Travel: Benefits of Family Vacations

There are so many amazing benefits for taking a family vacation. Besides being incredibly fun and an escape from reality, vacations help families grow and learn in a variety of ways. Many families either don’t have the time or the money (or maybe both) to experience a vacation, but I am here to say that planning a family vacation should immediately go on your to-do list. Taking a vacation together as a family can be life changing.

Family Bonding

When on a trip, families fully dedicate all of their time to each other, creating a bonding experience like no other. Being away from the demands of fast-paced, modern-day life, offers an opportunity for the family to spend time doing nothing but relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

Any and every activity done together is the opportunity to make life-long memories both you, your kids and grand-kids will treasure. Even the simplest experiences, such as a sharing a meal together, can become cherished moments. Vacations are the time when parents can bond with their children and siblings can also spend quality together.

Global Education and Experiences

Traveling can give you a unique insight into what the rest of the world is all about. Children absorb knowledge more effectively through experiential learning, like embracing new cultures and customs first hand, tasting new cuisines and being exposed to new languages. By exposing young ones to different countries and brand new cultures, it will not only broaden their sense of reality but will set them up for different experiences in the future. Families traveling together have the opportunity to discuss their experiences through conversation, which reinforces a deeper learning.

World Appreciation

Traveling is not just about taking pictures of beautiful sunsets and seeing different landmarks, it also encompasses an understanding of humanity and the world in general. Seeing the world will make travelers of all ages explore a new environment or meet interesting people who can offer a fresh perspective to life. Children are naturally more inquisitive than adults, so having them around makes the family as a whole see what they otherwise might not have noticed. And seeing children’s reactions to the world’s most extraordinary sights and scenery can remind an adult to feel that appreciation, too. Children also have a tendency to ask more questions, so by trying to provide an answer, the whole family can learn something new.

Life Enriching

Perhaps the greatest benefit of travel is the way in which it enriches each person’s life. For a family, this can simply stem from having the time to spend with parents and grandparents and just talk and be in each other’s company. Even short trips can also encourage children to focus on accumulating memories and experiences, rather than possessions. Family adventures promote independence, self-confidence and interpersonal skills, and the more families travel together, the more their curiosity, sense of adventure, ideas grow.

Romantic Things To Do In London

Romantic Things To Do In London

Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year. So if you’ve got someone to impress or just fancy a love-in with your mates, you’ll be wanting some options on either the weekends either side, or on the day itself. Alternatively, you could just stay in and watch TV in your pyjamas, no judgement here. If you don’t want to do anything official, we’ve got a few suggestions for romantic things you can do in London, no bookings required. But for those of you who want to go the full hog, we’ve got some restaurant recommendations, spa days, afternoon tea, cosy cinema ideas and special love-themed events to see you through from morning til midnight. Here are our favourite romantic things to do in London.

London Theatre on Valentine’s Day

Watch a love story unfold before your eyes as you sit hand in hand in one of the West End’s magnificent theatres. Go on a spellbinding adventure to see Wicked, immerse yourself in the beautifully tragic Les Misérables, allow the Phantom of the Opera to take your breath away or sing along to joyous love songs in Mamma Mia. Alternatively, you could watch La Bohème, a tragic love story by the English National Opera, or the beautiful Don Quixote ballet about love and friendship at the Royal Opera House.

Valentine’s Day Spa London

Wind down and relax with your love in a tranquil spa in London. Indulge in dual treatments, massages, beauty therapies and enjoy full access to spa facilities. You may be able to upgrade your selection to include champagne, personalised treatments and finer packages. There are a great number of spas in London including the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre in Hotel Cafe Royal and House of Elemis in Soho. You are sure to find the perfect place to unwind and celebrate Valentine’s Day and you might even find a great offer.

London Eye

Become part of the London skyline as you step onboard the London Eye with your special someone. Choose from a champagne experience and enjoy a glass of bubbly whilst you rise above the Thames or book a private Cupid’s Capsule. The Cupid’s Capsule experience includes a bottle of champagne and a luxurious box of Hotel Chocolat Pink Champagne Truffles, as well as entry to the Eye Lounge and 4D cinema experience. For the ultimate romantic setting, leave the world behind and enjoy a private moment on the London Eye.

London Helicopter Tour

Soar high above some of the world’s greatest landmarks and see London like never before. The Heli Air base is located in High Wycombe with great transport links from the city centre and free parking on site. Flights last for 45 minutes and may be shared with other guests. For that extra special experience, you can book an exclusive private flight and share iconic views of London with your loved one.

Vintage Cinema Date

You can’t beat a trip to the cinema and the Rivoli Ballroom is a romantic cinema experience like no other. The 1950’s vintage ballroom is transformed into a secret cinema. Celebrate some good old fashioned love with Pretty Woman showing on the 13th of February and Romeo and Juliet showing on the 14th. Tickets are £10 each, doors open at 8pm and there are two bars as well as hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream available. Whether you are on a first date or celebrating many happy years together, the Rivoli Ballroom near Crofton Park tube station is sure to impress.

Walk Through the Park

Pack a picnic, a cuddly blanket and a flask of something warm and take a romantic walk through one of London’s beautiful parks. Enjoy a crisp winter stroll and snuggle up together as you watch the world go by. A walk through the park doesn’t cost a thing and can be immensely romantic when you are strolling along hand in hand. Discover cosy hidden gardens within large parks, watch the sunset over the city from Primrose Hill or feed the ducks in one of the best parks in London.

Valentine’s Day Singles Events in London

Just because you’re single, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Before the big day, try Valentine’s Day speed dating in London at All Bar One, Windsor, on Wednesday 13th of February. This is a great chance to try and grab a date for anyone aged 32-44 and tickets are just £20. Alternatively, head to London’s biggest Valentine’s party in The Gable, Moorgate, on Saturday the 16th. This event is for those aged 24-40 and tickets cost just £15. Speed dating on Valentine’s Day is also available during the party but you should arrive early to book your place and find a partner with the key to your heart.

Places To Visit On Valentine’s Day In India

Valentine’s Day In India

Valentine’s Day is that day in every couple’s life when they thrive to relive the unique bond they share, and when someone somewhere finally decides to tell that one special person how much they mean to them. Whatever be the case, this one day holds phenomenal importance in every lover’s life, which is why, it is of utmost importance to celebrate it in such a way, that it leaves an everlasting impact over your better half and moves their heart.

6 Places To Visit On Valentine’s Day In India

1. Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir:

What better a place for romance than the white, snowy landscapes of Srinagar in Kashmir. Have a passionate snowball fight or two and get entwined in each other’s charm at one of the sweetest places to go on Valentine’s Day. We strongly recommend staying aboard the houseboats on Dal Lake for an even more beautiful experience of your getaway.

2. Havelock, Andaman Islands:

The sun, the sea and the sand have a fascinating appeal about them that lures in lovebirds from anywhere in the world. Havelock Island in Andaman is one such paradise that was made for couples, and is thus among the most preferred Valentine holiday destinations in India. Walk hand in hand on the famous, golden sands of the beach with your beloved as you would walk with them forever through the ups and downs of life.

3. Munnar, Kerala:

The gorgeous rolling hills, stunning tea gardens, vast stretches of greens dotted with colour, & eye warming scenic beauty make up for the most romantic destinations to visit this Valentine’s Day. Munnar is known to cast a magic spell over lovers and make them lose themselves to its unending charm….and into each other.

4. Bali: The Island of Gods, and romance

One of the most romantic, indeed versatile, destinations in the world, Bali will bewitch you with its buzzing nightlife and hypnotic beaches. This island destination in Indonesia has it all, whether you’re looking for adventure sports or just spending leisure time in luxurious accommodation. Thanks for its year-long pleasant climate, you can visit Bali whenever you please, but of course, Valentine’s Day is big enough an excuse!

Also, to top it all, Indonesia offers free visa to Indians, and even the flight fare is not crazy high. So, if you are thinking of visiting an international hideout this Valentine’s, on a budget, then you’ve found your answer.

5. Masai Mara: The jungle of your dreams

A must-visit for all the wildlife-loving couples out there, Masai Mara is a haven for many wildlife creatures. This is where you can spot the Big Five – Lion, African elephant, leopard, black rhinoceros, and Cape Buffalo. In fact, there isn’t just game viewing that this place is all about, you get to enjoy some of the best glamping resorts in the world right here.

Hot air balloon safari is yet another charmer to look forward too, especially if you have something special to tell your significant other. Save the sunset for this, and experience a straight-out-of-fairytale moment.

6. Ananda Spa:

Looking for rather luxurious ways to pamper your better half? Take them to Ananda, a destination spa resort located in the foothills of Himalayas and one of the top places to go on Valentine’s Day. Indulge in their exclusive Couples Connect spa therapies, while marvelling in the royal ambience and provisions of the elite resort.

10 Must-Visit Attractions in Madrid

As Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid is steeped in cultural and artistic heritage, offering a vast array of things to do and sights to see. It can be difficult to know where to start in such a vibrant city, but here’s a list of the top 10 attractions you just can’t miss when paying a visit to the Spanish capital.

1. Museo Reina Sofia

Museo Reina Sofia

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía was designed as a modern complement to the historical Prado Museum. It was officially inaugurated by Queen Sofia in 1992. Originally built as a hospital, the museum was expanded in 2005 with a structure designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The Museo Reina Sofia is home to a broad array of works created by Spanish artists, including extensive collections of artwork by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Picasso’s masterpiece, El Guernica, which conveys the horrors of the Spanish civil war, is alone worth the price of admission.

2. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

The most famous of Madrid’s many stately plazas, the Plaza Mayor dates back to 1619, when it lay outside the city’s bounds and was used to host bullfights. During the Spanish Inquisition, many accused heretics met their death there. Three sides of the rectangular cobblestone plaza are bordered by block-long rows of three-story apartments completed in the late 18th century. The structures are decorated with frescoes, ornamented with balconies framed with wrought-iron railings and topped with elegant slate spires. A statue of Philip III on horseback stands in the middle of the plaza. Facing the plaza is the Casa de la Panadería, which houses a tourist information center.

3. Retiro Park

Retiro Park

Known as the Parque del Buen Retiro or El Retiro, the park is a 350-acre spread of gardens, fountains and buildings located at the edge of the city center. Retiro Park began as a monastery in the 1500s. It was expanded into a royal park when Phillip II moved his court to Madrid in 1561. It’s been part of the public domain since 1868. A favorite spot for tourists and locals alike, the park features a large artificial pond where people can rents kayaks and canoes. An arcing colonnade structure on the east shore is the Monument to Alfonso XII. The Paseo de la Argentina, known as the Statue Walk, is ornamented with statues from the Royal Palace depicting Spanish kings through the ages.

4. Prado Museum

Prado Museumflickr/losmininos

The Museo del Prado is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madrid. The 18th century structure designed by architect Juan de Villanueva houses one of the world’s finest art collections. A 2007 expansion has made the famed museum easier to navigate. With more than 7,000 works of art representing culture and history from the 12th century to the early 19th century, however, it’s impossible to see everything in a single visit. Visitors may wish to focus on the museum’s collection of Spanish artists, including Goya, El Greco, da Ribera and Velázquez, which is inarguably the best collection of Spanish paintings in the world.

5.Puerta del Sol: The Heart of the City

Puerta del Sol: The Heart of the City
Puerta del Sol: The Heart of the City

The Puerta del Sol was named after the sun emblem on the old city gate, which formerly stood here. This spacious town square aligns with the rising sun. Besides being a hub of public transportation (with several bus stops and Metro entrances), the Puerta del Sol is also the “Kilometer Zero”point from which all distances on the Spanish national road network are measured.

The Puerta del Sol has been the scene of many historic events, including the Spanish resistance to Napoleon on May 2nd 1808, and in 1931, the Second Republic was proclaimed here. Nowadays the square is a place to hang out and enjoy life. Lined with shops and cafés, the Puerta del Sol is still one of the liveliest squares in Madrid. Just off the Puerta del Sol is Madrid’s largest department store, El Corte Inglés, which sells everything from clothes, shoes, and swimsuits to traditional Spanish fans. Also nearby is La Violeta, an old-fashioned confection shop that offers the Madrid specialty of violet candies.

6. Palacio de Cristal

This 1880s glass and wrought-iron construction, which dates from 1887 and was constructed for the Philipine Islands Exhibition, is an outpost of the Reina Sofía museum and a lovely, luminous space for viewing art. It occupies a stunning setting in the middle of the Retiro park, next to a lake with ducks, surrounded by nature and people relaxing and having fun. Shows here often involve large-scale installations, sculpture or pieces conceived specifically for the space.

7. Zoo-Aquarium de la Casa de Campo

 

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This attractively landscaped zoo is located slap bang in the heart of the Casa de Campo. The animals look as happy as can be expected of beasts held in captivity, although the big cats could really do with a bit more leg-room, but it’s certainly a good option for a day out with the kids. Among the more than 6,000 animals of 500 different species, the most popular are the panda bear and the gorillas. At the Tierra de Gorilas (‘Land of Gorillas’) a sheet of reassuringly thick glass separates you from the massive, glowering silverbacks that prowl about. Children will enjoy walking through the shark tank and dolphinarium. There is also a petting zoo and a train ride.

8. Plaza de Cibeles

Plaza de Cibeles

One of the most beautiful plazas in Madrid the Plaza de Cibeles is surrounded by several buildings constructed in the Neo-Classical style, including the stunning Palacio de Cibeles, formerly known as the Palacio de Comunicaciones, which was designed by architect Antonio Palacios. At the center of the plaza is a statue that is also considered a symbol of the city: the Fuente de la Cibeles. The magnificent fountain depicts the Roman goddess Cybele on a chariot drawn by lions. Sculpted in purple-colored marble by Francisco Gutiérrez and Roberto Michel in 1780, the fountain once served as a source of domestic water for nearby houses.

9. Fuente de Cibeles and Gran Via

Image result for Fuente de Cibeles and Gran Via

The famous Cybele’s fountain (Fuente de Cibeles) stands in a major traffic intersection and is one of the most emblematic monuments in Madrid. Created in 1782 by Francisco Gutiérrez and Roberto Michel, the impressive traffic-stopping fountain depicts the Roman Goddess Cybele riding a lion-drawn chariot. Behind the fountain is the Palacio de Cibeles cultural center, which hosts art exhibitions and workshops, conferences and concerts. The Centro Palacio de Cibeles has two restaurants: the Colección Cibeles caféteria and the Cibeles Palace restaurant.

Nearby (via Calle de Alcala) is one of Madrid’s most popular shopping streets, the Gran Vía. Tourists will find many restaurants, hotels, and theaters on this bustling street. Just off the Gran Vía on Calle de Jovellanos, the famous Teatro de la Zarzuelaoffers renowned performances of zarzuela – a unique type of satirical opera with songs accompanied by classical Spanish guitar music.

Read Also: 10 Things to do and see in Bangkok

10. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: Fine Arts Museum

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: Fine Arts Museum
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: Fine Arts Museum Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / photo modified.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum presents an overview of European art from the 13th century to the late 20th century. With nearly 1,000 art works on display, the collection covers the Renaissance, the Baroque period, Rococo, Romanticism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, modern art and Pop Art. The museum also has an excellent collection of 19th-century American paintings. This high-caliber collection includes renowned masterpieces such as Christ and the Samaritan Womanby Duccio di Buoninsegna, Venus and Cupid by Rubens, The Annunciation by El Greco, Young Knight by Vittore Carpaccio, Jesus among the Doctors by Albrecht Durer, Charing Cross Bridge by Monet, Dancer in Green by Edward Degas, and Les Vessenots by Vincent van Gogh.

10 Things to do and see in Bangkok

Bangkok began as a small trading centre and port community on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River some 200 years ago. Today, while the city is up to speed with modern times, the grandeur and glory of its illustrious past still prevails. Be it dazzling temples, spectacular palaces, a world-famous floating market or colourful Chinatown, each of these famous places has an intriguing story to tell.

Let have a look at the top things to do and see in Bangkok:

1. Visit Wat Pho To See The Reclining Buddha

Reclining Budha, Wat Pho To

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Reclining Budha, Wat Pho To

A visit to Wat Pho is a must for any traveler to Bangkok, it is the home to the Reclining Buddha which stands at fifteen metres tall and forty six metres long, the feet alone are measured at over five meters. The whole statue is covered in gold leaf and looks incredible when you get up close. Inside the temple there are 108 bowls and on the way in to the temple you can buy coins for the bowls. The history behind this is that Buddha completed 108 positive actions on his way to becoming perfect. Whilst you are at the temple you can also stop for a while to receive a traditional Thai Massage.

2. Visit the Grand Palace

Grand Palace, Bangkok

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Grand Palace

Of all the places to visit in Bangkok the Grand Palace is the most famous attraction there is. You simply cannot move onto another city until you have taken the time to visit here. The palace at one time was the king’s home as well as the place where the government of Thailand carried out their work. A trip to the palace can take many hours as there are over 214,000 sq. meters to cover. Be aware of potential scams when outside the palace and only pay the entrance fee when you are actually going in.

3. Visit The Bangkok National Museum

Bangkok National Museum

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Bangkok National Museum

The Bangkok National Museum is home to the largest collection of artifacts and Thai art in all of Thailand. The museum was first opened by King Rama V to show off all the gifts that his father had given to him. There are many interesting things to see in the museum such as Chinese weapons, precious stones, puppets, clothing and textiles and Khon masks. If you go to the museum on a Thursday you can be given a tour in English to give you a greater understanding of everything in the museum.

4. Cli the Sathorn Unique Tower

Sathorn Unique Tower

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Sathorn Unique Tower

Before the financial crisis hit the world a few years ago a huge 49 story skyscraper was being built in the heart of Bangkok, but when the crisis hit the building work stopped and the tower was never completed. Now it sits there abandoned, far too big for anyone to do anything with, unless you fancy a climb? At the bottom of the tower are some security guards and you will need to pay them but once that is complete you are free to tackle the tower. The views from the top are breath taking and will make the long hard climb up the unfinished tower worth it.

5. Visit Dusit Zoo

 Dusit Zoo

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Dusit Zoo

Dusit Zoo is the oldest zoo in Thailand and has been open for over 60 years. There is a large range of animals inside the zoo (approximately 1600) including monkeys, alligators, lions, tigers, penguins and kangaroos. The zoo is very much a working zoo and has an animal hospital which looks after all of the inhabitants of the zoo as well as an education center, museum and train.

6. Take Part in a  Water Fight During Songkran

Songkran, Bangkok

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Songkran, Bangkok

Celebrated each year between the 13th and 15th of April Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year festival and nobody is safe from getting wet. In the Buddhist religion it is believed that by sprinkling water your sins and bad luck will be washed away. Today the sprinkling of water has turned into a full on water fight that the whole country gets involved in. with the huge crowds of Bangkok there is no better place to experience this festival as the city becomes one big party.

7. Explore the Bangkok Nightlife

Bangkok Nightlife

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Bangkok Nightlife

Bangkok is famous for it’s nightlife scene and grown pretty big over the years. There’s exciting nightclubs, amazing rooftop bars, hip cocktail bars and much more. There’s the adult themed Soi Cowboy and Patpong, the party scene at Khao San Road and lot’s of clubs to dance the night away.

8. Visit The Bangkok Puppet Show

Bangkok Puppet Show

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Bangkok Puppet Show

An absolute must for all tourists to Bangkok, in most puppet shows the puppeteers are hidden from view but not in this show. The puppeteers are part of the show and it takes three people to control each puppet. The puppets tell out a classic folk tale whilst a live orchestra plays music to add to the atmosphere. The set design and craftsmanship that goes into making the props is magnificent as is the technique of the artists as well.

9. Visit Wat Arun

Wat Arun, Thailand

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Wat Arun

There are more than 31,000 Buddhist temples spread out across Thailand and this one is one that you really want to see. The temple is named after Aruna, the God of Dawn. Situated on the bank of the Chao Phraya River is this beautiful temple that stands at 79 metres tall. The tower is covered in ceramic tiles and coloured porcelain making for an incredible sight when you catch it in the right light. The temple itself is guarded by a pair of mythical giants that keep watch over the temple grounds.

10. Feast Yourself On Durian

Durian

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Durian

You will probably smell it before you see it but Durian is known as the king of fruits. People either love it or hate it with some public areas going as far as putting up signs that completely ban it. A durian fruit is distinct for many reasons, firstly its look, it looks like some kind of medieval weapon with its thorny outer shell, and once the shell has been removed the insides are like this creamy buttery texture that some people say is the greatest fruit of all.

 

8 Popular Dishes To Know In African Cuisine

African Cuisine

The African continent is home to people form hundreds of different tribes, ethnic and social groups. No wonder all this variety shows in African cuisine all the way through the ingredient used to the preparation and cooking techniques .Besides the great-tasting stews, soups and snacks that are part of African cuisine, there are a number of interesting and easy to prepare staple starch dishes that accompany dishes.

Below is a list of popular dishes to know in African cuisine.

Couscous

Couscous

Couscous is a staple found mainly in North African cuisine. It is steamed semolina which is usually served with a stew or meat dish. It is a national dish in Algeria, and is a popular accompaniment in Berber traditional dishes. You can find ready-to-eat couscous in most Western supermarkets; however, authentic couscous, which is made with semolina, flour, boiling water and spices such as saffron and cinnamon, will always taste better.

Kisra

kisra

A popular staple in Sudanese cuisine is kisra, which is a special type of bread that is made from durra, sorghum or corn. It the main accompaniment of stews including waika, bussaara and sabaroag, which are mainly made from dried meat, dried onions, spices and peanut butter, with milk and yoghurt as additional options. Kisra is made by mixing sorghum with water and letting this sit overnight before adding in flour and more water to create a batter. It is then fried over a fire in a pan. Another popular staple made with sorghum is asseeda, which is also an accompaniment to stews.

Mkatra Foutra

Mkatra Foutra

Mkatra Foutra is a popular staple dish of the Comoros, which is often served with coconut-based curries. Mkatra Foutra is essentially yeasted-leavened bread made with flour, coconut milk, eggs, salt, butter, and sesame seeds. It can also accompany a popular East African island dish, rougaille, which is a tomato-based dish consisting of tomatoes, chili powder, and shallots.

 

Jollof rice and egusi soup

It’s not easy pinning down a national favorite dish for Nigeria, because this is a vast country with many distinct regional cuisines.

But one dish you shouldn’t leave Nigeria without eating is jollof rice, a great favorite all over West Africa, and one that is thought may be the origin of the Cajun dish jambalaya.
A simple, spicy one-pot dish comprising, at its most basic, rice, tomatoes, onions and pepper, it’s often served at parties and other festive gatherings, along with other Nigerian favorites such as egusi soup (made with ground melon seeds and bitter leaf), fried plantains and pounded yam (iyan or fufu).
Other dishes to try in Nigeria include thick, spicy broths made with okra and flavored with chicken or meat, and suya, which are spicy Nigerian shish kebabs (similar to Ghana’s chichinga) cooked over braziers by street vendors.

Injera

Injera

Injera is a widely-consumed flatbread found in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It is the main accompaniment to stews such as zigni and tsebhi stew. Injera is made with teff, which is a grain that is widely grown in East Africa and is the healthier substitute for rice, maize and corn. It’s made by mixing teff flour and water, and letting the mixture sit for up to 3 days to allow it to ferment. Sometimes yeast is added to assist in the fermentation process. The batter is then fried in a cast-iron skillet.

Ugali

Ugali

Ugali is a popular staple accompaniment that is eaten with dishes such as sukuma wiki, which consists of a leafy green vegetable such as kale, tomatoes, onion and a spice mix called mchuzi mix, and sukuma ya nyama, which is the meat version of sukuma wiki. Ugali is usually made from cornmeal and boiling water in a pot, and it is cooked until stiff. Ugali is also eaten in neighboring Tanzania, Rwanda, and is made with cornmeal, cassava flour, sorghum or millet. It is commonly paired with mchicha in Tanzania, which consists of beans and a leafy green vegetable such as spinach, garlic, onion and tomatoes. In Uganda, ugali is known as posho.

Bogobe, Pap and Nsima

Bogobe, Pap and Nsima

Bogobe, pap and nsima are popular staple accompaniments in the Southern African region. The three names describe a dish similar to ugali in East Africa, which is cornmeal, sorghum or maize that is cooked with boiling water in a pot until stiff. For breakfast, it is made into a porridge of a thinner consistency and served with milk and sometimes sugar. Bogobe, pap and nsima are usually paired with dishes such as mogodu or tripe, braai meat and ndiwo, which is a vegetable relish found in Malawi.

 

 Tô

Tô is a popular accompaniment that is the base food of any dish in the Sahel region of Africa, particularly in Mali and Burkina Faso. It is made from sorghum, millet or corn, which is then boiled in water in a pot for a few minutes before being set aside in a clean bowl. Once in a bowl, flour is added to make a thick, smooth paste similar to ugali. Tô is eaten with soup, a stew dish or a sauce.

12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Singapore

Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population.The city blends Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and English cultures and religions. Its unique ethnic tapestry affords visitors a wide array of sightseeing and culinary opportunities from which to choose. A full calendar of traditional festivals and holidays celebrated throughout the year adds to its cultural appeal.

In addition, Singapore offers luxury hotels, delectable cuisine and great shopping! The island nation of the Republic of Singapore lies one degree north of the Equator in Southern Asia. The country includes the island of Singapore and 58 or so smaller islands. Because of its efficient and determined government, Singapore has become a flourishing country that excels in trade and tourism and is a model to developing nations. The capital city, also called Singapore, covers about a third of the area of the main island.

Image result for singapore offers luxury hotels,

Planning a trip to Singapore? Check out our comprehensive list of the 12 tourist attractions you need to see while you’re in the Lion City. From the great outdoors to island life, there are so many things to see and do.

1. Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Unquestionably, this place receives a lot of admiration and a must see attraction on every travelers list. Gardens by the Bay will take you to an imaginative place and it is a tourist hot-spot for all the good reason. The Marina Bay holds amazing Super tree Grove and it is comeliest at night. It gives an impression of being in an imaginative place with all sorts of attractions to visit such as Flower Dome and Cloud Forest which gives an eye-popping sight to the spectators.The Gardens by the Bay complex is divided into three bays – central, east and south. Thankfully, it contains a promenade where you can stop for a coffee or dine when the tour gets tiresome.

2. Little India and Arab Street

Little India and Arab Street

The Arab Street and Little India are popular tourism places and they create a unique experience of its own. You will feel unlatched from the modern city to a paradise like place fitted with small shops, cosy cafes and historical Mosques. The Arab Street to be specific has age-old structures, shopping stalls, and authentic Arabian cuisine, the feel it offers is heavenly. The Little India, on the other hand, was actually an Indian community in Singapore during the colonial times. Just like the Arabian Streets that have many stalls and Mosques, Little India as well has a number of exquisite shopping options; eateries offering Indian cuisine; and temples like Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, which is the most famous Hindu temple to see here.

3. Singapore Flyer

Singapore Flyer

The best way to see Singapore is from above. Think about it, you get a birds-eye view of the entire city. Perhaps make plans on which place to stopover, even better, dwell in the moment and watch the sun slide down (If you happen to visit during sun downing). Singapore Flyer is basically an observation wheel which surges 165 meters and it is Asia’s largest giant wheels. At the flyer, you can get insight of the technology behind the wheel and also get a sneak peek into the history and evolution of Singapore. This ride can brush your knowledge and thus, it is the best attractions for kids. Make sure to visit this place during your city tour for a breathtaking view overlooking the F1 track, Gardens by the Bay, views of the skyline and parts of Malaysia as well as Indonesia.

4. Universal Studios

Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios is located in the ever thrilling destination in Singapore, Sentosa Island. This is undoubted, one of the best places to visit for family. Universal Studios is definitely the ‘it’ place to visit for a fun filled day out. Completely loaded with entertainment, excitement and enthusiasm, here you can find numerous restaurants, cafes and shopping areas to gallop the delicious food.You can also visit the ‘Walk of Fame’ and create a striking pose with Hollywood personalities. That’s not all, if thrill is what you are look for, thrill is what you will get in adrenaline-pumping roller coaster, Battlestar Galactica. Universal Studios have other many sights and things to do that will keep you charged all day such as Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt zone, Lost World of Dinosaurs and many more fun features.

5. Botanic Gardens

Botanic Garden Singapore

Botanic Gardens are worth a visit while in Singapore. The charm and luscious greens of this place will make you feel refreshed. Being Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, this garden treasures rare and endemic species of exotic flora. This famous tourist attraction receives many nature lovers and inside the park you can find the star attraction and Singapore’s national flower – Orchid. The Botanic Gardens also has a number of lakes packed with ducks and swans. It is a perfect place to soak in the beauty of Mother Nature and relax amidst the soothing ambience, listening to the music created by birds, wind, trees and swans. This Park certainly is a major crowd puller in Singapore to escape from the busting city.

6. Chinatown

Chinatown Singapore

The China Town is always filled with excitement amidst the hustle market. It is an incomplete tour if you are not visiting China Town during your holidays in Singapore. This busy destination is best known for its authentic Chinese food, bright red lanterns and vibrant shops around every corner selling souvenirs and traditional Chinese products. This place also has impressive Sri Mariamman Hindu temple and Buddha Tooth Relic temple. These two are the major attractions in China Market and to top this up, you cannot miss a visit to one of the most colourful Chinese temples, Thian Hock Keng. Built in 1820, this temple is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore.

7. Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo

A visit to Singapore Zoo will raise your eyebrows to see some beautiful and endangered animals dwelling inside the premises. A happy family venue to visit, Singapore Zoo is one of the best places to go as it houses more than 300 species that include Giraffes, Koalas, Zebras and White Tigers. The zoo has been divided in different zones depending on the animal’s habitat. In Frozen Tundra you can find species such as polar bears and racoon dogs, in Fragile Forest you will find a rich rainforest filled with insects and beetles as well as flying foxes to name a few. Over at Primate Kingdom, you can see Java Langurs, Lion-tailed Macaques etc. A great way to make a day as Singapore Zoo offers other attractive things to do and see as well like Splash Safari Show, Orangutan Exhibit and Jungle Breakfast.

Changi Museum Singapore

Changi Museum is one of the popular museums in Singapore, here you can learn about the story of those who suffered under Japanese occupation during the WWII. The museum narrates a story through its letters, photographs, and drawings display. Basically, the museum is separated into five zones including a gift shop and a chapel in the middle. And each zone has a series of murals painstakingly recreated from originals painted by Bombardier Stanley Warren. Travelers can also get an audio guided tour around the Changi Museum. Other must visit museums are Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and National Museum of Singapore.

9. S.E.A Aquarium

SEA Aquarium, Singapore

This impressive SEA Aquarium is located on Sentosa Island and it proves to be an interesting attraction for both adults and kids. Being one of the best family friendly places, this venue is home to more than 100,000 marine species. One can get an unmatched experience seeing the exotic marine life such as Sting Rays, Sharks, bottle-nose dolphins, Turtles and Coral Reefs. Besides, there are other attractions inside the complex apart from the magnificent marine life in the aquarium. You can have an interactive session with the dolphins at the Dolphin Island and also dive into the Shark Seas Habitat and swim with numerous species of sea predators like sting rays and manta rays. A visit to SEA Aquarium will give you an extraordinary experience during your tour in Singapore.

10. Changi Beach

Changi Beach Singapore

Among the must visit places in Singapore, a day trip to Changi Beach is a necessary. This place has a beach park which is one of the oldest coastal parks in Singapore. A calming ambient 28-hectare beach, Changi Beach has approximately 3.3 km Long Park that nestles between Changi Point and Changi Ferry Road. A trip here on a sunny day won’t let you down as this tourist attraction has leisure activities to partake like a stroll along the beach, that can never get old. There is also a place for family picnics and you can as well contemplate as the sun sets. Changi Beach also hosts a great place for barbecue parties and overnight camping. In addition, for food lovers, there is Bistro@Changi nearby to dig in some seafood, even better, visit Changi Village for different food options.

11. Sentosa Islanda

Sentosa Island, Singapore

When we think about what to see in Singapore, our minds always get puzzled as there are a lot of places to see. So where shall we go? One amazing destination where you get it all from fun, food to entertainment is Sentosa Island. Aforementioned are few attractions in Sentosa Island, the place itself is a major tourist attraction in Singapore. Amidst the towering structures, if a getaway is what you are looking for to rejuvenate in the beach then Siloso Beach is a good hotpot for getting some beach time. Sentosa Island by far is jam packed with various activities and several other beach attractions as well.

Some must do beach activities in Siloso are volleyball that can be played on free courts as well as kayaking and skim-boarding. Another note worthy experience this Island offers is Underwater World Aquarium where you can swim with dolphins. However, a must-see on Sentosa Island is Singapore’s famous statue, the Merlion. Fort Siloso is also a must visit attraction, it is the country’s only preserved fort located on Sentosa Island, which is one venue where travelling with kids won’t be back breaker as there are multiple activities for kids as well. Check out Trick Eye Museum, as fun it can be for kids, adults too enjoy this very place.

12. Punggol Waterway Park

Punggol Waterway Park

Punggol Waterway Park is kids friendly and family tourist destination in Singapore. This park consists of four themed areas allowing people to have a leisure time around the promenade. The themes that this park offers are Nature Cove, which allow the visitors to relax and sight see the scenic view of the Waterway. Green Gallery is filled with lush flora and fauna in the park. A stroll here will make you admire the beautiful mature trees. Recreation Zone is a great place to be with family with activities like sand and water play to make your day fun. There is also a fitness corner in this zone that suits everyone. Heritage Zone is yet another stop where you can walk along the old Punggol Kampong which is the last surviving village in Singapore.

Singapore is a place where one can find the best of both worlds, where the past one’s prime meets the state of the art. This destination is a must visit gem of South-East-Asia and it doesn’t matter whether you are on a budget trip, honeymooning or on a family holiday, Singapore is definitely your destination to visit in 2018. A trip to this ever exciting destination is always a yes.

You can plan your best holiday in Singapore with us as we offer a wide range of tour packages where you can experience the best of this amazing country.

Top 9 Amazing Tourist Destinations in Dubai

Dubai is the fourth most visited places in the world that is famous for the high-rising architectural wonders and excellent collection of resorts and spas. It is a place that was once the talk of the town for its stellar tower Burj Al Arab, only to be replaced by the Palm Jumeirah and today the staggering, Burj Khalifa. Lets just say, this city never stops growing and is on a rapid rise building futuristic towers as well as fascinating attractions.

If you continue reading this list of tourist sites that we have prepared, you will be taken on a guided tour to some of Dubai’s best places to visit where you can find tons of fun things to do. Certainly, it is a holiday experience taken to another level. So, start reading and bookmark the places you would like to visit during your tour in Dubai.

1. Burj Khalifa

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Burj Khalifa, the landmark building is on every traveller’s list of tourist places to visit in Dubai. The staggering bird eye views from the 124th floor are an experience of a lifetime, with the desert covering one side and the turquoise blue ocean on the other.

2. Burj Al Arab

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One of the most popular tourist attractions in Dubai is the Burj Al Arab. It is the fourth tallest hotel in the world and the most expensive ‘7-star hotel’ which holds many feats. Burj Al Arab is beautifully lit up in the evening by choreographed lighting and offers a myriad experience of exploring the Dubai attractions.

3. Jumeirah Beach

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Jumeirah beach is amongst the most popular places to visit in Dubai, ideal for all travelers. With a series of exotic hotels lined up throughout the road leading to the beach, world-class facilities and majestic sunset views at the beach make for a picture-perfect destination.

4.  Mall of the Emirates

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Number four on our list of the best places to visit in Dubai is Mall of the Emirates, equipped with almost everything under one roof. Be it the cuisine from every part of the world to the numerous brands to shop or the exclusive Dubai Ski, which consists of a fantastic ski set up and a penguin enclosure – all at a temperate of -4 degrees Celsius. Mall of Emirates has to be on your list of the top tourist attractions in Dubai.

5. Dubai Mall – Extravagant Shopping Arena

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Popularly known for its shopping extravaganza festivals– ‘Dubai shopping festival’ and ‘Dubai Summer Surprises’, this mall is for the shopaholics who are sure to be spoilt for choices. Dubai Mall provides entry to Burj Khalifa and also houses the famed Dubai Aquariumand is loaded with an array of entertainment options – gaming zone, ice skating rink and multiplex.

6. Wild Wadi – Fun And Frolic Waterpark

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Wild Wadi is a popular amusement park located in front of Burj Khalifa, which is packed with some fun-filled rides of more than 25 types. This is a perfect place to enjoy with your family while getting to know about the Arabian folklore, upon which Wild Wadi is based.

7. Dubai Creek

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The creek is natural seawater, which cuts through the center of the city. Tourists could take a boat or abra to view the port on the other side. The picturesque view of the town, enriched by the history of Dubai makes it one of the most romantic tourist places in Dubai.

Ideal for: Family, couples and friends.

8. Dubai Aquarium – The Underwater Zoo

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Have you been to an underwater zoo? Yes, one exists! Visit Dubai Aquarium, is one of the popular tourist attractions in Dubai which has varied activities, including an underwater zooglass bottom boat tourscage snorkeling and shark diving. It’s a unique mix of experience, so be sure to have some fun!

9. Global Village – Avenue To Eat, Shop And Entertain

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The global village is a destination which provides a wonderful international shopping experience as well as entertains you with some of the best performances from artists all over the world. The Global village also has food joints, serving delicious cuisine.

Top Tourist Attractions To Visit On A Family Vacation In Nigeria

“Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth, sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever,” Richelle Goodrich once said. Unfortunately, it won’t last forever. But you can make it worth remembering when you do things you never did before, or go places you’ve never been before this season. Some have even discovered their talent by chance while on vacation.

Many parents will love to embark on family adventure and spend quality time with their kids, beside the traditional travelling to the village with the whole family by the end of the year. However, they have little idea about amazing family vacation destinations in Nigeria.

Therefore, we present to you 12 great places to visit on a family vacation in Nigeria

1. Yankari Game Reserve

     Yankari Game Reserve

All roads lead to Yankari Game Reserve, in Bauchi State, North-Eastern Nigeria. Get ready to experience nature in the country’s biggest wildlife retreat. At the reserve, you will be captivated by the number of activities you can participate in.

Marvel at the largest herd of elephants in the country, embark on a guided safari tour and explore the tropical forests. At the Reserve,  you’ll find different varieties of animal species including the olive baboon, patas monkey, roan antelope, western hartebeest, living in their natural habitats.

After your day at the reserve, exploring the marvel of wildlife, head over to the Wikki Warm Spring.  Your visit to the Yankari Game Reserve is incomplete if you don’t experience the warmth of this spring.

2. Olumo Rock

 

Any visit to the city of Abeokuta would be incomplete without stopping by at the “fortress of Abeokuta”; Olumo Rock. No surprise that this rock is located in Abeokuta, as the name “Abeokuta” itself means “under the rock” as has been one of the choice tourist attractions in Nigeria. Olumo Rock has long served as a rock of offence and a fortress for the people of Egba Land, since the 19th century.

At Olumo Rock, you would be treated to attractions like natural tunnels, unusual trees, natural cantilevers, gardens on the rock, broken pathways, monuments of the belief system of the rock’s primeval settlers, e.t.

3. Lekki Conservation Centre

Dense vegetation and boardwalk at lekki conservation centre

The Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos is one of the best nature reserves in Nigeria. This conservation and relaxation centre offers a breath of fresh air and an escape from the forever buzzing city of Lagos.

The 21-year-old conservation centre cum nature hub, which covers an area of 78 hectares, is run and managed by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF).Generally regarded as an icon of nature conservation, Lekki Conservation Centre represents the flagship project of Nigeria Conservation Foundation for the preservation of unique biodiversity, scenic, natural, scientific recreational values of the coastal environs of western Nigeria. This is definitely one to make your tourism experience complete!

 

4. New Afrika Shrine

You can’t mention the names of tourist attractions in Nigeria without mentioning the New Afrika Shrine. Are you thinking of taking your nightlife escapades to the next level? Then think Fela Shrine a.k.a The New Afrika Shrine. From the genre of music to the inspirational story-telling lyrics. Not forgetting the sacrosanct palm-wine, get ready to get a political education, a lesson in ‘shakin-it’ and a contact high!

The New Afrika Shrine, an open-air entertainment center located in Ikeja, Lagos State. It serves as the host location of the annual Felabration music festival. Currently managed by Femi Kuti and Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti. Serves as a  replacement of the old Afrika Shrine created in 1970 by Fela Kuti until it was burnt down in 1977. The New Afrika Shrine showcases photo galleries of Fela and musical performances by Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti. For a wholesome tourism in Nigeria, visit the Fela Shrine.

5. Hi-Impact Planet

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Hi-Impact Planet offers world-class fun for the young and old, friends and families. There are games, rides and other entertaining attractions for the young and young at heart. You and your family will enjoy a good time and form magical memories. You can grab a snack or a pastry during your day of fun or enjoy full-blown intercontinental meals at the parks 3 food court.

6. Aso Rock

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Aso Rock is a 400-meter rock which stands out as the most noticeable feature in the capital city of Nigeria, Abuja. The location is reputed as one of the lush tourist attractions in Nigeria, as it is a location in the Country’s seat of power. Aso Rock houses the three major seats of power of the Nigerian Federal Government namely; Presidential Villa (Aso Rock Villa), National Assembly, and the Supreme Court, albeit the Aso Rock Villa building is the only structure built in the valley of the Rock. Although tourists are still allowed to visit this place, due to the rise in the menace of terrorist attacks by Boko Haram in recent times, this access has become limited.

7. Agodi Gardens

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Agodi Gardens is a beautiful park in the city of Ibadan which has risen to become one of the top tourist attractions in the country. Also called Agodi Botanical Gardens, Agodi Gardens, Ibadan, the site is a serene environment on 150 acres of land. It is usually patronised by families during festive periods and weekends. It’s peaceful and calm environment makes it a perfect destination for you to take a break from the hassle and reevaluate life values or hang out with friends and family. From the water parks to the animal enclosure or even just walking through the garden paths, Agodi Gardens is sure to make you forget about reality!

8. Kajuru Castle

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Kajuru Castle is a luxury Medieval-German style villa, built over 3 decades ago located in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

The villa is designed with bedrooms modelled after dungeons and several towers with crenellated walls. The medieval theme is seen throughout the castle, it even has a portcullis (the vertically closing gate) with a crocodile pit.

The castle includes a guest tower with  4 rooms and the main building with a knights’  hall and a master suite ( also known as the “landlord’s residence”). There’s an outdoor swimming pool for cooling off on hot days and a barbeque spot right by the pool.  From the pool area and most of the castle windows, you will enjoy a fascinating view of the surrounding mountains and inselbergs. The Castle also has its own Sauna!

9. Kano City Walls

kANO CITY WALL
kANO CITY WALL

 

The city itself exudes tourism! Although the city has long taken a modern cosmopolitan hue, relics of the city’s past as the hub for commercial activities during the trans-Saharan trade still remain. The real identity of Kano can best be felt in the old city area. The mud houses with distinct Hausa local architectural dexterity. The narrow roads meant for only men and their domestic animals are still there. However, gradually being lost as the ancient structures go modern, relics have gradually been wiped away by both man and nature. The walls also helped in monitoring the movement of people in and out of the city.

10. Obudu Cattle Ranch    Cross Rivers State

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Obudu Mountain Resort, formerly known as Obudu Cattle Ranch, is one of the most beautiful and pleasant tourist centre destinations in Nigeria. Located on the Obudu Plateau, close to the Cameroon border, in the Northeastern part of Cross Rivers State.

This resort centre has grown to become a major destination choice for tourists.

It has an attractive landscape a

nd calming ambience, with clouds smiling down on its peaks and valleys. It offers visitors a good blend of warm and cold temperature, as it has a very temperate weather.

The rooms in Obudu Mountain Resort are made up of chalets, standard room, executive room, huts to presidential suites. Although this resort is open to visitors throughout the year, the period between October and February is the best time to visit, as it is the time when the sky is very bright and the air is frosty.

11. Eleko Beach

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As you can expect, fun lovers enjoy a visit to the beach on the weekends. If you are looking for a quiet and reflective time at the beach, you should visit Eleko on a weekday.

Even though more people troupe into Eleko Beach on weekends, it generally doesn’t get as crowded as the other popular public beaches in Lagos like Elegushi Beach, Bar Beach and Alpha Beach.

Also, the huts at Eleko Beach make you people like you’re having your own private beach experience. Which means, in reality, any day of a week is a good day to visit this beach.

Eleko Beach offers a peaceful retreat for privacy seeker or couple’s looking to enjoy a good time away from the hustle of Lagos. This public beach,  located close to La Campagne Tropicana, offers private beach features bamboo huts. It is also less rowdy than other public beaches in Lagos and considered to be cleaner. It’s definitely one of the few tourist attractions to offer such services.

12. Osun Sacred Grove

Classified as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. This sacred forest attracts a large number of tourists as it is definitely worth visiting and is reputed to rank high in the list of tourist attractions in Nigeria. Situated on the outskirts of Oshogbo, the capital of Osun state along the banks of the Osun river.

Osun state is one of the states in the South-western part of Nigeria. Majorly populated by the Yorubas who are indigenes of the state. Yoruba people believe that Osun sacred grove, which spans about 75 hectares of land, is home to Osun– the goddess of fertility.

A festival that celebrates this fertility goddess takes place every year in Oshogbo. You will find scattered about the forest, shrines, and effigies of different deities. In addition to that, the forest contains about 400 different species of plants that are used for medicinal purposes.