Guidebooks are useful. I am not embarrassed to carry one around with me all day when I travel. Nor do I fear “looking like a tourist” when I’m reading one in the middle of a town square. I also do a lot of prior-trip planning by reading. Yes I can “wing it”, but a little destination research can lead to big payoffs. From the same guidebook that showed me the best bathroom view in the world, came the opportunity to spot koalas along the Great Ocean Road.
I was staying at the Cedar Lodge in Krugersdorp in South Africa for 3 months. It’s a delightful bed and breakfast and was the perfect home away from home. The Cedar Lodge happens to have a giant aviary and peacocks roaming the property. Every once in a while, the peacocks would fan their feathers. Of course, I never had my camera… until this day.
It’s so rare to see a peacock with full feathers. It’s even rarer to have so many of the feathers in near-perfect condition. Many times they are missing a feather or two. Nonetheless, I thought I would share this moment with you.
If you could only visit one country in the world, South Africa should be it, for a lot of reasons. But chief among them, is the opportunity to encounter wild animals. Take one look at my Lion Encounter at Pilanesberg National Park and you’ll see why. A trip to South Africa is not complete without a visit to a game reserve (golf cart safaris don’t count). Of course, you’ll want to document your experience with pictures, so here are 8 tips for taking envy-worthy photographs for your next game drive.
I’m sure many of you have SCUBA Diving in the Great Barrier Reef on your bucket list (it was on my adventure list). One of the highlights of my Epic Trip to Australia was my live-aboard dive trip along The Great Barrier Reef (despite my close encounter with sharks). The aqua blue water and sunny skies made this trip even better. The Gold Coast is full of amazing marine life and tropical weather. Visiting this part of Australia is great for anyone looking for an aquatic voyage. If you plan to visit here be sure to book your trip to the Gold Coast with Expedia. This way you can look for convenient hotels and diving tours all at the same time.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo as part of my monthly meet-up with the Central Florida Chapter of Travel Blog Exchange.com. Our host Jason Davis, Marketing Manager of the zoo, took us around and shared with us all sorts of fun facts, conservation messages and highlights from this gem of a zoo. Here’s what we discovered:
1. Dino Quest
Today’s post is especially for Central Floridians. If you don’t live in Florida or plan on visiting in the next month, why not read another ferocious animal post from the past: Attacked by a Lion?
Jurassic Park is my favorite movie and book. The Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. is my favorite of the Smithsonian Museums, simply because of it’s fossilized skeletons. So I think it’s clear that, I love dinosaurs.
The first thing I said was,
“shit, you want me to jump in there?”
It was our first night dive in the Great Barrier Reef (but you can also find sharks in Sydney Harbor too) and we were busily putting on our gear when someone at the back of the boat yelled, “sharks!” Naturally the dive crew got excited at seeing the ocean’s mightiest of predators thrashing around at the surface. Me? Not so much.
I’ve gone diving with sharks before - Great Whites. But last time I was protected in a cage at the surface. Not exposed thirty feet under the water. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Are there really Kangaroo Crossing road signs in Australia?
We spotted them everywhere along the roads we traveled – except within the city limits. The kangaroo is to Australia, what the squirrel is to the United States. But the real question is, do you ever actually see a kangaroo cross the road?
We were walking along Grey River Road off the Great Ocean Road searching for Koalas (which we also saw) when upon our return down the hill, we saw a Kangaroo (or maybe it was a wallaby), sitting on the side of the road staring at us.
I thought I’d start the week with one of my favorite columns here at adventureswithben.com, Sign Spotting. Today’s sign was spotted at the Central Florida Zoo.
What I like most about it… most warning signs just tell you not to do something, but never the why. At the Central Florida Zoo, they tell you why. So for that, I thank you. Oh, and I appreciate their concern for my well-being, as well as the animals.
I’ll see you out there…!
Every time I tell people I’ve traveled to South Africa, they ask all sorts of questions, from the practical to the bizarre…
- Is it dangerous? Not as much as the media makes it out to be.
- Did you get malaria? Nope, it’s only found in a small area and not an issue.
- What do South Africans eat? Same thing as we do.
- Are there lions roaming the streets? No
- Do they have wild animals as pets? No… well yes, sort of.