Monday, 31 August 2009


Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya's finest wildlife reserve and the most famous of the Kenyan game parks, the park offers lots of wild animals nature has to offer, including the African elephant, the African buffalo (Cape Buffalo), the leopard, the lion, and the rhinoceros and much more. In addition to the animals here, visitors will be treated to big skies, sprawling savannahs, and so much more. The Masai Mara game park is also home to the Masai people, who are known for their tall stature.

Victoria Falls, Zambia-Zimbabwe Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World; the falls is on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and can be seen from either country. Over a mile long, during the rainy season over 500 million litres of water plunges into the river Zambezi generating a huge amount of spray that shoots up a thousand feet into the sky and can be seen from 30 miles away! The falls are part of two national parks - Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe and its unique geography can ensure that one gets a face-on view of the falls to enjoy its spray, noise and the omni-present rainbows over the falls. The best time to visit is between March and May in the rains when the falls is in full splendor.

3. The Pyramids and Sphinx of Egypt
The Pyramids of ancient Egypt is one of the most astonishing architectural feats of mankind! The Pyramids are the last surviving members of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Pyramid of Cheops took 20000 laborers, 2 million blocks of stone weighing 2.5 tons each to build! Climbing up the walls of the pyramids is strictly prohibited. A visit to the Pyramid is like stepping back in time and it takes a great effort for one not to be captivated by them.

4. Timbuktu - Mali
Timbuktu is in Mali, It is also at the intersection of an east–west and a north–south Trans-Saharan trade route across the Sahara to Araouane. It was important historically (and still is today) as an entrepot for rock-salt originally from Taghaza, now from Taoudenni. Its geographical setting made it a natural meeting point for nearby west African populations and nomadic Berber and Arab peoples from the north. Its long history as a trading outpost that linked west Africa with Berber, Arab, and Jewish traders throughout north Africa. Timbuktu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Timbuktu (Tombouctou in French) means a well owned by a woman with a great belly button!

5. Cape Town - South Africa
Cape Town unforgettable image of the city is the backdrop of the huge Table Mountain that stands smack in the middle of the city and overlooks the harbor. A ride by cable car to the top is exhilarating. The Table Mountain has numerous bird and animal species along with an abundant bloom of flowers.
The city offers myriad attractions like amusement parks, trips to the wine heartlands in the Western Cape, a trip to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years), there is also cage-diving to watch the great white sharks, whale-watching trips, numerous shopping malls, the absolutely fantastic Victoria and Albert waterfront area - the list is endless. There are numerous beaches around the city and caters to all kinds of people on vaction.

6. Marrakech - Morrocco

Marrakech is the cultural center of Morrocco, it has an historical feel to the city. If shopping is what you engoy a nice market scenes laden with carpet salesmen, fire jugglers, hookah-smoking then get 3 days of Marrakech and enjoy it to the hilt. Take in the tranquility of the Majorelle gardens, the gardens around Saadian Tomb and enjoy a nice, cool cup of mint tea in Riad. Avoid the hot summer months and try to visit between September and May. The city hosts the annual Marrakech popular arts festival in July every year, Fantasia (a horse-riding spectacle in which men and women compete in traditional attires and the Berber tribe Imilchil marriage festival. For those who want to experience skiing in Africa, Oukaimden ski resort is less than 50 miles away and offers the chance to ski down the Atlas mountains.

7. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Mt. Kilimanjaro situated in Northern Tanzania near the kenyan border, is the tallest mountain in Africa. The mountain offers the chance for even an inexperienced climber to summit the peak. It is the world's tallest walkable peak and the 5 zones of climatic changes that one encounters during the walk is breathtaking. Any one who is fit can climb this mountain and reach the summit - Uhuru (freedom in Swahili) Peak. The whole climb takes about 5 days but pace yourself to summit it in 5-7 days to avoid the dangerous and often fatal condition called as acute mountain sickness. The trek can cost anywhere between 2000-5000 dollars and get yourself a good tour guide who can offer good and safe chances at summitting. The scenery of the sun rising over the mountain peak at dawn (when summitting is attempted) is unforgettable.

8 Zanzibar
Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean that belongs to Tanzania and is 35 kilometers from Dar-es-Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. The island is made up of two smaller islands - the bigger Umoja and the smaller Pemba.
Zanzibar is well known for its pristine beaches, spices and the historic city of Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The warm and turquoise sea offers excellent swimming conditions right through the year and the coral reefs offshore are breathtaking. For thos interested in snorkelling and SCUBA diving, Zanzibar is a paradise. Stone Town was once a slave trading post for the Arabs and is immersed in history. There are several flights daily from Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya. Zanzibar offers a huge choice of accomodation to suit all budgets.

9 Virunga Mountains - Congo, Rwanda, Uganda
Your chances of seeing mountain gorrillas in the wild? are not likely but if you are in the Virunga Volcanic Region - an extinct volcanic region within the dense equatorial forests along the common borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the DCR Congo. Diane Fossey, a champion for the cause of gorrillas, worked in this area. There are only 650 mountain gorrillas in the wild and time is running out for us humans to see them in the wild!
The gorrillas can be seen from any of the three countries. Prior permits are needed and sometimes can take a long time unless arranged by your tour operator. The cost of the permit is 500 USD and proceeds go towards the conservation efforts of these gentle giants. To be part of the group that is on a mission to see gorrillas there are several rules to be followed. These include - age more than 15 years, no infectious diseases in the person wishing to see the gorrillas, maintain at least 5 meters distance from the gorrilla, stay for not more than an hour, no flash photography, no eating or drinking in front of them and no touching the gorrillas.

10. Omo river region, Ethiopia
Omo in Southwestern Ethiopia is home to more than 50 indigenous tribes. For those interested in African cultures this region is a must see. Due to the remote location many of these tribes still have intact traditional beliefs and customs. Tours are available and this is the only way one can see these tribes. Very basic camps are available and a few days spent in these regions can lead to valuable insight into the lives of primitive Africans. White-water rafting on the river Omo is highly satisfying.
Africa is thus an assimilation of sights that tickles the palate of the compulsive traveler. More and more people are now realising the importance of traveling to places in Africa as an essential part of their voyages abroad. After all life is not all about traveling in subways, eating at Mac's or experiencing some dizzying rides in Disneyland!


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