Aug 082017

South Africa’s oldest and most popular national park, Kruger National park, provides arguably the best African wildlife safari experience. As an attestation to this fact, about one million visitors tour this park every year. The national park started as Sabi Game Reserve way back in 1898, to check the destruction of wildlife due to over-hunting. The park was later named after Paul Kruger who was the president of the Transvaal Republic at that time.

Kruger stretches from the Crocodile River in the south, to the Limpopo River in the north and runs for 350 km along the Mozambique-South Africa border. The park is fed by six rivers and has a wide variety of ecosystems; it carries 16 vegetation zones. Kruger is generally flat with an average height of 269 metres above sea level.

Though Kruger occupies 20,000 sq. km, it is the wooded and more lush Mpulanga region in Kruger’s south that is most popular with visitors. You can get to this region using any of the five gates at Numbi, Phabeni, Malelane, Paul Kruger and Crocodile Bridge. The arid central and northern regions are shrouded in some mystery tales and appeal more to the adventurous travelers. With fewer visitors visiting this region, it can be accessed through the Phalaborwa and Orpen gates.

Kruger is the most celebrated national park in South Africa due to its wide variety of game and bird life. Hundreds of different species can be found here: 507 birds, 336 trees, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 49 fish and 34 amphibians. It offers an unforgettable wildlife experience that can rival the best in Africa. In South Africa, this is the best place to see the fabled big five- lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino.

Owing to its wildlife diversity and the presence of complete food chains in the ecosystem, Kruger attracts many scientists interested in researching animal behavior. Cheetahs, warthogs, zebras, impalas, giraffes, hippos, and baboons are some of the animal species found here alongside the big five.

You can access Kruger through nine gates, which are connected to the national road network by tarred roads. From Pafuri Gate in the north to Malelane Gate in the south is a 414 km drive. Once inside the park, it is obligatory to take a game drive. You may chose either a self-navigated game drive, or take a ranger guide as an escort. Kruger allows night game drives, when you can encounter nocturnal animals- bush babies, leopards, hyenas, owls and nightjars.

Many people touring Kruger prefer going for self-drive wildlife safaris on defined regular trails, but you may opt for ranger guided walking safaris if you are more adventurous. There are seven trails in the Kruger wilderness available for walking safaris, giving you the chance to watch wildlife up close as you also enjoy nature’s aroma. You can enjoy a three nights stay in a wilderness camp while on the walking expeditions, though, due to its popularity, early booking is advisable.

You can get to Kruger by the several daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban or Cape town. Phalaborwa Airport, Kruger/Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA), and Hoedspruit Airport are the main airports where scheduled flights to Kruger national park land. Another alternative would be to take a rental car or charter plane from Kruger Mpumalanga Airport, East Gate Airport, or Kruger park gateway airport. Within the national park, accommodation facilities range from luxury lodges to self catering and camping sites, meeting the needs of travelers’ different budgets and tastes.

The author works with Africapoint – Online travel agents for Africa. Visit the Africapoint website for South Africa flights reservations and South Africa lodges and hotels booking.

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Aug 122017

Central America is an area filled with natural beauty. Its people have been preserving their nature by creating protected areas and national parks. There are tons of great parks in each country so it can be hard to decide which ones to visit as you travel through this part of the world. To make it all easier here is a list with the ones you absolutely can’t miss:

1. Corcovado National Park – Costa Rica

This is the ‘most biologically intense place in the world’ and is home to 4% of the world’s total fauna species. Some common wildlife sightings are monkeys, exotic birds, iguanas and tapirs.

This national park is located in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. It consists of beautiful white sanded beaches and pristine rain forests.

The entrance fee is $ 10. The hours are from Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

2. Manuel Antonio National Park – Costa Rica

This Costa Rican national park is located on the Pacific coast and offers the perfect combination of rain forest, beaches and reefs. Here you get to see white faced monkeys, coatis, whales, bats and dolphins. This is one of the best places to enjoy all sorts of water sports and up close encounters with wildlife!

If you want to visit it make sure you get there between 7am and 4pm and always remember it is closed on Mondays. The entrance fee is $ 10 per person and children under 12 free.

3. Poas Volcano National Park – Costa Rica

This national park is home to an active volcano with a beautiful turquoise colored lagoon in its crater. It is located in the Central Valley region, just a short drive away from San Jose City. This is Costa Rica’s most visited park and one of the only places where you can walk up to the crater of an active volcano.

The entrance fee of this national park is $ 7 per person and it is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. if you are a student and have your ID you might get a small discount.

4. Tikal National Park – Guatemala

This national park is located in Guatemala’s Northern department. It was the country’s first national park and was created to protect the rain forest. It is also home to the most important Mayan Ceremonial site that has ever been found. Here you may find jaguars, crocodiles and tons of monkeys.

This park is open from 6am to 6pm every day of the year and the entrance fee is between $ 25 and it is valid only the day it is purchased.

5. Pacaya Volcano National Park – Guatemala

This national park is located on the southern department of Escuintla and hosts the active Pacaya Volcano. It is popular among travelers interested in seeing lava flows just one meter away from them. In this park you may find some bats, snakes, frogs and different kinds of birds.

I don’t recommend visiting this park without a guide because it can be dangerous if you don’t know the terrain. The entrance fee is of $ 5 and is open from 7am to 7pm. But the most popular tours start at 1 pm for night lava viewing.

6. Copan Ruins National Park – Honduras

This national park is located on the western region of Honduras, just a short drive away from Guatemala. It is home to the Copan Mayan ruins which are known for having some of the most beautiful and most elaborate Mayan stelae. It is also surrounded by really old towns with beautiful hotels and lots of history.

The park is open every day from 8:00am to 4:00pm and the entrance fee is $ 15 if you want to visit the museum you will have to pay an extra $ 7 and an extra $ 5 for the tunnels.

7. Masaya Volcano National Park – Nicaragua

This national park was created in 1979 as the country’s first national park. It is home to twin volcanoes -Masaya Volcano and Nindiri Volcano and a total of 5 craters. The Masaya Volcano is also known as Popogatepe meaning the “Mountain that burns” in the language of the indigenous Chorotega. In this park you will also find coyotes, raccoons, iguanas, deer and monkeys. If you want to see a crater expelling gas and hot lava inside of it visit the Santiago crater.

Marina K. Villatoro is an expat living with her family and traveling in Central America. Central America has some of the best national parks in the world.

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Aug 142017

by @ravi

The key to enjoying your safari excursion in South Africa is to choose a destination that will maximize your exposure to the natural wonders the country has to offer. At nearly 2 million hectares, and considered the bellwether of the South African wildlife parks, Kruger National Park offers visitors a lifetime of experiences, all of which are easily booked through Nyati Safari.

Kruger National Park was established in 1898 and is overseen by the South African National Parks (SANParks) organization. Throughout the park, SANSParks has established numerous environmental management initiatives that place the park as a world-renowned leader in conservation efforts. Throughout the park, more than 300 archaeological sites have been discovered, among them those at Masorini and Thulamela, which reveal to travelers the rich history of human interaction and expansion through the region.

Unsurpassed in biological diversity, Kruger National Park is also home to South Africa’s “Big Five” – animals that tourists and conservationists from around the world flock to South Africa to see. Visitation to the park, however, is highly regulated. Companies like Nyati Safari offer travelers the guarantee of being able to enter the park and their safari packages, in addition to bushwalks around the Nyati safari grounds, include an additional full day in Kruger National Park. During the “Big Five” game drive through the bushland in open-top Jeeps – a privilege only granted to a limited number of tourist agencies – passengers can enjoy breakfast as the sun rises over the bushland. What follows is as breathtaking an experience as can be imagined.

The open-top jeeps allow passengers the true safari experience as they are flooded with the sights, sounds, and smells of South Africa. Kruger National Park encourages visitors to not only seek out the “Big Five” – lions, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes, and elephants – but also the Little Five – the buffalo weaver bird, the elephant shrew, the leopard tortoise, the ant lion, and the rhino beetle. As travelers travel through Mopane Bush, they have the chance to see impalas, kudus, and antelopes. Traveling south through the central savannah, gnus, zebras, and cheetahs wander, and once travelers enter the Bush Willow in the south, they will be treated with sights of giraffes, hyenas, and rare white rhinos.

These are just some of the natural wonders you’ll experience during your trip through Kruger National Park as part of Nyati’s Safari experience packages. With a little pre-planning and plenty of openness to the experience, you could leave South Africa with a lifetime’s worth of memories. Let Nyati Safari’s travel advisor’s help you tailor your travel experience and guarantee you see everything South Africa’s crown jewel has to offer.

Nyati Safari would like to show you the best of the African countries. We have handpicked the most exciting destinations in Southern Africa, which can be combined with your safari adventure at Nyati Safari in Kruger National Park. We can always tailor your holiday according to your special wishes.

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