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5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Your First African Safari

5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Your First African Safari

Heading out on an African safari is an incredible experience, and especially for the wildlife enthusiast, getting up close and personal with some of the most majestic creatures on this planet is unlike anything else.

If you haven’t already added a safari trip to your bucket list, now is the time to do so! However, there are a few things you should know before you set off.

Here are five things they don’t tell you about your first safari.

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How to Choose an African Safari That’s Right For You

How to Choose an African Safari That’s Right For You

Many of us dream of taking an African safari at least once in our lives. And to witness wild lions lazing in the grass, and elephants trekking across vast plains; to spend time watching a magical sunrise as the African landscape comes alive; this truly is the experience of a lifetime.

But just as there are many countries to choose from for an African safari, there are also many types of safari experience, and the key to planning a memorable trip is to choose one that aligns with your interests.

Whether you’re a wildlife explorer ready to track wildlife in a classic jeep, or a cultural enthusiast who wants to take a walking safari led by local tribes, there isn’t one set ‘African Safari’. There are a huge range of safaris suited to all types of travelers, and all types of budgets, so don’t be fooled into thinking that your destination is the most important choice to make.

Here are our tips for choosing the perfect safari experience.

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What to Pack if You’re Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro (Packing List)

What to Pack if You’re Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro (Packing List)

In October 2010 I traveled to Tanzania with the goal of conquering a mountain. And at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft), it was really, really tall. The highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, if we’re keeping score.

I trekked through some truly incredible landscapes, transformed as a person along the way, and battled through one of the world’s most challenging journeys over 7 days.

Kilimanjaro is powerful, awe-inspiring, and an experience which inspires transformation. But if you don’t know what to pack it’s going to make your life a hell of a lot harder than it has to be.

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These Real World Destinations Inspired Your Favorite Fairy Tales

These Real World Destinations Inspired Your Favorite Fairy Tales

Fairy tales have captured our hearts and minds since once upon a time, and these imagined lands are often so vivid that they stay with us into adulthood. We dream of escaping to these fantastic, otherworldly settings to escape the bore of daily life.

But the authors who imagine these enchanting lands often draw inspiration from locations in real life. From the mountains of Germany to the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, there are many places around the world which look like they’ve been ripped from the pages of a fairy tale. And that’s because the real world inspired the story.

If you love fairy tales and have a serious case of wanderlust, you can visit these real places that inspired some of the best stories of all time. None of these destinations require a fairy godmother to reach – just a short flight!

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How Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Changed My Perspective on Life

How Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Changed My Perspective on Life

When I mentioned to family and friends that I planned to climb Kilimanjaro, the overwhelming majority laughed. Not in a malicious way, but in a “you over-estimate your abilities” type of way.

And honestly, to begin with, I didn’t really care if I climbed Kilimanjaro or not. I was going to be in Tanzania, the mountain was going to be there, and I had read a feature about Thérèse Rein and vaguely remembered that the climb was something you could brag about having done (I still use it as a sticking point on my adventurous resume to this day).

But for my original indifference of whether I completed the climb or not, the decision was made when I was told “it’s a lovely goal, I just don’t think you’ll get to the top.” And honestly, I thank every single person who said this to me. Because this was the motivating factor which got me to the top. Come hell or high water (I did trek through hell, just not high water!), I was going to prove every single one of them wrong.

I often write about what travel has taught me, and how travel has changed my perspective on life. However a lot of my transformation happened on that mountain top.

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The Best Tanzania Holiday: Climb Kilimanjaro and an African Safari

The Best Tanzania Holiday: Climb Kilimanjaro and an African Safari

In October 2010 I traveled to Tanzania with the goal of conquering a mountain. And at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft), it was really, really tall. The highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, if we’re keeping score.

Dominating the landscape like no other mountain, both iconic and instantly recognizable, Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s most visited National Parks. Unlike the other parks, this isn’t for the wildlife, although it’s there. Rather, coming here is all about gazing in awe at a mountain on the equator capped with snow, and to climb to the top of Africa.

There are many decisions to consider when planning your Kilimanjaro climb, but the best decision you’ll make is to combine it with an African safari.

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6 African National Parks to Visit Before You Die

6 African National Parks to Visit Before You Die

When you think of Africa, images of wildlife immediately come to mind. And why not, after all, the vast continent is world famous for its wildlife safaris, and is known as the land of big five – the African elephant, African lion, Black rhinoceros, African leopard and Cape buffalo.

The big five are game animals, and the term refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot.
Though gone is the day where game hunting is acceptable, and now we load our cameras instead of guns.

The best-known countries for African Safaris are Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Get ready for the best African safari experience at any one of the following parks.

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One Man’s Walk for Water. A Philanthropic Pilgrimage, on Foot, from Denmark to Tanzania

One Man’s Walk for Water. A Philanthropic Pilgrimage, on Foot, from Denmark to Tanzania

Water is the most crucial condition for life of all kinds. All living organisms need it in order to survive, though there are more than 780 million people worldwide without access to clean drinking water. 345 million of them live in Africa alone. Every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water related sickness.

Instead of turning a blind eye, Charlie Christensen decided it was time to do something about it. On May 18 2015 he freed himself of his job, his apartment, and most of his possessions to begin Walking for Water; a philanthropic pilgrimage, on foot, from Denmark to Tanzania.

This means walking for 18,000 kilometers, through 28 countries, over 2.5 years. It is a journey to inspire the beginning of a movement meant to combine the trends of explorations and self realizing journeys with the noble cause of supplying the world with clean drinking water, wherever needed.

Almost one year in, he will cross the straight to Africa on the 18th of May 2016 to continue his journey.

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The Bus Trip from Hell: Overland from Kenya to Tanzania

The Bus Trip from Hell: Overland from Kenya to Tanzania

Traveling overland is by far the cheapest way to reach Tanzania from Kenya, however as with many budget transportation options, it comes with a much higher cost. So often in the past I have been blinded by incredibly attractive costs, that I have completely overlooked the potential strings attached.

If I’ve learned anything about booking budget overland travel in my extensive time abroad, it’s that travelers must be willing to sacrifice comfort and sanity (and sometimes safety) for the sake of their wallet.

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The Unseen Africa. An Interview With Francis Tapon.

The Unseen Africa. An Interview With Francis Tapon.

Francis Tapon is an extreme adventure traveler who has hiked across America four times, walked across Spain twice, and has traveled to 100 counties. An incredibly inspiring traveler with a thirst to see more of the world, he is currently on a four-year voyage to visit all 54 African countries.

And he’ll be filming his four year journey along the way to bring us a groundbreaking new TV series with footage and film from the places that CNN and Nat Geo don’t show you. His aim is to show the world the Unseen Africa.

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Kilimanjaro – The Best and The Rest!

Kilimanjaro – The Best and The Rest!

This week has been an account of my time climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, and while the first two days were recorded in excruciating details for you, the last 5 days were unfortunately not – sadly I guess I was too exhausted as the climbs became more difficult to keep a diary.

So this is an overview of the best and the rest!

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Spotted: The Big Five Animals of Africa

Spotted: The Big Five Animals of Africa

An African Safari is generally quite high on the bucket list of any traveler, and between Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia, there is no shortage of options or availability!

Each country is a popular safari destination in their own right, however when Mike and myself had the opportunity to spend two weeks traveling through one of these countries, we opted for Tanzania.

Figuring that we couldn’t go wrong on safari in the Serengeti National Park, we chose an absolute classic African Safari setting which pretty much guaranteed that we would spot the “Big Five!”

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Kilimanjaro Day 2

Kilimanjaro Day 2

The majority of the previous night had been spent continuously waking up after spending the night rolling up and down my tent…upon reflection probably wasn’t the best idea to have set up my sleeping bag horizontally in a tent which was on a slope!

After being served Milo and tea in my tent (almost as good as breakfast in bed!), I stumbled out to breakfast with extremely low expectations of what I was about to consume.

Previous to leaving for Kilimanjaro we had heard horror stories about the breakfast ‘gruel’, so you can imagine the pleasant surprise when our porters walked in bearing platters full of eggs, sausages, tomatoes, cucumber and toast! For some reason I decided the ants would appreciate the first real breakfast I’d had in weeks more than I would so proceeded to drop my food in the dirt…fantastic!…lucky there was gruel available!!…it tasted like an extremely watered down, grainy chocolate porridge with the tang of light and tangy potato chips.

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Kilimanjaro Day 1

Kilimanjaro Day 1

Ascended 1500 m on day one, or 18km in 4 hours, to reach an altitude of 3,000m. Climbed through rainforest and camped in the desert. Very grateful for climbing boots…should have done more physical fitness training before coming! That being said, made excellent time and even though exhausted was in good spirits at the end of day 1 from a challenging but not unbearable climb.

Have an excellent group of climbing buddies and we’re now all fantastic friends. Glad I don’t have to carry the port-a-loo!

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