Dresden mit Blick in Richtung Sachsische Schweiz

Dresden Elbland: Where Baroque Meets Urbanity and Nature Abounds

 

After something new? A city hard to resist? And nature not to be missed?

Look no further than Dresden Elbland: the embodiment of culture, relaxation and active holidaying in one.

With world-class architecture and art wherever you look, the superlative culture on show in Dresden has few peers. And while the list of must-visits in the Elbe metropolis is long, pride of place goes to classics such as the Frauenkirche cathedral, the Semper Opera, the Zwinger and the Royal Palace.

Amid innumerable architectural highlights, the Frauenkirche is among the very finest protestant church buildings of the Baroque era, while the Semper Opera is one of the most beautiful opera houses anywhere worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes), Stallhof and Brühl’s Terrace are no less worthy of your time and attention. The Procession of Princes, for example, is the world’s largest porcelain painting, with 23,000 Meissen porcelain tiles and 102 metres long. The epic-scale cavalcade depicted showcases the 34 Wettin dynasty margraves, dukes, electors and kings who ruled Saxony between 1127 and 1873. An absolute must-see!

Few pleasures in life could beat a leisurely stroll around the old town area and its visual feasts.

And speaking of feasts – why not recharge your batteries en route with some fresh regional delicacies and specialities at one of the many cafés and restaurants? Then continue your enlightening tour past the Catholic Court Church and a stair climb up to Brühl’s Terrace, nicknamed the “Balcony of Europe”. Completed by 1551 and before a key component of the city’s former ramparts, its military importance gradually declined. It has since regained a new lease of life alongside the Academy of Arts and the Albertinum as one of the tourist and architectural highlights. In its shadow, remnants of the former Dresden Fortress, the oldest building in the Elbe city, remain to this day.

The Museum Festung Dresden (Fortress Museum) reopened its doors with an exhibition entitled “Celebrations, Dramas and Disasters – the Like of Which you’ve never Seen”. Stunning 360-degree projections combine with the latest audiovisual technology to give visitors unforgettable hops back in time. And its setting – apparently subterranean – will entice all those keen to explore Dresden from a new perspective.

In fact, Dresden is heaven for museum-lovers and stands on a par with London, with more than 50 venues to enjoy. The Old Masters Picture Gallery, for example, home to countless masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt and Canaletto, not forgetting the famous Sistine Madonna by Raphael. And treasure troves come no richer than the world-famous Green Vault, which is also one of the oldest museums in Europe.

If whiling away time more actively on the water ticks your box, why not enjoy relaxing on a rubber dinghy or canoe tour on the River Elbe, as the beautiful old town scenery unfolds before your eyes.

Or perhaps on a paddle steamer of one of the oldest and largest steamship fleets anywhere in the world, en route to Loschwitz, where the beauty of Dresden’s most famous bridge, the Blaues Wunder (Blue Wonder), awaits.

Yet more reasons to visit this part of town – as if you needed them – are the lazy alleys and colourful boutiques, magnificent villas and their sumptuous entrances and decorative half-timbered homes.

This is also the point where the funicular railway bound for the Weißer Hirsch district and the suspension railway to Oberloschwitz came into service over a century ago, offering an Elbe valley view that will take your breath away.

Another must-stop for Elbland holidaymakers is Pillnitz Park and Castle further east – nowhere else in Europe will you find a finer example of a Chinoise palace complex.

In every sense, Dresden and all its myriad facets constitute a collective work of art bursting with life, colours and exuberance right to the core.

Casual lifestylers, meanwhile, should look no further than the city’s alternative scene, most of which unfolds in over 150 Neustadt bars, clubs and studios. Street and experimental art abound and pride of place goes to the Kunsthofpassage, an ensemble of connected backyards, with the individual courtyard facades each embracing their own design theme.

But dreamlike Dresden, beautiful enough to earn the nickname “Florence on the Elbe”, is not the only jewel this region boasts.

Equally visitworthy is the “Saxon Switzerland” mountain range with its epic rock formations, while wins for wine-lovers are the castles, palaces and magnificent landscapes of the Dresden Elbland region, the epic greenery of which deserves a special mention. You will find no better place in which to enjoy healing alone time amid beautiful nature, whether walking or pedalling along.

The hikers among you will be equally happy with the extensive range of tours and unforgettable views they include, in the cleanest of air and far from the normal stresses and strains. Days filled with nature and encounters beckon. We recommend working up an appetite exploring the castles, parks and gardens of the area, strolling romantically along to your gourmet venue of choice and enjoying the finest regional dishes and specialities.

In Dresden Elbland, you are never too far from a welcoming vineyard, and the numerous rustic wine taverns at the heart of the Saxon Wine Route are likely just minutes away. This may be one of Germany’s smallest wine-growing areas, but the exclusive tastings and vineyard tours it houses will create a lasting memory.

Visitors to Wackerbarth Castle can enjoy the first wine-themed adventure estate anywhere in Europe, which promises to be just as unmissable as nearby magnificent Meissen. Dating back more than 1,000 years, this city rose to global fame when production of Meissen porcelain – the first anywhere in Europe – got underway in 1708.

Top of the list for visitors should be a stop at the Porcelain Manufactory Meissen. Live workshops on show here give visitors an inside look at how Meissen porcelain is hand-crafted using the finest in traditional techniques. Right to this day, the intertwined Saxon swords are synonymous with porcelain of unrivalled quality and exceptional craftsmanship.

Another attraction you shouldn’t miss before heading home is the late gothic Albrechtsburg Castle, perched high above the Elbe. It is considered to be the first castle of its kind throughout the German-speaking world and the cradle of Saxony.

Take it from us – the narrow-gauge railway from Radebeul, the heart of the Saxon Wine Route and the home of Karl May, wending its way along the beautiful Lößnitzgrund valley to Moritzburg is more than worth your while.

Visit the former hunting lodge and summer residence of Augustus the Strong, one of Europe’s most picturesque moated castles and having now earned cult venue status thanks to the German-Czech film adaptation of “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella”. And if you need more Moritzburg motivation, look no further than its dense forests, pond landscapes of loveliness and Saxony’s smallest castle, the Fasanenschlösschen.

World-class art & culture, beautiful landscapes and pristine nature reserves, picturesque vineyards producing excellent wines, great hiking trails and gourmet treats galore!

Whatever facet you unveil at whatever time of year, Dresden Elbland remains an irresistible draw.

 

USA Sedona Cathedral Rock

Popular Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas

 

Las Vegas is so much more than just a gambling capital. It is also a popular tourist destination that has a lot of attractions for tourists and visitors.

You can go on a bus tour of the city, visit Tussaud’s museum of wax figures, or see the Stratosphere observatory. Recreations of famous Ancient Egyptian monuments can be seen all over Las Vegas. Museums of all sorts are waiting for you. You can see the Hoover Dam. And, of course, you can experience the atmosphere of a big American city.

In fact, you can go to Las Vegas and have an amazing experience without ever setting foot in a casino. And you wouldn’t be missing much, either. After all, you can play gambling games on online sites like the betting site 22bet, whereas a lot of the special outdoor activities experiences offered by Las Vegas cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Not all people enjoy the bustle of a city – some go for the calmer and cleaner environment of the suburbs. For them, there is a whole other set of interesting attractions around the city. National Parks, nature sanctuaries, and monuments await you.

Read this article to learn more about…

All the different outdoor activities you can do in Las Vegas

Nature

Cathedral Rock

One of the more interesting places you can visit in Las Vegas is Cathedral Rock. It is a huge towering mountain, which will overawe you with its size and form. And if you come here at night, you will be able to see the stars through the pure mountain air. This will be a whole new experience for you. Stargazing is especially scenic here.

Valley of Fire

If you go to the Valley of Fire, you will find thousands of ancient petroglyphs there. You can spend countless hours strolling through the endless valley. Many try to find a glyph everyone else has missed. There are lots of interesting cliffs and rocks to climb, and everyone will find it exciting.

Mount Charleston

It is hard to believe, but in the winter the mountain tops get a lot of snow. Mount Charleston even has a small ski resort that you may also visit. You will get excellent views of the surrounding areas from the mountain.

Mojave Desert

Walking in Nevada’s arid desert is another pastime that is popular. Everyone who has been to Las Vegas has heard about it, and many people have done it as well. Prepare to get cold, since the desert gets much cooler at night, which is when most people visit it.

Red Rock Canyon

Hiking in the Red Rock Canyon is also interesting. Don’t miss this opportunity. Visit Red Rock in the day and the desert at night for a full experience.

Ranches

Bonnie Springs Ranch is a facsimile copy of an old Nevada city, and it lets visitors travel back in time. The place mimics an 1800s town, and it has everything correct, down to the smallest details.

Note for visitors: the Red Rock Hotel is there. It is the only hotel for miles around. If you want to stay for the night, this is the only place.

Spring Mountain Ranch

The Spring Mountain Ranch is another place you must visit. It has a yoga class held on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It involves the local goats, which take yoga to a new level. The curious goat kids come to investigate new people. They make regular yoga much more exciting.  You also get to play with them and feed them. Goat Yoga is a unique experience, and many visitors have warm memories of it.

Sports and Other Outdoor Activities

Spear-Chucking

Spear-chucking is a sport that visitors find very interesting. It is more than entertainment – it is a way to cool off and fight stress. If you have been feeling pent-up anger or stress, then go to the spear range and let off some steam. You may throw spears at a target for accuracy, or you may do it for distance too.

Bike Riding

Riding on bikes is no less popular than hiking in the desert. Many people come to this area for the ride and scenery, without visiting the city. There are long routes for bike rides in the area, and the extreme one is 100 miles long. But most go for the easier 40-mile ride instead. The 35-mile long route around Lake Mead is the best for new riders.

Horse Riding

Horse riding is popular, and people visit the Red Rock canyon, where the stables are located. The stables are home to many fine horses, and there are five different horse trails for you to ride on.

 

Girl Works with tablet and smartphone

How to Create and Edit Travel Videos

 

Have no experience with creating and editing Travel videos? Don’t worry! Just like anything else, it’s a learning process in itself – much like photography. No matter what experience level your filming / editing currently lays, everyone has to start somewhere.  Here are some tips to get started with.

Before you go…

Before departing on your trip, come up with a concept that you want to capture and outline it. Depending on the amount of research you conduct on your destination, you will more than likely arrive with a good sense of what to expect. This will help you in creating a skeleton outline as to what you want to capture, specifics you want to focus on, and an overall vibe you want to create.

If you use music: One thing I find specifically helpful is to put together a good playlist before heading out on my travels. Personally, music is one of my core influences in my videos.  A lot of times, however, the music selection will be decided after the trip itself during the editing process. You can find more about music selection in the Editing Process  section below.

Filming on location

While there will be many things you will spontaneously film, you should have that skeleton outline we discussed earlier. Plan your shots accordingly so you can capture and tell your story. Think about the angle you want the shot from, the sentiment you want to convey (is it humor? Euphoria? Melancholy? Awe-inspiring?). Take candid shots of your surroundings that give your audience of what day-to-day life is like. If you are going to use voice overs, think about some of the things you will want to mention as you observe and take part in your travels. Keep in mind that this is a “minute tour,” so the more shots you take and the more angles you include, the more well-rounded your video will feel. You will also have much more editing power with additional footage. Throughout the filming process, try to plan your shots in sequence. This will help substantially when you are editing your video, as it will be much easier to piece your footage together.

  • Keep the Camera as Steady as Possible

Many people do not recognize this until they get back from their trip, but the slightest bump or sway on camera can give people motion sickness on a big screen. Instead of shooting while walking, try to take still shots with a steady hand and use slow zoom capabilities to focus in on your subject. For instance, if you are taking the footage of someone else, run ahead of them and let them walk passed you as you steadily pan the shot. That having been said, don’t over do it. There is nothing more visually nauseating than overly zooming in and quickly panning. When you take your footage, come up with a consistent means of filming and stick to it.

  • Get Over Being Camera Shy!

If you are putting together touring footage with a friend or of yourself, get over that shyness! This is a tour! Being awkward on camera is your psyche’s reaction to doing something unfamiliar – which makes it uncomfortable. I tend to think of camera-shyness as a sheet of ice that’s blocking my way. So what do we do with this obstacle? We break that ice with a sledgehammer called ‘your personality.’

Firstly, RELAX.  If this is your first video in front of the camera, you will need a few takes – especially as you get comfortable in front of the lens. If you are talking to the camera, pretend you are describing something to someone you are very comfortable with. Use an appropriate amount of body language to help convey your message and your enthusiasm, and do NOT stick your hands in your pockets. That’s the clear-tell sign that you are uncomfortable. Most importantly, above all else, just be yourself.

The editing process

At this point, you have the skeleton outline of your movie along with the footage. Now comes the fun part: the editing!

Trim the Fat

The first thing you will want to do it sit down, watch all of your footage and ‘trim the fat’ – cut the unwanted, unnecessary, and poorly shot footage from your video reel. The more you can trim the easier your video will be for editing purposes.

(Re)Consider Music Selection

After your trip, you may now have a different ideas to what kind of experience you would like to convey.  Music can help a great deal with that. You may have some ideas from that playlist we discussed earlier. If not, no worries. The easiest way to choose your music is to narrow your selection down to 5 choices, and listen/watch the footage simultaneously. I work through my footage while paying attention to the attitude and emotion the music conveys (IE you are going to have a very different video if you use Andrea Bocelli vs. Lady Gaga).  I tend to find myself singing the song I want to use in my video the entire time in a location.

Tell Your Story

You have everything you need to now turn your footage into a stellar travel video. Consider things like transitions in between scenes, use of pictures, special effects, and voice overs to help you tell your story. While you have that skeleton outline and overall concept, there is no said outline to this – so do what feels right to you. After all, this is your Minute Tour.

Camera / Software recommendations

“What Kind of Camera Should I Use?”

While it would be nice if we could all afford one of these, it’s quite unrealistic. Believe it or not, point-and-shoot cameras (I stick with Canon and Nikon) and smart phones (iPhone, Android, Samsung) take fine quality HD footage that is just right for this kind of tour. SLR cameras are also excellent, as GoPro cameras are for action and adventure. Try to make sure you are shooting your videos at a frame rate of about 30 fps (the higher the better for effects like slow motion, etc).  As you make your way up the in the world of videography and your editing skills improve, you may want to consider investing in a camcorder or an SLR Camera (Canon or Nikon are always winners) with video capabilities.

“What Video Editing Software Do You Recommend?”

Unfortunately, I have not had great experience with free video editing software. The majority of these are typically linked to trial periods, missing features you have to buy, and leave distracting watermarks on the footage you’ve just put your sweat and blood into editing. The good news is that you can afford two excellent (if not two of the best) video editing programs for under $100.

For diehard Mac converts (including yours truly), iMovie is a great place to start. iMovie is part of the iLife package software. The majority of my videos that I create are edited on iMovie. The editing process on iMovie becomes familiar fairly quickly, and the features are excellent. iMovie gives you the ability to create those awesome transitions, an easy way to monitor and create a story board, one click special effects and transitions, etc. I highly recommend iMovie ’11 to anyone with a Mac and brand new to this process.

Available for both Mac and PCs, Adobe Premier Elements offers a robust platform to organize and edit your photos and video into remarkable travel footage.  While Apple provides some excellent tools for both photo and video, Adobe Premiere is the next step up – providing you with much more technical editing ability than iMovie with a quick learning curve.

 

Girl use laptop on the beach

Tips for Working Remotely While Traveling the World

 

Being able to work wherever you want and travel the world sounds like a dream to most people.

Usually, you’re either able to do one or the other – rarely both. However, it has become an increasingly attractive concept that many people wish to make a reality.

Whether you are a novice at remote working on-the-go, or you’re a seasoned traveler who still makes a living while traveling, we’ve compiled expert advice for all those who wish to be successful in this arena. 5 Tips for traveling.

5 Tips for Working Remotely While Traveling the World

1. Figure Out Your Working Style

Knowing how, when, and where you’re most productive is essential in making the most of your time. Although traveling can offer a stunning atmosphere, it can also be a distraction.

If you know you work best indoors, without the buzz of others around you, during daylight hours, work then. Are you more of a night owl but prefer to have your toes in the sand while working? Fantastic. There is no right or wrong work environment, only an environment that works for you. Find it, and you’re golden.

2. Plan for Your Internet Connection

Working remotely can be challenging while traveling, especially when your most important tool to work is removed. These days, an internet connection is vital to any freelancer or company-employed individual. It is simply the only way to get any work done, period.

If you know your destination ahead of time, check out the Wi-Fi situation in your nearby hotel or café. Many countries now offer internet cafes specifically for the purpose of working individuals. Also consider going to the local library for computer and internet services. Depending on your work situation and travel destination, it might be better for you to purchase a pre-paid reliable hotspot (like skyroam) for a quality internet connection.

These options might be foreign and cost a little money, but it’ll be well worth it to afford your traveling lifestyle.

3. Invest in Quality Travel Electronics

Research the countries where you’re traveling to know what specific travel adapters you need for the outlets. As a rule of thumb, most European outlets are the same (excluding Great Britain), and a lot of Asian countries have similar outlets. Take at least one spare adapter with you before you leave, and it wouldn’t hurt for you to buy a portable charging bank as well.

If you would like to create better ambiance for your travels, purchase some quality headphones or earbuds – they not only drown out excess noise, but they also upgrade your entertainment experiences.

4. Communication Skills Are Key

Although you will be on-the-go (or on an island) most days, it’s still very important to stay in touch with your coworkers and managers. Prepare your communication methods ahead of time so that you can avoid technical mishaps or general misunderstandings when you arrive to your travel destination. Most companies employ the use of video chats and conference calls at least once per week in order for everyone to stay updated on important information.

Some employers may want to err on the side of caution and enforce strict procedures for communication, or they might mandate you make physical appearances at least a few times per year. If you are bound by constricting rules, it might take away the joy of your scenic view. However, your best response is to be flexible and available whenever possible since they are being flexible with your location as well.

5. Always Have a Backup Plan

There will be a day where it’s impossible to find an internet connection, you miss your taxi, you lose an import work file, or your electronic accessories stop working altogether. Count on it.

“Have a backup plan for your backup plan,” HR Director Charlene J. Robinson of Resumes Planet. “When you’re traveling, anything can go wrong. It’s critical to have options when something does happen, such as technical issues during a conference video chat.”

These experiences are tough to swallow, but they sting much less if you prepare for the worst. If you can’t connect to the internet, carry a notebook and pen with you; jot down your most pressing concerns and ideas for the next time you communicate with your staff. If other technical issues arise, plan for an alternative way to chat online – email, Skype, or another messaging platform.

6. House Sitting – Consider different accommodation options

Why not to try to reduce costs and still enjoy a different culture? There are house owners who are looking for reliable house sitters. Like that you can work remotely and explore the world. We have a complete article about house sitting for you here.

It’s a great alternative, which not many have on their radar when they want to travel and see the world. Like that you have a proper base and all the conveniences of “home”. You can explore a region in more detail, as you stay longer in one destination, before heading to the next spot.

Some Final Thoughts

Working remotely while traveling can be an enriching experience for many people. Keep in mind these main concerns before you begin your travel journeys indefinitely in order to best prepare yourself for any obstacles that can occur on the road.

With the quality products mentioned, along with the highlighted personality traits, you will undoubtedly be successful during your remote working endeavors.

 

Two dogs, ball is in one of mouth

How to do Barcelona with a Dog

 

For many people, a dog is like a family member – with a study carried out by Amazon last year revealing that 52% of Spanish people prefer their pet to other humans!

So, we know you want the best for your pup, whether a visitor or resident of Barcelona, you want to know how to enjoy life to the full with your furry friend.

Barcelona is an excellent dog-friendly city, complete with parks, restaurants and outdoor spaces that welcome both you and your dog.

Read on for our guide of the best places in Barcelona with dog for man’s best friend.

A Guide on How to do Barcelona with a Dog

Parks and Green Areas

Living in the city centre doesn’t mean you have to always take a pavement walk, as Barcelona is home to countless parks, over a 100 of which being dog friendly. This means you don’t have to worry about needing to leave, and these areas all have bag dispensers, non-rust litters and fountains for your dog to drink and cool off by.

Parc de la Ciutadella

The renowned Parc de la Ciutadella is one of the best places in Barcelona to take your dog, due to not only the sheer size of their green areas for throwing a ball on, but for the beautiful scenery for you too! The long paths through the park are perfect as well if you enjoy running with your dog. Or, just grab an ice cream and relax by the lake, both sound good to us.

Jardins Joan Brossa

Found on the breathtaking Montjuïc hill, the Joan Brossa gardens are a huge 5.2 hectares of green space for you and your pup to take a stroll. The views of Barcelona are stunning from up here, great for taking a breather from fast city life.

Parc del Joan Miró

Many local dog owners of the Eixample Esquerra neighbourhood have Joan Miró as their park of choice for their pet, and it’s not hard to see why. The beautiful park is one of the biggest in the city and has a designated area for dogs to be let off the lead to run.

Parc de l’Estació del Nord

This unique park is found just slightly north of the Parc de la Ciutadella, with an area of more than 1000m2 that welcomes four legged friends. It is unique in its style due to the art sculptures that have been constructed into the land, by American artist, Beverley Pepper.

Pet-friendly Restaurants, Cafés & Bars

Not every restaurant in Barcelona is welcoming of dogs, so it’s always best to check with the individual place before you head down. However, a surprisingly large number are dog friendly, but here’s a few of our personal favourites:

Billy Brunch

Billy Brunch is infamous for serving what many customers call the best brunch they have ever tried. Open 365 days a year, serving delicious pancakes, smoothies, and even cocktails, Billy is a must try. Now, add in the fact your pooch can accompany you to brunch with friends, and what’s not to love!

Carrer de Bailèn, 115, 08009 Barcelona

Cocovail

Serving burgers, chicken wings, and over 20 craft beers on tap, Cocovail beer hall is the best place to head for a bite to eat with friends. Or, just to head for a beer and watch the live sport they show! Cocovail also welcomes dogs to join in the fun.

Carrer d’Aragó, 284, 08009 Barcelona

A Tu Bola

This quirky restaurant quite appropriately for dog-lovers serves all of their food in a ball shape! Yes, you read correctly. A Tu Bola has rave reviews for its innovative take on home cooked food, but a must visit for you and your four-legged friend!

Carrer de l’Hospital, 78, 08001 Barcelona

Pet-friendly Beaches

One of the best parts of the beautiful city of Barcelona is the array of endless beaches to visit. It is essential however to be aware of the rules around bringing your dog along for the fun. In the winter, dogs are permitted on the beach at any time.

However, during the summer months, pets are only allowed onto the beaches after sunset, late at night, or early morning.

The exceptions to this are guide and assistance dogs, who are allowed to access the beach at any time or day of the year.

The best part is there is actually a designated dog beach in Barcelona! The Playa del Llevant in Poblenou offers a space of around 1200m2 of secured area where pooches can paddle and play, as well as showers and fountains to cool them off at the end. Further out of Barcelona there is also Sant Pol de Mar, Playa les Banyeretes and Playa Les Salines which have been designated as dog friendly.

Travelling Around the City

Pets are allowed onto the metro system, so long as you travel with them outside of the busy, rush hour times, this being: between 7:00 – 9:30 and 17:00 – 19:00. The rule is also that you must either muzzle your dog or put them into a carrier, with the exception to this being for small dogs. Similarly, a non-extending lead must be used.

It is a rule for those coming into Spain with a pet that it must be microchipped too, but it’s also generally a good idea to have this done even if you’re a resident.

So, whether you’re a resident or a visitor looking to enjoy life with your dog in Barcelona, we hope with our advice you can make the most of the city, as it’s one of the most dog-friendly ones you can find!

 

This Company Is Travel’s First to Emerge From a Major Pandemic Bankruptcy

WorldStrides

Before the coronavirus crisis struck, WorldStrides organized educational trips for 550,000 students each year. WorldStrides

 

Skift Take: The European and Chinese backers of travel agency WorldStrides seem to think there’ll be a rebound for international student travel. Do they know something we don’t? First to Emerge From a Major Pandemic Bankruptcy.

— Matthew Parsons

Read the Complete Story On Skift

Is Kenya or South Africa Better for a Safari?

Kenya safari - lion

Going on safari is the experience of a lifetime. From when we’re small children, many of us dream of seeing lions and elephants in the wild, roaming the plains of Africa. 

There are a number of countries where you can embark on an adventure and see animals in their natural habitats, with two of the most popular being Kenya and South Africa better for Safari. But which country offers the best safari experience?

The answer depends on the kind of trip you are looking for.

 

Accessibility

The first step to going on safari in Africa is to make travel arrangements and ensure you have authorization to enter your chosen country.

Both Kenya and South Africa are easy to visit for travelers from many countries.

Kenya has an electronic visa (eVisa) available for visitors of most nationalities. This can be obtained from any location with an internet connection by filling out a Kenya online visa application, cutting out the time-consuming process of applying for a visa at an embassy. Once you have your visa confirmation, you can travel to Kenya, and Nairobi will most likely be your starting point.

There are only a small number of countries whose citizens must apply in person for a Kenyan visa. On the other hand, visitors from over 40 countries (mainly in Africa and the Caribbean) can enter Kenya without any visa at all.

South Africa has yet to introduce its own eVisa system, but citizens of around 70 countries can visit visa-free for up to either 30 or 90 days. However, if you are not a national of one of these nations, you’ll have to head to your nearest South African embassy to apply for a tourist visa.

 

Getting Close to the Wildlife

Both Kenya and South Africa are great places to see a diverse array of animals, including Africa’s “big 5” game: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and Cape buffalo.

More of Kenya’s land is dedicated to national park space and wildlife reserves than South Africa, including the world-famous Masai Mara. There is a huge concentration of wildlife here, with many visitors ticking off the big 5 as well as cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and wildebeest within a few days.

South Africa is home to its own famous safari location in the Kruger National Park. This is also rich in biodiversity and safari-goers are rarely disappointed with the animals they see.

The one factor that gives Kenya the edge is the Great Migration. Each year, around 1.3 million wildebeest, half a million gazelles, 200,000 zebras, and thousands of other antelope make the journey south from the Masai Mara over the border into Tanzania around July, returning en masse in October. One of the most impressive natural events in the world, it is well worth choosing a safari in Kenya to witness this epic exodus of animals.

Safari tours in Kenya also allow more room for approaching and getting up close to wildlife. Drivers and guides may slowly approach animals, not so as to disturb them, but to allow a better angle for your photos. The rules in South Africa are much stricter and you may have to settle for watching from a distance.

South Africa safari - elephants

 

Comfort and Cost

Kenya tends to be a bit wilder than South Africa, so if you’re happy to camp in tents and feel closer to nature, Kenya’s a good call. However, if you want to stay in a lodge with clean facilities, it will not come cheap. There are few options in between fancier private accommodation and camping.

South Africa’s national parks, on the other hand, are built with visitors in mind. There are a range of different lodges, from more affordable cottages and bungalows to luxury private lodges. All accommodation tends to be of good standard, with clean facilities, a natural setting, and many come with bonus features like golf courses.

South Africa tends to be more family-friendly, with great options for visitors with children. The roads are better paved and infrastructure is better developed. This is a big plus if you want to drive around the parks yourself. Yes, this is an option in South Africa (as long as you stick to the rules). Of course, there are also guided tours if you’d prefer, which are practically the only option in Kenya.

However, this all comes at the expense of some of the wildness. South Africa gets full marks for being comfortable, having budget options, and being ideal for families, but it can’t help but feel a little controlled and sanitized, compared to the authenticity of Kenya. Again, it depends what you prefer.

 

Vaccinations

It’s always worth bearing in mind that whichever country you choose for a safari, you’re probably going to need to get vaccinated against certain local diseases.

Surprisingly, South Africa has relatively few required vaccinations for travelers, with basic coverage against measles, hepatitis, and typhoid recommended. 

The risk of serious diseases like malaria and bilharzia is much lower. Malaria tablets are only recommended for certain areas of the country. While national parks are generally hot-spots for mosquitoes that carry the disease, South Africa is unique on the continent for having a number of safari destinations that are free of malaria.

When on safari in Kenya, malaria tablets are a must and the list of vaccinations is more comprehensive.

Kenya safari - giraffes

 

Going Coastal

If you’re going to make the trip to Africa, you’ll want to do more than just go on safari. Both Kenya and South Africa have idyllic stretches of coastline, which are great for beach lovers.

Once again, South Africa is better for families and those seeking a bit of luxury. The country has a number of beach resorts catering for visitors of all budgets, which are perfect for relaxing at.

Kenya, however, has a cultural ace in the hole. While it may not have the number or level of resorts as South Africa, it does have a number of fascinating ancient ports and medieval ruins, such as Gedi, to explore. History buffs and lovers of old architecture may get a lot more out of a holiday in Kenya than South Africa.

Two countries, two very different safari experiences. For a more wildlife-focussed, authentic experience in the wilds of Africa, Kenya probably has the edge, while for more comfort and a more rounded experience that all the family can enjoy, South Africa may be the better choice. Either way, it will a trip you will never forget.

 

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