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Planning a Japan holiday? Get your lowdown on the top things to do in Tokyo from our destination experts.

A fascinating blend of futuristic technology, explosive design and centuries old culture, Japan is famous for bridging the past and the present in all aspects of life – and nowhere in the country is this more evident than in its stunning capital city, Tokyo.

On your Japan vacation, discover the exciting contrasts between pop culture and spirituality, big city life and artfully landscaped Zen gardens, traditional shrines and sparkling skyscrapers. With our list of things to do in Tokyo, the city is at your fingertips. What can you see? What will you do? Here’s a list of our favorites.

1. Things to do in Tokyo: Shibuya District

Shibuya District is the most colorful of the 23 wards in the city: colorful shops, top Tokyo restaurants, nightclubs and bars attract thousands every day, thus lending a unique, buzzing air to the area. Shibuya’s busy intersection has been immortalized in numerous movies as Tokyo’s unofficial landmark. It’s no wonder then that many visitors are drawn to what is certainly the epitome of Japanese big city chic.

Shibuya Crossing Full HD 渋谷駅 東京 - YouTube

Stroll through streets thronging with enthusiastic shoppers, let yourself be carried away (in spirit) by the rush of people all around you, and immerse yourself in the endless energy of Tokyo. After all, it’s the Far East’s ‘city of the future’!

2. Things to do in Tokyo: Hamarikyu Gardens

Japanese gardens are renowned for their artistic design, and their cultural and spiritual significance. These often include refined miniature landscapes with elaborate ponds, bridges and forested sections intended to provide peace and tranquility for your soul. Naturally, Tokyo has several such gardens, but the Hamarikyu features high on our list of things to do in Tokyo.

The park has numerous lakes fed by the sea so you’ll find the water level rise and fall depending on the tide.

Hamarikyu Gardens

Overlooking the Bay and set against Tokyo’s impressive skyline, this picturesque garden offers interesting contrasts. The extensive park is brimming with numerous open lakes fed by the sea so you’ll often find the water level rise and fall depending on the tide.

Take a walk through the winding alleyways, over hanging bridges, past giant trees until you reach the delightful teahouse set in the midst of this green paradise. Settle down with a freshly brewed cup of matcha tea. Bliss.

3. Things to do in Tokyo: Meiji Shrine

One of the most visited shrines in Japan, the Meiji Shrine is another one of our favorite Tokyo attractions. Completed in 1920, this beautiful Shinto shrine is dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji-tennō and his wife Shōken-kōtaigo. A bevy of people visit it everyday, and yet, it’s a far cry from the crowded Sensoji Temple premises. Nestled amid an artificial evergreen forest right next to the Yoyogi Park, this peaceful haven offers quiet respite from the bustle of the city. Take a leisurely stroll through the well-maintained complex and escape the metropolis, if only for a brief spell!

With a bit of luck, you might run into a wedding party – the Meiji Shrine is a popular site for Japanese weddings.

Meiji Shrine

Admire the imposing wooden arches and elaborate ornaments of this majestic structure. You can also take part in an ancient ritual: write a prayer or a wish on a piece of paper and tie it to the prayer wall. Who knows, you might just get your heart’s desire! With a bit of luck, you might even run into a wedding party – the Meiji Shrine is a popular site for Shinto weddings and this is your chance to see these Japanese traditions firsthand!

4. Things to do in Tokyo: Boat ride on the Sumida River

The historic Sumida River has fed this city for centuries and so, a boat ride on it naturally features high on our list of things to do in Tokyo. Take a relaxing cruise down the river and see the metropolis from an entirely different perspective.

Boat on the Sumida River

Choose from the several available routes, for example, a ride from the Hinode Pier in Tokyo Bay to Asakusa. About 40 minutes long, you’ll see interesting sights and panoramic views of the city, and pass under a total of 12 bridges. With at least four of these bridges illuminated in the evenings, dusk on the boat is magical indeed!

5. Things to do in Tokyo: Old Town

Follow the narrow winding streets lined with unique cafes and small Senbei shops (selling traditional Japanese rice crackers) from Nippori Station until you reach the heart of Tokyo’s Old Town.

Traditional Japanese treats await you alongside modern fusion cuisine – a delightful blend of the old and the new.

Yanaka in Tokyo

In the Yanaka neighborhood, quiet side streets invite you for a lazy amble. Walk past the historic cemetery and numerous temples until you’re in Market Street. Here, traditional Japanese food await you alongside modern fusion cuisine – a delightful blend of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, existing side by side in Yanaka.

6. Modern Architecture and the Akihabara ‘Electric Town’

Be inspired by cosplay, manga, animation and a world of futuristic computer games.

If you’re passionate about technology and modern architecture, Tokyo is the place for you! The district of Odaiba is home to an exceptional number of modern buildings which you can admire as you walk past.

‘Electric’ Tokyo!

The Toyota showroom or the futuristic Panasonic Center offer incredible insights into Japan’s technological advancement. In Tokyo’s ‘Electric Town’ Akihabara, immerse yourself in the world of Otaku Culture and be inspired by cosplay, manga, animation and a world of futuristic computer games!

Discover a unique metropolis with our handy guide on things to do in Tokyo

Read about the Secrets of Japan from our Enchanting Experts

Tokyo – pulsating, electrifying, and full of contrasts! Discover the sparkling city on your journey of a lifetime – our destination experts are happy to share more Tokyo travel tips and tailor your private and tailor made Japan tour to match all your interests and preferences.

Plan your Japan Tour

The post Top 6 Things to do in Tokyo appeared first on Enchanting Travels.

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Remember the opening line to the movie classic Out of Africa? “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills…” Well, Enchanting Travels has a truly unique offering for guests on Kenya tours.

Doubling as Danish author Karen Blixen’s home in the 1984 film that highlighted her romantic history in colonial Kenya, we’re delighted to share Ngong Dairy with you, which, we should add, no other travel company has access to!

While Ngong Dairy was not the house of the actual Karen Blixen – for this was being used for other purposes as the time of production – it is just a few minutes down the road. Ngong Dairy had belonged to the widow of Jomo Kenyatta, the first and former prime minister of Kenya.

Today Florian Keller, Co-Founder and COO of Enchanting Travels lives in the property that was made famous by Out of Africa. Florian shares the highlights of living on this charming, timeless property, with plenty of reason to add it to your itinerary during your Kenya tours.

“Living in the Ngong Dairy is dream come true for me.”

“Living in the Ngong Dairy is a dream come true for me.”

“I have had many wonderful moments sitting in front of the large fireplace with a warming fire going and watching the movie Out of Africa with the scene in which Meryl Streep tells stories to Robert Redford at the exact same spot in front of the fireplace!”

“It always made me feel like I was embarking on a journey through time and that I was, in some way, part of the movie.”

“The other fantastic part of the house is the huge garden with spectacular views of the Ngong Hills.”

“The other fantastic part of the house is the huge garden with spectacular views of the Ngong Hills. There is no better place for a garden breakfast, a picnic or afternoon tea. Some of the visitors at the Ngong Dairy fell so much in love with its beauty and romantic ambiance, that they chose this magical place as the venue of their wedding.”

“We also have regular garden parties at the Ngong Dairy. We always turn the garden into a soccer pitch and later in the evening into a dance floor under the stars.”

Now his private residence, Enchanting Travels offers you the exclusive opportunity to dine by the famous fireplace at this house with Florian, during your private safari in East Africa.

Design my African Safari Today!

The post On The Movie Set of Out of Africa With Ngong Dairy appeared first on Enchanting Travels.

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“Life becomes a festival when gaiety and culture blend. Onam, a festival uniting the people of Kerala, delivers the message of both.”

Onam festival celebrates the many elements of Kerala’s traditions and culture. Signalling the end of the monsoons, this annual ‘harvest festival’ unites the people of Kerala with a ten-day celebration during ‘Chingam’ (the first month of the Malayalam calendar / August-September as per Gregorian calendar). Onam festivals starts on 24 August 2018.

Devotees at Aranmula for Onam Celebrations – Editorial Credit: AJP / Shutterstock.com

Onam is also mythologically linked to Malayalee-Hindu folk tales, one which marks the homecoming of legendary ‘asura’ or ‘demon’ King Mahabali from the underworld, while another claims Onam was the day Parashurama  – an avatar of Lord Vishnu – founded Kerala state from a sea bed.

A vibrant and colorful festival, Onam is likewise considered the ‘festival of flowers’, and wonderful flower decorations are created inside and outside homes.

Enjoyed by all religions, this ancient festival displaces all barriers of caste and religion, propagating that all people should live harmoniously in unison.

Participants in the famous Aranmula Boat Race – Editorial Credit: Rajesh Narayanan / Shutterstock.com

Kochi, Trivandrum, Thrissur, and Kottayam are where the most spectacular celebrations take place. Thrikkakara Temple, 15 kms northeast of Ernakulam, is especially associated with Onam Festival. Every Onam, Malayalees revive and relive the happy times under Mahabali’s reign.

Locals wear new clothes; homes are colorfully decorated; elaborate ‘pookalams’ (floral carpets) are created in front of homes; and a grand celebratory ‘Onamsadya’ feast is prepared.

Apart from the joyous festivities of family and feasting, various energetic and fun-filled activities enthrall Malayalees during Onam.

Here’s eight of the most riveting and inviting festival attractions…come, join the fun!

1) Thripunithura Athachamayam: Onam Celebrations Street Procession including gold decorated elephants, Thrissur – Editorial Credit: AJP / Shutterstock.com

Marking the start of Onam, Athachamayam is a colorful inauguration featuring a street parade of different Kerala art forms, musicians, dancers, carnival floats, decorated elephants, etc.

Date and Venue: 15 August, 2018 – Thripunithura, in Ernakulam’s greater Kochi.

2) Aranmula Snake Boat Race: Onam Celebrations Oarsmen Rowing in Snake boats Aranmula Boat Race – the oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala – Editorial Credit: Rajesh Narayanan / Shutterstock.com

Unlike other competitive snake boat races, Aranmula Snake Boat Race is more a traditional ritual with religious elements. Kerala’s oldest and most popular boat race attracts scores of spectators, both local and international. About 50-plus boats participate in the race commencing in the afternoon after all religious rituals are over.

On Thiruvonam (the festival’s tenth day), Aranmula Temple rituals are overseen by the patriarch of a renowned Brahmin family.

Date and Venue: Banks of River Pampa, Aranmula. 29 August 2018

3) Onathallu: Onam Celebrations Onathallu is an extremely competitive freestyle martial arts form. This bare-handed mock fight has combatants facing each other without any weapons or rigid rules, except that it is prohibited to hit the head or face, and punch or kick. Flower decorations for Onam in Kerala.

Men of all ages dressed in dhotis, plain white cloth wrapped like shorts, test their stamina, skill and physical abilities. Onathallu ideates the martial spirit of warriors.

Best Place: Thrissur

4) Pulikali or Tiger Dance: Onam Celebrations Body painted tiger dance artists – Tiger dance is a traditional folk art performed during Onam – Editorial Credit: AJP / Shutterstock.com

Meaning ‘the play of the tiger’, Pulikali dates back over 200 years. It was introduced by the former Maharaja of Kochi who wanted a dance that was wild and had oodles of manliness!

Hundreds of performers colorfully painted and dressed like tigers dance to sounds of traditional music.

Moving in street processions, they pounce and shake their bodies to the rhythm of drum beats. Following close behind are rifle armed hunters.

Best Place: Swaraj Round, Thrissur, 28 August 2018

5) Kaikottikali Dance: Onam Celebrations

Kaikottikali or Thiruvathirakali is a popular folk group-dance performed by Kerala maidens in traditional attire.

Eight to ten women perform in rhythmic and symmetrical movements. One performer sings the first line of the song while others repeat in chorus clapping hands.

Best Place: Throughout Kerala

Puttu – A popular dish in Kerala. 6) Thumbi Thullal Dance: Onam Celebrations

This captivating all-women song and dance art form is derived from the word ‘thullal’ meaning ‘caper’ or ‘to leap about playfully’, and originated in the eighteenth century. Combining both recital and dance performances, thumbi thullal elucidates tales narrated in verse. The lead performer initiates the song, followed by another who repeats in chorus, accompanied by an orchestra of mridangam (percussion instrument), harmonium and cymbals.

A devotee play clarinet for devotional song at the mass feast ceremony – Editorial Credit: AJP / Shutterstock.com

Women in beautiful sarees, amazing jewelry and fragrant gajras (flower garlands), perform in a circular formation around the main singer.

Best Place: Throughout Kerala

7) Onakalikal: Onam

The collective name for the tradition of playing indoor/outdoor games during Onam, Onakalikal is usually enjoyed after Onasadya.

Men participate in Talappanthukali (playing with a ball), Ambeyyal (archery), Kutukutu or Kabaddi, and Kayyankali and Attakalam combat games. Women indulge in cultural activities.

Best Place: Throughout Kerala

8) Onasadya: Onam Celebrations

The highlight of the festival, Onasadya or ‘Onam Feast’, is a hearty nine-course meal comprising 11-13 all-important traditional dishes served on banana leaves and eaten seated on mats laid on the floor.

Some of the many delicious food items served during Onasadya on Banana Leaf thali

Held on the last two days of Onam at Thrikkakara Temple, about 10,000 people attend Onasadya festivities.

Considered a form of worship, Onasadya begins at 10 am and ends by 5 pm.

Best Place: Thrikkakara Temple. Throughout Kerala.

Click here to plan Your trip to Kerala. 

The post Introducing Onam, A Festival Uniting The People Of Kerala appeared first on Enchanting Travels.

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Dazzled by regal North India? Discover a contrasting lush and laid back world on your South India vacation.

Encompassing four states, each with their unique personality and flavor, the triangle-shaped plateau juts cheekily out into the ocean. Flanked by the imposing Western Ghat mountains on the one side and the halting Eastern Ghats on the other, it’s an ancient, resilient land, sheltering myriad nationalities, races, cultures, and incredible biodiversity in its tropical rainforests, through the centuries. Here, ancient temples hobnob with bustling tech hubs, giant houseboats languidly traverse seemingly endless lakes, huge herds of elephants roam forested pathways of Bandipur National Park, centuries old Portuguese buildings offer cool shade from the summer sun, coconut palms sway gently at tree-lined avenues, and friendly neighborhood vendors sell delicious South Indian food around every corner, topped with a generous dollop of warmth.

From houseboat tours in Kerala backwaters, to the rock cut South Indian temples of Hampi, the French colonies of Pondicherry, and lush green plantations of Coorg – South India vacations will astound you. To help you maneuver through this alluring maze of countless places to visit in South India, we’ve made a list of our personal favorites.

Take a tour of Kerala's backwaters
Famous rock cut temples of Hampi - a UNESCO World Heritage site
Colorful Pondicherry offers French-style architecture and cuisine
Coffee plantations of Coorg offer the perfect tranquil retreat in the misty mountains
Masala dosa - typical South Indian food served on a banana leaf
1. Visit Heritage Havens on Your South India Vacation

There are plenty of regal palaces and forts in South India, such as the imposing Mysore Palace which is dazzlingly lit up every Sunday evening.

Just as beautiful as its illustrious sibling from the North, South Indian culture is as vibrant as it is diverse. Dynasties have risen and fallen over centuries, each leaving its mark on the land through exquisitely crafted temples that continue to be revered places of worship even today. Think the imposing Meenakshi Temple of Madurai, or the stunning Tanjore Temple in Thanjavur. The 8th century temples of Mahabalipuram are one of the most-visited UNESCO World Heritage sites in South India, as are the spectacular rock cut ruins of the famous Vijayanagara Empire – also a UNESCO World Heritage site, in Hampi. And then there are regal palaces and forts contend with, such as the imposing Mysore Palace that is dazzlingly lit up every Sunday evening.

Enchanting Travels guests with Kathakali dancer. Photo Courtesy: Judalon Wyatt
The stunning Meenakshi Temple of Madurai
A traditional dance drama in progress.
Mysore Palace lit up on a Sunday evening.

Over the years, many a tradition originated within the walls of South Indian temple complexes, including dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, originally performed by temple dancers and now elevated to the national dance form of the country. Just as many visitors come to witness a performance of classical Kathakali dance, drawn in by the ubiquitous images of theatrically painted and elaborately costumed dancers. Lesser known, but just as enjoyable, is a performance of the martial art form of Kalaripayattu that is also synonymous with Kerala.

Auroville, just outside of Pondicherry, offers visitors a chance to seek inner peace through a harmonious community-focused life, or inside the imposing golden globe-like called Matri Mandir.

Portuguese-style basilica in Cochin.
Matri Mandir in Auroville, near Pondicherry
Golconda Fort - a famous landmark in Hyderabad

In contrast to this thriving temple culture, explore the colonial charm of cities such as Pondicherry and Cochin. French-style houses line the bougainvillea-lined streets of Pondicherry’s White Town. Auroville, just outside of Pondicherry, offers visitors a chance to seek inner peace through a harmonious community-focused life, or inside the imposing golden ball-like structure called Matrimandir. You’ll be just as charmed by the beautiful Portuguese buildings of Fort Kochi, one of the best-known tourist places in Kerala. Here, many of these buildings have been converted to swanky accommodations for visitors seeking a hearty mix of Kerala’s colonial heritage and its unique, contemporary culture – after all, this is the center of the Kochi Biennale, when the streets come alive with art and craft for a few weeks every year.

Just a little to the north, Goa, that beach lovers dream, offers charmingly cobbled streets, Portuguese-influenced churches, and an industrial heart called Vasco, no doubt named after that enterprising sailor who arrived here six centuries ago. Sophisticated cities such as tech-hub Bangalore, Nawab-era Hyderabad and Chennai, the erstwhile bastion of the British East India Company, offer interesting contrast to these heritage sites.

2. Houseboat Bliss in Kerala

You can choose a tranquil lake resort set on the fringes of Lake Vembanad, enjoying the breeze, the views, and the tranquility.

Picture this: vast reserves of freshwater lakes and lagoons stretch as far as the eye can see, a giant houseboat toots its horn as you watch it pass by sprawled on the wooden deck of your own boat, swayed gently on the undulating waters, with a breeze ruffling your hair. At noon, try your hand at fishing, afterward having the fruits of your labor grilled à la Kerala by your chef on board. In the afternoon, climb into a wooden boat armed with a skilled oarsman who takes you through small channels past an entire town living on the edge of the water. Later, rejuvenate yourself with an authentic Ayurveda treatment in the comfort of your boat. Magical? Certainly!

Houseboat on Kerala’s Lake Vembanad

Few experiences are as relaxing or unique than a Kerala backwaters tour, whether you take an Alleppey houseboat ride in the larger Lake Vembanad, or venture off on a quieter journey through the backwaters on a Kumarakom houseboat. If it’s not up your alley, you can always choose a tranquil lake resort set on the fringes of vast lake, enjoying the breeze, the views, and the tranquility even as your feet are firmly planted on land!

3. Southern Landscapes to Remember

Ooty boasts panoramic views from the tallest peak in the Western Ghat mountain range just outside of town, a rambling old world toy train, tranquil lakes, and vast stretches of rolling plains nearby.

Weekend gateway by the Kabini River
Take a nature walk through the jungles near Coorg.
Discover the lush plantations and verdant mountains of Munnar
Ooty lake in the Nilgiri Hills of South India

A far cry from the desert and mountain landscapes of North India, the South boasts rolling valleys of lush green, verdant tea plantations and coffee estates, thundering waterfalls, mist-laden mountain tops and high altitude lakes cradled amid forested hills. Meandering roads lead you up steep mountains into mesmerizing Munnar or into the high altitude forests of neighboring Wayanad. Or take a challenging drive through the elephant-rich Mudumalai National Park to reach Ooty India – with panoramic views from the tallest peak in the mountain range just outside of town, a quaint toy train, and vast stretches of rolling meadows close by, Ooty is aptly known to locals as the ‘Queen of the Hills’. Next door lies coffee plantations of Coorg and Chikmagalur – the main coffee-growing regions of India, they are offer tranquil getaways from the bustle of big cities, accompanied by steaming pots of delicious cuppa.

4. Wildlife Wonders in South India National Parks

Spend your days safari in the wild and your evenings gathered around bonfires at stylish safari lodges.

Boat safari in Nagarhole National Park
Elephants on the prowl in Periyar, Kerala
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During his Vietnam tour, our very own Enchanter Suraj Somaiah was the lucky to experience a magical sojourn in Sapa Valley. This is his story.

Vietnam Tour: In the Home of the Mountain Hmong of Sapa

In the misty Hoang Lien Mountains, in the furthest reaches of the Himalayan chain, lies the town of Sapa. The town is tucked neatly into the Muong Hoa valley of northernmost Vietnam. Sapa is home to the Mountain Hmong people, who terrace these soaring mountains, growing rice on their picturesque ridges.

Thousands of terraces that the Hmong have carved into the steep sides of the mountains stretch out into the horizon in every direction you turn.

Hill tribes

Black Hmong, Red Hmong, Flower Hmong, Green Hmong, Striped Hmong and even Variegated Hmong – we saw them all during our Vietnam tour. Perhaps the names are a legacy of the profusion of seriously retina-shattering colors the people were wearing, and then the sub-groups of all of these.

Sapa is like that – even in April! Thousands of terraces that the Hmong have carved into the steep sides of the mountains stretch out into the horizon in every direction you turn. These have not yet been planted with the green shoots of rice that will transform the region into a carved verdigris bowl for seven months of the year.

Gazing at that view I have visions of Shangri La, and lines of poetry flow easily into my mind

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Is that what Sapa is? An enchanted place at the summit of the world? It certainly seems that way.

And I am not perturbed at all when I am surrounded once again by a gaggle of smiling Enchantresses of the Purse, saying, “What’s your name? Where you from? Buy from me.”

When to go

March to May in the best time to travel to Sapa during your Vietnam tour, when warm days and cool nights welcome you into the valley. Temperatures range between 16 to 22 degree Celsius and a pleasant breeze and sometimes a light drizzle accompanies you everywhere.

What to see around Sapa Markets

Sapa is known for its charming Hill Tribe Market where you will find everything from fresh produce to beautiful fabric. If you are looking for famous ethnic local brocades during your Vietnam tour, this market is the perfect.

Tribal Market in Sapa Valley Hiking and trekking

Sapa is known as Northern Vietnam’s principal trekking base. Take a bike ride through the meandering mountain roads, or trek to nearby villages to meet the locals and enjoy exquisite views of the valley and the lush paddy fields.

Day trips from Sapa Visit the Love Waterfalls

Apart from colorful rice terraces carved into the lofty hills, and enchanting scenery throughout the year, Sapa is famous for the twinkling Love Waterfalls, just 30 minutes from the town. Uphill from the waterfalls, lies the breathtaking Heaven’s Gate where you’ll see the Fansipan Mountains – the highest in Indochina, defiantly rearing their head towards the blue, blue sky.

Pining for a personal and tailor-made Vietnam tour? We are here to help. Get in touch with us today!

Create my trip

The post Sapa: Home of the Mountain Hmong appeared first on Enchanting Travels.

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Halong Bay or Mekong Delta: Which cruise is perfect for you? From the towering limestone karsts of Halong Bay to the tranquil waterways of the Mekong Delta, here’s your lowdown on the contrasting water worlds of Vietnam.

Halong Bay and Mekong Delta: a Tale of Two Water Worlds

Lush green paddy fields, lumbering buffaloes and conical-hatted farmers make up the classic image of Vietnam. Once a lesser-known tourist destination, Vietnam has become widely popular in recent years. The northern capital of Hanoi consistently ranks among the world’s top 10 destinations on TripAdvisor. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), to the south, has transformed from a war-torn city to a thriving metropolis. Despite urban allures, centuries-old architecture, war history, and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences, it’s Vietnam’s striking landscapes that most impress.

Vietnam is known for its stunning landscapes, such as the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai.

Despite urban allures and centuries-old history and culture, it’s Vietnam’s striking landscapes that most impress.

To the south of its narrow waist, Vietnam fantails into the splendid Mekong delta. In stark contrast to the flat rice land of the delta where boats, houses and markets float upon innumerable rivulets, canals and streams that criss-cross the scenery like arteries, is the legendary Halong Bay. Set in the northeast, the scatter of jagged emerald islands and wind-and wave-eroded karst caves topped by forests jut out of the sea at Halong – a magical spectacle in the early morning mist.

So how do you choose between the mystical scenery of Halong Bay and the floating world of the Mekong delta? Here’s the lowdown on the exclusive culture, cuisine and activities along the two waterworlds.

Halong Bay or Mekong Delta: Things to Do and Where to Stay Lose yourself in the Halong Bay ‘Ha Long’, or the ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’, in northeastern Vietnam.

‘Ha Long’ or the ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’, four hours from the capital of Hanoi, is a spectacular seascape sculpted by nature in the Gulf of Tonkin. With over 1600 islands – most of which are uninhabited, there are several large caves located within the islands for you to discover. The biggest of these is a wooden cave, formerly known as the Grotte des Merveilles. Cannon Fort, on the Bay’s largest island – Cat Ba, offers one of the best views in Vietnam. From here you can survey astounding panoramas of Cat Ba’s jungle-clad hills rolling down to the karst-punctuated sea beyond.

Explore pristine beaches and lush, tropical islands at Halong Bay.

The best way to enjoy the many wonders that pepper this north-eastern Bay is by boat or cruise ship. Opt for the Indochina Junk Halong Bay tours and enjoy a luxury Halong Bay cruise aboard the Dragon’s Pearl – a traditional Vietnamese boat modeled on ancient wooden Chinese junks. For some romantic elegance, plump for the one-cabin L’Amour (Princess) Junk. With numerous venues at which to relax and rejuvenate as you drink in the stunning UNESCO World Heritage vistas of Halong Bay, the Stellar and Bhaya Cruises are also great options.

The best way to enjoy the many wonders that pepper Halong Bay is by boat or cruise ship.

Experience the beauty of this most acclaimed tourist spots in Southeast Asia as a guide shows you hidden lagoons, forested islets, stunning limestone cliffs and secluded bays, like the Bait Tu Long where you can swim and kayak. The sugar-white coastlines of Ba Trai Dao (Three Peaches Beach) and Soi Sim offer some unique barbecue experiences. Listen to the sweet melody of birds, winds and waves, as the crew delivers an array of succulent and grilled seafood under a blue sky! If you fancy a fishing excursion, visit the scenic fishing villages at Cua Van, Ba Hang, Vung Vieng and Cong Dam. The locals are very sociable and willing to guide you on how to row a sampan, spread the net, bait a hook….

Enjoy a cooking demonstration on your cruise ship.
Take a small boat and head out for the many islands scattered around Halong Bay
Kayak amid the limestone karsts of Halong
Sundowners on the bay can be stunning affairs!
Enjoy panoramic views of the Bay from the shore.

Begin a new day with Tai Chi sessions onboard, amid the early morning spectacle of Halong Bay. Getting yourself pampered at the spa when you are out at sea could also be an excellent treat. Make sure to book in advance.

If you choose to stay on shore, check in Hotel Novotel Halong Bay set on the coastline of Bai Chay beach, which provides great photo ops with panoramic views of the Bay.

Discover the Magic of the Mekong Delta

To catch a glimpse of the fifteen million people who live in the wetlands, you need to join them on the river.

The Mekong Delta is a bustling hub of activity.

The comma-shaped flatland stretching from south of Ho Chi Minh City, to the Gulf of Thailand is intertwined by land and water that provide the perfect conditions for growing rice – bestowing the Mekong Delta with the rightful title – ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam. With its alluvial-rich soil, the Delta also nourishes the fruit basket of the country as lush orchards overflow with mangoes, papayas and dragon fruit, and plantations brim with bananas, coconuts and pineapples. With over 1,000 recorded animal species and new species of plants, fish, lizards, and mammals discovered in previously unexplored areas, including the Laotian rock rat that was thought to be extinct, the Delta has been dubbed as a ‘biological treasure trove’.

At the floating market in the Mekong Delta, you can buy everyday articles or exotic goods.
The Delta is famous for its lush green rice paddies, which you can explore on your tour.
How about a ride in a traditional bullock cart, the local way?

With everything revolving around the waterways, the Delta is a world afloat. To catch a glimpse of the fifteen million people who live in the wetlands, you need to join them on the river. Hop onto the Bassac Cruise from My Tho, but before you do, a visit to the ancient southern architectural gem reflecting a mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese and Angkor (Cambodian) building styles with elaborately carved oblong and horizontal net like panels – the Vinh Trang Pagoda (in My Tho itself), would be worth your while. Bricks and mortar aside, the temple will be memorable if you can arrive when the monks are chanting, in the morning.

See the elaborately carved Vinh Trang Pagoda in My Tho.
Hop into a traditional boat and explore the many channels around the Delta.
Dried fish is a popular snack for the local people at the Delta.
How about a rest stop during you cruise?

Read about the floating life on the Mekong Delta

To enjoy countryside scenery and river life, board a smaller wooden sampan (boat), hopping off to explore scenic villages every now and then.

Continue exploring the Mekong landscape with stopover at the Thot Not Bird Sanctuary, a magnificent 1.3-hectare area overgrown by huge bamboo and home to thousands of resident storks, snowy egrets and other avians. At the quintessentially Vietnamese ‘craft village’, small communities work together to manufacture products such as knives, rush mats, bamboo bird cages, ceramics, rice wine, and dozens of other commonplace and unusual articles. Visit a bamboo-knitting hamlet in Thot Not or a carpentry craft town in Chomo. Or visit the local coconut-candy factories in Ben Tre, the ‘Land of Coconut’. Sold throughout the country, and also exported to other Asian countries, Australia, Europe and North America, the keo dua or coconut candy of Vietnam is world famous.

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Does your South America travel plan include the experience of staying at haciendas or estancias in Argentina, Chile or Uruguay? Our team explains why Argentina, Uruguay and Chile tours are incomplete without a stay in these charming accommodations.

Today’s discerning traveler looks forward to enjoying a more defined luxurious statement, where historic mansions are converted into top class boutique hotels, both comprehensive and local, rather than staying in international hotel chains. South America’s Southern Cone, meaning Uruguay, Chile and Argentina, exemplify interesting accommodation that are charming, culturally significant and historically real, melding a strong sense of place, luxury, comfort, service and food. If you are planning Uruguay, Chile or Argentina tours, you must check these out!

Most haciendas and estancias in Argentina, Chile or even Uruguay are simply enormous farms, plantations, ranches or colonial estates, owned by wealthy families who faced a setback during the industrial revolution. Today, they have been converted into beautiful accommodation, authentically reflecting deep history and perfected by dreamy landscapes.

An integral part of history, South America’s estancias and haciendas reflect their European roots with English and French styles, often luxuriously furnished and retaining their elegant colonial air. The owner of an estancia or hacienda is called the estanciero or hacendado. A hacienda or estancia stay in South America, lets you experience traditional local life, and participate in gaucho (cowboy) activities – driving cattle, sheep shearing, animal branding, and the occasional traditional guitar music and folklore.

We have handpicked our top 10 – a mix of different style haciendas, estancias and higher-end experience hotels, some of which are quite luxurious. Irrelevant of their standard, they all offer warmth, charm and an authentic taste of local life.

Haciendas and Estancias in Argentina 1. La Bamba de Areco (San Antonio de Areco, Argentina)

This is one of the oldest yet luxuriously traditional estancias in Argentina, combining comfort with elegant colonial flair. Originally built around 1830 just outside San Antonio de Areco in the heart of the lush Pampas region, this estancia was refurbished as a boutique hotel. Surrounded by a vine arbor amid a beautifully landscaped garden, it’s the ideal place to while away time with your favorite read under a shaded patio and enjoying the romantic atmosphere far away from big cities.

A visit during November is especially recommended if you wish to witness thousands of gauchos gather for the annual San Antonio cultural festival.

Things to do: Embrace Argentinian heritage and traditions while learning about the life of gauchos, watching unique folk performances or trying your hand at being a horse-whispered, aided by a trained equestrian. Explore the neighborhood on a prized horse-drawn cart, bike in the mountains, watch polo games during season and discover the colonial heritage of San Antonio de Areco. A visit during November is especially recommended if you wish to witness thousands of gauchos gather for the annual San Antonio cultural festival.

2. Bahia Bustamante (Bahia Bustamante Village, Argentina)

Set literally at the end of the world, Bahia Bustamante is an idyllic seafront sheep breeding farm, featuring rooms with private terraces affording sea/garden views. This unique hotel in the former Bahia Bustamante town, was founded in the 1950s to harvest and process seaweed. On one side, a spectacular coastline with virgin beaches and crystal clear waters, and on the other, a picturesque village set again the vast Patagonian Steppes and towering, jagged cliffs in the horizon – those seeking a tranquil, romantic paradise will feel right at home!

Guanacos, sea lions and plenty of rare birds regularly gather in the region

Things to do: Marvel at whimsical penguins go about their business at the many colonies nearby. Guanacos, sea lions and plenty of rare birds regularly gather in the region, which you can witness on your daily excursions. Go horse riding in the legendary landscape, fraternize with gauchos as you learn about their culture, or spend a tranquil day ambling about the farm, soaking in the sights and sounds.

3. Nibepo Aike (El Calafate, Argentina)

Argentina and Chile vacations are incomplete without a visit to Patagonia. Estancia Nibepo Aike is a traditional Patagonian estancia on a sheep breeding farm, offering rural accommodation with panoramic mountain views. Set on the shores of a crystal clear glacial lake, spend at least a few days at this dreamy location, enjoying the cozy accommodation, warm hospitality and family recipes of an estancia that has beautifully preserved its old world charm.

The icing on this cake is the traditional asado barbecue with cordero patagonico (Patagonian Lamb), every evening.

Things to do: No matter which month you visit Patagonia, Nibepo Aike is bustling with activity. Participate in ranch chores as you watch sheep sheared and herded. Ride out into the vast open land with your gaucho guide to discover delightful hidden nooks of Los Glaciares National Park. Hike along the hillside or by the lakeshore, stopping for the occasional picnic in the open. The icing on this Patagonian cake is the traditional asado barbecue with cordero patagonico (Patagonian Lamb), every evening.

4. Estancia Cristina (El Calafate, Argentina)

This Patagonian gem is strategically located inside Los Glaciares National Park, just next door to one of the most stunning highlights of Argentina – the Upsala Glacier. Remote and serene, this is one of the ideal estancias in Argentina for a Patagonian adventure while staying in former homes of farm workers. In this vast open expanse surrounded by majestic Andean peaks, expect panoramic views of the timeless landscape from each of the five cozy cabins, and delicious Patagonian cuisine and picnic boxes to boot!

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A few weeks back, a very special email made its way to the Enchanting Travels inbox – an account of our guests Josef Welsing & Geraldine Stolze’s wonderful Chile vacation.

For us, it’s always a joy to hear from our guests – especially when the travel stories inspire your travel dreams – and we’re happy to share this travel tale with you. Let Josef and Geraldine’s travel story and photos inspire your wanderlust and lead you on your personal Chile vacation of a lifetime!

Josef and Geraldine’s Chile Vacation

Dear Enchanting Travels team,

What a shock! We returned back to Frankfurt airport and no one stood outside with the now-familiar board saying ‘Josef and Geraldine’. No sign, and no travel kit with water, chocolates and a lovingly prepared sandwich. Nothing. We actually had to figure out for ourselves which way to go and where we can eat. You do get used to the good aspects of a vacation rather quickly.

Everything went like clockwork during our vacation, thanks to you and our Trip Coordinator, Pia. If ever there was something unexpected, it was not because of your organization but due to our expectations. The Tierra hotels are absolutely top-notch: everything is amazing from the moment you arrive. The activities and excursions are great. It was a dream vacation and maybe I will have the opportunity to live this dream through you once again on my 60th birthday.

The Tierra hotels are absolutely top-notch: everything is amazing from the moment you arrive.

What went wrong? In our case, the travel time. Chile is a huge country and we spent a lot of time on the road (fully equipped with our travel kit of course).

What would be do differently the next time around? Fewer boat trips, despite the unique scenery that you are likely to see. Our small cruise experience aboard the Stella Australis was great and in many ways, important for our vacation. While we wouldn’t have missed that for the world, it is not clear to us that it is not really our style of traveling. Even the tail end of the trip spent in Argentina can be avoided if you have seen and experienced so many incredible sights far away from civilization.

We have fallen gloriously in love with Patagonia. We saw the first berries bloom in Calafate and I’ve even brought a bottle of Calafate jam home with me. We were told that ‘if you eat Calafate berries you will return to Patagonia once again’. A lovely thought.

Thank you for informing the Tierra Team about Josef’s 60th birthday. We had two lively birthday parties: one in Atacama and the other in Patagonia. It was thoughtful and fun and we enjoyed the cake, which we shared with a Swiss couple and a couple from the USA who were staying with us.

We were told that ‘if you eat Calafate berries you will return to Patagonia once again’. A lovely thought.

As for Buenos Aires, you were absolutely right – we got out of our hotel and walked a few steps and there were scores of restaurants! In the end we chose to eat Italian fare at IL Matterello on Thames 1490 in Palermo. The quality, freshness and flavor of the fish that we ate was absolutely sensational.

Thank you for taking care of our trip. We will definitely be in touch for our next one. Now we know that we’re in good hands with the Enchanting Travels team.

Best regards from North Rhine-Westphalia,

Josef and Geraldine

A big thank you to our lovely guests for sharing their wonderful travel account and photos with us.

Are you inspired to go on a Chile vacation? Contact us – we are happy to plan your private and tailor-made Chile tour itinerary without any obligation.

Create my Trip

The post Letter to Enchanting Travels: Our Chile Vacation appeared first on Enchanting Travels.

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Entdecken Sie die grüne Lunge unseres Planeten! Der größte tropische Regenwald unserer Welt ist eine wahre Schatzkammer der Natur – willkommen in Amazonien!

Das Amazonas-Gebiet erstreckt sich über neun südamerikanische Staaten – darunter Ecuador, Peru und Bolivien. Die größte Fläche nimmt allerdings Brasilien ein, fast zwei Drittel des Staatsgebietes gehören zu Amazonien und bietet eine unvergleichlichen Artenreichtum:

  • 40.000 Pflanzengattungen
  • 3.000 Fischarten
  • 1.300 Vogelarten
  • 420 Säugetierspezies

Durch dieses Gebiet fließt der namensgebende Amazonas. Er ist mehr als 6.700 Kilometer lang – in etwa die Entfernung zwischen Berlin und New York.  Damit ist er der größte und längste Fluss der Welt, gebildet von etwa 20 Prozent des gesamten Süßwassers der Erde.

Lebensraum und Schatzkammer

Im Amazonas-Gebiet leben unzählige bedrohte Arten wie Jaguare, Ozelots, Riesenotter und Flussdelfine. Zudem sind hier etwa 320 indigene Gemeinschaften beheimatet. Ein Drittel der hier wachsenden Pflanzen gilt als Heilpflanzen – dabei ist nur ein Bruchteil von ihnen überhaupt bekannt. Forscher vermuten, dass sich im Regenwald Pflanzen verbergen, deren Wirkstoffe viele Krankheiten bekämpfen könnten.

Trotz seiner wichtigen Funktion ist der Amazonas-Regenwald akut gefährdet, fast 20 Prozent des brasilianischen Amazonasgebietes wurden bereits gerodet. Glücklicherweise setzte in den letzten Jahren ein Umdenken ein: Heute stehen viele Gebiete unter Naturschutz.

Wir von Enchanting Travels setzen uns für eine verantwortungsvolle Art des Reisens ein, die zum Erhalt der Umwelt beiträgt und die lokale Bevölkerung unterstützt. Lassen Sie sich inspirieren und erleben Sie unvergessliche Amazonas-Abenteuer im Einklang mit der Natur.

Ecuador Napo Wildlife Centre

Tief im Urwald Ecuadors verborgen, bietet das Napo Wildlife Centre ein besonders authentisches Amazonas-Erlebnis. Bereits die Anreise wird Sie in eine andere Welt versetzen: Per Boot gelangen Sie zur Añagu-Lagune inmitten des Yacuni-Nationalparks, wo sich diese zauberhafte Lodge befindet.

Genießen Sie die ursprüngliche Schönheit des Regenwalds – ohne dabei auf Komfort verzichten zu müssen: Die großzügigen und hervorragend ausgestatteten Cabañas bieten durchgängig Strom und Wasser, was bei dieser außergewöhnlichen Lage mitten in der Natur keine Selbstverständlichkeit ist. Vom 40 Meter hohe Aussichtsturm bietet sich Ihnen ein überwältigender Panoramablick auf den umliegenden Urwald.

Betrieben wird das Napo Wildlife Centre von der Gemeinschaft Kichwa Añagu, die größten Wert darauf legt, die Artenvielfalt der im Yacuni-Nationalpark beheimateten Flora und Fauna zu erhalten.

Zusammen mit den indigenen Reiseführern erkunden Sie den umliegenden Regenwald: Hier treffen Sie unter anderem Affen, Tapire, Ozelots und über 600 Vogelarten, darunter Papageien, Aras und Tukane. Auf ausgedehnten Kajak-Touren können Sie Kaimane, Riesenotter, Schildkröten und Piranhas beobachten.

Brasilien: Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge

Die Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge liegt im tiefsten Herzen Amazoniens. Werden Sie zum Abenteurer und erkunden Sie den smaragdgrünen Regenwald in all seinen Facetten. Brechen Sie auf zu den vielen Flüssen des Anavilhanas-Archipels, wo Sie die seltenen Amazonasdelfine erwarten. Wandern Sie durch die dichte Vegetation des Dschungels, fischen Sie nach Piranhas – oder probieren Sie diese im hauseigenen Restaurant!

Die Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge bietet edel eingerichtete Bungalows – alle ausgestattet mit Klimaanlage und eigenem Balkon: Lehnen Sie sich in Ihrer Hängematte zurück, lauschen Sie den Klängen der Natur und atmen Sie den intensiven Geruch der sattgrünen Vegetation ein.

Nicht verpassen: Mit dem Kanu können Sie die mystisch schönen Igapós (überfluteten Wälder) erkunden. Oder Sie besuchen eine der im umliegenden Regenwald beheimateten indigenen Gemeinschaften, um aus erster Hand mehr über Kultur und Traditionen dieser Region zu erfahren.

Peru: Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Die Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica befindet sich mitten im peruanischen Regenwald, in der direkten Nachbarschaft des Tambopata-Naturschutzgebiets, bekannt für seine außerordentliche Biodiversität.

Über 1200 Schmetterlingsarten finden sich hier, so viele wie sonst nirgends auf der Welt. Mindestens 13 bedrohte Spezies nennen das Naturschutzgebiet ihr Zuhause, darunter Jaguare, Ozelots, Riesenotter und die Harpyie, ein äußerst seltener Raubvogel.

Die Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica vereint authentischen Urwald-Flair mit höchstem Komfort und wurde vom renommierten Magazin National Geographic Traveler zu einer der 25 besten Öko-Lodges gewählt. In der Lodge erwarten Sie edle Cabañas mit eigener Terrasse, von der Sie einen fantastischen Blick auf den umliegenden Dschungel genießen.

Lassen Sie sich von den erfahrenen Naturführern in die Geheimnisse uralter Heilpflanzen, farbenprächtiger Orchideen und gigantischer Würgefeigenbäume einweihen. Gehen Sie auf Kajaktour oder erkunden Sie den Dschungel auf einem Baumkronenpfad.

Nicht verpassen: Auf einer Wanderung nach Sonnenuntergang begegnen Sie nachtaktiven Tieren und lauschen den mystischen Melodien des Waldes.

Unser Tipp

Erleben Sie Ihr unvergessliches Dschungel-Abenteuer auf einer Amazonas-Kreuzfahrt zum Beispiel auf dem Clipper Cruise ab Manaus (Brasilien) oder dem Delfin Cruise ab Iquitos (Peru).

Dieser Artikel ist in unserem Reisemagazin Bezaubernde Zeiten erschienen. Im Mai erscheint eine neue Ausgabe mit inspirierenden Reiseberichten, Hintergrundberichten und exklusiven Expertentipps. Wenn Sie unser Magazin in gedruckter Form erhalten möchten, kontaktieren Sie uns. Gerne senden wir Ihnen ein Exemplar zu!

The post Amazonas Reise – das letzte große Abenteuer appeared first on Enchanting Travels.

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Have you been dreaming of an Africa safari tour but can’t decide between Kenya or Tanzania? Let’s help you choose the perfect wilderness safari destination for you.

Vast rolling grasslands ringed by the towering snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, lush valleys criss-crossed by gushing streams, sprawling crater lakes and golden hills dotted by the occasional acacia – with thousands of wild animals roaming diverse terrains, Kenya and Tanzania have pioneered the concept of a quintessential African wildlife safari since the 1980s! At both countries you can go on the classic wilderness safari circuit or venture off the beaten path.

Given the sheer variety of experiences available, choosing between Kenya and Tanzania safaris can be a daunting task. Let us make the decision easier for you.

Kenya or Tanzania: Where the wild things are Wild and wonderful Kenya

Step away from the urban jungle of Nairobi and Kenya offers you a treasure trove of landscapes and wildlife experiences. In its swampy marshlands, golden grasslands and bush landscapes interspersed with moringas and acacias, giants have roamed for centuries. With some of the best known national parks in the world, a Kenya safari offers an astounding concentration of big and small game amid relatively smaller, stunning national parks. Think private sanctuaries in Laikipia when you think of endangered rhinos, acacia grasslands under Mount Kenya for buffalo sightings, lush green pastures of Amboseli for elephants, and the dry Savannahs of Tsavo East for lions and cheetahs. And let’s not forget that jewel in the crown of Kenya – Masai Mara, which offers some of the best opportunities to see the African big five in action.

See huge herds of elephants in the lush green pastures of Amboseli.
Discover endangered rhinos in Laikipia.
Buffalo at the source masai mara Kenya,
Cheetahs roam the dry Savannas of Tsavo East
Discover hundreds of pink flamingos at Lake Nkuru

With some of the best known national parks in the world, a Kenya safari offers an astounding concentration of big and small game.

Typically, Kenya safari holidays begin in the spectacular dry deserts of the North, where the Adamsons raised Elsa the Lioness – a story documented through the book and film ‘Born Free’. In stark contrast to this heartland of native African species is the Masai Mara – your quintessential Africa of documentaries, this vast, awe-inspiring Savannah is where you can watch a wildebeest river crossing during the Great Migration. In the shadows of the Great Rift Valley, discover pink flamingos add an eerie glow to the waters of Lake Bogoria as zebras and wildebeest carefully skirt the shoreline. Or go off the beaten path in Laikipia – a rugged, hilly terrain punctuated by dense acacia bush which offers diverse experiences such as horse rides, camel treks and bush walks for the adventurous.

While away time watching animals frolic away at watering holes or meet curious giraffes and elephants who venture just a little too close to campsite in search of sustenance. Whether you drive through, fly in on a chartered aircraft, or soar amid the clouds in a hot air balloon, Kenya’s national parks and community reserves guarantee unforgettable moments.

Tantalizing safari moments in Tanzania

A Tanzania safari takes you to the heart of the African wild. Just aside the busy port city of Dar Es Salaam, await some of the largest national parks in all of Africa. Nestled in the shadows of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru, Arusha, the wilderness safari capital of Northern Tanzania is the perfect gateway to the country’s best known national parks. Just next door, the tall baobabs of Tarangire offer welcome shade from the scorching sun to huge herds of ambling pachyderms who are often found gathering at the river in the heart of the park. Many a smaller creature, including wildebeest, eland, gazelles and zebra, walk amid these grasslands.

With fossilized evidence of life dating back three million years, Ngorongoro is truly the cradle of life.

Cozily ensconced by the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park and Ngorongoro Crater on the other hand, offer a stunningly unique ecosystem that has sheltered thousands of species for time immemorial. With fossilized evidence of life dating back three million years, Ngorongoro is truly the cradle of life. Lose yourself in a lush, undulating landscape, stretching from escarpment to grass-laden escarpment, and teeming with life. Marvel at gentle pink flamingos, enjoy glorious sundowners by the lake, watch giraffe squat by the water and wildebeest flee in panic as baboons signal the arrival of large predators.

Go on a walking safari to spot your favorite pachyderms at Tarangire.
Journey to the African big five at Ngorongoro.
See the Great Migration of millions of wildebeest in Serengeti National Park
Rumble past the flamingo infested Lake Manyara.
Enjoy rare, private wilderness safari moments, undisturbed by others, at Ruaha.

Further east, watch large families of lions go about their daily business chasing an astounding number of plains grazers—zebra, wildebeest, gazelle—over a 10,000 sq. mile of seemingly endless plain dotted by occasional rocky outcrops at the Serengeti. While thousands of animals are easily spotted on any given day, it’s most famous for the Great Migration, when over two million animals, stalked by their predators, move en masse, in search of pasture and water. To the south, enjoy rare, private wilderness safaris undisturbed by other vehicles at Ruaha, the largest Tanzania national park. And then there’s Selous, where nearly 10% of the world’s wild lions and numerous leopards, cheetahs and packs of wild dog, walk in vast plains dotted with occasional baobabs and palms that are typical of Central Tanzania.

As part of the same ecosystem, many of of your wilderness safari tours in Tanzania may seem similar to those in Kenya.

As part of the same ecosystem, many of of your wilderness safari tours in Tanzania may seem similar to those in Kenya. While just as many animals roam this vast land, in some parts of Tanzania such as Ruaha and Selous, tourists are few and far between. Chances are, you won’t come across another safari vehicle (apart from those from your camp) in most private reserves. This is your exclusive and luxury African safari, with remote camps in pristine reserves that few visit. Meet the big five in the Serengeti, walk along the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, watch hippos bubble underwater with your sundowner in hand, or go on a Kilimanjaro trek with only a handful of fellow travelers – scintillating experiences await.

Kenya or Tanzania: The best safari stays

Just as important as choosing the right wilderness safari destination is selecting the right accommodation for you. While Kenya and Tanzania both offer something to suit every budget, the location and experiences offered at each can vary considerably.

Enjoy cozy comfort and authentic cultural encounters at Tipilikwani, Kenya
Throw caution to the wind and set out fly camping with your cook and guide for company.
Ol Pejeta Bush Camp is all about an intimate and comfortable safari experience in the heart of the wilderness.
Enjoy a luxury safari experience while staying at the fabulous Angama Mara.

From affordable luxury to the exclusive and high end, Kenya offers them all. Fancy waking up to the sight of giraffes gliding across the Mara, and then nibble on a homemade breakfast? We recommend Tipilikwani, where cozy, ensuite tents set on the fringes of a vast national reserve offer you every comfort of a home away from home. Or would you rather clink glassfuls of delicious champagne over stunning sundowners enjoyed from your sparkling infinity pool? Then the luxurious Angama Mara overlooking the Mara is just what you need. Often perched on the edges of popular Kenya national parks with wildlife casually strolling by, or set amid picturesque locales with easy access to superb game viewing opportunities, Kenya’s safari lodges and camps offer authentic and diverse experiences and plenty of opportunities to bond with fellow travelers over the day’s adventures.

Just as Kenya, Tanzania too offers accommodation to suit every safari enthusiast, especially near the more frequented national parks such as the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. If you’re looking for a wilderness safari on a budget, we recommend the Serengeti North Wilderness Camp – overlooking the crocodile-infested Mara River, this is your front row seat to river crossings during the Great Migration! Or try fly camping in the Savannas, flitting from one location to the next, following in the trail of the wildlife. Lesser-visited, remote national parks and conservancies of Tanzania on the other hand, are known for exclusive high end accommodation, such as those in the Selous Game Reserve. Nestled in the heart of wildlife-rich areas, camps such as

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