Other Destinations


Dec 22nd, 2003, 10:27 AM
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Other Destinations

Just curious, but it seems like many posters on this forum are diehard Africa-philes and take all their vacations in Africa. You seem like such a well traveled bunch that I'm wondering if you vacation elsewhere or have some favorite non-Africa destinations. For the last five years I have safaried in Africa (1999 = Kenya and Tanzania // 2000 = Kruger and Sabi Sands // 2001 = Botswana and Zambia // 2002 = Swaziland and Namibia // 2003 = Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya), so I'm investigating other wildlife destinations. So, my girlfriend and I are leaving for the Galapagos this Friday (she's very reluctant -- perhaps like STD), but she's agreed to suffer in a suite on a nice cruise ship plying the Galapagos Islands over Christmas week, and I hope to convince her to travel to Africa this August.

But, I guess the point of this post is to find out where else you have traveled outside Africa that you really enjoyed?

Happy Holiday and Happy New Year.
thit_cho is offline  
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 11:56 AM
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We live in Munich and mostly travel all over Europe. Other than that, in the past few years we've been to China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Seychelles and Namibia. I'd LOVE to go to the Galapagos! I hope you'll write a trip report when you return!
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 12:03 PM
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Hi there:

I cannot comment on Africa because I have not been there, hoping to in Sept. of 2004. Haven't decided where yet, but I just returned from the Galapagos Islands in October, and we loved it. The best thing I thought is how none of the animals are afraid of you. We have some great shots of us with sea lions, iguanas, and masked boobies.
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Well, of course, I've been to places other than Africa, but Africa holds a special place in my soul, as it seems to most on this board. And the other destinations haven't necessarily been for the "animal" experience.

Besides having, over the years, visited for business and/or vacationed, with friends living throughout the States - have been to half of the 50.

Internationally, have been to:

No.Yorkshire & Scotland, UK
Provence (France)
Cote d'Azur (France)
Egypt - okay that's Africa
Toronto and Montreal
Western Canada
Some Caribbean Islands
Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand

Nothing yet in So.America has caught my attention; though a few areas in Central America (rather islands off of) are on my list to visit.

Would like to see the Western side of Australia, The Cook Islands, Morocco, Western Desert and Oasis of Egypt, Burkino Faso, Mali, eventually get to Namibia and the Delta in Botswana, Zambia. So it's obvious there is more of Africa waiting for me - can't help it.

Russia, China, India, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgiu, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia don't hold any interest for me (nothing wrong with these destinations, but I don't get that "feeling"). Hey, London, Paris and Rome, Florance don't do it for me either. So be it! And because it's a big world out there, there's something for everyone.

Let's see what others have to say.

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Dec 22nd, 2003, 12:34 PM
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My favorite place on this earth has always been New Zealand. I love everything about it -- the people, the culture, the scenery... although the only animals we saw were on reserves and in a zoo, we did get very close to them in Rotorura and when visiting Melbourne in Australia. Our only "game drive" to search for koala in an Australian national park yielded nothing, though I'd highly recommend it. It's possible to feel you've really "seen" NZ within two weeks, versus Africa where I feel I haven't scratched the surface.

I also spent a week in Belieze and took a boat ride through the interior, spotting monkey, toucan and other various birds, then snorkeling with manta rays and sharks (loads of fun). Wildlife there was pretty good, but most accommodations are decidedly un-luxe.

Also loads of trips to Europe, Cancun, Barbados, Vancouver and 2/3 of the U.S. But nothing else I've witnessed comes close for wildlife viewing.
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 02:13 PM
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Pre 1999 - Poor college student and unmarried and unable to travel with STD until married, with only one international trip under my belt, a monthlong trip to Europe after graduating high school in 1989.

1999 - One week in Spain, mostly in Marbella (Costa Del Sol).

2000 - Honeymoon cruise to the Greek Isles and Italy, including 3 nights pre-cruise in Istanbul and 3 nights post-cruise in Rome.

2001 - 15 nights in China (Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong). It was an auction that I won on www.skyauction.com for the price of only $1,250 per person, including all international and domestic air, most meals, all tours and 15 nights hotel in 3* hotels. Also visited Chicago for four nights.

2002 - Discovered Africa quite by accident, as I was scheduled to go to New Zealand and Austrailia in January, but used the money to buy a property instead, delaying my vacation plans for a couple months. Picked up a Conde Nast Traveler, read about Singita and South Africa and the rest is history. Ended up going to South Africa and Victoria Falls. A couple months later I took a little 3 night trip to Guadalajara, Mexico (boring) and at the end of the year took a two week trip to Chile (should've returned to Africa, as it would have been only a little bit more).

2003 - South Africa and Zambia, 15 nights. Quebec City, 4 nights.

Being on the West Coast, unless I want to go on a lot of little trips to Northern California or Mexico, there is not much. If I lived on the East Coast, I could imagine going to Europe a couple times a year, even if just for little 5 night trips to a single destination.

No place on the planet has touched me like Africa. While I like Europe, it is, in the end, just another place. In the next three years, I will force in a trip to Australia and Antarctica, just so I can say that I have been to all seven continents.

The one trip that I also have to take is to India, which I had originally planned for this coming February, but will have to wait until 2005 or 2006. I don't know how I will like being stuck amongst 1 billion people, but I liked China well enough, so there is hope (although people in China were not pulling on my sleeves the entire time, as they may be doing in India).
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 02:52 PM
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First trip to Africa coming up! On the way we will stop in Bali and Hong Kong for three nights. But.....not yet a die hard Africa-phile....yet.

Been to:
Costa Rica
French Polynesia
New Zealand
St Martin, Curacao, Martinique, Barbados

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Dec 23rd, 2003, 12:47 AM
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Great thread - I am always trying to get trip ideas.

Like most here, I have traveled a bit: Asia, 49 states (sorry Arkansas). I live in Europe, so have visited most places between Moscow and Portugal.
Have been to East Africa 5 times, though never on safari. It is my favorite destination

Personal highlights:
- Snorkeling in Belize. Great marine life

- Sailing the coast of Turkey, though no marine life

- Winter camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, AZ. Lots of big horn sheep.

- Visiting the DMZ between North & South Korea. No wildlife - only armed military.

- New Years Eve 1995 Thangboche Nepal, drinking whiskey with the guide & watching snow blow thru the walls of our hut. Did not see the yeti

- Climbing Mt. Blanc with 2 girlfriends, & drinking too much wine with the other climbers in the huts.

- A week in Algeria living with a refugee family in a tent in the Sahara desert. Rode the camel. Least deluxe vacation imaginable ? but culturally fabulous.

Hmmm ? re reading this I seem to use the word ?hut? a lot. In my experience, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of $ spent on luxury accommodation and trip memories.
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 12:50 AM
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I can't even remember all the trips we've taken over the last few years, my memory is atrocious but here are some:

Tallinn (with a 1 night stop in Helsinki)
France many times to different places including Nice, Bordeaux, Loire region, Paris and lots of trips to Northern France in the car
Italy a number of different trips including Venice, Rome, Sorrento, Bologna

Upcoming trip

Over my lifetime I've visited about 35 states, but in recent years it's probably just San Francisco and Florida

Middle East:

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Dec 23rd, 2003, 01:57 AM
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Living in Belgium we've traveled extensively all over Europe (except Eastern).
A few Caribbean holidays, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Israel.
In Africa we've been to Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal and Kenya. The last two really got into our soul and I know we will see more of Africa in the next years. Starting this April with a tour in southern Morocco.
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 03:48 AM
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I haven't traveled as much as most on this board,but have been to most of the states and abit of Canada,and Austrailia.The best spot I visited for wildlife viewing in Austrailia was Kangaroo Island.We saw a huge colony of seals,also Kangaroos, wild Koalas, alot of beautiful birds. I loved Kangaroo island,great very small towns with intersting people.

Also for wildlife and unmatched scenery, Alaska has to rank fairly high.We got pretty close to lots Brown Bears while at Brooks Falls in the Katmai.Also went on an all day Whale watch boat trip out of Homer.We happened to be there when the Humpbacks were there,WOW! We saw 40 plus whale and many breaching, amazing day.

Just this Sep. my daughter and I visited South Africa and Victoria Falls.This place holds my heart for sure.The wildlife was amazing and I fell in love with the people.I am not sure where else I can go to top it.

Places I would like to go would be: Italy
Thailand and Borneo ( Borneo sounds a bit unsafe,so this is just a dream).
Costa Rica
Kenya and Tanzania

Great thread.Happy Holidays to all.
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 06:31 AM
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Thank you for those suggestions. One comment about the absence of wildlife in the DMZ between South and North Korea. Apparently, the DMZ remains the most pristine area for wildlife on the Korean peninsula, and there has been talk about turning it into a wildlife sanctuary after unification. It supposedly contains the only remaining populations of birds and other animals that were once common on the Korean peninsula.
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 06:36 AM
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My parents have taken many wildlife trips - in recent years it's their main preference for holidays.

They've trekked to see pandas in China and orangutans in Borneo, they have visited the Galapagos Islands on three separate occasions, they have taken trips to the Artic and Antartic.

There is something very special, isn't there, about seeing an animal in it's natural habitat?
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 07:56 AM
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Yeah wife and I loved Kangaroo Island...small, lots of wildlife to see. Did you get to see the Pelican Man by chance?
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 02:38 PM
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To Wulfstan, Yes, we did indeed see the Pelican man. He was GREAT! one of the many highlights for sure. I think of him out where in his hip boots,with sea gulls on his head and Pelicans all around often. It always brings a smile
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 02:47 PM
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How did your parents like their trip to Borneo? I would love to see the Orangutans in the wild.Visting a long house looks interesting to.How long ago did they go? I agree there is something very special about seeing animals in there own environment.
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 02:57 PM
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Not sure but I'll ask when I see them tomorrow/ over Xmas.

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Dec 24th, 2003, 06:18 AM
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I saw orangutans in the Malaysian portion of Borneo, an hour or so from Kuching, in December 2001. It wasn't as exciting as seeing the gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda because the orangutans are fed and you see them coming to and leaving a platform, so lots of photos of them are on the platform and its difficult to remove the "hand of man", but I did manage to get some excellent photos of them in the trees. Also saw proboscis monkeys (with the pinocchio nose) in another national park. I think if I was going to again visit Borneo, I would go the Saba, not Sarawak, province because I understand the orangutan viewing is better.
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Dec 24th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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Yeah they really enjoyed seeing the gorillas a couple of years back - I think I posted for you about it at some point?

So much to see, so much to experience, so little time (and resources!)
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Mar 9th, 2004, 06:34 PM
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Thit cho--Lucky gal

Peep--well, well, well...where have you been?
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