windswept coastal town of Essaouira is located in Morocco. This place has been a tourist attraction for so long.

There are long expanses of white sand backed by the dunes and a stretch of argan trees which gives a unique feeling. Its endless expanse of pristine Atlantic beach makes it a paradise for surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers.  

Best Place to Stay in Essaouira

Villa Quieta Essaouira, this former family place will take your breath away with its traditional architecture mixed with modern comfort.

While there you can enjoy its outdoor swimming pool located in a large garden. There are a lot of activities such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, etc.

 

Culture, Lifestyle, Music, Travel,

Happy International Dance Day 2020 | Most Popular Dance Styles

April 29th is a global celebration of dance,  the day is known as International Dance Day. One can wonder why the celebration is on April 29. Well, the event takes place on this day every year because is the anniversary of the birth of JeanGeorges Noverre (1727–1810), the creator of modern ballet. The day strives to encourage participation and education in dance through events and festivals held on this date all over the world.  Its also a celebration day for those who can see the value and importance of the art of dance.

Usually, on this day the outstanding dance personality is selected by International Theatre Institute to write a message for International Dance Day. There’s also a Gala celebration event in a selected host city, at which there are dance performances, educational workshops, humanitarian projects, and speeches made by ambassadors, dignitaries, dance personalities, and the selected Message Author for that year.

In honor of celebrating this day, we want to showcase some of the dance styles around the world. Here we go;

Salsa-Cuba

Man and Woman Dancing

Salsa is a Latin dance originated in the 1960s in  New York City strongly influenced by Latin American culture. Salsa is a result of the combining of  Cuban dances that were popular in the ballrooms and nightclubs of Havana by the end of the 1950s.  Developed by Puerto Ricans living in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There is a distinct salsa style from different regions of Latin America and the United States. Salsa dance socials are commonly held in nightclubs, bars, ballrooms, restaurants, and festivals.

 

Breakdance- United States 

Dancing Man Among Crowd

Breakdance also is known as b-boying/b-girling or breaking is a style of the street from the United States. African American youths created this dance in the early 1970s, by the late 70s, it started to spread to other communities and gained popularity. Breakdance mainly consists of four kinds of movement: top rock downrock, power moves, and freezes. Breakdancing usually plays set to songs containing hip hop funk, soul music with drum breaks, and electronic music that utilizes breaks also known as breakbeats.

 

Bollywood Dance-India

man and girl dancing

Well if you are a fan of Bollywood movies and watch those dancing scenes, that dance you see is what known as  Bollywood dance.  Bollywood dance is usually used in Indian Bollywood films. There are different styles used in executing this dance. The mix of different dancing styles such as Indian folk, jazz, belly dancing, kathak, western popular, and many more.  Bollywood dancing has gained wide recognition around the world due to his well-executed choreography.

 

Flamenco-Spain

woman wearing red-and-brown long-sleeved dress standing on stage

Flamenco dance is a famous dancing style that originated in Spain. Its a very highly-expressive dancing style based on the various folkloric music traditions of southern Spain. The flamenco is usually performed solo features hand clapping, percussive footwork, and detailed body movements. The dance is usually accompanied by a singer and guitar player.

 

Belly Dance-The Middle East

female belly dancer performing

 

Belly dance is an expressionist and impressive style of dance that originated from Egypt and spread all over the Middle East.  Belly dance emphasizes the complex movements of the torso. The belly dancing style and costume can be different depending on the country. 

 

Tango-Argentina

dancing man and woman

Tango is a social and partner dance that originated in the 1880s  in Rio de la Plata the border between  Argentina and Uruguay. This dance style is the combination of African Candombe Spanish-Cuban  Habanera and Argentinian  Milonga.

Samba-Brazil

 

Samba is a rhythmical lively dance of  Afro-Brazilian. Samba was created by African people in Brazil from the music and dance culture they brought from Africa. In other ways,  we can say Samba is originated in Africa. Samba music is influenced by Angolan and  Latin American music genres and dances. Samba is the most predominant dance style in Brazil and plays a big part during the festivals or Carnival.

women dancing samba music

 

Culture, Lifestyle, Travel, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized,

10 Happiest Cities In The World

March 20th is the  International Day of Happiness. Unfortunately, this year we are facing a global crisis that is dealing with  Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID19).

Sometimes good or positive news can make us feel better or get some sort of relief and here are some of the good vibes news which  The annual World Happiness Report has shared with the world on International Day of Happiness.

For the first time, The  World Happiness Report 2020 ranks the happiest cities around the world base on their subjective well being, social life, urban and natural environment The report shows the top ten cities are dominated by Scandinavian countries and only two United States cities made it into the top 10.

1. Helsinki-Finland

white and blue mosque among buildings

Helsinki is the largest and capital city in Finland is the home of 1.4 million people.  Located in the northernmost corner of Europe but it is an easy hub to reach with fast flight connections from East to West.

Helsinki has one of the highest urban standards of living in the world. The city has a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green urban areas.

The Helsinki Archipelago consists of over 300 mesmerizing islands. The rhythm of Helsinki is laid-back and the city is easily approachable. 

The public transportation system is one of the best in the world and it is also easy to walk and bike everywhere. Helsinki is wonderful and unique, it has dynamic food, design, architecture and famous for its sauna scenes. 

 

2. Aarhus-Denmark

aerial photo of building

Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark.  It is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula, in the geographical center of Denmark. As of 2017, Aarhus is the home to 336,411 people.

Aarhus is at the cultural and economic center of the region and the largest center for trade, services, industry, and tourism in Jutland.

The city is known for its musical history and its home to the famous annual eight-day  Aarhus Jazz Festival. In 2017, Aarhus was the European Capital of Culture.

3. Wellington -New Zealand

city buildings near body of water

Wellington is the capital city and second-most populous urban area of  New Zealand. As of June 2019, the city has a population of 210,400. 

The major contributor to the city’s economy is tourism. The city is a popular conference tourism destination due to its compact nature, cultural attractions, award-winning restaurants and access to government agencies.

4. Zurich-Switzerland

landscape photo of cityscape

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland located in north-central Switzerland.  Zurich is a home of 1,395,000 people. Zurich is known as one of the world’s financial principal center or banking city because is home of a large proportion of banks and financial institutions. It, also known for being one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Zurich has been famous for luxurious lifestyles, high-end shopping, and fancy watches.  However, despite being the most expensive city and it is still ranked as one of the best cities to live in the world and one of the happiest cities in the world.

5. Copenhagen-Denmark

two gray and black boats near dock

 

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of  Denmark. As of 1 January 2020, the city had a population of 794,128. Copenhagen like many other Scandinavian cities is a unique city,  known for its cycling culture, a strong economy, its shorter workdays, free college tuition, and more vacation days.

6. Bergen-Norway

town during daytime

Bergen is a second-largest city in Norway. It is located on the west coast of Norway, as of 2019 the city as a population of 283,929. The city is known for being an international center for aquaculture, the offshore petroleum industry, and subsea technology.

Bergen is a UNESCO World Heritage City and a European City of Culture.  The city has the ideal combination of nature, culture and exciting urban life all year round. In Bergen, you can also enjoy some of the finest seafood restaurants a lot of activities to do and attractions to see. 

7. Oslo- Norway

group of people on top of building

Oslo is is the capital and most populous city of  Norway. The city is home to 693,491 people. Oslo is the economic and governmental center of Norway. The city is also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry, and shipping.

Oslo is known for its beautiful nature and landscaping and a significant amount of oil.  According to several and UN reports it shows that the city of Oslo is of the best place to live in the world. Because of the highest Human Development Index and the lowest unemployment rate in the world.

8. Tel Aviv-Israel

people on seashore under gray sky during daytime

Tel Aviv is the second-most populous and largest city in Israel, first being Jerusalem. The city has a population of 4,181,000 as of 2020. Tel Aviv fourth-largest economy in the Middle East and has the 31st highest cost of living in the world. The city is the center of economy, culture and the media of Israel.

The fast way to get around the city by bike, Tel Aviv has more than 25 miles of bike paths.  Tel Aviv is small and crowded, by car you will probably find yourself stuck in traffic most hours of the day it feels every hour is a rush hour, so bikes will do you good in the city.

9. Stockholm-Sweden

photo of brown high-rise building

Stockholm is the capital and most populous city in  Sweden it also is the cultural, media, political, and economic center of Sweden. As of  2020 Stockholm’s population is 1,633,000. The city is known as one of the most inclusive and welcoming cities in the world. It also combines modern attractions with historic charm.

10. Brisbane-Australia

city skyline under clear blue sky during daytime

Brisbane is the capital of and the most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland.  As of 2020, the city has a population of over 2.4 million which ranks it the 3rd most populous city in Australia.

Brisbane is famous for its amazing climate that is perfect all year round. Usually its summer and winter, summer temperature can be higher 91F(33C) and winter temperature can be lower  68F(20C) it’s rare to go below 68F.

Please tell us your opinion.

Did you city make it to the top 10?

Culture, Lifestyle, Travel, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized,

7 Travel Television Shows To Binge Watch

Many people around the world have been practicing social distancing, these means no school, no work/work from home and no traveling. People are trying to be creative and do things to stay active. For those who like  to watch TV or like to get some traveling inspiration here are the best travel TV shows you can binge-watch at this time :

 

1. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Parts Unknown

Credit: CNN

 

 

This is an American award-winning travel and food show used to be on  CNN which premiered on April 14, 2013. In the show, the late Anthony Bourdain who was the show’s host travels the world uncovering lesser-known places and exploring their cultures and cuisine. The show is an eye-opener like the name of the show states  “parts unknown” you will be able to explore places you have never hear about it or know they exist. Cultures and cuisines that you have no idea exist. because The show has 12 seasons and was on from April 14, 2013 –November 11, 2018. It’s available on  Netflix, Amazon Video and On-demand streaming.

2.Rick Steves’ Europe

Rick Steves' Europe | PBS

Credit: PBS

This travel documentary show premiered  September 3rd, 2000 on Public Television(PBS). The show is hosted by American travel writer and television personality  Rick Steves. In the show, Steve travels across the continent of Europe, documenting his experiences along the way from big cities to small towns. All you need to know about Europe’s culture, traditions,  food, etc this is your show. The show is available on Amazon video and still airs on PBS.

 

3. The Amazing Race

About The Amazing Race - TV Show Information - CBS.com

Credit: CBS

 

Its an  American reality competition show in which teams are racing around the world. The race is generally split into twelve legs, with each leg requiring teams to get clues, navigate themselves in foreign areas, interact with locals, perform physical and mental challenges. The team of two travel using different types of transportation such as flights, boats, taxis, and public transportation all depends on where they and the limited budget provided by the show. The last team standing wins US$1 million. This show makes you curious about destinations, gives you ideas on where else you want to go and also entertaining. The show premiered on September 5th, 2001 and still running on CBS. You can also catch t on Hulu, Amazon video, On-demand, etc.

 

4. Samantha Brown’s Great Weekend.

Samantha Brown's Great Weekends | GAC

Credit: Travel Channel

This  TV show airs on Travel channels hosted by Samantha Brown. On the show Samantha travels to various locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe and describes her experiences and provides tips in staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and participating in local activities. This is a good idea for those who like weekend gateways. The show episodes are available on iTunes and on  Amazon Video. Nearly all episodes are available on-demand for free streaming 

 

5.Not Your Average Travel Guide

Not Your Average Travel Guide - Wikipedia

Credit: Travel Channel

It is a travel show which airs on Travel Channel, the show premiered on November 17th, 2006.  It has seven different hosts who call themselves “Travel Guides”, who are Bill Delano, Brian Knappenberger, Carrie Lederer, Kate Ward, Shane O, Joseph Van Harken, and Brad Hasse. The show features a specific city in each episode and gives an unconventional personal tour. They have several segments which provide small travel tips and facts, such as history, how to get around, where to eat, culture & vulture, what’s happening, and more. The shoe is available on Travel channels, youtube, and other online streaming.

 

6. Departures

Departures (TV Series 2008– ) - IMDb

Credit: Departures

Departures is an award-winning and inspiring travel television show hosted by  Scott Wilson who is also a co-creator and Justin Lukach accompanied by their friend and cameraman, Andre Dupuis. Departures showcase the revelations of two travelers who strive to find themselves and new perspectives while trekking across the world. The show is about the journey, rather than just the destinations. A lot of unique experiences through some of the most beautiful and remote places on earth. By watching this show you will able to see epic landscapes and unforgettable cultures. The show is available on iTunes and Amazon Video.

 

7. Globe  Trekker

Globe Trekker - Pilot Productions - Travel, Explore, Learn

Credit: Globe Trekker

Globe Trekker is a British adventure tourism TV show. The show was inspired by the LonelyPlanet travel books and premiered in  1994. The show takes viewers to unforgettable and magnificent destinations through its photography, rhythmic indigenous music, and spirit of adventure. Each episode has different hosts who call themselves travelers.  They get into the local culture, sample the cuisine and revel in breathtaking vistas. While keeping with their aim of “living as the locals do,” the show hosts Ian Wright, Justine Shapiro, Zay Harding, Megan McCormick, and others explore everything from big-city landmarks to exotic sights in remote villages. The show is available online streaming, VUDU, Amazon Video, etc.

Business, Culture, Lifestyle, Travel,

How To Travel Without Traveling In This Coronavirus (covid-19) Crisis Time

What Travel Lovers Can Do During Coranavirus Lockdowns

Many people had to cancel their travel plans due to COVID-19 (CoronaVirus). Many places have been shut down such as airports, movie theaters, shopping malls, schools, restaurants there is nothing to do other than staying at home.  As a traveler somehow you feel like you are missing out and go through all the cancellation of planned trips that can be overwhelming. 

Not just that coronavirus outbreak is ravaging the lives of those infected but it is also claiming the jobs of those in travel and hospitality industry.

Well, now that’s out of the way…

What does it mean to you and how can you still enjoy the piece travel from the leisure of your home during covid-19 pandemic?

There are several things you can do to make you feel like you are traveling again, in other words, we can say you can travel without traveling.

Learn A New language

Is there any language you will like to speak but you did not have time to learn? Or a country you plan to visit and English it’s not the first language? Well, it’s easy to do that because there are many resources available which can help you. 

You can take time and learn from apps like Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone, Busuu and many more. Also, if you are not into apps there is another option.

You can check out your local library online, they usually have resources for learning different languages all you need is to have a membership. Another option you can check on the Department of State’s website they provide resources. 

Virtual Tours

This one is good and can be a motivation to visit a place.  You can use Google Earth to have a virtual tour of a place you want to visit, it can be fun and also you can gain some little information.  The good news is, you can have virtual tours of some museums around the world. The museums which provide virtual tours are:

  •                   The Guggenheim Museum, New York
  •                    Rijks Museum, Amsterdam
  •                    Tate Britain, London
  •                    La Galleria Nazionale, Rome
  •                    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  •                    Museo Frida Kahlo, Mexico City
  •                    Detroit Institute of Arts
  •                   The Art Institute of Chicago
  •                    Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe
  •                   The National Museum, New Delhi
  •                  The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  •                   Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  •                   Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York
  •                   Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Research

This will be the best time to research for your next trip. You can use this time to think or plan where you want to go. Searching for accommodation, transportation and things to do. You can research if you can get good travel deals for your future travels.

Read Travel Books or Magazines

Take time and read travel books and magazines to get more inspiration. Books like  “The Alchemist “ by Paulo Coelho, “Unlikely Destinations” by Tony and Maureen Wheeler, and many more. When it comes to magazines there are a lot of them like Travel & Leisure magazine, Conde Nast, National Geographic and many more. I’m sure reading will inspire you more and will make you excited about your future plans. 

Work on your photography skills.

This is another good activity to do, you can drive around your city, I’m sure you haven’t been everywhere around your city or home town. Take some pictures of different places to create an album trying to edit them etc. This is a good practice, especially for photographers.

Find Something New

Well, this can be something to talk about, you can join a Facebook group with the same interest as yours and talk with people around the world with the same interest but different experiences.

You can learn and share ideas with them. Check out and listen to some podcasts about traveling and travelers.

Try New International Cuisine

Unleash your inner chef, have you ever seen a dish and you want to try maybe some BottargaGazpacho or Baklava? This will be the time when you can find recipes of any cuisine around the world and make and enjoy it. Some recipes can be complicated but that is what makes it a fun activity.

Binge on Travel TV

Shows such as  Parts Unknown by  Anthony Bourdain, No passport required by  Marcus Samuelsson, Dark Tourist, Rick Steve’s Europe, If you can scroll more on Travel Channel, PBS, Netflix, etc. Many travelers get their inspiration from watching travel shows and documentaries . Give your curiosity or want to know more about the amazing places

Final Thoughts

Lets bring all this together and realize that during times like these our creative and curious minds are more likely to appreciate small things the world has to offer. This is time for curiosity, planning for future travels and adventures.

If you like this article please leave a comment and tell us what you would like to read next.

Are you a travel enthusiast and want to be featured on our blog?

Please contact us with you story and would love to feature you.

Africa, Culture, Lifestyle, Safari,

Ultimate Guide On Planning Serengeti National Park Trip

Brown and White Leopard on Tree Roots

Where To Go And How To Get To Serengeti

Getting to Serengeti National Park can be tricky because people are confused about where Serengeti is located.  Serengeti National Park is located in Tanzania. So when you arrange or make your travel plans make sure your destination is Tanzania, not Kenya. Yes, you can get through Kenya but you will be paying more and you will need a visa for both Kenya and Tanzania, which have different laws and regulations and also different fees. If you are using a travel agency or any services make sure they are from Tanzania and also are professional and legit.

Depend on where you are coming from; make sure your port of entry in Tanzania is Kilimanjaro International Airport -Moshi/Arusha (KIA).  Kilimanjaro International Airport is close to Serengeti compared to Mwalimu Julius International Airport(Dar-es-Salaam) or any other airports.    You can arrange ground transportation(vehicle) from KIA to the park. Another option is taking a flight from KIA to Seronera Airstrip or Kirawira Airstrip, there are daily flights from KIA to the park.

If you decide to rent a car and drive by yourself a four-wheel drive, a land cruiser vehicle is recommended. The roads are not in good condition, the distance from Arusha to Serengeti is 325km(202 miles) and will take roughly 8hrs to get there, will be more hours from KIA.  But we will advise hiring a driver will be a good idea and will make things easier. Another option is to take a flight from KIA to one of several airstrips inside the park.

Accommodations

The most popular accommodations in Serengeti Park are various safari camps and lodges.  These accommodations come from luxury to basic ones. Some luxury camps or lodges usually come with a chef, flush toilet internet. Also there are some camps which come with a bathroom and kitchen but need to be shared with other people.  More info about accommodation is available here.       

Food and Drinks

There are a few restaurants near and between Serengeti National Park. The problem is they are a little bit far. But you don’t have to worry about that because most camps, lodges and safari operators are providing food and drinks for their guests.  For instance, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge provides buffet-style meals with a traditional safari theme. It’s a great opportunity to experience Tanzanian foods. Also at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti,   which has three dining venues. First, an outdoor patio with pizza and  Tanzanian-inspired tapas, then there’s a

buffet section with various African and international dishes.   Third, is Boma Grill restaurant. This has a nice set of guests sitting around an open-air fire pit as they are saving African dishes and watching the Masai perform a traditional dance. 

If you want to dine in different experiences many lodges around the park offer bush dining experiences, where diners can enjoy a private meal in the wild.

Serengeti Serena Safari and  Four Season Safari Lodge are expensive. It is something to do for an experience if you can.   There are other safari lodges operators that cover all meals and tours. Keep in mind that some of them charge an additional fee for soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Another option for those travelers who on a budget, they can purchase food at one of the park’s convenience stores to prepare at a campsite. There is a variety of food available in these convenience stores such as raw meat for grilling, snacks, and drinks.

Green and Blue Peacock in Forest

Things to do In Serengeti

There are a lot of things to do  to in Serengeti National Park such as;

Balloon Safari

This can be an evocative and romantic way to experience safari especially for honeymooners.  These Balloon safaris regularly take off from designated sites that’s in the Seronera area where the disturbance to animals is kept to a minimum. The safari vehicle drops you off at the take-off site and picks you up from your landing site. Balloon safari begins around 6 am and lasts for  1-2hours,  you will be able to see the magnificent wildlife below over several square miles of the park. The Balloon safari will end with a champagne breakfast in the bush.

Camping Safaris- In the Serengeti  National Park there are different ways of camping;   Budgeting camping, Fly camping, Luxury camping, and Lightweight camping. 

 

Budget camping

It requires traveling with all your camping gear, this includes a guide and possibly a cook in your vehicle with you. Once you get to camp everyone helps cook and set up. This is  good for budget travellers and also fun. You are going to use extra time in organizing your camp or cooking your food. So when choosing this option make sure you plan your things well otherwise you will spend more time in your camp when you could be out on game drives. Budget camping  uses the less expensive shared or public campsites, but exclusive camps’, or campsites with shower and toilet facilities outside the parks, can also be booked and used. Beds are usually mattresses on the floor of a small tent.

Fly camping

It  requires setting up small, temporary camps for a night under the stars, where there’s no trees or bushes.  Fly camps are the ideal end to a day’s walking safari or game drive, with many unexpected comforts .You get  a canvas washbasin with hot water, fresh towels, hurricane lamps and delicious food cooked on the fire. At night, the sensation of sleeping in light or just under a mosquito net, as the moon shines down and the noises of the African night begin, is the highlight of any safari holiday.

Luxury camping

The name itself explains what to expect . This luxury camping  offer feather pillows, soft towels, gin and tonic on the rocks and four-course gourmet meals in a candlelit dining tent .  The tents are roomy and comfortable, with a veranda in front and a bathroom with hot-water shower, washbasin and toilet directly behind the tent. The luxury tents have a bedside table, gas or solar lamps, chairs and a wardrobe for your clothing. A deep freeze will supply your drinks with ice and keep specialty food items fresh. Laundry is done daily. A large staff will ensure that your meals are gourmet and all your needs in the camp are met. 

Lightweight Luxury camping

Like the luxury camps, tents will have metal or wood-frame beds, standing headroom, a veranda, and small in-suite toilets and hot showers. Unlike luxury camping the tents will be smaller and  the traditional ‘A’ shape with a central ridge pole. Full staff are available and meals will be three-course affairs served by a waiter in a lantern-lit mess tent, or on a table under the stars. There  is wine, beer, and soda on ice in camp. Lightweight camps like this can be moved overnight and offer an amazing degree of comfort while maintaining the flexibility of a lighter camp.

Wildlife Safaris

Zebras on Zebra

The most important wildlife safari in Serengeti National Park  is Game drive.There are several types of Game Drives which are able to choose the types and durations of the game drives you go on. For the  group safari, the types and durations are usually predefined and fixed. For safaris that make you fly to the game park or reserve, the game drives are normally set and controlled by the lodge or camp you are staying at.

Game drives can be long, hot, dusty and bumpy  on the side note ladies don’t forget your sports bra is very recommended, but it’s a very fun experience.  Below are types  of Game Drive are:

Early Morning Game Drive

The  Early Morning Game Drive starts around 6 am and normally finishes by 8:30 am. Before living around 5:30 am  camps or lodges they will provide some little light refreshment such as tea, coffee and cookies etc. available from around 5:30 am. The breakfast will be provided  after the game drive.

Morning Game Drive

A Morning Game Drive usually starts after breakfast at around 7:30 am and finishes in time for lunch at around 12:30.

Late Morning Game Drive

A Late Morning Game Drive usually starts between 10 and 11 am, returning for lunch at around 12:30.

Afternoon Game Drive

An Afternoon Game Drive usually starts around 4 pm, returning before dark between 6 pm and 6:30 pm.

En-Route Game Drive

An En-Route Game Drive usually takes place in the morning or late afternoon , like its name states ,it  performs en-route to a lodge or camp etc. The duration of the en-route game drive can vary depending upon the trip. It  can even be just a short drive from the lodge or camp to the park exit etc.

All Day Game Drive

An All Day Game Drive lasts all day like its name suggests.  Lunch is provided, this game drive normally starts after breakfast  around 7:30 am and returns before dark between 6 pm and 6:30 pm. They usually   cover large parts of the park and goes long distance

Africa, Culture, Safari, Travel, Travel Adventures,

Best Places To Visit In Africa

Tourist Attractions In Africa

Africa, the world’s second-largest continent, has magnificent places to visit.  With its amazing wildlife and expansive landscapes its best for safari lovers and photographers. There’s a lot to see and experience cultural, educational, etc. Choosing these places wasn’t an easy task since there are a lot of amazing places with unique features and beauty.

Here are 9 of the most amazing places and safest places to visit in Africa:

1. Serengeti National Park In Tanzania

Three Giraffe Under Gray Sky

3 giraffes in the serengeti national park

 

The Serengeti National Park is located in best countries to visit in africa, Tanzania. One of the most famous national parks in Africa. It is home to the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world.  The Serengeti National Park eco-system is the oldest on the planet, also is home to one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Serengeti is famous for the world’s largest movement of animals also known as the great wildebeest migration.  The great wildebeest migration usually is when 1.5 million wildebeest and thousands of zebra and gazelle, move each year around the same time from southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing. During this migration tragic do happen, about 250,000 wildebeest die during the journey from Serengeti (Tanzania) to the Maasai Mara ( Kenya). The cause of death is usually from thirst, hunger, and exhaustion.

three gray elephants on ground during daytime

Elephants in the serengeti national park

You can visit the park all year round. The best time to visit is during the dry season (from late June to September) this time you can get the best wildlife viewing, in general. The timing of migration varies every year. The best chance of seeing it is during June and July. There’s a variety of accommodation available in Serengeti  Park from luxury lodges to mobile camps. There’s a lot of things to see and do in Serengeti National Park such as  Balloon Safari, visiting the Retina Hippo pool, visiting Maasai Village and many more. The park covers 5,700 sq miles, (14,763 sq km), it’s larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Also see where do hippos live

2. Victoria Falls- Zambia/Zimbabwe

Victoria Waterfalls Cascading Near Forest

The Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is a waterfall in the Zambezi River at the border between  Zambia and Zimbabwe. It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it’s neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is classified as the largest, based on its width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft) and height of 108 meters (354 ft), resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. 

You can get onto Victoria Falls through  Victoria Falls National Park that’s on the Zimbabwe side or the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park that’s on the Zambia side, which means that for you to see the entire length of this the largest waterfall in the world, you will need to have access of these two countries. So if you choose to visit one country lets say Zimbabwe you will only see some part of the waterfall and you are going to miss the other part which is on the Zambia side. Most people will generally choose the entrance based on their port of entry, meaning the entrance will be based on the country they are staying in. The two entrance gates are close to the border and they are connected, with the Victoria Falls bridge. 

Victoria Falls bridge is another attraction,  it crosses the Zambezi River just below the Victoria Falls. It has a total length of  198 meters(650ft). There are some guided tours focusing on the construction of the Bridge, and which include a walking tour under the main deck. Also on the Zambian side, there is a small museum about the Bridge which is free to enter and has a cafe selling refreshments. You can buy some souvenirs while you are there.

Also located on the bridge is the Shearwater 111 meter (364 ft) bungee jump including a bungee swing and zip-line. There is also a railway museum in the city of Livingstone which is in  Zambia. There are several old steam trains and is a good source of information for railway enthusiasts.

The best time to visit the waterfalls depends on your preference.  You can choose a high water season that is around March-May. During this season there are hot days and warm nights with thunderstorms. When it comes to activities is a little dangerous since the water level is too high. Activities such as white water rafting or swimming at the Devil’s pool are not recommended.  Another option you can choose to go on low water season which is September-December. The Low Water Season is a fantastic time to photograph Victoria Falls, as the cliff face is most exposed and this spectacular geographical formation is revealed for all to see. While the Rain Forest isn’t so rainy, the site itself is a lot less crowded, the skies are always clear, and the sun shines all day.

 

3. Spitzkoppe- Namibia

bald granite peaks of Spitzkoppe

Bald granite peaks of Spitzkoppe, Namibia

 

The Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite peaks located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert,  Namibia. The Spitzkoppe has two separate mountains, the large Spitzkoppe which is 1728 meters high(5669 ft) and small  Spitzkoppe which is 1584meters high(5196 ft). These are the most photographed mountains in Namibia. The area has a long history of habitation. Also, the caves and rocks have numerous well-preserved examples of bushmen rock art to view. The  Spitzkoppe area is good for hikers’ and rock climbers’ and has a nice view from the top. For those visitors that are interested to learn about this place, there are organized guided walks tours that are available. There are knowledgeable, friendly guides who will take you to view some of the numerous rock art sites, explaining the stories captured in the ancient drawings. The area also has a restaurant and bar, on the foot of the sprawling granite formation, there is a wonderfully maintained campsite where you can pitch a tent and stay for the night. The campsite also has some special barbeque places consisting of several secluded camping sites all of which have braai facilities.  If you are an outdoor activities lover, by visiting Spitzkoppe you will enjoy hiking, rock climbing, magnificent views, wonderful photographic opportunities.

 

4. Majorelle Garden In Morocco

The Majorelle Garden in marrakech

Jardin Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, Morocco

 

Majorelle garden also is known as the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, one of the most visited sites in  Marrakech, Morocco. It was created and designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle, who took him almost forty years of passion and dedication to create this enchanting garden. He started this in 1923 but was opened to the public in 1947. Jacques Majorelle resides in the garden until his divorce in the 1950s. In the 1980s  Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergè purchased the property, he owned the property until his death in 2008.

 

The garden covers nearly two and a half acres.  There are collections of cacti, exotic plants, and trees that are landscaped to emphasize each one’s unique beauty.  Another attraction is a Cubist Villa which was designed by famous French architect Paul Sinoir. The villa is known as Berber museum which features the collection of Majorelle’s paintings. There are also pools, streams, and fountains. While you are in the garden you can visit the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech which used to be Majorelle’s workshop. You can also visit the Yves Saint Laurent Memorial which was open to the public in 2017.

 

5. The Ngorongoro Crater In Tanzania

Five Zebra Grazing on Grass Field

Zebras in Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive, unbroken, and unfilled volcanic caldera located in one of the most famous cities in Africa, Arusha. The caldera measures between 16 and 19 km (10 and 12 miles ) across and has an area of  264 square km(102 square miles). Its heavily forested rim rises 610 meters (2,000 feet) above the caldera’s floor to an elevation of 2,286 meters (7,500 feet ). Ngorongoro crater was formed about 2.5 million years ago from a large active volcano.  Ngorongoro Crater is also one of the most visited African attractions. It’s located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania.

There are more than 20,000 large animals living in the crater, large animals such as black rhinos, African buffalo, Hippos, Grant’s Zebra, etc. The crater is also known for its densest population of lions. While you are in the area you can visit the Olduvai Gorge archaeological site,  the most important prehistoric site in the world. It is at Olduvai where remains of Zinjanthropus, the world’s first humans, were discovered by Dr. Louis and Mary Leakey over 50 years ago.

 

6. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Black Gorilla Close-up Photo

Gorilla in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a national park in Uganda, which happens to be one of the cheap places to travel internationally. It was created in 1991 and covers an area of 33.9 km2 (13.1 sq mi) which makes it Uganda’s smallest national park. The park is famous for its Nyakagezi gorilla family and is part of the larger Virunga Conservation area that spreads over the three countries which are  Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It also covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Muhavura, Mt. Gahinga, and Mt. Sabinyo. The Park is bordered to the south by the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and to the west by the  Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. So while you are there you might get into two other countries but you have to follow immigration rules and be careful if you consider entering  Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo because it has been threatened with political conflicts.

 

There are a lot of things to do and see at  Mgahinga National Park. While you are at the park you can see endangered mountain gorillas, Virunga volcanoes golden monkeys, mount Sabyinyo, Mount  Gahinga, Mount Muhavura, etc. Things that you can do are Gorilla tracking, volcano hacking, Golden monkey tracking, Batwa trail, bird watching, Garama cave exploration and many more.

 

7. The Great Pyramid of Giza -Egypt

People Riding A Camel Near Pyramid of Giza Under Blue Sky

Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

The great pyramid of Giza is the last remaining wonder of the ancient world. It’s part of three large pyramids in the Giza Necropolis located in Cairo, Egypt. According to history, The Great Pyramid of Giza also known as Great Sphinx of Giza was built for the fourth Dynasty Pharaoh Khufu or Cheops. The area also contains 3 small pyramids that are believed to have been built for Khufu’s wives.  While you are there you will be able to see the three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. First is the lowest chamber that has been cut into the bedrock which the pyramid was built and was unfinished. There’s also a Queen’s Chamber and King’s Chamber which are higher up within the pyramid. Around the pyramid area of  Giza complex two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu. One is close to the pyramid and one is near the Nile River.  There is also some guided tour in the pyramids.  

A lot of things to see around Giza, not only pyramids there are also some museums such as the Giza Museum, Solar boat museum, Egypt Papyrus Museum, Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre, Dr. Ragab’s Pharaonic Village and many more.

 

8. Fish River Canyon In Namibia

brown and gray rock formation

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in the U.S,  and the largest canyon in Africa located in Namibia. It’s the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about  160km (100 miles) long, up to 27 km (16.77 miles) wide and in places almost 550 meters(1804 ft) deep. The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. It flows stronger early in the season and by September usually dries up to form a chain of stagnant pools. The river also flows into the Hardap Dam which is the largest water reservoir of Namibia.   Water is safe to drink, however, the use of water purifying tablets is recommended.

The Canyon forms part of the state-run Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The Canyon hike is closed during the summer season(in Namibia) that is November-April due to the heat. The Fish River Hiking Trail can be done during the months of May- September and can be completed within 4 to 5 days, depending on how feet and fast you are.  Another important thing you will need a permit to hike in the Canyon.

 

9. Mount Kilimanjaro In Tanzania

mount kilimanjaro summit

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, with its summit of 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level and at about 4,900 meters (16,100 ft) high from its plateau base. Kilimanjaro is also the fourth most topographically prominent peak on Earth. Mount Kilimanjaro is located in the Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania.  Mount Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could erupt again. According to  WWF, the most recent activity was about 200 years ago; the last major eruption was 360,000 years ago.

There are a lot of things to do and see on Mount Kilimanjaro. You can hike alone or using hiking tours(this is recommended or best option) that explore the lower levels of the mountain, around the Shira Plateau areas. These are not one-day hikes, they usually three days and require you to sleep in mountain camps. You have to be careful and prepared there’s a lot of steep trails and lots of climbing over rocks and tree roots, as these are not well maintained smooth trails.

The good thing about hiking it will take you to see amazing craters, giant ferns, wildlife and plenty of scenic views. Another thing you can visit around mount Kilimanjaro Park is Chala crater lake. Chala crater lake is one of the park’s most famous sights because of its incredible waters, which range in color from turquoise to emerald green depending on the time of the year. A good place to take photos and create memories. Another thing to do is wildlife watching but this will require you to get an armed park ranger or a tour guide to take you on this trek because there are some dangerous animals such as leopards, buffalos and other large animals. A trek will also allow you to see baboons, bush pigs, mongooses, elephants and a number of other animals. Even though the trek is at ground level, you’ll still be higher than sea level, so you might have some trouble breathing and adjusting to the altitude.