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Africa/Middle East

Photo of the Day – Beau Vallon Seychelles

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 | 2 comments

Photo of the Day – Beau Vallon Seychelles

An archipelago of 115 largely uninhabited islands stretching across the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are known for their exotically-pristine beauty and have played host to at least one Royal honeymoon (see: William and Kate). Luckily, since more than a dozen of the islands do offer some level of tourist facilities, there’s enough undiscovered beauty to go around, like the exotic beauty of Beau Vallon Seychelles. The main granite island of Mahé is the largest of the islands and home to the majority of the local population of just 85,000. The Seychelles are also home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world including the largest known population of giant Aldabra tortoises (though don’t expect to see one lumbering down the beach toward you – despite what you may or may not have heard from Matt Lauer). The tropical isolation of the Seychelles Islands makes them the perfect choice for honeymooners or anyone seeking a little privacy and tranquility…and don’t miss  visit to Beau Vallon Seychelles.

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Photo of the Day – Flic en Flac Mauritius

Posted by on May 15, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Flic en Flac Mauritius

More than 1,200 miles off the African coast, the island nation of Mauritius is one of the Indian Ocean’s top destinations. This multi-cultural island is known for spectacular beaches and Flic en Flac Mauritius is one of its best. With soft white sands and an emerald lagoon protected by a coral reef, Flic en Flac is home to several luxury resorts making it a great place to base for exploring the island or just to spend an afternoon. Nearby, take a walk on the wide side at Casela Nature Park. It’s one of only three places in the world where you can get up close and personal with lions, tigers and cheetahs. Be sure to book in advance for their popular “Walk with Lions” experience, it often fills up fast!

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Photo of the Day – Molokini Canoe, W Maldives

Posted by on May 10, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Molokini Canoe, W Maldives

It just might be the world’s most spectacular airport transfer. After landing at Malé international airport on the main island, you’re quickly whisked away to the comfortable serenity of the W Maldives seaplane lounge. Soon, you’re back in the air again for the quick flight to the private island resort of W Maldives. Along the way, it’s a drool-worthy view of the hundreds of idyllic rings of sand that make up this tiny island nation. As you touch down with a spray of turquoise sea and taxi to the resort’s W-embossed dock you’ve arrived at your own private island paradise. The island is surrounded by vibrant reefs and sparkling lagoons lapping at luxurious over-water retreats. Dive, snorkel, try out the Molokini “transparent glass” canoe or simply do nothing at all as you gaze upon the endless blues of the Indian Ocean. It truly is…heaven on sand.

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Photo of the Day – Inside the Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Posted by on May 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Inside the Burj Al Arab, Dubai

It’s often referred to as the world’s only 7-star hotel and when I spent one extravagant night here on Round the World #1, it was easy to see why. Sitting just offshore on a private, man-made island, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab just might be the most luxurious hotel on the planet. It’s billowing architecture has defined the Dubai skyline since 1999. Only hotel guests and those with restaurant reservations are allowed inside the Burj Al Arab so to get a look inside, I booked a room for one indulgent night. All rooms are spacious 2-story suites ranging from 1,800 square feet to over 8,000 square feet. Looking down from the 18th floor inside the Burj Al Arab in this picture, the concierge desks visible on each floor are just one aspect of the personalized service provided. Each suite also comes with a personal butler to cater to your every whim. From the Rolls-Royce pick-up at the airport to the panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf to the full-size Hermès bath products, this iconic Dubai hotel was first-class all the way and truly made me feel like a princess for a day. It wasn’t just a hotel, it was an experience…and it was worth every penny.

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Photo of the Day – Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain…and most people who are lucky enough to see its spectacular summit have to work a lot harder than I did today. But thanks to an especially adventurous Precision Air pilot on my Nairobi to Zanzibar flight, I was treated to the most awe-inspiring flyover I’ve ever witnessed. For once, I was actually the right side of the plane (unlike a few days earlier landing in Victoria Falls) as we flew nearly eye level with the cratered summit of this dormant volcano at just over 19,000 feet. I was blown away by its sheer enormity of Mount Kilimanjaro and the effort it must take to reach it the hard way. Probably not something I’ll ever tackle in my lifetime so I’m thrilled that I got to see it the easy way. It was just one of the many incredible moments that made RTW #8 so special.

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Photo of the Day – Nungwi Beach Zanzibar

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Nungwi Beach Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s far northern end is home to the traditional fishing village of Nungwi on one of the “Spice Island’s” most beautiful beaches. Approached by a small road lined with banana palms, coconut trees and mangroves, Nungwi Beach Zanzibar is also the dhow building capitol of Zanzibar and a great place to watch traditional craftsmen at work. At low tide, a sea of beached dhows dot the dry ocean bed as the women of Nungwi village go to work in search of squid in their colorful traditional “gownis.” By mid-afternoon, the tide comes in and the men of the village return to their dhows to head out to sea for an afternoon of fishing. It was a daily ritual I witnessed again and again during my stay on Nungwi Beach Zanzibar and getting a peek into the life of a traditional fishing village was a real treat.

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