Monday, September 15, 2008

Botswana's Thriving National Parks

By: Gary Terrazas

Visitors considering something a little different to the usual Okavango Delta safari circuit will be excited to learn about Leroo La Tau Lodge which has recently been completely renovated, and the totally new Nxai Pan Lodge. Both are located in the vicinity of the Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi National Parks in Botswana's interior.

Leroo La Tau accommodates 24 guests in luxurious en-suite chalets, each raised on an individual raised wooden platform. The main lounge and dining area with its inviting wooden and thatch finishes, offers guests the opportunity to sit back and relax at the bar while listening to the wide variety of night sounds so characteristic of the African bush. Alternatively you can lounge around the pool while appreciating the herds of zebra and wildebeest which are often seen around the lodge grounds and the waterhole. The lodge offers both day and night drives.

The Boteti River is the natural boundary for the Makgadikgadi National Park and it is on the banks of this dry river course that you will enjoy the comfort of Leroo La Tau. The Boteti River last flowed in 1993, climate change and erratic weather cycles have caused the once crystal clear waters to dry up. Leroo La Tau is built on cliffs over 15m high above this arid riverbed, and in the dry season wildlife concentrates around the waterhole in front of the lodge. The main reception and lounge area of Leroo La Tau is located on the top of these cliffs, so the raised vantage point ensures unsurpassed views of these desert inhabitants as they congregate below to quench their thirst.

However, Leroo La Tau is not only about lion, zebra and wildebeest. Leroo La Tau also boasts Chobe bushbuck, leopard, brown and spotted hyena, impala, kudu, jackal, porcupine, genet and caracal, to name but a few. In addition, there is also the possibility of seeing the rare white rhinoceros. Most unique however, are the crocodiles and an amazing pod of hippo which have survived in extremely adverse conditions for over 12 years. The hugely contrasting seasons and terrain make this area of the Makgadikgadi a unique haven for large herds and predators alike.

Nxai Pan Lodge boasts eight purpose built tents accommodating a maximum of 18 guests. The main area consists of a dining room, lounge area and viewing deck. The lodge also offers a swimming pool, library and curio shop. Game drives are offered in 4x4 vehicles, as well as walking trails and historical tours to Baines Baobabs and Pandamatenga Cattle Trail.

Nxai Pan National Park was declared a game reserve in 1970, and then a National park in 1992 when the boundaries were extended to include Baines Baobabs. The Pan was once part of the great super lake that covered central Botswana. In pre-historic times, this was the largest inland sea in Africa - 80,000 square kilometres in extent, and up to 30 metres deep. Now, in the wet season, this vast area of salt pans interspersed with low-lying grass islands is the destination of herds of migrating Zebra. It has an unspoilt beauty unlike that of any other part of Botswana.

Nxai Pan is well known for its huge springbok population and once the rains have started gemsbok, elephant and zebra migrate to the region in large numbers. At this time zebra come in their thousands to deliver their young at Nxai Pan, an amazing sight. Extraordinarily large herds of giraffe can also be seen with up to 30 in a group. These large herds of plains game inevitably attract many predators - lion, cheetah, jackal, spotted hyena and the elusive brown hyena, as well as the rare wild dog and the secretive leopard. There are large numbers of bat-eared fox and at times rhino have also been sighted. The area is also excellent for birding, especially following the rains, and many raptors circle over the plains preying on rodents and reptiles.

Both lodges are a short 25 minute flight from Maun, and can also be reached by 4x4 vehicle.

Author Resource: For Namibia self-drive tours and safaris go to or email Tel. ++264 61 228 717

Article From Mister Article

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bogota The Athens Of The Americas

By: Gaizka Pujana

For the most part, you will be lucky to find a place that offers everything that you wish for. Luckily for you there are places like Bogota that exist.

The city is also known as Santa Fe de Bogota and the Athens of the Americas. This is a city that is filled with intrigue and has many different layers that will take some time to uncover. The best part about Bogota is the vast array of accommodation options. When considering a place to venture away to, you need to know first and foremost where you plan on staying. It all depends on your personal choice and your current needs.

As a single, young person, staying in a backpacker's lodge would suit your budget and lifestyle quite nicely. This is a way that you can see the city of Bogota at your own pace and come and go as you please without having to worry about being anywhere at a certain time. Bogota has a lot to offer young travelers. The main reason for this success is the policy of People First as introduced by the mayor of the town in the 1990s. The city's aim was to create more walkways and lanes for pedestrians and bicycles in order to keep the city more people-centric. This has worked wonders for Bogota's image and has attracted millions of tourists for this reason.

If you hire a bicycle, it does not really matter where you stay in the city. There is a lot of easy budget accommodation scattered around the city of Bogota. You can use your bicycle by day to see the town and the surrounding areas and when it comes to the evening time you have the option of using the public transport or a private cab. This way, you will be able to experience the Bogota night life without having to worry about how you will get back top wherever you decide to stay.

You will find backpacker's lodges or self-catering holiday apartments or hotels within the city of Bogota that won't break your bank by any means. You need to use your accommodation in Bogota as a stepping-stone to explore the amazing city and to take in as much of the surroundings and culture as you possibly can.

If you have the luxury of time, it would be in your best interests to spend as much time in Bogota as possible. Although you will thoroughly enjoy a few days in the city, it is not enough to really see what the city is about. There are too many museums, too much scenery and too much activity both day and night to only spend a short period of time there. If you book your accommodation long enough in advance you may be able to get a good booking for a longer time period.

Author Resource: Gaizka Pujana Amaya. Bogota

Bogota apartments, Bogota rentals, Hotel Bogota

Article From High Profile Articles

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Dolomites: Italy's Ski Destination

By: Roger Munns

From every corner of the globe, skiers flock to Italy. Why Italy? What does this country, three-quarters surrounded by the ocean, have to offer skiers that other countries don't? The answer is simple. Italy has the Dolomites.

The Dolomites are a section of the Alps, located in northeastern Italy. While in the summer and autumn months, the Dolomites are primarily used for mountain climbing, hiking and base jumping, the situation changes in the winter. During the winter months, the Dolomites are a Mecca for international skiing, bringing hundreds of thousands of guests to the country. Year in and year out, this part of the Italian Alps serves as host to novices and experts alike.

The Dolomites get their name from the rock that causes their unique shape and colour. Named after French mineralogist Deodat Gratet de Dolomieu, dolomite is a sedimentary rock mainly formed from carbonate minerals. The molecular properties of the mineral give the mountains their rugged pinnacles and rosy color.

Several towns surrounding the Dolomites feature spectacular ski resorts. In particular, Cortina d'Ampezzo is a resort town with Mediterranean charm. Over fifty ski lifts dot the slopes, and one hundred and forty kilometers of well-groomed ski runs line the mountainside. There are five regions for skiers in Cortina d'Ampezzo, each connected by ski lifts or skibuses. If you're feeling adventurous, there is plenty of room for off piste daredevil skiing. To get to those hard to reach areas of the mountain, heliski services are provided. There is enough excitement for anyone looking to ski on the slopes of the Dolomites near Cortina d'Ampezzo. The town even features views of the Olympic ski area from some of the hotels.

Of course, if one ski area isn't enough, you can always purchase a Superski Dolomiti pass, which will grant you access to all 1220 kilometers of ski runs. This means that you can travel to any of the twelve resort areas and check out the slopes yourself. Check out the town of Ortisei, located within the valleys of the mountains. Ski in Alta Badia, where the Alpine Skiing World Cup often takes place. Wherever you chose to go, your access is granted with an all-inclusive pass. Adventure on the mountains until your heart is satisfied.

Towns near the mountains offer a combination of old-world charm and modern hospitality, with only the finest customer service. From the servers at the local restaurants to the greeter at the front of the hotel, the people of the Dolomite region are some of the friendliest you will ever encounter. They know that visitors don't come just for the great skiing. Visitors to the Dolomites are looking for fantastic dining and luxurious relaxation.

The resorts surrounding the mountains feature the finest accommodations, as well. Get a suite overlooking the valleys with a hot tub, then relax as you sip great Italian wine and enjoy the serenity of the natural landscape. When you wake up in the morning, get a massage to soothe your tired muscles and prepare for another day on the slopes of the Dolomites. Any way you see it, skiing in Italy is a winter vacationer's dream come true.

Author Resource: More information about skiing in Europe this winter are at and has for those who want snow an Andorra weather forecast which includes an Andorra snow report and three galleries of Andorra photographs

Article From High Profile Articles