Tag Archives: tourism

A holiday in Namibia

Namibia is a beautiful country in South West Africa and it’s a magical spot recommended for nature lovers, first time visitors and even returning travellers, whether young or old! There are a variety of fun activities for all to do.

Namibians are proud of their amazing wildlife, the country is well known as the home to iconic Safari destinations. This includes the famous self-drive safari tour, where visitors pick up a car from the airport and drive themselves to tour through these wildlife parks. Some tourists prefer this because it is less pricey.

Namibia till date, holds the highest Cheetah population in the world, which are the fastest land animals on Earth. They are considered to be in danger of going extinct by the International Union for Conservation. The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia is working hard to protect these endangered species.

The oldest desert in the world is found in Namibia and no it’s not the Sahara desert. Research shows the Namib desert in Namibia is believed to be the oldest desert in the world. It’s a coastal desert along the shores of Western Namibia about 1600 km long. The desert has been dry and arid of life for more than 50 million years! The Namib desert is well known for also having the highest sand dunes in the world. A sand dune here can be as tall as 300 meters which is like a building with 100 floors, about the height of a skyscraper! There are lots of activities to do, ranging from climbing the Dunes 45, airplane tours or balloon tours over the Namib desert and quad biking over the golden sandy desert.

       

Namibia is actually a coastline country and has plenty beautiful shores with over a thousand miles of coastline. However, swimming in the beaches is not safe for people or tourists because of the rich marine life in the waters.  This is due to the cold strong waves of the ocean, being capable to sweep swimmers away. However it’s coastline is more suitable for professional surfers with surf boards, who want to explore the waters and high waves.

The famous skeleton coast in Namibia is  known for it’s dark past of ship wrecks due to it’s rough tides from the violent Atlantic ocean.  Though survivors made it out of the ship wreck to land, there was a large mass of dry sandy desert with no water, food or shelter waiting to welcome victims. Hence very few made it out alive of the desert and there are skeletons of animals, whales and ships littered all over this coastline.

Today in Namibia, the Skeleton Coast is a tourist hot spot littered with beautiful luxury lodges for tourists who come for sight-seeing of the desert and the ancient ship wrecks. This coastal desert tells a special story while being truly, tragic, sad, beautiful, historical and unique at the same time.

     

On the 13th January 2022, Mr Humphrey Geiseb, the Namibian high commissioner to Nigeria, paid a courtesy visit to Nigeria’s Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed in Abuja.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed used this opportunity to also voice out Nigeria’s interest in partnering with Namibia to boost tourism and culture between both nations. The Minister remains hopeful that the MOU between both nations would be implemented as soon as possible.

The Minister also assured to promote healthy working relationships  between Nollywood and the Namibian film industry. He also received the kind gesture of the Namibian government to assist in improving the Elephant conservation in Nigeria as Mr. Geiseb emphasized that African wildlife is in danger of extinction. Lai Mohammed appreciated the Namibian government for supporting the country with 279 wildlife animals in accordance with the already signed MoU in cooperation of wildlife.

It seems a new tourism and cultural chapter between both countries is about to unfold, especially with Nigeria taking tips on wildlife preservation from one of Africa’s wildlife gurus, Namibia.

Mr. Humphrey Geiseb, the Namibian high commissioner to Nigeria also recounted and appreciated the support gotten from the Nigerian government when Namibia was fighting for independence. He also made clear that the Namibian-Nigerian joint commission would hold meetings to analyze and work towards all possible means of cooperation between the two countries in the future, these areas including tourism, beef infrastructure, creative industries, oil and gas sectors and animal conservation.

English is widely spoken in Namibia, their local dishes are delicious and foreigners are warmly welcomed  to the country. The Landscape of Namibia is second to none, having almost all types of landscape ranging from mountains, to savannah grasslands, deserts and beach coastlines. A lot of untold wonders to discover in this fascinating Southern African Nation. A trip to Namibia is well worth it.

The power of your International Passport

There remains a glaring gap in freedom for global travel by citizens of different nations across the world. While some nationals enjoy a wide variety of countries they can visit with just their internationak passports and no visa hassle, other nationalities have limited access to gain entrance into some Countries with just their passports. The sad truth is even with international passports travel is still limited for some nationalities around the world. Different passports have different strengths, which implies some passports are more powerful than others.

 

The world’s leading and most powerful passports in terms of travel freedom without visa applications are Japan and Singapore. The Henley passport index reports that Japan and Singapore ranks top before other countries in the world, making citizens of these nations have access to a whooping 192 countries without a visa!

Yes, you heard that right. Japanese and Singaporean passport holders  are able to enter 192 countries without a visa. According to Henley passport index 2021, which uses data from the international Air transport association (IATA), these two countries also tied first place in passport rankings last year.

Some passports actually allow their bearers more freedom of movement than others. Germany and South Korea are next in line with citizens having access to 190 countries without a visa, while the famous nations, the United Kingdom and United States of America come in 6th position with visa free movement to 186 nations around the world. Belgium, Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand also tie in for 6th position.

 

(Photo via kieferpix / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

 

On the other hand, Afghanistan ranks as one of the weakest passports globally with access of visa free travel to only 26 countries in the world. Iraqi passports allowing visa free entry into 28 countries for it’s citizens follows up close. Next in line is Syria, Pakistan and Yemen, with 29, 31 and 33 countries allowing them visa free entry respectively.  Mozambique with it’s citizens having visa free travel to 62 countries in the world. Nigerian passport having 50 visa free destinations for it’s citizens and ranks 82nd position globally for passport rankings in year 2022.

Why are some International Passports strong and some weak?

The strength of a passport may depend on several reasons and they may include how stable the country is in regards to economy, terror attacks and politics.  Also mutual understanding, reciprocity and diplomatic relations between countries play a major role and affect the strength of a passport. Nations with high populations or population issues like migration have a weaker passport.

“The borders within which we happen to be born, and the documents we are entitled to hold, are no less arbitrary than our skin color. Wealthier states need to encourage positive inward migration in an effort to help redistribute and rebalance human and material resources worldwide, including improving the size and quality of their own workforces,” stated Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners.

 

 

Is Green Africa the cheapest airline in Nigeria?

   

 

It may have been challenging for other airlines in the Nigerian aviation industry as Green Africa Airways announced launching its much awaited airline services in June 24th, 2021, with flight tickets available for purchase by the public for as low as ₦16,500. Considering the negative effect of covid-19 vividly affecting the progress of other airlines in the country, the industry’s newcomer, Green Africa choose a perfect time to hit the Nigerian aviation world, stand out and make a glaring difference. 

 

They were offering to carry passengers almost less than half the amount other local airlines were conveying their passengers! Destinations routes included Abuja, Akure, Enugu, Ilorin, Lagos, Owerri and Port Harcourt. 

The CEO of Green Africa Airways, Babawande Afolabi,  made it clear that one of the main areas of concentration was to focus on the economic interest of it’s customers and provide low cost fares for passengers. 

“We are crafting a network plan that will afford more customers the opportunity to pursue their economic interest or simply spend more time with family and friends,” Afolabi said while announcing the new route.

     

However, months later along the line, after kicking off operations and bringing in fresh competition to the aviation industry in Nigeria, industry experts argue that Green Africa Airways is by far not the cheapest airline in Nigeria. 

Aviation professional analysts suggests that when airlines charge less than  ₦40,000 per passenger, there would be a loss in operational costs of the airline which is risky, as aviation fuel is estimated to cost about  ₦220 per litre and a whooping amount of 8000 litres ( ₦1.7 million)  or more is needed to operate a one way local flight route! 

An unhappy passenger simply identified as Wanger Barnabas Akaazua, stated “If anyone told you this airline is cheap then they don’t know the truth about this airline. They’ve painted a picture that they’re affordable but in the actual sense they are one of the most expensive,” he stated.

 Akaazua lamented that there are so many hidden charges that are only revealed at the counter and not included anywhere on their website.

“What they don’t tell you is that you are entitled to only 7kg (both hand luggage and baggage). So, for every extra 1kg you pay N600.

“Imagine travelling with your family. For a flight of N25,000 I was made to pay an extra N10,000. Even hand luggage is weighed. How will I pay N25,000 and be entitled to only 7kg? That’s how I ended up paying N35,500 when Air Peace was N30,000,” the passenger complained. 

There are three types of economy class on the Green Africa Airways, which are the gSaver,  gClassic and gFlex.  The prices of these ticket types differ on baggage allowance. Passengers’ flight fares vary based on the amount of luggage they carry. 

The gSaver flyer enjoys 7kg hand luggage, the gClassic flyer enjoys all the benefits of the gSaver ticket plus an additional 15kg checked in luggage while the gFlex passengers has access to 7k hand luggage, 15kg checked in luggage, free seat selection, free online check-in and flight ticket changes at no additional fee.

 

How to lighten your suitcase when travelling

 

The holiday season is upon us and somewhere right now, some how,  many of us have our empty luggages waiting to be filled up and carried off to that amazing Christmas destination!

If you are a chronic over packer like most people out there, you would be thinking of what to put in or not put into your suitcase to avoid making it unnecessarily heavy and full of items you don’t actually need for your trip. Relax over packers, you’re also covered!

To begin with, being at the airport with an over-weight suitcase heavier than an elephant is an annoying and costly experience, especially when you’ve tried your very best not to over pack. Airlines have a baggage allowance policy for each passenger and exceeding the baggage allowance costs extra money.

Here are some tricks to help you organise your luggage with just what you would need for your next trip and still stick to the allowed baggage policy.

 

1)      Forget about the just incase outfits : Many travellers, both female and male, usually have this urge to put in extra outfits in their suitcases for the unexpected occasions that may turn up. This particular packing habit needs to be dropped as you will most likely pack up a lot of clothes you do not need and most likely will not even wear during your trip.

2)      Arrange your travel wardrobe: Before heading out on a trip, research on how the weather will be in your intended destination and also the most likely events or spots you would visit. This will help you plan out what type of outfits to pack up for your trip and keep away the unneeded items.

3)      Always include neutral outfits: These are outfits that have basic colours that practically goes with and looks good on any other colour. Black, grey, nude, white etc. This is reasonable, because it frees up the space of packing up 6 or 7 different outfits, when one neutral outfit could be packed and rhyme with every outfit you pair it with!

4)      Pack less shoes: This won’t be easy, especially for the ladies but packing less shoes is important. Apart from the fact that shoes have a lot of weight, you definitely won’t be needing so many pairs. Two to three pairs of shoe should serve for your trip, hence you need to plan what shoes would go better with your already selected outfits. Anne McAlpin, a packing expert, says “people often over pack shoes, but setting a maximum of three pairs will help you pare down your wardrobe and avoid over packing.”

5)      Use packing cubes: Using compression cubes or bags are becoming more popular with travellers. Compression technology is so vital to travel as it will assist to keep you organised and also save up space in your bag.

6)      Don’t be a last minute packer: A lot of people are guilty of this, packing just a night before your trip can be crucial and chaotic. Asides from packing a lot of item you do not need, you may also forget a lot of item you actually need and end up with a pretty heavy luggage.

 

The Eiffel Tower 

France’s Eiffel Tower is one of the country’s top tourist spots and just taking a picture beside this astonishing Tower is the signature clue that you are in Paris, without even having to tell anyone!

Believe it or not, at 1050 feet, this structure was the world’s tallest building for over 40 years before it was overtaken by the Chrysler building in New York in 1930. Also, it was initially built as an entrance to the World Fair Exposition in 1889 to mark the 100th anniversary of the French revolution.

 

It took roughly two years and two months to complete this stunning structure, which was from 1887 to 1889. Three hundred steelworkers and well over 17000 metallic parts, 40 tons of paint, and 2.5 million rivets are what it took to birth the glamorous Eiffel Tower. 

An amazing fact about this great structure is that it moves while also being able to withstand the heaviest winds, and never sway more than 4.5 inches! In 1913, a renowned expert on aerodynamics named Eiffel published “The Resistance of the Air.” He and his team actually designed the Tower never to sway more than 4.5 inches and have heavy wind resistance.

 

Eiffel Tower is named right after the talented genius who brainstormed and designed this structure, Gustave Eiffel. France remains top of the list of most visited countries in the world.

Paris, the capital city of France is definitely on so many travellers’ must-visit list for a reason, the popular French cuisines, wine, croissants, cheese, baguette bread, historic monuments, friendly locals and so much more.

France is a globally loved nation, also famous for high-end fashion shows, skincare products, and designer perfumes. 

Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, now open.

The wait was definitely worth the while, as the newly constructed Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, officially opens its doors to the public!

 

 Setting an almost unbeatable standard in the Nigerian hospitality industry, Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja stands out with 206 guest rooms and 44 suites, inclusive in all rooms are 55′ inches smart televisions, complimentary WiFi, exceptional Marriott luxury bedding, and many more amenities. 

Marriott brand, making a debut in Nigeria will definitely remain a lucrative move considering the population and level of travel in the country. Also, the location of the hotel is the heartbeat of Lagos making it close and accessible to a wide range of individuals.

 

The newly built hotel also has specially designed amenities for it’s guests including the Great room, the M Club for elite club members, a luxury spa, a fitness center, and an outdoor swimming pool, making it perfect for business and leisure and the modern-day travellers.  

Volker Heiden, the Marriott International – Sub Saharan Africa area vice-president stated: “We are excited to have opened the Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, bringing ‘Marriott Hotels’ transformed vision to Nigeria.”

 

“Lagos is a vibrant and bustling city with much to see and do for leisure and business travellers.

 

“What better place to debut the Marriott Hotels brand in Nigeria with its thoughtful service and intuitive spaces that enable guests to be inspired during their stay.”

Marriott brand has a whooping 580 Hotels and resorts in over 60 countries across the world! The Marriott brand is of USA origin and is among one of the most popular hospitality brands in the world presently. 

Israel promoting tourism in Dubai amidst clash with Gaza

 

Despite the recent Israeli-Gaza conflict, a senior Israeli tourism official saw it normal to encourage persons in Dubai to visit Israel, as she described it as a must-see destination for Muslim visitors. 

Israeli-Gaza conflict

This generally seems like bad timing for such promotion, especially considering the fact that major airlines have discontinued flight operations to Israel due to the increased violence from the conflict.

 

However, at the first physical travel and tourism event in Dubai, the Arabian travel market, Israel had a decorated stand exhibiting the Country as “the land of creation” along with promotional videos urging tourists to visit and book their trips now!

Israeli exhibition at the Arabian Travel Market Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Israeli new market development director in the Tourism Ministry, Ksenia Kobiakov, stated “We were not talking about it. We are talking about the future. We are talking about what we can do to bring tourism to Israel.”

 

She further made clear ‘the hope is that Emirati citizens and foreign residents of the UAE will visit Israel in return and help its tourism sector rebound when the country is open again to tourists.’

Kobiakov also added “People don’t feel safe to travel now to Israel. It’s understandable. But this escalation, it will finish one day,” she said. “We know that all the conflicts are coming and they are going. Tourism is staying forever.”

 

Water Fun

Water is truly a gift to mankind and daily we make use of water to do multiple things, like cooking food, washing clothes, cleaning the dishes, brushing our teeth, and very importantly drinking it to quench thirst. The list can go on and on, but have you ever imagined using water for fun activities?

There are lots of amazing sports and activities in the water that are so amusing! More interestingly many holiday destinations with beaches always have a larger number of tourists. 

Beach destinations are always known to be attractive and enjoyable for almost anything, from taking lit pictures to sunbathing, to various water sports! 

Day by day holiday locations surrounded by water or close to the ocean coast gain more popularity and the focus on making more water fun activities to win over tourists is on the rise!

 

“Water-full” destinations like Seychelles, Maldives, Goa beach, Inagbe beach resort in Lagos, Labadi beach resort in Ghana, etc have introduced multiple water engaging sports to keep visitors entertained. 

 

The ideal vacation spot needs to be different from what we are used to every day and that explains the concept of some people preferring a serene environment, tall trees, and clear blue water over mountain spots or snowing destinations.  Some Countries go as far as creating man-made beaches in a bid to beautify their environment and attract visitors, for instance, Palms island in Dubai, Sentosa island in Singapore, Camden beach in London are all man-made beaches!

 

palms, Dubai
Seychelles

When next you plan to set out to the beach, these are simple ways to enjoy yourself:

 

i) Water bucket relay:

In this game, there are two teams and two small empty transparent buckets placed behind each team. Each team member will have a big plastic cup while standing in the line of their teams. The teammates first in line will rush to the ocean and fill their cups up with water, then run back to the line and pass the water in their cups over their head to the next teammate’s cup without looking back. In the same manner, each teammate would do the same till the last team member pours what’s left in their cup into the transparent bucket. When this is done the last teammate rushes to the ocean, gets water, and continues the same process till the agreed time is up or in some cases, till the transparent bucket is filled up. The team with the most water in the transparent bucket wins.

ii) Building sandcastles:

Getting dirty and playing in the sand is a must when visiting the beach, especially when there is so much water to clean up afterward. Making sandcastles is lovely as you get to explore your creative nature! This involves using sand, water, and an empty bucket to mold up a castle of your choice from the mud.

iii) Parasailing:

One of the most popular water sports which does require a bit of bravery! Just imagine being connected to a parachute, in your swimwear and life jacket, then flying high above the ocean like a bird in the sky. 

parasailing

iv) Jet-skiing:

Any vacationer seeking fun would have this sport at the top of their list! This water vehicle is just like a motorbike on water, and the ocean waves make the ride on a jet ski unforgettable. 

jet skiing

v) Kayaking:

This is an exciting water sport that’s also like a form of workout because you would move most parts of your body. It simply allows you to move on the water in a flatwater vessel while paddling with a double-bladed paddle.

vi) Water gun:

This is an enjoyable outdoor game that can be played at parties, the beach, in a swimming pool, and definitely by adults too! It involves the use of a water gun and has different ways to play.  One of the ways to play this game is having a water war between two teams while trying to capture a flag or a water balloon from the other team. They go after each other, usually, when touched by water from the gun of the opponent team, you will freeze for few seconds before continuing to play or can be released when tagged by a fellow teammate.

It could also be used to play a beach ball race, where each player uses the water gun to push off their beach balls to the finish line, the first to reach the finish line is the winner.

Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or a calm sunbather, there is something fun for everyone to do at the beach. This list of activities can go on and on! Which one would you try on your next visit to the beach?

 

Egypt the land of attractions!

 

Africa has tons of amazing spots filled with scenic views, wildlife parks, beautiful beaches, ancient monuments and so much more, proving to be some of the most exciting tourist attractions in the world! However, so much of the World is unaware of this, unaware of how captivating Africa can really be!

 

When Rietha Matthee, an expert travel agent visited Egypt, she stated “It was a life-changing experience. All the things we saw and experienced were amazing and we fell in love with the country and would love to return.”

 

Egypt is an undeniable beauty to behold in the African continent. It’s found in northeastern Africa and arguably, it’s also home to the longest river in the world, the River Nile.

 

Egypt is a breathtaking destination with lots of wonderful attractions. This North-Eastern African beauty boasts scenic mountain landscapes, sun-kissed beaches, dazzling deserts, ancient pyramids, temples and so much more to explore.

                                                       

 

It’s worthy of being on every traveller’s bucket list because there are so many things to do and places to visit! If you want to relax by the pool or gleaming beaches or even prefer to tour the ultra-modern cities, exploring the ancient temples and pyramids, Egypt has it all!

 

Popular spots to visit in Egypt include the famous Ras Um Sid Beach and the beach at El Gouna, North of Hurghada filled with top-rated tourist attractions from cafés, Kayaking, windsurfing, Snorkeling, etc.

The Most Famous Beaches in Hurghada 2020 – Hurghada Beaches 2020

 

Other top attractions include exploring the great pyramid of Giza, Valley of the kings, diving into the Red Sea, White Desert National Park, Luxor temple, Egyptian Museum, etc

 

It is important for more people to explore the incredible African continent because there are lots of untold mesmerizing attractions in various African countries waiting for you to behold! It’s time to change the unpleasant narrative of Africa.

 

Book your next trip within the African continent and be that person to tell the world of just how blessed and attractive Africa is! 

 

Which other countries in Africa have you heard so much about and would love to visit?

 

Out of office and in for a staycation!

A few days ago was international workers day, a time to appreciate workers and their contributions to society and also a time for workers to reflect on their lives, careers, and happiness. The importance of mental and physical health to keep up great work ethics can never be over-emphasized. One of the best ways to keep the mind, body, and soul healthy is taking time off. Yes and that includes taking time off work.  

 

The purpose in life is definitely not just work. Being dedicated to your job is a beautiful thing, however, turning yourself into a workaholic with little or no time for yourself is not right.

Most times, life flies by so fast and we realize too late how much time we’ve missed. We can’t get back time and that’s why time needs to be well spent. Creating time to spend with your loved ones should always be a priority and setting aside special dates for a quick holiday or dinner outings makes life a splendid ordeal!

 

Most people do not have pictures together with their close family or friends, because we see them every day and at some point forget how important they are and how time is slipping away. Planning out a staycation once in a while and having precious memories to hold on to with our dear ones is priceless. Staycations are short-distance holiday destinations, usually within the same country you reside in for 1 or 2 nights.

 

Research has proven holiday getaways are the best spots to refresh and de-stress. The mental health benefits are endless and those who have tried this method of a break from work claim when returning to work they are filled with motivation, inspiration, creativity, and more focus for work duties. 

 

Subsequently, with more people understanding the importance of travel, a lot of establishments are now including vacation packages for their employees who meet set targets as a way to increase competition and motivation among staff. 

 

Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, states that visiting a foreign place and immersing yourself in their local environment increases your cognitive flexibility. 

As a worker, whether you are an employer or employee, it is necessary to set aside and save a certain amount of money from your monthly income for exploring new places with your loved ones. Make an annual holiday budget and keep to it. The truth is we should all aspire to be happy and make others happy! Do not allow life to pass you by as a worker, always work, save, travel, and repeat!