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5 Must-Do Activities in Namibia 

Nestled in the heart of southwestern Africa, Namibia beckons with its awe-inspiring landscapes, captivating wildlife, and vibrant cultural tapestry. Prepare to be enchanted as you explore the towering dunes of the legendary Namib Desert and encounter the diverse wildlife thriving in Etosha National Park. Ready to embark on an extraordinary journey and discover our handpicked selection of five must-do activities that will leave you spellbound?

Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert

Go on a captivating Namibian odyssey and let the wonders of Sossusvlei ignite your sense of awe. Step into a mesmerising landscape where colossal red sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see. Channel your inner adventurer and conquer the iconic Dune 45, and experience panoramic vistas of the desert. 


Unveil the captivating charm of Swakopmund, where German colonial architecture meets heart-pumping adventure. Nestled on Namibia’s pristine coastline, this coastal town offers a fusion of history and adrenaline-fueled excitement. Brace yourself for an unforgettable journey as you carve your way down towering sand dunes on a thrilling sandboarding expedition. Or take the leap of a lifetime and soar through the sky with a skydiving adventure that will leave you breathless.

Etosha National Park

Prepare for an safari expedition in the breathtaking Etosha National Park, a sanctuary teeming with a tapestry of wildlife. Venture into the heart of the African wilderness and behold the magnificent sight of elephants roaming, lions majestically prowling, giraffes gracefully grazing, and rhinos commanding their territory. Whether you opt for a self-drive adventure or a guided game drive, each moment promises an encounter with nature’s grandeur. 

Skeleton Coast

Embark on an expedition into the enigmatic allure of the Skeleton Coast, where beauty meets mystery in an unparalleled coastal landscape. Explore this hauntingly beautiful stretch known for its tales of shipwrecks, towering sand dunes, and abundant marine life. Join a guided tour, where knowledgeable experts will unveil the secrets of this captivating realm, sharing stories and insights that bring the Skeleton Coast to life.

Namib-Naukluft National Park

Uncover the wonders of Namib-Naukluft National Park, a true gem and the largest game park in all of Africa. Delve into a sanctuary brimming with extraordinary desert-adapted species, where nature’s resilience is on full display. 

What are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your bags and brace yourself for a destination that exceeds expectations, offering a tapestry of thrilling activities, captivating wildlife encounters, and landscapes that will take your breath away.

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The 5 Best Destinations to Go Stargazing

If you’re an avid stargazer and have always dreamt of viewing planets, constellations, and the Milky Way, we’ve got you covered! There are numerous incredible stargazing spots across the globe that are perfect for both professional and novice astronomers. Here are our top picks that offer the best views of the stars for an unforgettable astronomical adventure!

Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, Japan

Located in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park became the first place in Japan to receive the prestigious International Dark Sky Places accreditation. This park is situated on the Yaeyama Islands, near the Tropic of Cancer, and offers a spectacular view of up to 84 of the 88 constellations officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union. Although viewing conditions may vary due to weather, the park is undoubtedly one of the best stargazing spots in the world.

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Although tropical jungles are not typically the ideal place for stargazing, Costa Rica can offer some surprising celestial views under the right conditions. The country’s location near the equator provides a unique opportunity to view constellations from both the northern and southern hemispheres. Interestingly, Costa Rica is one of the few locations above the equator where the Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies that orbit the Milky Way Galaxy, can be seen. These clouds were first identified by Ferdinand Magellan and his crew during their circumnavigation of the world in the 1520s. Visitors who come during the dry season, which lasts from December to April, have the best chance of spotting them.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa, offers much more than just spotting the famous Big Five animals. The park’s remote location and minimal light pollution make it an ideal destination for stargazing. Visitors can enjoy impeccable night-sky viewing opportunities, with the flat savanna and bushveld providing an ideal terrain to explore the Southern Cross, Scorpio, and even the rings of Saturn through binoculars. Adding a nighttime astronomy experience to your game-drive itinerary is a must on any visit to Kruger National Park.

Kiruna, Sweden

If you’re searching for a destination to marvel at the nighttime sky, Swedish Lapland might just be the perfect spot. Situated just north of the Arctic Circle near the borders of Norway, Finland, and Sweden, remote Kiruna is a mere 30 miles away from Esrange Space Center, which is Europe’s largest civilian space center. There, you can gaze in wonder at the vast expanse of stars and perhaps even witness the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis or northern lights.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a bus to Abisko and ride a cable car up to the Aurora Sky Station, one of the world’s top locations for viewing the northern lights. To make your stay in Swedish Lapland even more unforgettable, check out the IceHotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi, just 11 miles from Kiruna.

Pic du Midi, France

If it’s a place that NASA scientists used to prepare for Apollo missions by taking pictures of the Moon’s surface, then Pic du Midi in the French Pyrénées mountains is certainly worth a visit. A cable car from La Mongie can take you to the summit, where an observatory sits above the clouds. The reserve also includes the Pyrénées-Mont Perdu UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Pyrénées National Park, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

If you want to take your adventure to the next level, you can even book an overnight stay at Pic du Midi and experience a night under the stars like no other.

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Greek Islands to Visit on a Budget

With their stunning beaches, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes, these islands are sure to pique your interest for a Greek getaway, without breaking the bank.


Not many people know that the Cyclades comprises of more than just Mykonos or Santorini. Kythnos is a hidden gem, providing a peaceful and budget-friendly alternative to its more popular sister islands. With over 70 stunning beaches to choose from, Kythnos embodies the unique Cycladic characteristics that make this group of islands so special. Stroll through the picturesque streets of Messaria village, with its charming white-washed houses, cobblestone streets, and cosy cafes. Experience understated charm in Drypodia village with its traditional red-roofed houses. For a tranquil seaside retreat, book a stay at the stylish Kythnos Bay hotel, featuring a sand and white colour scheme, and indulge in a rejuvenating massage. Don’t forget to take a dip in the nearby thermal springs of Loutra for an added touch of relaxation.


They say that Ikaria is home to some of the world’s longest-living locals. It’s not hard to understand why, when you can swim in crystal clear waters or hike through stunning landscapes filled with plane trees, stone bridges and rivers, all for free. Follow the Halari Gorge trail to the ancient temple of Artemis and the secluded Nas beach, which is like a slice of paradise. Spend your days exploring charming villages and your nights dancing and drinking at the local fiestas. You can immerse yourself in Ikaria’s simple way of life by staying at Kerame Studios, which may look unassuming but boasts an outdoor pool overlooking the green hillside.


Looking for a quick getaway from Athens? Agistri is a great option. This small island is much more affordable than neighbouring Aegina and just an hour ferry ride from Piraeus port. Take a leisurely walk through Skala village, where the main road is lined with cafes and adorned with vibrant fuchsia bougainvillaea. Explore the hiking trails that wind through the island’s forests and visit its many dreamy beaches. Be sure to snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Aponisos, surrounded by fragrant pine trees. Experience the laid-back island lifestyle with a stay at Saronis, where you can enjoy homemade jams and pastries for breakfast in the tranquil garden.


For a more affordable option than nearby Spetses, look no further than Hydra, an island that combines luxurious mansions, crystal-clear waters, and a bohemian atmosphere. This charming island has long been a source of inspiration for artists and writers, including Leonard Cohen who resided here in the 1960s. With no cars on the island, it’s the perfect place for peaceful relaxation and creative endeavours. The traditional stone mansion of Angelica could provide the ideal sanctuary, and make sure to indulge in Anna Tsagkaris’s famous amygdalota, a delicious sweet made from local almonds.

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What to Eat In Italy

Italian cuisine is not limited to just pizza and pasta. Various regions of Italy are known for using a diverse range of ingredients to create mouthwatering dishes. However, if you’re looking for the ultimate culinary experience in Italy, where should you go? Our guide to an epicurean journey through Italy is sure to impress even the most discerning palates and earn a coveted Michelin star.


Many consider Naples to be one of the most authentic places in Italy, particularly when it comes to its cuisine and culture. One symbol of this coastal city that serves as a gateway to the popular Amalfi Coast is the humble chilli pepper, which is present in many of its dishes and adds an extra kick of flavour.

Pizza is a ubiquitous street food in Naples, with long queues forming outside some of the most renowned eateries. If you want to truly experience the city, be sure to sample some seafood dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole (clams) and deep-fried calamari pasta, accompanied by a refreshing glass of limoncello.


A visit to the Eternal City is a must-do on any trip to Italy, and since you’ll be doing a lot of walking to explore its many attractions, it’s important to fuel up with carbohydrates to keep you going. A classic Roman dish that may surprise you is carbonara, which features a light sprinkling of cheese and plenty of guanciale, or cured pork cheek, instead of the cream and bacon that you might expect.

As you wander around Rome, be sure to search for a good gelateria, as the city can get quite hot during the summer months, and what better way to cool off than with a delicious scoop of ice cream?


When it comes to food and drink, Tuscany is a top destination that won’t disappoint. The region is dotted with vineyards outside of the main cities, where chianti wine flows aplenty. While you may encounter tourist traps in some of the popular areas in Italy, there are plenty of hidden culinary gems in Tuscany waiting to be discovered.

Florence is a city that will delight all your senses, from the stunning art and architecture to the incredible flavours of its cuisine. Make sure to try the legendary sandwiches from All’Antico Vinaio, which are said to be the best in the world and attract long queues at lunchtime. Another must-try dish is bistecca alla fiorentina, a signature steak dish that pairs perfectly with a glass of chianti riserva, creating a combination that is truly divine.


Sicily’s rich history of rule from various parts of the world has created a vibrant cultural mix that has influenced its cuisine. The flavours and ingredients used in Sicilian dishes are unique and distinct from other regions in Italy. One must-try dish is pasta alla norma, which consists of aubergines and ricotta cheese and is a light yet flavourful option.

The smell of grilled sardines will tantalise your senses throughout the island, and you’ll find this fish included in dishes where you wouldn’t normally expect it. Another Sicilian speciality that you might have tasted elsewhere but is done best here is arancini, small balls of deep-fried risotto that are filled with melted mozzarella and bursting with flavour.

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The Best Street Food in South Korea 

South Korea is renowned for its delectable street food that is never too far away when hunger strikes. From crispy fried chicken to sweet and spicy rice cakes, and delightful sugary hotteok – there’s a wide range of options that can satisfy your cravings. Embrace the Korean-style of eating by rubbing shoulders with locals around stalls or in cosy pojangmacha, which are tented street restaurants, while sipping on soju, a distilled spirit. This approach offers a simple way to explore and sample the diverse range of Korean flavours. Here are some of the most sought-after street food dishes to relish in South Korea.

Gimbap (rice and nori rolls)

Wrapped in dried seaweed (gim) and bursting with visible flavours. The lightly flavoured sesame oil rice (bap) and seaweed are given an extra zing with a side of kimchi. Popular fillings include canned tuna or beef, spinach, carrot, imitation crab, pickled radish, egg, and Korean perilla leaf, which has an herbaceous flavour similar to shiso.

Gimbap is available in both hearty, rice-filled slices, ideal for quick and satisfying bites, and delectable petite rolls with fewer ingredients. The smaller rolls are commonly found in street stalls and markets, while the larger versions are a staple at bunsik, simple lunch and snack shops such as the Gimbap Cheongook (Gimbap Heaven) chain. Packaged varieties are also widely available at convenience stores across the country.

Mandu (dumplings)

Mandu can be enjoyed fried, steamed, or boiled, each cooking method offering a unique and delicious experience. As a popular street snack, the most common variation is the kimchi mandu, which boasts a filling of green onions, ground pork, and spicy kimchi that shimmers orange through the delicate skin. Another savoury option is the kogi mandu, featuring a gingery pork and green onion filling. These bite-sized parcels are bursting with warm, flavorful goodness, though sometimes they can be quite spicy, warranting a cautionary word from the chef. Typically, mandu is served in plates of six or seven, perfect for dipping in a mix of soy sauce and vinegar before devouring.

Hotteok (Korean doughnuts)

Hotteok, often dubbed Korean doughnuts, are more akin to pancakes with a delightful, sugary filling. Half the fun of enjoying them is watching vendors deftly flatten the balls of dough into disks and fry them to a beautiful golden hue. Prior to frying, vendors puncture a hole in the dough and stuff it with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and peanuts, which transforms into a gritty caramel as the dough cooks.

Be warned, hotteok is piping hot and may scorch your tongue if you can’t resist taking a bite before it cools down. In Busan, ssiat hotteok, a variant that includes black sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, is especially popular. Regardless of the type, hotteok is a dessert-lover’s paradise.

Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes)

If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you may want to skip this one. Tteokbokki, a popular Korean street food, consists of rice cakes swimming in a vibrant red-orange sauce made from a mixture of water, soy sauce, sugar, red chilli flakes, and gochujang – a fermented paste made from soybeans and red chilli peppers. Anywhere that Koreans gather for work, school, or socialising, you’ll find street vendors and tented restaurants cooking oblong pans of tteok in the bubbling sauce late into the night.

The best place to try this dish is Sindang Tteokbokki Town, a cluster of tteokbokki eateries in Seoul’s Sindang neighbourhood, where the modern version of the dish was invented and popularised.

Dak gangjeong (seasoned fried chicken pieces)

Dak gangjeong is a mouthwatering blend of flavours and cultures. Juicy chunks of chicken are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce, and then generously sprinkled with sesame seeds and peanuts for added crunch. The bite-sized boneless pieces are typically double fried, resulting in a satisfyingly crispy texture. A small serving is the perfect way to satiate your cravings. For an extra twist, some vendors offer a variation dusted with parmesan cheese, for a true fusion experience.

South Korea is a street food lover’s paradise, offering a vast array of delicious and unique dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings. From the crispy and savoury fried chicken to the sweet and caramelly hotteok, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities like Seoul or wandering through charming neighbourhoods, you’re never far from a street vendor or pojangmacha serving up mouthwatering treats. With so much to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start, but we recommend trying some of the most popular options like gimbap, tteokbokki, mandu, and dak gangjeong. So come with an empty stomach and a sense of adventure, and get ready to taste some of the best street food in the world.

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The 4 Best Destinations to Visit in May

The Northern Hemisphere is heating up and May is an ideal time to embark on a journey as many holiday destinations are in full swing, and the anticipation of the upcoming season is palpable.

In 2023, Europe will bask in the true warmth of summer, from picturesque Spanish towns to dazzling Portuguese beaches. What’s more, if you’re eco-conscious, you can reach most of these captivating places by train. Similarly, Africa and the Caribbean will also be at their prime. So why delay any further? It’s about time you hit the road and explore. Here are our top picks for holiday destinations in May, featuring sun-kissed locations, thrilling adventures, and breathtaking sightseeing opportunities.

Algarve, Portugal

Don’t disregard the Algarve just yet – beyond the bustling tourist resorts lies a tranquil and serene side of the coast. Moreover, some of Europe’s most stunning beaches can be found here. In May, the temperature is rising, but the crowds have not yet arrived. Treat yourself to a stay at the luxurious Bela Vista Hotel, boasting a fantastic spa, and situated on Praia da Rocha. Take the opportunity to discover the hidden gem of Castro Marim. Although the area is predominantly associated with beach vacations, there are also secluded hillside retreats nestled amongst olive groves, such as Casa Arte, or the charming country house of Fazenda Nova, waiting to be explored off the beaten track.

Catalonia, Spain

May is an ideal time to visit the provincial capital, with its warm temperatures, clear skies, and fewer crowds before the busy summer season. Heading north, Girona’s medieval old quarter is so captivating that it was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. Additionally, it’s home to El Celler De Can Roca, which has been named the world’s best restaurant twice, making it the ultimate dining experience. Continue your journey down to Costa Brava, avoiding the touristy areas, and instead, explore the stone-built towns of Peratallada and Pals, which exude honey-colored charm. The beachfront town of Begur boasts Cuban-style mansions that now serve as stunning, independent hotels. From there, it’s a brief, meandering drive to Aiguablava, the most immaculate stretch of sand on this coastline, nestled in a Caribbean-blue bay. In May, you might even be fortunate enough to find a vacancy before it becomes the most coveted sunbathing spot in Spain.

Botswana, Africa

Located in the north-eastern corner of Botswana, Chobe National Park is a mesmerizing destination, particularly during the month of May. With mild weather hovering around 25°C, this time attracts large herds of animals to the Chobe River. Take a boat safari and relish a glass of chilled South African wine while cruising past crocodiles and hippos. The park is home to one of Africa’s largest populations of elephants. For those seeking an authentic adventure, andBeyond’s Chobe Under Canvas is the perfect choice, allowing visitors to get as close to nature as they desire.

Bahamas, Caribbean

Experience the sweet spot of the Bahamas in May. The beaches are calm, devoid of noisy groups, and bask peacefully under the sun. It’s an ideal time to secure a spot on the unblemished Cabbage Beach, which is even quieter at the northern end. Take your pick from a selection of lounge chairs by the pool, and sample the fresh produce from Gladstone Road Farmers Market, which is open until the end of the month. You may even swim with the pigs at Pig Beach, adding an extra element of fun to your visit.

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4 Incredible Road Trips to Experience in South Africa

With a myriad of landscapes ranging from pristine coastlines and arid deserts to mountainous snow-capped peaks and wildlife-abundant savannas, South Africa stands out as one of the world’s most diverse destinations. Yet, what adds to its allure is the country’s plethora of cultural groups, each offering their own distinctive architecture, traditional cuisine, and customs.

If you want to fully immerse yourself in this fascinating mix, a road trip might just be the ideal way to travel. It allows you to set your own schedule, stop whenever you want, and explore on your own terms. To help you plan your adventure, we’ve handpicked the top road trips that will take you on an unforgettable journey through the mesmerizing landscapes and rich cultural tapestry of South Africa.

Panorama Route

A High-Altitude Adventure Road Trip
Distance: 193km from Long Tom Pass to Echo Caves

For a breathtaking drive that will take you through the magnificent natural features of Mpumalanga’s Blyde River Canyon, considered the world’s third-largest, the Panorama Route is a must-do road trip. Along the way, you’ll encounter awe-inspiring cliffs, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and majestic eagles soaring above – all while having plenty of opportunities to step out of your car and stretch your legs.

One of the most popular stops is God’s Window, where a short hike will take you to an overlook offering stunning views of the lush jungle some 2745m (9005ft) below, teeming with colorful birdlife. The Three Rondavels, a trio of towering peaks topped with grass, resemble traditional African cone-shaped huts and are another highlight. Trails weave around Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a series of cylindrical cavities formed over thousands of years by the swirling waters of the Treur and Blyde rivers.

But it’s not just the natural wonders that make this road trip so appealing. Along the way, you’ll come across several charming towns that are worth exploring. Historic Pilgrim’s Rest is a living monument to the late 1800s gold rush days. The town’s streets are lined with beautifully renovated structures, including the Victorian-era Royal Hotel, where the Church Bar was once a school chapel. In Graskop, renowned for its pancake restaurants, you can also experience the exhilarating rush of the Big Swing, one of the world’s highest cable gorge swings. And in the tranquil town of Sabie, surrounded by a lush forest, you’ll find stunning natural attractions such as Bridal Veil Falls, Lone Creek Waterfall, and Horseshoe Falls.

Garden Route

Best road trip for a Garden of Eden experience
Distance: 300km from Mossel Bay to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth)

The Garden Route (N2) is a must-visit itinerary in South Africa, winding along the lush Indian Ocean coastline. This drive is a nature-lover’s paradise, bursting with abundant plant and animal life, coastal towns, pristine beaches, and misty mountain forests, making it one of the most stunning locations in the world.

Outdoor enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to explore the numerous hiking trails, including the famed five-day Otter Trail in Tsitsikamma National Park, surf at various beaches, such as the famous Jeffreys Bay, and experience the world’s largest commercial bridge bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge. Camping options are endless, with idyllic locations beside rivers, in primeval forests, or overlooking the ocean.

Wildlife lovers will find plenty to marvel at, from Oudtshoorn’s ostrich farms to Addo Elephant National Park, which is home to rhinos, lions, hyenas, and zebras, as well as Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary – where over 700 primates roam free in a multi-species reserve. Visitors can even walk with wild cheetahs at Tenikwa Wildlife Center. Expect to witness otters, Southern right whales, and even the occasional great white shark splashing in the ocean, with a multitude of birds flitting through the treetops and scurrying across the sands.

Oak-lined Goringhaikona, previously known as George, is an excellent starting point. Other popular towns include Knysna, which boasts nearby oyster farms, the seaside resort of Witsand with water sports, fishing, and whale watching, and Mossel Bay, which has a moderate climate and a cultural heritage that dates back 350,000 years.

Midlands Meander

Best road trip for craftsmanship
Distance: 27km from Lions River to Nottingham Road

Exploring the heartland of KwaZulu-Natal to the northwest of Durban, the Midlands Meander is a collection of five colour-coded routes that lead you through the best of this untouched, rolling-green countryside. This charming region offers breweries and wineries, unique accommodation and locally sourced restaurants, nature reserves, traditional villages, and a plethora of outdoor activities. But, the area is renowned for its arts and crafts. On tree-lined lanes, you’ll find around 160 studios, workshops, and outlets, featuring a variety of artisans, including potters, leatherworkers, batik artists, and chime makers. Ardmore Ceramics in the Champagne Valley is perhaps the most famous, boasting a gallery and studio where locals produce whimsical, fantastical, and colourful pieces that adorn venues like Buckingham Palace and the White House.

You can choose to follow one of the specific routes, and we highly recommend Route 4. This route takes you to the Capture Site Museum, which marks the location where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962. Outside, there is an incredible, shape-shifting sculpture made up of 50 steel columns that form Mandela’s face when viewed from the right angle. Rawdons Hotel is a fantastic English-style country estate, complete with a lake dotted with ducks, a brewery, a distillery, and a thatched roof. At Swissland Cheese, you can taste delicious goat’s milk cheese, and at Chocolate Heaven, you can indulge in handcrafted Belgian chocolates.

Wild Coast

Best road trip for dramatic ocean views
Distance: 482km from East London to Mzamba

This leisurely drive boasts breathtaking scenery that is off the beaten path. You’ll be treated to serene, uncrowded beaches kissed by the turquoise waves of the Indian Ocean, jagged coastlines, cascading waterfalls, starry night skies, and charming turquoise rondavels perched atop emerald-green hills. Although you can take this road trip straight through, exploring the area at a leisurely pace will uncover the true marvels of this untamed land. While the N2 is the main route, make sure to detour to explore, hike, swim, canoe, and fish. It’s highly recommended to have a 4×4 vehicle.

The Wild Coast is brimming with highlights, such as the Mkambati Nature Reserve, located south of Port Edward, with its swamp forests, grasslands, rocky beaches, and herds of eland and hartebeest grazing in the open. A series of waterfalls spill dramatically into the ocean. The Silaka Nature Reserve near Port St Johns boasts a network of trails that wind through exotic lilies, zebras, and wildebeest. Bulungula Beach is the ultimate destination for surfing, fishing, swimming, and canoeing. You can drive to Hole in the Wall, but a three-hour hike along the grassy coastline offers a more picturesque approach to this natural rocky archway that swirls with local legends. The local Xhosa name is esiKhaleni, which means “the place of thunder,” referring to the sound of the roaring ocean as it rushes through the almost-round cavity.

However, the Wild Coast isn’t just about natural beauty. As you capture snapshots of cows basking on the beaches, remember that Nelson Mandela was born on these grasslands, and as a young boy, he tended to cows. Numerous sites related to him can be found here, including the Nelson Mandela Museum, which is comprised of three parts: a museum in Mthatha, a museum in the small hamlet of Qunu, where Mandela was baptised and buried, and an open-air museum in Mvezo, where he was born. It’s a profound connection to this far-flung land of wild splendour.

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Eat and Drink Your Way Through Taiwan 

Taiwan is a food lover’s paradise where snacking is the favourite national pastime, irrespective of the time of day or night. The country’s cuisine is a true melting pot, featuring a blend of Chinese Fujian, Cantonese, and Hakka flavours, as well as foraged ingredients from Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, and a hint of Japanese and American influence.

In Taiwan, you don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy the best food; some of the most unforgettable dining experiences can be found on the streets. Stroll past rows of family-run stalls that expertly fry, grill, or steam one or two xiao chi (small eats) to perfection. If you’re new to Taiwanese cuisine, here’s our guide to traditional dishes to get you started.

Beef Noodle Soup

Taiwanese beef noodle soup, also known as niurou mian, combines tender braised beef, chewy wheat noodles, and pickled mustard greens in a savoury broth with a hint of Sichuan spice. This comforting dish, considered Taiwan’s national dish, has a unique origin story. It was created by Chinese civil war veterans who migrated to Taiwan, bringing their regional recipes with them in hopes of finding a taste of home. In fact, niurou mian is so beloved in Taiwan that it has its own festival and has even helped overturn the island’s long-standing taboo against beef consumption.


Boba cha, or bubble tea, is a popular beverage trend originating from Taiwan that has taken the world by storm. The traditional version is made with tea, milk, ice, sugar, and chewy tapioca pearls and can be found at roadside stands and chain outlets. However, it has evolved into a variety of flavours using blended fruits, sweet potato balls, pureed taro, and even cheese – all of which are highly photogenic and shareable on social media. Regardless of the type, all boba drinks are shaken over ice and come with an extra-wide straw to enjoy the syrupy bubbles of tapioca that are mixed with the tea.

Shanghai-Style Soup Dumplings

Back in 1972, Din Tai Fung introduced its first bamboo steamer filled with handcrafted xiaolongbao, a type of soup-filled pork dumpling, to Taipei. Today, this iconic dish remains one of the most celebrated foods in Taiwan, drawing crowds to the original Xinyi Road location, where the queues attest to the simple yet impeccable quality of the Shanghai-style fare. Alongside the famous xiaolongbao, the menu also features soul-warming wonton soup and pork cutlet served over egg-fried rice. Despite the humble origins, Din Tai Fung has grown into a global brand with over 170 locations worldwide. A must-try when in Taiwan! 

Scallion Pancake

Taiwan’s take on green onion and fried egg pancakes, known as “congyoubing,” is a budget-friendly delight for the taste buds – crunchy, fluffy, and just greasy enough to cure a hangover. This popular street food is often sold from the most modest of carts, and the top vendors will have a queue of ravenous customers waiting. If you see an experienced cook working the wok, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Get in line and join the queue.

Ice-Cream Spring Roll

One of the more fusion of Taiwan’s snacks, this burrito-like street food is assembled while you wait, a crepe folded around three scoops of fruit ice cream, shards of peanut candy, and sprigs of cilantro that cut through the sweetness with a floral zing. Called run bing, the dish is a playful dessert riff on a savoury spring roll of the same name originating from Fujian on the mainland and traditionally filled with shredded turnip, sausage, peanuts, and cilantro.

We’re salivating just thinking about all these delicious delicacies. Happy eating!

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The Best Places to Travel in April 2023 

April marks a seasonal change worldwide, presenting an opportune time to discover historical landmarks, embark on thrilling escapades, and relish in locally grown produce. It’s the perfect time for an unforgettable excursion, so prepare your travel documents and luggage – here’s our April travel guide. 

South Korea

Think cherry blossoms only bloom in Japan? Think again. South Korea also offers stunning displays of cherry blossoms. Seoul hosts several flower festivals in April, featuring dreamy blooms at Seokchon Lake, Yeouido Island, and Changgyeonggung Palace. In the southern city of Busan, Jinhae is a picturesque port city surrounded by cherry blossoms. And in Gyeongju, the former capital of the ancient Silla dynasty, visitors can run in the annual Cherry Blossom Marathon while taking in the many temples, tombs, pagodas, and palaces that the city has to offer. Get ready to pack your bags and experience the beauty of spring in South Korea.


Dominica, sets itself apart from other Caribbean countries. Instead of the typical luxurious resorts, this tropical paradise is characterised by black sand and lush jungle, showcasing an authentic and rustic atmosphere. Hiking is a popular activity here, which is not commonly associated with the region. Moreover, Dominica is renowned for the abundant marine life, with approximately 200 sperm whales, porpoises and dolphins that can be seen year-round, as well as migrating humpback whales passing through from January to April. Sea turtles, including leatherbacks, loggerheads, greens, and hawksbills, also nest here from March to October.

Rome, Italy

If you’re a history enthusiast, you might want to consider visiting Rome during its birthday celebrations. The Eternal City was established on 21 April 753 BCE, and every year it commemorates the occasion with festivities, illuminations and lots of fireworks. In addition to the celebrations, April and May are ideal months to visit Rome. It is a sightseeing city, and it’s much better to do it during the mild spring days rather than in the middle of winter or peak summer when it’s busier and more expensive. Seasonal attractions are open, and menus are packed with delicious spring delicacies such as asparagus and artichokes. The quintessential dish of the season, vignarola, is a Roman specialty that combines peas, fava beans, lettuce, and artichokes.

Peloponnese, Greece

Located in the southern part of mainland Greece, the mountainous Peloponnese peninsula was once the heartland of the Spartans and is a treasure trove of history and fertile land. For a pleasant experience, visit during the mild and sunny spring season to explore the ruins of Olympia, Mycenae, and Epidaurus in comfortable temperatures and indulge in the local cuisine. Specialties include Kalamata olives, tsakoniki eggplant, roast suckling pig, and the protected-origin vanilla fir honey from the Menalon Mountains. This region is more community-focused than mass-market, with family-run food tours, guesthouses, and tavernas where you can enjoy authentic flavours. The wine is exceptional as well, with superb reds from Nemea and sweet white Malvasia from Monemvasia waiting to be tasted. 

Wairarapa, New Zealand

During grape-harvest season, when the vines turn orange and await picking, join the locals in raising a glass in the Wairarapa Wine Region, just an hour’s drive northeast of New Zealand’s capital city. This area boasts a similar climate to Burgundy and a wild, undiscovered ambiance. Martinborough, the charming old town at the heart of the wine industry, offers family-owned vineyards that produce top-quality pinot noir. While Luna has a restaurant on-site, Nga Waka and Schubert provide more intimate options. Gourmet tours and food-wine pairing experiences are available, combining visits to some of the 20-plus vineyards with beer from the region’s craft breweries and world-class cheese platters. Alternatively, take a self-guided cycling tour of the vineyards, as the cellar doors are conveniently located close to one another and easy to reach by bike.

With such dreamy destinations, each offering its own unique appeal – how will you choose? Either way, we know you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.

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When is the Best Time to Visit Japan? 

With its captivating fusion of tradition and modernity, as well as its bustling cities and breathtaking countryside – Japan offers visitors a formidable experience. So whenever you decide to visit, there are plenty of experiences to be had. 

From the lively atmosphere of downtown Tokyo to a tranquil retreat surrounded by wooded mountains, there’s a season in Japan that’s ideal for you. Here is our guide to help you choose the perfect time to visit.

April to May 

April through May marks the peak travel period in Japan, thanks to the cherry blossom season. During this time, locals and tourists alike flock to parks, gardens, and other blossom-strewn spots to partake in hanami, the annual ritual of observing the spring blossom. 

The cherry blossoms emerge and disappear over a two-week period, depending on weather patterns and local geography, making it difficult to predict the exact timing in advance. Along Japan’s “Golden Route,” a popular tourist trail running along the east coast, the flowers usually bloom between late March and early April, making April a reliable month to plan a trip.

Golden Week arrives in early May, bringing warm and sunny weather and a string of national holidays. If you’re planning a trip around this time, note that hotel and flight prices may skyrocket as crowds flood Japan’s cities. 

June to July

June and July are the ideal months for hiking in the Japanese Alps, with nature enthusiasts drawn to the great outdoors as the summer heat builds up in the cities. Firework festivals in July are a big attraction, with tens of thousands of rockets lighting up the night skies over major cities. 

Tanabata, the festival of star-crossed lovers, sees locals donning traditional kimono and yukata robes as they set out to find romance. Honshu, Japan’s main island, typically experiences its rainy season between these two months, resulting in slightly lower hotel prices and fewer crowds for outdoor activities.

August to November

Late summer and fall see a surge in visitor numbers, with big crowds of domestic tourists. The O-Bon season (Festival of the Dead), which starts in mid-August, is the summer equivalent of Golden Week and is a busy time due to national holidays, colorful festivals, and high temperatures. August is also a popular time for cooler mountain destinations, and Mt Fuji is a hub for hikers during the mid-July to mid-September climbing season. 

September sees a lull before the fall foliage season begins, which starts in late September and moves slowly south across the country, attracting crowds to ancient gardens and mountain trails. Late November is the most scenic time for hiking through the forests of Mt Takao and Mt Mitake on the outskirts of Tokyo. 

December to March

During winter, tourist attractions in Japan are less crowded, and accommodation is generally more affordable – except for the ski resorts as they get busy with the skiing season. For avid skiers and snowboarders, Japan’s powder snow, especially in Hokkaidō, is considered some of the best in the world, and it might be worth spending extra to experience it. However, it’s important to note that many businesses shut down during the New Year period, and temples and shrines get crowded with Japanese families. Therefore, it’s advisable to stay in cities during this time, and Tokyo is usually the best place for celebrating big New Year parties.

There you have it! What to expect and when – so when you’re planning your next travel adventure you can plan around the activities and holiday you want. Happy exploring!