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Nambia’s Epic Deserts and Dunes Offer Adventure and Wildlife

Everyone touts the Big Five in Africa –the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. They’re the photogenic celebrities of the savannah that travelers yearn to see on safari. And as each is sighted, you can almost hear the sound of a check mark being made on the proverbial bucket list. But, there’s another group of creatures who fly way below the radar, yet deserve attention for their own star-studded qualities. The Little Five of the Namib Desert consists of the lizard, snake, gecko, chameleon and spider. These creatures live in the world’s oldest desert, covering an area of around...

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Magical, Mystical Bagan is a Feast for the Senses

As the sun rises and paints the landscape fiery orange, I finally grasp the sheer magnitude of Bagan’s ancient monuments from my bird’s-eye perch in a hot air balloon. It’s an otherworldly skyline, dotted with pagodas, temples, shrines, stupas and monasteries as far as the eye can see. I marvel at the unrivaled perspective I have of this archaeological paradise and its unbeatable scenery. It’s one of the many memorable experiences embodied in a custom tour of Myanmar (formerly Burma) with top-rated Journeys Within, A Wild Frontiers Company. Bagan is the sacred mecca of Myanmar. In this “Golden Country,”...

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Soak Up the Ryokan Vibes at Ten Thousand Waves

It’s a bit embarrassing to wake up and find yourself drooling like a baby, especially when there’s someone else to witness this cringe-worthy moment. I laughed self-consciously, hoping to deflect the situation humorously. Thankfully, my massage therapist kindly helped me save face by explaining that this was a clear sign I had reached total relaxation during my deep stone treatment. I told her she was a wizard with hot rocks.   It was the prospect of a deep stone massage that drew me to Ten Thousand Waves. That and soaking in one of the tubs at this unique spa-centric...

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Nature Takes Center Stage at These Southern Africa Wonders

I am both repelled and fascinated by crocodiles. Their fearsome reputation precedes them and the fact that they outlived the dinosaurs has given their species legendary respect. No one wants to mess with a croc, but many people will seize the opportunity to view one up close, particularly within its natural habitat. Prior to my trip to Botswana, I had only seen these primordial creatures in enclosed nature centers, where I felt removed from them. So, when the boat I was riding in started inching closer to the banks of the Chobe River, where a croc was sun bathing,...

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Fall in love with Cape Town

There’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa. This fascinating city is a meld of cultures, history and landscape, crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain. Often regarded as synonymous with the “Mother City,” (Cape Town’s affectionate moniker), this landmark is the single most welcoming icon to its people, as well as to travelers from around the globe. Named a New Seven Wonders of Nature, the mountain is one of the oldest on earth, six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rockies. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, which...

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