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Crossing the Dark Continent
Tanzania - 1st Part
From Botswana back in Zambia immediate departure the notorious train Tazara for Tanzania, acquaintance with the capital Dar-es-Salaam and unforgettable safari eighth wonder of nature, Ngorongoro ...
After the proper preparations in Lusaka, we started for the most charming and yet adventurous train journey in Africa, traveling by Tazara. To Tazara Essentially it is the abbreviation of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority and the railway that runs across Zambia and Tanzania, resulting in the port of Dar-es-Salaam. Within the category of historical journeys by train, along with the Darjeeling crossing the Himalayas, the Chihuahua al Pacifico in Mexico and the Trans-Siberian in Russia.
DIASCHIZONTAS THE BLACK CONTINENT
• SOUTH AFRICA
• TANZANIA - Part1
• TANZANIA - Part 2
• EGYPT - Part 1
• EGYPT - Part 2
• ORGANIZING THE JOURNEY
Characteristic of all these routes is not necessarily the great length or ultramodern fittings (indeed, many of these trains have remained unaltered for decades), but the landscapes and geographical zones crossing.
For example, Darjeeling, known as «Toy Train», rolls on rails that are spaced just 60 centimeters (!) And rises to an altitude of up to 2,000 meters, leaving you speechless occupants of the front sight of the peaks Everest and Katsetsoungka (3rd highest peak in the world).
The Tazara has its own unique story. Designed and financed by China in 1976 and was initially to Railway Union Port Dar-es-Salaam, with its rich mines of Zambia. The route includes 300 bridges, 23 tunnels and 147 stations over a distance of 1,860 chiliometron.Gia this project worked 50,000 Tanzanians and 25,000 Chinese workers, and even delivered earlier than predicted. The total cost was $ 500 million and still remains the largest project financed by the China outside its borders.
How long does it take the train to cross this 1860 km is a question open to different answers. The shortest is less than two days, but can last much longer, mainly due to injuries. For this trip we started several "read" a and not a few unexpected that could happen to us, as we read with surprise in a travel forum on the internet: three friends boarded the train without having taken account of how the restaurant was not working. This, coupled with the fact that traveling alone in the wagon of first place, which is locked and isolated from the other wagons for safety reasons, resulted to have no access to food for 2 days and fed exclusively on mango , bananas and other tropical fruit peddlers who sold the stations! So we loaded supplies for both above, and days began.
TRAVELING WITH TAZARA
The original station is Kapiri Mposhi, three to four hours from Lusaka. After miscalculate routes, we took the bus to Kapiri Mposhi. The route, however, the bus was episodic. Arriving from the main bus station Lusaka, we surrounded a group of people from different bus companies, pulling us from one side and on the other side of the station. Finally, when they began to bicker among themselves, they decided what bus would take.
We bought tickets and waited for the departure, which increasingly delayed, until we reached the point, if you wait a little longer to lose the response of the train and had to wait another two days for the next one. The excuse for the delay was totally unpredictable. Regardless of timetables, there was an unwritten law (which ultimately saw that applies everywhere in Tanzania) that leaves no bus to start if not full. Eventually, with a marginal delay began when he was no longer really fill the last inch of the bus world.
We arrived at the station Kapiri Mposhi five minutes before the normal departure of the train, where we announced that we will enter the train with a 2 hour delay and you may have to wait some more later. There he realized that African public services operate fully harmonized rates, so that every delay, all coordinated to work. Thus, we had the opportunity to meet you and the other passengers of the train and swap stories related to hours of waiting in train stations, airports and bus stations. Finally, after four hours delay start ... for five minutes and xanastamatisame for another hour due to a technical problem!
Despite the external conditions, the situation inside the wagon was pretty good. The bunk beds had 4 beds and was quite spacious. We had chosen to travel by first class, which was quite expensive than others, but the difference in comfort was great. The first cost about 45 euros and had all the requirements for a comfortable and enjoyable trip, while third place cost just 25 euros and provided the small footprint of a bench shared with many people.
As the hours passed, remove from Kapiri Mposhi and entering different landscapes, initially over vast savannahs and later in more mountainous areas. The Tazara passes altitude up to 1,400 m time passed comfortably without thinking when you arrive. During cornering the train cut very speed and enabled them to draw the classic commemorative photo circulating where pull my head quite out of the window and photograph from another window with background throughout the train and turns.
After the first day we knew all the occupants of the wagon with their first name, proving that the train remains one of the most socially transport, especially on long journeys where actually roommates with such a different world for days. The wagon had us a little of everything, from Danish doctors, tourists from New Zealand to Ethiopians runners! Noon passed passport control and it showed very organized, it was the most comfortable and relaxing crossing borders so far on the trip. The customs officer came to collect the passports and after some time of our distributed behind the controller station. I restarted and as we crossed vast landscapes, we stopped at small stations where sometimes waited a bit, sometimes for 1-2 hours. At each station there was a small community of vendors that offer almost everything from tropical fruits and nuts to phone cards. On the third day had started to fatigue occurs, and had developed a routine in the life of the wagon and our supplies were beginning to run out dangerous.
We did not calculate the amounts of food that would be consumed by sheer embarrassment. It was hard to resist the smells of the kitchen, and as the hours passed, our defenses flexed more and more. At this critical point the train was passing through the national park Mikoumi and the window gazing hordes of zebras, buffalos and giraffes us look rather familiar with the sight of the train. It was the fastest safari we had done so far. Eventually, with delay of 8 - 9 hours suddenly walked in urban environments. We arrived, we were in Dar-es-Salaam. When we got off the train took us some time to realize that there is still a long stop and to never xanaepivivastoume the train ...
Dar es-Salaam has little to envy from other African cities, where they accumulate the bulk of economic activity in the country. Dense reconstruction, open markets and a lot of traffic in the port. The "Dar", as it is called in short, is for the visitor a part of an organization and departure for most tourist destinations in Tanzania.
From the port daily boats leaving for Zanzibar, while organized safari to some of the most famous national parks in the world. Serengeti, one of the oldest ecosystems on the planet, is the most characteristic of them, making tourism brand of Tanzania. The reason that makes it so popular is because there takes place one of the most impressive natural wonders, the massive migration of animals from the South to the North. At the end of May when the dry season starts and the grass begins to dry up, gather at the south end of the park over a million animals of all kinds: wildebeest, buffalo, impala (eland), elephants and two hundred thousand zebras as an invisible invitation to invite them to this point.
For some days there is constant tension, as males feuding over who should lead the flock in this very tough test. Then, and under unexplained biological processes, start all together in an endless race to the north where the climate is humid and provides food for olous.To sight is very impressive - as we have seen, of course, through the documentary, since the values of the park was highly prohibitive (120 euro per night in a tent). We aim for the Ngorongoro, another famous destination of Tanzania attracts very large percentage of visitors each year because of its morphology.
The Ngorongoro in many the eighth wonder of nature has been created by the collapse of a volcano before several million years. The crater created is the world's largest, with a diameter of about 19 km, and within the "protected" a rare ecosystem biodiversity. Over 30,000 animals live in the crater following a diversified development than the rest of the Serengeti, as the terrain mitigates the likelihood of external populations to penetrate the ecosystem. Base for the Ngorongoro Arusha and this time we decided not to stay overnight in the national park, but to organize our own one-day safari, as many of us had been advised as prices of organized safaris for such a short time was not favorable .
So we rented a car in Arusha (cost $ 100, only 4X4 allowed inside the crater), we paid for the ticket of the park ($ 200 for the car and $ 50 per person) and guide / ranger (30 dollars), and Safari is not allowed in the crater if there is someone in charge of the park straight to the car.
Like any other relevant activity in Africa, this one started very early in the morning, at around 5, and then 4 hours later and initially smooth paved road, we reached the edge of the crater. The spectacle justify every description that we had heard before. We started slow the descent and when we arrived at the main terrain of the crater, we remembered the characterization of German photographer and writer Reinhard Kunkel: «Garden of Eden." We were surrounded by buffaloes, elephants, zebras, gazelles, hyenas, lions, which do not seem to bother so to pose for some pictures. In the central part of the crater is a large lake where you can see up close flocks flamingos and other exotic birds. The hours passed really so fast that neither realized that the time had come to take the road back to Arusha, since they may be present in the car park after 6pm.
On the way back we could not stop looking at the photos and videos we had taken. It was really very impressive and the fact that animals are totally unaware of our presence made the images so realistic and documentaries of David Attenborough, the most exuberant wildlife cameraman. As Maunder crater to remove the horizon seemed commanding the next challenge of the journey, and perhaps most daring: the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro!
Tanzania / Tazara% 20Train% 20to% 20Dar% 20Es
www.takimsholidays.com / safaris / mikumi.asp
www.glcom.com / hassan / serengeti.html
www.lotusexpeditions.com / serengeti_safari.php
Chiang Rai ,Thailand
Categoty: Travel destinations
Chiang Rai Thailand in green
Impenetrable tropical vegetation, traditional villages and beautiful flowering cherry trees make Chiang Rai a slightly adventurous-but-perfectly attractive destination
It is the northernmost province of Thailand and is located about 780 kilometers north of Bangkok, in the basin of the Mekong River. The province covers an area of about 11,700 square kilometers with an average elevation above sea level of 580 meters. The limits of the province is the area of the "golden triangle" or "triangle of opium", ie the point where the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet. The area is also known as the gateway to South China.
The population of the province of Chiang Rai amounts to more than a million inhabitants. Approximately 12% of the population belong to different mountain tribes, a term used to group small ethnic groups residing in the north of Thailand such as Karen, the Lachou, the MMF, the Lissos etc. The mountain tribes retain a different yet charming lifestyle. In the area, and many of which originate from China which own many of the businesses in the area.
The city of Chiang Rai was founded by King Meng Rai in 1262 and was the first capital of the Thai kingdom of Lanna Thai - the "Kingdom of 1,000,000 paddy fields," as it was called. An impressive monument to the memory of the founder King is just outside the city. Soon Chiang Rai lost glory as the king himself built near a more impressive city, Chiang Mai. The Chiang Rai was conquered by the Bourmezous
Categoty: Travel destinations
Chiang Mai: Discovering northern Thailand
A city with wonderful historical monuments and exceptional nature. Tropical flowers and fruits, colors, flavors and scents complement the exotic landscape.
Nearly ten hours long flight Athens - Bangkok and the first experience that a traveler from the "land of the free people," Thailand is the tropical heat and spicy scents that followed him throughout his journey, anywhere in this country . Just two hours later, one hour waiting an hour-flight arrive in Chiang Mai. And the adventure in this less known side of Thailand begins.
The Chiang Mai is the largest city in the north of the country. It is built at a height of 300 meters above sea level and is 700 km from Bangkok. Here, the climate is almost temperate, the morning mist magic and evenings pleasantly warm. Today, it is the capital of the homonymous province, covering an area of 20,000 sq. km., With plains, rice fields, wildlife, national parks and many green misty mountains.
THE KINGDOM OF Paddy
The city was the ancient capital of the first independent Thai kingdom of Lanna Thai, «the kingdom of a million rice fields." Founded in 1296 and flourished as a religious, cultural and trading center until 1556, when it was conquered by the Burmese. Since then, its role was limited to that of a slave city, until the Burmese were expelled in 1785 and the entire region of Lanna Thai united again with Thailand.
The Chiang Mai preserv
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