20 amazing experiences you should have on your trip to South Africa

20 " must-do" experiences in South Africa

Get close to nature on safari

Get close to nature on safari

Explore beautiful Cape Town. Photo credit: Dana Allen on 500px.com

Explore beautiful Cape Town. Photo credit: Dana Allen on 500px.com

Improve a child's life by volunteering on Cape Town

Improve a child’s life by volunteering on Cape Town

Look out for unexpected traffic. Photo credit: Mario Moreno

Look out for unexpected traffic. Photo credit: Mario Moreno

See the clouds tumble off Table Mountain, Cape Town. Photo credit: Hougaard Malan on 500px.com

See the clouds tumble off Table Mountain, Cape Town. Photo credit: Hougaard Malan on 500px.com

Stay at a luxurious eco-lodge

Stay at a luxurious eco-lodge

Visit the penguins on Boulders Beach, Photo credit: Ravi S R

Visit the penguins on Boulders Beach, Photo credit: Ravi S R

Enjoy the spectacular coastline of the Garden Route, Photo credit: Jurjen Harmsma on 500px.com

Enjoy the spectacular coastline of the Garden Route, Photo credit: Jurjen Harmsma on 500px.com

Explore the Drakensberg mountains, Photo credit: Michael Poliza on 500px.com

Explore the Drakensberg mountains, Photo credit: Michael Poliza on 500px.com

Go cage diving with great whites, Picture credit: Alexander Safonov on 500px

Go cage diving with great whites, Picture credit: Alexander Safonov on 500px.com

Watch the whales migrate, Picture credit: Alexander Savanof on 500px.com

Watch the whales migrate, Picture credit: Alexander Safanov on 500px.com

Taste magnificent wines, Stellenbosch. Photo credit: William on 500px.com

Taste magnificent wines, Stellenbosch. Photo credit: William on 500px.com

Follow in the footsteps of early explorers, Cape of Good Hope. Photo credit: Ravi S R on 500px.com

Follow in the footsteps of early explorers, Cape of Good Hope. Photo credit: Ravi S R on 500px.com

Get up early for a game drive... it is very worth it

Get up early for a safari… it is very worth it. Try a walking safari if you want to add a little excitement

Immerse yourself in the colorful culture whilst giving back to the community

Immerse yourself in the colorful culture whilst giving back to the community

Safari some more ... trust me you won't get tired of it

Safari some more … trust me you won’t get tired of it

Sip wine as you watch the sun set in the vast African sky

Sip wine as you watch the sun set in the vast African sky

Enjoy the colorfu surfers huts, in Muizenberg

Enjoy the colorfu surfers huts, in Muizenberg

Test out your surf skills. Photo credit: Lauren Rautenbach on 500px.com

Test out your surf skills. Photo credit: Lauren Rautenbach on 500px.com

Find unusual handcrafted memories. Photo credit: Lauren Rautenbach on 500px.com

Find unusual handcrafted memories. Photo credit: Lauren Rautenbach on 500px.com

15 amazing experiences you should try in Bali

Swim in a gorgeous hotel pool

Swim in a gorgeous hotel pool

Enjoy a romantic meal on a beach

Enjoy a romantic meal on a beach

Visit a stunning waterfall

Visit a stunning waterfall

Make a difference in the life of a child

Make a difference in the life of a child

Watch the sun set over the water

Watch the sun set over the water

Watch a fire dance. Photo credit: Hai Thinh on 500px.com

Watch a fire dance. Photo credit: Hai Thinh on 500px.com

Try amazing Thai food

Try amazing Thai food……

.....and learn how to make it yourself

…..and learn how to make it yourself

Discover a new culture

Discover a new cultural traditions

Explore the small streets and countryside on a bicycle

Explore the small streets and countryside on a bicycle

Dive and snorkel in crystal clear waters

Dive and snorkel in crystal clear waters

Take a ride on a beach

Take a ride on a beach

Visit the famous, beautifully crafted lush green rice paddies

Visit the famous, beautifully crafted lush green rice paddies

Go rafting through the jungle

Go rafting through the jungle

Help a disabled person gain back quality of life by helping to build them a bathroom.

Help a disabled person gain a better quality of life by assisting with a build of a bathroom.

African Honeymoons …. luxury with a touch of adventure

Over the years, Europe, Asia and tropical islands have been the preferred choice for honeymooners the world over. Despite the rugged beauty and amazing safari lodges and wildlife experiences, the African Continent has been a little neglected…. well, it seems that is changing. The world over couples are seeking out the path less trodden.

Here are 5 destinations that have been catching the eye of honeymooners around the globe:

Botswana Safari lodge1. Botswana

Picture yourself drifting on your private makoro (essentially a wooden dug out propelled much like a gondola in Venice), the sun set reflecting like lightning rods off the canals in the Okavango Delta, as a herd of Elephant feed on the lush grass. Makoro and walking safaris are the norm here and they are an incredible way to soak up the wilderness experience before retreating back to your luxury tented camp to enjoy some champagne. Other amazing places to visit are Gabrone Dam and Mokolodi Natural Reserve.

 

Honeymoon in Zanzibar2.  Tanzania

Ever thought of marking your honeymoon with a personal challenge? Breathing the rarefied air on the stunning Mount Kilimanjaro may not be for everyone, but would certainly be a unique experience for those seeking something very different. Your challenge surmounted, you can then relax and enjoy some African gems, like Lake Tanganyika. The deepest lake on the continent and home to some of the rarest sea animals in the world. Then head to the Zanzibar archipelago a stunning collection of islands with gorgeous beaches and wonderful eco-luxe retreats. The capital Stone Town even boasts, a UNESCO world heritage ranking as one of the most ancient cities of East Africa.

Honeymoon in Kenya3.  Kenya

Kenya has long been synonymous with african safaris. Sharing together with Tanzania on elf the most amazing animal migrations on the planet as thousands of wildebeest (sadly they have seen a 80% drop in number sin the past 30 years) go in search of new pastures. Combine all manner of wildlife experience, with some of the most luxurious resorts and tented camps in Africa and you have a recipe for a magical honeymoon. The stunning scenery of the Great Rift Valley, the volcanoes of Hell’s Gate National Park and the Crater Laker Game Sanctuary, should also not be discounted, but the rustic “outpost chic” islands of Lamu will make the perfect conclusion to your honeymoon adventure.

Honeymoon Mozambique4.  Mozambique

If you are looking for a relaxed beach style honeymoon, then Mozambique with fabulous cuisine and gorgeous beaches should be on your list. It boasts exotic flora and fauna, crystal clear water and luxurious resorts. Consider Manta Reef at Inhambane and if you are lucky you can cement your life together with a sighting of one of the most graceful and elusive rays on the planet.

Honeymoon in South Africa5.  South Africa

Wonderful food, wine, beaches, wildlife and one of the most beautifully situated hip cities in the world, if not for your honeymoon, then come here at some stage in your life. Enjoy lazy picnics in the Cape Winelands, hike the Cape Peninsula, watch the famous table cloth descent upon Table mountain and drive the beautiful Garden Route. When you have had your fill of scenery and culture, you can visit some of the best safari parks in the world. Certainly a fantastic option to celebrate your future together.

 

If you would like to add a give back element to your honeymoon and make it a meaning full shared experience, then contact Hands Up Holidays and one of our consultants will help you plan an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

 

 

 

15 amazing experiences you should have in Costa Rica

15 Experiences that you should have in Costa Rica

Help to conserve wildlife by volunteering at a rescue shelter.

Help to conserve wildlife by volunteering at a rescue shelter.

Try a host of different adventure activities

Raft on the Pacuare river and stay at an a stunning eco lodge

Stay at luxurious eco-lodges

Stay at luxurious eco-lodges

Visit the beautiful Arenal Volcano

Visit the beautiful Arenal Volcano

Relax on magnificent beaches

Relax on secluded beaches

Walk through the canopy of a rainforest

Walk through the canopy of a lush rainforest

Swim with wondrous whale sharks

Swim with wondrous whale sharks

Get close to the wildlife

Get close to the wildlife

Soak in a hot spring

Soak in a hot spring

See and help with endangered turtles. Photo credit:  Jason Bradley on 500px.com

See and help with endangered turtles. Photo credit: Jason Bradley on 500px.com

Search out amazing wildlife. Photo credit: Regi Popelier ON 500PX.COM

Search out amazing wildlife. Photo credit: Regi Popelier on 500px.com

Wander through stunning rain forests. Photo credit: Leslie Mehner on 500px.com

Wander through stunning rain forests. Photo credit: Leslie Mehner on 500px.com

Find some funky frogs

Find some funky frogs

Zipline through forest canopies. Photo credit: Jay Mitchosky on 500px.com

Zipline through forest canopies. Photo credit: Jay Mitchosky on 500px.com

Try the surf. Photo credit: Craig Williams on 500px.com

Try the surf. Photo credit: Craig Williams on 500px.com

Influential movies to inspire you before you travel to Kenya

Out of Africa

Out of Africa on Conde Nast

“With vowely virtuosity, Meryl Streep tackles Karen Blixen—a.k.a. Danish writer Isak Dinesen—struggling to run a coffee plantation in early-twentieth-century Kenya. Robert Redford plays the big-game hunter torn between his love for her and his need, like his quarry, to run free. In retrospect, you can sense Hollywood on the prowl for Oscars, but scenes of majestic animals roaming the velvety green Ngong Hills inspired countless safaris.” – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast

This movie certainly made me want to run off to Africa and go on safari. There is nothing that compares to seeing wild game in their natural habitat. The biggest spectacle of all must be the Wildebeest migration.

Why not combine one of these safaris with the opportunity to help young Maasai women who are being ostracized by their tribe, because they are choosing not to have a barbaric procedure that may well leave them with life long pain. To find out more contact us or take a look at our website http://www.handsupholidays.com

Influential travel movies to inspire you before you travel to Mexico

The Wild Bunch
The wild bunch on Conde Nast“One of the landmark westerns—about Texas outlaws escaping to the harsh, gold-hued beauty of northern Mexico on the eve of the country’s topsy-turvy revolution—The Wild Bunch is best known for upping the ante on screen violence. But director Sam Peckinpah has a feel for Mexico’s rituals and earthy generosity. The finale alone, filmed at the Romanesque ruins of the eighteenth-century aqueduct and winery Hacienda Ciénaga del Carmen, is worth the price of admission.” – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast

Y tu mama también

Y tu mama también on Conde Nast

“A rich kid, his best friend, and his hot older cousin with a secret all head south from Mexico City to a stretch of sand overlooked by tourists (a lucky find since the area, in Huatulco, Oaxaca, is hardly unknown to development). In the tradition of The Graduate—but with travel instead of Mrs. Robinson as the trigger—this comedy looks at the sexual fumblings of an emotionally adrift, morally uncertain new generation. More recently, director Alfonso Cuarón has taken his characters—and his viewers—even farther from their comfort zones: He just released the acclaimed Gravity. – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast

Some parts of Mexico have had a bit of bad press in recent years, but fortunately the trouble spots are quite isolated and many of the most beautiful and fascinating parts are still very sat for travelers.

Soak up the winter sun and at the same time make difference, to those less fortunate than yourself, at an innovative complex of homes and centers, each of which cares for a vulnerable and underserved group of people. Though each center is operated by an autonomous specialist organization there are many synergies and so the city is able to help more than 20,00 people each year, including children, elderly, women, the sick, and families in extreme poverty.

To find out more contact us or visit http://www.handsupholidays.com

 

Influential travel movie to inspire you before you travel to New Zealand

The Piano

The piano on Conde Nast

“Black sand; a sky so moody you want to give it medication; and everywhere vines, climbing up from the forest floor and draping down from the dense jungle canopy. The potboiler feminism of Jane Campion’s breakthrough film was overcooked, but the Kiwi scenery around Auckland’s Karekare Beach was a revelation.” – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast

Personally I would have thought the real movie drawcard would have been The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It went a long way to highlight the wealth of natural beauty. New Zealand is an outdoor enthusiast’s delight and a country once so safe that the birds forgot how to fly. It is these flightless birds, including penguins, can do with your help on your visit here.

For the the traveller, top of the list are sights such as White Island, an active marine volcano, 30 miles off the east coast of the North Island, and the fjords in the world heritage area of Milford Sound. The sight of 6,000ft high peaks jutting out of the waters of the Tasman Sea is phenomenal and if you are lucky you may even spot dolphins and seals playing around your boat. Go for a swim in the tranquil Bay of Islands in the north, then hike in the stunning Glacier Country in the south.

Unfortunately, despite the lush wilderness and small population, human activity has still had a significant impact on the natural habitat of native penguin populations. Two Blue Penguin Colony’s of around 700 penguins, could do with your help with maintaining their habitat. Though you aren’t working with the penguins directly you can enter the colonies, and work on vegetation and habitat restoration programs. The work is often quite intense, but knowing that these cute little critters will have a higher chance of survival makes it all worthwhile.

If you want to find out more contact Hands Up Holidays or take a look at our website.