Every year there are dozens of events and festivals across the globe that are worth visiting, one of those that stands out as an event that is worth the time and discomfort to see are the European Christmas Markets.
Each year the markets are flooded with visitors who enjoy traditional mulled wines and drinks, unique foods usually only produced during the festive season, each browsing the stalls for unique Christmas gifts, decorations and items.
For those brave enough to venture out into the cold the chance to see the old cobbled streets and towns of Germany and surrounds this truly is an exceptional time of year to visit central Europe. As things go we have a special departure upcoming in December 2015 for those willing to join us in experiencing this incredible time of year.
One of the places we tend to send a lot of travellers is Egypt, and apart from the questions on security, weather, what to wear, the general question that we get is what is there really to see in Egypt Outside of the Pyramid and the Sphinx? The truth is there is a hell of a lot to see in Egypt, and seeing it all would take well over a month .. which is a little beyond most peoples travel allowance, time wise and often in cash. So what to do in a shorter period say ten days to two weeks? Well, even on a budgeted time allowance there is plenty to capture the imagination …
When people consider going on Safari most consider heading to Africa – whether its Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia or otherwise. Very few people though stop to think that there are alternatives out there for Safari, or Wildlife Sightseeing. You can head to a lodge in Alaska, seek out Polar Bears or Grizzlies, you can take to the Outback in Australia and look for the larger marsupials. visit the Amazon Jungle and discover the land of the jaguar.
On the other hand, there is a country with a number of fantastic Wildlife preserves with the sort of wildlife that drives one to africa .. big game, in this case Lion, Rhinos, Elephants, Leopard and in this case Tigers rounding out the “Big 5”.
Yes, I am talking about India. The Dhole replace the Wild Dogs as the major canine hunters, the Zebra and Wildebeest of the Plains are replaced by the Sambuh and other deers of the Woodlands, the Gaur takes the place ofthe Water Buffalo and you find yourself sightseeing as often by Elephant back as you do by Jeep.
With dozens of parks, hundreds of species of wildlife and thousands of species of flora, one can spend weeks visiting the parks of India. or you can choose to spend your time focused on a few parks, or a specific species .. such as the Magnificent Bengal Tiger is on the following itinerary ..
When one considers ancient civilizations most think of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Carthagians .. those based around the Mediterranean. Far across the ocean from those who held sway in Europe though a number of Ancient Civilizations not only flourished but thrived well past the date when the Roma Empire (as an example) had collapsed.
As one journeys South in the Americas from Mexico, throuhg Guatemala and onwards into Ecuador and Peru you can discover thetraces and remains of some of the worlds grandest civilizations – that of the Olmecs, the Aztecs, The Mayans and the Incas.
While it is (as you would assume) my recommendation to visit a lot of South America and Central America as individual countries on small manageable trips rather than just one long trip as many seem to want to do, if you are after a trip to take in Ancient Civilizations then this is a possibility to do within three weeks (inclusive of flights) and cover the Olmecs, Aztecs, Mayans and Incas.
A three week trip would cover the basics .. one that wanted to cover the four civilizations in depth would take considerably longer, but the shorter one is suitable for most working people on holiday or those seeking an introduction to South and Central America.
For a tour that fits within a three week period we would suggest something along the lines of the following ..
There are a few natural wonders of the living world that people always seem to want to experience … one of those is the Annual Migrations in the Serengeti, when giant herds of Wildebeest and Zebra travel up and down the length of the Serengeti.
Approximate Migration Route
The great herds can be found around Ngorongoro / Olduvai in January moving south and then up north to the Maswa Game Reserve by April, crossing the Mbalageti and Grumeti and heading north via Loliondo to reach the Masai Mara by August where the herds turn around and by October are headed south again to Ngorongoro.
The migration covers the greater portion of one of the most incredible national parks in the African Continent and passes through some of its most scenic areas – the Masai Mara, Ngorongoro and Olduvai.
If you are considering a visit to experience the Annual Migrations it is a perfect chance to take in the opportunity to visit some of the Highlights of Tanzania, and Kenya, and to take the opportunity to do more than just see the big five, but possibly also take in some Chimpanzee or Gorilla Sightseeing.
With the incredible array of wildlife and sightseeing options there is an almost likewise incredible array of accommodation options – mobile tented camps, safari lodges, hotels, luxury tented camps and more. There is literally something for everyone. If you would like to see one of our suggested Tanzania Itineraries that can be used to see the migrations than read on ..
Over the last few decades Dubai has strived to become a city that welcomes tourism. The national carrier (Emirates) continually promotes the destination, and the city has continued to develop sights to encourage tourism – indoor snow fields, giant shopping malls, unique architecture, luxury hotels and more.
It has taken time but Dubai is recognised as an international stopover point, somewhere you can take a break between flying to or from your destination. Today, most people recognise the name of Dubai, few realise that there is anything beyond it. Some might recognise the name of Abu Dhabi, the capital, but the cities of Sharjah, Fujeirah, Ras Al Khaimah, Hatta, Al Ain and the varying oases, mountain ranges, ancient ruins and numerous off-road locations are almost as lost to the world as Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Beyond Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates lays an incredible destination, filled with ancient sites datingback to the days of the Spice Trade. Nature reserves dedicated to preserving rare species from Kingfishers, to Turtles to the Arabian Oryx. Natural wonders from the mountains and coats of Musandam to the Oases and desert dunes. Then there are the cultural centres, the religious sites and of course the resorts and opportunities that seem to hide around every corner in the UAE.
Still not sure that there is much to see beyond Dubai? We have several itineraries on this site that will show you otherwie, but lets start by showing you an incredible offroad odyssey..
Each year there are dozens of festivals and events world over that truly are worth attending, either as part of a larger visit to the destination that hosts them, or for the event itself. Officially every year on the 5th January, the Harbin Ice Festival begins, though in truth much of it is already on display before, and often well after the festival finishes. What though is the Harbin Ice Festival you ask! That is what we want to let you know about today.
Originally an Ice Lantern festival back in the 60’s it did lapse for a while and has since bloomed again into a massive international event, with Ice Sculptors from the world around descend on Harbin to prove themselves and display their skills with sculpting snow. In the frozen north a virtual city of ice arises, with sculptures ranging from icons to building, which of a night are lit up in a fantastic display. There are also Ski challenges, though these are less visited, the option of visiting Stalin Park, a chance to Ice Fishing, or Ice Swimming if you are as game as some of the locals. It is also a chance to visit the Siberian Tiger Park, a preserve dedicated to increasing the Siberian Tiger population, while not a draw-card in itself to get you to Harbin during the warmer months, during the winter it is a must see visit in connection with the Ice Festival. Harbin also boasts a Pole Aquarium, and is a fantastic chance to see Belugas, Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes and more.
This truly stunning event is limited to the winter season, for reasons that are obvious – Ice after all only lasts so long and under certain conditions – and is definitely the best time to visit the region. It is also a perfect time to combine Harbin with some of the more incredible sights of China, and encounter them in a way many won’t see, such as the Great Wall covered in snow. If this all sounds interesting just continue reading to see a suggested programme for the Harbin Ice Festival!