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Off The Beaten Track PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bronwen Roberts   
Dec 25, 2005 at 08:18 PM
There are many off-the-track destinations and some wild-at-heart attractions for you to explore in Southern Africa.

Sabi Sabi - Game Reserve - Eastern Cape
The choral sounds of birds before morning light, hot 'boere' coffee and a muffin, and you'll be ready to embrace the wildlife of SabiSabi. Land Rovers leave before dawn, and Rangers share information via radio, ensuring the occupants of each Land Rover have the best chance of a wide range of sightings. The Tracker will watch the road for spoor, leaning forward intently to find any print left by a predator during its hunt in the dark.

Guests on guided walking trails can experience this natural environment on foot; no two walks are ever remotely the same. Sabi Sabi boasts approximately 350 different species of birds, and their nests and calls are fascinating. There is an endless diversity of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, whatever the time of year.

The dusk period tends to be quieter. There is a lull as the animals sense the transition into a time of increased danger. The nocturnal hunters start stirring, and their prey needs to be alert for survival through the night. The Ranger will choose a spot where you can stretch your legs and enjoy a sundowner alongside the vehicle. If you are lucky, you may be able to watch a lion or his pride prepare for the evening hunt. With the help of the spotlight, a leopard's eyes may reflect back from a tree. Other smaller predators that are often encountered at night include the Genet, African Civet, and African Wild Cat. Bushbabies are nocturnal primates that feed on insects and fruits; their large eyes shine red in the light.

Each morning and evening, Safaris in open Land Rovers drive through a wide variety of habitats, allowing you to view the vast interactions of the wild. After breakfast, the dedicated, skilled, and passionate Rangers lead you to discover miracles of Nature you may never have dreamed existed.

Cango Ostrich Farm - Oudtshoorn - Western Cape
Would you ever ride an ostrich? Cango Ostrich Farm is located in the lush Cango Valley, 14km outside of Oudtshoorn on the main route towards the world famous Cango Caves. It offers comprehensive and complete information regarding the ostrich - and ostrich industry. You get to see, the eggs, incubators and chicks (in season) and feed the ostriches by hand. Daring types get to ride the ostriches (within weight limits) and to stand on the eggs (no weight restrictions).

I There is a 45-minute farm tour, every 20 minutes. Multi-lingual guides are available (English, Afrikaans, German and French.) The farm delicatessen stocks Ostrich pate's and biltong. Distinctive ostrich handbags and feather boas are also available and of course, an extensive variety of decorated and plain Ostrich eggshells.

St Lucia Crocodile Centre - St Lucia - Kwazulu Natal
Situated some 2 km north of St Lucia village on the road to Cape Vidal, the Crocodile Centre offers an exciting and informative outing for visitors who would like to know more about the lake system and one of the world's oldest and most fascinating animals - the crocodile.

The centre interprets the Lake St Lucia system and the habits of the crocodile and serves as a centre for crocodile monitoring and research. Crocodiles are a protected species in Natal, and all the African species of crocodile can be seen in the various ponds; the Nile, long-snouted, and dwarf crocodile plus American alligators. The crocodiles on display range in size from hatchlings to specimens of up to four metres.

A series of informative displays on the Nile crocodile provide details about the breeding, feeding, physical structure and distribution of this prehistoric creature.

Butterfly World - Paarl - Western Cape
Butterfly World is the largest butterfly park in South Africa. The location of this park is set conveniently at the junction of the main Wine Routes of Stellenbosch and Paarl, on the Route 44 near Klapmuts, just off the N1.

Butterflies fly freely in an exotic indoor garden. Tropical plants abound and there are butterfly-friendly birds and water features that complete this idyllic picture. Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Schmetterling Coffee Garden and have a browse in the craft shop. You can photograph or video these beautiful creatures to your hearts content.

The park is open every day of the year except 25th December, and trading hours are 9am to 5pm (except June, July and August) when the opening hours are 10am to 4pm.

Last Updated ( Dec 21, 2006 at 11:52 PM )
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The Beautiful Andorra la Vella PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jakob Jelling   
Dec 25, 2005 at 08:08 PM
Andorra la Vella is a very attractive destination situated in the east side of the Pyrenees, next to Spain and France. This city is the capital of what is known as the Principality of Andorra and counts with a very peculiar and diverse population since about 45% of its inhabitants are Spanish, 11% are Portuguese, 33% are Andorra, and 7% are French.

The main language spoken in Andorra la Vella is Catalan, but many of its inhabitants also speak Castilian, French and Portuguese. It is also interesting to know that the name of this town, Andorra la Vella, means Andorra the Old, and this is due to the fact that it is a very ancient spot which was inhabited since the Christian times.

Andorra la Vella has a very picturesque and antique old town, which was were the first settlements of this destination were established. This old town is called Barri Antic, and is characterized by having stoned streets and antique houses mostly constructed with stone as well. This spot can be found between the Placeta del Puial and the Esglesia de Sant Esteve, and is without any doubt one of the main spots tourists should visit while being in Andorra la Vella.

The Esglesia de Sant Esteve is a very antique construction and one of the main attractions in Andorra la Vella. This church was built in the 11th century in Romanesque style, and by visiting, tourists could observe some peculiar paintings exhibited in its interior. Most of these paintings are even more antique than the construction itself since they date from the 13th century.

One of the most interesting constructions visitors can meet in Andorra la Vella is the Casa de la Vall, or House of the Valley. The Casa de la Vall is the house of the Andorran parliament, and has received them since the year 1703. Before that, this construction which dates from 1580 was inhabited by a family. This building is very interesting for a variety of reasons, among which we can remark its antiquity, its architecture, its interior design, and its history.

Last Updated ( Dec 22, 2006 at 12:58 AM )
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The Parque Nacional de Ordesa PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jakob Jelling   
Dec 25, 2005 at 07:58 PM
The Parque Nacional de Ordesa, or Ordesa National Park, is a beautiful natural place full of unique elements and characteristics. This destination is paradisiacal to all those travelers who enjoy being close to the nature and meet amazing plants, trees, and animals. There is a very wide variety of animals to meet as well as many possibilities to spend energies by climbing, hiking and walking while meeting this park.

The best time to visit the Parque Nacional de Ordesa is between May and November, since it actually might be closed during the remaining months. Within the months of July and August, during holidays' season, the park receives a great amount of visitors and therefore it is advisable to try to visit it before or after that in order to avoid crowds.

The Parque Nacional de Ordesa is situated next to three valleys among which the Ordesa Valley is the most known. The park itself is situated in part of this valley and is characterized by counting with important amounts of limestone as well as wide extensions of forests.

Ordesa National Park was founded in 1918 by request of the Spanish royalty. The main purpose which causes the creation of this park was in order to protect and take care of a wild coat traditional to this region known as the ibex. But, besides than protecting the ibex, this park also takes care of many other animals and plants, in such a way that it is home of around 170 different species of birds, 5 amphibians, 8 types of reptiles, and 32 mammals.

The Parque Nacional de Ordesa is also a great destination to those who enjoy open air sports, and specially climbing. This spot is renowned as a climbing area, as well as it is ideal to those who like walking and hiking since there are many routes through which visitors can explore the different towns and valleys spread through the region. This is, as it can be appreciated, one of the main spots which tourists who enjoy the nature should meet while being in this region of Spain.

Last Updated ( Dec 22, 2006 at 12:57 AM )
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Adventure Travel in Nepal PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Riggin   
Dec 06, 2005 at 01:35 PM
With its majestic Himalayan Mountains and fascinating local culture, Nepal is a favorite destination for adventurous travelers. Each year thousands embark upon the experience of a lifetime to spend days or weeks in the breathtakingly beautiful country of Nepal.

Most adventure travelers in Nepal will be treated to magnificent views from high in the mountains. They will wander through pure forests and past clear mountain lakes, rivers and waterfalls. They'll visit remote Buddhist monasteries and shrines and see tiny mountain villages, full of friendly locals.

Trekking expeditions in Nepal are quite popular. They typically involve a small group of people who have been given a list of equipment, such as hiking boots, to bring with them to Nepal. Once they arrive in the country they set off together to explore. There is usually a trekking staff that comes along on the trip and carries most of the camping equipment and even the travelers' bags. They set up the camp, cook meals and break camp, leaving the traveler to enjoy the trek without the physical hardship of toting heavy packs.

Treks are available for people with various abilities. While a person should be in good shape for these treks, one does not need to be a tri-athlete to take part. There are more strenuous treks for those in great physical condition, as well as easier treks. Many of the easier treks are appropriate for families and allow children to participate. Some companies rate the treks they offer by level of difficulty, to help travelers judge which trek would be best for them.

While trekking is one of the most popular forms of adventure travel in Nepal, it is by no means the only one. There are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors in beautiful and mysterious Nepal.

- The Himalayas make Nepal a favorite destination for mountain climbers. There are well over 100 peaks open to mountain climbers in Nepal, including the famed Mount Everest.

- The mountains of Nepal also have trails for mountain bikers of varying skills.

- Nepal offers challenging climbing cliffs for avid rock climbers.

- While rafting and kayaking in Nepal, adventurers can float along picturesque mountain rivers enjoying tranquil views, far from the well-traveled paths.

- Finally, adventure travelers in Nepal can choose to experience a jungle safari from a jeep or the back of an elephant.

Nepal's wildlife reserves and conservation areas boast a variety of unique animals, including the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Greater One Horned Rhinoceros.

Last Updated ( Dec 22, 2006 at 12:35 AM )
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