If any of these destinations tickle your fancy, then it’s about time to consider how to make your 2019 go with a bang; going on a safari might be the best option. Depending on the destination…
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No matter where you look on a safari you’re likely to be amazed at the wonders which surround you, and although there will be a wide variety of animals just a few meters away, there are specific creatures…
If you’re thinking of combining a safari with some time on a beach stop (or even a beach safari!) it might be a good idea to consider the best beaches in Zanzibar. Famous for its pristine floury white sands, soft ripples of green water and palm-fringed shoreline, when it comes to beaches Zanzibar does it best. Year-round you can expect warm welcoming waters to soothe your soul, wooden Dhows to drift past the horizon and be sure to spot some beautiful bold and bright birds flocking across the sky. The beaches of Zanzibar provide complete rest and rejuvenation, but if you want to step it up a notch you can also enjoy some watersport activity out on the small lapping waves.
As Zanzibar is a largely Muslim populated country there seems to be common confusion over what you can wear on the beach. If you are walking around Stone Town you should be sure to cover up with a loose-fitting shirt and long shorts, but on the shores of Zanzibar swimwear is perfectly acceptable, although topless bathing is unacceptable on any of Zanzibar’s beaches. So without further ado, here’s our pick of the best beaches Zanzibar has to offer:
Ras Nungwi Beach – For the Party Spirit
For those travelers who like to embrace a bit of party spirit after dark then the northern beach of Ras Nungwi will be sure to sweep you off your feet. Whilst the party vibe maybe a little more low key than many other island destinations, you have a complete choice of bars and clubs only a stone’s throw away from the sands. The tide remains at a consistent shift meaning that you can bathe around the clock without worrying about getting swept away by high tide. Ras Nungwi is one of the most popular beaches on Zanzibar so can be the perfect place for interacting with other travelers.
Paje Beach – For the Watersport Expert
Fast becoming one of the best kite surfing beaches in Zanzibar, Paje is gaining rolling popularity with young surfers and backpackers who trek to the soft white sands to soak up some action. The great year-round breeze means conditions are perfect for strapping kite and board to your body and picking up a fast ride on the glittering surface of the ocean. Again Paje is a great choice if you are looking to meet like-minded travelers and want to sip a cold beer in one of the beachside bars.
Kendwa Beach – For Desert Island Dreams
This beautiful beach seems like it was plucked from a tropical island dream, here all your expectations of desert islands can come true. Shimmering turquoise waters lap at your feet, wooden Dhows bob unobtrusively in the shallows and thatched umbrellas provide a cool respite from the flaming sun. Pack a picnic and sit back on the pearly white sands to soak up the big chill. You can also catch a full moon party on the sands of Kendwa when the stars are burning bright.
Kiwenga Beach – For the Bold and the Beautiful
Endless stretches of sand and designer boutique hotels make up this lavish and luxurious end of the island. It’s the place to be if you want to enjoy a little exclusivity and watch the shimmering blue horizon with a fresh fruit cocktail in hand. This little sweet spot is designed with pure elegance in mind, beautiful people stroll the sands and the lights glow from the local upper-class hotels offering plenty of amenities for those looking to splurge a little.
This guest blog post was written by Zanzibar beach expert Tom Powell, proprietor of luxury Zanzibari hotel based on the North-Eastern tip of the island in Nungwi, with stunning tropical garden surroundings, infinity pool and direct access to the stunning white sand beach.
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and one of the most populous cities of East Africa, providing shelter to 3.5 million people. Situated at an elevation of about 1,660m in the highlands of southern part of the country, it is the principal economic, administrative and cultural center of the country which is now one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in Africa. Modern Nairobi is still the safari capital of Africa, where the majority of Kenyan safari companies are based.
The beauty of Nairobi surely creates a magical spell on its visitors and it seems that the city never sleeps. The entire town has boundless energies and is a thriving place where all human life can be found. It is a great place to live, work or visit and offers a great contrast where race, tribe, and origin are all facets of Nairobi’s unique character.
Nairobi boasts 4 top attractions that shouldn’t be missed when visiting:
1. Safari Walk
Say Kenya and you instantly think wildlife. With extraordinary thrills, the city will make your trip more than worthwhile. Located 7 kilometers from the city in the south, The Nairobi Safari Walk is a nice introduction to Kenya’s National Parks and Reserves. It offers you an opportunity to learn what you can expect to see across the country and offers glimpses of Kenya’s rich animal collection, along with around 150 species of local trees. It is the only national park situated so close to a city center.
2. Nairobi National Museum
Recently renovated Nairobi National Museum is a good place to learn more about Kenya’s history and culture. The museum was managed by the National Museum of Kenya (NMK) whose role is to collect, preserve, study, document and present country’s past and present cultural and its natural heritage. It is situated along Museum Hill, a few minutes’ drive from the city center. Built in 1929, the museum houses a great collection of Kenya’s history, nature, culture and contemporary art. Major attractions of museum include Art Gallery, Temporary Exhibitions, Botanical Gardens, Nature trails, shopping, and dining facilities.
3. Nairobi Railway Museum
If you’ve ever wondered how Nairobi came into existence, the best place to find the answer is the Nairobi Railway Museum, located in an old railway building along Uhuru highway. It provides answers to many unanswered questions concerning the early history of rail and development of the country. The museum consists of the main gallery, the Resource Center, an auditorium and an outdoor collection of locomotives, wagons, and coaches. It is a worth visit site that you just can’t afford to miss.
4. Bomas of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya is a tourist village located in Lang’ata a few minute drives from the city center. It was started by the Government of Kenya in 1971 to preserve, promote and maintain rich and diverse cultural values of various ethnic groups of Kenya. It is among major attractions of the country which portrays true cultural values of the country in their pure form. The Bomas of Kenya put on displays of traditional dancers and spread over many acres. It also has a wonderful display of mud huts and traditional Kenyan homesteads.
The first in our series of guest blog posts comes from Ajay Parmar – a Wildlife Photographer from India. In the below posts he writes passionately about the little-known Asiatic lion.
The globally famed Asiatic Lion aka the Indian Lion, Asian Lion or Persian Lion is a subspecies of Panthera Leo Persica. Gir National Park in Gujurat state is the only place in the India where you can see Asiatic Lions in wild surroundings and capture images of them in their natural habitat. Asiatic Lions are smaller and lighter than their African counterparts, though are equally aggressive in nature. In the past, Asiatic Lions were classified into three different types – Bengal, Arabian and Persian Lions.
Whilst Gir is renown for the Asiatic lion, there are actually a variety of big cats found in the forests of Gujarat, whilst Indian national parks are home to five species of big cats: The Asiatic Lion, the Bengal Tiger, the Indian Leopard, the Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard. In earlier times Asiatic Lions had a range that spanned from the North-Eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent all the way to the Mediterranean. Over the years their wild habitat has been reduced by excessive hunting, water pollution, population expansion and a decline in natural prey.
The Forest Department of the Gujarat Govt facilitates visitors to watch and capture photos of lions through the Lion Safari Service in the Sasan village. You can visit a safari park for photography in an open vehicle along with forest guide after gaining permission from the Forest Department. There are three safari schedules are available for visitors to take an opportunity to visit them. Apart from Asiatic Lions there are numerous different sized mammals, as well as migrant birds to watch out for in the local dry deciduous forest. Leopard, Striped Hyena, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, some Antelopes, monkeys and small mammals like Mongoose, Porcupine etc. are frequently seen, whilst on birds include Eagles, Owls, Flycatchers and Pitta. (Brush up on your wildlife spotting skills by reading our guide.)
If you’re planning on trying to photograph Asiatic Lions in their natural habitat you’ll need to be very careful about your position and the movement of the lion. Your alertness can produce some awesome Asiatic Lion pictures and lion photos for your portfolio. If you have professional camera having long zoom range, you can snap some amazing Indian birds as well.
Must Do Things Whilst In Gir National Park:
– Prior permission from forest office to enter the national park
– Wearing the right safari clothes increase your chances of photography
– Keep binoculars and a camera with you
Where To Stay When Asiatic Lion Spotting:
There are many good hotels and resorts are located in surrounding of Sasan village at affordable charges. Typical Gujarati food and entertainment in the form of Dhamal dance from Siddi’s group are added benefits of traveling to the land of Indain lions.
Photos of Asiatic Lions:
Taken on location by our very own guest blogger, Ajay Parmar.
Catch Ajay on his wildlife photography website