Travel

Budget and Luxury Holidays In Africa

No matter what kind of travel experience you’re after, you’ll enjoy it better and bigger and in a much more exotic way if you take advantage of one of many and varied African vacation packages on offer.

Kilimanjaro Safari Tours
Kilimanjaro Safari Tours specialises in African Safari tours along with Kilimanjaro climbs treks. This is a great company to book with as you can combine a climb with either a pre or post-trek safari in the world famous national parks in Tanzania.

Personal Favourite: Ngorongoro Crater Known is now reconised as one of the wonders of the world, but is usually visited as part of a tourist itinerary, combined with a safari or a visit to the wonderful beaches of Zanzibar. I was here with my family in February, and I would say this is a tour not to be missed on a trip to Africa. You can find out more on http://kilimanjarosafaritours.com.

Gorp Travel Vacation Packages
Gorp Travel offers a great variety of African vacation packages ranging from the popular Morocco’s Walk, to Zambezi River Rafting Adventure; a Great Ape Safari in Uganda; a classic Overland Cape to Kenya Adventure and many more.

Personal Favourite: iExplore Ghana- the activity is listed as Cultural immersion on this year round 9- day trip, where travelers will be put up in hotels. They say that if an award were to be given to a country with the friendliest people in West Africa, Ghana would win easily, and although Accra, Ghana is not the prettiest city, it is fascinating with plenty to see and do. The slave routes and history of will be of great interest especially to African Americans. This is one of iExplore’s very worthwhile vacation packages.

Truly Africa Vacation Packages
Truly Africa is a small group specialist that runs vacation packages in the southern part of the continent. Judging from the comments in the testimonial section, they manage to offer their guests true African hospitality and great experiences on their various tours. They do Namibia and Botswana vacation packages – camping and accommodation varieties as well as a Namibia to Vic Falls tour. Their South African tours are great – Garden Route, Kruger Park, Kruger and Swaziland and many more as well as a range of Budget tours like Vic Falls, Okavango, Etosha and others.

Personal Favorite: Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai, Cape Town where you get to observe the Great White Sharks underwater – up close and personal.

AfricaPoint Vacation Packages
You decide where in Africa you want to go and AfricaPoint will be have a vacation package to suite your tastes, desires and your pocket. African Safaris, Holidays or Tours – they have it all with discount offers on selected African vacation packages.

Personal Favorite: Mountains of the Moon Adventure – 8 Nights / 9 Days departing from Kampala, Uganda to explore the Ruwenzoris. Also very tempted by the Classic Safari & Island Dreams: Kenya & Seychelles 11 Nights / 12 Days

Africa Vacation and Holiday Packages
Africa Vacation and Holiday Packages offers vacation packages, in South Africa, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Mauritius, Victoria Falls, Kenya and other areas in Africa. From cheap to luxury holidays, from self drive to all-inclusive holiday packages.

Personal Favorite: Their Mozambique packages look great – I like the looks of the Pestana Inhaca Lodge package. Just a ten-minute hop by plane from Maputo to the idyllic, tropical Island of Inhaca and the luxury Pestana Inhaca Lodge. The island is lush with coconut trees and luxurious vegetation – the perfect getaway for lovers and lovers of sea sports.

Virgin’s African Vacation packages
Virgin Vacations offers a choice of African Vacation packages with Virgin flights as the carriers. Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia are the destinations. African Safari and Egyptian Mysteries embraces the Cape to Cairo legend. Travelers experience 3 nights in Cape Town, 3 nights in Kruger NP, 4 nights in Cairo and 4 nights cruising the Nile River.Wow!

Personal choice: Virgin`s Kenya & Tanzania – An extraordinary 21 day safari experience (round trip from the USA) highlighting the best of Kenya and Tanzania’s National Parks.
More African Travel articles of interest:

 

Cornwall's World Class Countryside

The remnants of an industrial past add a fascinating extra dimension to England’s westernmost county, worthy of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The chimneys of engine houses above abandoned mines have become iconic symbols of Cornwall, one of England’s leading tourist destinations. Often in spectacular coastal settings they represent a distant, almost forgotten era; but elevation to World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2006 has re-established the mining landscape as one of the county’s unique assets.

When visiting Cornwall we recommend booking a room here: http://www.racehorseinn.co.uk

Cornwall’s Mining Heritage

Cornwall has been a source of tin since pre-historic times. From washing tin ore from bogs and river valleys to tunneling hundreds of meters underground in search of copper, a series of technological advances led to a frenzy of exploration, speculation, boom, an explosion of unruly shanty towns, and eventually a bust towards the end of the nineteenth century when thousands of miners left for newly developed mines all over the world. They created the modern Cornish diaspora, and left behind a landscape rich in industrial heritage.

Ten World Heritage Site Areas

The World Heritage Site includes ten separate mining areas, from the Tamar Valley in the east to St Just 60 miles away at the western tip of the county. All ten areas are well worth visiting, and part of the fascination of the overall site is that each area offers a different aspect of the mining heritage, with different opportunities for access and exploration.

The wide, wooded valley of the meandering River Tamar is scenically beautiful and accessible by riverboat as well as by the Tamar Valley railway from Plymouth to Calstock and Gunnislake, one of the country’s most scenic branch lines. Aside from plenty of walking trails, Morwellham Quay is the best-known heritage centre on the Tamar. A museum and visitor centre, upgraded in 2008, explains the historic river port and the workings of what was once the most productive copper mine in Europe.

A few miles westward the Kit Hill and Caradon mining area encompasses the remains of 59 old mines, together with fragments of railways that used to carry minerals down to the sea at the port of Looe.

The Luxulyan Valley is a narrow, winding, steep-sided and beautifully wooded area that is a testament to the business and engineering genius of one man, Joseph Treffry. He built a rail link from Par through Luxulyan to the north coast at Newquay, still functioning as the Atlantic Coast branch line. A local group of enthusiasts maintains a network of trails, water courses and the remnants of water wheels and Treffry’s massive viaduct-cum-aqueduct that still dominates the valley.

Mines in West Cornwall

Further west, the Poldark mine near Helston is a well-established mining heritage centre where visitors can explore underground mine workings that date from the eighteenth century.

The King Edward Mine in the Camborne and Redruth Mining District is one of Cornwall’s oldest accessible mine sites. It has a museum and the remains of stone-built industrial buildings where some of the original machinery still works, together with an exhibition of the old mineral tramways that once criss-crossed this area.

Near St Agnes the Southwest Coast Path passes the engine houses of Wheal Coates, one of the best known of the county’s mines because of its dramatic setting on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean.

Of all the mining areas, many would point to St Just in the far west for the richest concentration of accessible heritage sites and truly world-class scenery. Shafts and tunnels from the Botallack mine extend hundreds of meters down from the cliff-side engine house and out under the sea. During his visit in 1850 Willkie Collins descended partway down the mine and wrote of the strange experience of hearing the surf crashing onto the rocks far above.
Mine Restoration and Regeneration

Now restored and maintained by the National Trust, Botallack is one of Cornwall’s best-known heritage centres. The National Trust also owns the nearby site of the Levant mine and Cornwall’s oldest remaining steam beam engine, restored to working condition in the 1990s.

A few miles away, Geevor is the largest of the restored mines. It was one of the last mines to close, in 1990, and survives as a museum with exhibitions, demonstrations and guided underground tours through the old mine workings.

Is there a future for Cornwall’s mines, beyond the tourist industry? Several businesses with their roots in mining survive, providing specialized equipment and consulting services to the global mining industry. And record metal prices have lured investors back. The South Crofty mine complex near Camborne intends to re-start profitable mining operations in 2009. Perhaps Cornwall’s 4,000-year run of exporting tin is not over yet.

 

Anchor Up My Hearties!

The Pacific Wave is a beautiful luxury sailing yacht that offers great value Caribbean sailing charters. The Pacific Wave rests calmly at anchor every night. We have dinner under the stars, a fresh cooling breeze flowing through the boat, and we are always close to a great snorkel spot for an early morning swim before breakfast. Anchoring, however, is an art and how we do it is one of the most frequently asked questions onboard Pacific Wave. We are at anchor over three hundred nights a year, now into our ninth year in the BVI, and have picked up a few tips we’d be happy to share.

Know your bottom.

The sea bed isn’t the same everywhere. Some bays have excellent holding in silt, some good in soft sand, some poor on slippery fine coral rock. Some bays have obstructions, often shown on navigation charts but sometimes not. Hidden rocks or wrecks to snag, power cables to drag, un-marked hurricane moorings, we are familiar with them all. Needless to say the best place to drop the hook is often in the deeper water. In the BVI this can be surprisingly close to shore. For us deeper water means over 60 feet which means it is important to…

Know your tackle.

Pacific Wave is a heavy boat. We are inspected every year to verify that we have the correct size of chain and weight of anchor to ensure trouble-free anchoring. For those interested in the detail we have over 400 feet of 1/2 inch high test chain attached to a 110 lb CQR anchor. People wonder how a 100 lb anchor can hold a 100,000 lb boat. The answer is it doesn’t. The boat isn’t held by the weight of the anchor but by the friction of the chain on the seabed. Think of it as if the anchor holds the chain, and the chain holds the boat. Crucial to this, of course, is putting out the right length of chain.

Know that it is long enough.

The rule of thumb is to put out a minimum of 4 times the depth. In 60 feet of water, we would put out nearly 250 feet of chain. To enable us to do this we communicate from the front to the back of the boat by radio to know the depth under the keel at our anchor spot. The chain is marked every 30 feet with colour coded markers so we know when the correct amount is in the water.

Be safe

When the boat has settled we attach a snubbing line which transfers the pulling load on the chain from the anchor windlass directly to a strong cleat on the deck. We hoist an anchoring day shape, a black ball, and a white night light to tell others that we are at anchor. Finally, we set an alarm on the GPS to tell us if we are moving.

After all that you can rest easy with a sundowner knowing that the crew are responsible and experienced at anchoring. Taking care of you is their number one priority.

A Yacht Charter Broker's 5 Best Snorkel Sites in the BVI

When choosing a yacht charter broker for your Caribbean holiday, make sure you get to sail to these fabulous BVI snorkel sites.

1 Long Bay – Virgin Gorda

This north facing beach on Virgin Gorda is surrounded by beautiful reef. You have a choice of arriving by boat or by car access through Nail Bay Virgin Gorda. There are 3 dive sites in this location also. You can expect to see lots of healthy Brain Corals and Common Sea Fans in both purple and green colors. Fish are plentiful at this site, Orange Spotted File Fish, Parrot Fish, Smooth Trunk Fish, French Grunts and you should also see Caribbean Reef Squid.

2 Eustatia Reef – Virgin Gorda

This snorkel site is only accessible by dinghy. Tie to the mooring buoy or anchor your dinghy.   Here you can expect to see Porcupine Fish, lots of Spotlight Parrot Fish, it’s also a Conch breeding ground and if you’re lucky a Spotted Eagle Ray swimming by.

3 Great Harbour Peter Island

Either swim from your yacht or tie your dinghy to one of the mooring buoys. Not only do you have Reef Fish at this location, but it is also a breeding ground for thousands of tiny Sprats. So as you snorkel a long the bay Pelicans and Brown Boobys with dive in to catch the Sprats. You’ll expect to see plenty of Reef Fish including Sergeant Major, Blue Tangs, Parrot Fish, Saucereye Porgies and if you’re lucky large Tarpon.

4 White Bay Peter Island

This beautiful white beach has reef to either side of it. Anchor outside of the no-swim area and then snorkel around either headland, watching out for any current. Around these rocky headlands you will see Green Turtles, Blue Tangs, Redlip Blennies and great rocky topography.

5 Benures Bay Norman Island

This bay has 3 patches of good reef joined up by shingle beach. Swimming around the bay starting from the east most reef first you will see Yellow & Blue Headed Wrasse, Doctor and Surgeon Fish & Turtles. As you join the shingle beach area you will come across hundreds of Sprats with Pelicans diving in for their dinner, if you look closely you can also see Jaw Fish in this area. Then you come to the middle reef where you can see my favorite Scrawled File Fish, Smooth Trunk Fish, Scrawled Cow Fish & Squirrel Fish. Then you swim over a sunken dinghy off the beach with more Sprats, and you come to the third section of the reef where you see lots of Common Sea Fans Purple in color and Stag and Elk Horn Coral which is home to the Yellow Tailed Damsel Fish.

Current Rental Prices in the Spanish Real Estate Market

Many indicators are pointing to the fact that the housing market is slowing in Spain, but this does not create a need for alarm for those that currently invest in that market, or those that are considering investing in Spanish real estate. There are several reasons why the market is slowing, and though it may mean higher prices for potential homeowners, it may not be so for investors. The key is to understand how geographical markets are performing, especially in the area of rental properties.

The cost of living is increasing in Spain as inflation takes its toll on the overall economy, and the housing market is no exception. Madrid logged a national high in residential price increases of 6.5 percent, while Malaga posted the lowest across the board increase of 1.9 percent. Valencia actually posted a 3.2 percent drop in prices.
Even with the increases in costs, the rising home sales in Spain are expected to increase by 3.4 percent through the year.

New House Prices
The new housing price index in Spain rose by 2.5 percent from this point last year. Everyone is expecting homes to hold their value or increase slightly.

Rental Market is Stable
The rental prices in Spain have increased steadily and reveal a 2.1 increase over this time last year. At current, Barcelona boasts the most costly rentals. Barcelona rentals are averaging 600 euros for a two-bedroom dwelling.

If you are looking for the rental yield feasting field, it would be in Javea, where properties for sale in Javea Spain are ranging from 6.3 percent to 8.1 percent on small apartments.

So, although the indicators show a slowing housing market in Spain, there is still room to play for investors, especially those who are willing to get into the rental market.

Spain’s growing job market is attracting immigrants in large numbers, ensuring that the rental market will continue to grow, at least in the short term.

Historical Beauty of the Cotswolds

Many people specifically visit the United Kingdom in general because they have an interest in history. While the Cotswolds is famous for its beautiful scenery and general aesthetics, plenty of tourists are interested in exploring the area’s history and historical sites. Of course, the aesthetic aspects and historical attractions of the Cotswolds will overlap considerably. Many of the historical sites at the Cotswolds are beautiful in their own right.

At Newark Park, travelers can see a Tudor hunting lodge that dates back to 1550. The lodge overlooks a lofty cliff, and is surrounded by beautiful and well-maintained grounds. People can get a taste of the culture of those days, while seeing the natural beauty that remains and has persisted for centuries.

People that are interested in social history may want to visit the Fleece Inn. A 15th-century farmhouse like the Fleece Inn manages to communicate a great deal about the culture of the time almost immediately. The tours of the Fleece Inn will help illuminate the daily life that people back then experienced, and tourists can feel like they’re experiencing it firsthand.

Of course, many of the people that see the Cotswolds and go on Cotswolds tours from Oxford end up visiting the Berkeley Castle. Just seeing the Berkeley castle can tell people so much about military and courtly life throughout British history. The castle itself is a truly magnificent edifice that people could spend all day seeing for themselves. It’s no wonder that many people more or less base their journeys on an opportunity to see the Berkeley castle. Of course, seeing the Berkeley castle, the Fleece Inn, and Newark Park all on the same trip will allow tourists to experience many different facets of British history at once.

A Place To Get Away From It All

When you are looking to buy a second home, perhaps as a place to vacation in, travel to or even one day retire in, you might want to look further from home. Rather than buy a home close to where you already live, you can get a home that is surrounded by wonderful night life and beaches. A place that you can visit a marina or a port and always have the freshest of fish each and every day.

There is a place like that where you can buy your second home and there are many places available for you to choose from all along it’s coast. When you buy Javea property you are getting a home that comes from a rich and diverse culture, surrounding the place that will be your home. Javea is on Spain’s Costa Blanca coast, in the province of Alicante. To the natives it is often referred to as Xavia.

Getting a rental car is easy if you want to travel down the coast and see the sites or head to the airport in order to visit family and friends, or to pick them up so they can visit you. With your luxury new property with fabulous views of the Med you will find yourself never lacking for things to do, as there are plenty of sights to see both new and old. Javea property is constantly available as the area keeps growing, both with tourism and the expansion of the city.

So remember if you want to look for a second home to vacation in, or as a future retirement home, have some fun and adventures when doing so.

Great Food, Great Beer And Great Living

When you are looking for Amsterdam apartments to suit your needs you want to find one that is going to put you right where you will love it the most. There are tons of restaurants and bars to enjoy with different foods available in each. But this is only a small part of what you want to think of as you consider where you want to find your Amsterdam apartments for your move.

Living in Amsterdam can be quite entertaining when you think of all the venues of entertainment that are available to you. Along with the different bars and pubs are nightclubs to frequent each with their own different music. The Air club has been born from the ashes of the old club that used to be there. There is fun and creativity as well as variety to be had. Each night is a different theme so you can hang there each day of the week until you find something that suits you the best.

Having your Amsterdam apartments close enough to one of the many different nightclubs may not always be easy to find, but they are out there and available. Some might even be close enough to walk to, which could make your party life something even better.

If all the drinking and nightlife is not something you crave, there are different entertainment venues for you as well. The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum could be a place you might want to see, or perhaps even the Van Gogh museum for a little art and culture in your diet.

Whichever entertainment seeks your heart the best, be sure and look at the right Amsterdam apartments to fit your needs. This way you can enjoy great living where it all started.