Category: Africa

Toronto woman reports for jury selection, gets potentially exposed to COVID-19

Posted By : wpadmin/ 33 0

TORONTO —
A Toronto woman said she was potentially exposed to COVID-19 after she was summoned to appear for jury selection last week.

The woman, who wished only to be identified as Grace, told CTV News Toronto that she attended the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC), one of several off-site locations being used by the Ministry of the Attorney General for jury selection, on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22.

Grace has small children and said she was nervous about attending, noting that she has generally kept away from restaurants, patios and other public spaces during the pandemic.

“It was something that I knew that I couldn’t get out of, it is my civic duty and it’s the law that I attend. I was really concerned when I went,” she said.

When she arrived at the MTCC, Grace explained how panels of prospective jurors were divided into separate rooms. She said there were about 40 people in each room with chairs that were all spaced out.

However, on Saturday Grace said she received a call from the jury office informing her that there was a “low risk exposure” to COVID-19 at the MTCC.

“They are asking me to assess for symptoms but that the risk is very low so I don’t need to isolate,” she said.

Grace said she attempted to make contact with the jury office for more information but was unsuccessful.

In an email to CTV News Toronto, the Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed that an individual who had worked at several Toronto court locations, including the MTCC on Sept. 21, tested positive for COVID-19.

“The individual, who was asymptomatic, was wearing a mask and was not part of the jury panel, a spokesperson for the ministry said.

“The individual has been in self-isolation since September 22, and has been advised by Public Health to continue to self-isolate, which is a normal public health preventative procedure. They will not return to work until cleared to do so by a medical professional.”

The ministry said the individual also visited the Superior Court of Justice between Sept, 14 and Sept. 22, the College Park Courthouse on Sept. 15 and the University Avenue Courthouse on Sept. 14 to Sept. 18 and on Sept. 22.

The ministry said they consulted with Toronto Public Health who advised that based on their assessment they determined the case to be low risk.

Grace explained that she was eventually excused from jury duty as her children are set to begin virtual learning on Tuesday. While she said that she feels confident that she was not exposed to the disease, Grace said she plans on getting tested to be safe.

“I do take a lot of precautions, my kids are being homeschooled. We have a very small group of people that includes my mother and I am feeling concerned that I have exposed and therefore have exposed them and anyone else in our lives,” she said.

Jury selection and jury trials in Ontario only recently returned following a six-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a document issued earlier this month, the ministry said government staff visited the Toronto convention centre and conducted a risk assessment to identify any further controls that could help curb the spread of the virus during jury selection.

It called for, among other things, a staggered arrival for prospective jurors, mandatory face masks for the public and staff, and a deferral for any members of the public unable to wear a mask for medical reasons.

“Precautionary measures at the courthouses, apart from the enhanced cleaning, include active COVID-19 screening, plexiglass/other barriers, physical distancing, hand hygiene, face coverings, and PPE where required. These measures are also in place at the convention centre,” the ministry added.

Despite that, Grace believes that the situation could have been avoided if the jury selection process was entirely virutal.

“I think they were preparing for selection to happen as it did when cases were low, but they’ve been growing and growing and I would’ve preferred to have something that was more appropriate for the current case levels,” she explained.

On Sunday, the province recorded 491 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number of new cases since early May.

“I didn’t think being in a room with a bunch of strangers was the safest way to do this,” she added.

With files from the Canadian Press.

Ontario reports more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 for third consecutive day

Posted By : wpadmin/ 27 0

TORONTO —
Health officials in Ontario are confirming more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 for the third day in a row. 

The 435 new cases represent an increase over Friday’s total when 409 lab-confirmed cases were added.

No deaths were recorded in the last 24-hour period and 338 cases of the disease are now considered to be resolved by the province.

Saturday’s report brings the total number of infections in Ontario to 49,340, including 2,837 deaths and 42,507 recoveries.

Of the new cases added Saturday, almost half (212) were reported in people between the ages of 20 and 39. That age group accounts for most of Ontario’s lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases at 16,764.

Another 98 cases were recorded in people between the ages of 40 and 59, while 66 new infections were reported in people 19 years of age and younger.

Forty-five cases were added in people between the ages of 60 and 79 and 13 new cases were documented in people 80 years of age and older.

The news comes after the Ontario government introduced new restrictions on restaurants and bars in an effort to control “outbreak clusters” of COVID-19 in the province.

Under the new rules, restaurants and bars are no longer allowed to sell alcohol after 11 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol at those locations will be prohibited after 12 a.m. 

READ MORE: Ontario slaps tighter restrictions on bars and restaurants, orders strip clubs to close

On Saturday, police told CTV News Toronto that they observed hundreds of people who were gathered at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto to protest the province’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the new reported cases are in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and Ottawa.

Of the 435 new cases logged Saturday, 131 were reported in Toronto, 110 were reported in Peel Region, 45 were reported in Ottawa and 43 were reported in York Region.

There are currently 100 patients in an Ontario hospital with COVID-19.

Of those 100 patients, 28 are being treated in an intensive care unit. Fifteen of those patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Update on COVID-19 testing

Over the last 24-hour period the province completed 43,238 tests for COVID-19.

The province has processed 3,765,717 tests for the disease since the start of the pandemic.

There are 68,040 tests currently under investigation, the highest number in recent memory.

ZAMBIA

ZAMBIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 36 0

ZAMBIA TRAVEL GUIDE – The Smoke that Thunders is a suitable name for this impressive waterfall.

You can hear the roar from afar and feel the power when you are up close. Located in Livingstone, Zambia on the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls is one of the top sites to see in all of Africa.

The world’s largest waterfall by sheer volume, it dwarfs our beloved Niagara Falls in Canada.

Zambia, once known as Northern Rhodesia, is a former British colony and also the adventure capital of Africa! 

This Zambia travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Zambia power voltage is 230V 50Hz;  Plug C, D & G
    The Zambia currency is the Zambian kwacha and is around 5,000 ZMK to 1 USD
  • Single and double entry visas can be obtained at the airport, border crossings or your local Zambian embassy. Multi-entry visas must be obtained in advance from an embassy.
  • Beware of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts, Africa. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear but usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • Symptoms generally include fever and joint pain; other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and rash.
  • Travelers spending a lot of time outdoors or visiting game parks have an increased risk of being bitten by a tsetse fly which can cause African Sleeping Sickness. Remember that these flies: bite during the day, are attracted to bright, dark colors and can bite through lightweight clothing.
  • Camouflage or military clothing is not permitted so don’t pack it
  • The water is not potable; drink only bottled water.
  • SIM Cards can be bought in major cities. Airtel, MTN and Vodafone are the carriers and prices are very reasonable.

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: You can find a variety of hostels and budget hotels for 185-550 ZMW per night. Enjoy hot showers, dorms or private rooms, shared kitchens, and nearby restaurants and shopping areas. Staff can sometimes help you out with finding good deals on local safaris or for general travel advice. 

Mid-Range: For mid-range hotels, expect to pay around 660-1,800 ZMW per night. Amenities include rooms with flat-screen TVs and tea/coffee facilities, an outdoor pool with a lounge area, free breakfast, and a hotel restaurant and bar. 

High-End: For five-star hotels, you will pay around 2,000-3,300 ZMW per night. These hotels come with private suites with terraces and living rooms, spa services, an outdoor pool with a poolside bar, a fitness center, multiple hotel restaurants, a polished bar, and room service.

FOOD

Staples of Zambian cuisine include nshima (pounded white maize), vegetables, stews, fish, insects (especially caterpillars), and beer. Nshima is one of the most common items at any meal and is sometimes a meal itself with vegetables and meat or fish added to it. If you are near a market and want a treat, look for vitumbuwa (fried dough balls). Plan to spend around 160 ZMW per day on food.

Transportation

GETTING TO ZAMBIA

Flights: The main airport to fly into is the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, located 16 miles from the capital of Lusaka. Other airports include the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone, though it mainly takes African and British flights. You can check for the best flights to Zambia on Skyscanner.

GETTING AROUND ZAMBIA

Buses: Public buses are a cheap way to get around towns, though rides may be bumpy. Fares will cost about 40 ZMW. You can also look for private buses that go between major destinations (such as Lusaka to Livingstone for 120 ZMW) and are generally smoother rides. It is best to book at least one day in advance. 

Taxis: Taxis are not metered, so make sure to check around to see what a fair price is. Licensed taxis will have the word “taxi” on the top of the vehicle with two stripes.

Car Rental: You might be able to find some cars, but driving is not as recommended if you do not know the roads. Many rental companies will not lend you a car if you do not have a chauffeur with you. It is best if you have transportation already provided for you, such as with a safari company. If you insist on a car, it can cost 4,750 ZMW per day. 

Uber: There is no Uber, but there is Ulendo, a taxi app which operates similarly to Uber.

Packing Tips

Zambia has a tropical climate modified by altitude (elevation).

It has a dry season from May to the end of October and a wet season from November to April.

During the wet season, some areas become inaccessible and many camps in Kafue, Lower Zambezi, and more remote parks are closed. 

The dry season is divided into the cool dry season (May to August) and the hot dry season (September and October).

  • Waterproof bag – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you’re traveling to drier regions.
  • Footwear – especially important if going you are heading on a safari! Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and also a pair of flip-flops or sandals that you can change into after a long day of sightseeing.
  • Protection from the elements – pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a loose sarong or wrap to cover yourself from the sun and bug-spray to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito (that might have malaria!)
  • Layers – pack the basic tropical clothes and make sure to include long pants, long-sleeve tops and some warm clothes for those chilly nights.
  • Avoid packing dark colored clothes – tsetse flies are drawn to dark colors, like blue and black clothing, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness. Stick to light, neutral colors but avoid packing white clothes as they will get dirty and dusty pretty quickly.
  • Pack for Humidity – for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics, like cotton, linen or rayon (avoiding silk, wool and polyester). Clothing should be loose and comfortable to encourage the flow of air and allow moisture to evaporate

When to Go

The best time to go to Zambia is between the months of June and November. During this time, it is the dry season, temperatures are in the 80s to low 90s, and you have the best chance of seeing the most wildlife.

However, if you are an avid birdwatcher, March will give you great opportunities to see the most birds, though know that it is still the wet season.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

WHAT NOT TO MISS

The best of Victoria Falls – Victoria Falls, what a rush!

Places to Stay

Taj Pamodzi, Lusaka: Just a short trip to the Lusaka National Museum and the Kabwata Cultural Village, this is a great four-star hotel in Lusaka. Choose from a variety of rooms (standard rooms with flat-screen TVs and balconies to suites to whirlpool tubs and dining areas), and enjoy the numerous hotel amenities, including free breakfast, a squash court, a gym, an outdoor pool and hot tub, a hotel restaurant with a café and bar, a steam room, and a sauna. 

Victoria Falls Waterfront: Stay just 5.5 miles from Victoria Falls at this hotel. Set on the Zambezi River, see the river from your hotel room while enjoying two outdoor pools, a riverside hotel and restaurant, a sauna, spa services, a fitness center, and a shuttle to Victoria Falls Airport. 

Zikomo Safari Camp: If you’re heading to South Luangwa National Park, stay at this all-inclusive camp. Across the river from the National Park, stay in a chalet with a bathroom, electric fan, mosquito net, and a private deck. Activities include safari walks and tours of the South Luangwa National Park, as well as tours to the local village and nearby island.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

NAMIBIA

NAMIBIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 35 0

NAMIBIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Lions stalking Blue Wildebeest under the cover of sun-burnt savannah grasses. Desert elephants – smaller than most, and with unusually wide feet – adapted to the blowing sands of the Kalahari.

Termite mounds as tall as my house, and people that throw incomprehensible pops and clicks into their speech at seemingly random times.

This Namibia travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

Namibia power voltage is 220V 50Hz; Plug D & M
The Namibian currency is the Namibian dollar and is around 13 NAD to 1 USD.
Beware of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts, Africa. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear but usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms generally include fever and joint pain; other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and rash.
Travelers spending a lot of time outdoors or visiting game parks have an increased risk of being bitten by a tsetse fly which can cause African Sleeping Sickness. Remember that these flies: bite during the day, are attracted to bright, dark colors and can bite through lightweight clothing.
Namibia banks, as well as Wilderness camps, only accept US Dollars, GBP Sterling, Euro and South African Rand in cash. Travelers’ Cheques in any of the above currencies are also acceptable. MasterCard and Visa are usually accepted throughout Namibia.
The water is not potable; drink only bottled water.
Best Sim Cards: We use KnowRoaming $3.99 per day Unlimited data. There are other unlimited plans for up to 1 month so check out KnowRoaming for details.

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION
Budget: You can find a variety of hostels and guest houses for 150-450 NAD per night. These come with free breakfast and Wi-Fi, simple private rooms or dorms, an outdoor pool, and close locations to nearby shops and restaurants.

Mid-Range: For mid-range, expect to pay around 600-750 NAD per night. These hotels come with private rooms, an outdoor pool, a casual hotel restaurant, free breakfast, and a lounge area.

High-End: For five-star hotels, you will pay around 3,500-13,000 NAD per night. Take in the best with private suites with flat-screen TVs and fireplaces, free breakfast, a hotel restaurant and bar, spa services, and activities like birdwatching.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.com, Tripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

FOOD

The cuisine in Namibia is influenced both by indigenous groups as well as British, African, and German settlers from the colonial period. Oshifima (millet paste) served with meat and vegetables is a popular meal. Other common meals include oshiwambo (beef, spinach, and maize meal), braaivleis (meat barbeque), and potjiekos (meat, chicken, and fish stew).

Head down to the coast to get fresh seafood or look for street vendors that sell kapana (spicy meat strips). There are more restaurants where you can sample more Namibian cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 100 NAD per day for food.

Transportation

GETTING TO BOTSWANA
Flights: There are 8 airports in Namibia, but the Hosea Kutako International Airport is the main airport to fly into and is 28 miles from the capital of Windhoek. You can check for the best flights to Namibia on Skyscanner.

GETTING AROUND BOTSWANA
Buses: Buses come in two main forms: the minibuses that go throughout towns or long-distance buses that travel between cities and include meals. Reservations should be made at least 72 hours for long-distance buses. Travel from Windhoek to Oshakati in 10.5 hours for 450 NAD

Taxis: Taxis are another way to get around. A typical taxi ride through the capital of Windhoek will cost about 12 NAD.

Car Rental: To rent a car, you generally need to be at least 25 years old and will need a U.S. driver’s license that has been valid for a year. Prices average at 1,070 NAD per day.

Uber: There is no Uber, but there is the rideshare app Lefa, which operates similarly to Uber.

When to Go

The best time to visit Namibia is between July and October. During these months, temperatures are pleasant (high 60s/low 70s) and there is little rainfall, which makes it the best chance to see wildlife.

Packing Tips

The climate is typically semi-desert with hot days and cool nights. Midsummer temperatures may rise to over 40 degrees Celsius.

Winter days are warm, but dawn temperatures may drop to freezing. The coast is cool with low rainfall and fog that prevails from late afternoon until mid-morning. The rainy season lasts from October to April.

The rest of the year is dry and cloudless. Rejoice, Namibia averages 300 days of sunshine a year! 

  • Waterproof bag – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you’re travelling to drier regions.
  • Footwear – especially important if going you are heading on a safari! Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and also a pair of flip-flops or sandals that you can change into after a long day of sightseeing.
  • Protection from the elements – pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a loose sarong or wrap to cover yourself from the sun and bug-spray to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito (that might have malaria!)
  • Layers – pack the basic tropical clothes and make sure to include long pants, long-sleeve tops and some warm clothes for those chilly nights. Make sure to pack parka and scarf / gloves for winter
  • Avoid packing dark colored clothes – tsetse flies are drawn to dark colors, like blue and black clothing, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness. Stick to light, neutral colors but avoid packing white clothes as they will get dirty and dusty pretty quickly.
  • Pack for Humidity – for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics, like cotton, linen or rayon (avoiding silk, wool and polyester). Clothing should be loose and comfortable to encourage the flow of air and allow moisture to evaporate.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • Namib-Naukluft National Park: Come to the largest game park in Africa. Included are parts of the Namib, the world’s oldest desert, as well as the Naukluft mountains. 
  • Spitzkoppe: Climb these granite peaks in the Namib desert. Featuring paintings created by the Bushmen, see art from the past while climbing the rock formations.

CULTURE

  • Volunteer to work with Cheetahs and wildlife conservation.
  • Windhoek’s Christ Church: Step inside this historical German Lutheran Church in Windhoek. Constructed in 1907, it is the oldest Lutheran church in Namibia and is considered a symbol of the city.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • Etosha National Park: See lions, zebras, giraffes, leopards, and more at this national park.One of the best places to see wildlife, you can also head to the salt pan in the middle of the park, which is the largest one in Africa. Camping is available in the park. 
  • Fish River Canyon: One of the most popular places in Namibia, Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa and the second largest in the world. Go camping, hike through the Fish River Hiking Trail (53 miles long in total), or just take in unparalleled views of the canyon.

Places to Stay

Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel: Stay right in the city center of Windhoek at this hotel. Just a short trip from Christ Church and the National Museum of Namibia, the hotel comes with brightly decorated rooms with minifridges, an outdoor plunge pool, a pub, and a hotel restaurant with terrace seating.

Hakusembe River Lodge, Gondwana Collection Namibia: When in Rundu, stay at this great lodge. Relax in wood-furnished bungalows, sleep in canopied beds, dine at the riverside restaurant, swim in the outdoor pool, go fishing, take a champagne river cruise, or relax on the sun loungers. Kids 5 and under stay free. 

Protea Hotel by Marriott Walvis Bay: Stay next to the Atlantic Ocean at this hotel. The Walvis Bay Train Station is just 7 minutes away on foot, which is perfect for those who want to explore more of the city. Or you can stay inside and enjoy free breakfast and Wi-Fi, a hot tub, golf, room service, and a hotel restaurant and bar.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.com, Tripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices. 

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, and get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanet.com

botswana

BOTSWANA TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 34 0

If there is one place in the world where you are guaranteed to see elephants it would be Botswana.

In fact, Botswana is hands-down one of the greatest safari destination in Africa, where travelers can not only spot elephants but also big cats, endangered African wild dogs, different species of birds and so much more.

It is also home of the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert.

This Botswana travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Botswana power voltage is 230V 50Hz; Plug G
  • The Botswana currency is the Botswana pula and is around BWP to 1 USD.
  • Beware of Chikungunya in Eastern Botswana, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts, Africa. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear but usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms generally include fever and joint pain; other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and rash.
  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year but the risk increases from November to June, in the north (Bobirwa, Boteti, Chobe, Ngamiland, Okavango and Tutume), including the Zimbabwean border, the Zambezi river and all the Game Parks to the north of the Kalahari Desert.
  • Although the tsetse fly has been almost eradicated from wilderness areas, travelers spending a lot of time outdoors or visiting game parks have an increased risk of being bitten by a fly which can cause African Sleeping Sickness. Remember that these flies: bite during the day, are attracted to bright, dark colors and can bite through lightweight clothing.
  • While Botswana is a safe country overall, travelers should be cautious in the areas of Kgale Hill and Gaborone Dam in Gaborone as there have been reports of travelers being robbed in those specific areas.
  • Water in urban areas is chlorinated and locals often drink from the tap. However, visitors with a sensitive stomach might want to stick to bottled water. Outside of urban areas, water is untreated so make sure to avoid tap water.
  • SIM Cards: the main mobile networks are Mascom, Orange and BTC. We’ve used Orange in Africa and it works quite well.
  • If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION
Budget: You can find budget hotels for as low as $30 per night. They offer free Wi-Fi, parking, and sometimes breakfast that’s included.

Mid-Range: You can get a mid-range hotel for around $100 per night. They may include air conditioning, laundry service, and family suites.

High-End: Staying at a luxury lodge in Botswana may cost you around $200 per night. You’ll have beautiful views of the country, a pool, and plush bedding.

Transportation

GETTING TO BOTSWANA
Flights: The Sir Seretse Khama International Airport is the main airport to fly into and is located 7 miles from Gaborone, Botswana’s capital. Other major cities like Francistown also have their own airport, but it is not international. You can check for the best flights to Botswana on Skyscanner.

GETTING AROUND BOTSWANA
Buses: Buses are one way to get through major cities if you wish to explore, but they tend not to travel to major tourist destinations. They can be a way to go between cities. You can find buses that go from Gaborone to Palapye for about P78.

Taxis: Taxis are a good way to get around. The best way to get one is to call a local taxi company. Fares are not always fixed, so there is room for negotiation.You can also rent a taxi for a day for about P500.

Car Rental: To rent a car in Botswana, you need to beat least 18 years old (drivers 25 and under will get a surcharge). You will need a U.S. driver’s license, and it is recommended to get an International Driver’s License as well. Prices start at P1100 per day.

Uber: Botswana does not have uber, but they do have Hello Cab, a rideshare app that operates similarly to Uber.Hello Cab runs throughout Gaborone, Botswana’s capital.

Packing Tips

Botswana’s climate is semi-arid. It is hot and dry for much of the year.

However, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional.

  • Waterproof bag – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you’re travelling to drier regions.
  • Footwear – especially important if going you are heading on a safari! Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and also a pair of flip-flops or sandals that you can change into after a long day of sightseeing.
  • Protection from the elements – pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a loose sarong or wrap to cover yourself from the sun and bug-spray to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito (that might have malaria!)
  • Layers – pack the basic tropical clothes and make sure to include long pants, long-sleeve tops and some warm clothes for those chilly nights.
  • Avoid packing dark colored clothes – tsetse flies are drawn to dark colors, like blue and black clothing, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness. Stick to light, neutral colors but avoid packing white clothes as they will get dirty and dusty pretty quickly.
  • Pack for Humidity – for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics, like cotton, linen or rayon (avoiding silk, wool and polyester). Clothing should be loose and comfortable to encourage the flow of air and allow moisture to evaporate.

See our packing tips: packing list for smart travel.

When to Go

The best time to go to Botswana for safaris is between May-September. During this time, there are more wildlife sightings due to the dry season (the animals come out to find water) and temperatures are not too hot or too cold (highs of upper 80s).

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • Elephant HighwayHead to northeast Botswana to ride through the elephant highway and spot some elephants while you’re there. Travel through beautiful vegetation and cycle on flatlands while seeing elephants right up-close.
  • Makgadikgadi Pan: Grab a quad bike and ride through the Makgadikgadi salt pan. Once a large lake, it is now one of the largest salt pans in the world and makes for a great contemplative trip in isolation.

CULTURE

  • Tsodilo Hills: See historical rock paintings at this site in the Kalahari. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has thousands of paintings that date back to 800 AD and are believed to be the first creations of the Bushmen.
  • Three Chiefs Statues: These bronze statues are of tribal chiefs from the 1800s who helped Botswana gain independence. See the statues for yourself or take a guided tour to learn more about the history of Botswana and the significance of these chiefs.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • Okavango Delta: Head over to this popular inland delta near the Okavango River. See a variety of wildlife including elephants, wildebeests, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, and antelopes. 
  • Mokolodi Nature Reserve: See southern white rhinos, zebras, red hartebeests, and more at this reserve.A great trip for the whole family, Mokolodi has numerous activities, including walks with trained elephants and rhino and giraffe tracking, as well as a museum, an education center, and camping sights.

Places to Stay

AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino: When in Gaborone, stay at this four-star hotel. Enjoy amenities like a casino, two hotel restaurants and a terrace bar, complimentary golf, an outdoor pool, a beauty salon, and tennis and squash courts. The Gaborone Game Reserve is just a short drive away. 

Peermont Metcourt—Francistown: Come to this three-star hotel in Francistown to enjoy air-conditioned rooms with a TV and tea and coffee, a hot tub, a hotel restaurant and bar, and a shuttle to the airport. If you’re in the mood for shopping, the Galo Shopping Center is just a 5-minute walk away. 

Maun Lodge: Close to the Nhabe Museum and overlooking the Thamalakane River, this popular hotel in Maun comes with private rooms and cottages, an outdoor pool, a hot tub, two hotel restaurants that serve international and African cuisine, and a hotel bar.   

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

EGYPT TRAVEL GUIDE

EGYPT TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 34 0

Egypt. The Land of the Pharaohs and one of the world’s greatest civilizations, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and pyramids.

It is filled with iconic landmarks and remarkable landscapes. It has a rich history, strong culture and it boasts world-class diving, incredible beaches, and exciting nightlife.

Egypt really does have it all.

This Egypt travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts
Egyptian power voltage is 220 V 50Hz; Plug C & F
The Egyptian currency is the Egyptian pound and is around 7 EGP to 1 USD
Egyptian laws towards alcohol are quite liberal, except for the month of Ramadan when alcohol is strictly forbidden
Egypt has a reasonably modern telephone service including three GSM mobile service providers: Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat. It is possible to purchase tourist mobile phone lines for your trip, which usually will cost around 30 EGP.
Random fact: More than 90% of Egypt consists of desertt
SIM Cards: You can get a local sim card from Vodafone or Orange in Cairo. We suggest getting a SIM card at the airport when you arrive.
If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.

Budgeting
ACCOMMODATION
Budget: You can find hostels and budget hotels in the range of 100-260 Egyptian Pounds per night. The hostels come with private or dorm-styled rooms, free Wi-Fi and breakfast, storage lockers, and great city locations.

Mid-Range: For mid-range, expect to pay around 330-1,500 Egyptian Pounds per night. Enjoy private rooms with a television, room service, a hotel restaurant and bar, free breakfast, and a fitness center.

High-End: For luxury hotels, expect to pay around 1,500- 8,000 Egyptian Pounds per night. Take in the best with fine dining options, rooms and suites with balconies and dining rooms, spa services, outdoor pools with lounge areas, and refined hotel bars.

FOOD
Egyptian cuisine favors fruit, vegetables, rice, and legumes as staples. Kushari (rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni) is a favorite dish in Egypt, as is Kofta (minced lamb).

When out and about, look for ful beans (often put in a sandwich) or mahshi (rice-stuffed peppers).. You can also head to a sit-down restaurant to sample more authentic Egyptian cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 100 Egyptian Pounds per day for food.

Transportation
GETTING TO EGYPT
Flights: The main airport to fly into is the Cairo International Airport, located 13.7 miles from the city center of Cairo. Alexandria also has its own international airport (4.3 miles from the city center). Hurghada International Airport is another busy one, but it is mainly for European flights. You can check for the best flights to Egypt on Skyscanner.

GETTING AROUND EGYPT
Buses: Buses are one way to get around, though they tend to be slower than other means of transportation. A typical fare is 1.50-2.50 Egyptian Pounds.

Metro: Cairo has its own metro system, with tickets costing just 1 Egyptian Pound and operating daily from 5:30 AM to midnight.

Taxis: Taxis are metered and have a starting fee of 7 Egyptian Pounds and increase about 5 Egyptian Pounds per mile traveled, though these prices can vary. Knowing Arabic can help with negotiations for prices or for getting to and from destinations.

Car Rental: To rent a car, you need to be at least 25 years old and have both a U.S. driver’s license and an International Driving Permit. Note that it is not recommended to drive unless you really know the roads, as they are more hectic than in the US. Prices start at around 800 Egyptian Pounds for drivers 25 and over.

Uber: Uber is available in Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada, Mansoura, Tanta, and Damanhour.

Packing Tips

Egypt has a hot desert climate that is generally dry.

The most moderate temperatures can be found near the thin coastal strip in the north and November through March are considered the most comfortable months to travel.

Although temperatures can reach up to 40 degree Celsius travelers must remember that Egypt is a rather conservative country and therefore it is wise to pack accordingly.

  • Avoid packing skirts or shorts – instead invest in a good pair of long pants made from a breathable fabric like linen.
  • Scarves or a light sweater – short sleeve tops and sleeveless tops are acceptable for women visiting tourist areas, however it is recommended that travelers carry around a scarf or light sweater to cover up when traveling to and from tourist destinations.
  • Protection from the sun – the sun can get extremely hot in the summer months so make sure to pack sunscreen, a sturdy had and a good pair of sunglasses.
  • Walking shoes – Egypt is a sightseeing country and travelers do a lot of walking. Make sure you bring a comfortable pair of shoes that you have already broken in and leave the flip flops at home.

See our packing tips: packing list for smart travel.

When to Go

The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April. During these months, temperatures are lower (highs of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes going to the pyramids or other outdoor activities more pleasant.

If you are looking to avoid some of the crowds, go before or after December and January, as this is Egypt’s peak tourist season and hotel rates will also be at their highest.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • 5 Egyptian Adventures You Don’t Want to Miss – from the Luxor Temple to the Valley of the Kings, the PlanetD has got you covered on the top Egyptian excursions.
  • Scuba dive in the Red Sea – Egypt has some of the best diving in the world where avid scuba divers can get up close and personal with hammerhead sharks, colorful coral and wrecks.

CULTURE

  • Alexandria – the pyramids and tombs aren’t the only ancient monuments in Egypt, the trolleys of Alexandria are one of the country’s historical treasures, dating back to 1860.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

Places to Stay

Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo: Stay at this four-star hotel in downtown Cairo. See views of the Nile River from your room while enjoying in-room minibars and flat-screen TVs, two saunas, an outdoor pool and hot tub, the hotel restaurant that serves international cuisine, and the fitness center. Kids 12 and under stay free with a parent. 

Grand Pyramids: Just a short walk from the Giza Pyramids (so close you can see them from your room),this popular hotel in Giza comes with rooms with flat-screen TVs and balconies, multiple hotel restaurants serving Italian and international cuisines, a spa, a kid’s pool plus an outdoor pool and heated indoor pool, and a gym. 

Paradise Inn Beach Resort Maamoura: Relax at this great resort in Alexandria. Head to Maamoura Beach or the Montaza Palace (both a short trip away) or stay in the hotel for complimentary breakfast, the indoor and outdoor pools, a café and bar right on the beach, and the open-air hotel restaurant.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Egypt you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

ETHIOPIA

ETHIOPIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 34 0

Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa.

Other than the fact that this African country was never colonized by a European power (along with Liberia), Ethiopia is known for its rich culture, delicious coffee, unforgettable landscapes, and friendly people.

It is also the only African country that has its own alphabet (an alpha-syllabary) which consists of 209 symbols and 25 letter variants.

This Ethiopia travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Ethiopia power voltage is 220V 50Hz; Plug C, E, F & L
  • Ethiopian currency is the Ethiopian birr and is around 20.8 ETB to 1 USD
  • Proof of an onward or return ticket is frequently asked for upon arrival in Ethiopia.
  • If you are planning to enter Ethiopia by land, you will need tourist visa in advance from your local Ethiopian Embassy.
  • A yellow fever vaccination is not obligatory in order to enter Ethiopia, but if you have recently traveled to a country where it is present then you will need proof of immunization.
  • Avoid travel to the border with Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea due to lack of security and a threat of violence and kidnapping
  • Several vaccinations are highly recommended including Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Meningitis.
  • The water is not potable; drink only bottled water.
  • SIM Cards: If you are planning on staying in Ethiopia for longer than a week, bring a cellphone to confirm flights, book tickets, call taxis etc.
  • Only select stores sell SIM cards but you can buy refill cards almost anywhere!
  • SIM Cards: You can get a local sim card from Vodafone or Orange in Cairo. We suggest getting a SIM card at the airport when you arrive.
  • If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION
Budget: You can find budget guest houses and hotels for 325-600 ETB per night. These places come with simple rooms, a lounge area, free breakfast and Wi-Fi, and a hotel restaurant and bar.

Mid-Range: You can find mid-range hotels for 1,175-1,825 ETB per night. Enjoy private rooms and suites with minibars and tea/coffee, a hotel restaurant and bar, a gym, an indoor or outdoor pool, room service, and airport shuttle.

High-End: You can find five-star hotels in the price range of 2,940- 8,250 ETB per night. Amenities include private suites with living rooms, free breakfast, multiple hotel restaurants, a cocktail bar, spa services, a gym, a swimming pool, and hot tub, and room service.

FOOD
Spicy meat and vegetables are a staple of Ethiopian cuisine. At the same time, members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church abstain from eating animal products every Wednesday and Friday, and so there are many vegetarian dishes/alternatives available as well.

The national dish is Doro Wat (spicy chicken stew). Other popular meals include Tibs (sautéed meat strips), Shiro be Kibbe (legume stew), and wat (stew made from meat, vegetables, spices, and clarified butter). You can also look for Injera, a sour flatbread that’s very popular.

There are sit-down restaurants where you can sample more of Ethiopia’s cuisine. In total, you can expect to pay 1030 ETB per day in major cities like Addis Ababa or 450 ETB for smaller cities.

Transportation

GETTING TO ETHIOPIA:
Flights: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, located 3.7 miles from the city center of Addis Ababa, is the main airport to fly into. You can check for the best flights to Ethiopia on Skyscanner.

Buses: Buses are a cheap way to get around. Minibuses are best for traveling throughout towns, though you can also take them to go between cities.

A trip on a minibus from Gondar to Bahir Dar, for example, will cost about 20 ETB. You can also look for luxury buses that are air-conditioned and travel between cities. Take a luxury bus from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar for 340 ETB. Tickets for luxury buses should be booked at least a day in advance.

Taxis: You can find two types of taxis—shared and private. Shared taxis will follow certain routes and include multiple passengers in a cab (similar to a bus), while private taxis do not have fixed destinations. It is best to negotiate the fare at the start of the trip and check around to make sure you are being given a fair price.

Car Rental: You can find car rentals that come with an experienced driver. Self-driving is not possible in Ethiopia due to the conditions of the roads. Prices start at 3,530 ETB per day.

Uber: No Uber, but there is ZayRide, a taxi app similar to Uber.

Packing Tips

Ethiopia is in the tropical zone lying between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer.

It has three different climate zones according to elevation: tropical, subtropical and cool zone.

The dry season is from September through to March, which is the best time to travel to Ethiopia.

There are two rainy seasons, the belg (short rains) in April and May and the long rains from July through to the end of September.

Waterproof bag – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you’re travelling to drier regions.
Personal Safety products – Addis Ababa is a safe city with little violent crime but lots of petty theft. As Jill from Jack and Jill Travel explains, “I’d never experience so many attempts at pickpocketing in such a short amount of time before.” Some tips include being extremely careful when leaving/arriving by bus in Meskal Square while also avoiding the use a backpack with anything valuable in it in Merkato. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.
Protection from the elements – pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and bug-spray to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito (that might have malaria!).
Avoid packing dark colored clothes – tsetse flies are drawn to dark colors, like blue and black clothing, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness. Stick to light, neutral colors but avoid packing white clothes as they will get dirty and dusty pretty quickly.
Footwear – Pack a pair of lightweight, durable and comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty!
Layers – pack the basic tropical clothes and make sure to include long pants, long-sleeve tops and some warm clothes for those chilly nights.

When to Go

The best time to visit Ethiopia is during the dry season of October through June. The dry season means there is less of a chance of rainfall, which makes it great for outdoor activities. It is also the period when nature is at its peak beauty, particularly in the highlands.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • Erta Ale: Come see the most active volcano in Ethiopia. Famed for its persistent lava lake in the crater, it makes a great sight for those ready for the adventure up the volcano.
  • Blue Nile Falls: One of the most popular places in Ethiopia,take a short hike through the countryside to see this magnificent waterfall. Standing at 138 feet, fans of nature will love this. You might get lucky and also see a rainbow.
  • See where the Blue and White Nile Meet –

CULTURE

  • Lalibela Churches: Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visit these historical 11 churches. Made from a single rock 900 years ago, these churches are a stunning sight, as well as culturally significant for members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. 
  • National Museum of Ethiopia: Learn more about Ethiopia by visiting this museum. Featuring exhibits, Ethiopian art, and fossils from extinct creatures, the museum also includes “Lucy”, a partial skeleton from a human who lived 3 million years ago.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • Simien Mountains National Park: Featuring rare Gelada baboons and Walia ibex, spend a day at this park. Activities include the Jinbar Waterfall, Ras Dashen (highest mountain in Ethiopia), and hiking through Mount Bwahit.
  • Fasil Ghebbi: Head to Gondar to see these impressive ruins from a 17th-century fortress city. Once home to Ethiopian emperor Fasilides, it is now a unique journey into the past.

Places to Stay

Best Western Plus Addis Ababa: When in Addis Ababa, stay at this popular hotel. Just a 20-minute ride from the National Museum of Ethiopia and Holy Trinity Cathedral, the hotel comes with free breakfast and Wi-Fi, room service, an indoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, and a hotel restaurant and bar. 

Sora Lodge Lalibela: Come stay at this well-rated hotel in Lalibela and see great views of the Asheten Mariam Mountain. The Church of Saint George and Bete Maryam are both just 5-6 minutes away by car. If you prefer to stay indoors, the hotel includes three choices of rooms (standard, rock-hewn, and tukul rooms), free breakfast, a hotel restaurant and bar, room service, an airport shuttle, and laundry service. 

Goha Hotel: Located 1.8 miles from Fasil Ghebbi and Fasilides Palace, this is a great place for seeing some top destinations or just for staying inside. With Goha Hotel being situated on a hill, you can see great views of Gondar from the hotel while enjoying the hotel restaurant that serves European cuisine, live entertainment, an outdoor pool, a café, a hotel bar, and sun loungers.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

kenya

KENYA TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 31 0

I Dream of Africa. Travel in Kenya is exactly what one hopes for when going on safari in Africa.

The people are friendly, the scenery is spectacular and even though the country is progressing at a rapid pace, it still feels as if you have stepped back in time.

This Kenya travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

#Fast Facts

  • Kenyan power voltage is 240 V 50 Hz; Plug G.
  • The Kenyan currency is the shilling and is around 86 shillings for 1 USD
  • Virtually all banks in Kenya now have ATMs at most branches. Barclays Bank has easily the most reliable machines for international withdrawals. Standard Chartered and Kenya Commercial Bank ATMs also accept Visa but not the other major providers and are more likely to decline transactions.
  • The best place to change money are a foreign exchange or “forex” bureaus as they do not charge commission. The exchange rates are published in the Daily Nation newspaper.
  • The water is not potable; drink only bottled water. Or bring a Steripen to purify your water and save the environment.
  • SIM Cards: If you are planning on staying in Kenya for longer than a week, you can get a SIM Card Safaricom, Airtel and Telcom are good choices. You can get them in Nairobi or at the airport arrivals.
  • Only select stores sell SIM cards but you can buy refill cards almost anywhere!
  • SIM Cards: You can get a local sim card from Vodafone or Orange in Cairo. We suggest getting a SIM card at the airport when you arrive.
  • If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.
  • Readers Receive a 30% Discount with our promo code DDSave30. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post.

#Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION
Budget: You can find hostels in the range of 1,250-2,800 shillings per night. Stay in centrally located hostels and enjoy free Wi-Fi, security lockers, complimentary breakfast, hot showers, and your choice of a dorm or private room.

Mid-Range: For mid-range hotels, expect to pay around 2,800-11,500 shillings per night. Enjoy private rooms and suites with TVs and minibars, a fitness center, a pool, a hotel restaurant and bar, and free Wi-Fi.

High-End: Five-star hotels will cost around 13,000-53,000 shillings per night. These hotels come with room service, elegant hotel restaurants and polished bars, private suites with living rooms, spa services, a pool, and a sauna.

FOOD
The cuisine of Kenya varies depending on the region. Popular staples include cereals like maize and millet, meats, and vegetables. Seafood is eaten frequently in coastal regions.

Ugali (cornmeal porridge) served with sukuma wiki (collard greens with onions and spices), kachumbari (tomato and onion salad), and maharagwe (bean stew) is a popular dish. Kenya has a variety of street vendors.

When out and about, look for Mahindi (grilled maize) or Mshikaki (skewered and grilled beef or goat meat on a stick). There are restaurants where you can try more Kenyan cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 2,550 shillings per day for food.

#Transportation

GETTING TO KENYA
Flights: The main airport to fly into is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, located 9 miles from Nairobi. Other airports include Moi International Airport (5.5 miles from downtown Mombasa) and Kisumu International Airport (5.5 miles from the city center). You can check for the best flights to Kenya on Skyscanner.

GETTING AROUND KENYA
Buses: Buses are a cheap way to get around, especially in major areas like Nairobi. You can find buses for both shorter and longer distances. A typical fare for a local bus is 150 shillings, while going between cities can cost about 600 shillings. If you are traveling long-distance, it helps to book a ticket at least a day in advance.

Taxis: Taxis are another way to get around. A typical taxi ride will cost 400 shillings. Since they are usually not metered, make sure to agree on the price before starting your trip.

Car Rental: To rent a car, you need to be at least 23-25 years old and have a U.S. driver’s license. An International Driving Permit is recommended, but not required. Prices start at 6,000 shillings per day.

Uber: Uber is available throughout Kenya, especially in major cities. Little and Taxify are also popular services that operate like Uber.

Banner

#Packing Tips

Kenya is a tropical country is characterized by a warm climate that often changes to cold in the night-time, but does not fall below sub-zero.

When packing for Kenya it is important that you keep your lodgings and planned activities in mind.

Travelers should pack transitional clothing items that can carry you from day to night or from city sightseeing to safari adventures.

Waterproof bag – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you’re travelling to drier regions.
Footwear – especially important if going you are heading on a safari! Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and also a pair of flip-flops or sandals that you can change into after a long day of sight-seeing.
The protection basics – Travelers should stock up on the essentials: sunblock, mosquito/insect repellant containing DEET or a pyrethroid insecticide, sunglasses and a hat.
Warm clothes – it does cool off at night, especially in Nairobi and the Highlands around July and August. Make sure to pack a light-weight sweater, cardigan or a pashmina scarf to keep you warm on those chilly nights.
Cover up – in Muslim areas, including the coast, shorts, and t-shirts can be frowned upon. Try and dress modestly; wear trousers or knee-length skirts with tops that cover your shoulders.

WHEN TO GO
The best time to visit Kenya is during the dry season (end of June to October). During this time, zebras and wildebeests migrate, which makes for great wildlife viewing.

The dry season also means better weather for outdoor activities. March through May is the low season for tourists, which might bring better hotel rates and fewer crowds, but there is also heavy rainfall during this time, to the point where some camps will close down.

Things to Do
ADVENTURE
Champagne and a Hot Air Balloon – travel in style over the Masai Mara
Go on a Safari in the Masai Mara – not only will you see all the big animals of Africa but you’ll witness some of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet.
Visit Kenya’s Amboseli National Park – to see the magnificent population of elephants and witness the extraordinary view of Mount Kilimanjaro.
CULTURE
Meet the Maasai People of Selenkay – a camp where travelers can learn about the Maasai culture while giving back to the community
Fairmont The Norfolk: A Part of Kenyan History – stay at the Fairmont, a hotel that played a critical role in Kenyan history.

#WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • Lake Nakuru – meaning “dust” or “dusty place” in the Maasai language, Lake Nakuru National Park is famous for wildlife including the thousands of flamingos nesting along the shores.
  • Born Free Lives on in Kenya – In the 60s a movie was released named Born Free based on the lives of Joy and George Adamson. The Elsamere Home in Kenya still lives on and focuses specifically on conservation.

#Places to Stay

Hilton Nairobi: Stay right in the middle of downtown Nairobi at this four-star hotel. Right near the city square and Hilton Park, this hotel comes with soundproof rooms with flat-screen TVs and minibars, 24/7 room service, a rooftop pool, a ballroom, and three hotel restaurants. 

CityBlue Creekside Hotel and Suites: When in Mombasa, come stay at this hotel. Just a quick drive to Nyali Beach, the hotel overlooks Tudor Creek and comes with numerous amenities, including private rooms with balconies and creek views (suites come with kitchenettes and living areas), complimentary breakfast, free airport shuttle, a hotel restaurant with a wine bar, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. 

Acacia Hotel Kisumu: Just a mile from Lwang’ni Beach and the Kenya Wildlife Impala Park, this four-star hotel is popular for a reason. See Lake Victoria from your hotel room (upgrade to a suite for whirlpool tubs in your room), swim in the pool, workout at the fitness center, relax on the terrace, or dine at the restaurant or café. If you want to explore more of Kenya, the Kisumu Railway Station is 10 minutes away by foot.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

#Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

malawi

MALAWI TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 31 0

Named as one of the top 10 places to travel to by Lonely Planet, Malawi is not a popular travel destination.

Known as the “Warm Heart of Africa” and “The Land of the Smiles” (due to the friendly nature of the locals), this African country is home to Lake Malawi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Majete Wildlife Reserve is a reserve where the Big Five (rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo) can be found.

This Malawi travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

#Fast Facts

  • Malawi power voltage is 230V 50Hz; Plug G
  • The Malawi currency is the Malawian kwacha and is around 540 MWK to 1 USD
  • Visas to enter Malawi are not required by citizens of the USA, all Commonwealth countries and most European countries (except Switzerland). For those nationalities that do require visas, these cannot be obtained on arrival but must be obtained in advance from any Malawi embassy or consulate.
  • Be wary of anyone asking for a ride, claiming to be a tour guide or offering you food or drink. There have been reports of people being robbed after their food/drink were drugged.
  • Beware of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts, Africa. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear, but usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito,.
  • Symptoms generally include fever and joint pain; other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and rash.
  • The water is not potable; drink only bottled water.
  • SIM Cards:
  • If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.
  • Readers Receive a 30% Discount with our promo code DDSave30. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post.

#Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION
Budget: You can find budget accommodation for 7,320-25,600 MWK per night. Stay in furnished bedrooms, eat at the hotel restaurant, and be close by to shops and city centers.

Mid-Range: For mid-range, expect to pay around 52,000-80,500 MWK per night. These hotels come with private rooms, a hotel restaurant and bar, a fitness center, laundry service, and an outdoor pool.

High-End: Five-star hotels will cost 82,000-352,000 MK and beyond. Take in the best with private suites with whirlpool tubs and living rooms, spa services, a beauty salon, multiple hotel restaurants and bars, a gym, massages, room service, and airport shuttles.

#FOOD

Fish, corn, potatoes, cattle, goats, and sorghum, as well as fruits like bananas and mangoes, are common staples in Malawi’s cuisine. Nsima (maize porridge) is one of the most popular dishes and is typically served with ndivo, a sauce made from meat or vegetables.

If you are in the mood for a treat, look for mandazi, Malawi’s version of a donut (less sweet than US donuts) or, for those more adventurous, head to Lilongwe to try tsofi (goat tail). You can also head to a sit-down restaurant to sample more of Malawi’s cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 5,200 MWK per day for food.

#Transportation

GETTING TO MALAWI
Flights: Kamuzu International Airport, located 21.7 miles from Lilongwe, is the main airport. Chileka International Airport, about 10 miles from the city center of Blantyre, is another popular airport. You can check for the best flights to Malawi on Skyscanner.

GETTING AROUND MALAWI
Buses: Buses are a cheap way to get around. You can find both minibuses, as well as coaches for long-distance travels between cities. Minibuses leave when full and run throughout the day, while long-distance buses will require booking a ticket in advance.

Taxis: Taxis are a good way to get around major cities. Your local hotel can help arrange a taxi ride. A taxi ride from the Kamuzu airport to downtown Lilongwe, for example, will cost roughly 14,650.

Car Rental: Renting a car is a good way to get to areas not serviced by buses. To rent a car, you will need to be at least 23-25 years old and have a U.S. driver’s license. Prices start at 6,100 MWK per day.

Uber: No Uber, but Malawi does have Ecoride, a taxi app that operates similarly to Uber.

#Packing Tips

Malawi’s climate is generally tropical. A rainy season runs from November to April.

There is little to no rainfall throughout much of the country from May to October.

Waterproof bag – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you’re travelling to drier regions.
Footwear – especially important if going you are heading on a safari! Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and also a pair of flip-flops or sandals that you can change into after a long day of sight-seeing.
The protection basics – Travelers should stock up on the essentials: sunblock, mosquito/insect repellant containing DEET or a pyrethroid insecticide, sunglasses and a hat.
Warm clothes – it does cool off at night, especially in Nairobi and the Highlands around July and August. Make sure to pack a light-weight sweater, cardigan or a pashmina scarf to keep you warm on those chilly nights.
Cover up – in Muslim areas, including the coast, shorts, and t-shirts can be frowned upon. Try and dress modestly; wear trousers or knee-length skirts with tops that cover your shoulders.
See our packing tips: packing list for smart travel and What to Pack for an Africa Safari

#When to Go

The best time to visit is during the dry season of May to October. As this is the winter season in Malawi, there is less of a chance of rainfall and the weather is pleasant, which makes for great wildlife viewing. Your chance of getting Malaria also decreases the most in the winter.

#Things to Do

ADVENTURE
Manchewe Waterfalls: Spend a day seeing the highest waterfall in Malawi. Take a short hike to see this impressive sight, which stands at 120 meters. The admission fee is 500 NWK.
Majete Wildlife Reserve: Head here to see the Big 5 (leopards, elephants, buffalos, black rhinos, and lions), as well as giraffes, zebras, hartebeests, and more. With over 2,500 animals, there is plenty to see here. Safaris are available by boat, vehicle, or foot.
CULTURE
Cultural & Museum Centre Karonga: Learn more about Malawi by visiting this museum. A guided tour will take you throughexhibits, murals, and displays that show the history of the country, from the dinosaur era to Malawi’s fight for independence.
St. Peter’s Cathedral: Constructed in 1905 by missionaries, this historical church is still operating. Step inside to see the great architecture, take a guided tour to learn more about the church’s history, or attend a service.
WHAT NOT TO MISS
Lake Malawi National Park: Come to the world’s first freshwater national park. You can snorkel, scuba dive, or kayak on the lake, take a walk through nature, or feed the freshwater fish.
Liwonde National Park: Head to southern Malawi to see black rhinos, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, as well as rare birds. After seeing the wildlife, explore a local village
Places to Stay
Sogecoa Golden Peacock Hotel: Just a few miles from the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, stay at this four-star hotel. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, private rooms with flat-screen TVs and minibars, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a beauty salon, massage services, and two hotel restaurants—international cuisine and Chinese cuisine.

Protea Hotel by Marriott Blantyre Ryalls: Just a short distance from St. Michael and All Angels Church and the Chichiri Museum, come stay at this hotel. Amenities include contemporary rooms with minibars, a panoramic hotel restaurant, a cocktail bar, a gym, spa services, and a pool.

Sunbird Ku Chawe: Stay in the Zomba Plateau at this mountain resort in Zomba. Featuring a gym, a hotel restaurant and bar, room service, and airport transportation, the hotel also comes with beautiful mountain views, making it a great place to relax.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.com, Tripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

#Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: theplanetd.com

morocco

MOROCCO TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 33 0

Morocco is a fascinating multicultural country blended from African, Arab and European influences.

It is our closest link to the continent of Africa and a diverse holiday destination.

The country offers an incredible amount of history, culture, art, and music along with a fascinating geographical landscape incorporating the Sahara desert, the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and the Atlantic coastline.

This Morocco travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

#Fast Facts

  • Moroccan power voltage is 127/220 V 60 Hz; Power sockets C & E
  • The local currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD) and is around 9.50 MAD to 1 USD
  • In the north of Morocco, visitors will find the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, claimed by Morocco and considered by the Moroccan state to be “occupied territory.”
  • In these two towns, the main currency is the euro.
  • Tipping is a way of life in Morocco; almost any service can warrant a tip so make sure to bring small bills.
  • Haggling is also a way of life in Morocco.
  • NEVER pay the asking price, vendors often double or even triple the prices of an item to allow some wiggle room through the haggling process.
  • If you are not Muslim, you are not allowed in many of the mosques. Exceptions include the partially restored Almohad structure of Tin Mal in the High Atlas, the similarly disused Great Mosque at Smara in Western Sahara, the courtyard of the sanctuary-mosque of Moulay Ismail in Meknes and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.
  • Moroccan laws towards alcohol are quite liberal however drinking alcohol in public places is not recommended. During Ramandan, try to avoid drinking, eating or smoking in public during the hours of fasting.
  • SIM Cards:
  • If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.
  • Readers Receive a 30% Discount with our promo code DDSave30. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post.
  • Budgeting
  • ACCOMMODATION
  • Budget: You can find a variety of hostels from 53-175 MAD per night. Enjoy dorms or private rooms, free breakfast, hot showers, and central locations to nearby tourist destinations. The Riad Verus in Fes even offers free Arabic classes.

Mid-Range: For mid-range, expect to pay around 380-860 MAD per night. These hotels come with a hotel restaurant and bar, rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, and room service.

High-End: For five-star hotels, you will pay around 860-4,100 MAD per night. Take in the best with spa services, fine dining, swimming pools with lounge areas, refined private suites with living rooms, a fitness center, and an airport shuttle.

#FOOD

Moroccan cuisine has a variety of influences, including Arabic, Berber, Mediterranean, and Andalusian cuisine, among others. Staples include fruits, vegetables, meat (beef, goat, lamb, and mutton), seafood, grapes, olive oil, and spices.

Couscous is a popular dish and is often served with meat or vegetables. Morocco also has a vibrant street food scene, where you can sample dishes like harira (a soup made from tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, lamb, rice, and spices such as cinnamon) or merguez (minced beef or lamb sausages served in flatbread). There are sit-down restaurants as well where you can try more of Morocco’s cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 120 MAD per day for food.

#Transportation

GETTING TO MOROCCO
Flights: Morocco has 25 airports, but the main airport to fly into is the Mohammed V International Airport, located 15.5 miles from the city center of Casablanca. Another popular airport is Marrakesh Menara International Airport (4.6 miles from downtown Marrakesh), but the flights are mostly from Europe. You can check for the best flights to Morocco on Skyscanner.

GETTING AROUND MOROCCO
Buses: Buses are good for traveling between cities. For more local trips between towns, expect to pay 3-5 MAD, or to go between cities, expect to pay between 210-340 MAD. A bus trip from Casablanca to Marrakesh, for example, will cost about 210 MAD.

Car Rental: To rent a car, you need to be at least 18-21 years old with a U.S. driver’s license that you have held for 1-2 years. Car rental prices start at 450 MAD per day for drivers 25 and older.

Taxis: Taxis are another way to get around. There are two types of taxis in Morocco: Petit and Grand. Petit taxis can seat up to 3 passengers, are metered, and only travel in the city, while Grand can seat up to and travel outside of a city. Grand taxis tend to have a fixed rate of 10.5 MAD for in-city travel.

Uber: Uber is not available at the time.

Source: Theplanetd.com