Part#4–Unleashing Northeast India–Land Of Lama, Rains, Rhinos and Momos by Abhimanyu

Abode of clouds - Meghalaya!

Please excuse me for writing the final part of this journey after a gap of more than a month. Was caught up in adjusting with the “new normal” way of life and remote working.

There were struggles to get the groceries and seamless internet connectivity initially but now it’s all sorted. Meanwhile, I drove down to Raipur from Pune. 1000 kms in 20 hours with a co-driver. It was good fun. 

Reading part#4 directly might not be good idea so please click on the below links to read prequels

After spending 2 days in Assam, relishing local delicacies and meeting Rhinos it was time to hit the road again. Simanta was at hotel lobby with his innova, all neat and clean.

This time for a change, we started late. After lunch around 1:00 pm.

Day#7 –

  • Kaziranga national park to Cherrapunji
  • Travel time – 8.5 hours 
  • Road Condition – Smooth and well consructed
  • Stay – Saimika Resort, Cherrapunji

Lunch served to us @Bonhabi was full of taste and spices. Exactly the way we wanted.

The drive was pretty smooth, and we enjoyed the journey through the small villages, finally reaching the mountains from the plains. We stopped at Jiva Pure Veg to refill our tummies and this place is one of a kind. Very hygienic and full of taste. We ordered momos, noodles and some biryani. Reached at Saimika, resort by 10 pm. It seemed to be a deserted place wherein there was a security guard who led us to our twin-cottages (joined from inside).

Entering the cottages, our excitement reached next level. We had a fireplace inside the cottage. I have stayed in many resorts across India, but this was the first time I had this pretty thing inside the room. We asked the security to lit it up for us. Glasses clanged again with malt on the rocks. It was good fun and very relaxing. Woke up fresh next morning and opened the door of our cottage to be mesmerized by the beauty of this resort which seemed deserted yesterday. Resort is built on a cliff in acres of land, all construction is done using rocks which gives an ancient Roman feel to this place. Looked inspired by Harry Porter movie to a fair extend.

We had some quick sandwiches at the restaurant and left the resort to reach the entry-point of trek to famous “living Root Bridges.”

Day#8

  • living Root Bridges
  • Travel time – Full day trek 
  • Trek level – Moderate to difficult
  • Stay – Saimika Resort, Cherrapunji

At the entry point of the trek, you will meet local boys renting Bamboos and claiming to be guides.

My suggestion – Take Bamboos and not the guide. Because our guide named, Risk DID NOT guide us at all. He just kept walking ahead of us creating un-necessary pressure on us to trek down faster. Guide could be useful for getting some pictures clicked for sure.        

Single root bridge

Started off the hike and reached the,” single decker root bridge” after 1500 steps down hill.

It was tiring but we had some juice left in us so after some rest we moved ahead to the prime attraction of today’s hike – the double decker living root bridge. Another 2000 steps down hill, crossing a river, a few villages, lots of sweating and knee breaking efforts we reached the architectural brilliance, man-made, double decker living root bridge.  

There is a stream flowing underneath it and thousands of fishes are waiting to welcome you from a small pond of fresh, crystal clear water.

Fishes waiting to give you a natural pedicure

We spend time relaxing by the pond side and eating the packed food that we carried from Saimika. Pranthas that were packed had lost the taste completely and I suggest to better order Maggie from small shops around the root bridge.

Some wiki gyan for youA living root bridge is a type of simple suspension bridge formed of living plant roots by tree shaping. They are common in the southern part of the Northeast Indian state of Meghalaya. They are handmade from the aerial roots of rubber fig trees (Ficus elastica[1][2]) by the Khasi and Jaintia[3] peoples of the mountainous terrain along the southern part of the Shillong Plateau. Most of the bridges grow on steep slopes of subtropical moist broadleaf forest between 50m and 1150m above sea level.[4] As long as the tree from which it is formed remains healthy, the roots in the bridge can naturally grow thick and strengthen. New roots can grow throughout the tree’s life and must be pruned or manipulated to strengthen the bridge. Without active care, many bridges have decayed or grown wild, becoming unusable. *

*Source – Wikipedia

We had to trek upstairs again. Although none of us wanted to but we did as we had to.

Knees, thighs and back hurted bad but we kept walking and motivating each other. 

I will write another post on does and don’t while you take this tiring trek of Living Root Bridges. Finally reached the car parking after 7~8 hours to meet ever smiling Simanta.

Had maggie and tea and ditched all plans to see some waterfalls to reach Saimika resort so that we can enjoy this beautiful stay a little more. 

Evening was set with a lovely bon fire outside our cottages where we enjoyed endless chats under the sky full of stars, zillions of them twinkling all night long.

Next morning was a lazy one, got up late and enjoyed our pre-ordered breakfast at the gothic Sai-mika. After quick check-out Simanta took us for some sightseeing around Cherrapunji and Dawki river. The water has no colour and odour is true in the transparent river which flows from India to Bangladesh and merges in Bay of Bengal via Sundarbans. Boating is a must here and if you are enthusiastic like us the do take a dip in the freeazing crystal clear water. Left Cherrapunji by 4 pm for our next destination which was just a night halt for us.

Day#9

  • Cherrapunji to Umsning, Meghalaya
  • Travel time – 4 hours
  • Road condition – Very good and scenic
  • Stay – The Sanctuary Song Resort, Umsning, Meghalaya

All is well when it ends well. Reaching this serene resort, we thought to ourselves, what a showstopper trip end planned by the curator. Nested in nature’s lap within a forest, small stream flowing besides the resort and NO MOBILE NETWORK available. What else does a metro lad need!!

Final Night Celebration

Some local strawberry wine was bought from the reception, bon fire was lit and the night went on and on till 1 am. Crashed in our cosy beds and woke up with chirps of birds, Trisha was the 1st one to wake up and got outside to greet the birds singing in a foggy cold morning.

Day#10 was finally here when we had to board our flight back to Mumbai from Guwahati airport, which is around 3.5 hours smooth drive from the heavenly stay on earth called The Sanctuary Song Resort. I leave you with some pictures here as we end this epic journey of a lifetime with a promise to come back again soon.

Reach out to us for any queries about this trip and for planning and booking yours.

#travel-click-eat-repeat

Send your love to us in comments section and by sharing this blog as much as possible.

Meet the star – Simanta – The ever smiling Mawa Man

See you soon again!

Cheers!

Abhimanyu @yatripandit

Guest post || Must-See places and fun activities to do in Dubai 2021 by MONICA

The year 2020 played a spoilsport. It was indeed an unusual year where travel ceased to a halt. But now that the world is slowly coming back to normal, globetrotters are longing to travel beyond their countries to exciting destinations. Dubai is one of the global cities that has opened its borders during the pandemic and welcomed discerning travelers. The Emirate’s optimism is strong-willed, ready to face challenges, and looks forward to 2021 with buoyance. For those looking for a 2021 getaway to Dubai, here are the top attractions and activities to include in your Dubai holiday

At Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina Walk

Dubai Marina is that one place in Dubai that aptly captures the urbane flair and extravagance of Dubai. Flaunted blatantly, the opulence is enticing to witness. Saunter through Dubai Marina’s serene promenades to experience the luxe life of yacht-lined harbourfront, soaring skyscrapers that dazzle at night, and a range of cafes, fine-dining restaurants and shopping arcades.

Dubai, Dubai Marina, Emirates, Gulf, Illuminated
Dubai Marina

Sunset Dinner Cruise on Dubai Marina

The scenic vistas of a brook meandering through high-raised skyscrapers can only be imagined in Dubai. Visit this man-made creek at night which looks absolutely magnificent with shimmering waters reflecting a kaleidoscope of hues from surrounding illuminated structures. Take a gentle cruise down the Dubai Marina in the evening to enjoy a gorgeous sundowner experience along with scrumptious dinner on board.

Dubai Marina, Boat, River, Water, Night, Lights

Zero Gravity Beach Club

You can spend an entire day at Zero Gravity Beach Club. A leisure retreat that comprises a beachfront, pools, club and restaurant, and a concert venue, Zero Gravity Beach Club is one of the most happening hotspots in Dubai Marina. It is famous for its nightlife and parties where you can dance all night and groove to the beats of famous DJs from around the world.

Dubai, Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates, Marina Boat

At Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Aquaventure waterpark and Lost Chambers Aquarium

Step away from the city life and venture out to experience the ultimate adventure and leisure moments at Aquaventure Waterpark. Located at Atlantis the Palm, get ready for a day where you slide, tumble and plunge exhilarating water slides and rides. Your day at Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark will only get bolder and adventurous. Boasted as the best waterpark in the Middle East, Aquaventure deserves the praise for keeping its guests excited and invigorated throughout their time spent here. Located next to Aquaventure Waterpark is an aquatic experience you have never experienced ever. The Lost Chambers Aquarium takes you up, close and personal to the enigmatic realm of the underwater world filled with awesome varieties of marine creatures of the ocean.

Dubai, Palm, Jumeirah, Uae, Tourism, Hotel, Luxurious

The Palm Fountain

 The brand-new attraction that took everyone’s breath away with its spectacular performance,  The Palm Fountain is now the world’s biggest dancing fountain. Breaking its own record held by Dubai Fountains, Dubai unveiled the next big thing of the emirate – the flamboyant Palm Fountain in October 2020. Located at the boulevard of The Pointe at Palm Dubai, enjoy an enchanting evening viewing the spectacle of Palm Fountain sashaying to music and colorful jets of water shooting up into the starry sky. This is one magnificent show that lingers on in the mind long after you have experienced it. 

Night, Dubai, Fountain

At Zabeel Park

Dubai Frame

There are many ways to view Dubai’s awe-inspiring skyline but Dubai Frame is an extraordinary spot to witness the city’s splendor. Dubai Frame in actuality frames the beauty of New Dubai and old-world charms of Old Dubai. It beautifully captures the past, present and also gives an insight into the future of Dubai. Standing at 150 meters, Dubai Frame is the world’s largest Frame that appeals to visitors with its architectural wonder. It is one of the unmissable spots to visit in Dubai. 

Dubai Frame, Dubai, Uae, Emirates, Architecture

At Old Dubai

Al Seef

The old meets new at Al Seef Dubai. This fascinating stretch located on the shores of Dubai Creek offers a blend of Arabic heritage and culture with western contemporary comforts.  Lined along the shoreline, you can enjoy fabulous vistas of Old Dubai architecture and vibes while enjoying international dining, café culture and retail therapy. The Arabian heritage stands out in Al Seef and lets its visitors explore souks, Emirati traditions and old-world charms of Dubai’s bygone era.

Tea, Arab, Saudi, Dubai, Morocco, Arabic, Marrakesh

Al Bastakiya Quarters

Step back into the past when Dubai was mellower and a simple village in the desert. Amid the towering skyscrapers, Al Bastakiya stands out as a starkly contrasting change of scenery. Preserving the ancient traditional roots of Emirati culture, Al Bastakiya Quarters gives you an insight into the life before modernity took over in Dubai. The monotone structures with wind towers and quaint narrow alleys exude memoirs of Dubai’s precious olden days and heritage.

Dubai Souks

Steer away from the glamourous malls of Dubai and wander through colorful alleys of Dubai Souks. Shop for glittering gold jewelry, aromatic spices and perfumes and hand-crafted textiles at reasonable prices. If you are good at haggling, then you are in for a treat for some bargain retail therapy.

Lantern, Light, Lamp, Hanging, Lighting, Arabic, Arab

At Downtown Dubai

Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain

The tallest tower in the world – Burj Khalifa is one of the most popular landmarks to visit in Dubai. Right next to it Dubai Fountains adds an extra grandeur to the whole scenario. Together, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain dominate the scene at Dubai Downtown and at night the whole arena lights up into an illuminated spectacle. Don’t forget to take a trip to the top of Burj Khalifa to witness a scintillating view of the Dubai city skyline and the dancing fountains below.

Dubai, Desert, Burj Kalifa, Emirates, Vacations

Dubai Mall

One of the most popular activities to do in Dubai is shopping! However, no other mall comes close to comparison against the extravagance of Dubai Mall. Sprawling over 500000 square meters and brimming with over 1000 retail outlets, Dubai Mall is a shopper’s paradise. Once you enter this magnificent mall, apart from shopping you can enjoy a host of recreational activities such as VR Park, KidZania, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo to name a few. 

Shopping Mall, Layer, Dubai, The Glass Ceiling, Man

About the author:

Monica Singh is a freelance travel writer by profession. She is particularly fond of traveling and loves to jot down her experiences and cultural diversities of different countries.

Pandemic – A Counter Perspective!

Yes, its been more than 6 months since the world is fighting against a virus called Corona Virus. Some say it’s a man-made virus for the quest of becoming world power while some say it’s a natural virus found in bats. Well; whatever is the origin of this virus, it for sure is lethal. Claimed 2 million human lives till today when we are fortunately alive to write this piece. Date – 4th Nov 2020.

Virus out-break has changed the way humans have been living on earth for years together.

While our prayers remain with the lost lives and patients, two doctors and an engineer have come together to compile a counter perspective about this Pandemic.

  1. Mother earth is rejuvenating – Nature for sure, has got some time out of the increasing human activities which was hampering its original self.
  • Reduced air travel has decreased carbon footprint
  • Many countries had to impose lockdown to control spread of virus this also led to reduced air and sound pollution caused by the vehicles
  • Consumption of fossil fuels reduced to great extend
  • Wild animals were seen on roads and human residential areas in many places across the world. Seemed as if animals wanted to promote co-existence with humans
  • Urban birds were heard chirping after ages may be..
  •  Work-life Balance – Corporate houses including IT and Non-IT promoted “work from home” or “remote working” option – This option would not have been possible about a decade back because of slow internet speeds but in 2020 it was not the same as before
  • No pain of travelling long distance to reach office and back home. Reduced pollution and time saving
  • Increased productivity because of less distractions and un-necessary breaks
  • Increased family time – Remote working has provided increased time spend with family
  • Hometown could also be your “permanent address” – The small towners which was living away from their families to pursue their career in a metropolitan, got a chance to go back and work remotely from their pretty hometowns. All they need is an internet connection, home office set-up & zeal to perform well.
  • Migration back to small towns help the metros to get some breathing space, made parents happy to see their children live with them and families started look like the one show in “dekh bhai dekh” TV serial again.
  • This could also be the 1st step towards Mr. Modi’s dream of                 de-centralization of economy.
  • Reduction in expenses – I am sure all of you must have felt a decline in expenses during this pandemic era.
  • No un-necessary travel
  • No BIG FAT INDIAN Weddings
  • No going to malls and ends up buying stuff which would remain in your closet for years to come
  • No pocket burning dinners every weekend
  • Money saved is money earned, many like me have started investing money wisely for a balanced future
  • Health is Wealth – All of us have learnt this in school but a handful of us practice. Work schedules and commitments could be blamed easily.
  • Yoga se hogaMany of us started to learn yoga via online classes

I learn it from Dr. Richa, who could be reached on +91-9769792022 via whatsapp or call.

  • Old is gold – Ancient Indian medicine, Ayurveda re-entered our lives with a bang. Started with Kadha, chavanprasha, amla, giloy, steam and so on.
  • Revisit hobbies – The ones which were mentioned in our CVs and never practiced because of frantic work schedules got inducted in our lives again. Reading, painting, crafts, writing to name a few.
  • Working together could be fun – All members including males participated in cooking and other households like washing cloths and doing utensils.
  • Hygiene – Washing hands using soap for 20 secs or taking a bath right after you enter home from outside. Such practices took important places in our daily lives.

While we continue to fight against the spread of Covid-19 across the globe. We hope to have shown you some positives in the ocean full of negatives by our “Counter Perspective” on the pandemic.

Moving ahead we must continue with the good practices learnt during pandemic & we are sure the world will become a pretty place to thrive again.

Stay home, stay safe and stay positive

Love from

Dr. Nidhi

Dr. Kriti

& Abhimanyu@ yatripandit      

Guest Post || Adventure to Havelock (Swaraj Dweep) Island by ridhi

I and my partner got married in February 2020. Between mountains and beaches, we agreed upon beaches as our honeymoon destination. After considering all options while surfing on the internet, we both agreed on Andaman and Nicobar Group.

On checking the pictures of that place, we were mesmerized and surprised that India has an island group that beats the beauty of most of the renowned foreign countries. We found Havelock as the most beautiful island in this group. The pristine turquoise water of Radhanagar Beach lined with lush green forest and premium water sport activities on Elephant Beach with jungle treks and exquisite coral life offers a refreshing experience in the natural habitat.

Even if one is not interested in water sports, he or she can enjoy the luxurious resorts along the beachside and have a serene experience of the sea waters. Havelock has now been named as “Swaraj Dweep” Island.

 Best Time To Visit

November-March

 Places visited

We started our journey by taking a flight to Port Blair. From the Veer Savarkar International Airport, we headed to Phoenix Bay Jetty to reach Havelock Island through Makruzz Ferry. I was very excited to use the ferry as I have never been to one. The ferry is pretty close to the airport and can be reached through any commercial vehicle. We completed the check-in formalities. After that, we walked towards the ferry. Luggage was loaded separately and we ensured to tag our names to avoid confusion while traveling.

The journey through the ferry was full of excitement. The best part was window seats where one can enjoy the motion of the waves. The interiors are designed more like a flight except for water instead of clouds outside the window:D. It is fully airconditioned, has televisions to watch recorded programs, a café to supply snacks, pastries, and beverages. One could easily wander in the Ferry without having to worry about any kind of turbulence.

After about one and a half hours, we reached Havelock Jetty. We checked into Hotel Seashells which had its private beach.

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Day 1: Radhanagar Beach

We started our Day 1 by visiting Radhanagar Beach which is the Seventh Best Beaches in the world and its beauty is such that you might wonder how can there be any beach better than this. Radhanagar Beach has both beauty of the beach and lush green forest.

One can swim, enjoy the rushing waves, walk with the loved ones, and enjoy the sunset and take shed in the lush greenery. We had also booked a photographer from VsnapU to get our best moments captured in the best beach of South-Asia.

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 Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The funny part of this beach is the care-taker of the restroom. One can easily use the restroom and changing room and also avail locker facilities. One has to pay a nominal price of Rs.10/20 to use the restroom and the caretaker keeps yelling “Joota Chappal Dho ke Jaiye” which means clean your footwear with water before using the restroom. I am sure you will laugh when you pay a visit next time when you meet that man who keeps cleaning after every visitor.


In case you get hungry, fruits and snacks are available outside the beach though things are pretty expensive, we preferred to help them in their small business and me encourage you to do the same.


I would love to share the best moments spent there through the perfect shots taken by VsnapU at the

 Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
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At around 06: 00 P.M. we went back to Hotel Seashells.

Day 2: Elephant Beach


We went through a speed boat. One has to remember its boat name and would be called by not its name but boat name while returning. The Beach has a mobile network issue so take care when the boatman calls you as the Beach closes by 03:30 P.M. I remember our boat name was “Sri”.

Video Link: Speed Boat Ride to Elephant Beach
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Elephant Beach is renowned for its premium watersports activities. I thoroughly enjoyed scuba diving and snorkeling at Elephant Beach with my partner. All activities are done under the supervision of professional trainers and you don’t need to worry even if you don’t know swimming.
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Scuba is the best way to witness the vibrant marine life of Havelock Island. The captivating views of beautiful and colorful fish, swimming around the stunning corals will surely make you gather moments to add to the album of life.  If you are not a fan of going underwater then you can go for a glass-bottom boat ride, Jet Ski or Banana Boat rides. 

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 Elephant Beach, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
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Snorkeling is a complementary activity with the boat tickets to Elephant Beach. Deep-sea snorkeling is however chargeable. Price varies for all activities and has to be paid in cash instantly. Do not register for too many activities as you won’t have enough time to stay on the Beach.

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Shacks have been set up to provide refreshments, fruits, and coconut water.

 Transportation

1. Reach Port Blair by air

Havelock Island doesn’t have an airport of its own. One can reach Port Blair by air from various cities. Most of the flights are scheduled for the morning. Port Blair Aiport is also called Veer Savarkar International Airport.

2. Take a Ferry from Port Blair to Havelock Island.

From Airport take an auto/hired car to Phoenix Bay Jetty which is pretty close to the airport. From the Jetty, one has to take a ferry. There are both Government and Private Ferry. The latter one is expensive. Seaplane is also available with seating arrangements for eight guests and offers exciting aerial views of Island landscapes but is a bit expensive. The Government Ferrys are pretty good. All bookings have to be made in advance. Schedule of the two Government Ferrys are given below:

Schedule for Green OceanBoardingArrivalDuration  6:00 AM8:00 AM2 hours6:30 AM9:00 AM2 hours 30min12:15 PM2:15 PM2 hours12:30 AM2:45 AM2 hours 15min

Starting Price  RefreshmentsSeaviewEconomy- Rs. 1044/-Not servedNot available in Economy ClassLuxury- Rs. 1103/-Not served Available Royale-Rs. 1692/-Not served Available 


Schedule for Makruzz

BoardingArrivalDuration
7:15 AM8:45 AM1 hour 30 min
8:00 AM9:30 AM1 hour 30 min
2:00 PM3:30 PM1 hour 30 min
Starting Price  RefreshmentsSeaview
Economy- Rs. 1457/- Purchase from Mak CaféAvailable
Luxury- Rs. 2008/-Refreshments served.Available
Royale-Rs. 3218/-Refreshments served.Available

We made our bookings for Makruzz and reached the Jetty through a hired car. The experience from Ferry is a fantastic one with clean and air-conditioned cabins, cafe, window-side Seaview, arrangement for luggage. Don’t forget to properly tag your luggage as the same are boarded separately.

3. Havelock Island to Elephant Beach/ Radhanagar Beach and other beaches like Kalapathar Beach, Vijaynagar Beach and Govind Nagar Beach

Check into the hotel and use any commercial vehicle like speed boat/auto/ hired two-wheeler or four-wheeler/trekking hill to reach the beaches. The best experience is definitely through a speed boat.

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 Pro-tips

Traveler’s Tips

  • Mobile connectivity is an issue on this island, so make all bookings in advance.
  • Keep the tickets handy. Wifi available in hotels also do not work sometimes.
  • Carry cash as you may not be able to use your debit/credit cards.
  • As one will be indulged in water activities, do not forget to carry medicines. No medical shops are available on this island.
  • Carry a water bottle wherever you go. Though coconut water is available after every short distance to keep you hydrated.
  • Visit the beach as per the timings so make sure you plan in advance. Elephant beach closes around 03: 00 P.M. while Radhanagar Beach remains open till 06:00 P.M.
  • Carry a bath towel, an extra pair of clothes, a swimming costume, a pair of flip-flops, sunscreen lotion, a hat, sanitizer, and shades. There are changing rooms and washrooms available on the beaches. Comfortable footwear is an added advantage.
  • People here are very friendly and welcoming. They try the best to keep the beaches pollution-free and the same is expected by us.

Author Bio – 
Ridhi loves trying out new foods, seeing iconic landmarks, meeting lots of people, and of course, has a huge sense of adventure. Traveling is one of the best ways to fulfill her need for adventure because so many activities can be considered “adventurous.” Trying out new foods, skydiving, water sports, cultural clothing and salsa dancing in the street can all be considered adventurous parts of her travels. The most fascinating place for her are the beaches. The crystal clear water, roaring waves and lush green forest by the beach is the place where she finds herself at serene.

Guest Post || Italian coffee culture by Emma..

The history of the appearance of the French press

In 1852, the French inventors Mayer and Delforge presented an interesting novelty to the public: a cylindrical vessel with a press designed for brewing coffee. But the adaptation was not successful: due to the imperfection of the press, too much coffee grounds slipped into the cup.

It wasn’t until 1928 that Italian designers Atilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta patented an improved French press. In the new model, not just a metal plate was attached to the piston, but a filter mesh, which made it possible to carefully separate the liquid from the thick. In the following decades, the design of the fixture was improved by attaching a safe handle and a stable base to protect the tabletop from heat.

The real popularity came to the manual coffee maker in 1958, when its design was finalized by Faliero Bondanini, and two European companies were engaged in production at once: the French – Martin S.A. (Chambord brand) and English – Household Articles (La Cafetiere brand). The original owner of Household Articles, L.J. de Ville-Castel, was one of the investors in Martin S.A., but in the 90s of the XX century, the French company was bought out by the Danish holding Bodum.

How Italians choose the French Press

flask material: glass, stainless steel, ceramics. Heat-resistant glass flasks are most often found, but they are fragile, and cheap models are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. Therefore, it is good if the kit includes a spare glass container. The vessels made of stainless steel and ceramics are stronger, but the color of the drink is not visible when brewing. It is believed that the most delicious coffee is obtained in French presses with ceramic flasks;

1. Double-walled flasks retain heat better, which is very important for correct coffee extraction;

2. The stainless steel filter is designed for medium and coarse coffee. Fine powder can be brewed with a nylon filter;

3. The handle of the french press must not heat up. Polymer coated handles are preferred. Sometimes on sale there are teapots with bamboo handles;

4. The base of the French press must be stable.

How coffee is made at the French Press in Italy

A classic French press is a cylindrical container made of heat-resistant glass (less often – made of stainless steel or ceramics) with a lid, where a piston (plunger) with a filter is inserted. It would seem that everything is simple. Ground coffee needs to be poured into a vessel, closed, lower the press – and an invigorating drink is ready. But the taste of coffee brewed in a French press depends on many little things: the type of beans, the method of roasting, grinding, water quality, brewing time.

Choosing coffee for a French press

The coffee made from a blend of Arabica and Robusta, prepared in a French press, is too bitter. But even bitterness lovers are not recommended to use blends that contain more than 10% robusta. The best coffee for  French press which you can find at MyFriendsCoffee is made up 100% Arabica, and experienced baristas prefer single varieties, although mixtures are also acceptable. Delicious coffee is made from medium roasted beans: Vienna, Full City. If you like sourness, then you can use coffee and a lighter roast.

Burr coffee grinders grind beans much more evenly than knife grinders. If you have a choice, then it is better to grind coffee for brewing in a French press on a grinder.

In stores, ready-made ground coffee is sold, but the drink from the beans, ground immediately before preparation, turns out to be more aromatic. At home, ground coffee is stored in hermetically sealed vessels for no longer than 2 weeks

Selecting water for coffee

Tap water, even boiled water, is not suitable for brewing coffee in a French press. In extreme cases, such water can be purified using an aquafilter or ozonizer. But bottled water with a mineralization index of 150 mg / l (or at least in the range of 70-200 mg / l) is much more preferable.

Step-by-step recipe for preparing iconic coffee in the French press

1. Before brewing coffee in a French press, rinse the flask of the French press with hot water at a temperature of about + 70 ° C (it can be slightly lower or higher, but in no case with boiling water).

2. Put in a flask 7-9 g of ground coffee per 100 ml of water. In one teaspoon without a slide, about 3 g of crushed beans is placed, with a slide – up to 5 g. If you need to prepare a full container of the drink, it is easier to focus on the handle of the French press: pour coffee powder exactly to the level where its lower part is attached …

3. Pour some room temperature water into a flask (just to moisten the ground coffee) and stir.

4. After 15–20 seconds, add hot water with a temperature of +85 to +9 to the flask 2 ° C. The water level should not be higher than the top edge of the handle. Under no circumstances should you brew coffee with boiling water! If the vessel is glass, then before pouring hot water, put a metal spoon in it: even heat-resistant glass does not always withstand temperature drops

5. Stir coffee and cover. Do not lower the piston. The filter should be 1 cm above the water level.

6. The brewing time is 4-7 minutes. After 4–5 minutes, a moderately strong, aromatic coffee with a noticeable acidity is obtained. If you want to get a stronger drink, it is allowed to extend the brewing for a few minutes. But starting from the 4th minute of brewing, the bitterness of coffee increases significantly, the concentration of not only caffeine, but also harmful substances increases in it.

7. Slowly lower the plunger and immediately pour the brewed coffee into the cups, it cannot be left in the flask. Add sugar to taste.

8. After making coffee, the French press should be washed as soon as possible: no matter whether in the dishwasher or under the tap. If there is no time to wash the dishes, then you need to at least leave the flask open: let the coffee grounds dry better than the vessel and filter acquire a musty smell, which is difficult to get rid of !!

Disclaimer: *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

**Photos from the guest Author / Google

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Guest Post || Kayaking In New Zealand by Michelle

With more than 16,500km of pristine coastline, 18,813km of waterways and 4,800 lakes, it is safe to say that there is a lot to be discovered in New Zealand by kayaking in the country! From the quiet, inland waterways that border the Waikato and Bay of Islands, to the spectacular scenery found in the south islands, New Zealand offers many opportunities for kayaking and is well known for its excellent, crystal clear water quality.

The largest river in New Zealand, the Otago, flows through the central North Island. The Te Puna River flows through South Island, from Christchurch in the South Island and the Bay of Islands to Rotorua in the North Island. Both these rivers are very popular and provide numerous opportunities for kayaking.

Kayaking in New Zealand has gained popularity over the years with many new and experienced kayakers looking to explore the country in a unique way. There are many other river systems in the country, as well as the ever popular Marlborough Sounds and the many lakes in between. The lakes in between, however, are much harder to access, but the water can still be extremely clear, and can be accessed via a series of bridges and small tributaries. All of this makes kayaking in New Zealand one of the best ways to explore the country on a budget.

Infaltable Kayaks

Kayaking in New Zealand is naturally more popular away from the cities, however if you do live in the city centres an ideal solution is to buy an inflatable kayak, so you can easily pack it up into a car or on the bus and blow it up wherever you decide to go. For many kayakers, the countryside of New Zealand is too much of an expensive commitment and is just not worth it! Kayaking in New Zealand offers a unique experience with many opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of rural life, as well as being a great way to get a real feel for the country.

South or North Island?

Many people choose to kayak in the South Island for an adventure with an even more off-the-beaten-track feeling, because it provides excellent opportunities for river kayaking, as well as – rafting and fishing. Other activities including bungee jumping, snorkelling, paragliding and mountain biking. While kayaking in New Zealand isn’t the only way to enjoy the adventure, it certainly is an option that is highly recommended. Kayakers often spend their days exploring the rivers and waterways, where they can see many species of fish and bird life, and maybe even find themselves meeting up with some of the local Maori!

In the north islands, kayaking also offers many opportunities for adventure. The Hauraki region is known for kayaking activities, as it provides a great example of nature in its natural state. The Hauraki Gulf is home to a series of underwater caves that allow you to dive into the underwater world, where you can see many sea creatures. Many people go whale watching on this area, which can be an amazing experience.

Adventure Rafting

Kayaking in New Zealand also offers many opportunities for river rafting. The Wairakei River runs through the south island from Christchurch to the Marlborough Sounds, offering a great opportunity for adventure rafting. If you don’t have time to get in the river, then you can take the ferry to the Whakarewarewa, where there are plenty of great shops to buy food, supplies and equipment. No matter what your adventure, kayaking in New Zealand is something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime! With the beautiful scenery that are so abundant here, and the variety of water activities, whether you choose to walk on the beaches, ride the water or go kayaking, you will get a great experience that is sure to make you happy! Whether you are just looking for some fresh air, or just want to spend some time in nature, there is no better place to spend your day than on the water!

Disclaimer: *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

**Photos from the guest Author / Google

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

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Guest Post || A Perfect Guide to Travel in Dubai by Kritika

Culturally rooted and yet deeply modern, Dubai is the perfect holiday spot for families, honeymooners and even a group of friends. Be it a short stopover between flights or a proper long vacation, this guide would help you to have a memorable Dubai holiday.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Dubai is between the months of November and March, when the climate is the most pleasant. However, as this is the peak holiday season, expect the city swarming with tourists from all over the world. If you want to save yourself from the crowd and also save some money, plan your trip during the summer seasons between April to October. However, the temperature can be quite high during this time.

Where to Stay

When it comes to accommodation, Dubai has everything from budget to luxury hotels. If you are planning to stay in Dubai for a long time, AirBnB is also a good option.

How to Travel

Taxis are the quickest way to travel in Dubai. However, if you have time in your hands and want to save money, the Dubai metro is a reliable and efficient way to travel within the city. Local buses are great to travel to most of the popular locations.

What to Eat and Where to Eat

When it comes to food, you are spoilt for choice in Dubai. Right from the local Emirati cuisine to Indian, Japanese and European, there is rarely a cuisine on earth that you would not find in the city. Although you have several options, do try the local Mediterranean cuisine at least once during your tour. As for where to eat, there are endless choices here too. Depending on your budget, you can eat anywhere from small restaurants and food courts to quaint cafes and high-end restaurants in the city.

What to See and Do

Dubai thrives on tourism, and the city strives to make it interesting for the tourists by adding unique and thrilling places and activities to it, almost every year. Some of the things that you should not miss in Dubai are as follows.

Burj Khalifa: Apart from being the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa has broken several world records and is worth the visit. Containing 162 floors in total, the Burj Khalifa is home to high-end restaurants, a 5-star hotel, luxury apartment complex, corporate offices and two observation decks. You can book your tickets online to avoid standing in queues.

Desert Safari: For the most authentic Arabic experience, going on the Dubai desert safari is necessary. The desert safari is a mix of thrilling adventure, good food and fantastic entertainment. You can choose amongst evening, morning and overnight desert safaris.desert-safari

Dubai Museum: There is so much more to Dubai than its shiny glamour, and to know more about it, you must visit the Dubai Museum. Located inside the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum takes you back in time when the city was a simple fishing village.

Dubai Mall: One of the largest malls in the world, the Dubai Mall is the epitome of shopping, entertainment and great food. Apart from the 1200 retail stores, Dubai Mall Aquarium, KidZania Dubai, Dubai Ice Rink, the food court, etc. are some of the other popular attractions of the mall. Do check out the Dubai Fountain Show that happens every day from 6 PM to 11 PM (every 30 minutes), right outside the Dubai Mall.

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Dubai Miracle Garden: Spread around 72,000 square meters, the Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest flower garden in the world. You would find more than 109 million flowers here arranged in beautiful and unique designs.

 

Dubai Frame: The largest frame in the world, the Dubai Frame is strategically placed so that you can see the old Dubai from one side and the new and modern Dubai from the other. You can get your Dubai Frame tickets online to avoid standing in line.

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Few other places that should be on your itinerary include Kite Beach, Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina, Bastakiya Quarter, Jumeirah Mosque, etc.

Conclusion

Dubai is one of the finest Arab city, where the old blends beautifully with the new, making it ideal place for a holiday.

 

Disclaimer: *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

**Photos from the guest Author / Google

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

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Part#3 – Unleashing Northeast India – Land of Lamas, Rains, Rhinos and Momos!! By Abhimanyu

Arriving in Assam – land of tea, tradition & one horned Rhino!

After the lovely dinner and cosy night stay at luxurious Gonpalok home stay at Dirang it was the time to bid goodbyes to Mountains and hit the plains.

As always, we left early morning and Simanta was waiting for us with the engine on of innova. He seemed happier, may be because we were going to be in his state of Assam.

Our personalised travel consultant took special efforts to accommodate our modified plan of going to Assam. Waving hands and exchanging smiles with the sweet caretaker, we left for the state of Assam. Assam is famous for Tea, rice, history and wildlife.

Hold on, if you have landed to this page directly, please click Part#1 and Part#2 to read the prequels. Do come back here.

Day#5 –

  • Dirang to Kaziranga national park
  • Travel time – 9 hours  
  • Road Condition – Worst (mostly under construction) that I have ever seen
  • Stay – Bonhabi Resort, Kaziranga

It was not the best days of the journey. Yes, we left early but the route that Simanta took was the worst road that I have ever seen in my lifetime. About 100 Kms was totally under construction and full of bumps. It seemed we are driving on a bullock cart both by speed and jerks. Dust clouds prevailed almost on the full stretch of 100kms of that road.

Dirang to kazi

We were stopped on the mid-way of those 100kms because some blasting was going on for road construction. Here we were in the middle of nowhere, waiting on a check post. There were a few more vehicles waiting behind us. We tried to kill time by clicking some infact many pictures, taking a walk around the area.

We could find a small café which served Maggie and eggs. Yes, throughout our journey Maggie, mawa, sleeping like pigs and leaving early morning have been constants. Finally, after slowest 5 hours of my life, the post officer let us move past the barrier. Simanta, loaded his Mawa and we were back to life. Before crossing Arunachal’s border and entering Assam, we stopped to buy some more liquor stock to be brought back with us to Maharashtra.

The roads in Assam were smooth and scenic, I am sure driving would have been a pleasure on them. All off a sudden I noticed, Simanta opened his door and peeped outside the door bending downwards for a second and was back again on the wheel. We understood, he did that to spit the mawa stuff. We realised he was in his own state and his confidence was touching sky.  

Usually, we visit 1 national park every year because being in the jungle brings you closest to mother earth. The birds, wilderness and flora are the real kings and we humans are just a small part of this majestic nature. I will share the link to National part stories at the end of this post. Do read ‘em all. This time we got a chance to meet 1 horn Rhino and its friends in one of the most famous national parks of India – Kaziranga National Park.

While entering the buffer area of Kaziranga, we were lucky to see hundreds of 1 horn rhinos grazing and swaying carefree on the grasslands on both sides on the road.

One Horned Rhino - Courtesy Outlook India
Image Courtesy : Outlook India

We finally reached our resort, Bonhabi around 5pm and we were tired for sure because of pointless waiting and bumpy road. The car was full of dust and dirt, from the inside and outside.

We went to our rooms; took shower and relaxed for an hour before we meet again to clink glasses, bawaa! it was mine and Trisha’s anniversary day. Cheers to two amazing and enthralling years of married life, we had no complaints by far. We reached the dining area to find probably the best food that we had during the journey. Full credit to our talented trip curator who ensured that we were served authentic assamese vegetarian food along with a cake specially ordered for our anniversary. She also tried to arrange local rice brew but maybe it was not our day. If you have tasted, let us know how it tastes in comment section. Seeing all the food we were damn excited, and it seemed that we were never tired of today’s journey. There was a wide variety of delicacies and we could not decide from what to start and where to end. Trying to list a few below: –

1) Local white or red rice (depending on season and region)

2) Bhoot Jhukoliya (Ghost Chillis – the hottest chilli in the world) – handle with extreme care

3) Aloo and Baingan Pitika (Steamed and salted Potato and Eggplant)

4) Dhekiya or Lye saag depending on season

5) Aloo, Aloo Potol, Cabbage, Beetroot or any other vegetable in season Bhaaji (Assorted Vegetables)

6) Yellow or Black Masoor Dal (Thick Lentil Soup)

7) Khoreo (Highly pungent and delicious ground mustard served with onion, garlic and other spices)

8) Pudina, Coconut, Sesame Chutney (Mint, Coconut or Sesame paste prepared with herbs and spices)

9) Salad made from young bamboo shoots

10) Paste made from raw mangoes or ground jackfruit seeds, etc

It was indeed a beautiful evening full of chats, variety of food and lots of love.     

Next morning, we again woke up early to see our pre-booked jungle safari waiting at the resort parking area. Open Maruti gypsy it was! Hopped in to start the jungle safari with a hope to sight rhinos, tigers, elephants, wild water buffalo, swamp deer, birds and many more.

Day#6 –

  • Kaziranga national park
  • Safari time – 6 hours 
  • Road Condition – as in jungle
  • Stay – Bonhabi Resort, Kaziranga

Wikipedia: Situated on the banks of mighty Bhramaputra river, Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site. The park is home to large breeding populations of tigers, elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognized as an important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation.IMG_20200213_103235IMG_20200213_093719

We left our resort at 8 am in the safari which was pre-booked by our trip curator. Agaratoli range was about 1-hour drive from our resort but we enjoyed the drive while we crossed tea plantations on both sides of the road and felt the wind pass through our hairs.

Over the last few years of travelling, I have realised the neither sea nor the mountains, but Jungle is my real calling. I love being in nature surrounded by greenery, blooms, birds, butterflies and animals other than humans. Oxygen loaded air unlike polluted one in cities. Blue skies, cool breeze rustling leaves and ant-hills of varied sizes.

We sighted no tigers, few elephants, some wild buffaloes, many birds, numerous dears and hell lot of ONE HORNED RHINOS. River Bramhaputra crosses the national park and the span of the river is massive. People in this region are used to floods every year.

It was a 6 hours safari for 4 of us which costed about INR. 3500/-.  

Our driver was our guide as well, and this was probably a mistake. I suggest hiring a trained forest guide who understands to calls (voices made by animals) precisely.

Back to Bonhabi resort by late afternoon we decided to take some rest and enjoyed the stay.  

Next morning, we were greeted by ever smiling Simanta again with a clean car, he got some time to relax and get the car cleaned yesterday. He took us to Kaziranga National Orchid and Biodiversity Park which was in close vicinity to our resort. This park houses about 500+ variety of orchids from all-over north-east India and you are briefed by learned guides about the variety, identification and importance of orchids.

Additionally this place also has a Bamboo garden, cactus garden, photo gallery and handloom display and weaving centre. One can witness the dying art of weaving the cloths by hand and also buy some shawls, stoles or gamchas to carry back home.

Next up was a stage which showcases Assamese folk dances like bamboo dance and other forms and every evening they depict special show of 1 hour. Try to catch that and let us know how was it, in comment section below. We had a good time cheering and applauding local folk artists but its sad that only 4 of us were doing so in an audience of about 25 people. All an artist need is applause and cheers, and we must do it.    

The entry fee is only 120 Rs per person and this place has a lot to offer.  

Reached our resort and packed our luggage for our last leg of trip where in we were about to experience the rains, dense forests, transparent rivers and living root bridges.

Also, as a bonus you will get to see Mr. Simanta. So, stay tuned for the last part of this journey of life time. 

While leaving kaziranga chai lovers like us purchased kilos of Tea for ourselves, friends and family.

Here are the links which will take you to our earlier travelogues about jungle trips. Enjoy reading and do share if you like them.

  1. Barnawapara – A not so famous Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Bow Down to the King – Bandhavgarh
  3. Bastar – The land of whispering Mountains – Chhattisgarh
  4. YP Original || Rules of the Jungle by Abhimanyu

 

See you soon again!

Abhimanyu @ Yatripandit

Guest Post || Recreation And Safari In Tanzania. What You Need To Know When Sending Tourists To Africa by Emma

TANZANIA OR KENYA?

 

To choose the right destination for an exotic vacation, you first need to know what its features are, what is seasonality, what a destination can offer travelers. Most tourists do not associate Tanzania with a separate destination, they mainly combine it with Kenya.

 

Recall that we wrote in detail about Kenya here. Nevertheless, Tanzania is not inferior in some respects to its “neighbor” in the geographical map, but somewhere surpasses it. A travel agent can safely offer its tourists Tanzania as a separate destination. Keep on reading

tez-travel original info

WHY GO TO TANZANIA

 

Tanzania is not only the largest country in East Africa but also one of the most attractive in terms of its versatility. Your tourists will have the opportunity to combine the incongruous. These are fantastic beaches with white sand of the island of Zanzibar, and lakes (among them the largest lake on the continent of Victoria), and volcanoes located in the mainland, and national parks with beautiful views of Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro and thousands of exotic animals and birds.

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Among the undoubted advantages of Tanzania for Russian tourists are the facilitated visa regime (a visa is issued at the border), the lack of time difference with Moscow, the absence of a pronounced seasonality, and security.

 

This direction is universal: holidays here can be offered practically for any category of tourists. Experts advise against taking very young children (under 5-6 years old) with them but not because of safety issues. The fact is that Africa is a very bright and emotional direction, and young children simply will not be able to remember these truly unique impressions.

 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A TRIP TO AFRICA: VACCINATIONS, MEDICINES, REPELLENTS

 

No special preparation for a trip to Tanzania, contrary to rumors circulated on the Internet, is required. Tourists here do not expect any dangers if you follow all the instructions of the guides.

 

There are no special medical requirements. Pay attention to your tourists that vaccinations, including yellow fever, according to the Rospotrebnadzor, are not mandatory, but advisory in nature.

 

Those who will be calmer with the vaccine can, of course, do it. Since last year, such a vaccine has been given for life, before that it has been in effect for 10 years. Moscow residents can get this vaccine for free. You can get vaccinated in the infectious clinical hospital №1, city polyclinic №5, etc. Also, advise tourists to undergo antimalarial prophylaxis, it is advisable to use tablets from European manufacturers, or a new Russian drug – coartem .

giraffe-1330814_1280do not need to be taken from Russia: they are more convenient and cheaper to purchase locally. But the medicines that are necessary for the tourist (painkillers, stomach pains, etc.) must be taken care of in advance and be sure to take a safari tour from Russia with you since there are no doctors in the savannah.

 

HOW TO APPLY A VISA TO TANZANIA AND WHAT TO FLY FOR

 

A visa to Tanzania can be issued before departure, in Moscow, or, which is very convenient, get a sticker on arrival at the Zanzibar International Airport or other Tanzania air harbors.

 

The cost of a visa at the border is about 50 euros, it is issued for 90 days, in Moscow – 60 euros, is issued per day. A transit visa costs 30 euros, its validity is 14 days.

 

If desired, the direction is easily combined not only with Kenya but also with Mozambique, Uganda, and other countries bordering Tanzania.

 

Coral Travel tours to Tanzania are formed based on regular transportation (using GDS dynamic packaging technology). Connecting flights are operated daily by British Airways, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air France, KLM, Flydubai, Turkish Airlines.

 

Experts advise, if possible, to give preference to carriers that fly through the Middle East. The average travel time, in this case, is 10-15 hours, including connecting.

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All Coral Travel safari programs start from the city of Arusha in northern Tanzania, which is sometimes called the “tourist capital” of the country.

 

SEASONS IN TANZANIA

 

As for seasonality in the ordinary sense of the Russian tourist, it is practically absent. Highlighted seasons, such as winter and summer, do not exist in Tanzania. The climate of Tanzania ranges from humid and hot in the lowlands, for example, in Dar es Salaam, to hot in the afternoon and cool at night in Arusha.

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In general, during the year in Tanzania, it is either hot and dry or hot and humid (“rainy seasons”). There are two such seasons in Tanzania: short, from late October to late November, and long – from late March to May.

 

At the same time, the “rainy season” is not a reason to refuse a trip, because it does not rain on the wall and around the clock. On the contrary, a trip at this time is a great opportunity to save a lot, since in the low season the cost of a vacation in Tanzania becomes much more attractive.

 

TO AFRICA ON SAFARI WITH GROUP

 

Probably the first idea of Tanzania you have already appeared, it is time to determine the details. First, we will consider the popular types of safari programs presented in the Coral Travel assortment, and then we will pay attention to beach vacation options: after all, combined tours combining safaris in Tanzania and holidays on the Zanzibar coast are also very popular.

 

Tanzania is rightfully considered one of the best countries for a safari in Africa. Her wildlife is very rich and diverse. Here you can find both the famous “Big African Five” (lion, rhinoceros, elephant, leopard, buffalo) and anthropoid apes, there are many birds and there are more than 1,100 species registered in the country.

 

Tours to the Great migration of the animals are very popular among tourists. Also, safari tours provide an opportunity to see the fantastic nature of Tanzania: Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti Park, and other attractions remain in the memory of tourists for life.

 

To date, the Coral Travel reservation system has more than 20 options for safari programs in mainland Tanzania, in 2019 their number will increase.

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It is important to note that the company offers both safari tours with English accompaniment, and guaranteed group excursion programs with a Russian-speaking guide – and this is a unique offer on the Russian market.

 

SHORT SAFARI TOURS

 

These Coral Travel programs involve visiting the northern national parks and reserves – Serengeti, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara. If your tourists want a safari but are worried that for the first time they will not be able to withstand a full weekly program, recommend them a 2-3-day trip to the mainland from the resorts of Zanzibar Island.

 

In the assortment of the tour operator, there are short tours for two days, during which tourists visit the Tarangire National Park. The evening safari is planned on the first day of the program, and the morning on the next day.

 

All safari programs are held twice a day. It is very hot during the day, there is no point in a safari since the probability of meeting animals at this time of day is extremely small. The cost of such a trip is $ 585 per person for double occupancy. The price includes 3 meals a day, all transfers according to the program, entrance tickets to the national park, an English-speaking driver-ranger works with tourists.

 

There is a three-day program with a visit to Ngorongoro. Cost – from 920 dollars per person for double occupancy. The price tag of the three-day program, in which tourists visit the Ngorongoro Reserves and Lake Manyara, starts at $ 1,250 per person for double occupancy. All tours start in Arusha.

 

LONG SAFARI TOURS IN TANZANIA

 

If your tourists want to take part in a full-fledged safari trip, recommend them a 6-day tour with a visit to Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater. Cost – from $ 1,690 per person for double occupancy.

 

If tourists want to be accompanied by a Russian-speaking guide, advise them to a guaranteed Coral Travel group program with a Russian-speaking guide. For seven days spent in national parks – Lake Manyara, Serengeti Park, and Ngorongoro Nature Reserve – the supplier asks for $ 2,380 per person for double occupancy.

 

Note that the distances between the parks are impressive, the parks are at least 3.5 hours from each other. The nature in Africa is amazing and time will fly by, of course, unnoticed, especially since stops are made for photos.

 

If the tourist still has no desire to go in jeeps, you can offer him a flight on a small plane. However, as practice shows, mainly this type of transport is preferred by individual tourists. We will return to transport a little later, but for now, we will get to know better the main national parks.

Author Bio

author image (2)

Jacklin is the author of the site Easytravel which is about safari travel. She usually travels a lot around the world and almost experienced a lot. Usually people travel a lot to experience different phases of life. So for traveling we need a perfect guide. Here she comes with lots of stuff about various safari travel around countries and also more about travelling around the world.

Part#2 – Unleashing Northeast India – Land of Lamas, Rains, Rhinos and Momos!! By Abhimanyu

Part#2 – Tip toeing – Tawang and reaching Dirang!

We slept over with the Soldier’s stories of peace and altitude and how they live in extreme climate conditions at various posts across length and width of this beautiful Country called India.

@Tawang, the night temperature dipped to sub-zero and 3 layers of cloths, 2 blankets and a heater could brave us through that night.

Hold on, if you have landed to this page directly, please click Part#1 to read the prequel. Do come back here.

Day#3 –

  • Bumla Pass and Madhuri lake
  • Travel time – 8 hours tour
  • Road Condition – Good (Mostly)
  • Stay – Hotel Mon-Paradise

Woke up fresh and got ready at 8 am after eating some ready to eat poha and upma prepared by Akshata (Chotu). Reached downstairs to find our Chauffer for the day Mr. Tashi.

No, don’t think that Simanta got bored of our poha-jalebi talks and decided to part ways. In Tawang you are required to book a local taxi to visit Bumla Pass and Madhuri lake. Cost is approx. 5000/- all-inclusive and tour duration is about 7~8 hours. I think this arrangement is made to provide earning opportunities to the locals. That’s Good specially for Simanta as he got a rest day to spend with his favourite mawa and probably talk to his family over phone.

Tashi drove a Tata Sumo and could speak Hindi fluently. He had a footballer’s physique, spikes hairstyle and donned Ray-Ban aviators. He played some good music from the 90’s era which we really enjoyed.

Before moving ahead with trip, an important information is that all tourists (including Indians) need an Inner Land Permit(ILP) to enter Arunachal Pradesh border. The fess is about 250/- per person and it can be applied online. Our tour agent got this arranged for us before the commencement of trip.

Tawang to Bumla pass is about 35 Kms and takes about 1.5 hours to reach. The path is so beautiful that you would never want it to end. We visited in February and it was the perfect time as the mountains was covered with magical white fresh snow.

Tashi had to tie a metal chain on the tyres of Sumo to escape skidding on the snow.

Reaching Bumla Pass we were thrilled to the core, only Dev had seen such heavy snow before this day during his visit to Swiss Alps. It was difficult to even walk as the snow was soft, fresh and about 3~4 ft deep or even more.

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All tourists were taken to a Army shed and served free hot tea and water for FREE. You are expected to wash your glasses and keep them clean for the next lot of tourist. Before we move further in the day, let me brief you about Bumlapass, histroy and its geographic importance.

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Bumla Pass, situated at an altitude of over 15,200 ft is snowbound for almost the entire year due to its steep elevation and presents a beautiful view of the Tibetan plateau. The road to the pass takes visitors through many sleepy hamlets and scenic lakes, making the drive memorable. Elegantly maintained by the Indian Army, Bumla Pass is a must for those who want to see how Indian soldiers protect the borders in the harshest of climes. The road to Bum La is also a historical route, the People’s Liberation Army of China invaded India during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. Here in Bum La Pass one of the fiercest battles took place in the 1962 Sino-Indian War. It is the pass from where Dalai Lama entered India escaping from Tibet.

After some tea and talks, one of the army officers took all tourists for a walk towards the border, and while all of us were breathing heavily the siren hooted and we were ordered to march back towards the army shed. It was scary as we thought there is some activity from China’s side but after another free tea and talks later, the officer told us that it was a routine round from the China side and there was nothing to worry about. Let’s go again, he said.

Officer explained us about the meetings that take place every quarter between the two army’s, talks of peace and co-existence, exchange of culture and some gifts from each side. Chinese are tough nuts, he said and guided us back to the Shed. Some pictures, snow fights, another round of tea and bowing down to our soldiers for their courage and bravery later we were all set to visit Madhuri Lake(Sangestar Tso) with our Tashi.

Indian actress namely Madhuri, danced besides Sangestar Tso in koyla movie and since then locals fondly call it as Madhuri lake. Now that’s real swag!

While waiting at Bumla pass, Tashi removed the metal chains thinking they aren’t needed any more. He was wrong, as our cab got stuck in snow as on the way to Madhuri lake.

All of us got down and tried to help but little did we know that our soldier would arrive all of a sudden in a truck and get us moving in minutes. Salute them, smiling and feeling useless at the same time we got inside the cab. Trisha(my wife) started to feel heavy head. Tashi told us it normal to experience this for people from the plains like us. Altitude and extreme sun rays to be blamed.  

Right on the turn towards lake, an army officer told us that the road is blocked due to heavy snow. We could not see the lake where Madhuri Dixit danced in 1997. I was 9 years back then and other three even younger. No worries guys, this kinda stuff keeps on happening on roadtrips and hill terrains told our very own Akshata Dixit. 😛

A few minutes later curvy roads, an army officer in uniform asked us for lift and we happily stopped to invite him inside. I think all soldiers have a lot of stories and they are great story tellers as well. He narrated a few to us and then Soldier and Tashi started to talk about current Prime Minister – Shri Narendra Modi. Tashi told us that, he likes Modi very much and trust that only Modi can uplift Arunachal Pradesh. There was no college in Tawang and everyone either dropped out after high-school or had to enrol in other states for studies, but now Tawang has a basic college, told Tashi.

The soldier got us some hot water to drink, which is the best way to beat the altitude sickness. Trisha felt a little better and after some time tashi dropped us to Hotel.

After lunch Dev and Akshata went on to see Tawang War Memorial with Simanta. Me and Trisha decided to rest for a while. Some chai, talks and lying around was what we needed.

After an early dinner in the ground floor restaurant and thanking Raju- the chef for the lovely food we dozed off again. Yes, like how the pigs would do after spending some playfull times in the mud.

Day#4 –

  • Tawang local and drive to Dirang
  • Travel time – 9+ Hours
  • Road Condition – Good (Mostly)
  • Stay – Gonpalok Homestay

Next morning, it was time for us to bid adieus to Tawang but not so quick. Simanta had some plans for sight seeing and we also have “never say never” attitude. 1st place was Tawang Monastery. Monasteries are usually serene this was more that just serene. It was surreal. We were welcomed by harmless monkeys and after spending some time in the Monastery, waved goodbyes from young kids wearing Buddhist robes and having books in hands.

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Next up was a Giant Buddha Statue, located at an elevated place. We found a small and pretty café behind the statue to spend some good time and have tea and Maggie.

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Last up was the Tawang local market, almost all shops sell similar stuff which are woollens, souvenirs, incense sticks, cups/ mugs and footwears. We also got some to get back home with us. I love my dragon printed cup and still have my tea in it while writing this for you.

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Our time in Tawang was up and Simanta was ready with his mawa filled mouth and engine thumping. Next destination was Dirang.

Dirang was not in the original plan but last night we decided to alter the plan to ditch Shillong and include Kaziranga National Park. The decision was taken as the travel time to Shillong was too much for a day and we had to celebrate Dev and Chotu’s Anniversary. So, reaching to the next place was very important.

While driving back down-hill, we all admired the innocence and embracing nature of people of the beautiful state called, Arunachal Pradesh.

We stopped at Jang for a sightseeing, you will have to stair down about 200 steps to reach a river valley. Source Wikipedia : Nuranang Falls (also known as Bong Bong Falls), some 100 metres high, is located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in this part of the country, yet is unknown to many travelers. It lies some 2 kilometres away from the town of Jang on the road connecting Tawang and Bomdila, so it is also known as the Jang Falls. There is a small hydel plant located near the base that generates electricity for local use. The Nuranang river originates from the Northern slopes of the Sela Pass. Just below the waterfall it falls into the Tawang river.

We were hungry and Simanta stopped at Jaswant garh war memorial again. Remember in the 1st part I told you about the free tea and hot water. This is the same place that serves them. We got some idlis, dosas, muffins and tea. The taste, view and soldier’s passion deserve respect and admiration.

About 4 hours drive and crossing Sela pass again we finally reached Dirang. Do not miss to buy fresh fruits from the shops on the highway side. Dirang is known to produce variety of fruits.

We faced some difficulty in reaching the home stay but when we entered Gonpalok Homestay. We thought, “stay ho toh aisa.” No words can describe the taste of hot pakodas that were freshly cooked for us by the caretaker lady along with hot tea. Later in the evening we celebrated the much awaited anniversary at hotel Norphel Retreat. It was very well planned and organised by our freelancer travel agent. I leave you with some pictures to ponder on and be jealous of us that we did this the trip only a month before the country wide lock down was imposed to tackle Covid-19 spread.

 

Pet-full aur dil housefull, reaching back we slept like pigs would do after spending some playfull times in the mud. Sure of waking up to sunrise, cool breeze and blue sky – What else does a metro lad need!!

Hope you liked our journey till now! Write some encouraging words in the comments section and share the link with your friends, also ask them to share and comment…

Part#3 coming soon… where we move towards plains from the mountains and see the mighty Brahmaputra river, tea gardens and 1 horned rhino.

Much Love 🙂

Abhimanyu@Yatripandit