Tips When Travelling

Bhutan, LDPanointment

Christopher Columbus, an experienced traveler by any measure, set sail for ‘the Orient’ but instead landed in the Bahamas. Experienced travelers still make mistakes, but most of us have learned how to minimize them after countless hours in planes, trains and automobiles visiting our great planet. Whether you’re experienced or not, travel wisdom is earned from … Read more

7 Tips for Viewing Serengeti Migration River Crossings

Each year, over a million wildebeest and zebras crisscross the Mara river in the northern Serengeti (Tanzania) as they migrate in search of fresh grazing land. Depending on the rains each year, these river crossings can start as early as June as herds move north, and end around November as the majority of migrating animals … Read more

Gorilla Safaris in Uganda: Permits, Parks, and Packing

Our visit to Uganda was during Covid, which made everything just a little more problematic, but it was still a very enjoyable wildlife adventure trekking into the impenetrable forest of Bwindi to view the mountain gorillas. This trip in particular needs advance planning, which we detail below. Picking a Park for a Gorilla Trek There … Read more

Italy Holidays

Below are a few Italian destinations that we love, but a more detailed journal of our travel in Italy is still in development. If you have a particular interest and would like to help us shape our Italian travelogue, please drop us a line and describe your interest or questions. Featured Itineraries Holidays in Italy … Read more

7 Unusual Things to do in Cape Town | A Local’s Guide

We all know about the popular Cape Town activities, like a hike up Table Mountain and a trip to Robben Island. And while these are fantastic things to do, and no doubt worthwhile, there are some incredible alternatives. After all, Cape Town is a phenomenally beautiful, diverse place with a lot more to offer than … Read more

Avoiding Crowds on a Serengeti-Mara Safari

The great wildebeest migration spectacle is unlike other safaris because of the huge numbers of animals, but sometimes it seems the tourists outnumber the animals. Visitor estimates during the 2018 peak season in the small area called the Maasai Mara range from 2,500 to 8,000 per day. This post describes some avoidance tips we picked … Read more

How Weather Affects the Serengeti-Mara Migration

The Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park are part of the same continuous ecosystem, which extends from southern Kenya into northern Tanzania. The ecosystem has 2 or 3 seasons depending on who you ask. The confusion lies in the fact that its rainy season is divided into a short rains season and … Read more

Varanasi – A Giant Step Back in Time

India, Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. It has been known by many names, including the City of Light, a name derived from Kāśī (Sanskrit: “to shine”). This name survived since its first appearing in texts around 1,000 B.C., and refers to spiritual illumination. The 3,000 year old name Kashi is still … Read more

The Serengeti-Mara Great Migration

The holy grail of African safaris is the great wildebeest migration that takes place each year in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem of Tanzania and Kenya. This post describes some of what we learned while researching and what we experienced while on safari in the Serengeti (see our post) and the Mara (see our post). The Serengeti-Mara … Read more

Nairobi, Kenya – East Africa’s Safari Capital

Is Nairobi worth exploring, or is it just a mere stopover on your trip into or out of the wilderness? Nairobi is definitely worth exploring, as it is the cultural and culinary hub of Kenya. Kenya’s main tourism attractions are safari tours, and sun—sea—sand resorts on its coast, and many tourists combine both in a … Read more

Safety and Other Tips for your Trip to Africa

Zambia-FeaturedImage SafetyTimps

In this post, we share a few safety and general travel tips for your visit to Africa, with an emphasis on Safari related travel. Our travel notes on Egypt and North Africa are described in other posts. We’ve been to Africa only a half dozen times, so obviously we aren’t Africanophiles, and have no African … Read more

Sadhus: Fact and Fiction of Holy Men of Varanasi and Kathmandu

In holy cities like Varanasi and Kathmandu, some holy men (Sādhus) are quite conspicuous because of their eccentric appearance, which symbolizes their ascetic status and their renunciation of material desires (sannyāsa). This post sheds some light on why some ascetics dress and act the way they do, and dispels some myths about some of their … Read more

Planning Your First African Safari Vacation [2020]

Zambia-BusangaPlains-LionFight

What are the variables that go into planning an amazing safari vacation, and how to choose from all the possible safari options? Time and Budget Your Budget for an African safari vacation is driven by 2 main variables: the type of lodging and the duration of your vacation. At the low end, you can rent … Read more

Botswana Safaris – The Gem of Africa

Botswana is known as the Gem of Africa because it is the world’s top diamond producer (by value of diamonds; Russia is the top producer by volume). Botswana is also a gem for safari enthusiasts, because of its 3 varied safari areas: the Okavango Delta, the vast Kalahari Desert and salt pans, and the Chobe … Read more

Bhutan’s Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang Palphug Monastery)

Paro’s biggest attraction is the sacred Buddhist monastery called Tigers Nest. It is situated at 10,000 feet up on a vertical rock face overlooking the valley. A trip to Tiger’s Nest should be part of an overall itinerary that includes all of Bhutan (see our post on Bhutan). The monastery complex was built in 1692, … Read more

Bhutan-Exporter of ‘Gross National Happiness’

Bhutan travel is very unique. It is situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Surrounded by the Himalayas, it offers dramatic landscapes and some of the world’s most exotic trekking and hiking, like the month-long Snowman Trek, or the half-day Tiger’s Nest hike (see our post on Tiger’s … Read more

Kenya or Tanzania – which to choose for a safari?

Many tourists want to know the differences between Kenya and Tanzania when planning their safari vacation in Africa. The glib advice is “choose both countries” but if time or cost constraints force you to choose between these two countries, this post describes some of their key safari-related differences, based on our experience. There are many … Read more