Discover the Seychelles

Stunning and unspoiled, the Seychelles star in countless tropical island fantasies.

This much is clear: there is so much more to the Seychelles than its exquisite beaches. It is not just a travel destination for sunbathing and lounging around. The magic of these Indian Ocean islands is multifaceted: the lush tropical vegetation, the exceptional flora and fauna, the friendly, fun-loving people that make a trip to this archipelago off the African coast an unforgettable experience.

 

1.Hiking

The cool mountains of Morne Seychellois National Park are great for walks. The largest national park in the Seychelles, Morne Seychellois National Park covers more than 20 percent of the area of Mahé.

     

2.Valle De Mai National Park

This forest on Praslin island is a must for coco de mer, walking trails and wildlife. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vallée de Mai National Park on the island of Praslin preserves a prehistoric forest that contains at least 4,000 examples of the rare giant coco de mer fruit palm (unique to the Seychelles)

    

3. Visit Capital of Victoria

Visit the smallest capital in the World for taste of urban life and an insight into local history and culture.

Places to visit Hindu TempleSt. Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Selwyn Clarke Market, Natural History Museum, Clock Tower, Freedom Square

  

4.Sailing

The Seychelles was made for sailing, hire a boat or hop on a chartered tour to see the best of the islands

5.Exotic Flora

Discover the island diverse botanic delights

     

6.Diving & Snorkelling

Discover the wonders of the deep at numerous dive sites around the islands.

There are many sites for great snorkelling

7.Cycle around La Digue island

One great way to explore La Digue is by bicycle

8.Perfect Beaches

There are many perfect beaches in Seychelles. Anse Source D`Argent on La Digue has often been voted `the best beach in the world.

  

9.Best sunsets

Sunset is a gorgeous time of day

    

10. See Giant tortoise

All tortoises found in the Seychelles are Aldabra Giant Tortoises which is one of the largest species in the world.

 

Want to visit Seychelles see the trip details click the link below

Escape to Paradise Seychelles 20-27 October 2018

More Photos  https://www.instagram.com/myescapetonature/

 

 ABISKO NATIONAL PARK , LAPPLAND, SWEDEN

Abisko National Park is listed as one of the Natural Wonders you must see before you die!

Lappland in northern Sweden is home to a number of spectacular national parks, the most scenic of these being Abisko National Park. Framed by mountain ranges in the south and west, and the waters of Torneträsk Lake in the north, the low-lying valley of Abisko National Park is a wonder to behold. The arctic light dances over the glistening Abiskojokka River which runs through the park, and deep canyons with steep cliff walls reveal the area’s violent geological past. The best view in Lappland is from Abisko National Park. Visitors can also take a cable car to the top of Mount Njulla, where there is a beautiful view of Torneträsk Lake and the Lapp Gate. Plant life thrives on the lime-rich rock, and the park is host to a number of rare plants—the Lapp orchid, for example, is a protected flower and grows nowhere else in the country. Martins, stoats, lemmings, and elks wander the wilds of the park, and many small species of bird, such as the arctic warbler, circle its skies.

Source: 1001 Natural Wonders: You Must See Before You Die Book

Hike to the so-called `Roof of Africa` wandering atop the edge of escarpments that plummet hundreds of meters into the Ethiopian plains, providing a shield for creatures seen almost nowhere else on earth walk here before the rest of the world discovers the simiens.

Essential Experiences (Recommended by Lonely Planet)

  • Watching the sun set from the camp at Geech
  • Standing among gelada baboons above Geech Abyss as you watch the waterfall disappear into shadows
  • Wandering out onto a campside spur at Chenek at dawn, as gelada baboons arise from their cliff-hanging sleeps
  • Being mobbed by fascinated children as you walk through the village of Chiro Leba
  • Savouring the immense view from the summit of Ras Dashen

 

Topping out at 4559m, Ethiopia`s Simien Mountains are among the highest and finest of Africa`s mountain ranges. Towering out of patchwork agricultural plains studded with craggy peaks, the range is framed by massive escarpments. Standing at their edge, as you will most of the time when hiking here, you`ll agree the views are equal of any in the world.

Treks here isn`t just about the stupendous views. The simian Mountains National Park is a living, bustling landscape, inhabited by around 15,000 people. Villagers till weary slopes, shepherds roam the plateau, and village children sprint from homes to greet trekkers.

Among them- often grazing right beside the goats- is a host of wildlife so special that, in 1978, the Simien Mountains were included the first selection of sites to be granted World Heritage status. Most commonly seen are the gelada baboons, the world`s only grass-eating primates; the colouring on their chest gives them the nickname of `bleeding-heart baboon`.  Walia ibex cling to impossible slopes, and the call of the Ethiopian wolf might be heard on the slopes of Ras Dashen, through the coyote-sized, fox-coloured dog-the world`s rarest canid-is rarely seen.

Altitude sickness is less a problem in the Simien than in many equivalent ranges, with camps spaced at intervals aiding acclimatisation. This gives trekkers a good chance of summiting Ras Dashen, scrambling its final escarpment to soak in a view that rewards all of the effort in getting here.

The Bleeding-Heart Baboon: The gelada baboon is one of the Ethiopia`s most fascinating endemic animals. In fact, not a baboon at all. It takes up its own genus of monkey. Of all the nonhuman primates. It`s by far the most dexterous. It also lives in the largest social groups (up to 800 individuals in a group have been recorded), is the only primate that feeds on the grass, and has its `mating skin` on its chest and not on its bottom- a convenient adaptation, given that it spends most of its time sitting. This bare patch of skin has given rise to the gelada`s another popular name: the bleeding-heart baboon.

Not:This Article is taken from The Lonely Planet book of “Great Adventures”

The success of your trip depends heavily on the level of preparation. Madagascar is a wonderful destination for travellers who take the time to prepare& organise their trip well in advance.

PASSPORT & VISA

VALIDITY of passport required by the time of your travel to MADAGASCAR: 6 months and above

TOURIST VISA is paying and can be obtained at Malagasy Consulates, or upon arrival to Madagascar, at customs. Indicative visa fee 35€/person, subject to change by authorities without prior notice.

At least one blank page required in the passport for the visa.

In Madagascar, IMMIGRATION issues are restrictive and may be amended by authorities without prior notice. Therefore, please kindly double-check all the conditions well in advance before departure.

ADEQUATE TRAVEL INSURANCE AND ASSISTANCE

A good travel insurance especially ensures your care in an emergency or unexpected situations such as health problems, accidents, cancellations, etc. Malagasy health facilities do not meet international standards. Therefore, medical evacuation to Mauritius, Reunion or South Africa is absolutely necessary in case of medical emergency.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you subscribe to adequate travel insurance before departure.

Travel insurance protects you while giving you financial security and assisting you in case of emergency.

SANITARY ADVICE

Generally, we recommend that you have a medical consultation before your departure for health issues related to your stay in Madagascar and in particular on the issue of malaria.

Please make sure that you update your vaccines, including diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhoid fever, viral hepatitis A and B.

We also recommend you bring along your own medication to relieve minor inconveniences associated with travel. Similarly, if you follow a specific treatment, it is important to plan your treatment during your stay.

It is strongly recommended that you drink only bottled water during your stay (including for brushing your teeth), and eat only in restaurants recommended by your guide. Drink enough water to prevent dehydration and fatigue.

Remember to bring insect repellent and wear adequate clothing against mosquito bites.

Please make sure you protect yourself and your children from direct sunshine and dehydration. Sunscreens with high sun protection are also vital.

SECURITY ADVICE

Madagascar is a peaceful country with a nice, smiling and hospitable population. However, we must not forget that Madagascar is among the poorest countries on the planet. For a pleasant stay in Madagascar, simple safety measures and basic rules and common sense apply to all travellers.

While we travel around the world, we owe respect to other populations, cultures & customs. Let us not forget that tolerance and smiles open doors and make our world a better place.

CLIMATE CONDITIONS

In general, the climate in Madagascar is characterised by a dry season that runs from April to October and a rainy season from November to March. However, significant variations across regions are noteworthy: more moisture to the east, with a shorter dry season, and on the contrary a dry period with significantly prolonged heat waves in the south. Tropical storms and heavy rain may occur between November and March. Protection from sunshine, rain, cold and wind has to be taken into consideration while you pack. Please include a pair of good walking shoes to discover the national parks.

GOOD TO KNOW ABOUT HOTELS IN MADAGASCAR

Madagascar is one of the last paradises on earth resisting to the invasion of modernity and still offers opportunities for extra-ordinary travelling conditions.

Please kindly be advised that most accommodation options in the bush of Madagascar are often cut off from electricity & water networks and work on own power supply generators (solar or conventional). Often, bush hotels run on generator supply rationed in the day and into the night. In general, the generator is off from 22h on, after the guests return to their rooms after dinner. Similarly, the hot water may not be available throughout the hotel network.

Whatever itinerary you choose, we highly recommend you to bring your own torch lights to anticipate potential power cuts that can occur at any time on your route, in the bush as well as in the urban areas.

PACKING LIST TO DISCOVER MADAGASCAR & ITS NATIONAL PARKS

We strongly recommend that you bring a good pair of comfortable & robust walking/trekking shoes (solid sole to protect against falls, slippery collars and sharp stones), a headlamp/torch, a raincoat, a fleece jacket (depending on season and location), light and covering clothes (to protect you from cold, sun, scratches, insect bites, etc.), as well as hats and sunglasses. Nights can be fresh/cold in the bush and/or by the seaside, please include some warm clothes. A backpack is necessary to bring along with you your water bottle, camera, some cash money, sunscreen, raincoat/pullover and a small first aid kit to disinfect and treat minor injuries during the visit.

In some national parks, it is possible to swim in natural pools and / or waterfalls. We suggest you to inquire at your hotel reception before leaving the park to provide the necessary equipment for swimming.

Please also include your own mask and snorkel to enjoy marine reserves on your itinerary.

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE AIR MADAGASCAR [DOMESTIC FLIGHTS]

On board of Air Madagascar domestic flights, luggage allowance is limited to ONE PIECE per person not exceeding 20 kg, and 5 kg cabin luggage per passenger. Respect this weight limit to avoid extra luggage fees. We highly recommend flexible and robust rolling travel bags, with security lock. Please try to avoid rigid, heavy and voluminous suitcases. Soft travel bags are easier to handle for road & boat transport.

CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE RATES

The local monetary unit is the Ariary (MGA or Ar), which in 2005 replaced the Malagasy franc (FMG). It happens very often that prices are given in Malagasy francs, ask precisely to avoid misunderstandings: note 1 MGA = 5 FMG.

Exchange rate 1 EUR = 3500 MGA (indicative rate). The official rate available on the website of the Central Bank of Madagascar, http://www.banque-centrale.mg/

While travelling in the country, make sure you bring some cash to exchange upon arrival and a package of small change between two cities. In the bush, you can only pay in cash except in important hotels where VISA card is widely accepted.

VISA AND MASTER CARDS

Important: In Madagascar, VISA is more widely accepted than MASTER. AMEX is not at all common. Commissions vary from one place to another.

There are ATMs and Exchange Offices in all major cities. The eventual settlement of hotel extrasby card as well as cash with drawls are subject to commissions and charges ranging from 5 to 8%. Please contact your bank for detailed information.

TIPS

You can give a tip if you are really satisfied with the service. In restaurants, it is customary to leave 5 % service charge, but it is at your discretion. If you rent a car with a driver, you can give a tip of few Euros per day (about 5 € per day).

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Various mobile operators provide communication & Internet services in Madagascar. It is possible to buy a prepaid SIM card from one of the operators and use the national network configuration if your phone allows.

POWER SUPPLY

European / French type of sockets are in used, with 220 V powers, when available. Power cuts are very widely experienced in major cities. There is mostly no power network in the bush and most hotels run on power generators or solar panels. Power generators run mostly until 10 or 11 p.m. in case of solar power, please do not use electric hair dryers. Please kindly ask information and assistance at the reception of each hotel.

We strongly recommend you bring a headlight or torchlight with enough spare battery per person for night use in bush hotels.

 

CHECK OUT NEXT TRIP TO MADAGASCAR

MADAGASCAR-13-27 April 2019

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1.Best diving and snorkelling. Famous for its endless coral reefs.

Raja ampat is famous for its Manta Rays. These majestic, harmless animals can be found throughout the region and are commonly encountered at sites.

Top 5 Places for diving in Raja ampat are those Mios Kun, Blue Magic, Manta Sandy, Batu Lima,Mike’s Point

2.See Birds of paradise with their incredible plumage and fascinating behaviours adaptations. Papua`s Birds of paradise are like nothing else on Earth. Various endemic species can be found throughout the islands.

3. Homestay/  By staying in homestays you will  have some bites at traditional food.

I would suggest Lumba Lumba homestay

For details see website http://lulumba.net/ 

There is diving option as well on this homestay and I tried 2 dives which were excellent. Cape Kri is definitely a site to check out, it holds a world record of 374 different species of fish to ever be seen in one dive.

There is a nice hike to the top of Kri where you can watch the beautiful sunset

 

Sunset & Sounds of tropical forest in Kri island/Raja Ampat

 

4.See walking sharks/ Home of Walking “Epaulette shark, this species only found in Raja ampat.

You can find them easily during the night the baby walking sharks.

5. Swim with sea turtle/

Raja Ampat is an incredible place to see at least four of the world’s seven turtle species. Sea turtles are one of the world’s oldest species. Scientific evidence shows they are at least 100 million years old .

6. Swim with shark

Raja Ampat is an ideal habitat for a number of species of sharks. Black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks thrive here.

 

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Accommodation

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Money Transfer

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The 10 Best things to do in Cuba

  1. Cuban Music:

Cuban music is one of the world’s most popular music, not only on the Caribbean islands but also in the whole of Latin America. You can hear many live performances playing at most of the cosy bars in Cuba. If you are looking for the best nightlife, go to Trinidad.

  1. Cuban cigar:

The world’s best cigars grow in Cuba, mostly in the western part of Cuba around Pinar del Rio. If you would like to taste the best cigars, head to Cuba. You can visit cigar factories and see how cigars are prepared or visit farms in Vinales and one of the farmer’s will show you how they roll the cigars.

There are lots of different cigar brands in Cuba. The top 3 brands are Cohiba, Monte Cristo, Romeo and Juliet.

      

  1. Cuban Rum:

Cuban rum is renowned as being one of the best in the world. There are 2 main brands: one of the most internationally known is Havana Club, but locals say that the best rum is “Santiago de Cuba”. You can only find this rum in Cuba and it is available in most shops. The more aged the rum is, the better its quality and of course, the more expensive it is. I would recommend trying a 7 year old dark rum -that is one of my personal favourites.

  1. Vintage American Cars:

Be sure to experience a ride in a vintage american car while in Cuba but dont just take a 2 hour Havana tour, try to take a longer trip to explore other cities to make the most of the authentic Cuban car experience.

       

  1. Cuban Salsa:

While you are listening to live Cuban salsa music, why not learn to dance salsa. Dont be afraid, Cuban people are very friendly and willing to teach you the basic Salsa steps. Cuban salsa is a unique style of salsa that is enjoyable to dance at any age.

https://www.facebook.com/myescapetonature/videos/1048460505289250/

https://www.facebook.com/myescapetonature/videos/1068460883289212/

https://www.facebook.com/myescapetonature/videos/1048479595287341/

  1. Watch the sunset:

Dont miss any sunset in Cuba. If you are in Havana, head to Malecon where you can watch the sunset and listen to locals play live music while drinking your rum. Malecon is a place for social gatherings.

If you are in Trinidad, head to the beautiful Playa Ancon beach which is a 20 minute car ride and watch one of the best sunsets where the sun goes down in the Caribbean sea.

If you are in Vinales, head to one of the hills where you can watch the sun go down from the Mogote green hills of Vinales.

       

  1. Visit Che mausoleum in Santa Clara:

You will most likely see Che Guevara’s posters and statues more than Fidel. Che is the hero of Cuba who fought for the Cuban revolution with Fidel. Try to visit his mausoleum in Santa Clara.

     

  1. Hike and horse riding in Vinales valley:

Vinales valley is surrounded by beautiful Mogote hills, a paradise. To visit certain parts of this valley, it is best to hike or horse ride in the valley to fully appreciate these beautiful hills.

 

  1. Dine at the best restaurants in Cuba.

Most people who travelled to Cuba before 2011 complained about the bad food in Cuba but since 2011, the Cuban government allowed private restaurants to open due to tourists’ demand, now there are good restaurants in most big cities and you can even dine in a restaurant where Barack Obama himself dined. Those restaurants are very popular and advance booking is required.

These are some restaurants that we suggest:

Havana/San Cristobal, Los Nardos, Castropol, Paladar Los Mercaderes

Trinidad/San Hose, Vista Gourmet

Vinales/Casa de Don Tomas, La Toma,

  1. Explore the best beaches in Cuba:

Playa Ancon is one of the best beaches in Cuba and it is only 20 min drive by car from Trinidad- it is a must-see!

If you want to join next trip to Cuba see details http://myescapetonature.com/tours/viva-cuba/ 

 

 

The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights is one of the spectacular phenomena that fascinates many minds. A collision between gas and particles of sunlight entering the earth’s atmosphere is undoubtedly both alluring and a bizarre occurrence on the earth. The various shades of emerald dancing with bold streaks of green stretches clear across the whole sky will forever etch into your memory.  However, the beauty of it can only be seen around the magnetic poles on the extreme northern and southern hemispheres.

One of the most astounding track records for aurora sightings is in Abisko, Sweden. Home to Abisko National Park and the “Blue Hole” – a hole in the sky that is without clouds, appointed by NASA to be the best place to view the northern lights. Being part of the Arctic Circle, Abisko is a village situated in the northern region of Sweden. Even when the weather isn’t the most optimal for aurora sightings, Aurora Sky Station in Abisko proves to have good track records of 83% in the evenings for clear and pure aurora sighting, yielding extraordinary numbers of clear nights in comparison to many other Arctic places. The hidden tuck away gem nestled in the mountains of Nuolja frees Abisko from light pollution present an ideal place to capture the beauty of northern lights with the stunning mountainous landscape as your backdrop. Below the village of Abisko is the 70 km long Lake Torneträsk giving you a magnificent view beneath. On top of that, is the most recognisable sighting of Lapporten, a U-shaped valley visible from Abisko making your trip more pronounce.

A perfect picture of Abisko encompassed by Arctic mountain overlooking Lake Torneträsk surrounded by the northern lights above, what more can you ask for? It is utterly and sheer ultimate northern light experience that is unforgettable.

More details about tours to see Northern Lights please check the website below

http://myescapetonature.com/tours/chasing-northern-lights-2/

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