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Looking for a Memorable Experience in 2019? Take a Wildlife Vacation

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It seems like yesterday that 2019 started. Everyone set their resolutions and the yearly race is on. Just like that, a month has already run past us.

During this time, a few New Year’s resolutions have been fulfilled, some have been forgotten, while others are still waiting to be met. The people associated with the latter segment are still looking for ways to fulfill their plans. Doing it properly than doing it quickly seems to be a popular approach these days.

Keeping this in mind, if your New Year’s resolutions involved travelling, then they might still be on that to-do list. After all, a vacation is a big expense and needs to be treated as such. You want to make the most out of your vacation that you can, and no one can blame you for having that mindset.

If you want to fulfill that resolution in a way that leaves a long lasting smile on your face, then consider a wildlife holiday.

And if you select a platform such as Naturetrek Wildlife Holiday, which presents several wildlife vacation options all over the world, then you have the comfort of having several different choices at your disposal.

Why Should You Choose a Wildlife Holiday?

Even if it involves an extended safari or a few short treks; a wildlife vacation can be a wonderful source of inspiration, memories and unforgettable experiences.

They bring you close to nature, make you appreciate the simpler things in life, and present the beauty of Earth and its many creatures in a profound manner.

Whether you are going on a vacation with your family or just with that special someone, the experience provides an opportunity to bond with them and share the sincerest of smiles as you witness the beauty of nature together.

Due to the different options that are available to people in terms of a wildlife holiday, you can choose through a variety of vacation types and experiences.

Here are a few different types of vacations that you can choose and enjoy through the platform.

Go on an African Safari

The very mention of a wildlife holiday brings about images of the rich and beautiful lands of Africa.

With its tall Savannah grass, warm weather, and some of the most magnificent animals in the world, an African safari has everything that you can think of in a dream wildlife vacation.

If you go on an African safari, then you can see some of history’s most popular creatures up, close and personal and in their natural habitat.

Some of the animals who you can expect to see include but are not limited to:

  • Lions
  • Elephants
  • Giraffes
  • Rhinoceros
  • Buffalos
  • Wildebeest
  • Zebras
  • Gazelles
  • Cheetahs
  • Hyenas

But land animals are not the only attractive aspect of the region. Similar to how an aviary acts in a zoo to showcase the best of birdlife that it could offer, the lands and skies of Africa do the same for its many different inhabitants.

But in an open-air setting that is definitely hard to surpass.

In terms of birds, you can expect to see the following:

  • Ostriches
  • Great white pelicans
  • Grey crowned cranes
  • Hoopoes
  • Crowned eagles
  • African penguins
  • African wood owls

And when it comes to fauna and trees, witness unique sights such as the magnificent baobab tree, the beautiful marula tree, and the one of a kind dragon blood tree.

Expect to see all of these four-footed and winged members of the African wildlife as well as their different companions through a few countries in the African region.

But witnessing them on a safari doesn’t mean that you always need to be “roughing it” in the woods. On the contrary, your visit will be completely safe and could be designed to provide you with the most luxurious of experiences. You just need to be aware of what you want out of the vacation and how much you can spend on the vacation as well.

Go to the South American Wonderlands

pexels photo 1360123

If you are one to enjoy lush greenery, a variety of climates, and some of the richest wildlife in the world, then visiting the South American continent would certainly be a great choice.

While Galapagos is known as the tourist and wildlife hotspot, it would be quite unjust to place it down as being the only region that is rich in wildlife. South America is full of areas that boast of that quality as well, which is why exploring your options before selecting a destination would be the correct way to go.

From visiting the wonderful and nature-rich Amazon to the penguin heaven that is The Falkland Islands, you can be certain to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences throughout your time in South America.

Whether seeing the jaguars is a more exciting prospect or watching the birds is what tickles your fancy, ensure to find something that would make for an exciting memory for days to come.

The wildlife that you can experience within the South American region includes but is not limited to:

  • Llama
  • Anaconda
  • Capybara
  • Sloth
  • Emperor tamarin
  • Maned wolf
  • Giant Galapagos Tortoise
  • South American Tapir
  • South American Coatimundi

With that you can also enjoy the many ancient sights such as the Inca ruins in Machu Picchu, the path to which is strewn with llamas itself.

Take a Trip Down Under

Australia is known as one of the most wildlife-rich regions in the world. That is why, considering it as only the hub of kangaroos would be quite an understatement.

Apart from kangaroos, Australia is home to cuddly koalas and the curious looking emus. And of course, who can forget the famous Steve Irwin and the many reptilian friends that he introduced to the world. So is the effect of Australian wildlife that his whole family continues to nurture and care for the creatures that the late Crocodile Hunter loved so dearly.

The creatures that you can witness within Australia include but are not limited to:

  • Marsupials
  • Wallabies
  • Platypuses
  • Tasmanian devils
  • Dingos
  • Wombats
  • Cockatoos

This means that if you visit Australia, you can actually bet on seeing animals that you would never be able to see anywhere else in the whole wide world.

But going on trips to see these magnificent beings doesn’t mean that it has to be an excruciating experience.

There’s no reason to subject yourself to uncomfortable and foreign lands. On the contrary, Australia has some of the world’s best offerings in gastronomy, hospitality and modern recreation.

The many natural tourist spots such as the Shelly Beach would be there to help you relax between your wildlife adventures, also witness some unique and interesting turtles while doing so.

With that, it is not that expensive to take a trip down under. Australia could very well be the spot to visit on your wildlife vacation.

The Options are Virtually Unlimited

From the sun-soaked regions of Africa to the icy lands of Europe, you can ensure to find something that matches your dream destination – with its own distinct wildlife to boot.

You just have to know what you want out of your vacation destination and how much can you spend on it. No matter what kind of budget you have, specialized tour companies would always accommodate you wherever they can.

Keeping this mind, if you have the intention to see wildlife, then making it happen is just a step away.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Adventure Travel

Medieval Towns with German Castles Near Munich & Frankfurt

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Heidelberg Castle

Our favorite castles in Germany near Frankfurt and Munich:

Neuschwanstein Castle is there somewhere amongst all the fog!

Neuschwanstein Castle is there somewhere amongst all the fog!

We were crazy enough to visit Neuschwanstein Castle on a public holiday. This meant that along with all the Asian tourists, there were an awful lot of Germans. Plus, even though we arrived by 11 am, the soonest tickets we could buy were for the German tour at 2.30 pm, as the terms in English were sold out until 4 pm. So, if you don’t have German friends at hand to translate the tour for you, we recommend booking in advance online. The castle was impressive, and the time was undoubtedly fascinating! Don’t worry, I won’t spill the beans, but the manmade Grotto room made my jaw drop!

Mespelbrunn Castle

Mespelbrunn Castle

Mespelbrunn Castle is located on a pond between Frankfurt and Wurzburg. Unfortunately, we arrived 30 minutes after its closing time of 5 pm, but it looked cool from behind the fence!

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle is located on a clifftop near Stuttgart and costs 6 euros per person for a tour in German; however, they did give us a very informative written guide in English. This castle is small compared to Hohenzollern castle, but its story is fascinating. Tanks shelled it in World War II, and today you can still see the cracked mirror from where a small fragment of a tank grenade ricocheted!

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle is not too far from Lichtenstein Castle. It is located on a hilltop near Hechingen, and we enjoyed the guided tour. Along with getting to wear GIANT slippers, make sure you explore the casemates and secret passages. One sign made me want to learn more. It read, “Exactly where these steps lead to is unknown. More casemates and secret passageways are likely waiting to be discovered in the heart of the mountain”!

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle was a lot larger than we expected! Unfortunately, we had spent far too much time at the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, so we did not have time to explore this castle. But if we get the chance, we will explore the town and its castle next time in Germany.

On our drive from Munich to Frankfurt, we also loved:

Andechs Monastery

Andechs Monastery

The beer garden at Andechs Monastery was just like Oktoberfest but amongst trees and more family-friendly. The beer was cheaper, and the food was great, including the giant pork knuckle, which Moss could not finish. It was also fun walking up multiple flights of stairs to the tower’s very top.

River surfing in Munich

River surfing in Munich

Rothenburg

Rothenburg

Three hours in Rothenburg was not enough to explore this wonderful medieval town! We recommend getting your hands on a city map from the tourist information office. We enjoyed Roder Gate, walking along the wall and exploring the 17th-century spital bastion, plus Moss lost me in the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop for over half an hour, and I didn’t even buy anything!

Bamberg

Bamberg was a neat town with old buildings in the center of the river and had a famous smoked beer which Moss just had to try!

Auto Technik Museum in Sinsheim

I’m not the hugest car or plane fanatic, but even I enjoyed the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim. A highlight for me was sliding out of an airplane (from the museum’s roof)!

The worlds narrowest street

Don’t go out of your way to see it, but the world’s narrowest street in Reutlingen is worth a photo if you are passing through.

Frau Rauscher spitting statue Frankfurt

In Frankfurt, go to the old part of town for an apfelwein and see the Frau Rauscher statue – watch out, she spits about every 12 seconds!

The average person would Google Munich to Frankfurt and see that it only takes about 3 ½ hours depending on how fast you wish to drive on the autobahn! However, we are NOT typical. We took one look at train prices and decided that hiring a car wouldn’t cost too much more.

Suppose you’re interested in traveling to Germany for a damn good deal. In that case, plenty of tour companies have some pretty unique and affordable vacation packages to Berlin, Munich, and Bavaria.

It may be small but this building on Trappensee Lake is classed as a castle!

It may be small, but this building on Trappensee Lake is classed as a water castle!

We aren’t going to tell you our exact route. Still, after surviving Oktoberfest in Munich, we did a giant zigzag to see as many castles and medieval towns as possible. So to save you doing so much driving, we have picked our favorite cities and castles. First of all, ‘Ausfahrt’ is not a destination accessible from every off-ramp! It means ‘Exit’! Another word of wisdom to keep in mind is that the autobahns with speed limits do have speed cameras… and the flash is blinding!

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Adventure Travel

Running with the Bulls Video

Our shaky Running with the Bulls Video footage from the Festival de San Fermin in 2012. Experience it first hand in Pamplona. Enjoy.

Avatar of Cole Burmester

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San Fermin Running with the Bulls still

We recently wrote about our life or death experience of Running with the Bulls this year at the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. On that run, I carried along with our GoPro video camera and tried to shoot some footage for our running with the video of the bull.

Running with the Bulls Video, Pamplona

Running with the Bulls

All our travel video shooting techniques went out the window when the bulls’ hooves started to shake the ground beneath our feet.

Once we had lined up for the running with the bulls, there was no escape from it as we were walled in by apartment blocks, shopfront windows, and 3-meter high wooden barriers packed with photographers along the entire length. At one end lay the relative safety of the bull ring pulsating with the cheers of the crowd who were still partying from the night before. Behind me, a dozen wild bulls pawed the stony ground looking for freedom.

Unfortunately, I was standing in their path. 

What we ended up with is below. However, I think what we filmed for our running with the bull video captures the chaos, craziness, and complete madness a lot better than if I had stood my ground.

Enjoy it and watch for the guy that nearly gets trampled to death near the beginning!

Running with the Bulls Video

Would you ever consider running with the bulls?

While we are very aware that not all people agree that the San Fermin Festival should be allowed to go ahead mainly due to animal cruelty, we think there are two sides to every story. We wrote a post about the controversy surrounding Bullfighting in Spain and the Festival de San Fermin.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the Festival de San Fermin and whether you would ever consider running with the bulls.

If you want to join the next Festival of San Fermin or any other wild festivals in Europe, such as Sail Turkey, book with our partners Busabout.

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Adventure Travel

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Adventure City Guide

Find out how you can explore the streets, canals and local markets within minutes of Bangkok with our Outdoor Activities in Bangkok Adventure City Guide.

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Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - The Klongs

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Bangkok?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Ian from Where Sidewalks End shares his expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Bangkok.

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Adventure City Guide

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Adventure City Guide – Photo by Evoflash

Why visit Bangkok for adventure?

Bangkok is one of the world’s largest metropolises and a gateway for most of the world to access the rest of South East Asia. With numbers surpassing 14 million people in the Greater Bangkok Region, this is no small player in the world’s super-cities. Of course, having such a long history with foreign visitors, the city has become incredibly established in the world’s tourist sector.

This has allowed it to grow many facets of adventurous activities – making access to something for everyone!

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok

Exploring the Klongs

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - The Klongs

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – The Klongs

Klongs are canals that used to feed the entire city with life-giving water, branched off from the city’s main artery – the Chao Phraya River. Today, the locals wouldn’t drink the water if you paid them, but there is still a fascinating life along the Klongs’ banks. There is so much to explore, from floating markets to old houses on stilts, and it gives insight into this ancient way of life!

What’s it cost, and how to get to the Klongs?

You can usually arrange the Klongs from the pier “Saphan Taksin” along the Chao Phraya River. This is conveniently a stop on the Skytrain, making it very easy to access. Usually, you will be renting the entire boat for the day (about 1000 THB, or USD 35) and not paying a per-person rate. So if you can find a few people to go with, the price will drop significantly per person.

Rickshaw City Tours

If you’ve never been to Asia before, Rickshaws are one of the most fun ways to get around. Although they can often be a little more expensive than metered taxis, you get an experience (and a view) that is unparalleled, especially in the busy streets of Bangkok.

What’s it cost?

Occasionally, you can even haggle a deal for a city tour for next to nothing (50-100 THB or $1.50-3 USD), as long as you visit a couple of affiliated ‘custom suit tailors’ throughout the day, as they’ll get a kickback from the shops just for bringing you there… No purchase is necessary.

You can often find Tuk Tuk drivers willing to do this standing along the perimeter of the Kings’ Palace. It may take a few attempts of asking for a ‘special city tour,’ but you will be bound to find someone ready for a cut of this business.

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Rickshaw Tours

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Rickshaw Tours

Local Secret Spot

Chatuchak Market

Though most people wouldn’t consider going to a market an adventure, they probably have never experienced the likes of Chatuchak (also known as JJs). This is one of SE Asia’s LARGEST outdoor markets. It’s so prominent that you can find maps of the market to help navigate. It’s roughly the size of 4 city blocks and is divided into various sections.

You’ll find everything under the sun here, from clothing to handicrafts, food, mobile phones, and even puppies and other cute critters for sale!! It’s bonkers. If it gets too much for you, you can take a break in one of Bangkok’s most famous parks (Chatuchak park), located next to the market.

How to get there?

You can get here via Skytrain (BTS), subway (MRT), taxi, bus, you name it – it’s very accessible! But it’s only open on weekends, from about dawn until 5 or 6 pm at its peak. Some shops stay open longer, but most will be closed by dusk. It’s free entry and a perfect place to buy ANY souvenirs at the end of your time in Thailand.

Suppose you can coordinate to be here on the weekend. I generally hate shopping for ‘stuff,’ but I love this market and its energy!

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Chatuchak Markets

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Chatuchak Markets

Best time of the year to visit Bangkok for adventure?

Bangkok is in the tropics and quite close to the Equator. Of course, this means it’s hot on a year-round basis.

It’s considered the rainy season from May to October, though showers can happen at any time of the year. This is generally a less busy time for tourists, though the rains are not quite as bad as expected and often only last 30 mins-1 hour, cooling the city’s heart. Peak season is in December-January when temperatures are at their most astounding ad driest… though it’s still pretty hot!

And if Bangkok isn’t to your taste, the luxury Koh Samui will be. Endless sandy beach, beautiful clear waters, and nightlife that could be lived in forever. The luxury rental properties are stunning, and we recommend Tempston Luxury villa rentals.

Finally, the reason I love Bangkok for adventure is that…

It’s never-ending. This city is SO BIG that you could get lost in a new neighborhood almost every day. Single. Day. And still find new, exciting things to explore. On my list for the upcoming weeks, I’ve got the Scala Cinema, the Thai Air Force Museum, Papaya Vintage Shop, and the Erawan Museum – to name a few. Every time I explore one place, I learn of 3 more!!

BIO:

From a young age, Ian was always a wanderer. He’s since travelled to all 7 continents, and has spent the majority of his life pursuing this passion. You can follow him in his off-the-beaten-path adventures and discoveries on TwitterFacebook, Google+ and his travel blog Where Sidewalks End.

Have you been to Bangkok? What were your favorite outdoor activities in Bangkok?

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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