Category Archives: Travel Globe

A Beginners Guide to Antigua

They say there is a beach for every day of the year on Antigua. It definitely feels like it. Antigua might be an island but there are plenty of things to see and do. Here’s a guide for the first-time visitor looking to learn the ropes on your first all inclusive Antigua holiday.

Water Sports

You may have water sports included in your all inclusive Antigua vacation deal, so do check out what you can see and do whilst on this beautiful island. The scuba diving here is particularly good with some spectacular reefs. Cades Reef and Deep Bay are amongst the most popular places to dive. Windsurfing is another great way to spend time in Antigua and you can also swim off the shoreline on most beaches.

History

Antigua sailing

Antigua is full of nautical history from Admiral Lord Nelson to pirates and the abolition of slavery. You can visit English Harbour and see Nelson’s Dockyard. There’s the historic church in St Johns to see and lots of lovely art galleries in town. Why not visit Betty’s Hope, one of the original Codrington sugar estates, where you can see a fully restored mill.

Markets and Shopping

Antigua harbour

St Johns has a fabulous farmers market on Fridays and Saturdays which is full of tropical fruit and crafts. This is a vibrant place and just the thing to see some of the locals with their produce. You can find souvenirs in many of the local shops in and around St Johns and the resorts.

The Beaches

Antigua beach

People come to Antigua for the beaches and those golden sands. You could visit one of the main beaches in North West Antigua such as Runaway Bay. The four crescent beaches at Hawksbill are very popular too and one of these is a naturist beach if you are looking for that all over tan. On the south west coast there are places like Darkwood Beach and the area around Pigeon Point. Rendezvous Bay is known as a quieter beach, as is Doigs Beach. If you are heading for the East Coast then check out Half Moon Bay which is in a national park. Be sure to take your snorkel as there’s a reef here.  Exploring Antigua is the best option because you are likely to find a beach perfect for you.

Wherever you go in Antigua you will find a surprising amount of things to see and do. Just take it easy and enjoy the Caribbean sun.

 

Malaysia’s Best Beaches

Langkawi, Malaysia beach with rental boats

One of the best ways of experiencing a Malaysia holiday is to spend at least some of the time on the coast. Malaysia has some of the finest beaches in Asia and there are so many to choose from when planning a vacation. Here are some of the best.

Langkawi

One of the most beautiful islands off the mainland, Langkawi is peaceful and has a stunning coastline with sandy beaches. You’ll find lots of places to relax in the sun, and to swim and snorkel in the warm sea. There are scuba diving sites here too with a mesmerising underwater world. With old limestone rocks and caves, the coast is stunning. Check out the beach resorts with spas too as this is the perfect way to unwind on your Malaysia holiday.

Palau Pangkor

The name Palau Pangkor actually means beautiful island and gives a clue to the stunning scenery off Malaysia. With beaches here including Teluk Belanda, Niphah Bay, and Pasir Bogak you will be spoilt for choice. There is jet skiing, snorkelling and even swimming at night from these beautiful beaches.

Palau Mabul

Sunset at Langkawi beach Malaysia

If you ever wanted the feeling you were on a tropical island then coming to Palau Mabul off Sabah is the place to be. There are coconut palms, quiet beaches and spectacular snorkelling. This is a good base to see Sipadan too, one of the finest diving sites in the world. If the beach gets too much, then walk around this lovely island to see the villages and people.

Redang

Located off Malaysia’s east coast, the island of Redang is renowned for its white sandy beaches. There are crystal clear waters here too which are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. You can head out to the coral reefs to dive or gaze at the many coloured fish, or relax under a palm tree on the shore. Most of the interior is dense jungle so take a guided trek to spot wildlife here.

Palau Tioman

Juara beach Tioman Malaysia

If you ever got inspired by South Pacific then Tioman was used as the backdrop. Considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Tioman is renowned for its beaches. Relax on the sand or snorkel off the shoreline. Tioman has wildlife here too so do expect to encounter a monitor lizard or two.

Malaysia holidays are full of things to see and do. Wherever you go, don’t leave Malaysia without spending time on these wonderful beaches.

 

Exploring the Best of Jordan

One of the most fascinating countries in the Middle East, Jordan has seen travellers come and go for centuries. Traversed by the great trade routes, Jordan has many wonderful things for visitors to see and do. Exploring Jordan you will return home with unforgettable experiences. Here are just a few.

Camp out in the Desert

If you were mesmerised by the red coloured rocks in Lawrence of Arabia then Wadi Rum is a must see destination in Jordan. Located deep in the Jordanian Desert, Wadi Rum is a beautiful place to explore with a guide. Camp out in a traditional Bedouin tent, ride a camel across the desert, and gaze up at the starry night after storytelling around a campfire.

Explore Petra

One of the most iconic sights in Jordan, no one forgets their first glimpse of Petra as they walk down the narrow Siq. Built by the Nabateans, the rose red city attracts visitors from all over the world who gaze at the magnificent Treasury. Take time to look closer at the other archaeological wonders in Petra too such as the Street of Facades, the High Place of Sacrifice, and the Sanctuary.

Visit Jerash

The Roman city of Jerash with its amphitheatre, colonnaded road, and arches is another stunning historic site in Jordan. Walk through the ancient ruins and watch the sunlight on the Temple of Artemis. You can wander through the Hippodrome too and the Cardo Maximus at this lesser known attraction during your Jordan holidays and tours.

Mosaics in Madaba

Wadi Rum Jordan

When you get to Jordan you’ll see mosaics everywhere. Madaba is a small town at the centre of the mosaic making industry and a wander through the streets is a lovely way to meet the crafts people and see them at work. Don’t forget to visit the Church of the Virgin Mary here for one of the most detailed and famous mosaics in the Middle East.

Snorkel off Aqaba

Jordan1

The Red Sea is famous for its diving and snorkelling sites and there are lots of small boats here you can go out and swim off the reefs. It is a wonderful way to see some of the fish and the vibrant colours underwater. Enjoy a day out on the water where you can see four countries from the sea- Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and of course Jordan.

One of the best bits of Jordan are the people and there is nothing like local hospitality to make you feel most welcome in this beautiful country.

 

Florida’s Animal Sanctuaries

Tiger

To be sure, Florida has its fair share of wildlife. With plenty of native species like cougars, bobcats, panthers, armadillos, coatis, and of course that deadly creature that epitomizes Florida, the crocodile, the Sunshine State has a wealth of wildlife for any animal enthusiast. But it doesn’t just end there. Animal sanctuaries dot the state and add an exotic twist to complement an already stunning array of wildlife. Here are some places to check out on your next trip down south.

Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary

If one night you’re awoken by the sound of a lion’s roar, you’re probably not dreaming. Tucked away just a short distance from the swanky Florida holiday villas in Sarasota lies the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. Registered as a genuine charity since 2005, the sanctuary has been a labour of love for its founder —  animal lover and big cat rescuer Kay Rosaire. The large project, which consists of several indoor and outdoor buildings and habitats, occupies a sizeable patch of land and is home to tigers, lions, and ligers which are (you guessed it) a cross between a lion and a tiger. Bears, birds, and a large collection of rescued primates also call this habitat home. The sanctuary relies on donations and admission fees to feed, house, shelter, and rehabilitate the animals. 

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary

Hyena

Another project with the mission to rehabilitate and provide a healthy environment and proper shelter for abandoned and abused exotic animals is the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in the quaint city of Punta Gorda south of Sarasota, one of the newest draws here is Jake, a spotted hyena formerly owned by animal behaviourist Bryan Hawn. Thought untameable, Jake and the extraordinary bond that developed with his former owner was the subject of a National Geographic Wild episode in 2012.

McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary

Snake

Specializing in nurturing sick, abandoned, or abused animals and snakes back to health and releasing them back into the wild, McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary has been one of the earliest pioneers in wildlife rehabilitation in Florida — they’ve been at this since the 1970s. There are over a hundred permanent residents in this West Palm Beach habitat, and many of them make their way  here after being donated by wildlife officers who have seized abused or illegal possessed animals. 

The Wild Side of Barbados

Known for its long sweeps of plentiful and pristine white sandy beaches, unparalleled peaceful tranquility, and lazy days of unabashed relaxation, you’d be hard pressed to believe that Barbados has a wild side. But it does. A very wild one.

The wild side we’re talking about here of course is its rich and diverse wildlife. And while it may not have the variety of animals of places like the Galapagos, or the sheer number of places like Costa Rica, Barbados holds its own among its Caribbean brothers. And with some planning, and a little luck, you may very well encounter any of these critters on your next beach holiday to the island that’s been nicknamed “Bim.”

Turtles

Barbados is a virtual haven for these loveable slow moving creatures. Both the Leatherback and Hawksbill varieties, as well as other types, make their home in the sheltered waters along the Barbados coastline. Many have become accustomed to humans, so swimming with them is a definite possibility. Feeding sea turtles is frowned upon however. Although you may have the best of intentions, feeding any wildlife disturbs the natural order of things. When animals grow to depend on human handouts, they can become aggressive and deemed a nuisance if they exhibit unnatural behaviour.

Green Monkeys

Barbados Greem Monkey

You’ll have no trouble finding these cute but mischievous critters  — Green Monkeys are just about everywhere. Originating on ships arriving from West Africa over 300 years ago, many of the Green Monkeys of Barbados are used to interaction with humans. But as cute as they are, they are also just as clever. They will sometimes go to extremes to separate you from your snacks. Best to leave the food back at your hotel if you’re heading out in nature.

Mongoose

Barbados mongoose

The humble mongoose was introduced to Barbados as a means of coping with the rat problem which threatened the sugar cane industry. Some questioned the efficiency of the move since rats ate at night, and mongoose only hunted during the day. Whatever the reason, the mongoose thrived (the rats not so much.) Although they are rampant on the island, they are one of the more difficult creatures to spot.

If you’re staying at the Barbados Beach Club, staff there can arrange a trip to the local Wildlife Reserve, an island safari tour, and even snorkelling with turtles. Just remember to take your camera.