Monthly Archives: January 2012

Backpacking to Zanzibar Islands, Tanzania: A Photo Diary

Zanzibar is an island paradise set in the Indian Ocean just off the Tanzanian coast in East Africa. It offers beautiful beaches, stunning coral reef and an intriguing mix of cultures. With a mix of traditional African culture, as well as influences from colonial eras and Arab backgrounds, it is not just the beaches that make it worth the trip.

If you’re on an overland backpacking trip through Africa and are taking in areas of East Africa then Zanzibar should certainly be on your itinerary. It doesn’t have to be an expensive place to visit, you can certainly enjoy this beautiful archipelago on a budget.

Enough talk, the pictures can say it better than I every will:

Child Jumping Zanzibar
Man in sea Zanzibar
Man with Child Zanzibar
Skyline Zanzibar
Child Zanzibar
Bus Ride Zanzibar
Zanzibar Sunset

A big thanks to Adeel Halim for the fantastic images, visit his site for a bigger taste of his work.

You can see more stunning destinations in Africa on the Top Backpacking Destinations Facebook page

The Brand Spanking New Wild Junket Travel Magazine Reviewed

January saw the release of Issue #1 of the all new Wild Junket Magazine! APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE!!!

This is an exciting moment for the travel blogging community as we see one of our own demonstrating a great way of monetising their travel blog and taking a step closer to the dream of supporting a life on the road with your blogging exploits.

Wild Junket

Wild Junket, run by the lovely Nellie Huang, has long been one of the most prominent and well followed sites in the travel blogging community (if you don’t know of it you must have been living in a cave!) and Nellie has done a fantastic job of taking the style and ethos of the blog and translating it into a bi-monthly magazine which entertains, informs and encapsulates the reader.

Wild Junket Magazine Cover

Issue 1 is chock full of fantastic features, stunning photography and personal travel stories, not just from Nellie, but from a raft of other well-travelled contributors too.  From Oman to China, the magazine leads you on a number of personal travel trails, all the while maintaining the goal of Wild Junket since its inception:

“Inspiring readers to travel light and travel far.  As an advocate of active travel and environmental awareness, we encourage readers to travel beyond the conventional trail and seek out extraordinary experiences – while keeping our environmental impact to a minimum.

Great Content, Great Value

It’s an amazing read, with photography that will take your breath away. And at just $2.95 for an issue or or $14.95 to subscribe for a year its a snip! Once paid you are given a code to download the latest digital issue of the magazine and enjoy the pleasure of scrolling through on your ipad or computer wherever you may be.It’s that simple!

The Wild Junket Magazine is a fantastic and more affordable alternative to the conventional travel magazines on the market and, if you haven’t already guessed, I loved it! You can get Issue #1 now, so what are you waiting for?!?!

Great work Nellie, I’m already excited about Issue #2…

Malaga: The Gateway to Adventure – Malaga, Spain

Malaga: think fiesta, flamenco and fiery summers. The city has plenty of attractions in itself, but it is also a major hub for Andalusia, connecting you to all the different flavours of the South of Spain – and beyond. Indeed, one of the things that makes this city so popular with travellers is its airport.

Those travelling from the UK can easily find cheap flights to Malaga. A range of airlines operate routes between the two, including Monarch. Once you’ve got to Malaga, there are a bus and train connections that will take you to all kinds of destinations…

Granada
Although Granada has its own small airport, most international flights go to Malaga. You can drive to Granada from here in an hour and a half, and the bus takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.  A city that needs no introduction, once you get here you can explore the tiny old streets of the Albaicin, visit the Moorish Alhambra palace, or take in an authentic flamenco show. And remember: if you plan to go for drinks one evening, don’t bother with dinner, as each beer you order will come with a free tapas.

Travel in Granada

Marbella
On the other side of Malaga and with a very different vibe, Marbella is the seaside resort of the rich and, well, the rich. The bus from the airport is a mere 40 minutes. And even if you don’t have cash to burn, it’s worth wandering the beach promenade to see how the other half live. Take a midnight stroll through Puerto Banus for yacht-spotting and, if all this gets a bit too much, head to the old town for quaint streets and a more laid-back atmosphere.

Cádiz
The bus between Malaga and Cádiz takes about four hours, but if you’re a surfing enthusiast, it’s definitely worth it. Having said that, there’s loads more to the city than big waves. The skyline offers a range of different architectural styles and the walled old town is the definition of charm. Make sure you try the Spanish version of fish n’ chips here: pescaito frito.

Travel in Cadiz

Ronda
The bus from Malaga to Ronda takes 1.5 – 2 hours. Perched on El Tajo canyon, this little city offers history dating back to the Neolithic Age. Due to its mountainous location, you can glimpse stunning views of the surrounding area. And whether you love it or hate it, Ronda is home to the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain.

Tangier
That’s right, as in Tangier, Morocco. A bus and a boat ride may not be as simple as getting flights from North Africa to the UK, but it’s a lot of fun to cross the border like this. The bus directly from Malaga to Algeciras takes three hours, but you’ll probably want to stop at some of the above destinations on the way. Once you get to Algeciras, simply hop on the ferry to be transported to the buzz and hubbub of Tangier. Drink mint tea, wander the Medina, or hop on a night train to Marrakech

And let’s not forget Malaga itself. You might fancy hanging around, and if you do, there’s plenty to do:

5 Things Not to Miss in Malaga:

  • Hit the beautiful beach at La Malagueta
  • Sample the Malaga that Picasso grew up in via the museums and tours on offer
  • Have a proper tapas session at the many great bars on offer, swilled down with some good Spanish ale
  • Venture up to the Castillo de Gibralfaro to get great views over the city
  • Explore the unique and beautiful Renaissance cathedral

Why not share your favourite tips of places to go backpacking on the Top Backpacking Destinations Facebook page!

This is a sponsored post

The Best of Travel 2011: Top Backpacking Destinations

In December, Jeremy Branham of Budget Travel Adventures came up with the great idea of travel bloggers summarising their travel experience of 2011 as part of the Best of Travel 2011 series. You should now by now that I love a good summary list so I was only too happy to take part!

 

Best Domestic Travel Destination – London

Sorry, this is a really obvious one, but I still love London every time I visit. There’s always something new to do (and on a budget too), and the standard tourist attractions never get boring. Stroll down the South bank, take in St Paul’s Cathedral, marvel as the Shard continues to grow. I’ll still be going back in years to come and still loving every second, so book your London flights now and see it for yourself!

London Eye

Best Travel Experience – Getting Engaged in Turkey!

That’s right, I took the plunge earlier this year and proposed to my girlfriend Claire in Cappadocia, Turkey. Goreme is an enchanting place, so I thought it would be fitting for a proposal and give me a better chance of getting a positive response! Fortunately she said yes, so we now we’ve got an even better honeymoon to plan…

Best International Destination – Riga, Latvia

Riga is a fantastic place for a short break; wind your way down quaint cobbled streets, chow down on beautiful bohemian cuisine and enjoy the Latvian hospitality. Just remember that if you go in December it will be really f$+%ing cold!

Riga Skyline

Worst Travel Experience

Fortunately I don’t have any awful stories to speak of from this year that spring to mind. So rather than dwell on it and risk remembering something that upsets me, i’ll just move on!

Most Embarrassing Travel Moment

Constantly being caught out when not being able to speak the language. This year is the first time for a long time when i’ve travelled to countries where I don’t have any ability in one of the local languages (usually a bit of French, Spanish or English gets you by!). Complacency got the better of me and I found myself on numerous occasion putting my acting skills to the test…

Best Local Destination – Otley Chevin

Living in Yorkshire, the best local destination is always going to be one up n the hills. Otley Chevin is a beautiful area up on the moors which looks out over the local towns. And there is an amazing cafe called The Cheerful Chilli where you can warm up with a cup of tea and a cake after!

Best Travel Lesson

Find a better way to transport an engagement ring than keeping it in your rucksack!

That’s my lot from an exciting year of travel. 2012 has the potential to be even better with trips to South Africa, Texas, Mauritius, Ibiza and Budapest already on the cards.

Now it’s time to play tag and nominate 5 more bloggers to take part. My nominations are:

Nomadic Samuel

Quirky Travel Guy

Vagabond3

Journeying James

Chasing the Unexpected

Can’t wait to read them! Be sure to use the hash tag #BestTravel2011 on Twitter, Facebook etc..

Happy travels in 2012!