Reasons to go on Safari in Tanzania

tanzania safariTanzania situated in central east Africa is a country that can offer so much. It is the land with such dramatic and diverse landscapes encompassing famous and romantic places including Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and The Serengeti. The Serengeti National Park is packed full of magnificent scenes of natural beauty and absolute wonders of the earth. The wildlife the country offers is truly astounding and the historical importance is amazing.
Tanzania has the oldest known inhabited areas on earth that date back 2 million years. It was also believed to have supported pre-historic hunter gatherer tribes. There is evidence of such people in specialist areas within Tanzania. In addition, the tourist industries surrounding Tanzania holidays are forward thinking and innovative. They are known to support many poverty alleviation and environmental protective schemes, using local resources wherever possible and providing fair pay rates to their employees. Tanzania adventure holidays can be a unique and unforgettable experience.

The word safari is said to mean ‘travel’ in the Swahili language and there’s certainly much exotic travelling to do on safari in Tanzania. One can travel to many exotic and scenic locations that are teaming with native wildlife.
Lake Manyara is one such exotic place. It is a massive alkaline lake that supports flocks of pink flamingos, en route there are herds of elephants and tree climbing big cats to be spotted. On the vast Serengeti plains herds of zebra, wildebeest and gazelle gracefully graze along with giraffe, buffalo and warthog. There’s also a chance to view the natural predators of these grazing animals in action, big cats such as lions, cheetah and leopards roam around the plains, sniffing the air for potential prey. The Ngorangoro Crater is an enormous crater left by a collapsed volcano. It is 16 miles in diameter and is covered on its sides by lush, dense forest. In its crater is natural grassland, wetland and a lake, ideal for supporting further magnificent African wildlife. Tanzania adventure holidays provide superb wildlife adventures.

The Olduvai Gorge is the area where the ancient archaeology can be found.
Also known as the ‘Cradle of mankind’, the gorge is said to hold the secrets of man’s early evolutionary heritage. Fossils have been found here that date back 2 million years. For those that want to immerse themselves in the culture of the people on Tanzania holidays, the experienced guides know of friendly local villages spread across the Rift valley escarpments that welcome tourists and can actively involve them in village activities. These activities can vary from traditional brick making in wood fired kilns to milking goats or jewellery making.

Accommodation on a big game safari in Tanzania can be varied but always safe and comfortable. There are bush campsites, (often with swimming pools), which allows the appreciation of the countryside and wildlife and are always fully staffed to provide excellent catering arrangements. There is also the opportunity of experiencing luxury camping involving thatched tented accommodation complete with en suite facilities and gourmet meals.
Comfortable lodges are another possibility while enjoying Tanzania holidays.
Tanzania adventure holidays offer lots of choice, there is something for everyone.

A Winter Holiday in China

beijingLast year I could feel itchy feet coming on as I did my calculations and realised that I had about a week off to take either in December or the first week in January. I wanted to travel far away and so I began searching!

My budget was limited to around $3,500. I had already been to South America, and Europe didn’t really appeal to me this time round. I wanted to go somewhere different. Given that China has always been a place I have wanted to visit, and you can’t say that it isn’t an unusual destination, I started looking for cheap flights to Beijing. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head. Would I have enough time to make the most of my trip? Would my budget stretch far enough to see everything I wanted to? Would it be better to save a long-haul journey for the summer when I have more time? I managed to find return flights with Air China for $1,528 from New York to Beijing and I just bought them without thinking twice.

I found China to be quite cheap, although Beijing is slightly more expensive than areas outside the city or less touristy parts. The good thing about visiting the Chinese capital in the winter is that there are fewer tourists, which means that sightseeing is much easier and you don’t have huge crowds of people in your photographs. Likewise, you will also find that entrance fees to most of the tourist attractions are lower, as are hotel rates. The downside is that it is very cold and I found myself constantly looking for somewhere to sit down and have a warm drink. I went alone and found it safe….in fact I found it more fun setting off on the adventure by myself. In the end the trip was perfect and I had plenty of time to sightsee.

cheap flights:
Air China:

5 Reasons to visit Hong Kong

hong kong marketThere are many reasons to visit the Chinese island of Hong Kong. It has an assorted and colourful culture which is so different to that of the western world in so many ways, yet at the same time so familiar too. Below are just some of the reasons to visit Hong Kong:

The nature of Hong Kong is often neglected in favour of the built up city centre. The fact is however that around 60% of the island is undeveloped countryside, meaning there is great potential for a day out. The parks in particular make for a superb day out, as do the natural beaches.

Street markets
Hong Kong is famous for its traditional street markets which for centuries have been the century of commercial activity on the island. Although the country has now developed, these markets continue to flourish and the nature of some of the goods on sale will leave you gobsmacked. The noise, smell and sights all together give these street markets so much character and value to the tourist.


Whether it is a religious festival or the birthday of a significant figure, the Chinese love a festival. There are various festivals which take place throughout the year, including the Chinese New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival amongst many more. Often, during these festivals the streets are transformed into one big party, giving the Chinese the opportunity to demonstrate their unique flair.

Mixture of east and west culture

Many parts of Hong Kong are well developed and have a distinct western feel to them. There is a thriving business culture, many locals dress as westerners and the buildings are increasingly large and modern. In direct contrast however, there are many areas which still retain their eastern traditions. This makes it a perfect locations for those who enjoy experiencing different cultures whilst remaining in close proximity to that which they are familiar.

No Visa requirement

Despite being part of China, Hong Kong has different Visa requirements to that of the mainland. If you are visiting Hong Kong for a period of less than 30 days you will not require a Visa.

Guest post by James who works with Hong Kong rentals and Paris apartments.

Learn How to Speak Beer

Adventures in Tokyo

tokyoIt was almost 2am and I had just finished my shift at the language school where I was teaching English. I had come here just over 3 months ago through a teaching agency that found me a good school to teach in. The students are great – mostly they are adults who are learning English for their work and i get along very well with them.

Well anyway, I was walking home at 2am – tonight I had vowed to politely refuse the karaoke bar offer from colleagues – I really needed sleep. The language school is in the Sumida district downtown and I live in Minato. The bus was late for some reason so i started walking keeping an eye out for a taxi on the road to hail.

I had barely taken 15 steps when I heard a barely audible voice say “Kane!”, while I felt something sharp pricking up against my back. I tried to turn around by now a hand grabbed my shoulder and shook me while poking harder with the sharp object, urgently saying: “Kane! Kane!”

It was obvious the man wanted my money. I knew that much in Japanese even though I’d only been here a few months. I was extremely nervous, but I slowly reached into my jacket while saying “ok” and turned around.

It was a kid just a bit younger than me with a Justin Bieber style hairdo. He looked really uncomfortable with his stanley knife in hand and gave me a shy grin. I looked at him and asked him: “You want a drink?”

He nodded. I walked with him to a bar across the street, got him a cocktail, ordered a beer and then we started to talk.

Basic Korean Phrases for Dummies

koreaIf you’re traveling to Korea, you’ll need to know how to say some basic things as it’s not guaranteed that everyone you meet will be able to speak English. Korean is itself not too difficult a language to learn. The biggest barrier for most people seems to be the script, but that’s not an issue once you sit down to learn it. It’s all very logical and is based on easy to remember syllable sounds that are a combination of a consonant and a vowel. You can learn the script literally in a few days, then it’s just a matter of practice to read it and write it.

Another difficult part of Korean is that it uses several thousand Chinese characters, commonly known as kanji. These are of course more difficult to learn, but they’re not impossible. They’re much harder to write though. They are often used in Korean to represent ideas or concepts, such as ‘love’, ‘hate’, ‘happiness’ and so on.


Some common greetings in Korean:

good morning/afternoon        annyong haseyo
good evening                annyong hashimnikka

goodbye                    annyonghi kasayo

good night                annyonghi jumushipsiyo


How are you?                Ch’oum poepgetsumnida.

My name is___                Chonun ______ imnida.

How are you? (informal)        Ottoshimnikka?

Hello? (phone)                Yoboseyo?

Common Phrases

Do you speak English?        Yeongeorul malsum halsu isseoyo?

Yes                        Ne

No                        Aniyo

Thank you                Kamsahaimnida

Sorry                    Mianhamnida


1        hana            11        yol-hana

2        tul            12        yol-tul

3        set            13        yol-set

4        net            14        yol-net

5        tasot            15        yol-tasot

6        yosot        16        yol-yosot

7        ilgop            17        yol-ilgop

8        yodolp        18        yol-yodolp

9        ahop            19        yol-ahop

10        yol            20        sumul

30        sorun        40        mahun

50        shween        60        yesun

70        irun            80        yodun

90        ahun            100        baek

200        ee-baek        1000        ch’eon

10,000    man            100,000    ship-man

1,000,000        baek-man

This is just a few of the most important words and vocabulary to get you started in Korean. There are many resources available online to learn the language properly for your trip to Korea.

Traveling to India

delhiI love travelling. I have toured South America, Europe and now I want to discover Asia. There is only one problem. I’m not keen on flying. Perhaps that sounds strange given that I have travelled so much. However, I just can’t help but worry every time I step on an aeroplane for a long-haul flight.

Last January I decided that this would be the year I visit Asia. So I went online and managed to find cheap flights to Delhi with a number of different airlines. Normally I fly with well known companies, but I had never heard of Kingfisher, Gulf Air, Jet Airways and Emirates before, so I was a bit concerned about the service and credibility. This is something which I think is very important when choosing an airline and especially for long-haul flights. To help me decide, I spent an hour reading travel reviews. By searching online you can find reviews on booking, check in, the in-flight service etc. written by other passengers who have travelled with the airline. This was crucial in helping me decide which to choose. Emirates got the best appraisal and so I decided to book with this company. There was only $40 difference between the cheapest airfare and the Emirates flight so I was happy to pay this in the hope of a better service.

I am just back from my trip to Delhi. The flight was absolutely fine and I have no complaints….and now I am even more enthusiastic than ever about visiting other countries in Asia. Delhi is crazy and a city of contrasts. Here you can compare the striking poverty and chaotic traffic with the beauty of its sacred buildings and elaborate monuments. With tourist attractions as famous as Red Fort and the Taj Mahal, I highly recommend visiting Delhi.

Elephant Trekking in Laos

elephantIn Laos, opportunities for tourists are endless. The tiny landlocked country in Asia, wedged between Vietnam and Thailand offers a host of unique activities, but one of the most famous and most well-loved are the elephant treks across the jungles.

Basically, when you are out of the bustling hub of Vientiane and the markets and endless propositions for you to part with your hard-earned dollars, you arrive in smaller towns and even villages full of smiling locals. Getting off the beaten track like this is a dream come true for many young gap-year students or even older people whose kids are now all grown up and they can use the opportunity to give themselves a treat.

One of the most famous places to go elephant trekking in Laos is the Elephant Mahout Camp, which is a parody obviously of the concept of a ‘boot camp.’ This association says that they can divulge to you the ‘secret language of the elephants’, ‘a firsthand jungle experience’ and even to be ‘part of their sacred bathing rituals.’

This form of sustainable and altruistic tourism is practiced at the Tiger Trail Elephant Village as well, where tourist funds are channeled into development projects for the elephants, the local economy, conservation in the jungle and sustainable development for nearby villages and communities.

Most elephant treks can be had for a fee of about 100 USD, though even this might be a bit pricey for the avid backpacker.

The adventurous tourist is usually greeted with either well-furnished hotel rooms or cabins near the jungle where the tour is to take place. For every elephant there are two people – your driver and you. For the particularly brave souls among us, they even offer you the chance to ride on the back of the elephant’s neck without a saddle.

This is one experience you’ll never forget about your stay in Laos!

Good Advice for Traveling to Asia

asiaTraveling to Asia gives you a perfect experience where you can exercise your new language learning experiences, if you’ve mastered one of the many languages spoken in Asia. Since one of the best ways to learn a language—and to use it, once you’ve learned it—is by traveling and living in the country where the language is spoken, traveling to Asia can be a great way to further develop some of the new languages you learned.

As you probably figured, though, traveling to Asia is not like traveling to a destination inside the United States, or even like Canada or Europe. Not only is the language structure very different in many Asian countries, but the things that you need to know before traveling are also very different. Here are some things to keep in mind as you travel to Asia, and before you get there:

  1. Be prepared in advance for a long flight. The biggest thing you need to remember about getting from the United States to Asia is that your flight, no matter what part of Asia you’re traveling to, or where in the United States you’re leaving from, is going to be long. Plan on having a flight that is at least several hours, and bring enough with you to either help you sleep, or keep you entertained during the flight. Your flight will be even longer if you’re traveling from Europe, and you may want to make the decision to buy a business class seat where you can be more comfortable.
  2. Remember to get your visa before you go—and do it well in advance of when you plan to travel. Many Asian countries require that travelers from the United States and Europe have tourist visas before traveling. You may need to get these months in advance of when you travel, unless you are willing to pay for expediting costs or you have a business that is sending you to Asia.
  3. Keep an open mind with regard to food. Asia presents many opportunities to try food that you’ve never heard of, and probably have never tried. Don’t try to seek out familiar, Western food when you’re traveling in Asia. Instead, take advantage of this experience and try new foods that you definitely won’t be able to get as take out at home.
  4. Remember that not all hotels are like those we have in the United States. This tip is very similar to the idea of keeping your mind open about food. Although many American and European chains do have locations in Asian countries, don’t expect even from those chains that you’re going to have the same level of amenities and room that you’d have in an American hotel room. In the larger cities, such as Tokyo and Beijing, space is at a premium and you’re going to have to accept up front that your hotel room may be smaller than what you’re anticipating.

Why Vietnam?

vietnamThere are so many countries I want to visit. Some of the top destinations on my list are Egypt, Thailand, Brazil and The Maldives. It wasn’t until I came across a travel review on Vietnam that I decided it was also a country I would have to visit at some point.

When I organize my holidays, I usually price flights to a number of destinations and choose the cheapest. At first I was surprised at how expensive it is to fly to Vietnam. After all, it is a long trip from the US to Vietnam. However, after looking long and hard I managed to find better airfares off-peak. I hadn’t planned to travel in March, but I am quite flexible with travel dates and am lucky I can do so. Plus, I figured it would be cheap when I got there.

I travelled with American Airlines from JFK airport in New York to Noibai Airport in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The flight was delayed for about 2 hours, but other than that there were no other issues. I have elite flight status with AA so at least I got to hang out in the airport lounge while I waited. After you arrive in Hanoi, you can take a bus from the airport to Hanoi city centre and the journey takes about 30 minutes.

Before travelling I had heard that Vietnam is very scenic and cheap. I can confirm both of these rumors. Perhaps tourism isn’t as developed as in other Asian countries…but if you love an adventure, and our open minded and easy going, you are sure to love Vietnam. I spent three weeks in the country and tried to travel a bit. I enjoyed staying in Hanoi for a few days and paid under $20 per night for three star accommodation. Some of the tourist attractions I loved in this city were the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre, the History Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can a mummified version of Ho Chi Minh himself. I also had the chance to escape the city and see the natural beauty of Vietnam at the Tam Dao Hill Station. Visiting Vietnam was a once in a lifetime experience and every time I leave a county in Asia I want to return.