5 Romantic African Getaway Ideas

Africa is an absolute haven for romantic getaways; you’re spoilt for choice. From luxury game lodges in South Africa to the island paradise, Quirimbas in Mozambique, romantic bliss is waiting for you.

Pondoro Game Lodge, Greater Kruger, South Africa

Pondoro Game Lodge has the distinction of ‘Most Romantic Hotel’ in the Africa category at the 2016 Haute Grandeur Awards in Abu Dhabi.

The lodge is situated in the Balule Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger. The unfenced concession allows the wildlife to roam free in their natural habitat, which exudes an inherent romanticism.

Exclusivity and authenticity are the ideals that define Pondoro. There are five suites and three chalets available. Each of them is delightfully decorated – keeping with the authentic wildlife aesthetic – and equipped with a private patio, lounge area; an outdoor shower and a Jacuzzi – complete privacy is guaranteed. The lodge also boasts an overnight treehouse hide overlooking a spot-lit waterhole.

Make sure that you enjoy a luxury game drive together. The expert guide will impart their extensive wildlife knowledge while providing both of you with exclusive game viewing.

Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia

The legendary Victoria Falls, also known as ‘the smoke that thunders’, is one of the most regal and romantic destinations on the planet. There are a plethora of luxury hotels from which to choose, but the Royal Livingstone Hotel is perfect. It’s located close to the falls and offers all the exclusivities you could imagine.

The hotel is approximately 10 minutes from Victoria Falls. For a one-of-a-kind experience, take a dip in Devils Pool, a natural pool right on the edge of the falls, offering sensational views.

Pemba Island, Zanzibar

Zanzibar is located in a region of Tanzania in East Africa. Technically, it’s an archipelago (a cluster of islands) in the Indian Ocean. It’s made up of a plethora of small islands and two large ones named Unguja and Pemba Island.

The underwater room is precisely as it sounds: a triple-level floating utopia located 250 metres off-shore of Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago. The bedroom is on the bottom level, which lies underwater; you’re literally immersed in an underwater world and have 360-degree views of shoals of fish. During the night, the room’s spotlights attract other marine life such as octopus. It’s an experience that needs to be cherished.

This is the epitome of privacy – it’s just you and the ocean. It’s a must-have experience for those who want to leave the fast-paced world behind and live in the moment.

Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, Cederberg, South Africa

Peace, tranquillity and spectacular scenery combined with bespoke, sensational accommodation create a romantic atmosphere that is unmatched.

Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is located in the Cederberg, an area in the Western Cape, South Africa. It’s an unscathed Karoo-like wilderness where beautiful wildflowers bloom and small animals roam.

Open air suites: Sleep under the stars, literally! The Sky and Star open-air suites are nestled in between incredible rock formations and outcrops. They are located a few kilometres away from the main lodge, so you and your partner have complete privacy to enjoy the magnificent surroundings.

Cave suites: Kagga Kamma is famous for it’s unique ‘Cave Suites’ which have been expertly constructed to blend in with the surrounding sandstone formations; the façade is man-made while the interior wall is natural sandstone. Each suite is furnished and equipped with all amenities to ensure you’re completely comfortable – and don’t forget about the timeless, picturesque views.

Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

The Quirimbas Archipelago consists of a string of 12 major islands and 20 smaller coralline outcrops. The remoteness, sensational sandbar beaches and crystal-clear water provide a romantic beach escape unlike any other.

The truth is that you’re spoilt for choice when deciding on accommodation – every resort has its own character. However, Azura on Quilalea Private Island is world renowned for its combination of privacy and luxury. There are only nine villas on the 86-acre island, which includes four beaches. It’s a real-life paradise.

HOW ENTHRALLING CAN MOROCCO BE AS A HOLIDAY TRIP DESTINATION FOR MUSLIMS

Everyone loves to go on trips and Morocco is the best destination for this purpose, especially for Muslims. The beauty of this place is unparallel. It is actually a Northern African Country with borders along the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern Atlantic Ocean. In fact, Morocco is one amongst the three nations who coastlines of both Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans.

For every tourist, Morocco is considered to be a beautiful country. Especially the cities, Marrakech, Tangiers, Fez, etc. are considered to be mesmerizing in their aesthetic senses. Other beautiful places in this country are, Asilah, Chefchaouen, Atlas Mountains, Koutoubia Mosque at Marrakech, Meknes, sand dunes near to Merzouga. In fact, if a tourist visits Morocco, he may want to stay back in this country as well. However, this is predominantly a Muslim country. Hence drinking publicly is prohibited here. Even driving after drinking alcohol is not allowed. Thus this place is safe for the tourists. Chefchaouen is a city in the northwest corner of Morocco whose streets are painted with blue paints and hence is also known as the blue city.

The best time to visit Morocco is during spring (middle of March to middle of May) as during this time the green landscapes appear more beautiful and make it easy for tourists to mountain hike.

However, the mosques in this country excel in beauty as well. Being an Islamic nation, Morocco no wonder has a large number of mosques. These are not only attractive but add to the beauty of the place as well. People come to these for prayer, spiritual learning etc.

Some of these mosques are mentioned below.

  • Hassan II –This mosque is located at Casablanca and with its magnificence, it is the city’s one of the most important sites for visitors. In fact, amongst many religious edifices, it is one which is open to the public and is also one of the largest and tallest ones. The architecture of this mosque is unique.
  • Koutoubia –It is located at Marrakech and was once bordered by booksellers and hence its name also means ‘the bookseller’s mosque.’ Since it was built during the Almohad period (between 12th and 13th centuries), the designs of this mosque resemble that era.
  • Tin Mal –This mosque is located at a small village in the mountainside named Tin Mal. It was founded in the 1100s and located at a high area of Atlas Mountains dramatically. However, even non-Muslim visitors are allowed to visit this mosque.
  • Great Mosque located at Taza –Like Koutoubia, this mosque was also built during the Almohad period (the 1100s) and is one of the oldest amongst those built during this era. The Taza city is located at the northern part of Morocco and this mosque is named after this city. There are fountains available in this mosque which adds to its beauty.
  • Syrian Mosque –The Syrian Mosque located in the city of Tangier (northern Morocco) is largely different from the other mosques located in Morocco. The mosques of Morocco have typical angular minarets and measure uniform in width all along their lengths. However, the Syrian mosque has a minaret which tapers towards the top. However, this mosque excels in aesthetic beauty as well.

Since Morocco is an Islamic nation, while visiting these mosques, the Muslim women may need a hijab, which is a kind of veil worn by these women to cover their head and chest. Wearing this veil brings respect to the women of this religion. According to the Islamic women who opt to wear the Hijab believe that it retains their moral, modesty and freedom to choose. They select to cover themselves because in this way they can avoid harassments. The most popular amongst these are the ones which cover the head of the women folk (Muslim). The website which provides these at a reasonable price is https://www.hidden-pearls.co.uk/product-category/hijabs/. Here Hijabs of a different style, fabric and colour are available. These veils are also available for different purpose like Eid hijabs, wedding, and party hijabs, winter hijabs, crimp hijabs, embroidered ones, lace hijabs, pearl hijabs, tassel hijabs, etc.

The hijabs made of chiffon can be found on the website https://www.hidden-pearls.co.uk/product-category/hijabs/chiffon-hijabs/ for online buying purpose. These hijabs are lightweight and are very useful during the summer season. These hijabs are found in different categories like chiffon black lace hijab, chiffon lace hijab, crinkle chiffon hijab, deluxe chiffon hijab, Dubai Shayla Black hijab, everyday chiffon hijab, etc.

Another lightweight product is Jersey Hijab that can be found on the website, https://www.hidden-pearls.co.uk/product-category/hijabs/jersey-hijabs-hijabs/. Types of this hijab are Deluxe Jersey Hijab, Chocolate Deluxe Jersey Hijab, Deep Blue Deluxe Jersey HIjab, etc.  These hijabs are not needed to be pinned and hence are easy to carry. Sometimes a girl’s shirt, being too low in front or back, may be revealing. These hijabs help in covering these thus maintaining the style.

Top Countries For Safaris In Africa

If you have been considering setting out sometime soon to the wilds of Africa and you aren’t sure which country (or countries) you should check out for the best options in safaris, look no further than this quick rundown of what we think are some of the top options on the continent. With so many options for safaris across the board it can be a daunting prospect to narrow it down to just one or two places to visit, but hopefully this short list will help you!

Uganda

Uganda is Africa’s tourist hot spot destination right now, and with a number of great Uganda safari options to choose from throughout the country, it’s easy to see why. From Kampala’s bustling streets and colourful neighbourhoods to the banks of the Nile River near Murchison Falls, there are a whole host of lush, thriving places in which you can enjoy safaris throughout the country. A safari in Uganda can include seeing a number of great types of wildlife from hippos to crocodiles, numerous birds, chimps, antelope, giraffes and more.

Tanzania

Tanzania is home to two major areas where safaris can take place – the Serengeti to the north and the Selous Game Reserve in the south. The Serengeti is more popular and therefore more crowded and touristic, so if you want to feel like you have all of Africa to yourself, the Selous is a great choice. You can see typically most of the same types of animals in both locations including lions, zebra, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, baboons and hyenas with cheetahs being more likely on the Serengeti. The Serengeti does have the added benefit of being close to other popular tourist destinations of the Ngorongoro Crater as well as Mount Kilimanjaro, so it can be a better place for safaris if you want to do both of those things as well.

Botswana

Botswana is one of the most popular destinations to date for safaris, being hugely popular with older people due to the high quality and luxury options for safari lodges that are dotted around the country. Generally speaking, Botswana has it all in terms of animals along with a whole array of different rated safari lodges to choose from. With close proximity to the likes of Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique, Botswana is a favourite for many who want to explore more than just one or two countries and their safari options.

Rwanda

While Rwanda is awash with mainly rainforests in terms of wildlife, the popular safari option here is to take off into the highlands to view mountain gorillas. Permits can fetch a pretty penny and sell out months in advance due to conservation efforts to minimise the effect of tourism on these mountain inhabitants. Check with the Rwandan Wildlife Authority for details on permits and how to go about booking a trek for your time in the country.

South Africa

South Africa is probably one of the most popular options for first timers to the safari game, mainly due to the more European feel of the country. While it’s not without its difficulties and dangers, South Africa is a great introduction to Africa for those who don’t want to plunge right into the likes of Kenya, Tanzania or Rwanda. The best spot for safaris here is in the north east corner, in Kruger National Park near the border with Mozambique. Here you will find almost every manner of wild life you want, with knowledgeable guides and comfortable lodges.

So if you’ve been looking at going on a safari for your next big getaway, consider one of the above locations. A safari can be a once in a lifetime experience often due to the cost for many, so choose wisely and make sure you create the most exhilarating experience for yourself. Most importantly, enjoy the trip! You won’t regret it.

Essential Info If You Want to Climb The Magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro

One of the most exciting experiences that you can have whilst traveling throughout Africa is to climb the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro. Referred to as the ‘Roof of Africa’ this 4,900 meter volcano is the continent’s highest, despite its height however, the slow incline and solid footing means that this mountain is, relatively speaking, one of the easiest to climb, in terms of the world’s big mountains.

The mountain is situated in the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania and before you decide whether or not to climb it, here is what you need to know.

Physical Condition

Kilimanjaro is a relatively easy mountain to scale, but that does not mean that it is easy, not by any stretch of the imagination. Conversely however, you don’t need to be super-fit in order to climb the mountain, but you must have good physical condition, no outstanding health issues, as well as being able to manage your exertion. During the trek you will be hiking for between 5-7 hours per day, and mores on the summit day, if you have poor condition you won’t last the distance so whilst you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete, you do need to be able to last the course.

Climbing Skills

What makes Kilimanjaro climbing easier when compared to its high altitude counterparts, is that you don’t need any claiming skills in order to reach the summit. There is one section on the climb called the Barranco Wall which requires basic bouldering skills, but you don’t need any preparation for this.

Carrying Your Kit

It is vitally important that you have the right kit with you on the hike, as the climb itself will pose many weather changes. You must ensure that you have clothes which you can layer, waterproof clothing, as well as a windbreaker jacket and thermal under-layers. Equally you must ensure that your boots are comfortable and durable, and that you have some warm gloves with you. In terms of specialist equipment, some opt to take trekking poles for balance, and to aid with the descent, but these aren’t mandatory.

Altitude

There will be some acclimatization to be done when scaling the mountain, given its vast height and high altitude. The pace of the climb will determine the risk factors, with a faster climb causing more problems. The key is to know what the signs of altitude sickness are, and acting if they befall you. As long as you climb slowly, drink lots of fluids and sleep at a lower altitude than you have climbed, you will be just fine.

Guides

There are a great many guides that will take you up the mountain, and these men and women are very experienced, and can help you pick the right route, as well as looking after you during the journey. You can find guides at the base of the mountain. With the guides you will also have two or three porters who will shuttle up and down the mountain to replace food and water stores.

This is a truly remarkable achievement and one which is well within your reach, just be sure that you have prepared in the right way.

Top 5 Romantic Getaways in Africa

Africa is home to some of the world’s most emotive and beautiful destinations. It’s lined with gorgeous islands including Zanzibar and Seychelles. If it’s island romance you’re looking for, a great option can be found here. If you’re more into experiencing adventures in the great safari wilderness reserves, then you can choose from various tented camps complete with gourmet dining and hot baths. With all that it has to offer, it’s no wonder that many couples looking for the perfect romantic getaway flock to the continent.

Here are the top 5 most romantic getaways in Africa:

Belo Sur Mer (Madagascar)

Belo Sur Mer removes you from the rest of the world, so you and your loved one can enjoy privacy to the fullest. The village sits on the edge of a small lagoon and is 90 kilometers from Morondava. It is also cut off from the mainland. It is a quiet fishing village but has a lot to offer. You can explore parks, take a stroll on the gorgeous beach, and snorkel in the translucent waters.

Masai Mara National Park (Kenya)

If you’re both looking for a more adventurous trip, then travel to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park. This safari park has vast plains and is home to a variety of wildlife including zebra, gazelles, and wildebeest. If you time your trip well, you might be able to witness the great migration, which is a sight to behold. While you’re here, you can also learn about the local culture. Other things you can enjoy include walking through the wilderness, staying at luxurious bush camps, and watching the sunset.

Island of Zanzibar (Tanzania)

Zanzibar is an island paradise with white beaches, soft sand, and azure waters. What more can you ask for in a romantic holiday?  A honeymoon on this island might just be the best idea. There’s a lot of things you can do here. You can visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Stone Town, stroll around the romantic coastlines, witness blissful sunsets, swim in its shimmering waters, and explore ghost islands at low tide.

Obudu Mountain Resort (Nigeria)

When you’re looking for a place to relax with your loved one, then go to the countryside. Obudu Mountain Resort can be found on the Obudu Plateau. It was developed in 1951 to provide a place where explorers can camp on one of the mountain ranges. The great view paired with awesome facilities make the resort perfect for leisure. You can ride the longest cable line in Africa to get to the top of the mountain, where you’ll stay. If you want, you can also choose to drive and trek.

Praslin Island (Seychelles)

Who has not heard about Praslin island? It’s home to the most intimate resorts and hotels and the most fantastic beaches. You can laze around the beach, hang out on hammocks, or lie on the sand. However, if you want to be more active, you can try snorkeling, exploring palm forest, and hiking.

Final Thoughts

Africa seems to have it all– epic landscapes, iconic wildlife, a variety of cultures, and ancient wonders. You can find a lot of places in it that can make your romantic getaway something you will never forget.

Master’s Degrees Available for Study in Morocco to Advance Your Career

The level of education continues to improve here in Morocco. The number of students taking advantage of bachelor of arts and master’s degree courses at local universities continues to climb. It’s clear that employers understand the benefits of an educated workforce. The best job opportunities are going to applicants who possess valuable degree qualifications, particularly at a master’s degree level.

Here are some of the master’s degree courses available to local students.

Exec. Masters in Project Management and Process Performance

There’s an opportunity for students who excel at staying organized to learn how to manage complex projects and track performance to meet targets and goals. The Université Internationale de Casablanca is offering an executive master’s degree course in project management and process performance for part-time study from August 2017.

Exec. Masters in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

The Université Internationale de Casablanca is also offering an executive master’s degree focused on sourcing goods globally to fill the supply chains of large organizations. The course also covers purchasing, contracts, negotiation and other aspects within this role. Any large regional player that’s expanding into Morocco will require this kind of expertise, which makes this degree highly relevant today. The degree is part-time and taken on campus from August 2017.

Master’s in Business Law and Taxation

A recent development at the Université Internationale de Casablanca is their establishment of a Business Law section. The intention is to provide an ongoing program that will support companies which require staff who are experts in local business law and business taxation. This advanced topic is not presently well supported within educational establishments in Morocco, so the initiation of this educational coverage is highly encouraging for the region. Given the depth that this course covers, this is a full-time only master’s degree course, run on campus, starting early August 2017.

Cycle Engineer in Electrical Engineering (Masters)

The need for qualified engineers of all disciplines is growing in Morocco. The Université Internationale de Casablanca teaches this master’s level qualification spread over six semesters. The first semester covers the core principals involved and then allows students to select their area of specialization. The master’s degree covers industrial instrument measuring equipment, electrical power systems, and automated and electronic systems, among other topics.

Executive MBA in Islamic Finance

The subject of Islamic Finance is one of growing interest with businesses operating in Casablanca and surrounding areas. The hope is that with more qualified staff working in financial institutions who are equipped to manage money in an appropriate manner in accordance with Islamic beliefs, Casablanca may establish itself as a regional center for Islamic finance and trade. The Université Internationale de Casablanca is offering this part-time course from their campus starting in August 2017.

Online Master of Music in Music Education Degree

An interesting alternative for Moroccan students who wish to study through a foreign university is to attend Rutgers Online through their online master of music in music education program. The online MMME degree helps students learn the best way to share their musical knowledge and passion with their future music students. After completion of the course, successful graduates will become K-12 qualified music teachers who are able to teach abroad.

The number of opportunities for students in Morocco is improving rapidly. Not only is the range of interesting degrees growing, but there is also the chance to study other Master’s degree courses online by applying to foreign universities too.

Cape Town To Cairo – Planning It

So you’ve travelled extensively and you’re looking for your next great adventure, but aren’t sure where or what to do. If Africa is calling, and surely it will at some point, you should consider maximising the opportunity and taking a road trip throughout the continent, perhaps from Cape Town to Cairo, which would be the most obvious choice. That being said, despite the fact that it’s been done before, it isn’t for the faint hearted. This route is around 12,000 kilometres long and includes driving on some rather… interesting roads. Depending on the route you take as well, it could take you through some very unusual and perhaps even not-so-safe countries, so it’s important to plan well in advance.

Which Route?

Depending on your adventurous nature, the route you take is up to you. There are three main possibilities, although one of these is not advisable in the present day due to serious security issues experienced in some of the countries. The routes are as follows:

Route One: Cape Town – Namibia – Angola – Republic of Congo – Gabon – Equatorial Guinea – Cameroon – Nigeria – Niger – Algeria – Libya – Egypt.

Route Two: Cape Town – Botswana – Zimbabwe – Zambia – Tanzania – Uganda – South Sudan – Sudan – Egypt.

Route Three: Same as Route Two, but substitute South Sudan for Kenya and Ethiopia.

Some of the countries mentioned above have issues these days – Libya, South Sudan and to an extent Nigeria all suffer from issues surrounding terrorism and general aggression towards westerners, so it could be advisable to swap these for other countries that are more friendly.

How To Pull This Off

Firstly you’re going to need a really reliable vehicle, preferably a four wheel drive that is good for off-roading as well as in possession of four good tires. It’s advisable to also have some basic car repair skills under your belt too as well as an extra tire to change in case you get a flat (and that’s a very real possibility on some of the roads you could encounter). The second thing to think of is whether you will camp on the roadsides or if you will stay in hotels/hostels along the way. In some places it’s possible to camp, but it can be dangerous so be prepared to drive off-road a length to find a spot that will be unlikely to be seen from the road.

Also make sure that you stock food and water as well as extra blankets, clothes and the like in your car or van in case you get stuck roadside with more than one flat. It could be awhile waiting for someone to come by that can help out – even if you phone roadside assistance!

How Long Does This Take?

It depends entirely on how long you want it to take. Driving straight through it can take between a week and ten days, which allows for quick restful naps, but if you want to stop off wherever and whenever you want with time allowed to explore and just sit and appreciate where you are, a more reasonable kind of time frame would be 2.5-3 weeks, if not longer.

What Is There To See And Do On The Way?

In a word, tons. Between stopping off at beautiful, picturesque points such as along the Nile in Uganda to see some stunning waterfalls and rapids as well as stopping off at view points, museums, small dusty roadside villages where people are welcoming and life seems to go by at a snails pace, you won’t be disappointed. You can even stop off to go on a professionally led game drive safari, so as you can see, there is almost an endless number of things to see and do, it just depends what your interests are and what you’re looking to experience.

So there you have a couple of great ways, including routes to use to plan your trip from the very southern tip of Africa all the way up to the north. With such a diverse and beautiful continent it will be easy to find things to see and do along the way for both you and anyone you’re travelling with. Stay safe and have fun on this almost once in a lifetime trip!