In the second of this three-part series documenting my travels through South Africa, I tell you what I learnt from my very first safari experience.
‘In the jungle
– the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. In the jungle
–the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.’
This song from The Lion King reverberated in my head as we set off on one chilly morning for my very first game drive on the last leg of our South Africa trip. I’d barely slept the night before out of excitement, and was up and awake before the crack of dawn, slathered in sunscreen and mosquito repellent, binoculars strung around my neck, and a nervous anticipation seated in my stomach. You see, I’d never been on a safari before and I was blessed that my very first time was going to be at South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park.
A South African vacation is incomplete without getting a taste of the jungle life, and there are plenty of smaller game reserves scattered across the country that offer the safari experience. However, Kruger is the largest, most popular, and offers plenty of options ranging from luxury lodges to government owned properties. No matter where you stay, you’re guaranteed plenty of animal viewings – it’s Africa after all! I was in the jungle for two days, went on three game drives, and here’s what I learnt…
The Taj Mahal – one of the seven wonders of the world. This stunning monument features on every traveler’s bucket list, no matter where in the world they are from. And rightfully so – the beauty of the Taj is unparalleled to anything else I’ve seen. Nothing in the world prepares you for the first time you see the Taj Mahal in person. She is breathtakingly beautiful, standing there tall and proud, her white marble glistening in the sunlight, while silently reminding us of the power of love.
Though beautiful and magical, a visit to the Taj Mahal can be an extremely daunting experience owing to how crowded it can get. No matter what day of the week you’re visiting, or what time of the day, there really is no ‘off season’ when you’re visiting the Taj. Which is why it’s important to plan your visit beforehand, and also keep certain pointers in mind while you’re there for that perfect Taj Mahal experience. Here are some tips and tricks from my recent visit to the Taj, stuff that I wish someone had told me earlier –
Bintan Island in Indonesia may be overshadowed by it’s larger, more popular cousin Bali when it comes to tourism. But what Bintan lacks in terms of popularity, it makes up for with it’s pristine beaches and laid back island life. Not to mention planning a Bintan getaway is a lot more easier as you can completely skip visa hassles, and you club a visit to Bintan with another larger destination such as Singapore.
I recently visited Bintan Island roughly three months ago on a whim, clubbing it with our Singapore vacation, not knowing what to expect. Bintan blew me over with it’s serenity and beauty, not to mention how easy it was for us to plan this quick Indonesian sojourn. Read on for why I think you too should consider a trip to Bintan, Indonesia for your next holiday –
‘Why Armenia?’, ‘What do you get there?, ‘What are you going to see?’ Most people echoed these words when I told them I was leaving for a quick getaway to this Eurasian country. Honestly, I had zero expectations myself, and had this not been a work trip, I’d never have voluntarily picked an offbeat destination such as Armenia to travel to. The only knowledge I had about this country that papa Kardashian hailed from here, and I remember seeing some pictures on Kim’s Instagram page. #KeepingUp
I guess sometimes travelling with a clean slate of mind helps. It helped me discover this beautiful country with no predisposed notions about what was in store for me. And ohh, I was in for a beautiful surprise!