Posts for Travel Blog Category

Top Wildlife Reserves in Africa for a Picture-Perfect Holiday

Africa, Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - August 12, 2018

Africa spoils its tourists when it comes to choosing which wildlife reserve to visit. Africa undoubtedly is one of the most spectacular tourist destinations in the world today and offers many exciting attractions ranging from adventures in Uganda to bungee jumping to having close encounters with wildlife in their natural habitat! We feel that nothing is as exciting as the view of the king of the jungle chasing its prey, mountain gorillas or the popular wildebeest migrations. It is not easy to decide which place to visit and thus we have compiled a list of the top wildlife reserves in Africa for a picture-perfect holiday:

1. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

This reserve is as magical as you would expect it to be and much more! It is a pristine landscape dotted with Savannah, stunning acacias and roving herds. Serengeti is the recommended destination if you want to look at the Great Migration, which is the greatest spectacle of the animal species on earth with over 2 million zebras, gazelle and wildebeest changing their habitats! It is known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers some of the most spectacular views in this region!

2. Kruger National Park

Think of wildlife in Africa, and Kruger will come to your mind! In fact, the number of animal species that one can sight here makes it one of the best national parks in the world! It is situated in South Africa and some of the most commonly sighted animals here include the hippo, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard and rhino.

3. Volcanoes National Park

Another exciting and intriguing national park is the Volcanoes National Park located in Rwanda. It houses some of the most exotic and attractive animals, especially mountain gorillas that lure tourists from all around the world to Africa. Coming face to face with these vibrant apes and clicking a selfie with them is in the bucket list of many!

4. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

This is listed as a world heritage site and is located in Uganda. The abundance of mountain gorillas in this national park makes it one of the most popular national parks here. This reserve is set over a steep mountain rainforest and the latest count reflects approximately 35 gorillas in this park to today. It remains one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Africa and you should definitely visit it during your time in Uganda.

5. Kidepo Valley National Park

While it might not be as well known as a few others in this list, it is the most beautiful park in Africa. It is set against the stunning mountains of Mount Morungole and the plains of Kidepo and Narus Valley. The most popular animals one can sight here are the voracious Kidepo lions.

We hope that the above list will help you decide which wildlife reserve to visit during your time in Africa! Pack your trekking shoes and sunglasses and embark on an adventure of a lifetime!

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Most Exotic Beach Destinations for Globetrotters

Travel Blog - Ross French - July 4, 2018

There is nothing like a beach vacation to break the rut of your monotonous life and spend time relaxing amidst a stunning seascape. After all, who does not want to have sand in their toes and a cocktail in their hand while looking at turquoise waters in the front? Pack all the right swimming aids for your next beach vacation such as beach towels, sunscreen, first-aid kit and most importantly, the recent fad of tan-through swimwear for that perfect tan! Then get ready to embark on the most exotic beach vacation of your life at one of these destinations:

1. Bali

This list would not feel right if we ignored this Indonesian beauty, Bali has recently emerged as a favourite beach destination, especially amongst honeymooners. If you are looking forward to spending your special days at an exotic beach location surrounded by mouthwatering cuisine, tropical jungles and a warm weather, Bali is the place for you. Apart from chilling on the beaches, there are many adventurous activities to do here as well, such as whitewater rafting, jet skiing, quad biking, etc.

2. Maldives

Maldives is synonymous with true luxury. This archipelago of thousands of islands is nothing but a glamorous exotic destination to visit and is particularly made for lovebirds! With stunning sunsets, spectacular beaches and regal properties, Maldives is truly paradisiacal. There is something here for the thrill seekers as well, such as kayaking, sea plane ride, marine dive, kitesurfing, etc.

3. Mauritius

Mauritius is a favourite beach spot amongst many across the world. It boasts of eternal pearl beaches, green countryside and the ravishing cuisine. This island-nation is dreamy in this appearance, and has an exciting culture of French, Indian and Creole. An exciting activity that you can partake in here is hire a catamaran for snorkeling and relish a barbeque meal with your loved one. Recommended places to visit include Les 7 Cascades, Ile aux Cerfs, Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, Ile des Deux Cocos, Trou d’Argent Beach, and Le Morne Brabant.

4. Andaman

Popular as an erstwhile prison, Andaman in India is an island that will leave you awestruck with its mesmerizing beauty. Havelock Islands at Andaman is considered as one of the most beautiful and romantic beaches in the world by many. The most popular tourist attractions in Andaman include Radhanagar Beach, Blue Corals Dive, Kala Pathar beach, etc.

5. Bora Bora

No list of exotic beach destinations is complete without the mention Bora Bora. If you feel we are exaggerating, just type in Bora Bora on Google images and you will know what the hype is about. The sheer beauty of the lagoons and clear blue water is sure to leave you mesmerized. The best places to visit here are Mount Otemanu, Matira Beach, Bora Bora Lagoonarium, and Leopard Rays Trench.

So, if you’ve been thinking of planning a vacation, head to either of these exotic beach locations and have the time of your life! It’s not just the amazing memories that you will come back home with, but an envy-worthy tan too!

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10 Things to Know About When Visiting Nevada, Las Vegas

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - July 2, 2018

Known as the entertainment capital of the country, Nevada is home to some of the best tourist attractions in the U.S. It is unacceptable to visit North America and not go to Las Vegas. Here are a few things you should know before you visit the Sin City.

1.     Safety Rankings

Las Vegas is safer than it seems. Much like the rest of the U.S, this city is overall low on all the risk factors combined. The standard rules apply when traveling alone or even with others. In case of an unfortunate event, I advise you to consult a personal injury lawyer in Nevada straightaway.

2.     If you’ve been here already…

If you have been to the Sin City before, don’t count on it being the same as before. The city is constantly changing in regards to infrastructure and attractions. Many new add up and many old disappear.

3.     Carry Cash

Since this is the vacation destination of choice, charges on your regular ATM card will be very high. Other than that, when paying cab drivers and giving your waiter a tip, using your credit card won’t be feasible. Just pay them with cash.

4.     Proper Attire

Whatever you choose to wear is no one’s business but most restaurants and casinos have specific dress codes for entry. Some places require men to wear dinner jackets. Pools in Vegas are open all year round, so do not forget to pack a bathing suit.

5.     Free Drinks

A majority of places offer free drinks to players using slot machines or a poker table. Don’t be surprised or worried when waiters keep bringing you refills for your drinks. They’re on the house as long as you are gambling with a minimum amount.

6.     Budget Yourself!

It is easy to get carried away by the seemingly endless fun you’ll be having in the city, but don’t be. Make a budget and do not lose your way unless you want to be bankrupt by the time you get home.

7.     Avoid Visiting During Peak Times

This is understandable! Don’t plan a trip in the height of the season if you want to avoid large crowds and long lines. This city is just as glamorous during Christmas as it is during the summers. Except you will have more of the city to yourself in the fall rather than in the summers.

8.     Transportation

Unless you have your own car, the best way to get around is using a cab. Remember though, you can’t hail a cab just anywhere, it’s illegal to do so in some places. And again, have cash ready to pay the driver. There are numerous taxi services available all over the city, so you don’t have to worry about getting around.

9.     Get Your Bargain Game On

To get the right bargain, you need to know where to look. In most places, you will either find the next best and cheaper alternative or be able to bargain down to a price more suitable for you.

10.  Not Everything is About the Strip

One of the most visited places in Vegas is the Las Vegas Strip. Most tourists primarily visit the strip and end their trip there as well. Well, we’re here to tell you, there is SO much more to Vegas than just that one strip. You can eat, see and be entertained by similar places away from it and at cheaper rates as well.

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5 Fantastic Days out for the Whole Family to Enjoy in Devon

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - June 27, 2018

Ever since the rise of seaside resorts and the arrival of the railways in the late 1900s, Devon has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK. Famed for its fantastic beaches, Landscape World Heritage Sites and quaint villages and towns, Devon is a great holiday destination for the whole family.

Holiday cottage specialists www.bluechipholidays.co.uk have compiled a list of their top days out for the whole family to enjoy in Devon.

The English Riviera – Torquay, Paignton and Brixham

This string of family friendly seaside resorts host an array of attractions to explore and places to stay on the east coast of Devon. Steeped in maritime history and surrounded by stunning coastlines and countryside, the English Riviera’s main hubs of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham are the perfect starting points to explore the area.

The English Riviera has an array of top quality attractions including underground caverns, world-class zoos, waterparks and unique marine aviaries. Whether you want to discover the history and heritage of the area, relax on the beach or try your hand at water sports, the English Riviera has it all.

Dartmoor National Park

Situated in the heart of Devon, Dartmoor National Park is home to ancient landscapes, stunning views, wooded valleys and rugged open spaces ideal for those who like the great outdoors.

Spanning 368 square miles, Dartmoor is an ideal location for walkers and cyclists looking for wide open spaces to explore, while those who want something a bit different can learn about the art of sculpting at the Sculpture School in North Tawton, explore vintage fairground rides at the Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre or walk around the medieval monastery Buckfast Abbey.

Lundy Island

Situated 12 miles off the west coast of Devon, Lundy Island is a totally unique experience and is perfect for those who like wildlife. Due to its unique combination of environmental conditions with rugged cliffs on the west and a sheltered and calm east coast, Lundy Island provides shelter and sanctuary to migrating birds including Puffins, Skylarks and Pied wagtails.

With some 140 different bird species recorded each year, Lundy Island is a great destination for birdwatchers, while the sea is home to an array of marine wildlife such as Grey seals, Dolphins, whales and jellyfish.

Tourists can visit the island via ferry which runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from March through to October.

Watermouth Castle

Built in 1825, Watermouth Castle is now one of the top attractions in Devon and houses an array of underground tunnels and fortifications to explore, relics from Victorian times to discover and a variety of amusements to enjoy.

See what life was like in Victorian times as you walk through various exhibits with artefacts from the past, or explore the castle dungeon featuring craft shops from a bygone age, the Hall of Mirror and vintage arcade machines.

Watermouth Castle also features a 9-hole crazy golf course, adventure playground and a fantastic water show featuring music, water and lights in perfect synchronisation.

With an array of things to explore, rides to enjoy and with great views of the Devon countryside, Watermouth Castle is a great day out for the whole family.

The North Devon Surf School

A holiday in Devon would not be complete without experiencing some of the great water sports available on the coastline. Sailing, wind surfing and swimming are some of the more popular beach activities, but surfing what Devon is known for.

Awarded a Centre of Excellence by Surfing England, the North Devon Surf School has a purpose built facility located on Westward Ho! Beach on the west coast of Devon and specialises in surfing and paddleboard lessons. Whatever your skill level, the dedicated staff provide training for those who are looking to learn to surfers who want to improve their technique.

The facilities include heated changing rooms, hot showers, a surf shop and café, as well as a large collection of boards and wetsuits for hire. Whether you want to learn, practise or improve your surfing technique, the North Devon Surf School is well worth checking out.

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Your Checklist for Traveling Abroad

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - June 26, 2018

Crossing country lines and traveling internationally can be exciting. You get to experience the many cultures and wonders of the world. As anxious as you might be to board the plane and take flight, there are some things you need to keep in mind prior to departure. Planning for an international trip is a lot more extensive than domestic travel. You mustn’t only think of what you’ll do, where you’ll stay, and what you’ll pack, you also need to consider things like your health, safety, and unforeseen emergencies. To help you remember it all, here is an international travel checklist.

Copy Travel Docs

One of the worst things you could do while traveling abroad is to lose your passport, visa, or personal identification. Making a copy and leaving them in your hotel room gives you a backup in case your originals get lost.

Copy Tickets, Confirmations, and Itineraries

You never know when you’ll need to show proof of payment, a copy of tickets, or need to refer to your itinerary to figure out where you’re going. You also don’t know how strong or if there will be Wi-Fi when you need it. Having a hard copy of these things that you may have stored in your phone gives you a solution.

Check for Travel Warnings

Before making any final decisions on a travel destination, you should check with your federal government to make sure there are any travel warnings you should be aware of. Sometimes traveling to certain destinations can be dangerous for your health and safety. Registering with the country’s US embassy can also keep you in the loop during your travels.

Check Insurance

You should be sure to check that you have valid health and car insurance before traveling. It is common to rent a car when traveling abroad. However, you’ll need to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage and that it protects rental cars in another country. You may also need to pass other driving requirements so be sure to do your research.

If you get sick on the trip from the food, human contact, or an animal or insect bite you’ll need to be seen by a doctor. You’ll need the right health insurance coverage to get treatment while overseas.

Notify Banks and Credit Card Companies

It’s often better to use plastic when traveling as you don’t have to go through the hassle of converting the value or put yourself at risk for theft. However, if your bank or credit card provider starts seeing charges in another country, this could send up red flags causing them to freeze access to your funds. Letting them know ahead of time keeps this from happening.

A Little Cash is Recommended

Though plastic is the best form of payment when traveling internationally, a little cash is recommended. An emergency stash can get you out of a bind should something go wrong. You don’t have to have it on your person, you can secure it in your hotel room and retrieve it if and when you need it.

Know What Not to Bring

In certain countries, there are bans on various products and merchandise. This can include anything from food and medication to lotions and perfumes. Before leaving, make sure you don’t have any of this on you or it could be a major hold up at the airport.

Know How to Act

Many countries feel strongly about their customs and expect you to respect them. For example, some countries don’t want women wearing pants and prefer they dress modestly. Sometimes even the wrong body language or hand gesture can be a sign of disrespect. Knowing ahead of time keeps you from disrespecting another country’s culture without realizing it.

Research the Area

You don’t want to end up lost in a foreign country. Wandering around and exploring can be fun within reason, but don’t get too carried away. Before going, you should do some research on the are to find out what it is for tourists to do. Try to stay within those areas to find fun and entertainment.

Traveling internationally is an exciting experience that everyone should try at least once in their lives. Whether you’re going to Iceland, Japan, Dubai, or Italy, it is important to do your due diligence. The only way to ensure your trip is safe and fun is to make sure you’ve followed the guidelines listed above.

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