African Safaris Are the King of Adventure Vacations

It is a vacation full of incredible scenery and beauty, an untamed frontier of danger and mystery that sits on most bucketlists everywhere. It is the African Safari.
A safari is without a doubt an adventure that cannot be match anywhere in the world. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, going on a safari through the Savanna Plains of Africa is one of those things that while you are experiencing it, you can’t help but think… “Wow, and this happens every day!”
A trek through Tanzania with Mt. Kilimanjaro as a backdrop sets the scene for one of the most spectacular events in the animal kingdom, the Great Migration. This incredible annual event of over 2 million herbivores grazing their way across the Serengeti plains in search of newer pastures and water is an awesome spectacle of cat and mouse as herds of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest fight for survival against the elements and prey, in what can only be described as one of the most phenomenal natural wonders of the world. The circle of life reaches its peak at the Grumeti Senengeti Tented Camp as over 1.5 million wildebeest attempt the terrifying river crossing in crocodile infested waters in order to continue north.
When you think of an African safari, images of The Big 5 come to mind. Originally chosen by hunters listed by difficulty in hunting and the danger they possess, the lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, and Cape buffalo are still tracked and stalked by safaris every day. Good news for the Big 5 is that for the most part, they are being looked at through a telephoto lens instead of a rifle scope. Of course, cruising along in your 4×4 safari truck also presents opportunity to view other favorites such as the giraffe, hippo, hyena, baboon and cheetahs just to name a few. The experience of waking up in your resort and stepping out on to your porch to see giraffe walk by as the sun is coming up over the plains is something that you will never forget. The best viewing of these icons of the animal planet is on a safari in Kenya but modern-day safaris are not just about the animals anymore. While visiting Kenya or Tanzania, a stop to a traditional Maasai village is just as rewarding as crossing “male lion” off of your “must see on safari” list.
The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is an amazing place to get year-round viewing of the extensive wildlife, to interact with the Maasai and while not out on a day safari, being pampered in some of the most exclusive and first-class accommodations found anywhere in the world. However, at up to $3000/night, you’ll be glad know there are alternatives for accommodation.
Accommodation on safaris range from traditional “under the stars” tent camps to first class resorts that you wouldn’t expect out in the middle of the African plains. Unique living such as tree-top style resorts or spending nights with the Maasai, it’s all available and fits into your budget and style, it all depends on your comfort level.
While not on safari, or for a change of pace, take a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro for a spectacular view of the Savanna laid out before you or take a hot air balloon ride for an aerial view of the thunderous herd below.
As humans we are often fascinated by the animal kingdom and sure, you can go to a zoo, but there is nothing like seeing the nature of the beast in its natural environment and its raw and pure form. It is the attraction of seeing the incredible power of the elephant, the stalking ability of the lion, the gracefulness of the giraffe and gazelle, and the daily fight for survival that draw us to the safari and it’s the natural instinct or bond we have to these beasts that we associate ourselves with that allow us to leave the safari knowing we experienced something really special.

California Travel – From Santa Barbara to Monterey by Car

Northern Santa Barbara County, and the California coast beyond, offer tourist attractions worth spending a few days enjoying. There are a number of natural wonders and great tourist stops to be seen driving north from Santa Barbara. This trip is suitable for both couples and families.
Take the San Marcos Pass road as you leave the city of Santa Barbara. This is a breathtaking mountain drive that heads up the side of La Cumbra Peak on Highway 154. Along the way to the highest part of the highway, there are many scenic turnouts for a panoramic view of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands National Park and the many miles of coastline.
Once over the pass, you’ll drive by Cachuma Lake. This is a state recreation resource for camping and fishing.
Santa Ynez, for which this valley and region are named, is an old California mission town. Here you will find a number of fine art galleries and the county’s fine wineries. Notable celebrity homes here include President Reagan’s ranch and the Neverland retreat of entertainer Michael Jackson.
The quaint community of Solvang is just a few miles west of Santa Ynez on Hwy. 246, just west of Hwy. 101. It is a remarkable replication of an old Danish village, complete with a giant windmill. The town boasts some of the best Danish bakeries and buffet smorgasbords in the country. Spend a few hours here for lunch, and to visit the Scandinavian craft and souvenir shops. You’ll forget, for just a while, that you’re in the heart of Southern California horse and wine country.
The beautiful state beach parks just a few miles north of the city are yet another group of attractions. Leaving town, travel north along the coast on Highway 101. The road today retraces the historic El Camino Real, or King’s Highway. Check out El Capitan, Refugio or Gaviota state beach parks. They offer fishing, camping, and picnic sites on remarkable beaches.
Santa Maria is the next town up the highway. Santa Maria Tri-Tip barbecue is a local tradition. It’s not like anything you’ll find in Texas or other barbecue meccas. This is rubbed and marinated barbecued sirloin roast. It’s sliced thin, and is usually served rare. Typically it is eaten with corn tortillas or on a sandwich bun, and along with Santa Maria’s slow-baked Poquito beans. It’s well worth the stop to try.
Less than half an hour north of Santa Maria is the picturesque seaside town of Pismo Beach. Most of the motels and restaurants are on the ocean side of the highway, set on the cliffs overlooking a view of miles of coastline. Pismo Beach claims to be the world’s clam capital, owing to the unusually large, tasty and abundant Pismo clam. Several versions of clam recipes are available in a number of the local restaurants.
The nearby Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. It is a 1,500 acre sand dune state park for ATV and 4-wheel vehicles. There are camping and RV facilities available. This is one of the few places in California where driving on the beach is permitted. Bringing folding beach chairs is a good idea.
Continuing north from Pismo Beach, you can drive up the tiny coast road to the town of Morro Bay. It’s a town with a distinctive New England coastal flavor. This is where the Pacific Coast Highway becomes part of the National Scenic Byways Program. Enjoy the road stretch from Morro Bay on the south, along the Big Sur coastline, up to Monterey at the north. Without exaggeration, this is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking roads anywhere in the world.
Exploring the central California coast is a great and affordable journey. There’s no need to forgo travel plans because of today’s high cost of living.

Top 5 Backpacker Adventure Trips in South and Central America

Holidaymakers who have plans to travel around South and Central America and are looking for some adventure during their trip might want to head to these five destinations, where you’ll find a whole range of activities to take part in.
For a truly spectacular sight, you could start your journey in South America’s most southerly point and work your way upwards through the continent. This will take you to Patagonia – a 673,000-square kilometre stretch of land that cradles between Argentina and Chile.
Throughout this vast area, you’ll be able to experience the different cultures of the two countries but the main reason people tend to head this far south is to see the magnificent views of its ice-capped mountain ranges and glaciers.
Wrapping up warm, you could head to Parque Nacional de Los Glaciares – a place where you’ll come face-to-face with some of the most impressive icebergs you’re ever likely to come across. You can walk around the ice lakes or take a boat trip to get closer to the glaciers and listen to the loud cracking sounds of ice breaking off and the thunderous noise of them splashing into the deep waters.
Patagonia also has other awesome natural landscapes that you can see on walking, horse riding and cycling trips, including its canyons, valleys and volcanoes that create a vista you’re unlikely to forget for a long time.
If you love looking at natural sights, you could travel up the continent to Brazil to see its Iguacu Falls. Here, you can come close to the thunderous falls – a stretch of water three kilometres wide that drops 80 metres.
As the falls are wider than Victoria Falls and taller than Niagara Falls, they are definitely worth a look and you can get a different perspective of them if you cross over the Argentinean border. Here, you will see some of the narrower 250 waterfalls of Iguacu, dropping from great heights in the midst of the dense forest.
Adventure lovers can get even closer to the spray by taking a boat trip near to the rolling waters, where you can hear the roar of the river tumbling down and feel the splash on your faces. Or, you can take a helicopter ride to see the falls in their full glory.
Costa Rica is another place to visit if you want to see impressive natural landscapes as the country is full of luscious cloud forests, golden sandy beaches, natural hot springs and thundering volcanoes.
Indeed, if you want to get your adrenaline pumping you can visit Arenal Volcano National Park, where you can take part in a number of thrill-seeking activities. However, it is most famous for being home to one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes, Arenal. You can feel the 5,437-foot tall mountain rumble as you climb your way through the forests of the national park and by night, you can have some spectacular views of it spewing out amber lava into the sky and see the fiery red molten rock trickle down its slopes.
The national park remains one of the most popular places to visit in Costa Rica, as you can enjoy a variety of activities there, including white-water rafting, cycling, horse riding and trekking through the 29,692-acre mountainous forest terrain.
You might even want to follow in the footsteps of fellow backpackers and go zip flying through its green jungle, which has become a hugely popular activity to enjoy in the nation.
As well as the region’s breathtaking views, Central and South America is also well-known for its ancient history and taking part in the Inca Trail challenge is on most itineraries of holidaymakers heading to this part of the world.
Over the years, this 43-kilometre trek has made Peru one of the most popular places to visit in South America, as many people come to retrace the steps of the Incas to the lost city of Machu Picchu, situated high on the Andean peaks.
The hike lasts four days and during this period, you will walk through cloud forests, trek up steep mountain edges and camp near snow-capped peaks. The highest point on the trip is at 4,200 metres and you might become affected by this steep altitude. However, the views along the way of sharp silver mountaintops nestling within white clouds for miles on end more than make up for this.
At the end of the trip, you will make it to Machu Picchu – the Inca city hidden for hundreds of years in the imposing folds of the mountains. Seeing the remains of the once-bustling metropolis peeking out behind the sunrise will take your breath away as you try to imagine how generations of people lived here so many miles from other forms of civilisation.
If you’re into your history, then another site you should visit is Mexico’s Chichen Itza – one of the most famous Mayan ruins in the country. Here, you can walk around the stone temples and other buildings where the Mayan people lived between 700 and 900, hiding in the wild growth of the jungle.
This is one of the most popular of Mexico’s historical locations and for good reason, as you can walk around the city and come up with theories about how the civilisation that existed here for hundreds of years suddenly vanished in the 14th century.
Places like these make Central and South America must-see destinations for people who want to discover something new, as you never know when another lost city will be found within its vast and impenetrable landscape.

Explore the Best Travel Destinations in the US

United States of America is a diversified country which offers amazing natural and cultural wonders. Whether you are a nature loving person and want to see the sights of great mountains, plains, forests, deserts and wildlife or you love to walk around the modern civilization, fashion and entertainment; America can be the best travel destination for you. Its incredible cities, soaring shore redwoods, alpine lakes, moving vineyard and many more fascinating places will deeply impress you.
USA is a large kingdom consisting 50 states and more than 20,000 cities in it. Each state and city offers something illustrative; so the task of sorting out the best travel destinations in US has become slightly difficult. But at last, we have managed to come up with top 5 travel destinations based on their popularity. Following are some of the locations that truly represent the glory of US and can be considered as the top places to travel in the world:
1. New York City (New York): The pride of United States and famously known as “The Big Apple”, New York City is one of the greatest vacation destination of America that no one wants to pass over. The city offers fabulous attractions such as mountains and beaches, thousand of Islands including world famous Niagara Falls and National Parks along with countless enjoyable places such as greatest theater, museums, etc. Apart from all these attractions, there are numerous American icons like Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Times Square which makes the New York City stands tall among all other tourist destinations in the world.
2. Los Angeles (California): Los Angeles is the second highest travelled location in United States after New York City. This entertainment wealth of the World is not only popular for its lure of Hollywood and international celebrities, but also well known for its Disneyland, seaside, mountains, snowboarding, climbing, parks, zoos etc. California’s coastal highway 101 is much loved touring way among visitors, because it provides open road trip to California starting from Los Angeles and going through some of the most pleasing spots of the state. Another eye catching area around Los Angeles is Mount Shasta volcano. What more to mention here about California, as it is considered as an American Dream.
3. Chicago (Illinois): When it comes to the architecture and museums, Chicago certainly comes in mind. Attractive museums, aquariums, botanical gardens, skylines, restaurants, shopping spots and many more activities that can pleasantly be enjoyed here. If you are an art lover then the Art Institute of Chicago offers you various Art exhibitions and Art sessions all over the year. Apart from Chicago, there are also other parts in Illinois State that really worth visiting such as Springfield which was a long time home for late American president Abraham Lincoln. You can also appreciate many common American festivals in Illinois throughout the season.
4. Washington, DC (Washington): USA capital is famous for its museums and typical monuments. The historical white house, great monuments such as the Vietnam War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, National Parks, National Forests and Wild Life are the main tourist attractions in the City.
5. Las Vegas (Nevada): Las Vegas is an extraordinary city of United States located in the state called Nevada. The ‘Sin City’ is commonly famous for its night life. Lightening casinos, hotels, cultural shows and museums grab the attention of people from all over the world. Apart from Las Vegas, Nevada state also offers many other enthralling spots such as Hoover dam, Lake Tahoe state park, Wild horse state recreation area, etc.
So, these are few of the best travel destinations in US. Your vacations should not end here as there are plenty of other places too in the country which offers many more things.

Facts About The Trans Siberian Railway

The Trans Siberian railway is one of the world’s classic and most well known train journeys. It is the longest point to point rail trip currently in existence, it covers a massive amount of territory from the Pacific coast at Vladivostok all the way to the edge of Europe in Moscow. Along the journey the carriages traverse taiga, steppes, and the Ural Mountains, in total a distance of almost ten thousand kilometres.
The trip is not just any ordinary rail journey, it is a world and adventure in itself. The Trans Siberian is loved by rail enthusiasts, adventurers, and those in search of romance and discovery. Memories of the trip are carried for life by those fortunate enough to have been a passenger.
Unlike the images we often see in the media, on the Trans Siberian you will discover the true essence of the world’s biggest country. Most of the passengers are Russians who are far from being aloof and cold as they were often depicted in old propaganda, today you will find warmth and hospitality no matter whether taking lunch, drinking in the bar, or simply lazing in your carriage with other passengers.
There are many reasons why people choose to travel the Trans Siberian. If you are considering booking tickets, check out these following suggestions as to why the journey has become and continues to be one of the most popular anywhere on the planet. To start with there is the name itself, it conjures up a mystique all of its own. Imagine how amazed and jealous your friends and colleagues will be when you tell them you are taking a trip on the Trans Siberian express, open jawed expressions would greet your plans.
With the option of choosing to also travel the Trans Mongolian and Trans Manchurian lines you can get a taste of China and Mongolia as well as Russia. The experience would allow you a deep understanding of these ancient cultures in a way which would not be possible if you were simply to fly in. Where else can you spend time sitting next to a Cossack, a Mongolian Buddhist lama, and at the end of your trip, smart dressed Chinese business people. The friends and contacts that will be made will last a lifetime.
Siberia in itself is a majestic land and one that is full of stunning vistas and breathtaking panoramas. This timeless and yet vast territory is one that is relatively untouched by the modern world, very few places on our planet can still be termed as natural and unchanged as Siberia.
Another reason for booking yourself a berth on this train is that you can make a stop off at Lake Baikal. This is the largest, as well as deepest, freshwater lake anywhere on the planet. It is a supremely beautiful and awe inspiring location that can be a great place to unwind.
If you want to see a huge area of the world for a relatively inexpensive price, the Trans Siberian is the way to travel. Just be warned you may end up hooked and want to come back the same way again.