Tag Archives: wanderlust

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 Red Pandemic

The season of love as its fondly called by many is finally here .  Valentine’s day also known as lover’s day is just few days away. This is a day when lovers, friends or family show their affection for one another with gifts and kind messages.

As a popular event all over the world, the month of February rolls in with flashes of the colour red . It floods everywhere, from our television screens, to shops, restaurants, social media ,work places and even our schools are not spared.

Over the years, the widespread use of the colour red has become synonymous with valentines day, but why red? What is really the significance of colour red to Valentine’s day? Red flowers, Red dresses, red love notes, chocolates wrapped in red and even red teddy bears. Almost like an outbreak of a red  pandemic that everyone catches.

The red theme for Valentine’s day has a lot to do with history and traditional beliefs from long ago. In the world of today, the colour red represents passion, love, romance, anger and  danger. Apart from the romantic attributes of colour red, it is also used as warning signs to show danger, for instance on traffic signs or fire fighting equipment.

     

When we picture Valentine’s day, the first colour that comes to our mind is  red . Now let’s picture where that ideology came from. There are many concepts as to why colour red symbolizes love and passion and few of them include:

The Ancient Greek and Roman  myth

The goddess of love Aphrodite falling in love with a mortal man named Adonis. Eventually as Adonis was about to die, the goddess of love Aphrodite rushed towards him while accidentally stepping on the thorns of a white rose. Hence blood staining the white rose to turn completely red, making it unique and the first red rose to exist. In this concept red blood and red rose is symbolizing love.

Valentine’s day also dates back to the time of the ancient Romans, when there was a particular festival to celebrate family fertility called  the Lupercalia festival. During this festival, blood from sacrificed animals were touched on the women to increase their fertility. This ritual was part of the roman tradition and was celebrated on every February 15th but was moved to February 14th in the 5th century by pope Gelasius I and renamed St. Valentine’s day. Scholars believe this explains the red colour of blood used during the sacrifice contributed to the popular connection of Valentine’s day and the colour red.

The Roman Priest

St Valentine was a Roman priest who believed in love and secretly wedded young Christian couples in the church. This was against the will of Emperor Claudias who felt unmarried soldiers fought better on the battlefield . He banned marriage among young people. Saint Valentine was executed on 14th February for refusing to denounce Christ and his christian faith. Thus the day is beloved to be celebrated to honor his memory.

The Human Anatomy 

The red colour in connection to Valentine’s day is simply related to love and the colour of blood and the human heart. This is why some Countries around the world including India and China encourage their brides to wear the colour red on their wedding day. Red remains a colour that stirs up excitement and communicates a feeling of desire. The colour red represents the blood and beating heart in our bodies, symbolizing pure affection and true love.

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.

 

Is flying first class really worth it?

 

Flying first class most likely means luxury seating on a plane, preferential treatment in services rendered, more comfort and most importantly, the very pricy flight fares! The kind of ‘exclusive’ flight fares that makes you wonder, if it’s really worth it?

On all occasions, when you get on a commercial plane, there are always the first-class passengers who are a limited number of passengers (usually not more than 10), who are seated towards the front of the airplane enjoying more space, comfort, service and privacy.

       

First class is categorized as airplane luxury. Different airlines provide different services and special treatment for first class passengers ranging from private suites, fast in-flight WiFi, access to exclusive lounges to even on-board showers. In turn, first-class flyers pay an expensive flight fare, which is way more than any other class of flyers.

 

First class travel experience includes being the first passengers on board the aircraft, averting the long waiting lines at the gates, extra large seats with enormous carry-on space, complimentary gifts from the airline, first class bar with champagne and all the other wonderful things you can think of. It’s arguably clear that the benefits of first class play in even before your flight takes off. Amazing, isn’t it?

Other flight classes include the business and economy. Business class is above economy class. Flying business class also offers a premium experience in flight with upgraded amenities and even before boarding, there are separate check-in for them and business class lounges that offers showers and nap rooms. The main difference between business class and first class is the seat type, as some first class seat types are generally bigger, having a private space or suite and may rotate or even turn into a bed unlike business class seats.  Also the price difference stands out between a first class and business class traveller. In most cases, a first class traveller is expected to pay about 60-200% more than a business class traveller.

What about the economy class travellers? Economy class is also known as standard class, which many travellers make use of.  Generally speaking, compared to the other cabin options of business class and first class, the seats in economy are smaller with less legroom. Also the level of service, flight entertainment, type of tv screens and food options are limited and surely you can not keep asking for more champagne. A lot of people argue that economy class is just a way of travel, comfortable enough to get you to your destination and the extra travel fuss is not needed. However, Ralph Waldo Emerson says “it’s not the destination, it’s about the journey.”

 

It is important to note that all seat types and options of in-flight service depends on what airline you are flying, as different airlines sets different service standards for their passengers.

 

Flying is a fun experience for many, however who wouldn’t love an extra luxury added to that fun?  It is said that ‘fly business class once and you’ll never be happy in economy again’.  The benefits of flying first class are so many, but we will leave it to you to decide in the comment section if it’s really worth the money or not?

 

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. 

Popina fine-dining restaurant of Ebonylife place is back!

Exciting news for Lagosians as Ebonylife Place located in Victoria Island, Lagos, well known as the classy multi-purpose event venue has reopened it’s luxury dining restaurant, Popina.

Popina fine-dining restaurant is one of a kind and will continue to have the attention of gourmet lovers! It was temporarily shut down on 19th March 2020 to comply with covid 19 precautionary measures and ensure customer safety.

 

Now life is slowly returning to normal and having fewer covid-19 cases, Popina fine-dining is back to steal the show!

 

Famous visible artist, Gerald Chukwuma put together the incredible style and design of the posh restaurant. The interior has a touch of elegant foreign features and a fusion of colorful African culture. There is also an enchanting poolside terrace for those who prefer fresh air and the outdoors.

       

Gavin Blaauw who is the chief chef elaborated on the unique menu having a rich blend of French methods, Italian flavours, native ingredients, and a top-notch meal presentation. 

Now the tip of the iceberg which a lot of people do not know of yet is that there is a 50% discount on three-course meals ordered from the common menu! This offer kicked off on Saturday 22nd May 2021 and lasts for seven days. The final day for this offer will be 28th May 2021.

 

Who wouldn’t want to be present at this glamorous dining with delicious cuisines at just half the original prices? Make those reservations on time now!

 

To book and for enquiries, +2349139264355 and also connect to them via Instagram on @popina.lagos

 

Explore Kwara state

It’s a thing of pride to learn more about your country’s culture and natural wonders!  It’s totally better to be well informed than having foreigners tell you about what you have in your own home country. Nigeria has a handful of captivating spots that lots of us do not know of.

 

Kwara state is a well-visited tourist spot in Nigeria and I bet you didn’t know that! Be rest assured to expect every and anything in this scenic wonderland! There are lots of exciting activities to do and places to visit in Kwara state. Just keep it at the back of your mind, you are in for an adventure of a lifetime.

 

Here is a glimpse at some places to explore in Kwara:

 

(i) Owu Waterfall: This natural delight is one of the most outstanding natural wonders in Kwara state and Nigeria at large. It is the highest waterfall in West Africa at 120m above the water level, cascading 330 feet down an escarpment. Visiting this waterfall and getting to dip in the icy pool at the bottom is an amazing feeling. Health professionals insist waterfalls play a major role in reducing stress levels, depression, and anxiety. So if you are having a moody day or just want to relax and get away from it, Owu waterfall is the place to be!

(ii) Dada pottery: Found in the Dada district of Ilorin, Kwara state. Dada Pottery arguably has the largest cluster of potters in the state. It is a sight to behold, coming in close contact with professional potters and watching art being created first hand. The amount of potters present, their dedication, and professionalism makes watching them and even trying to mold up clay yourself such a delight!

 

(iii) Esie Museum: The oldest and first museum in Nigeria established in 1945, holds many cultural and artistic features that date way back in time. It’s one of the most popular museums in the country and making a stop at the Esie Museum is a great way to adventure and enrich your mind with knowledge at the same time. 

(v) Emirs Palace/Central Mosque: The Ilorin Central mosque is the second largest mosque in Nigeria and it has a capacity of about 20000 worshippers! It is located at the Emir’s palace, Oja Oba. Also, around Oja Oba is the popular Ilorin Gold Souk/market so you can kill 2 birds with one stone.

     

(vi) Unilorin  Zoological Garden: Kwara state has it all and that includes a zoological garden with an incredible zoo for wildlife lovers. 

 

(vii) Aso-oke Weave Centre: The beautiful Aso-oke material handwoven by professionals dates far back to ancient African history and it remains one of the most recognized African fabrics worldwide. This art of cloth weaving began centuries ago among the Yoruba tribe, however predominantly in Kwara state, Oyo state, and Osun state.

When you think of touring Nigeria, do not forget you can get a journey filled with pleasurable moments in Kwara!

 

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!