When you think of India, you might think of noisy, crowded metropolises and sacred sites in tune with ancient spirituality. But what about greenery? 🌿
India's lush Western Ghats are filled with emerald peaks, rushing river valleys and spectacular national parks 🌿
Stretching for 160,000 square meters, the region is ideal for trekking, coffee and tea plantation visits, cycling, waterfall-chasing, wildlife watching (look out for elephants, crocodiles and king cobra), as well as birding.
Have you ever visited somewhere that broke down stereotypes and surprised you with the unexpected?
Holi celebrates the triumph of good over evil, the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It's a time to come together and give thanks for a good harvest, as well as end any conflicts you might have with others. 💜💙💚💛❤️ Have you experienced Holi celebrations before, either in India or somewhere else in the world?
From Africa to Asia, this week we're in Kerala, India! Watch our India Instagram Stories for beautiful backwater views, tranquil yoga retreats and epic Indian adventures. 🇮🇳 Have you visited India before? Where did you go?
The Himba are an indigenous people numbering around 50,000. They live in Northern Namibia as well as Angola.
These pastoralists are the last semi-nomadic group left in Namibia and have overcome severe droughts and warfare to maintain their traditions and way of life.
The Himba are instantly recognisable by the otjize paste they use on their skin and hair, which is made from butterfat and an ochre pigment.
This mixture cleanses the skin (especially useful when water is scarce in Namibia's desert climates), protects against heat and dryness, as well as against insect bites. 🇳🇦
Otjize also has a cosmetic purpose, with the rich red colour symbolising the earth, blood and the essence of life.
Namibia is home to the world's biggest population of free-roaming cheetahs, with between 2500 and 3000.
The best place to see them in Namibia is at Etosha National Park, which has plenty of open grasslands for the large population of speedy cheetahs who live there.
You can also pay a visit to Okonjima, home to the @africat_foundation, which is a significant rehabilitation center for cheetahs.
Have you seen cheetahs running in the wild? Where did you go?
With well-maintained roads, clearly mapped routes and so much to explore, Namibia is perfect for a self-drive safari, although the option of a flying safari makes the most of a shorter trip and offers bird’s-eye views of this awe-inspiring country.
10 Facts About Namibia:
The country was formed in 1990 after gaining independence from South Africa.
Namibia is home to the world’s largest population of free-roaming cheetahs, with numbers estimated between 2500 and 3000. 🇳🇦
Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world after Mongolia, with a population of 2 million.
The country is also the driest in sub-Saharan Africa and named after the Namib Desert (the oldest in the world).
Namibia's Skeleton Coast is home to over 1,000 shipwrecks, mostly due to the fog that's common in the area.
The population may be low, but Namibia has a diverse number of ethnic groups and tribes including the Himba (known for using red ochre on their skin and hair) and the Herero (know for their Victorian-era dress).
Namibia is one of only two countries in the world that has desert elephants. This is a group of African elephants (though not a separate species) that have adapted to their environment by developing a smaller body mass, longer legs and larger feet. 🇳🇦
Namibia's Sossusvlei sand dunes are some of the highest (and most photographed) in the world.
Namibia is also home to the world’s largest population of free-roaming black rhinos, making this the ideal place to tick off your Big Five.
Namibia was the first country ever to incorporate environmental protection into its constitution.
Another of Namibia's otherworldly and photogenic landscapes are the white clay pans of Deadvlei and Sossusvlei, located in Namib-Naukluft National Park in the south of the Namib Desert (the world's oldest desert).
Sossusvlei is formed by the flooding of the Tsauchab River, which happens only once every several years. Deadvlei was once an oasis with several acacia trees, but the area dried up when the river changed its course.
However, don't let the barren expanses and bare tree branches fool you - wildlife here is an abundance of small animals which require very little water, such as reptiles, rodents, jackals, arthropods, antelopes and ostriches. Many of these creatures are endemic to the Namib, making this location ideal for a fascinating desert safari.
The dunes that surround the clay pans range from vivid pinks to bright oranges, indicating the high levels of iron found in the sand. You can tell the oldest dunes by their intense red colour. These dunes are some of the highest in the world, with the highest being 'Big Daddy' at 325 metres.
These areas are a photographer's dream and as such, the landscape is featured in many music videos, fantasy films and documentaries.
The vleis can be explored via car, flight, hot air balloon and on foot. Have you visited the Namib before?Would you like to photograph this surreal place?
This week we're featuring one of our Africa destinations, starting with this photo of a bull elephant having a bit of a tantrum. 🐘So, where are we? Here are some clues. This destination is known for its spectacular landscapes, from desolate desert dunes to humbling celestial vistas (the dark skies offer some of the most beautiful stargazing opportunities in the world).
However, this country is home to an abundance of animal life, including Africa's Big Five.
The land is also home to diverse native cultures. Some of the native groups here are so genetically diverse that it's believed they're the ancestors of the human race.
Can you guess where we are? Let us know in the comments. (And if you'd like more elephant content, click the link our bio and go to our Travel Inspiration Blog for an interview with Lek, the founder of @elephantnaturepark, one of the most ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand). ANSWER: its's Namibia!
Have you heard of @packforapurpose? This amazing initiative helps you find conservation, community and welfare projects at the destination you're visiting, suggests supplies that you can pack in your suitcase to donate (for example, notebooks and stationary for schools) and tells you where there are drop off points for you to drop these donations off at your destination. Yet another way you can be a responsible traveller and contribute to a positive impact on the place you're visiting.
Can you spot the differences between African elephants and Asian elephants? Take a look at our Thailand Instagram Stories of our #ethicalelephanttourism adventures at @elephantnaturepark in Chiang Mai today to compare the Asian elephant to their African cousins at Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. 🐘