Travel locally to experience the culture, history, and wildlife of a country
When you travel, you want to experience the best of what a country has to offer. This includes its culture, history, and wildlife. One of the best ways to do this is to travel locally.
Traveling locally means visiting a country and experiencing it through the eyes of the locals. This means staying in locally owned hotels, eating at local restaurants, and visiting local attractions. It also means using local guides to show you around.
Here are some of the benefits of traveling locally:
- You’ll get a more authentic experience. When you travel locally, you’re less likely to be caught up in the tourist traps. You’ll also be able to experience the local culture and way of life in a more authentic way.
- You’ll learn more about the country’s history and culture. Local guides are experts on their country’s history and culture. They can tell you stories and share insights that you wouldn’t be able to learn on your own.
- You’ll support the local economy. When you travel locally, you’re putting your money into the pockets of the locals. This helps to support the local economy and create jobs.
- If you’re planning a tour, consider traveling locally. It’s a great way to experience the culture, history, and wildlife of a country in a more authentic and meaningful way.
Here are some examples of how to travel locally and experience the culture, history, and wildlife of a country:
In Mexico, stay in a family-owned casa particular in Havana and eat at local restaurants where you can try traditional Cuban dishes. Visit local markets and art galleries to experience the vibrant Cuban culture.
In Vietnam, stay in a bamboo hut on a beach and take a cooking class to learn how to make traditional food. Visit a local village to learn about the culture.
In Greece, visit the Acropolis in Athens and learn about the history of ancient Greece. Take a day trip to Delphi to see the ruins of the ancient oracle and learn about its role in Greek history.
In Ghana, visit Elmina Castle. The Castle of St. George, the oldest extant colonial building in sub-Saharan Africa, dating from 1482. This castle is steeped in history and played a prominent part during the tragic, transatlantic slave trade era.
In Costa Rica, visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to see monkeys, sloths, and other wildlife. Take a boat tour of the mangroves to see crocodiles and other marine life.
In Kenya, visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve to see lions, elephants, giraffes, and other wildlife. Go on a safari to see the animals in their natural habitat.
Benefits of using local guides
Local guides can help you to get the most out of your trip. They can show you hidden gems that you wouldn’t be able to find on your own. They can also tell you stories and share insights about the country that you wouldn’t be able to learn on your own.
Here are some of the benefits of using local guides:
- They know the best places to go. Local guides have a deep knowledge of their country and know the best places to visit, eat, and shop. They can also help you to avoid tourist traps.
- They can help you to understand the culture. Local guides can explain the local customs and traditions to you. They can also help you to communicate with the locals.
- They can make your trip safer and more enjoyable. Local guides can help you to stay safe and navigate the country with ease. They can also help you to have a more enjoyable experience by sharing their stories and insights with you.
- If you’re planning a tour, consider using local guides to show you around. It’s a great way to get the most out of your trip and have a more authentic and meaningful experience.
4 Tips for traveling locally
- Learn a few basic phrases in the local language. This will help you to communicate with the locals and get around more easily.
- Be respectful of the local culture and customs. Dress appropriately and avoid doing anything that could be considered offensive.
- Be prepared for unexpected events. Things don’t always go according to plan when you’re traveling, so be patient and flexible.
- Have fun! Traveling locally is a great way to experience the culture, history,
Exploring the Hidden Gems of Romania
Romania, a land of diverse landscapes and rich history, is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Nestled in Eastern Europe, this country boasts stunning scenery, medieval castles, vibrant cities, and a culture deeply rooted in tradition. Exploring Romania is a journey that promises to be both enchanting and educational, and what better way to experience it than through escorted tours?
Escorted tours in Romania offer a structured and immersive experience, allowing travellers to delve into the heart of this beautiful country while accompanied by knowledgeable guides. These tours ensure a seamless exploration of Romania’s highlights, providing insights into its history, culture, and natural beauty. Let’s embark on a virtual journey through the lens of escorted tours and discover the hidden gems of Romania.
Discovering Romania’s Enchanting Cities
The capital city, Bucharest, is often the starting point of many escorted tours in Romania. This bustling metropolis is a blend of old and new, where grand architecture from the communist era stands alongside modern buildings and parks. A guided tour of Bucharest offers a glimpse into its rich history, including a visit to the massive Palace of the Parliament, a true architectural marvel.
From Bucharest, the tour might venture into the charming city of Brasov, nestled in the Carpathian Mountains. Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and the iconic Black Church, Brasov transports visitors back in time. The city’s medieval charm, narrow cobbled streets, and vibrant central square make it a favourite stop for those exploring Romania.
The Wonders of Transylvania
No journey through Romania would be complete without a visit to Transylvania, a region famed for its association with Dracula and its stunning landscapes. Escorted tours through this region often include stops at the medieval Bran Castle, often linked to the Dracula legend. However, the true allure of Transylvania lies in its picturesque landscapes, with the Carpathian Mountains offering breath taking views and opportunities for adventure.
Sibiu, another gem of Transylvania, is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and vibrant cultural scene. Guided tours here might lead visitors through the historic Old Town, showcasing its stunning squares, churches, and fortifications. Each street seems to whisper stories of the past, immersing travellers in the essence of Transylvanian history.
Discover the Bucovina Painted Monasteries
One of the most unique aspects of Romania’s cultural heritage is the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina. These monasteries, adorned with vibrant frescoes depicting religious scenes, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Escorted tours often include a visit to some of these monasteries, such as Voronet, Humor, and Sucevita.
A guided tour brings to life the stories depicted in the vivid frescoes, offering insights into the region’s religious and artistic heritage. The awe-inspiring craftsmanship and historical significance of these monasteries make them a must-see on any journey through Romania.
Exploring the Natural Beauty of the Danube Delta
The Danube Delta, a true ecological paradise, is a natural wonder worth exploring in Romania. Escorted tours often incorporate a visit to this unique region, allowing travellers to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. A boat tour through the intricate network of channels and marshes reveals a diverse array of flora and fauna, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.
The expert guidance during these tours ensures a deeper understanding of the delicate ecosystem and its importance in the global context. It’s a chance to witness nature at its best, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Diving into Romanian Cuisine and Traditions
One of the most delightful aspects of escorted tours in Romania is the opportunity to savour the country’s culinary delights and experience its rich traditions. Traditional Romanian cuisine is a blend of flavours, influenced by various cultures and historical periods. Travelers can enjoy dishes like sarmale (cabbage rolls), mici (grilled sausages), and mici cu muștar (sausages with mustard) while exploring local markets and eateries.
In addition to the gastronomic delights, escorted tours often include visits to traditional villages, where travellers can engage with locals, learn about their customs, and witness traditional crafts. This cultural immersion offers a glimpse into the authentic way of life in rural Romania.
Romania, a land steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty, is a captivating destination for travellers seeking a unique and enriching experience. Exploring this remarkable country through escorted tours provides a structured and educational approach, ensuring travellers make the most of their journey.
From the bustling cities to the tranquil countryside, escorted tours offer a well-rounded experience, unveiling the hidden gems of Romania. The guidance of knowledgeable tour guides, the comfort of organized itineraries, and the camaraderie of fellow travellers make these tours a perfect choice for those yearning to uncover the beauty and mysteries of Romania. So, consider embarking on an escorted tour and let Romania enchant you with its wonders.
The Real Greece Travel Experience
At Our Local Tour, we know that wanderers and adventurers have always made their way to this land and that is why it is one of our favourites. Steeped in history, mythology, and unmatched beauty, we know and love The Real Greece. Far beyond the glossy postcards and bustling tourist spots, lies a Greece that captivates the soul with its authentic charm, ancient wonders, and warm-hearted people. So, come with us and put on your explorer’s hat, lace up those walking shoes, and get ready to uncover the hidden gems of this enchanting Mediterranean jewel.
A Journey Through Time
As you step onto the sun-kissed soil of the real Greece, prepare to be transported through time. This is a land where ancient ruins hold secrets of a bygone era, where stories of gods and heroes echo through every corner. Delve into the ruins of Delphi, where the Oracle once spoke, or stand in awe before the colossal columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Let history come alive as you wander through the Agora of Athens, where philosophers debated and citizens traded. Our local guides can take you on a tour that escorts you back to the times of the ancient Greeks.
Embracing the Azure Waters
But Greece isn’t just about ancient stones and historic tales. It’s a country blessed with a coastline that’s nothing short of breath-taking. From the pristine beaches of Crete to the turquoise waters of the Ionian Islands, the real Greece offers a haven for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts alike. Indulge in the art of island hopping, where each island boasts its own unique character and allure. Whether you’re basking on the sandy shores of Mykonos or exploring the volcanic landscapes of Santorini, the coastal charms of Greece are bound to leave an indelible mark on your heart.
Culinary Odyssey: A Feast for the Senses
No journey through the real Greece is complete without a culinary adventure. Prepare your taste buds for a symphony of flavours that reflect the country’s rich history and diverse landscapes. Indulge in fresh seafood by the harbour, savour the tang of olives and feta cheese, and relish the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of a perfectly cooked gyro. Join the locals in a kafeneio (coffee shop) for a taste of Greek coffee and engaging conversations that flow as freely as the wine.
Village Whispers: Embracing Traditional Life
Step away from the tourist hubs and dive into the heart of Greek life by exploring its charming villages. Here, time seems to stand still as you stroll through narrow cobblestone streets, past whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant flowers. Share a smile with the locals who greet you warmly and experience the joy of simple pleasures. In the village squares, you might witness traditional dances, music, and celebrations that have been passed down through generations.
A Playground for Outdoor Enthusiasts
The real Greece isn’t just an open-air museum; it’s also a playground for nature enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and traverse the rugged terrain of the Peloponnese or the towering peaks of the Pindus Mountains. Discover the wonders of the Vikos Gorge, one of the world’s deepest canyons, or embark on a journey to the mythical birthplace of Zeus atop Mount Olympus. Whether you’re a hiker, a cyclist, or a lover of all things wild and free, Greece offers boundless opportunities to connect with nature.
The Heart of Hospitality: The People of Greece
Beyond its physical beauty, what truly sets the real Greece apart is the warmth and hospitality of its people. Greeks are known for their zest for life, their passion for sharing stories, and their genuine welcome to visitors from around the world. Embrace the art of conversation with locals and fellow travellers alike; you might just find yourself making lifelong friends and memories.
Embrace The Real Greece
So, as you prepare to immerse yourself in the colours, flavours, and stories of the real Greece with Our Local Tour, remember that there’s so much more to this enchanting land than what meets the eye on glossy brochures. It’s a place where ancient history intertwines with modern life, where each moment feels like a step back in time and a leap into the future. Let the real Greece capture your heart and soul, as you embark on a journey of discovery that will stay with you long after the journey ends.
Exploring the Rich Tapestry of Côte d’Ivoire
Nestled on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea, the Côte d’Ivoire is a country where history, culture, and tribal traditions weave together into a mesmerizing tapestry. As a land that has witnessed the footsteps of empires, the rhythms of ancestral ceremonies, and the vibrant expressions of diverse tribes, Côte d’Ivoire offers intrepid travellers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a world unlike any other.
For many in English speaking countries, Côte d’Ivoire is better known as Ivory Coast. Côte d’Ivoire is the French name for the country and this which directly translates to “Ivory Coast” in English. The French name derives from the early colonial history of the region when European powers established a presence in Africa. This historical association is deeply embedded in the country’s identity and cultural heritage.
The name Côte d’Ivoire specifically refers to the stretch of coastline along the Gulf of Guinea, which was historically a significant trading region for ivory and other commodities. The name reflects the nation’s rich history of trade, as well as the interconnectedness of the region with the global economy during colonial times.
While “Ivory Coast” is widely recognized and used in English-speaking countries, there has been a growing effort to promote the use of the country’s official French name, Côte d’Ivoire, in international contexts. Many international organizations and media outlets have gradually adopted the official name to reflect the country’s self-designation and at Our Local Tour, we have chosen to use the official name.
Tracing the Footsteps of Empires
Stepping onto the sun-kissed soil of Côte d’Ivoire can feel like stepping back in time, with glimpses of the empires that once held sway over this land to be found all over. In Grand-Bassam, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was once the colonial capital of the country, you can stroll through its narrow streets, lined with colonial-era buildings that exude an air of faded grandeur, and you’ll find yourself transported back to an era when European powers vied for control over African territories.
Beyond Grand-Bassam lies the vibrant city of Abidjan, where modernity harmoniously now coexists with these echoes of the past. The Plateau district boasts a skyline that tells a story of economic growth and urban development. Yet, even in the heart of this bustling city, the towering St. Paul’s Cathedral stands as a poignant reminder of the enduring influence of Christianity on the nation’s history.
Dance, Music, and Festivals
Delve into the heart of Côte d’Ivoire culture, and you’ll be captivated by the rhythm of life that courses through its veins. Dance and music serve as integral parts of their identity, with each tribe contributing its unique style to the country’s variety of traditions. The vibrant colours, hypnotic beats, and graceful movements of traditional dances like the Zaouli, a mask dance of the Guro people, tell stories that have been passed down through many generations. Côte d’Ivoire is a mixing pot of cultures from all over West Africa and with so many different tribes, there is almost always a festival to visit.
The Yam Festival, celebrated by the Bete people, pays homage to the staple crop that sustains many communities. The Goli Festival of the Wan people brings together generations in a vibrant celebration of identity, unity, and heritage. Who knows what will be celebrated when you visit?
Venturing into the heartlands of Côte d’Ivoire unveils the legacies of its tribal diversity. Over 60 distinct ethnic groups call this land home, each with its own language, traditions, and ways of life. The Senufo people, with their intricate woodcarvings and rich mythology, offer a glimpse into a world where art and spirituality intertwine. Meanwhile, the Dan people, known for their exquisitely carved masks, open a portal into the realm of ancestral spirits and rites of passage.
To meet the people of Côte d’Ivoire is to witness the threads that bind the past with the present. In the remote villages, the Krou people embrace the art of scarification as a testament to their courage and fortitude. The Baule people, renowned for their craftsmanship, craft masks that are not mere ornaments, but embodiments of their beliefs and stories.
Preserving Côte d’Ivoire Heritage
While Côte d’Ivoire’s cultural landscape is undeniably rich, it is not without challenges. The modernising forces of globalisation and urbanisation can threaten to erode traditional ways of life. Yet, the resilience of the people shines through as they endeavour to safeguard their heritage for generations to come.
Initiatives such as the establishment of cultural centres and museums work to keep the flames of tradition burning bright. The National Museum in Abidjan showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, offering visitors a chance to embark on a visual journey through the country’s history and culture.
Côte d’Ivoire Awaits
In the heart of West Africa, the Côte d’Ivoire offers an authentic travel experience unlike any other. With a history marked by the footsteps of empires, a culture enriched by dance and music, and tribes that stand as guardians of identity, this is a land ready for exploration. Whether you’re exploring the colonial echoes of Grand-Bassam, immersing yourself in the rhythms of tribal festivals, or connecting with the people themselves, each step you take on this journey unveils a new layer of the country’s soul.
Pack your curiosity, bring an open heart, and set forth on an expedition of a lifetime – one that promises to leave an indelible mark on your soul.
Private Escorted Tours
As modern travellers, we find ourselves perpetually navigating a labyrinth of choices when it comes to exploring the world. We are often torn between embarking on solitary expeditions, joining a group tour, or opting for something in between. Among these possibilities, the allure of a private escorted tour stands out as an epitome of tailored luxury and exclusive experiences. While every travel style has its charm, there’s something distinctly enchanting about embarking on a private escorted tour that elevates the voyage to an unforgettable level. Let’s delve into the benefits of such an adventure.
The Personal Touch: Crafted for You
Imagine stepping foot in a foreign land where you have had a seasoned travel expert design every aspect of your journey, tailored to your preferences and desires. This is where the allure of a private escorted tour lies. With the guidance of a professional, the entire experience is meticulously curated, assuring you that every day, every moment, will be precisely what you had envisioned. From meticulously selected accommodations to personalised activities that align with your passions, every detail is accounted for, leaving you free to savour every second of your trip.
Insider Access: Beyond the Veil of Tourism
One of the most significant advantages of a private escorted tour is the rare privilege of gaining access to exclusive sites and hidden gems that most tourists might miss. The network of connections that these expert guides possess can whisk you away to places unknown to the casual traveller. You can immerse yourself in authentic local culture, meet intriguing personalities, and partake in unforgettable experiences. These encounters enrich your journey with genuine connections and a profound sense of immersion in the destination.
Learning Through Experts: A Journey of Discovery
Every destination has its stories, mysteries, and historical significance. With an experienced guide by your side, you have a living repository of knowledge, ready to share the fascinating tales and rich history of each place you visit. From the ancient ruins of Greece to the vibrant markets of Morocco, these experts are storytellers who can bring the past to life, unveiling the hidden layers and weaving the fabric of culture, tradition, and history into your experience. A private escorted tour transforms sightseeing into a journey of discovery.
Seamless Travel: Effortless and Stress-free
Traveling can be a demanding affair, and it’s no secret that the logistics can sometimes become overwhelming. A private escorted tour eliminates these worries, allowing you to relish the pleasures of exploration without the burden of planning and coordination. Your guide takes charge of transportation, accommodations, and any unexpected challenges that might arise along the way (they do and probably will!). With this attentive support, you can rest assured that your journey will be as smooth and stress-free as possible, and tailored to ensure maximum enjoyment.
Flexibility and Freedom: Your Journey, Your Pace
While group tours may have predefined itineraries, a private escorted tour offers much more flexibility. You have the freedom to decide the pace of your adventure and the destinations you wish to explore. Whether you seek to spend an extra day at a special site, wander off the beaten path, or embrace spontaneous detours, your guide is there to accommodate your wishes, transforming your vacation into an effortless yet profound exploration.
Cultural Immersion: A Deeper Connection
Traveling is about more than just admiring the beauty of a place; it’s about forging a connection with the culture and people that call it home. A private escorted tour allows you to engage with local communities, participate in traditional activities, and experience their way of life. This authentic cultural immersion broadens your perspective and leaves you with memories that transcend mere photographs.
A private escorted tour offers a travel experience unlike any other. With its personalised approach, insider access, and focus on authentic discovery, it caters to those seeking a deeply enriching journey. While other styles of travel have their merits, the benefits of a private escorted tour make it a truly exceptional and captivating way to explore the world. So, get in touch with Our Local Tour and embark on an unforgettable voyage as you let the world unfold before your eyes in ways you never thought possible.
Why visit Romania?
Forget any preconceptions about Eastern Europe and Romania in particular. Nestled in the heart of Eastern Europe, Romania is a country that offers a unique blend of ancient history, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. From the towering Carpathian Mountains to the shimmering Black Sea coast, Romania has something for every kind of traveller. Here are some reasons why we think that you should consider visiting this hidden gem of Europe.
Romania is full of natural beauty
Romania boasts some of the most breath-taking natural landscapes on the continent. The Carpathian Mountains run through the heart of the country, providing a stunning backdrop to the picturesque towns and villages that dot the countryside. The peaks of the Carpathians offer some of the best hiking and skiing in Europe, with trails that wind through dense forests, past tranquil lakes, and up to snow-capped summits. There is a sense of freedom and remoteness here that is difficult to find elsewhere in Europe.
Romania also contains the Danube Delta, one of the largest wetlands in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The delta is home to over 300 species of birds and numerous other wildlife, including otters, wild boars, and dolphins. The delta is also an important site for conservation, with efforts underway to protect the region’s unique flora and fauna.
The cultural heritage of Romania
Romania has a rich and fascinating history that is reflected in its architecture, museums and in its art. The country’s most famous landmark is the stunning Bran Castle, which is said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The castle is perched on a hilltop overlooking the rolling hills of Transylvania, and its imposing towers and battlements make it a must-see for history buffs and vampire enthusiasts alike. Be prepared for tourist stalls selling all types of tacky Halloween style masks and paraphernalia, but get past this and there is a fascinating history to the castle.
Another popular destination are the painted monasteries of Bucovina, which are decorated with vibrant frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible and Romanian folklore. The monasteries were built in the 15th and 16th centuries and are an important example of Byzantine art and architecture. Here it is important to visit with an expert guide, who can explain the stories behind many of the paintings and bring to life the beautiful artwork.
Romania is also home to a thriving folk art scene, with traditional crafts such as pottery, weaving, and wood carving still practiced in many rural communities. Visitors can experience the vibrant colours and intricate designs of these crafts at local markets and festivals. We try and visit a number of them on our Romania tours, depending on your time of travel.
Romanian food and wine
Romanian cuisine is a delightful fusion of influences from its neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey. The country’s diverse landscape and rich history have also played a significant role in shaping its culinary traditions.
One of the most popular dishes in Romania is sarmale, which is made by wrapping minced meat and rice in cabbage or grape leaves. It may not sound the most appetising but it really is a mouth-watering delicacy that leaves you wanting more. Another must-try dish is mici, a type of grilled minced meat that is often served with mustard and bread. You must also experience a traditional Romanian breakfast that consists of mămăligă (a type of polenta) served with cheese and sour cream. It is not that common in hotels now as the European style buffet is much more common.
When it comes to wine, Romania has a long and storied history dating back over 2000 years. The country is home to several wine-growing regions, including Transylvania and Muntenia. Some of the most famous Romanian wines include Fetească Neagră, a red wine with a deep, complex flavour, and Grasă de Cotnari, a sweet white wine that pairs well with desserts.
During your travels in Romania, be sure to try some of the local specialties and sample the delicious wines. Many restaurants and cafes offer traditional Romanian cuisine, and there are also several wine tours and tastings available throughout the country. Whether you’re a foodie or a wine enthusiast, Romania has plenty to offer.
Is a Uganda Safari and Gorilla Trek for you?
We have been asked numerous times, so thought we would write a blog post on whether a Uganda Safari and Gorilla Trek is for you?
Uganda is a country of stunning natural beauty, and its many national parks are some of the most spectacular in Africa. Among the most popular activities for visitors to Uganda is the gorilla trek, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
The trek is a challenging but rewarding experience, and it takes you through some of the most beautiful and remote areas of Uganda. You’ll need to be physically fit to take on the trek, but the effort is well worth it. You’ll have the chance to see gorillas in their natural habitat and to learn about the conservation efforts being made to protect these incredible animals.
One of the best places to go on a gorilla trek in Uganda is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This stunning park is home to over 400 mountain gorillas, which represent almost half of the world’s total population. The park is also home to a wide range of other wildlife, including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and many different species of birds.
To get to Bwindi, you’ll need to fly into Entebbe International Airport, which is located just outside the capital city of Kampala. From there, you can take a domestic flight to the town of Kisoro, which is the closest town to Bwindi. Once you arrive in Kisoro, you’ll need to hire a guide and a porter to help you on your trek.
The trek itself can take anywhere from three to eight hours, depending on where the gorillas are located and how difficult the terrain is. You’ll need to be prepared for a strenuous hike, with steep climbs and rough terrain. However, you’ll also be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including lush rainforests and dramatic mountain landscapes.
When you finally reach the gorillas, you’ll have a chance to spend up to an hour in their presence, observing them as they go about their daily lives. You’ll be able to see them playing, eating, and interacting with each other, and you’ll have a chance to take photographs and videos to document your experience.
It’s important to remember that gorillas are wild animals, and they can be unpredictable. However, your guide will be experienced in dealing with these animals, and will be able to keep you safe while you observe them.
In addition to the gorilla trek, there are many other activities to enjoy in Uganda. The country is known for its incredible wildlife, and there are many other national parks where you can see a wide range of animals. For example, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to elephants, lions, leopards, and many other species, and Murchison Falls National Park is home to hippos, crocodiles, and giraffes.
Uganda is also a great destination for birdwatching, with over 1,000 different species found in the country. Some of the most popular birdwatching spots include the Mabamba Wetlands, where you can see the rare shoebill stork, and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is home to a wide range of bird species, including many that are endemic to the area.
When it comes to accommodation, there are many different options to choose from in Uganda. From luxury lodges to basic campsites, there is something for every budget and preference. Some of the most popular lodges include the Buhoma Lodge and the Mahogany Springs Lodge, both of which are located near Bwindi National Park and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
If you’re interested in learning more about the local culture, there are many opportunities to do so in Uganda as the country is home to a wide range of ethnic groups, each with its own customs.
Get in touch with us at Our Local Tour to find out more about our range of safari holidays in Uganda and other great tour options including our Uganda Family Safari Holiday.
World Journeys Off the Beaten Path :Discovering Hidden Gems
Embarking on a world journey is often about immersing oneself in the unfamiliar, exploring the uncharted, and discovering hidden gems that lie beyond the usual tourist trails. In a world filled with renowned travel destinations, there exist lesser-known countries waiting to unveil their unique charm. Albania, Ghana, Senegal, Madagascar, Romania, and Ethiopia are just a few of these underrated treasures, each offering a distinct cultural, historical, and natural tapestry to the curious traveller.
Albania: The Land of Contrasts
Tucked away in the heart of the Balkans, Albania is a land of contrasts, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with a rapidly evolving modern society. Its rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and stunning mountain landscapes make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. For history buffs, ancient ruins like those in Butrint and Gjirokastër provide a glimpse into Albania’s rich past. The warmth of Albanian hospitality, delicious cuisine, and the vibrant capital city of Tirana add another layer to the Albanian experience.
Ghana: A Tapestry of Culture and History
On the West African coast, Ghana is a country steeped in history and culture. The remnants of the transatlantic slave trade are deeply ingrained in the coastal forts and castles, such as Elmina and Cape Coast, offering poignant insights into a sombre past. Vibrant markets, lively festivals, and welcoming locals define the cultural kaleidoscope of Ghana. From the bustling capital, Accra, to the serene beaches of Ada Foah, Ghana beckons the intrepid traveller to embrace its diverse tapestry.
Senegal: Where Tradition Meets Modernity
Senegal, perched on the westernmost tip of Africa, effortlessly merges tradition with a modern lifestyle. The bustling capital, Dakar, is a dynamic city that exudes a unique blend of African, European, and Islamic influences. The Pink Lake, known for its unusual hue caused by high salt content and microorganisms, is a natural wonder worth exploring. Beyond, the historic Gorée Island and the majestic Niokolo-Koba National Park offer a glimpse of Senegal’s diverse heritage and natural beauty.
Madagascar: Nature’s Playground
In the Indian Ocean lies the world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar, a true Eden for nature enthusiasts. This land of lemurs and baobabs is a biodiversity hotspot, boasting unique flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. National parks like Andasibe-Mantadia and Ranomafana are a haven for wildlife lovers, showcasing an array of lemurs, chameleons, and diverse bird species. Madagascar’s jagged coastlines, lush rainforests, and charming Malagasy villages create a magical backdrop for an unforgettable adventure.
Romania: A Blend of Myth and History
Romania, nestled in Eastern Europe, is a hidden gem brimming with folklore, medieval castles, and breath taking landscapes. The legendary region of Transylvania, with its mystical forests and Dracula’s Castle, captures the imagination. The charming town of Sibiu, with its well-preserved medieval architecture, takes you back in time. The Carpathian Mountains offer hiking and skiing opportunities, and the painted monasteries of Bucovina display stunning religious artistry. Romania is a journey through history and myth, wrapped in natural splendour.
Ethiopia: Cradle of Humanity
In the horn of Africa lies Ethiopia, a land revered for being the cradle of humanity and boasting a rich tapestry of history, culture, and spirituality. The ancient city of Aksum, with its towering obelisks and ruins, offers a glimpse into an ancient civilization. Lalibela, with its rock-hewn churches, showcases extraordinary architectural prowess. The diverse landscapes, from the Danakil Depression to the Simien Mountains, provide an adventure seeker’s paradise. Ethiopia’s traditional coffee ceremonies, spicy cuisine, and warm hospitality make the journey even more memorable.
Venture Beyond and Unveil the Unknown
World journeys are not only about visiting the usual tourist hotspots but also about exploring the lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path destinations that often hold the most authentic and enriching experiences. Countries like Albania, Ghana, Senegal, Madagascar, Romania, and Ethiopia beckon the curious traveller to venture beyond the familiar and discover the unique stories they have to tell.
Embrace the allure of the unknown, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and revel in the untouched beauty of these hidden gems. These lesser-explored countries offer a genuine glimpse into humanity’s diverse heritage and the wonders of our planet. So, pack your bags, leave the well-trodden path behind, and embark on a world journey that promises memories, lessons, and encounters of a lifetime.
10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Maldives for Your Next Holiday
Spend your holiday in the Maldives and experience a world-class destination for sun-soaked days, luxurious resorts, and breath-taking views. Ease into beautiful seascapes with swimming and snorkelling across vibrant coral reefs, or join excursions to discover hidden wonders. Explore stunning archipelagos of emerald islands surrounded by crystal-clear waters that embrace you with their dreams and mysteries.
Unique Cultural Experiences
The Maldives is home to some of the world’s oldest and most diverse cultures, spanning thousands of years. When you visit the Maldives, you’ll be able to experience some of these unique cultural customs up close. From traditional music and dancing to wonderful island ceremonies, watching an ancient way of life unfold before your eyes will be an unforgettable part of your journey! This is what we do at Our Local Tour, get you under the skin of the destination that you are visiting.
These are our 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Maldives for Your Next Holiday
1.Scenic beauty: The Maldives is renowned for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. The white sand as it crunches beneath your feet and the warm sea lapping at your ankles as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean really is a life affirming experience.
2.Relaxation: The Maldives is an ideal destination for those seeking peace and relaxation, away from the stresses of daily life. Whether staying at one resort or exploring the Maldives off the beaten track, then the laidback lifestyle is all around you. Yoga and meditation are popular and most resort will offer classes of beginners through to experienced yogis.
3.Water activities: With its turquoise waters, the Maldives offers a wealth of water activities, including snorkelling, diving, fishing, and more. The diving is some of the best in the world and even if you are not a qualified diver, what better place to learn! Snorkelling off a local reef is a magical experience and one that swimmers of any level should be able to enjoy. Taking a trip with a qualified guide is a great way to learn about the reefs and their importance to the area.
4.Luxury accommodations: The Maldives is home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, offering a comfortable and stylish holiday experience. There is something for everyone with options from over-water bungalows to beach front shacks. Each island will have its own resort and style so you need to speak to an expert when choosing the right place for you to stay in the Maldives.
5.Wildlife: It may not the first thing that you think of when considering a holiday to the Maldives, however, these Indian Ocean islands are home to a rich variety of marine life. You can expect a multitude of colorful fish, friendly and inquisitive dolphins, manta rays, and even whales and whale sharks. There is a good amount of bird life as well, so don’t be surprised to wake up and look out of your over-water bungalow to find a heron sitting and waiting patiently for its breakfast to swim past.
6.Culture: The culture of the Maldives is a unique blend of South Asian, African, and Arabian influences. It is known for its traditional dances, music, and festivals, which reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Maldives is an Islamic country, and religion plays an important role in daily life, with daily prayers and the observance of religious holidays. Family values are highly emphasized in Maldivian culture, and hospitality is a fundamental aspect of the country’s culture, something you will certainly experience if you visit the Maldives for a family holiday.
7.Climate: With its warm, sunny weather and low rainfall, the Maldives is the perfect destination for a tropical holiday. The Maldives are located in the equatorial region, so there is little seasonal variation in temperature. However, there are two main seasons: the dry season (December to April) and the monsoon season (May to November). During the dry season, the weather is sunny and dry, with low humidity and little rain, making it an ideal time to visit the country. During the monsoon season, there is more rainfall, but temperatures remain warm and the seas are still relatively calm. It really is the perfect all year round destination.
8.Convenience: The Maldives is easily accessible from major international airports and offers a range of transport options for getting around. There are regular international flights from many of the worlds top airlines including Emirates. The package holiday operators also have their own flights with companies such as TUI sometimes having multiple flights every day into the capital, Male. One aspect to consider is your arrival time in to Male. If you arrive to late, you may not be able to take the boat or seaplane transfer that you need to your resort.
9.Nightlife: It may not be what the Maldives are renowned for and don’t come expecting a version of Ibiza. Having said that, many of the resorts in the Maldives offer lively evening entertainment, including bars, restaurants, and live music. Local artists can be found playing at restaurants and creating a uniquely Maldivian You can expect the style of nightlife in the Maldives to be as laidback and relaxed as the rest of the day.
10.Unforgettable experiences: A holiday in the Maldives offers unforgettable experiences, from lounging on serene beaches to exploring the vibrant underwater world. It is not surprising that a honeymoon in the Maldives is the top wished for destination for newlyweds. There is a great range of choice for all though. Whether it is a family holiday to spend quality time together, a watersports and diving experience or just that holiday you have always promised yourself, then the Maldives always delivers.
Whenever you are thinking of booking your Maldives holiday, then make sure that you speak to an expert. Our travel experts can help you create a customised itinerary that meets your specific needs and preferences. They can help you select the best resorts, activities, and experiences for your trip. You want to be sure that you have a stress-free, memorable, and truly personalised Maldives holiday experience.
Adventurous Travel for the Over 50s
When it comes to travel, age is just a number. There’s no better time than now to become an adventurous traveller, even if you’re over 50. The world is filled with stunning destinations, exciting experiences, and new horizons all waiting to be explored.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of adventurous travel for the over 50s plus a few of our tips for this type of travel:
Rediscovering your adventurous spirit.
Age should never stifle your sense of adventure. In fact, your years of wisdom and experience can enhance your travels. Being an adventurous traveller means embracing new challenges, seeking out unique experiences, and stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s a journey of self-discovery and personal growth that can rejuvenate your spirit and reignite your passion for life. The only thing holding you back is you!
Professional guidance and expertise.
One of the greatest advantages of being an adventurous traveller over 50 is the support and guidance offered by professional travel agencies (by this we mean Our Local Tour!). Our travel experts will listen to and understand the specific needs and preferences of mature travellers and can tailor your trip accordingly. You will get help to choose destinations, accommodations, and activities that align with your interests and physical capabilities. Professional travel agencies also have connections and partnerships that can provide you with exclusive experiences you might not find on your own. Whether it’s a private wildlife safari, a helicopter tour of a stunning landscape, or access to remote cultural experiences, these local travel agencies can make your adventure truly unique and memorable.
Planning a daring adventure can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t travelled extensively in the past. Professional travel agencies take the stress out of the equation. They handle all the logistics, from flights and accommodations and can give advice on visas and insurance. This allows you to focus on the excitement of your upcoming adventure instead of worrying about the details.
Safety and security.
Adventure travel often involves activities that come with certain risks. Booking with a local travel expert, you know that your safety is their number one priority and they will ensure that all necessary precautions are taken. Reputable tour operators and guides are experienced in the adventure activities or destinations that you wish to explore. This gives you peace of mind, knowing that you’re in capable hands and if things out of your control do impact your trip, there is somebody available to help.
Group travel opportunities.
Traveling with like-minded individuals can add a social dimension to your adventures. There are many group travel options specifically designed for the over-50 travellers, with maybe a little less focus on the partying! These type of trips allow you to connect with fellow travellers who share your interests, creating lasting friendships and memories. You never know, you may end up finding a travel partner for future adventure travels.
Financial benefits and value for money.
Contrary to popular belief, adventurous travel doesn’t have to break the bank. Small group tours and private escorted tours arranged through Our Local Tour have access to discounts, special deals, and bundled packages that can make your adventures more affordable. This type of travelling can also help you budget effectively, ensuring you get the most value for your money. Finding suitable accommodations in remote or less-travelled destinations can be a financial challenge. As an over 50, either retired or looking forward to retirement, you do not want to be paying more than you need and you want to make sure you get value for money. Group travel or private tours make use of local expertise to secure comfortable and safe lodgings, even in the most off-the-beaten-path locations. This ensures you have a comfortable place to rest after your adventurous exploits.
Adventurous travel isn’t just about adrenaline-pumping activities; it’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in different cultures. As an adventurous traveller over 50, you’re not just collecting souvenirs; you’re creating a treasure trove of memories that will last a lifetime. If bungee jumping is not your things, then cultural experiences like cooking classes, guided tours of historical sites, and interactions with local communities, are just as adventurous and enriching travel experience. Each adventure leaves an indelible mark on your heart and soul, reminding you that age is no barrier to living life to the fullest.
If you’re looking for an exciting and rewarding way to travel, don’t let your age hold you back. Embracing adventurous travel in your 50s and beyond is a fantastic way to explore the beauty and excitement the world has to offer. Start planning your next adventurous journey today and let your inner explorer soar. Remember, the world is your oyster, and your golden years are the perfect time to savour its many pearls.