Cities of Mongolia

June 3, 2012

The capital of Mongolia is Ulaanbaator and is located in the Northern part of the country.  There are over 1,000,000 people who live in the city which makes it by far the largest city in Mongolia.

Located in north central Mongolia, the city lies at an elevation of about 1,310 metres (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River. It is the cultural, industrial, and financial heart of the country. It is the center of Mongolia’s road network, and is connected by rail to both the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia and the Chinese railway system.[2]

The city was founded in 1639 as a movable (nomadic) Buddhist monastic centre. In 1778 it settled permanently at its present location, the junction of the Tuul and Selbe rivers. Before that it changed location twenty-eight times, with each location being chosen ceremonially. In the twentieth century, Ulan Bator grew into a major manufacturing centre.[2]

Source: Wiki

Wikipedia has two panoramic shots of Ulaanbaator.  To view the photos in high resolution on the Wiki site, click on the photos below.  At the site you can zoom in really well and see good details of the photos:


Wikipedia page on Ulaanbaator


Great Travel Deal to Dubai, Kenya & India

June 1, 2012

Friendly Planet Dubai trip with optional extensions to Kenya and India

For this trip to Dubai, the original deal is 6 days from $2,169.

  • For $799 more, one can add a 4-day side trip to Kenya including flights, hotel, food, transportation, and tours.
  • Also, another side trip is available to India for 5 days including all of the above for an additional $999.

In total, to do the whole Dubai, Kenya, and India trip it would cost about $4, 200 which makes this an amazing deal considering that it includes all flights to/from New York City, all int’l flights between each city, local transportation, hotels, more than half of the meals, and tours.

Some content on this page was disabled on February 28, 2016 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Charles Adam Jones. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

Travel Deals to Kenya

May 31, 2012

I’ve been keeping my eye out for deals to Africa recently because I have the opportunity to travel to Kenya and Tanzania over Thanksgiving break so I’m trying to get a feel for what deals are available.  I don’t think I’m going to do the trip that I’m considering over Thanksgiving but I would like to visit Eastern Africa soon so I’m keeping these deals on my radar…

1.  BudgetTravel dea:l  6 days from $2,149

2.  Friendly Planet Kenya Safari Express: 8 days from 2,199

I like this deal from Friendly Planet a lot because there are a few different variations that one can choose.  All the trips include roundtrip airfare from New York City, with a layover in Istanbul.  For $599 more you can add a 3 day extension in Istanbul including food and tours.  Because the flight already includes a layover there, it doesn’t cost too much to add the extension so it’s a great opportunity to see two totally different parts of the world all in one trip.

Upper class hotel in Nairobi

May 29, 2012

I originally read an article on TravelWeekly about Tribe, an upscale hotel in Nairobi that is part of a growing trend of boutique hotels opening in the city.  The hotel caters mostly to corporate and government employees doing business, with only about 20% of their business coming from tourist travelers:

According to General Manager Mark Somen, leisure visitors comprise only about 20% of guests, with government, corporate and aid organization business accounting for the rest. The U.S. is the No. 1 source market for Tribe, which currently enjoys an 87% occupancy rate.

Tribe is a very upscale hotel with rooms in the range of $280 to $320USD per night.

Accommodations include 320-square-foot deluxe rooms; 420-square-foot superiors; 500-square-foot junior suites; 550-square-foot, split-level “Loft” business suites; 700-square-foot Ambassadorial suites; and a 1,000-square-foot Presidential suite.


TravelWeekly article link: “A truly boutique experience at Nairobi’s uber-chic Tribe hotel”

Hotel Link:

TravelAdvisor ranks Tribe Hotel #3 out of 69 hotels in Nairobi.

Photos from Tribe Hotel gallery on their website

Kenya on the map

May 28, 2012

Kenya is located close to the center of the map below.  The equator runs through the middle of the country so it has a subtropical climate very similar to Florida with the dry and humid weather.

Kenya has a warm and humid climate along its coastline on the Indian Ocean which changes to wildlife-rich savannah grasslands moving inland towards the capital Nairobi. Nairobi has a cool climate that gets colder approaching Mount Kenya, which has three permanently snow-capped peaks. The warm and humid tropical climate reappears further inland towards lake Victoria, before giving way to temperate forested and hilly areas in the western region. The North Eastern regions along the border with Somalia and Ethiopia are arid and semi-arid areas with near-desert landscapes. Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh-water lake (after Lake Superior in the US and Canada) and the world’s largest tropical lake, is situated to the southwest and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya is famous for its safaris and diverse world-famous wildlife reserves such as Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara, Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park.

The capital of city of Nairobi is located in the south of the country directly East of Lake Victoria.  I found a really nice panaromic view of downtown Nairobi through Wikipedia that is worth checking out.

(click the image below to see the picture in high resolution that you can zoom in on)

Kilmanjaro Adventure Travel: Kenya National Parks and Reserve

I found a company called Kilmanjaro Adventure Travel which has some good information on the national parks in Kenya.  According to them, there are 55 national parks and reserves in Kenya and it has information to over 30.

  1. Central Kenya Highlands & Great Rift Valley
  2. Nairobi National Park
  3. Hell’s Gate National Park
  4. Mt Longonot National Park
  5. Lake Nakuru National Park
  6. Lake Bogaria National Reserve
  7. Lake Kamnarok National Reserve
  8. Masai Mara National Reserve
  9. Aberdare National Park
  10. Mt Kenya National Park
  11. Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
  12. Mwea National Reserve
  13. Mt Elgon National Park
  14. Kerio Valley National Reserve
  15. Saiwa Swamp National Park
  16. Kakamega Forest National Reserve
  17. Ruma National Park
  18. Ndere Island National Park
  19. Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
  20. Meru National Park
  21. Bisanadi National Reserve
  22. Kora National Reserve
  23. Rahole National Reserve
  24. Mwingi National Reserve
  25. Samburu National Reserve
  26. Buffalo Springs National Reserve
  27. Shaba National Reserve
  28. Maralal Game Sanctuary
  29. Laikipia Game Sanctuary
  30. Marsabit National Reserve
  31. Losai National Reserve
  32. South Turkana National Reserve
  33. Nasalot National Reserve
  34. Sibiloi National Park
  35. Central Island National Park
  36. South Island National Park
  37. Malkamari National Park
  38. Tsavo East National Park
  39. South Kitui National Reserve
  40. Tsavo West National Park
  41. Chyulu Hills National Park
  42. Amboseli National Park
  43. Mombasa National Park and Reserve
  44. Shimba Hills National Reserve
  45. Kisite Marine National Park
  46. Mpunguti Marine National Park and Reserve
  47. Diani/Chale Marine National Park and Reserve
  48. Malindi Marine Park and Reserve
  49. Watamu Marine Park and Reserve
  50. Kiunga Marine National Reserve
  51. Dodori National Reserve
  52. Boni National Reserve
  53. Tana River Primate Reserve
  54. Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve
  55. Arewale National Reserve


Volunteering trip to Botswana and Zambia

April 19, 2012

Today I came across an interesting trip being offered by Groupon.  They recently created a new venture called Groupon Grassroots in which people can “discover local causes, rally together, and lend a helping hand.”  This unique travel opportunity offers the chance to get an amazing travel experience while also contributing to a worthy cause.  The trip is $2,000 and does not include the international airfare.  Figure another $1,500 for roundtrip int’l airfare and it brings the total to about $3,500 which is a pretty solid deal considering it includes all accommodations, travel within cities/countries, an excursion to Victoria Falls, and all meals.

Grassroots Zambian Volunteering with Cultural and Nature Excursions

In 2003, Charles and Margaret Mumba opened the doors of their Zambian home to a few orphans and today they serve more than 250 orphans through Hope Ministries. When Chicago natives Rich Johnson, Dan Marcus, and Scott Barbeau flew to Zambia for a volunteer trip of their own in 2006, the three friends were set on helping out the Mumbas at the orphanage. Johnson, Marcus, and Barbeau formed such a strong bond with the kids that they wound up dedicating years to helping them. Soon, the friends founded Spark Ventures, which partnered with the Mumbas’ Christian nonprofit to provide sustainable support for grassroots education programs in Zambia.

On a nine-day volunteering trip, Spark sets the stage for a transformative experience similar to the one the three friends once had. You’ll read with students in a schoolhouse, dine with Zambian families, and visit historical sites for an immersive cultural experience. Meals are included in the package, and they are a combination of common American meals as well as traditional local fare such as chicken, fish and the maize-based porridge known as nshima. You’ll round off the trip with excursions to the gorgeous Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park.

To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon will provide a $1,000 kickoff grant to Spark Ventures’ programs in Zambia. If you want to get involved too but can’t make the trip, donate to Spark Ventures directly.

Days 1–3: From Ndola Airport (NLA), guides lead the way to Twapia township, located about five kilometers outside Ndola in the Copperbelt, a region known for its copper mines. Here, Hope Ministries oversees Hope Village, a cluster of stucco and brick buildings. Hope Community School teaches more than 250 locals, and Hope House Orphanage is home to about 15 children, many of whom lost parents to HIV/AIDS. After taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities and having conversations with development workers, you’ll help serve a meal to hundreds of malnourished kids.

Days 4–6: An Ndola motel serves as your home base before you head out to a few cultural sites. One of these will be the Zambian national monument known as the Mukuyu Slave Tree, which marks the spot of a 19th-century slave market. Nearby, the Masala Market sells fresh produce and chitenge, sarong-like fabrics ornamented with colorful batik patterns. Finally, you’ll take a day trip to Hope Ministries’ poultry farm, where you’ll witness the program’s work to achieve financial independence with the help of thousands of cheeping chicks. In between excursions, there will be plenty of time to fly kites or swap stories with the program’s kids.

Days 7–9: After saying goodbye, participants will hop a plane to reach the Protea Hotel Livingstone and see Victoria Falls, originally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders.” The Zambezi River roars over a basalt plateau and becomes a massive sheet of falling water, and through the cloud of mist you can see the arcs of rainbows. The gorgeous scenery has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Then it’s off to Chobe National Park in Botswana, where you’ll traverse rivers and plains alike in a customized safari trip. Here, elephants stomp around freely, hippos wallow in the water, and giraffes help rescue frisbees from treetops. Afterward, you’ll fly homeward from Livingstone’s Harry Mwanga Nkumba International Airport (LVI).

For more information, see the full itinerary for the July and January trips.

Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.

Groupon deal page

Spark Ventures webpage

Images of Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Wikipedia

Botswana Wikipedia

Zambia Wikipedia