Search Results for Category: Africa


 Seniors Marvel At The Avenue of the Baobabs

The Avenue (or Alley) of the Baobabs is located on the island country of Madagascar in Africa. Senior travelers may have heard the tree affectionately referred to as the upside-down tree, but it is also known as the boab, boaboa and bottle tree.

“Baobab” is the common label given to the Adansonia genus which contains eight tree species. The trees are known locally as ‘renala’, which is Malagasy for ‘mother of the forest’.  The trees line the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar.

Its striking landscape draws senior travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region. It has been a center of local conservation efforts, and was granted temporary protected status in July 2007 by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, the first step toward making it Madagascar’s first natural monument.

The Baobabs can live up to 800 years and reach heights of 98 feet (30 m). The diameter of the larger trees can reach up to 36 feet (11 m) and the circumference can be up to 160 feet (50 m) around. The trees are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar.

The trees did not originally tower in isolation over the sere landscape of scrub but stood in dense forest. There are more than a dozen baobabs along the avenue. Visitors can find tours to this site out of Morondava, a city just 45 minutes south.

 Seniors Discover a New ‘Unique and Magnificent’

The unique formation and size of the baobab tree is dramatic and captivating. Though baobabs can be seen all around the country, this particular route is especially striking… the entire dirt road is lined with these magnificent trees, and at sundown, they are even more magnificent.

Some call them ‘roots of the sky’ because when the trees are without leaves they look like roots…big trees planted in the ground upside down, with the roots in the sky.

 The baobabs of Madagascar have to be seen to be believed. Of eight baobab species in the world, six are endemic to Madagascar; one other is found in Africa and another in Australia.

This indicates that Madagascar is the country in which baobab trees first originated, and the other two species migrated across the ocean and followed a different evolutionary chain.

Often called the “Tree of Life,” baobab trees are the lifeblood of many people and animals living in Africa’s Savannah regions; they provide water, food, shelter, and even clothing to the local inhabitants.

The wildlife of Madagascar reflects the fact that the island has been isolated for about 88 million years. Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth and these trees are a good example.

Put the baobabs on your travel bucket list today and enjoy your visit.  jeb

Filed under : Africa, Editors Choice


Blue Water Amazes Seniors

I well recall seeing the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. This senior was 21 years old and had not seen an ocean previously. I was part of a group on a French study trip sponsored by Oberlin College in Ohio. We spent a total of seven weeks in France starting in St-Aygulf, a small beach resort set on the outskirts of the old Roman town, Fréjus.

Then we were three weeks in Aix-en-Provence and lastly three weeks in Paris. I was a French major from Cornell College, Iowa and I earned a Carnegie Corporation Scholarship. I was thrilled with this “all inclusive” experience.

 The Blue Blue Mediterranean Amazed Me

When I saw the Mediterranean for the first time, it looked as if “someone has poured blue ink into the water.” It was such a dark blue. I learned later that was due to its depth. The Mediterranean has an average depth of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and at its greatest width, it runs over 850 miles.

The Sea accounts for a staggering 30% of tourists world wide and attracts nearly 250 million visitors in a year. Viewing a map of the sea, it is evident why so many tourists are lured to its sandy shores and a host of divergent islands. There is so much to see just traveling around the Mediterrean Sea.

This inland sea is bordered on the north by Europe, on the east by Asia, and on the south by Africa. Its connection to the Atlantic (the Strait of Gibraltar) is only 14 km (9 mi) wide. It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km² (965,000 sq mi).

 History of the Mediterranean Sea

Stone Age tools have been discovered by archeologists along its shores and it is believed that the Egyptians began sailing on it by 3000 B.C.E. Early people of the region used the Mediterranean as a trade route and as a way to move to and colonize other regions.

As a result, the sea was controlled by several different ancient civilizations. These include the Minoan, Phoenician, Greek and later the Roman civilizations.

The Mediterranean is an almost completely closed basin where the continuous inflow of surface water from the Atlantic Ocean is the sea’s major source of replenishment and water renewal. It is estimated waters take over a century to be completely renewed through the Strait of Gibraltar which is only 300 m (1000 ft) deep.

The scarce inflow, coupled with high evaporation, makes the Mediterranean much saltier than the Atlantic Ocean. The Sea is almost totally free of any tidal influence.

Main crops in the Mediterranean include olives, grapes, cork, oranges and tangerines. Wildlife, such as sea turtles, monk seals, sting rays and schools of fish flourish throughout the sea and provide vital resources.

Trademark blue, warm waters, exotic beaches and proximity to historic regions have made the Mediterranean Sea a popular destination for travelers to enjoy and explore. jeb


Seniors Head for the Green Cape

Cape Verde, officially the Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atantic Ocean, 570 kilometers off the coast of Western Africa. This senior finds it interesting that there are so many people living clear out there in the Atlantic Ocean.Of course I guess one could say the same thing about the Hawaiian Islands.

The country has an estimated population (most of them creole) of about 500,000, with its capital city of Praia accounting for a quarter of its citizens. Nearly 38% of the population lives in rural areas according to the 2010 Cape Verdean census.

The uninhabited islands of the Cape Verde archipelago were discovered by Italian and Portuguese navigators way back around 1456. The islands of Cape Verde have a pleasant climate during most of the year with 350 days of sunshine, and some of them offer impressive mountain scenery as well.

The United States and Cape Verde have strong historical roots. As early as the 1740s, U.S. whaling ships began recruiting crews from the islands of Brava and Fogo, and other ships from the American colonies routinely anchored in Cape Verdean ports to trade. Some 4,000 American citizens now reside in the country. Must be something there for senior citizens to check out.

Cape Verde is sometimes referred to as the Undiscovered Islands. Mt. Fogo is Cape Verde’s highest peak (2829m/9382ft), the conical, cinder-clad Mt Fogo, rises dramatically out of the floor of an ancient crater known as Chã das Caldeiras. A scenic, cobbled road, punctuated by hamlets with lava block houses, encircles the island. Seniors, it’s still an active volcano but the last eruption was in 1995.

Seniors, Let’s Head For Mindelo

Set around a moon-shaped port and ringed by barren mountains, Mindelo is Cape Verde’s answer to the Riviera, complete with cobblestone streets, candy-colored colonial buildings and yachts bobbing in a peaceful harbor. Mindelo produces more than its fair share of the islands’ poets, musicians and stylish bars.

The islands are full of contrasts; flat, barren and parched islands like Sal in the east to mountainous, cloud capped islands such as Santo Antao in the west. Black sand beaches, bleached-white beaches, high cliffs, mountainous peaks and desert plains interrupted by volcanic cones.

Seniors, there is plenty to see and do: diving, hill walking, fishing, windsurfing or just relaxing on the beach with a Mai Tai or a Cuba Libre.  Since tourism is a relatively recent arrival, senior visitors can still sample the real culture of the islands from the more European (Sao Vicente) to the more African (Santiago).

Enjoy your every moment on Cape Verde. jeb




Seniors Adventurers in Tanzania

Jambo! My wife and I have senior friends who have been to Tanzania.Every wall of their home is  decorated with photos of every animal they encountered on a safari. Furthermore, they could tell us a story on each animal and their peculiar nature. That’s what happens when you spend two weeks in Tanzania.

Let me welcome seniors to the Tanzania Tourist Board  official website, with everything you need to know in one location. Tanzania is a little more than twice the size of California and the largest city is Dar es Salaam. Around 39 million people live in Tanzania.

Tanzania is one of the most unique destinations on the African continent that has yet to be discovered by many senior  visitors. It is a land of many wonders housing an un-paralleled diversity of fauna and flora.

Tanzania is by far the best safari destination in Africa. There’s an incredible amount of wildlife in a wide variety of national parks, some of which only receive a hand full of tourists every year. Tanzania has 500 miles of coastline, 15 National Parks and 783,000 folks visited the country in 2010. Swahili is the official language.

Natural Attractions Draw Senior Visitors

Reaching an altitude of 19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and on the rare occasions when it is not veiled in clouds, the mountain’s distinctive silhouette and snow-capped peaks are one of the most breathtaking sights on the continent. It is the world’s largest single mountain, a freestanding entity, rising an incredible three miles above the surrounding plains.

Tanzania is becoming a popular East African destination for senior visitors. Its many natural attractions include Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Ngorongoro Crater. The spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera, is part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed for its natural and cultural significance. Serengeti National Park is famous for its annual migration of two million wildebeest, gazelles and zebras. This site is fun and well conceived and invites you click on where you want to go then highlights the map with additional information and great pictures.

Tanzanian tourist visas are valid for 6 months from the date of issue. So while planning ahead for visas is a good thing, make sure the visa is still valid for the length of time you plan to travel in Tanzania. You can obtain a visa at all airports in Tanzania as well as at the border crossings, but it is advised to get a visa beforehand.

Kwaheri for today. Perhaps I’ll see you in Tanzania.  jeb




Seniors Explore the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Africa, is a large inland delta, formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin (big words here)of the Kalahari Desert. Now that this is all settled, senior citizen friends, let’s go exploring.

Covering almost 5,800 square miles, the Okavango Delta, sometimes called the Okavango Swamp in Botswana is one of the largest freshwater inland wetlands on the planet, and it turns the red sands of the Kalahari Desert into a land of plenty. The world’s largest inland delta is situated in an extremely arid region and attracts great concentrations of diverse animals and birds.

The Delta is situated deep within the Kalahari Basin, and is often referred to as the ‘jewel’ of the Kalahari. A river delta usually leads to the open sea. But in Botswana the Okavango River empties onto open land and floods the savannah. Senior visitors will discover one of the most sought after wilderness destinations in the world. Oh yes, it’s a World Heritage Site, and that always counts double for me.

A Botswana Safari for Seniors

Africa Travel Resource invites seniors to check out their site. Their Guidebook well fill you in on all the details for the area.  Here is where the largest animal migration in the world migrates to the Okavango Delta. Audley Travel offers tours and safaris and  you can see an Audley specialist’s view on this site. On this map you can see why so many animals head for the Okavango Delta where water is abundant and the animals know this. There are several types of safaris such as riding, walking, photographic, camping and self-drive. YouTube has several videos for you to view.

National Geographic has a video on the Okavango Delta. Wikipedia is always a great resource but Wikitravel focuses on the travel aspect your trip. They note that the Kalahari Desert is FIVE TIMES the size of France.

Here are four travel deals for senior travelers to consider. The area is an immensely wildlife-rich expanse of islands, islets and lagoons, many of which change shape and even disappear with every annual flood season. Plan on a ride on the Okavango River, “The river that never finds the sea.”  Don’t miss this video by Rhino Africa.

The Okavango Delta is one of the “7 Natural Wonders of Africa.” An Okavango Delta safari is an experience of a lifetime. It must be ranked in the top 5 safari destinations in Africa, if not in the top 2 (along with the Serengeti). The scenery, wildlife, untouched wilderness and variety of safari experiences, make the Okavango unique.

So visit with your travel agent and take a closer look at one of these Okavango Delta Accommodations.  Enjoy your planning and even more being there in person. jeb




Seniors Enjoy The Finest: Oberoi Hotels

Some of my blogs are ‘dream material only’…for most of us seniors that is.  And so they have become good Just For Sunday, over a cup of coffee, reading material. The The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, said to be the “finest in luxury” throughout the world, fit this category, in my wife’s opinion, at least.

An ad in my Travel & Leisure Magazine caught my eye and so I wanted to investigate a bit so see why these hotels are so special. Their website gives us a glimpse, from the many cities where senior travelers could stay and enjoy, to the many world-class sites nearby. There are Oberoi Hotels in India followed by Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the EAU. Just that fact alone might give seniors some idea of what to expect.

Seniors Visit India

I found a beauty for you to explore in New Delphi. It’s ideally located in the city center near government offices, shopping, financial and business districts. The hotel is a 30 minutes drive from the airport and within a few minutes distance from the international exhibition grounds of Pragati Maidan and many Embassies. And what a beauty. Take a look at eleven others, each with charming characteristics and royal luxury.

This map (touch the MAP icon) will take you to six countries where you’ll find Oberoi.  Your mouse will take you right to the site. Note how they are sprinkled all around India. You will note that there are only three in Egypt and one in Saudi Arabia.  Tiny Mauritius will accommodate you very well and look at those thatched roofs. Oberoi is also into cruises each being very special and catering to discerning clientele.

Special Offers and Holiday Packages

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts invite senior citizens on a journey of discovery. Escape to destinations where spectacular landscapes, historical wonders, magnificent beaches and wild adventure promise to create memories for a lifetime. Luxurious settings, impeccable service, international cuisine and pampering spa treatments come together to create the perfect holiday.

This one in Udaipur caught my eye in Travel & Leisure. It’s very ultra. Look into the Oberoi Advantage Program designed to reward you with a complimentary stay.  That would be terrific in any and all of their hotels. Their Business Travel Plan caters to professionals all over the world.

Enjoy your exotic vacation with Oberoi.  jeb




Seniors Dive Into EcoTours

Ecotourism is in.  Seniors are searching out great tours that focus on visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas. They are popping up more and more all over the world and for good reason.  They seem to be everywhere.

Here’s one that just crossed my desk, a series by GoAheadTours and they all look great. They have a whole new series that I think  seniors will find of interest if you are at all interested in nature and ecology.  I remember well an ecology course I took, as part of my biology major in college. It is a fascinating area.

Here’s the scoop on their offerings: “Get a closer look at vibrant communities while supporting conservation programs and local economies. Our itineraries highlight businesses and organizations that give back to local people and support wildlife—so while you explore natural landscapes and share in cultural experiences, you’ll also bring awareness and travel dollars to meaningful initiatives.”

Senior citizens will be able to get a look at vibrant communities while supporting conservation programs and local economies.  Your tour will include: round-trip airfares, hotels and eco-lodges, expert tour directors, select meals and private transportation. Seniors will be able to engage in activities that benefit surrounding communities and fund wildlife conservation efforts. How about learning handicrafts and cultural traditions from the locals?  You will travel on immersive adventures designed to make a positive impact on your adventure abroad.

EcoTours Call For Seniors

Here are your choices that will take senior citizens all over the globe.  Consider Australia and Tasmania and the Wild Forests in that area. Your eco-friendly Aussie adventure will take you to the cities of the mainland and lead you through the rich wilds of Tasmania. The tours all run from 9 to 14 days in length.

On to Africa and Botswana and Zimbabwe called the Untouched Africa. Costa Rica is high on my “bucket list” and here’s why. The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are great areas to study nature. Guatemala is cool. I’ve been there.  I invite you to take in Belize and Guatemala and the tropical wildlife that is in abundance.

And we could not leave out Kenya and a Wildlife Safari with GoAhead. There senior travelers will search out the Big Five on game drives through the wild savannah and discover the many ways Kenyan communities are coming together to protect their heritage and wildlife.

Let’s include Peru, the Amazon Jungle and culture surrounding Lake Titicaca.  Those will highlight Peru at its best. Lastly your EcoTour will include Tanzania full of wildlife and herds of animals roam as they did before humankind. The mighty Masai endure as they have for centuries.

Are you ready for an adventure in any of these tours?  Then contact GoAhead, make your reservation and enjoy one of their amazing EcoTours.  jeb




Senior Travelers Attracted To Africa

Lonely Planet invites seniors to consider a visit to “The Dark Continent” but with reservations. Seniors should always consider the safest places and then they need know which countries should be avoided.  

Most senior’s first choice would be a safari to enjoy the wide variety of wildlife that is so abundant in Africa. Africa is a big place with 53 different countries to choose from.  It is spilling over with variety and pure raw impact wherever you travel. Here’s Africa as you have never seen her on TV.

Lonely Planet is loaded with TO DO suggestions… something like 8,000 of them to be precise. Check out the pure beauty of Uganda with Mr. Baker, seen from Irene Lakes. Namibia (ever heard of it?), or Botswana, Zambia and Morocco that each rate high with Lonely Planet as being safe for tourists.

Tourism plays a huge part in the economy but Tunisians are surprised and charmed by independent travelers, even though around 7 million tourists arrive each year. Tanzania is known for its abundant and rich variety of wildlife. Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar… The names roll off the tongue like a roster call of Africa’s most alluring destinations, all packed into one country.

Put On Your Hiking Boots, Seniors, and Get Out the Camera

In for a climb, seniors? Try Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is the world’s tallest walkable mountain, and what a walk it is. Senior hikers will hike up through 5 different climatic zones to reach the summit. There is a host of other trekking options for you to consider.

Kenya packs in colorful tribal cultures, great beaches and some of the best wildlife in all of Africa. You’ll enjoy hiking up in the High Atlas Mountains in North Africa. Ghana is one of the safest and easiest countries to travel in for an English-speaker. Then there’s Zanzibar just off the east coast. It’s also called Unguja. I didn’t know that, did you? is always a great resource with lots of information and can fill in your itinerary with the TOP TEN. It would be difficult for some to leave out the Pyramids of Egypt or Cape Town. For me, I’ve always found Ethiopia with over 50 different tribes to be totally fascinating and I have an adopted great niece from there.

As my old psych prof used to say… “if you are sufficiently confused, we shall proceed.” But I’ll leave you today with a helpful guide in planning your upcoming trip to Africa.  I’ve placed Africa on my “bucket list,” how about you? jeb


Seniors…All Aboard!

So you’ve traveled on a train before, but this train makes it an adventure.  It’s the Blue Train and senior citizens will find none other like it in the entire world. Thrill to the sight of snow capped mountains through the  glass observation deck and marvel at lions, giraffes and elephants in their natural habitat.

The Blue Train is one of the world’s great luxury trains, running once weekly between Pretoria and Cape Town. The 27-hour journey of 994 miles includes one sightseeing stop. Senior adventurers will view spectacular landscapes and Africa’s natural attractions out the window as you travel across the continent. 

You can download the Blue Train Brochure here as well as view a slideshow about the Blue Train. The terminal is located in Pretoria and Wikipedia provides additional information that will whet your appetite for a lifetime memory on board. YouTube will put you on board for an inside view.

In one word…Awesome! Ryan Mackie will plaster your screen with a series of slides that further provide more reasons to board. The cuisine alone is enough for many senior travelers to seek a ticket across Africa. So here we go Blue Train. Show us your luxury as we glide past vineyards and charming colonial towns.

TripAdvisor will fill in your itinerary with hundreds of attractions along the Blue Train route. I’d say that I may overuse the word “luxury” on this blog, but it’s all true. This passenger’s diary also provides good insight for your journey. The Blue Train does not go around mountains; it goes through them. Reservations anyone?

Africa’s 2nd Luxury Train, Rovos Rail

Another luxury train ride, seniors? And in Africa again? Rovos Rail travels from the Cape to Cairo in 28 days. Sounds a little like the Trans-Siberian Railway that is on my “bucket list.”

Life on board finds the make-up of the train includes a locomotive, generator car, staff car, guest sleepers, a non-smoking lounge car (26 guests), two non-smoking 42-seat dining cars (if required, plenty of space for the maximum of 72 guests carried), kitchen car, guest sleepers, smoking lounge and Observation Car (32 guests) at the tail. And WOW, look at the Royal Suites and is hard to believe you are onboard a train. The Deluxe Suites are not to shabby either.

Enjoy the luxury trains in Africa. jeb


Senior Travelers Can’t Do Without Them…

There has to be a multitude of gadgets and travel gear that seniors who travel a lot say  they just could not get along without.  I know from my own travel experiences that I could make up a pretty long list myself. I would start off with putting in a plug for both Magellan’s and Travelsmith.  They have dozens of supplies that I have found to be extremely useful.

Magellan’s microfiber pants are the finest pair of travel pants I have ever owned. They have to be nearly twenty years old and still look new. The stretch waistband and a zipper pocket to protect a wallet are excellent. My Travelsmith shirt (60% cotton and %40 polyester) is also the finest travel shirt I’ve ever owned. Lightweight and easily washed and a neutral color. I still prefer to wear both when traveling.

Travel & Leisure Magazine Lists the Best Travel Gear

If you are searching for some super designs that have won awards, then read on, senior travelers. The Best Watch choice was the Timex Weekender Slip Through with a changeable strap, for $45.  Good start I’d say.  The Best Luggage, and it should be for only $2,690, is a Porche Design leather trolley and the best travel bag is a Dror for Tumi convertible nylon backpack. It came in at just $595 and is a real beauty.

The Best Camera was relatively inexpensive considering that you can pay thousands for a camera today. They selected a Pentax-Q10 for $600. For the Best Travel Accessory, a pair of sunglasses won out.  They are called Gotti Switzerland fold-flat model for $310.

For senior men, Luigi Blanchi Mantova lightweight field jacket was tops at $890. It looks nice, kind of wrinkled, but of highest quality. Here are some additional specs on the jacket. FYI it’s made with Loro Piana Storm System fabric, the jacket is waterproof, windproof, and wicks away heat and moisture to keep you dry and comfortable. Senior women, the Best Women’s Travel Clothing Terra New York Polyurethane Trench won the prize for $320.

Gadling (that’s a new one for me) has their list of Best Gear and the website shows a whole pile of gear ready to go. Amazon too has their own best gear choices. Then there is Walkabout and REI who carry great travel accessories. Look over Fodor’s Best New Travel Gear. For the Best Adventure Gear how about a BioLite CampStove. has helpful information and great apparel.

The Bobble is all about portable filtration, and the people behind it have a mission: to change people’s drinking habits by slowing the mass consumption of single-serve water bottles. You always need to be aware of drinking only good potable water.

Enjoy thumbing through Travel & Leisure’s gadgets and travel gear and you might find something for your next adventure. jeb


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