Google Hor

Travel and Vacation News

Thanksgiving airfares: Act now or pay, pay, pay

Rick Seaney, FareCompare.com

...

Read more...

Denali National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary

Carolyn McAtee Cerbin, USA TODAY Published 7:48 a.m. ET Sept. 13, 2017 | Updated 8:59 a.m. ET Sept. 13, 2017

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Everybody say, “Awww.” Even the sled-dog puppies are birthday-themed this year as Denali National Park and Preserve marks 100 years since it was established.

Cupcake, Happy, Pinata and Party will greet guests this year at one of the park’s most popular activities, the ranger-led sled dog demonstrations. These “bark rangers” are scampering to join the ranks of Denali’s 30 adult huskies, the only working sled dogs in the National Park Service.

Of course, the pups only set the stage for the abundant animal life visitors expect to see in Denali.

Alaskan author Sherry Simpson pretty much nailed it when she wrote that the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the park each year do so “hoping for a wildlife encounter that doesn’t involve bloodshed.”

That wildlife draws eager visitors to the massive park in south-central Alaska. Most tourists sign up for a bus tour, since Denali doesn’t allow private vehicles past Mile 15 of the Denali Park Road, the park’s only thoroughfare.

In September 2016, my husband and I took one of the 13-hour narrated tours that wound around for 92 miles to Kantishna, the farthest spot you can drive into the park. We piled into a school bus early in the morning and often felt like kids on a field trip as we stopped regularly for snacks and potty breaks along the way.

We saw grizzlies, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, eagles, ptarmigans and what we thought was a wolf from the safe confines of the bus.

Park Superintendent Don Striker says he sometimes feels guilty because the animals people see from the buses are “habituated, so you don’t get the true wilderness experience.”

And we saw Denali, North America’s tallest peak at 20,310 feet. About two-thirds of park visitors never even see the mountain Alaska’s first people called “The High One,” because it’s often obscured by weather, some of which is of its own making.

The Eielson Visitor Center tries to take the edge off guests’ disappointment with what Striker terms a “consolation prize,” a view of the peak etched on a window, showing what the mountain would look like on a clear day.

Striker offers this upbeat reassurance: “When the mountain isn’t out, the bears are.”

He suggests people wanting to make sure they see the mountain come to the park in winter. That would be March, April and May. “There may not be as many amenities,” he says. “But the light is awesome, and the mountain is out a lot.”

As the park moves into its next century, Striker says Rangers are working to provide more winter activities, including perhaps letting people ski from camp to camp, with sled dogs

...

Read more...

Photos: Royal Caribbean ship evacuates travelers from St. Martin

In addition to water and other drinks, Adventure of the Seas on Sept. 10 brought canned foods, shelf stable milk, gloves, rags, line, batteries, sanitizer, plastic cups, utensils, toilet paper and other much-needed provisions to St. Martin.

...

Read more...

Find fresh olive oil during California's fall harvest

Larry Olmsted, Special for USA TODAY

...

Read more...

10 best places to go in Africa (and what to do there)

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

With 54 countries calling it home, Africa’s topography, landscape and activities vary drastically by region. I’ve been to the continent 26 times, yet each time I go I’m surprised at just how many new things there are to see and do.

To make it easier for you to plan a trip, I’ve highlighted some of the most popular countries and best places to go in Africa, as well as what to see and do there, when to go and where to stay. Hopefully this primer will get you motivated to hop on a plane — it’s worth the long flight to get there.

Uganda

Why go: One of only three countries in the world where you can trek to see mountain gorillas in the wild (there are only 900 mountain gorillas left in the world), the experience in Uganda is truly amazing.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda is home to the Nyakagezi gorilla family with its five silverbacks (adult males). It holds a certain allure, since it boasts one of the highest concentrations of silverbacks within a family. Tours are small, no more than eight people, and once the gorillas are spotted, you have 60 minutes with them — and believe me, it goes really fast.

I was surprised to see how playful the juveniles are, not unlike my own little kids. One even came up and gave me a light fist bump to the leg (the animals can do what they want, but we were instructed to stay 7 meters away from them; they came much, much closer).

For me, witnessing the adult silverback males in action was the most moving experience. Pounding their chests, making conversation with guttural sounds, climbing effortlessly up the bamboo trees to build a nest — they seem so human-like, which isn’t surprising given that these mammals share 98% of our DNA. Seeing the gorillas in their natural habitat was one of my favorite experiences in Africa.

When to go: Since it’s a rainforest, there’s a chance you’ll get wet anytime, so there’s no really bad time to go. Just be sure to pack appropriately.

Where to stay: Mount Gahinga Lodge is just a short distance away from the gorilla trek, and its backdrop against the Virunga Volcanoes is stunning. Be sure to take part in the cultural tour of the Batwa pygmies, the oldest inhabitants of the Central African rain forest.

Kenya and Tanzania

Why go: Kenya and Tanzania are often combined

...

Read more...

You are here: Travel and Vacations Travel News and Information Feeds