8 Great Reasons Why Cape Town Should Be On Every International Travelers Bucket List

Cape Town, known as the ‘Mother City’ to South African’s has remained one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for many years. In fact, in 2018 the annual Telegraph Travel Awards recognized the city as the world’s ‘Best City for the sixth time in succession. The question must be asked – what is it about this city that makes it so special? It is, after all, a significant distance away from other tourism hotspots such as those found in Europe and other parts of the world such as the United States.

For those who are in search of a vacation that will deliver memories to last a lifetime, here are eight reasons to consider Cape Town as a holiday destination.

1. Natural Beauty.

Cape Town is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The backdrop of Table Mountain which watches benevolently over what has been called the ‘Cape of Storms‘ is instantly recognizable. It is also home to the Cape floral Kingdom – a region of unique flora that is not matched by any other in the world. Traveling to the top of the iconic mountain provides the opportunity to enjoy one of the most spectacular sunsets on Earth. A boat trip out into the Atlantic will reveal whale and dolphin species that frolic in the icy waters.

2. Food.

There are very few world travelers who will not put the issue of dining very near the top of their reasons for visiting a particular country – and Cape Town delivers on its promise as a foodie haven. Not so long ago it was recognized by the readers of Conde Nast as the best food city in the world. It is the very definition of a city which offers a cosmopolitan dining experience. Fresh seafood, Italian and Greek cuisine, African inspired dishes, Indian cuisine and some uniquely Cape dining experiences make it a truly delicious experience.

3. The Beachside Bars.

Head towards Camps Bay, Clifton, Sea Point, Hout Bay or a myriad of other destinations and be rewarded with either a sunset or a sunrise which will take your breath away. Enjoy those overlooking pristine white sands and the experience is perfect. Enjoy the wonderful simplicity of fish and chips or haute cuisine and some great craft beers or sit back and relax with a fabulous cocktail and find out why Capetonians are so in love with their city.

4. Wine.

South Africa produces some of the world’s best wines – and some of the best wine estates in the world can be found only minutes away from the city center. Cape Dutch architecture greets visitors on many of the wine estates and cellars await. Add some fabulous restaurants to great wine and the experience is one that will not be easily forgotten.

5. Adventure.

Whether you want to get bird’s eye view of the city by taking part in a paragliding adventure or plunge beneath the surface of the salt to have a cage diving experience with Great White Sharks there is plenty of excitement to be had in Cape Town. Go scuba diving or bungee jump from the fourth highest jump in the world at Bloukrans Bridge. Go mountain biking or hiking – the choices are endless.

6. The Beaches.

There are very few (if any) places in the world where one can travel from the powder white sands at the edge of the freezing Atlantic to the beaches at the edge of the warm Indian Ocean – both within 30 minutes of each other. Take in the wonderful summer sun and get your bronze on or for families – some great tidal pools await for a wonderful day out.

7. The Big 5.

Big five africa – Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhinoceros

Why travel to a game farm or nature reserve up country when the Big Five (Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino) are all at the doorstep of Cape Town. From luxury accommodation to wallet-friendly options it will not take long for visitors to immerse themselves in the Africa of old.

8. Budget.

/ © Culture Trip

Visitors to Cape Town will be amazed at how far foreign currency can stretch when visiting. From high-end art galleries, malls with world-class outlets to local markets, it is one of the most budget-friendly destinations in the world. Visitors can enjoy fine dining at a fraction of the cost of other tourist hotspots around the globe – as well as shop until they drop. You may even be able to pick up a diamond or two for that extra special memento of your visit – and not break the bank.

Book your place in the Mother City and experience the holiday of a lifetime.

Read More »

Must See National Parks In Kenya

Kenya is home to breath-taking landscapes, magnificent beaches, diverse natural ecosystems, wide range of wildlife species, and hospital people thus making it an exhilarating destination for safaris. Kenya is a must-visit place and should be in your bucket list. Whether you want to soak up in the sun, watch birds and glorious sun sets, see the Big Five animals up close, experience bush camping; then here are the best national parks to visit.

Tsavo National Park

Located between Nairobi and Mombasa, tsavo has two major Parks: the East and the West Tsavo national park. Together they form one largest national parks in the world, covering around 4% of Kenya with sundry of wildlife and birds.

The sight of torrential crystal clear water spouting from the under parched lava rock forming the Mzima Springs and the Shetani lava flows is just a piece of the picturesque rugged wilderness. The Savannah environment comprises of vast open grasslands, scrublands, Acacia forests, belts of lushly vegetation, and rocky ridges that house the spectacular gaming views.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

One of the oldest and most loved Safari destination in the African Continent. This is the land of awe-inspiring vistas, abundant wildlife, and vast plains. It is renowned for the great migration that happens around July to September annually of wild beast, antelopes, and zebras from Serengeti in Tanzania into the Mara in search of pasture and water. The great Wild beast migration across the wide Mara River justly deserves a world recognition as one of the world’s most amazing spectacles.

Nairobi National Park

Right in the city, this is another must-visit park with panoramic views and interesting sights. At your comfort in the city you can enjoy and evening safari and get to view the lush grassland, stunning scenery, variety of wildlife and birdlife, and magnificent picnic sites, campsites and walking trails for hikers in the park.

Amboseli National Park

This is the home to the many of Kenya’s elephants and a fascinating stance to the exceptional views of the enormous Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is definitely a photographer’s blissful haven as it offers scenic landscapes, abundant wildlife such as elephants, lions, hyenas, cheetahs, wild beast, and Zebras, and an innumerable number of bird species.

Aberdare National Park

The Aberdares is a remote volcanic range that forms part of the eastern wall of the Rift Valley located in central Kenya next to the beautiful Thompson falls. It is very cool compared to the Savannah and offers a unique perspective compared to other parks in the country. The park lies above the tree line and has amazing scenery from the mountainous topography covered by thick tropical forests enfolded in mist. The park boasts of a range of black rhino and the extinct black leopards, and the other members of the Big Five. The park lures those who are looking for more than just a safari, it much more of flora and fauna coupled with high waterfalls, dense forests and marvellous hikes.

Mount Kenya National Park

The Mount Kenya national parks borders the second tallest mountain in Africa that dares tourist to touch and a feel of the skies. It is an incredible sight offering a range of wildlife species, amazing plant life and even birdlife. The awesome sight makes the park an adventous pick for travellers.

The park is minutes from the equator, and houses glaciers that shape the famous throne of Ngai (Agikuyu god). To date, the gates to this shrine are open and the public are welcome to offer their prayers. Together, the park and the mountain have the rare honour of being a UNESCO world heritage site and a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

When sorting out your itinerary, the above are some of the stop-overs or destinations to visit and get a taste of not only Kenyan and African exclusivity, but also the magic of God’s creation.

Read More »

Take Your Tanzanian Overland Safari To The Next Level With These Activities

Tanzania is one of the most interesting destinations on the African continent. It has built up an enviable reputation as one of the most wonderful countries to explore while experiencing the joys of an overland safari. It has some of the most breathtaking natural vistas in the world, the game that makes its home in various reserves in Tanzania is incredible (the Serengeti is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World) – and there are cultural experiences that will provide memories that will last a lifetime.

There are a number of different overland safari routes that are available to the modern day explorer. One of the most common overland safari routes is one that leaves the town of Arusha heading for the world famous Serengeti National Park and the extinct volcanic crater of Ngorogoro. En route, many tour operators set aside some time for guests to enjoy one of the other game parks in Tanzania such as Lake Manyara. Many also schedule time to allow visitors to Tanzania to take in the majesty of Mount Kilimanjaro while overnighting at a town like Marangu.

One of the most rewarding excursions, while engaged on an overland safari, is to take the opportunity to explore the wonders of Ngorongoro Crater. This unbroken caldera is one of the few on the planet that is not filled with water – and as a result, has become an Eden for many different game species. The thick, mist-shrouded sides of the caldera hold more wonder than magnificent views of its soaring walls. The profusion of wildlife here is simply breathtaking. As the mists lift and the indigo sky of Africa is revealed, the blazing sun lights up a scene that has not changed in thousands of years. Grazing species such as Zebra and Buffalo and the large shapes of Elephant and Rhino carpet the floor of the crater. Hyena lurk at the edges of herds and lions wait patiently for night to fall. This UNESCO World Heritage Site must be experienced at least once by any nature lover.

Another stop on the overland route is the village of Marangu. This is not going to supply the thrills of an excursion to the Serengeti – but it can provide some views of majestic African scenery and insights into the local culture.

An excursion to the Ndoro Waterfall is well worth the effort. Enlisting the help of a local guide is definitely the way to go. Not only will this make the trip a lot less stressful – but the guide will often be able to accompany visitors on walks around local villages to get a taste of authentic Tanzanian life. The Falls, which cascade 97 meters from the depths of the rainforest are definitely worth the visit. those who wish to cool off can take a dip at the base of the waterfall. there are also some great local restaurants that offer delicious food.

Heading down to the coast one stop that simply must not be ignored is the island of Zanzibar. Grab a local guide and ask to explore the local spice markets. For a more in-depth look at the spice trade and why Zanzibar was at the epicenter of that trade for many years visit a spice farm. Visit the holding cells that were the last stop for many slaves. During the 19th century, around 50,000 slaves were forcibly transported from Zanzibar each year. For a more uplifting and relaxing excursion, book yourself on a sunset cruise off Zanzibar. Local rum and beers flow and as the sun sets the local drummers to supply the beat on the boat. It is an experience that will live on in memory for years.

An overland trip across Tanzania is a delight. The sheer variety of experiences that can be enjoyed will delight those who wish to explore the wonders of nature, delve into ancient cultures and simply revel in the friendliness of the locals who call Tanzania home.

Loved this post? Another amazing destination in Africa is Cape Town – South Africa’s mother city. Check out this Cape Town bucket list.

Read More »

8 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Cayman Island Vacation

The three islands that make up the archipelago of the Cayman Islands are filled to the brim with culture, stunning natural beauty, history – and some of the best resort style accommodation in the Caribbean. The Cayman Islands are a haven for those who want to lose themselves in a paradise and throw off the worries of the modern world – at least for a while. The sheer number of attractions and activities that are available to any one of the almost 2 million visitors who head for the Cayman Islands each year make it extremely difficult to choose what activities to prioritize. After all, you can choose to laze on the pristine sands of Seven Mile Beach, swim with stingrays. Drift over unspoiled coral reefs, venture into the deep to enjoy a day of sport fishing or explore the wonders of the rain forests that blanket the islands. The Cayman Islands offer a world of possibility. The choice is difficult – – but here are eight of the best activities just to make that choice a little easier.

1. Tantalize your Tastebuds.

The Cayman Islands are regarded by many as the culinary epicenter of the foodie scene in the Caribbean. Visitors can enjoy anything from international cuisine to the freshest of seafood and local favorites. There are also a number of food festivals that take place throughout the year, for example, the Cayman Cookout which as once hosted by the late Anthony Bourdain – so you know that you are in for a treat. Of course, seafood should be on the dining agenda of any visitor to the Islands. Try a hole in the wall version of charred Wahoo or coconut shrimp. How about fresh (caught daily) chili oil flavored lobster tails. Or go for something exotic at Tukka – the blackened lionfish tacos (invasive species – so eat all you can). Enjoy live music at many of the venues – and simply chill.

2. Go Deep.

There are many who believe that the Cayman Islands are home to some of the best diving experiences in the Caribbean. Local lore suggests that given the fact that there are three islands in the chain it is possible to find a new dive site every day of the year. Great sea life, wreck drives and dramatic drop-offs combine with exceptional visibility to make diving the Cayman Islands an experience that will not be forgotten.

3. Look on the Bright Side – Kayaking.

A nighttime kayak experience off the islands should not be missed – the magic of bioluminescence lights up the ocean at the aptly named ‘Grand Cayman’s Bioluminescent Bay‘ on Grand Cayman. Take in the sparkling caused by tiny marine organisms that make it feel as if you were paddling through a galaxy of shining stars.

4. Saddle Up.

The sheer freedom and joy of riding a horse along the fringes of the Caribbean across pristine powder white sands should not be underestimated. A number of your operators are ready to make that dream a reality.

5. Dive, Dive, Dive?

No, not SCUBA – take some time to admire the underwater wonders of the Cayman Islands from the comfort of a submarine. Atlantis Submarines’ embarks from Seven Mile Beach and takes guests on a trip through an underwater wonderland. Along with 48 other people, you will experience the wonders of the coral reefs and the magical drop-offs where marine life abounds as you descend to 100 feet below the surface.

6. Go Caving.

The Crystal caves are a wonder of nature. The group of 105 caves formed out of limestone feature natural formations that glitter in the light. Guided tours make the experience both fun and educational. For the brave, there is the Bat Cave and for those who simply want to bask in natural wonder, there is the Lake Cave with its still expanse of deep green waters.

7. Don’t Ignore the Iguana.

Grand Cayman is home to the impressive Blue Iguana – which those interested in natural history will find fascinating. the blue color becomes even more striking. they can be seen at the ‘ Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park‘. They are a conservation success story. The population had consisted of only a dozen individuals at one point – but a conservation program has seen them bounce back.

8. See a Galaxy of Starfish.

You don’t have to strap on tanks to really experience the natural wonders of ocean life while visiting the Cayman Islands. Get to Starfish Point where thousands of red cushion sea stars can be seen on the sands only a foot from the surface. Easy to access – head to Rum Point and take Water Cay Rd to the end.

A trip to the Cayman Islands will be filled with wonder. Make paradise your destination today.

Read More »

Night Photography: Tips And Tricks For Best Results

Capturing scenes in low light is a tough challenge. However, there are thousands of stunningly beautiful photos of buildings by night, of the starry sky, or of solitary subjects on a Milky Way background. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to create gorgeous night photos yourself. This article shares a few handy tips and tricks to help you improve your skill and obtain impressive results.

A solid tripod is an absolute must, if you want results to be proud of. By night, the amount of light that enters the camera is lower, so the shutter has to stay open for longer, in order for the subjects to be visible. Photographing handheld without a tripod usually results in dark, blurred images, as holding the camera still for such as long time is impossible for most people.

The other must-have is a camera with the manual mode option. It doesn’t have to be a professional DSLR or a mirrorless model. A compact point-and-shoot will do just fine, provided that you can adjust the ISO value, the aperture and the exposure time. These being said, it is worth mentioning that it is possible to obtain great results even in the Auto mode, provided that you use a sturdy tripod and an ISO value above 800. In fact, picking the right ISO value is an art. The higher the ISO, the more background noise you’ll get. By lowering this value to the minimum possible value, you’ll achieve the best result possible for that specific setting and lighting conditions.

If you use a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, choosing a wide aperture lens will help you improve your results. The larger the aperture, the more light that enters the camera and hits the sensor. This means that you can use shorter exposure times or lower ISO values. If possible, try to get an f/1.4 lens, or at least an f/1.8 one. The latter are much more affordable and they are capable of impressive performance by night time.

Always take test shots to determine the ideal settings. Play around with different shutter speeds and with different ISO values. Try using the Aperture mode to see how results differ with the aperture of your lens.

In addition, shoot in RAW, if your camera allows it. By post-processing your RAW images in a photo editing software program, you can reveal lots of details that are hidden in the dark. Simply raising the blacks in the photo developing mode will enable you to improve your results big time.

Bracket exposure can also help you improve your night photography. Once you have a series of images of the same scene, you can either choose the best one or overlap them in your photo editing program to obtain an image that’s better than each of its components. There are many software tools that can help you achieve this.

Switch your camera on manual focus mode. By night, most cameras have problems with finding a subject to focus on. The manual focus mode hands you the control over which part of the image should be in focus. There are special techniques for shooting the stars, so make sure you read some tutorials on that to learn how to set your camera focus to infinity, and how to control the hue of the sky.

Last but not least, brace yourself for intensive practice. Go out there, by night, at different moments, to see how your choice influences the results. Experiment with different ISO values. Examine the images to find the optimal setting. The more you practice night photography, the better you’ll become.

Read More »