Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Kenya Travel - The Awesome Travel Attractions Worth Visiting in Kenya

The 580,367km2, Kenya is one of the best tourism destinations in Africa. When tourism is at peak, over 1.8 million foreign tourists visit yearly. These visitors are the country's most significant earner of foreign cash. Though, Kenya has numerous tourists' attractions to offer, but there are a few hot destinations which are worth visiting and unique from all others.

Hosting to one of the the seventh wonder of the world, the 1530km2 Maasai Mara National reserve from July plus November hosts the world well-known wildebeest's migration spectacle. As this place is quite noisy, where you will get amazed to see the Mara River infested with large number of crocodiles, visitors from across the world pitch their camps nearby the crossing limit in hope for days get a view of these crocodiles.

The Maasai Mara has got all the "Big Five" creatures that is, the elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion plus the rhino. Mara River and Esoit Oloololo are the best places where you can view them. Tour firms also offer hot air balloon tours for visitors to enjoy the natural proceedings of the grassy open plains, from birds eye view.

In the Rift Valley, Lake Bogoria is yet another attraction for tourists as this place is known for hot springs and geyser that give up lovely water fountains with 37 degree hot. The saline spring waters are believed to be extremely helpful for the skin. This location can surely be a wonderful picnic spot as there is not much traffic of tourists here. Hippos plus gazelles make up part of the wild there as well as 135 bird species which usually comprise millions of migratory lesser flamingos that nourish themselves on the algae of the 10m deep lake.

Along the Indian Ocean waters, Mombasa is regarded for its sandy seashores, aqua green waters plus good sun. You can visit this place any time of the year as here the weather is warm for almost the whole year. For historians, Mombasa is home to Lamu, the old town, the Gedi ruins plus Fort Jesus. These sites reflect Mombasa's rich age-old historical past.

The undersea Indian Ocean coral reef paradise teems with unique beautiful fish breeds. Dhow travels are given to travelers wanting to get the feel of old maritime ocean travels.

the Nairobi National Park, which has an area of 117 km and 2 m is just 7 km from the City Centre, and this park is popular for bordering the city. Among the "Big Five" animals, its mainly the elephant that is missing in this Savannah environment. It's the ideal destination for visitors on stop over. It is where the David Sheldrick trust sanctuary that nurtures small orphaned rhinos plus elephants. The park has over 80 mammal species and 400 diverse bird species. The park is best for family excursions, bush dinners, picnics, team building exercises plus marriage ceremony.

o explore Kenya's historic past, you should surely visit the Nairobi National Museum which displays the antique handicrafts and art work. It is home to the botanical gardens where unique plant species are grown. This may include those with therapeutic properties plus ornamental plants plus natural herbs that are grown. The Nairobi Snake Park is the most amazing destinations as all the tourists come here to have a thrilling experience of various poisonous snakes cobras, African Rock Python, Mambas and many more. Coral fishes American alligators plus crocodiles are taken care of in the museum's aquariums.

By : Jamie Hanson

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rinchenpong, the place where Heavens Descend

Rinchenpong, the Place where Heaven Descends!

Driven by the incessant spur of WIS [wanderlust infestation syndrome] we head on to west Sikkim, the area from where the mighty snow clad Mt. Kangchendzonga peer at you from every corner of the hill coves. The scenic beauty of the place came to dawn upon us as our vehicle took a sharp turn on the road-bend along the silent valley on the approach to the cool settlement of Rinchenpong [1700 meters above sea level]. The world's third highest peak [28,028 feet] captured the horizon with its mid-day glory of snow-white against the blue sky. It was a surreal effect of the colossal, blending into the beguiling surrounding in the foreground, etching an intense statement on the idyllic.

As we enter the precincts of Rinchenpong something appeared amiss about the place. Unlike my earlier visit, no body greeted us in their typical exuberance. Not a soul was around in the large opening in the centre of this tiny hamlet...not even a curious face looking out of the nearby homes. We wondered what was wrong. Was it some local tension that kept people shut behind the doors or was it a day of mass hibernation that we did not know about?

Well, it was none of these as we found out from the driver of a passing vehicle, a little later. It was a rare occasion for the residents of the hamlet to partake in a friendly volleyball match with a neighbouring village at the grounds next to the local monastery. Almost the entire populace of Rinchenpong [only a few hundred] had moved there to cheer their folks. Indeed the name of the place stood justified by such community revelry.

Rinchenpong in Lepcha dialect means the 'place to assemble'. Pong means place and Rinchen stands for assembly.

Luckily the manager of the hotel where we were to stay held his fort. We were provided a couple of rooms with small balcony that opened up to the picturesque sight of rolling green hills culminating into the spread of the huge white majestic massif over the horizon. The beauty of this place was in the little settlement holding to its natural, unaltered look without much invasion of urbanised ambience that plagued many otherwise beautiful places in Sikkim we visited earlier. A couple of hotels and a few homes surrounded a large open area in the centre that also served as car parking space for the locals and visitors to the place. And the road from Jorethang passed through this hub towards the neighbouring settlement of Kaluk and beyond.

Short walks around Rinchenpong would take you to the 18th century Buddhist monastery that housed the 'Ati Buddha' idol showing Buddha in meditation with a woman in embrace. This is symbolic of the primordial form of the Buddha the creator. The ambience of the monastery as with most such place of worship in Sikkim is serene and one could come across groups of young boys taking spiritual lessons.

It is a custom among the Tibetan Buddhists in Sikkim to send their sons to the monastery for a year or longer, breaking off from their formal school education to help them understand and adapt the tenets of the religion in their living. During this time they adapt to a life of austerity and live like a monk in yellow and maroon colour robes in tonsured heads. I personally feel it is a very honest facet of Buddhism to allow understanding of the faith early in life, so that a person takes to it by choice in adult life. And to me, the peace loving Buddhist always appeared to be happy with their way of life and culture.

And Rinchenpong the hidden Eden had more to reveal in its neighbourhood. The five-month long winter was melting into spring and the landscape was coming alive with wildflower blossoms all over. Predominant among them were rhododendron and orchids. Heavens, nothing could beat the colours and exotic flourish of these blooms all around the hills. Some call Sikkim the rhododendron country and some say it's the orchid paradise. Well, I think it's the fusion of both making it a Himalayan wildflower domain. It's a delight to be here around this time of the year.

When I passed through this village once earlier I was, bowled over by the serenity of the place. A local had then told me 'befriend this place for a while, seek deeper and then sense the way it reveals itself'. He had seeded the urge to come back again and here I was with my friends in the cradle of Rinchenpong.

We decide to just relax for a couple of days in this hidden Eden, invigorate ourselves in its freshness and get going with some trekking around the Singalila Range to discover the mysteries of Shangri-La a little up close. The Singalila Range forms the boundary between Sikkim and Nepal that originates from Mt. Khangchendzonga and extends southwards towards Darjeeling hills.

Day three. Six in the morning we get started in our trekking gear on way to Menlapso. A knowledgeable local arranged by the hotel manager would be our guide through a forested track along the glen to the southwest of Rinchenpong. As we strode along we soon realised that we were literally on the road less travelled by. This part of Sikkim was indeed spared the spoils of urban invasion. This was pure natural world of wholesomeness in pure organic state.

This day trip was to be the acclimatisation tour preceding a longer trek we planned to take along Hilley - Barsey - Uttarey circuit on the Singalila.

Rinchenpong has a history with the British colonialism. In the early decades of 19th century the rulers of Sikkim backed the British in their war with Nepal, and subsequently benefited by recovering some of its lost territories.

However in the mid 1800's when the British tried to annexe Sikkim on its expansionist agenda, the people violently resisted the occupation and British rule. And on November 1st 1860 when the British sent their troops under the command of Dr. Campbell, the Superintendent of Darjeeling, to occupy the village of Rinchenpong, they camped around a pond for the night just outside the village, the villagers fought the imminent invasion in the wiliest style of the Sikkimese and Tibetan ambushmen.

While the troops slept after hard days of trekking, the villagers stealthily mixed in the water of the pond a deadly plant poison. Next morning least suspecting what awaited them, the soldiers consumed the water and perished even without being able to put up a fight. That's history of course but 'Bikh Pokhri' - the poison pond, is still there just like any other pool of murky water, sans the poison.

Day four. We drive down to Hilley. This would be our first stop on the trekking circuit. It would be a short trek on a 4 km hill track to Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary 10,500 ft. up in the Himalayas. And Barsey in a way represented the oft-used sobriquet on Sikkim as 'rhododendron country'. This being springtime the pleasant trek had to be in company of colourful blooms all the way.

Trekking in the hills always has its pleasant surprises. In Sikkim Himalayas too there was a fair share of it like, suddenly a rustle among the foliage on the slopes below would reveal the Himalayan black bear hurriedly moving away to distance itself from human intruders in its territory. Or up among the blooming trees you could spot the magnificent colours and mating displays of the Scarlet Minivet, Fire-Tailed Sun Bird or even the Giant Indian Hornbill. We reach the sanctuary and the trekker's hut at the top, where we would put up till next morning.

In the evening we gather round a campfire with some locals in company. In a casual chat we try to find out about their way of life and ask them about how they live it out in this remote location. Sikkimese people are generally a reserved lot, but when they open up, they come out in stupendous flow. Predictably, we got a run down of things they usually do for a living and soon enough we found out that they are migrant workers engaged in odd jobs here who would spend the monsoon and winter at their villages below and come up here during spring and summer when there are lot of tourist visitors. This extra earning provided these poor people some support with their family finances. As we sipped on the beverages circled around the fireside, folklores that do their rounds in this part of the country put an excellent touch to the evening at this high place, presented by the locals.

Day five morning after the mist thins out, we proceed along the ridge to descend from the northern slopes on our way to Uttarey. In this wonderful trekking expedition yet another most amazing surprise awaited us about a furlong and half away. Our guide suddenly stopped and with the index finger of his left hand placed over his lips suggesting silence, he pointed towards the cluster of bamboo shrubs to the right. And there was an Indian Red Panda visible partly through the shrub. The magnificence of this furry cat was indeed striking. The Red Pandas, the state animal of Sikkim, are a rare sight as they are very shy, reclusive animals and live away from human habitats. But here was a perfect specimen oblivious to our presence, busy with its breakfast. The Red Himalayan Panda although considered a small bear much like its Chinese cousin, actually belongs to the racoon family. The similarity is palpable in its face, whiskers, pointed ears and the furry striped tails. The distinct difference is its brighter looks and a much charming appearance.

As we strode the hills, I realised give and take this exploration of west Sikkim was indeed the fascinating Shangri-La experience that could be lived many times over without remorse.

By : Gautam Chatterjea

Friday, 15 June 2012

Keep an eye on your packages as they travel the world

Once you have handed packages over to an international courier then this can sometimes be the last you hear or see of your parcels, unless of course something goes wrong. You have no idea whether they arrived on time or in the right condition unless of course you speak to the intended recipient and they give you an update.

This doesn�t need to be the case however. It is now possible to follow the progress of your consignments as they travel the world, thanks to developments in parcel tracking technology. It can be a major help to know exactly where your packages are in the world, especially if you are running a business. If a customer calls and wants to know where their package is and when they can expect it to arrive, then you will be in a position to let them know. It means that you are on top of all your deliveries and have control over your business.

If having this type of service appeals to you, then the next time you are looking to make a parcel delivery, whether it is to an address in the UK or to a country on the other side of the world, your best option is to go online. There are now highly professional online parcel delivery companies that specialise in getting consignments to destinations across the world safely and in double quick time. The leading firms will also provide you with the necessary information you need on how to organise free parcel tracking, which can be invaluable.

There are many other benefits to choosing a reputable online parcel delivery company of course, such as knowing that your goods are in the very best hands. Peace of mind is important when you are running a business and need to know that your goods will arrive at their destination on time and in the very best condition possible.

By choosing to send you items with a leading online parcel delivery service you are giving them the very best chance of arriving in tip top condition. There is really nothing more important when it comes to getting your goods abroad.

By : Colm Dillinger

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Travel the World on a Budget

Traveling the world is a dream that so many of us have, but never get to fulfill. The reasons that so many people never achieve this dream is because it doesn't fit into "society's plan", they are too scared to travel, and also because most people think that they just can't afford to travel. The truth is that traveling doesn't have to be as expensive as you think. If you do your research you can travel all around the world on a budget. Some destinations cost more than others, for example traveling in Asia is a lot cheaper than traveling in Europe. But it doesn't matter where you go, there is always a way to save money to make your dream of traveling around the world a reality.

The first thing you need to do is work out your finances. If you are like most people living in western society, you will probably be in some sort of debt, and will spend your money on buying "things". It is these "things" that generally cause you to go into debt in the first place, and do you really need these things? Or do you just think that you do because everyone else around you has them? The fact is that things can't make you happy if you are not living your dreams. Instead of buying "things" you could be putting your money towards fulfilling your dreams, to traveling the world, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and just truly living and loving life. There is no better feeling in the world than achieving your dream.

So stop spending money on things that you don't need, pay off your debts and then save save save. But how much do you need to save to travel the world? Well it all depends on where you are going, and how long for. If you want to take a typical year long around the world trip, spending time in a mixture of cheap countries and expensive countries, then a lot of people spend around $20000. It sounds like a lot of money, but think about it. That is all you need to travel around the world for a whole year! How much do you currently spend each year living the life that you don't want to live?
Some people spend more, some people a lot less. It all depends on what you spend your money on, where you stay and where you eat. But $20000 is about an average price.

If you don't do your research however, that $20000 will be gone in no time! So you have to be careful, and always think about what you are spending your money on. What you need to spend your money on to travel around the world is transport, accommodation, food and activities. Carry a backpack or bag with a few clothes and accessories such as a camera. You don't need to pack your whole wardrobe, nor do you need to buy endless amounts of souvenirs, your photos and memories are the best souvenirs you can get!

Have a good look around for flights in advance, there are always plenty of airlines competing for the best price, so don't just pick the first one you find. Compare a whole bunch until you find the cheapest one. Take public transport where ever you can, and walk whenever possible because not only is it free, you also see a lot more!

The cheapest places to stay are hostels and guest houses. Most places around the world have dorm rooms which are cheap and you get to meet a lot of other travelers and have some great experiences. In places like Asia, you can get private rooms in guest houses extremely cheap. In Laos for example, you can find rooms for as low as $2-$3 a night! And even in more expensive places like Australia, you can find dorm rooms for around $20 a night. That is a lot better than paying over $100 for a hotel room, and it's a lot more fun!

Most hostels around the world also have kitchens, so you can buy and cook your own food, saving you a lot of money. If you want to eat out, try to avoid touristy areas, and eat where the locals eat. Street stalls have some of the cheapest food you can find, and are often delicious and local. In South East Asia you can get street food for around $1 per meal. In Italy I got delicious pizza for about $2 a slice.

As far as sightseeing goes, try to visit places that have free entry, and avoid booking expensive tours when possible. Many cities, especially in Europe, have free walking tours. Of course you can't do this everywhere, some places will cost money, and you still want to have fun and see what you want to see. So make sure to budget some of your money for activities.

Traveling the world IS possible. It's not just for rich people. Anyone can do it! All you have to do is put the effort in to make it a reality. Make you dreams come true, get out and see the world!

By : Dean Wickham

Sunday, 3 June 2012

How to Travel the World

In White Collar Vagabond, our mission is to discover how to live overseas and how to work abroad. The white collar vagabond is one of the best travel websites to explore the active expat lifestyle, to learn about the challenges of running a business remotely, explore international living destinations, and exploring the world as an entrepreneur. Join our journey. Live overseas and work while traveling. We share with you how to work overseas while traveling the world and exploring the expat lifestyle.


Traveling the world can do wonders for your personal life as well as business ventures. Many companies like people that have experience in other countries. How to travel the world is very important. Knowing how to travel can make a big difference in your business life. Whether you are looking to travel to gain new experiences and see other countries or improve your business, there are services that can help get what you need. Here at White Collar Vagabond, we help people understand how things are done in other countries. When you leave your country, it is important to understand the cultural and business differences that you will experience.

Adventure life is a big reason that many people decide to travel. The world is full of places that have exciting things to do and places to see. Different countries have things to offer that you may not be able to find at home. Mountains like the Swiss Alps are waiting to be scaled, and places like Paris are waiting to be experienced. Our services can help you get to where you want to be and see all of the things that you are interested in when traveling the world. So many more things can be done if you know how to travel the world.

Work and travel is another big reason that many people leave their home country. Overseas markets can lead to huge expansions for your business. There are billions of people in the world and many are potential customers for your company. With the increase in globalization, doing business overseas is a huge deal for any company that is looking to seriously compete in today's world. Some of the best travel websites will help you understand markets and reach your goals.

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By : William Coleman