Monthly Archives: June 2014

Events happening across the globe

Year Date(s) Sport Event Location
2014 May 3 Horse Racing Kentucky Derby Louisville, Kentucky, US
2014 May 17 Soccer FA Cup final Wembley Stadium, London
2014 May 24 Soccer UEFA Champions League final  
2014 May 26-Jun 8 Tennis French Open Paris, France
2014 Jun 2-14 Field Hockey World Cup (men and women) The Hague, Netherlands
2014 Jun 12-15 Golf US Open Pinehurst, North Carolina
2014 Jun 23-July 6 Tennis Wimbledon London, England
2014 Jul 5-July 27 Cycling Tour de France France
2014 Jul 23-Aug 3 Multi-sports Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland
2014 Aug 16-28 Multisports Summer Youth Olympics Nanjing, China
2014 Aug 25-Sep 8 Tennis US Open New York
2014 Sep 19-Oct 4 Multi-sports Asian Games Incheon, South Korea
2014 Sep 27 AFL Grand Final Melbourne, Australia
2014 Oct 3-13 Gymnastics world championships (artistic) Nanning, China
2014 Dec 13–21 Field Hockey FIH Champions Trophy – men India

 

Other events

Date name Type Venue Web link
25 – 26 November 2014 NeMa Africa 2014 Network Management Conference The Montcalm Marble Arch .34 – 40 Great Cumberland Place,
London,
W1H 7TW,
United Kingdom
http://www.icbi-events.com/event/nema-africa-event/dates-venue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 22-23, 2014 6th Annual East Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference

 

Finance Conference Nairobi, Kenya. Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club http://www.exportagroup.com/events/conferences/6th-Annual-East-Africa-Trade-&-Commodity-Finance-Conference_450/
15-17 July 2015 POWER-GEN Africa   Cape town, Cape town international convention centre http://www.powergenafrica.com/index.html#pgaf_3#leftcolumn_tabs_0_6
September 9-11, 2014 Asia Trade Finance Week 2014

 

Finance Conference  Singapore, Singapore. Raffles City Convention Centre http://www.exportagroup.com/events/conferences/Asia-Trade-Finance-Week-2014_457/
October 22-23, 2014 6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference

 

Trade & Commodity Finance Conference

 

Lagos, Nigeria. Eko Convention Centre http://www.exportagroup.com/events/conferences/6th-Annual-West-Africa-Trade-&-Commodity-Finance-Conference_462/
         
         
         
         
         
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10 Reasons to visit The Gambia

The Gambia is becoming one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Here are ten reasons, why you should visit the smiling coast.

  • The Gambia is the kind of holiday destination suitable for every type of vacation, whether it is a summer vacation for the entire family or a romantic getaway for honeymooners.
  • The beaches of The Gambia are great places to frolic in the warm water and get oneself a golden tan. In addition to this, they also offer plenty of entertainment options, with activities like surfing, fishing or just making sand castles!.
  • The Gambia has an enviable climate and for those seeking some sun and sand, The Gambia becomes an excellent vacation option for escaping the winter with average temperature of 24 to 31 degrees centigrade.
  • Yet another excellent reason to go to The Gambia is to see and experience historic slave towns that inspired classic films such as Alex Hayleys Roots .
  • The people of The Gambia have a vibrant culture with flourishing festivals. The Roots festival , Kanilai Festival and a range of festivals will keep you entertained no matter what time of the year you visit.
  • Gambia is a great travel destination for bird enthusiasts. With over 100 spieces of beautiful and rate birds, you may need extra notepads to record all the beautiful birds in The country.
  • Also, The Gambia has an assortment of accommodation options to fit almost every budget with luxury hotels lining the coast, and affordability and industry being the mainstay of the Senegambia coast.
  • Friendliest people on you will ever met. Honestly, it is not called the Smiling Coast for no reason. If you want to meet happy people, then Gambia is the place.
  • The Gambia is uncommercialised and virtually untouched. Tourism plays an import role and employs a lot of locals. If you want to visit somewhere were the locals really benefit and not large corporations, This is the place.
  • Affordability : The Gambia is an affordable holiday choice. You don’t have to dig deep down into your pocket to enjoy tranquility, sunshine and sea.

Posted in Bijilo Beach Hotel News

How to Plan Your Dream Vacation

Everyone dreams of going on a grand vacation at some time during their lives. It can be overwhelming, however, when you sit down to actually plan your trip. Many considerations go into planning a vacation: timing, weather, activities, budget and preferred travel method. By taking as many of these as possible into consideration, you increase your chances of having an enjoyable vacation and set your mind at ease during the planning process.

Step 1

Brainstorm vacation ideas. Write down things you’d like to include in your vacation: places you’ve dreamed of visiting, activities you like, your favorite season or weather, people you want to visit, your preferred way to travel, important dates and anything else that will make your vacation special.

Step 2

Determine your budget. Don’t forget to factor in travel costs (i.e., airplane or cruise tickets, bus fare), food, clothing, hotel expenses, souvenirs, sports equipment, cameras/film, attraction entry fees, tips and travel insurance.

Step 3

Research online and flip through travel books and tour catalogues to find the best intersection between your desires and budget. Try to find three or four potential itineraries. For example, if you’re dreaming of a sailing vacation with sun and team sports, and your budget is $5,000, an all-inclusive cruise may suit your tastes and budget. Find three cruises that might suit. For adventure travel with animals and an unlimited budget, a luxury African safari might be a good fit. Look into three tour companies that offer what you like.

Step 4

Write out your options. Include dates and times, and information you’ve found about interesting attractions on each potential itinerary. Sleep on it for a bit, or consult friends and family. Share what you’ve learned with potential travel companions. Over time, the best option should leap out at you. If it doesn’t, try some additional research.

Step 5

Book your vacation. Check to make sure that your hotel reservations and transportation tickets cover the same days, and that the sights you wish to see will be open during the time period. Create a packing list based on your destination’s weather and your preferred activities.

 

More at http://traveltips.usatoday.com/plan-dream-vacation-12770.html

8 REASONS WHY MALAYSIA IS THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL DESTINATION

Malaysia is the perfect holiday target. From busy cities to gorgeous beaches, green rainforests to temperate waters rich with aquatic life, there are many attractive spots in Malaysia to visit, and a lot to do.

There are numerous reasons to vacation Malaysia; however, here are the top 8 reasons that makes Malaysia the perfect vacation spot:

weather

1. The weather is hot all year round

 

There is no spring, summer, autumn or winter. Every day is a sunny day. The temperature stays pretty much constant all year round, that is to say, hot! The rain, when it does come (more so in the monsoon season during November to March) is refreshing and cooling, so it is actually a welcomed occurrence.

1280px-Sabah_Malaysia_Welcoming-Contingent_Hari-Merdeka-2013-16

2. You get to experience three cultures (and more) in one country

You may have noticed the “Truly Asia” tag in the title of this post. This was coined by the tourism ministry of Malaysia to highlight the multiculturalism of the country (there’s even a song to go with it! See the bottom of the post). Visit Malaysia and you will find yourself immersed in not only Malay culture, but also those of the Chinese, Indian and a number of other ethnic minority groups, particularly in East Malaysia (on Borneo island). It’s a three in one offer! You will also see how British (and to a lesser extent, Portuguese / Dutch) colonialism has played its part in Malaysia’s history.

3.  Easy for English-speaking tourists to get by

Malaysia is a well-worn travel path. Whilst not everyone in Malaysia speaks perfect English, most are able to understand and communicate enough English to help tourists get by. If that doesn’t work, Malay (the national language) is a pretty easy language to pick up and use. Written Malay uses the same letters as the written English language and pronunciation is straightforward (mostly said the same way it’s spelled). Colloquial Malay also borrows a lot of English words so it’s quite easy to use context to figure out what the locals are saying a lot of the time.

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4. Sipadan: one of the top diving spots in the world

Sipadan is an island that lies south of Semporna, a town in Sabah which lies in East Malaysia (on Borneo Island). Its location in waters of huge marine biodiversity makes it an amazing spot to go diving. In particular, it is well known for the large numbers of green and hawksbill turtles, as well as schooling barracuda and big eye trevally.

It is especially heartening to know that the Malaysian government seems committed to protecting this site, which had meant that the numbers of dives by all visitors are capped daily (divers need a license to dive), there is no night diving allowed and no dive resorts are permitted on the island.

11206-petronas-twin-towers-kuala-lumpur-1920x1080-world-wallpaper

6. Petronas Twin Towers: world’s tallest twin towers

It was the tallest building in the world, from 1998 to 2004, after which it was overtaken by the Taipei 101. So Malaysians found a new title for it – the world’s tallest twin towers. Its place in history as a true icon of Kuala Lumpur was sealed when it made its breakthrough Hollywood appearance in Entrapment, with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The main attractions are the tour of the skybridge and the observation deck, both of which you will require tickets for.

malaysia

7. Gorgeous islands and beaches

There are a number of tropical islands to choose from in Malaysia, depending on the type of vibe you’re after. Visit the most well-known Malaysian island, Pulau Langkawi, for a luxurious beach holiday. Pulau Perhentian is one for the backpackers, with a more chilled out and less made up experience. Then there’s Penang (for food), Pangkor (for accessibility and hanging with the locals), Sipadan (for diving), Tioman (for wildlife)…and the list goes on.

cuisine

8. The food!

And then there’s the food, an adventure in itself. Local and low-key is the way to go – hawker and street food is readily available, whilst being cheap and delicious. Malaysian food is a reflection of the mix of the 3 main ethnic groups, which means there is a huge range of food dishes and drinks to try. And then there are the tropical fruits – rambutans, mangosteens, cikus, mangoes, coconuts and of course the king of them all, the durian.

Planning a trip to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris – the basics

Disneyland Paris comprises a huge array of attractions, including two separate theme parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park), a village boasting further attractions such as cinemas (including an IMAX), theatres, golf courses, restaurants and bars, and much, much more. Add to that the opportunity to come face to face with favourite Disney characters and enjoy a host of special seasonal events and the resort would appear to tick all the boxes!

Furthermore, as you can choose to stay on site at one of the resort’s seven themed hotels (there are also nearby partner hotels you can stay at too, connected to the parks by a free shuttle bus) and eat at no less than 65 restaurants, cafes and bars, the resort combines fun with practical convenience, too.

It’s open throughout the year and is located at Marne-la-Vallée, about 20 miles from Paris, so it can easily be combined with further exploration of this part of France, including a stay in the capital (travel connections between the Disneyland resort and Paris itself are quick and efficient).

When to go

As with anything holiday-related, there is a low and high season for visiting Disneyland Paris – Christmas, for example, is a hugely popular time so you can expect prices to vary quite dramatically depending on when you’d like to visit. There are special offers available throughout the year, however, so it’s worth checking the Disneyland Paris website to see what’s available. As a rule, weekends are more expensive than visiting during midweek and of course weekends will be much busier so you’ll have to expect much longer queuing times for attractions when you’re in the park.

Remember that as many of the attractions are outdoors you may find that the depths of winter make wandering around outside rather uncomfortable, especially with little ones. Northern France experiences weather quite similar to the UK in winter so do bear this in mind when planning your trip.

Booking your trip

You can book your trip direct through the Disneyland Paris website, which offers park and accommodation packages. As with any holiday you’ll need to shop around a little to find the best deal to suit your needs. You can of course buy your park tickets alone and then sort out your accommodation separately. There are lots of tour operators offering deals to the Disneyland resort but be sure to book with a reputable firm that is ABTA and/or IATA registered so you’ll have the necessary protection against your booking. Larger operators who visit Disneyland Paris include First ChoiceThomas Cook and the The Co-operative Travel. Online travel specialists such as Expediaand Lastminute also cover the resort, and allow you to tailor-make your own package.

If you’re planning to travel by Eurostar you may find that booking a train and hotel package via theEurostar website makes a cost-effective and convenient choice. Alternatively you might like to consider basing your trip in Paris and then travelling into the park for the day – the resort is just 35 minutes by train from the centre of Paris.

Many parents on our forums have recommended using Tesco Clubcard vouchers to purchase your travel – the vouchers are redeemable against travel on Eurotunnel (the car shuttle from Ashford to Calais) which can make your travelling costs much more affordable.

Getting there

The most accessible ways to reach Disneyland Paris are by air, on the Eurostar direct to Paris or with your car via Eurotunnel. Paris’ main airport is Charles De Gaulle, and plenty of airlines offer flights to Paris from airports across the UK. These include: Aer LingusAir FrancebmibabyBritish Airways,easyJetflybeJet2.comRyanair.

From Charles De Gaulle it’s pretty straightforward to travel on to the resort. You can catch the handy VEA Navette , a scheduled shuttle-bus service that leaves approximately every 15 minutes, seven days a week (trains run from 8.30 in the morning with last train times varying throughout the week). The journey to Disneyland takes around 45 minutes and costs around 16 euros for an adult ticket and 13 euros for children from 3 to 11 years old (under 3s travel free). Tickets can be purchased on board.

Alternatively you can catch an RER train, which offers a faster transfer to the resort  (35 minutes) but doesn’t run as regularly as the Navette. You’ll need the RER line A4 from Paris, which drops you off at the end of the line at Marne la Vallee/Chessy station, just 100 metres from the resort.

If you’ll be travelling by car from Calais (either from the Eurotunnel or ferry arrival points) your journey to the resort is via the motorway and takes around 3 hours. There is free car parking at all Disney hotels and a paying car park at the actual park. If you’d prefer to travel on the Eurostar train you can pick this up at either London St Pancras or Ashford International in Kent – the journey takes just over 3 hours. The big bonus of travelling via Eurostar is there is no additional transfer hassle – your train drops you off direct at the gates of the Disney resort.

Accommodation

If you plan to stay on site there are 7 hotels to choose from, ranging in price, as well as partner hotels located just a short distance away, all of which are connected to the parks via a free shuttle bus service.

If you’re visiting in the summer you could consider camping – Rachel B in the Coffee House recommends Eurocamp’s La Croix Du Vieux Pont which is just 90km away or an hours’ drive to the resort. Eurocamp also has a site much nearer, the Val d’Europe, a great choice if you want to combine a trip to Disneyland with a day or two in the capital.

Heather M recommends the Santa Fe hotel as a good choice for those on a budget as it often works out as the cheapest on-site option: “It’s basic, clean and has everything we need. It is the furthest hotel from the park but it’s only a 15-minute walk along the river to get there. However, if you wanted to go to one of the other hotels, the Sequoia Lodge is lovely and it has a pool (the Sante Fe doesn’t) though do bear in mind there may be some pool closures at certain points in the year.”

Many Coffee House members suggest opting for half-board accommodation at the resort if you want to save money. The restaurants and cafes on site can be expensive but half-board guests are given vouchers to pay for one of their main meals each day (breakfast is included at all on-site hotels). Half board vouchers come in 3 types – standard, plus or premium. Vouchers can be used in full or part-payment for meals at some of the on-site restaurants.

One big plus of staying at Disney hotel is that you get ‘Extra Magic Hours’ which enable hotel guests to enter the park a couple of hours ahead of the general public, a great way to see the park before it gets busier and benefit from shorter queueing times (though not all sections of the park or rides will be operating at the time – you’ll need to check what attractions are open during Magic Hours).

If you stay in one of the Disney hotels your breakfast and park tickets for the duration of your stay are included. In terms of costs, many of our Coffee House members recommend booking your accommodation direct with Disney – you probably won’t find it cheaper elsewhere, especially if you are looking to stay on-site – but booking your travel independently. Or follow Fiona F’s advice and look for accommodation deals on the big online travel agents: “Many of the partner hotels (i.e those not located within the resort) can have good offers on websites such as Expedia, such as the Dream Castle and Magic Circus. These are both close to the Disney resort and can offer a better standard of accommodation. We have been to Disneyland Paris seven times and stayed off-site for the first time last year – we would recommend the Dream Castle as an alternative to the hotels in the resort.”

Eating & drinking

According to many of the posters in our Coffee House you don’t go to Disneyland Paris for the food. It can be rather expensive and fairly restrictive – meals for children are often dominated by fast-food staples such as burgers and chips, and buying snacks around the resort can quickly mount up. Our seasoned Disneyland visitors seem to favour the half-board option to keep costs down – one parent saved around £300 in food costs by doing this. However there are lots of restaurants to choose from, including fast-food and pizza joints, all-you-can-eat buffets and more refined table-service restaurants, ice-cream parlours and steakhouses. There is also a McDonald’s within the resort.

Remember also that although there are many dining options available around the resort, in peak times restaurants and cafes can fill up quickly so if you have a child who likes to eat at a certain time you might prefer to book your restaurant place in advance. The same goes for your breakfast slot if you’re staying on site. Some of our posters have said that the breakfast buffets can get incredibly busy so if you want to get out into the park and enjoy it before the crowds descend you might like to book as early a slot as possible for breakfast. If you book for 7/7.30, you’ll miss the crowds at breakfast and you’ll be able to make the most of the Magic Hours.

One dining experience you might like to consider a ‘character meal’. Many of the restaurants offer this experience, where Disney characters meet ‘n’ greet little diners and move around the tables so your child can have their photo with their favourite characters and get an autograph. Again, do be aware that your child will be one of many wanting to meet Mickey et al, so you might like to opt for an early lunch or dinner to avoid the crowds and be sure to reserve your table. Some of our forum members recommend the Lucky Nugget Saloon and Cafe Mickey for character dining experiences.

You can also book a birthday tea party if your child will be celebrating their birthday during your stay. The Disney characters are on hand to help children celebrate their special day a the Lucky Nugget Saloon, where they can enjoy a birthday tea of pastries and birthday cake, and receive a surprise present and birthday card. Alternatively you can arrange for a cake to be brought to your child’s table if you’d prefer to eat at another venue.

There are plenty of water fountains located around the park and mineral water and other drinks are readily available around the resort. But if you can’t go without your coffee fix, you might like to follow Many P’s advice: “I am taking my thermos flask with me as a cup of coffee is around 3.50 euros in the resort!”

For a definitive guide to eating out at Disneyland Paris, check out Disneyland Resort Paris – The Ultimate Food Guide

Around the resort

As a premier European attraction, Disneyland Paris can get busy, especially at peak times so it makes sense to orientate yourself before you arrive. There’s lots to see so you might like to prioritise your must-do attractions to avoid disappointment. But no one should miss the famous Disney Parades, when the much-loved Disney characters take to the streets for a unique and interactive experience.

The resort itself comprises two parks: The Disneyland Park, packed with rides and attractions, and the Walt Disney Studios Park. ‘At-a-glance’ top attractions include the following: It’s a Small World (a musical tour of the world, ideal for the under-5s); Peter Pan’s flight (also good for little ones); Pirates of the Caribbean (a ride based on the popular film franchise, which both kids and adults will enjoy); Big Thunder Mountain (thrills and spills aboard a runaway train); Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast (a fun interactive mission game); Cars Race Rally (inspired by the Disney Pixar film); Crush’s Coaster (rollercoaster based on Finding Nemo); Rock and Roll Coaster starring Aerosmith (loop the loops to a pumping rock soundtrack). Of course that’s just a taster of the huge array of attractions for all ages on offer in the park.

It’s worth taking a look at the itinerary suggestions on the Disneyland Paris website which can help you plan your trip in advance. You can find itineraries suitable for families travelling with toddlers or young children, those travelling in a larger group, families looking for adventures or those who will be celebrating a special occasion during their stay.

When you arrive at the park you might like to consider using the Fastpass service, a free service which helps you to cut down on waiting times for some of the attractions. You will be allocated a time to go on a ride so you can come back at that time and board the ride in a matter of minutes rather than waiting in line. There are some restrictions on the service – find out more about Fastpass here.

If any of your party is disabled you should ask for an Easy Access Card on arrival at the park, which allows you to get into certain attractions via disabled access entrances. While you can hire a wheelchair at the park these are offered on a first-come, first-served basis so it’s advisable to travel with you own wheelchair. Guide dogs are allowed in the park (these are the only dogs allowed – all other pets are not permitted inside. But there is an Animal Care Centre where you can leave your dog for the duration of your stay).

 

General tips for getting the most out of your trip

The advice below is based on comments in our Coffee House from parents who have been to Disneyland Paris – make the most of their insider knowledge so you can get the very most of your stay.

  • You’ll certainly need a pushchair if you’re travelling with little ones (even those that are almost out of theirs) – the resort is big and you’ll be amazed how many miles you cover in one day. And with all the excitement little ones might suddenly slump and need to have a rest as you negotiate the rest of the park. You can hire buggies at the park, but this can work out expensive and some members have warned that the buggies offered are rather bulky and do not recline.
  • The extensive Val D’Europe shopping mall, just next door to Disney, is handy if you’ve run out of essential supplies. It comprises a large Auchan hypermarket, 130 other shops (including clothing stores such as GAP, Zara and Benetton), a food court and a Sea Life aquarium.
  • There is a petrol station located just outside the park gates, near the car park, where you can stock up on snacks and drinks. The prices here are much cheaper than inside the park.
  • If you’re travelling with a young baby – there are changing rooms just after Main Street, the park’s main thoroughfare. They are clean and have baby changing facilities as well as microwaves and high chairs.
  • If your child loves dressing up it’s a good idea to pack their Disney-themed costume to take with you. Lots of children dress up as their favourite character while at the resort but be aware that buying costumes at the on-site stores is much more expensive than back home – be sure to pack your child’s before you go!
  • Not all rooms at Disney hotels have tea or coffee-making facilities so do check this out – you may want to pack a travel kettle. You can hire travel kettles at reception but will need to pay a deposit to do so.
  • The parades are hugely popular so be sure to get a good place as soon as you can so you can get the best view.
  • For a quieter ‘meet and greet’ experience with the Disney characters you might prefer to look out for them in the lobby of your Disney hotel (the characters appear at all of the on site Disney hotels at certain times).
  • Although 80% of the attractions at Disneyland Paris are covered and protected against the elements it’s worth packing a lightweight rain coat for everyone, even during the summer. The weather in northern France can be quite similar to our own so don’t get caught out by the rain! Equally don’t forget the sun cream if you’re travelling in summer – you’ll be outdoors alot and if the weather’s hot you and your children will need protecting from the sun.
  • If you’d like to visit Disneyland at Christmas do bear in mind that this is an exceptionally busy time. However the Christmas season (when the decorations will be up and the pretend snow will be dusted around the resort) begins in early December so you might prefer to visit earlier in the month when the park won’t be quite as crowded.
  • If you’d like to find out more about Disneyland Paris before you travel take a look at the Brits Guide to Disneyland Resort Paris which offers a definitive guide to anything and everything about the resort.

 

culled from http://www.netmums.com/lifestyle/holidays/holidays-with-children/planning-a-trip-to-disneyland-paris

South Africa things to see and do

Tourist offices 

South African Tourism Board in the USA

500 Fifth Avenue, 20th Floor, Suite 2040, New York City, NY 10110, United States
Tel: (212) 730 2929.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.
www.southafrica.net

South African Tourism Board in the UK

6 Alt Grove, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4DZ, United Kingdom
Tel: (020) 8971 9350.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.
www.southafrica.net

South Africa High Comission Nigeria

71 Usuma Street
Maitama
Abuja
Nigeria
Phone+234-9-413-3776
+234-9-782-2850
+234-9-782-2852
Fax+234-9-413-3829

Things to see and do

Cape Point

If you’ve come to South Africa you have to go all the way. Stand on the continent’s tip at Cape Point, a World Heritage Site with buck, baboons and zebra, ending in sheer cliffs towering 200m (660ft) above the sea. The Flying Dutchman funicular takes you up to the old lighthouse to enjoy panoramic views, and the restaurant has splendid ocean views.

Website: http://www.capepoint.co.za

Drive the Garden Route

The Garden Route (www.gardenroute.co.za) winds along the scenic south east coast, stretching from Mossel Bay to the Storms River. It passes numerous lakes and lagoons and pretty towns including Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and George.

Robben Island

A short ferry trip from Cape Town takes you to Robben Island (www.robben-island.org.za), where Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists were jailed. Tours are conducted by former political prisoners themselves for an accurate account of a life in chains.

Addo Elephant National Park

Elephants are easy to spot in this park in the Eastern Cape (www.addoelephant.com), which is also home to black rhino, buffalo and antelope. The elephant section was proclaimed in 1931, when only 11 elephants remained; today there are more than 450. Enjoy guided game drives, and horse, hiking and 4×4 trails.

Anglo-Boer War Battlefields

Wars between the Afrikaans, British and Zulus erupted in bloody skirmishes in KwaZulu-Natal, a beautiful area of rolling grassland and rocky hills dotted with graves and monuments. The Anglo-Boer War began in 1899 in a fight over gold- and diamond-rich land. Knowledgeable guides lead you around the battlefields, telling tales that send shivers down your spine. Talana Museum near Dundee was the site of the first of the Anglo-Boer battle and is a heritage park with a war cemetery.

Website: http://www.battlefields.kzn.org.za

Apartheid Museum

Johannesburg’s excellent and moving Apartheid Museum (www.apartheidmuseum.org) tells the story of racially segregated South Africa. Your entrance ticket comes in “white” and “non-white” versions, determining which entrance you’re allowed to use. The story is told through photographs, artefacts, newspaper clippings and film footage.

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Breathtaking Blyde River Canyon is the third largest gorge in the world, best seen from the viewing point called God’s Window. Other attractions include numerous waterfalls, the astonishing Bourke’s Luck Potholes ground out by the gushing rapids and Pilgrim’s Rest, a former gold-mining town dating from 1873. At the heart of the nature reserve is Blyde Dam, home to hippos and crocodiles.

Website: http://www.nature-reserve.co.za/blyde-river-canyon-natural-preserve.html

Boulders Beach penguins

A large colony of endearing African penguins make their home on a protected part of Boulders Beach in Simonstown, near Cape Town, and a small entrance fee lets you get up close and personal. Do take care when driving there – sometimes they waddle across the roads.

Climb Table Mountain

Cape Town’s famous flat-topped mountain is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. It looks brilliant from down below and gives equally brilliant views from the top. Hiking up is a popular option but it isn’t a walk in the park, so the lazy but equally rewarding way is to take the cable car (www.tablemountain.net).

Explore the Winelands

More than a dozen wine routes tempt you with wine tastings and excellent cuisine in the wine estate restaurants. The views are splendid, with rolling hills and gorgeous old Cape-Dutch mansions. Tourists love the prices too when they stock up on supplies. Organised trips from Cape Town let you avoid drunk-driving.

Game drives

South Africa’s greatest attraction is the big five in their natural environment: elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard. They’re elusive beasts but you can almost guarantee great sightings on a game drive with a ranger. Kruger National Park (www.krugerpark.co.za) is extremely popular. Tracking white or black rhino on foot is also a thrilling experience.

Hike the Drakensburg mountain trails

South Africa has excellent hiking, with trails in the Drakensberg (www.drakensberg.kzn.org.za) passing ancient yellowwood trees and Bushmen cave art. A tougher option is The Otter Trail, a 5-day coastal hike through Tsitsikamma National Park. Several companies offer porters.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

This beautiful landscaped garden (www.sanbi.org), created by Cecil Rhodes in 1895 at the foot of Table Mountain, is dedicated to indigenous plants and flowers, particularly those unique to the Cape. Sunday evening concerts in the summer are the perfect venue for sundowners.

Play a round of Golf

 

Got golf clubs? Got a lot of money? South African is brilliant for golfing and swanky Fancourt Estate (www.fancourt.co.za) on the south coast at George has three courses designed by Gary Player, South Africa’s most famous golfer, including The Links, described as his greatest design feat. There are hundreds of golf resorts and courses across the country, many in scenic locations.

 

Scuba diving at Sodwana Bay

The KwaZulu-Natal coast offers superb conditions for underwater exploration. Sodwana Bay near Durban is a popular base for reef dives among turtles and tropical fish, while Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks further south are superb for sharks and wrecks. Courses are available if you’re a newbie.

Shark-diving

Adrenalin junkies can have a close encounter of the scary kind with shark diving operators. Don your breathing equipment and get lowered in steel cage into great white shark territory. Dyer Island in the Western Cape is their favourite hunting ground with a plethora of penguins, seals and game fish.

Spring flowers in Namaqualand

The arid Namaqualand region (www.namaqualand.com) explodes with colour between mid-August and mid-September, when wild flowers blanket the landscape. The West Coast National Park is one of the best places to see the phenomenon.

Surfing

You can take to the waves at Jeffrey’s Bay near Port Elizabeth, which is home to Supertubes – considered by some surfers as the world’s best right hand point break. (www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za).

Township tours

Join a guided tour of a township, the areas where blacks were forcibly relocated to during apartheid, and experience the vibrancy and sense of community. Tours run from most major cities and a trip usually includes a traditional meal and drinks in a ‘shebeen’, the popular bars or restaurants. Soweto in Johannesburg and Cape Town’s Cape Flats are most popular.

Whale-watching in Hermanus

One of the world’s greatest whale watching spots is Hermanus, which hosts an annual Whale Festival (www.whalefestival.co.za). Southern Right Whales migrate along the south coast from around June until September and at Hermanus they come so close to the shore you can view them from your hotel window.

 

Today in Disney History: Matterhorn Bobsleds opens as the world’s first tubular steel roller coaster – 1959

Things To Do In Dubai – Dhow Cruise Dinner

 

Dubai has a lot of shopping locations for you to do shopping and you will be able to find any product in the huge shopping malls and the shopping areas of Dubai. After a day of hectic shopping or visiting the various sights in and around Dubai you can cool off in the evening with the Dhow Cruise Dinner. The Dubai Creek divides the city into two commercial districts and a cruise in the Dubai creek will be an unforgettable experience. As you cruise around the creek, you can look at the city in its glory with all the lights from the modern buildings to the simple building of the bygone era surrounding you from all sides.

Dhow Cruise The Dhow cruise dinner is a very popular way to wind down after a hectic day in Dubai. As the boat cruises across the Dubai creek you will be able to see the different views of Dubai like the old town, parks, gold clubs, modern buildings, heritage village, Sheik Saeed?s birth place and house, the skyscrapers that line the horizon and a lot more. The cruise will be for about two hours and there will be dinner that will be served on board the dhow. You will get to see some sights that you may not usually get to see while on land and there will be a guide to tell you about the various locations as you pass them. The cruise is ideal for couples who want to spend the evening together with a candle light dinner while enjoying the view outside.

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Dhow Cruise Dinner Package There are lots of packages for the Chow cruise dinner that are given by the tour operators in Dubai and you can pick the package that you like. The cruise generally starts by 8 pm in the night and will be till about 10 to 10.30 pm. The various aspects of the package are

  • Welcome drink that will be served when you enter the dhow
  • Fully air conditioned lower decks
  • Open air upper decks
  • Packages will include an international buffet dinner, soft drinks, tea, coffee, drinking water
  • Some dhow cruises will have a bar for which you will have to pay separately
  • Live music, Magic show and games to keep you occupied

Facilities Available In The Dhow 

Most of the dhows will have the traditional look, but will have the modern amenities inside them and are regularly inspected to see if they pass the strict safety standards that are imposed on them. There will be toilet facilities for men and women, life jackets for all on board, fire safety measures, emergency medical kits and the staff will also be trained in medical procedures and in evacuation drills in case you may have to abandon the dhow. There is a lot of importance that is given to the safety of the passengers as there are very strict laws with regard to the safety of passengers. The facilities that will be available in the Dhow will vary based on the tour operator and the cost of the cruise dinner and you can check out the various options that are available to you before you select on one.

NICE, FRANCE: WHERE LOVE TAKES OVER

 

France has proved to be not just a destination where you can have a taste of the best wine and take a few snap shots in the monumental Eiffel tower. Everything France represents showcases an atmosphere of absolute vibrancy and adventure. The warm locals, the rich cultural heritage, the magnificent landscape and of course the gastronomy, all add up to give you the experience of a life time.

Paris may have been the first choice for most travellers but Nice’s four million visitors a year should definitely be enough to convince you to have a second opinion about the destination to spend your honeymoon. Located on the French Rivierea in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region after Marseille, Nice is blessed with a sunny temperate climate that allows for any kind of holiday, any time of the year.

Nice itself is an attraction: the rich blue-green sea, diverse shopping, splendid dining and lovely art-deco façades. But there are several spots that a tourist simply must see, such as the Cours Saleya Flower Market, the Matisse Museum, ancient Roman ruins, the Russian Cathedral and more.  Its crescent-shaped pebble beaches, stunning boutique hotels and cutting edge fashion features are just a few of the phenomenal reason why Nice is ideal for a perfect honeymoon getaway.

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Still asking “why Nice?”

If you are looking for the destination that will give your spouse Goosebumps and bring them to tears of joy then Nice should be on top of your list. Nice la belle (Nice the beautiful) is endowed with breathtaking  views, medieval red tiles roofed villages, narrow curved streets, small gourmet restaurants and colorful open markets where you and your partner can hold hands and mix with the welcoming people.

If you want to spend your days at the verandah of your hotel room reading a book, a view of the scintillating waters of the Cote d’Azur is definitely worth it.

Honeymoon attractions in Nice, France

Old town (Vieille Ville): For those who want to peruse boutiques and sip on the best wines, the old town neighbourhood has all it takes to entertain you. Old Town is not just the best beginning point for any day. Couples may find the easy walk to the Mediterranean water front a good spot to fill their photo album.

World class sightseeing: Castle hill is probably the most popular attraction in all of Nice. At Atop 100 inlaid stairs (be sure to pack your walking shoes) honeymooners will be blown away by the breathtaking view of the village sea below. With a café nearby, the sprinkling of park benches are perfect for taking a relaxing break.

    Rue de France Pedestrian Zone: The Nice pedestrian zone, or “zone pietonne,” is a hub of activity. This is the place if you need to load up on souvenirs. Street entertainers frequent this area. There are gourmet shops, clothing shops, news stands, bookstores and more. (Check out the Ducs de Gascogne store for some real finds). Grab a café au lait and watch the world go by, nibble on a crepe, or visit in the evening for a robust meal with an Italian accent.

Groove to the modern music: Nice is also a popular stop off on the modern music scene with the larger venues like Acropolis and Théâtre Lino Ventura. You can also visit some of the underground hip-hop and electronic music outfits and have a good time.

If you are lovers of theatre, a brace of Niçois theatres, Théâtre du Pois Chiche and Théâtre Francis Gag, have some of the most well-trodden stages in town.

Slice up some ‘socca’: Socca, a sort of chickpea crepe – the preparation and consistency of the batter is similar – is a specialty of southeastern French cuisine, particularly in and around Nice. Try this local treat are at socca specialist Chez Pipo, where addictively delicious food is churned out day in, day out; at Chez René Socca, where tasty grub is served at rustic wooden tables with street-side views; at Lou Pilha Leva, where, although no more than a glorified kiosk, there’s a bit of everything going on; or at the lively corner restaurantNissa Socca where you’ll also find cheap pitchers of wine and plenty of bonhomie.

Nice: where to stay

Nice is famous for its belle époque architecture, beachfront promenades and landmark hotels. It may not be as glitzy as other Riviera hotspots (such as St Tropez and Monte Carlo) but is one of the liveliest cities along the coast.

 

B4 Park (4*)-From USD 347.056

B4 plaza (5*)- From USD 331.977

Normandie (3*) -From USD 234.63

Nh Nice (4*)-  From USD 363.033

Holiday Inn (4*)- From USD 486.926 

Getting there

The best way of getting to Nice, France from Lagos is by air. You can hardly find direct flights from Lagos. Indirect flights to Nice can pass through Casablanca, Istanbul, London, Paris and Amsterdam. Airlines that fly to Nice include; Royal Air Maroc, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Air France, and KLM.

 

 

Visa issuance:
A Schengen or French visa is needed to enter Nice, France and Worldntraveland has an efficient visa department that offers adequate visa consultation services.  We also offer general visa advisory.  You can send your request to visas@worldtraveland.com or call the following numbers 08098229999, 070010101010.

Quick facts

Country: France

Time zone: GMT +2

Currency: Euro

Area:  71.92 km²

Population: 344,875 (2008)

Weather: 19°C, Wind 0 km/h, 30% Humidity

Telephone: +33 4

 

A visit to the Camp Nou to see F.C. Barcelona play

F.C. Barcelona’s slogan for the last few years has been “Més que un club” which is Catalan for “More than (just) a club”. Although F.C. Barcelona was founded by a Swiss gentleman (Joan Gamper) in 1899 and uses the English words Football Club, it has become a symbol of Catalan identity and a business card for Catalonia to the world. There are many reasons why the club gained such a status but one of the main reasons is that during the Franco years, the Camp Nou stadium was one of the few places where people felt they could freely speak Catalan.

Not all “culés” (as the fans are called) are equally enthusiastic about mixing politics with sports and both the regional press and fan club associations are strongly divided about this subject. The former president of the club, Joan Laporta, is a strong advocate of an independent Catalonia which did not sit well with many but the current president, Sander Rosell, is seen as a more moderate force. Athough the dressing room mainly speaks Spanish, the official language and club song is Catalan.

This all adds to the history and folkore of a game where 22 players chase a ball on a piece of grass. And there’s probably not a better place to watch this spectacle these days than at the famous Camp Nou football stadium. This theatre of (football) dreams holds close to 100.000 supporters (all seated) at full capacity with one of the largest football pitches that the rules allow (105 x 68 meters). The stadium has three rings and because of its size, there are definitely big differences in the viewing quality depending on where you sit. As far as I am concerned, best seats are in the second ring where you sit high enough to have the overview, but close enough to see the details of the players.

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F.C. Barcelona has a ticket system that is different from most other clubs in that almost all seats are presold to season ticket holders for every game that is played (national competition, King’s cup and European games). One section is reserved for visiting supports (far, far away on the third ring) but the regular seats only become available if a ticket holder either sells the seat for a particular game via the club’s website or stands outside the stadium to get a better price from last minute buyers for the bigger games. In the latter case, the seat owner will walk with you inside the stadium to the last checkpoint and you’l then return the tickets, having taken note of where you are supposed to sit.

The easiest route though is to buy tickets on the club’s website. The ticket availability is updated roughly every ten minutes so do check regularly if you did not find what you were looking for. You can immediately print the tickets upon completing the purchase. One inherent problem with the way that the club works with season ticket holders is that it is very difficult to find adjacent seats. If you go with a group to a less popular game, there is normally enough space left though to “regroup” once the game has started.

Regardless of your gender (you’ll be surprised how many women attend), age or even love for the Beautiful Game, you’ll have a great time visiting the Camp Nou and cheering on the team.

 

from: http://www.babylon-idiomas.com/blog/barcelona-spanish-language-school/a-visit-to-the-camp-nou-to-see-f-c-barcelona-play/

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