Sunday Special – The Serengeti


Located in Eastern Africa, in the northern area of Tanzania and the southwestern region of Kenya is where the world’s most incredible and vastest unchanged migration of hoofed animals (and their predators) occurs. The Serengeti’s 30,000 sq km / 12, 000 sq mi region bears witness to the movement of millions of wildebeest and thousands of gazelles and zebras. Naturally, predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas follow. Making a loop from the south of the area in Tanzania into the northern reaches of the Serengeti in Kenya, and back again, the animals make this movement seeking out grazing lands. This migration is an instinct for the animals.

As incredible as this yearly migration is, there is much more to the Serengeti ecosystem. It has been relatively unchanged in regards to climate and vegetation for approximately a million years, making it one the world’s oldest ecosystems. These ancient grasslands, woodlands, rivers, and savanna are home to a bountiful variety of mammals and birds. Some of the creatures that make this area home include (but not limited to) African elephant, rhinoceros, giraffe, warthogs, African buffalo, impala, topi, and East African cheetah.

The region is also host to several conservation areas, both in Tanzania and in Kenya, and the Serengeti National Park. The national park was created in 1951 and encompasses an area 14, 763 sq km / 5,700 sq mi. In 1981 the park became a UNESCO World Biosphere Site. The park is also involved in conservation of this precious area.

Zebras of the Serengeti. Photo credit:
PeetyPablo at the Danish language WikipediaZebraer i SerengetiCC BY-SA 3.0
Pumbaa the warthog has been spotted! Photo credit:
Joachim HuberSerengeti, Tanzania (2314478767)CC BY-SA 2.0
Giraffes, the tallest land animal there is. Photo credit:
Harvey Barrison from Massapequa, NY, USA, Eastern Serengeti 2012 05 31 2873 (7522634624)CC BY-SA 2.0
Sunset in the Serengeti. Photo credit:
René MayorgaSunrise Serengeti (41472584)CC BY-SA 3.0

The Last Bit of Egypt


Well I am back home in Canada and the daily routine has started up again. I will post some more photos of my trip over the next few days. Hopefully I won’t be tardy in writing about my experiences (we all know I can be a bit tardy in this area. LOL). Where I left off in Egypt is Luxor. We toured the Valley of the Kings and saw 3 tombs. We also had time to see the markets and visit an essence oil shop. I was also surprised at dinner with cake for my birthday! 🙂

All photos taken (or taken for) and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World.

I got cake for my birthday! What a great surprise!!

A very happy birthday girl! Celebrated in Luxor.

The Colossi of Memnon. It’s huge!

The desk of Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of King Tut

Hieroglyph inside one of the tombs at the Valley of the Kings.

The colours are so bright and still intact. Imagine what they were like thousands of years ago!

Beautiful perfume bottles at a store in Luxor

The Temple of Luxor at sunset

The tourist market in Luxor

Sunday Special Thrill Seekers – Micro Light Flying Over Victoria Falls


Victoria Falls is on my bucket list. This incredible natural wonder that is bordered by both Zambia and Zimbabwe looks spellbinding! In fact I featured it here on Sunday Special a bit ago. Today I am featuring it as a thrill seeker post since there are a plethora of adventure activities that you can take part in. While seeing the falls would be spectacular on its own some of us may want to experience it with a rush of adrenaline too. 

Some of the activities you can participate in include tandem skydiving, helicopter tours,  zip lining (including flying fox zip lining), gorge swings, the Devil’s Pool (swimming on the edge of the falls), white water rafting on the Zambezi River, and even canoeing along the calmer parts of the river. That is plenty of adventure and memory making. Today however, we will take a closer look at micro light flying over the falls!

Micro light flying, sometimes called ultra light flying, came about as a motorized variation of hand gliding.  Though the classification of “microlight” and “ultralight” aircraft can have a wide range, many of the planes have open cockpits, 1 – 2 seats, and either flex or fixed wings. Sounds incredible for those who want to see the wonder of the falls from a perspective like no other. A number of operators offer 15 or 30 min flights in mainly flex-wing planes allowing for breathtaking views of the thundering falls below. What an awe-inducing experience!  

**Please note: I was unable to find photos of microlight flights over Victoria Falls that I could share with attribution. The photo below is of a microlight aircraft so you can see what it is. I do suggest a Google search of this activity in Victoria Falls if you want a visual. 

512px-Pegasus_quantum_15-912_microlight_g-byff_kemble_arp

A microlight aircraft flying high – Photo is Public Domain (Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone), Pegasus quantum 15-912 microlight g-byff kemble arp, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons)

*Note/Disclaimer – The decision to participate in high risk activities is a personal choice. Always research the activities and know the risks. Wanders The World is posting only for informational purposes and is in no way responsible for the choices made by anyone reading the posts.

Sunday Special – Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)


Now this week I did pick an island nation! And why not? Today we will check out Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde) which lies 570 km / 350 miles west of Africa in the central Atlantic Ocean and is made up of 9 inhabited volcanic islands and 8 islets. It had been isolated and uninhabited until the 1400s CE when it was colonized by Portugal. In later centuries it was, sadly,  a major port in the slave trade due to its location. After the end of slavery the island saw a marked decline in economics until it became another popular port and stop in the shipping industry. The Portuguese then incorporated it into an overseas department in 1951. Seeking independence, Cape Verde gained it peacefully in 1975. Today it is a stable, democratic, liberal, and among the highest developed countries in Africa.

The capital city of Praia is located on the southern tip of the island of Santiago, which is also the largest. Santiago is where most of the population lives though the other islands do offer activities and interests such as hiking, beaches, snorkeling, surfing, culture. Here are a few more bits of info:

  • Santiago – The landscape is varied and ranges from beach to mountain, steppes to valleys. The capital city of Praia offers plenty.  The plateau area contains many older buildings and architecture such as the old city wall, the Presidential Palace, and Praia Cathedral. Rumour has it that some of the best waves are found around Praia so this makes it a good location for surfing. 
  • São Vicente – This island is home to the town of Mindelo which is considered Cape Verde’s cultural capital with traditional music being played regularly at cafes and restaurants along with modern pop music. Meandering around town you can take in the Mercado de Peixe (fish market) and a local market. Windsurfers and surfers can take to the water on beaches.
  • Boa Vista – The third largest island it is renown for its sandy beaches making it a paradise for sun worshippers looking for quiet getaways. The Cape Verde music of Morna originated on this isle. It is also a protected haven for loggerhead turtles as a result of the work of The Turtle Foundation which also looks for volunteers to help protect these gentle creatures.
  • Sal – Once a spot for the mining of salt this now small and flat island is building its tourism industry. With barely any cloud cover this island is perpetually sunny. Trade winds provide impressive conditions for surfing and windsurfing for much of the year. 

The remaining island all have something to offer, even if for a short duration. Cape Verde strikes me as a place where you will not be bored yet still retain a relaxed vibe while visiting.

Chaves_Beach_in_Boa_Vista

Beautiful Chaves Beach on Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde – Photo credit: RomazurChaves Beach in Boa VistaCC BY-SA 3.0

Cape_Verde_Sal_kitesurfing

Catching some wind on Sal, Cape Verde – Photo credit: CayambeCape Verde Sal kitesurfingCC BY-SA 3.0

Órgãos,_Santiago,_Cape_Verde

A misty day on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde – Photo is Public Domain (XanduÓrgãos, Santiago, Cape Verde, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons)