Handy Traveler Information About The Kingdom Of Swaziland

Swaziland is a geographically small country of just above one million inhabitants. It is located in the southern hemisphere in what is known in geopolitical terms as southern Africa. The Kingdom of Swaziland, as it is officially known, is one of the last four remaining monarchies in Africa. Its only neighbors are south Africa and Mozambique. It is a country of relative political stability. In recent years, Swaziland has increasingly faced economic challenges which have often resulted in political tensions.

In terms of tourism, the country is a relatively popular tourist destination. International travelers from as far as Switzerland, United States, Australia and the UK visit the country every year. This small nation has been immortalized by the famous annual reed dance, a cultural activity involving thousands of young women. This event has over the years attracted a lot of travelers to Swaziland.

Perhaps the first things to be aware of is how does one gate to Swaziland. International travelers to Swaziland often travel by air. Currently, there are no direct commercial flights to this Kingdom nation. It is usually the case that tourists travel first to Johannesburg, South Africa by air and then connect for the last leg to Swaziland. There is only one airport in the country called Matsapha International Airport. This is a small airport which only caters for very small jets. Plans are afoot but seem delayed to complete a new airport to handle bigger aircraft such as the Boeing 747.

Most countries particularly those with a history of sending many tourists such as the ones mentioned above do not require a visa to enter Swaziland. This applies for stays not exceeding 30 days. This is often long enough for many tourists to explore this small Kingdom with no difficulties. Once in Swaziland, many tourists find accommodation in the Ezwilini Valley. This is found near the capital Mbabane and is somewhat located at the center of the country. The Ezwilini Valley is also special because of its often unique weather, great views of mountains and the lush valley itself and affordable accommodation.

Once in the Valley, there are many activities to do. Some of the things to do include visiting the cultural village, the candle making factory, the glass making factory and historical shrines. Some attractions involve travel distance away from the Valley. All in all, with determination it is easy to explore the entire country in a few days. This is in light of the fact that the maximum breath of the country is some 200kms.

Apart from traveling to the country by air, it is also possible to come in by road. This happens frequently with tour buses that originate in Johannesburg. A visit to Swaziland can even be a short two day or three day visit. It takes about 3 hours to travel from Johannesburg to Mbabane by road.In many cases driving to Swaziland can prove advantageous as it will be much easier to explore the country. However, it is still not a difficult task to rent a car or to find taxes to move around once one gets on the ground. The hotels and lodges are also more than willing to help with internal travel arrangements.

Galapagos Islands and The Exumas Travel Information

Galapagos Islands, The Experience:

Only 13 main islands, out of which 5 are inhibited, form the Galapagos Archipelago situated 1000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland. The world’s top all around dive site, the top spot for best fish life, best big animal dive, best advanced diving awaits tourists who wish to pay a visit to the healthiest marine environment. Penguins swimming in the equatorial sea, iguanas eating algae meals in the saltwater, dolphins leaping in phosphorescent water are among the rare treats you can find only in Galapagos. You can expect to see amazing creatures crawling, flying or just lying off the shore line.

Adventure travel in Galapagos involves kayaking, mountain biking, riding horses or snorkeling next to the world’s most fearless wildlife. You can travel between the islands in small private planes or speedboats and enjoy spectacular wildlife encounters. Tower Island is one of the most spectacular of the islands where you can wind your way through a mangrove forest. Octopus, starfish and other sea life can be seen caught in tide pools on Santiago Island. Isabela Island offers spectacular views of lava files, a salt-water lagoon, volcanic formations and the ocean.

Bartolome island is the youngest and inhospitable for most plants and animals. Discover a moon like scenery with lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones while you hike through ancient lava fields, encountering prehistoric reptiles. You can explore Darwin’s laboratory, the Garden of Eden of evolution, while traveling with a luxury dive vessel.

When to go

The pleasant weather year round means there is not best time to visit Galapagos. During the hot season, the ocean temperature is warmer so you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling better.

How to get there

You can get to the islands from the main land by plane from Quito or Guayaquil airports. You can see most of the islands via a motor or sailing yacht. There is strict control on tourist access due to the effort made to protect the natural habitat and you must be accompanied by a certified tour guide.

The Exuma

The precious islands of The Exuma are a 120-mile island chain including 360 wonderful inhabited and uninhabited cays, the largest cay being the Great Exuma. This cluster of islands situated in the Bahamas enjoys tropical mild climate throughout the year and this accounts for the most gorgeous sapphire-colored water through which our vision can reach the inner depths of sand owing to its utmost clarity. The weather and water blend together in the finest way to popularize this island as amongst the best known sailing spots bundled with its rich unblemished beaches, offshore reefs and coves. The island hosts the Annual Georgetown Sailing Regatta and the Annual Family Island Regatta as the major yachting events every year. The beauty which lies in the inner depths of the islands and the incredible aquamarine waters attract a huge number of sailors, fishermen, divers, snorkelers and kayakers to this paradise and the city in every aspect is rightly called the Sailing Capital of the World.

The Ports: The Port of George Town is situated next to Elizabeth Harbor and is the main port of entry to the Exumas. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the place, hence, the climate is mixed with tropical and temperate effects, and thus becomes the unique spot famous for the yachting people.

The Marinas:

1) Emerald Bay: This marina offers a classy entry for yachts and provides extensive facilities like charters, boat dealerships and other major requirements.

2) Staniel Cay Yacht Club: This is a newly renovated and famous marina in Exumas known for its excellent full-services like electricity, water, ice and others.

The Sailing Companies:

1) Dive Exuma: This is a highly-equipped dive center with its general motto of providing the memorable diving experience keeping safety as its first priority and is the only one present on the Great Exuma.

2) Exuma Dive Center: This diving center is not merely a dive shop but provides unique opportunities to explore the clear waters and the shallow reefs allow the divers to watch the rich colorful fauna.

15 Traveling Tips You Must Know Before Traveling Overseas

Traveling could be exciting or frustrating depending on traveling journey you’ve experienced. However, if you are fully prepared for your traveling, then everything should be more enjoyable than miserable. Here are 15 useful traveling tips you must know before traveling overseas. I advise you to go over all of them before you plan your traveling journey. You’ll be surprised how easy to neglect some of these traveling tips, and how important they are for ensuring a successful and enjoyable journey.

  1. Avoid wearing anything that contains metal when traveling through the security checkpoint. Things such as clothing, jewelry, or other accessories that contain metal should be avoided.
  2.  

  3. A valid passport is recognized internationally as a travel document. Some countries requires a visa to access. If you need a visa, apply two months ahead of time to avoid paying high-fees for emergency situation.
  4.  

  5. If you travel with a child who has your custody, make sure you have a passport for that child as well. If the child is not yours, make sure you bring along a signed, notarized document from the parent(s).
  6.  

  7. Be familiarized yourself with the destination. Find out its culture, food, laws, and mostly avoid known dangers.
  8.  

  9. Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime. If you become a victim of crime, contact consular officer to solve the problem.
  10.  

  11. Avoid to travel to the country that your own country has no diplomatic relation with.
  12.  

  13. Be familiarized yourself with conditions at destination that might affect your health. Make sure you check your overseas medical insurance coverage. It may not cover you overseas. If you plan to stay long, you may consider to buy a short-term policy to cover you there.
  14.  

  15. Consult your doctor before you bring medications or fill prescriptions. Carry a letter from your physician if necessary. Always put your medications in your carry-on bag for easy access.
  16.  

  17. For people who wear glasses/contact lens, it is advice to take an extra pair of glasses or take disposable contact lens with you. Always put your glasses or contact lens in your easy-access bag.
  18.  

  19. Make sure you have a photocopy of your passport, credit cards, or any other import items with you while traveling. Keep one set of these copies at home.
  20.  

  21. If you travel with your pet, find out ahead of time to see whether you are allowed to take your pet with you. If you are allowed, get some tips of traveling with your pet from your vet.
  22.  

  23. Disabled travelers have to find out the standards of accessibility in certain countries. When making reservations, inform the travel agent about your disability and may request a wheelchair be brought to the gate upon your arrival.
  24.  

  25. For people who adopt a child oversea, you need to obtain an immigration visa for that child in the country of adoption.
  26.  

  27. Don’t carry too much cash with you for your trip, but make sure you have enough money in case of an emergency. Avoid putting all your money in one place.
  28.  

  29. Find out what items you can or cannot bring back with you upon returning to your home country.

In short, one must plan well for traveling overseas. Knowing the above 15 traveling tips before traveling overseas may have saved you tons of headaches. Your traveling journey may bring you more memorial joys than unpleasing experience.

– Documents to be Carried While Traveling

While traveling outside US, documentation is an important part of your trip. Outside US and even in other States, you and your luggage are recognized by your documents. Carrying proper travel related documents and identity proofs could help you avoid unnecessary jitters.

The best international is to carry original copy of some documents and keep one or two photocopies of the other in case of emergency. You should also leave a copy of your documents with some friends, which they can fax to you if you loose yours. Ask your travel agent or friends who have gone to those destinations about the necessary for documents.

Vacations and Business

Whether you are on fun, business or a personal trip, the important documents required while traveling outside US are: Passport, Visa, Driving License, Medical Certificates and Insurance documents. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer.

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport. To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to passport acceptance facilities with your two photographs, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as driver’s license and apply for the passport. You can seek for documents from your friends and acquaintances that have traveled to those destinations.

Airline and Visa Requirements

Most countries require a visa before you can travel there. You can board on aircraft only if you have a valid visa and return air ticket for the destination. Few countries allow free passage to US Citizens. However, it is mandatory to carry a valid identification proof with you in these countries to avoid legal complications and prove your identity in case of emergency. It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain Visa, where required, from the appropriate embassy or nearest consulate of the country you are planning to visit. Certain countries have proper validation requirements for Visa applications take some time before approving your visa. It is therefore necessary to obtain the visa well in advance to avoid last minute problems.

Luggage Documentation Tips

If you are carrying valuable and electronic items, good is to keep a copy of the invoice, insurance and troubleshooting manuals with you while you are traveling. While invoice and insurance are needed to prove your ownership, a manual will help the technicians if some problem occurs in it. These documents will also help you to avail international warranty and service facilities wherever applicable.

Travel insurance tips

Most countries require the foreign tourists covered up with insurance before they enter the country. However, insurance during travel is a critical issue due to legal differences between two countries. Contact your insurance company to find if the present insurance covers the foreign trips or not. Even your travel agent can help you with important travel insurance tips.

Cruise

Are you planning on going on a cruise? Well if this is your very first time, you may not be very sure what to expect. Having a few tips to help you out can be very helpful to you. So, here are some important cruise to keep in mind when you go on a cruise.

Tip #1 – Have a Carry On Bag – The first one of cruise that you’ll need to remember if you’re going on a cruise is to make sure that you have a carry on bag. Once you get on the ship, you’ll want to visit your cabin but you can’t expect your baggage to show up for awhile. So, it’s a good idea to have a carry on that has some clothes and a few essential toiletries on hand.

Tip #2 – Get a Map of the Ship – Cruise ships are huge. You don’t want to get lost and a map can definitely be a huge help to you. Make sure you have the map and take a bit to look it over so that you’ll be able to more easily get around the ship.

Tip #3 – Walk to Where You’re Going – When you are going to dinner or you are going to a show on board, you may want to walk wherever you are going. You’ll find that the elevators are probably going to be full and often many people are trying to wait for an elevator and they may not be in a great mood. So, just go ahead and take a stroll and get a bit of exercise walking to wherever you need to go.

Tip #4 – Keep the Noise Down at Night – If you are out late at night, make sure that you keep the noise down. You don’t want to go around slamming the doors of your cabin, since it can wake many people around you up. So, have some courtesy and shut your doors as quietly as possible to avoid encounters with grumpy cruise mates.

Tip #5 – Avoid Wearing Expensive Jewelry – When you are on a cruise ship, don’t go around wearing your most expensive jewelry so everyone can see it. Of course there will be some formal dinners where you will want to look great, but leave the most expensive jewelry at home. You may become the victim or a thief if you go around flaunting expensive jewelry.

Tip #6 – Tip Generously, is the last one of the cruise listed here; When you are out there on a cruise, make sure that you tip generously whenever possible. Most of the people on the ship make very little money except for by your tips. So, make sure that you are kind enough and generous to give a great tip.

Finally, make your cruise travel memorable and all that you want it to be by doing a lot of planning before you travel.