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How to take the perfect holiday photograph

How to take the perfect holiday photograph

tree climbing lions How to take the perfect holiday photograph

Follow a few simple tips to eradicate blurred sunsets and headless family members in your travel snaps

Even the best holiday memories fade – but photographs never do. At least, not these days with digital technology enabling us all to keep those happy snaps forever. But what if you struggle to take pictures you’ll want to treasure? Do you always chop people’s heads off, or end up with out of focus landscapes? Read on and let a professional show you how it’s done.

Invest in your camera
Don’t scrimp on time or cash when choosing the right camera. Do your research whether you are buying a full digital SLR, a compact camera or even just using a smartphone as your main travel camera. There is no going back, so read the reviews and go into a store to ask questions face to face even if you later buy online.

Get all the gear
You’ve got your camera, but make sure to get all the other bits and bobs you might need on the road; that means spare memory cards, lens-cleaning cloths and, most importantly, a spare battery. Ignore this advice at your peril – you’ll remember it ruefully when a lion vaults over your safari truck just after your battery dies.

Stabilise that image
So many gorgeous sunrise and sunset shots, as well as many landscape images, work best with a tripod. You don’t need a huge man-sized tripod rig that takes out passers by as you turn corners. There are plenty of compact tripods these days and you can even buy tiny little tripods for smartphones.

Compose
Compose, compose and then compose some more. Don’t just snap dull shots of the Eiffel Tower. Think about closing in and shooting some of the detail, or adding some people for extra interest – and use whatever light you have. Put simply, the more effort and time you put into composition, the better your pictures will be.

People not ants
When you are shooting photographs that aim to sum up the spirit of a great holiday don’t have the stars of the show standing miles away. Even if the backdrop is dramatic the people are the main focus here and you want to capture their enjoyment, even if they are a little camera shy, so bring them into the foreground.

Tell a story
Home in on details to tell the story of a place. For a market, first shoot a wide shot from a distance to set the scene, then move in slowly, finishing with close-ups of food and dashes of local prices or language to add more colour. You should have everything you need now to make a great montage for your wall back home.

Get techie
If you have invested in an expensive DSLR don’t just rely on the automatic modes. Get creative and experiment with various combinations of ISO settings and different shutter speeds. This will enable you to take more sophisticated photographs, as well as meaning you can call yourself a “proper photographer”.

Best Time to Visit Kenya Safaris

Best Time to Visit Kenya Safaris

Baby Cheetah in Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya Africa 1 Best Time to Visit Kenya Safaris

Kenya the best wildlife viewing months in Kenya are during the dry season from late June to October. The wildebeest migration reaches the Masai Mara in July and remains until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks. See below to learn when to visit which park.

Quick facts
Best time to go: June to October, January to February (Other, drier parks)
High Season: July to November, January and February (Some of the parks get very crowded especially the Masai Mara, Amboseli and Lake Nakuru)
Low Season: March to May (Some lodges and camps in high rainfall areas close down)
Best Weather: June to October (Little to no rainfall)
Worst Weather: March, April and May (Peak of wet season)
June to October – Dry Season
 
  • Wildlife is easier to spot because the bush is less dense and animals gather around waterholes and rivers.
  • It’s unlikely to rain, the days are sunny with clear skies and there are less mosquitoes.
  • July to October are the best months to see the wildebeest migration.
  • It gets very busy and crowded in the most popular parks.
November to May – Wet Season
  • The scenery is beautiful and green. Rates are lower because it’s the low season.
  • Newborn animals can be seen and in general, you will still see plenty of wildlife even though it is easier to spot during the dry season.
  • Migratory birds are present from September to April.
  • Except for March, April and May, rains are short showers in the afternoon or evening and will rarely compromise your safari.
  • During March to May the rains can be continuous and, when not raining, it is often clouded. Some lodges and camps close down during part of the wet season.

East African Countries

East African Countries

Five nations comprise the East African Community (EAC): Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia which are collectively known as The Horn of Africa is also typically considered part of East Africa. Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles are small island nations in the Indian Ocean while Mozambique and Madagascar are often considered part of Southern Africa. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe – often also included in Southern Africa, and formerly of the Central African Federation.

The region offers some of the world’s most exciting outdoor tourism. Most countries in the region were colonized by United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and France

Climate in this part of the continent is unusually cool and dry for an equatorial region, due to its mountainous configuration and westerly monsoon effects. The world’s third highest ‘Mount Kilimanjaro’ is situated in this East African and over 20,000 visitors reach its summit each year. Also, the largest river in the world, the Nile, runs through East Africa. Its source, Lake Victoria, is the world’s largest tropical lake. Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest, is the source of the Congo river system. The lakes, rivers and tributaries of East Africa are among the world’s best for all forms of swimming, scuba and whitewater activity.

East Africa is also home to amazing concentrations of large wild animals, most famously the great ape, elephant, lion, rhinoceros, and wildebeest. All types of corporate and independent guided tours through the outdoor beauty are available. In this article will take you through some of the things you need to know about the history, economy and politics of the following East African countries. Sit down, relax and enjoy this piece!

South Sudan

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 and Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city. South Sudan is notable for having a varied geology. Part of the country lies in the region of the Sahara Desert, but the Nile River flows through the middle section of the country. Due to this, the nation is vulnerable to floods whenever there is a torrential rainfall. Couple of months ago, thousands of people fled their homes, houses were destroyed and more than hundred people died.

In recent years, Sudan had been marred with political violence as a result a conflict between President Salva Kirr and his Vice which led to the death of thousands of its citizens. During this political violence, UN report had it that, Sudan were recruiting child soldiers; which now raised a question if the country’s civil war is back?. But, South Sudan government refuted the claim and later agreed with the UN for new international peacekeeping force to come in and save the nation from going into another era of civil war.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the countries known as “the horn of Africa”. Legend has it that the Ark of the Covenant has been secreted away in a tiny Ethiopian village for centuries. The most striking geological element in the country is its division by the Great Rift Valley. This fissure was caused by volcanic lava deep within the canyons and gorges. Ethiopia is also blanketed by thick jungle, and is home to many rivers and lakes. Its capital, Adida Ababa, is among the most beautiful cities in Africa. Recently, Ethiopia became Africa’s largest producer of coffee which had led its to be among the top 15 fastest growing economies in Africa with a GDP growth of 4.5 percent. The first East African plant by South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp will be on Ethiopia soil with a mega deal signed with a local company to start assembling cars.

 
Eritrea

This small country has a very varied terrain. The interior of Eritrea is dominated by the Ethiopian Highlands that rise over 7,000 feet. Within these highlands can be found scattered rivers and streams. The coastal region of the country is bordered by the Red Sea and is actually semiarid in climatic conditions.

Kenya

One of the most well-known countries of East Africa is Kenya with coastline on the Indian Ocean. There are lowlands in both the northern and coastal regions of the country. Down south Kenya becomes flat and very dry. The Rift Valley also slices through Kenya, having created lakes as well as volcanic peaks rising to 17,000 feet. Kenya is east African biggest economy and its also among top 10 investment destination in Africa. September 2016, Kenya signed a business deal with Volkswagen South Africa to assemble cars in the country. And with the way its economy is fast growing, Kenya’s vision could transformed the country into a middle-income economy by 2030. With the recent visit of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, it shows that Kenyan developers are the best in East Africa. Kenya is also ranked among the most friendly African countries for expatriates In 2016. Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar-award winning actress who took Hollywood by storm is a Kenyan and she is doing this great continent proud.

Uganda

The highlight of any visit to Uganda will take you to the southeastern corner, where you will find Lake Victoria. The land is very mountainous otherwise, with elevations between 3,000 and 6,000 feet quite common. Mountains reaching over 16,000 feet run alongside the western border, while to the east you’ll find Mt. Elgon, which is an impressive 14,000 feet. Uganda is also among the most friendly African countries for expatriates in 2016 and its occupies 25th position globally.

Just like Lupita Nyong’o from Kenya, Florence Kasumba, German actress of Ugandan origin, also took Hollywood by storm early this year after she appeared in the most popular film “Captain America: Civil War”. Arguably, Uganda president, Yoweri Museveni is currently the best president in East Africa with his leadership quality and excellent work since 30 years that he had been in power.

This came with the backing of former vice president, Prof Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya, asking the country’s parliament to enact a law that will enable President Museveni to rule for life. In terms of economy, Uganda will become the first East African Country to open a gold refinery by the end of 2016 after signing a deal with a Belgian investor. Also, its government recently reduced single entry visa to boost tourism and i think that’s a great move from the path of the government and it’s a good news for tourists that are willing to travel to the country. Uganda is also among the East African countries who offer free public WiFi services to its citizens.

Seychelles

The Seychelles is actually an archipelago that is made up of roughly 90 small islands within the Indian Ocean. The Mahe group of islands are rocky with interior mountains. The Coralline islands are coral and inhospitable. The climate of the Seychelles is warm and wet.

Burundi

Burundi is mainly a country of plateaus. The Great Rift Valley has done its work here as well, creating peaks that rise 7,000 feet as well as having a hand in the shaping of long and narrow Lake Tanganyika. The high elevation of Burundi helps to moderate the otherwise tropical climate.

Prove That Kenya Is A Beautiful Country

 That Prove That Kenya Is A Beautiful Country

Here are the 20 fascinating places that prove that Kenya is a beautiful country:

1. Diani Beach

One of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Diani Beach is located on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. Diani Beach is an ideal getaway at its finest. The beach offers visitors plenty activities to enjoy or you can spend your time admiring the scenery it offers. The view is breath-taking!

2. Mida Creek

Photo Source: Airbnb

Mida Creek is located on the Malindi-Watamu coastline; it’s a massive tidal inlet of sand, lined with mangrove forest. The creek offers several exciting activities such as fishing, birdwatching, boat trips, mangrove walks and many more. In fact, a day is not enough to do and see all that is on offer in this scenic part of Kenya.

3. Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

Photo Source: Kenya.com

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a located 3 Km from Kisumu City. The Sanctuary lies on the shores of Lake Victoria. There are quite a lot of things to enliven and thrill nature-lovers here; besides, if you love wildlife, you will appreciate the both the free ranging and captive animals in the sanctuary. Apart from that, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a well-preserved natural beauty, a fascinating place to be!

4. Mahali Mzuri

Photo Source: Atta.travel

Mahali Mzuri is an authentic luxury camp, located in a surrounding packed with amazing wildlife, scenic landscape and great ambience.  Just in case you don’t know, Mahli Mzuriis Sir Richard Branson’s Kenyan Safari Camp, located within Maasai Mara Environs.  The camp boasts a lot of outdoor activities and a vibrant wildlife scene.

5. Masai Mara National Reserve

This is the best place to get close to the wild! If you want to see wildlife up-close and personal, Masaai Mara is a great safari destination for that. The National Reserve is teeming with the ‘big 5′ and other amazing animal species. Nature, wonderful wildlife and picturesque landscape can all be found here. Its natural beauty keeps guests returning every year.

6. Lamu Island

Photo Source: Terri O’Sullivan on Flickr

While Lamu Island entices many tourists and local visitors, the main attractions here are the natural beauty the island exhibits and its calm atmosphere. From Lamu’s history and culture to its scenic beaches, you’ll be in awe of what this island has to offer.

7. Chyulu Hills

Photo Source: Peter Steward on Flickr

To experience some of the most inspiring views Kenya has to offer, head to Chyulu Hills.Chyulu Hills is located in Eastern Kenya, a mountain range that forms a 100Km long volcanic field. This destination is one of the prettiest places in Kenya, seeing the enchanted land of black frozen lava speckled with flaring poker trees is really something special.

8. Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is the top tourist attraction in Kenya. It’s a beauty to behold! Here, you will find some of the largest, deepest and oldest lakes in the world. The valley also hosts some volcanic mountains. The valley offers stunning views and you will surely see many photo-worthy panoramas.

9. Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is one of the most famous mountains in the world. It is the highest mountain in Kenya and second-highest in Africa. It is about 5199 metres above sea level. The mountain has beautiful snow-capped peaks that make it stand out and very attractive.  If you love adventurous climbing and trekking, this is the best destination to explore.

10. Kapsowar

Photo Source: Hublog

Kapsower is a beautiful small town located in Rift Valley Province, Kenya. It’s a picture-perfect town; filled with quaint charm, crisp breeze and amazing scenic beauty. It’s one of the best places to explore the most breathtaking landscapes and unique attractions such as charming flowing rivers, herds of cows and gorgeous hills.

11. Uhuru Gardens

Uhuru Gardens is a fascinating urban haven located in Nairobi. Beautiful lanscape and architecture, lush plantations and relaxing atmosphere are the defining elements of Uhuru garden.

12. Shanzu Beach

Shanzu Beach is located on the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, an ideal place for an unforgettable coast adventure. The beach is known for its beautiful shores, spectacular views, towering palm trees, and pristine white sands. There are several accommodation located next to the beach. Great place to spend a memorable vacation!

13. Meru National Park

Meru National Park is located 350km from Nairobi, east of Meru. The Mational park is one of the most popular and beautiful parks in Kenya. It is home to several animal species such as Leopard, Elephant, Hippopotamus, Cheetah and many others. The park offers a authentic wilderness atmosphere, scenic landscapes and amazing wildlife.

14. Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor offers a unique experience when it comes to luxury accommodation. The Manor is one of the best places to see beautiful and graceful creatures such as Giraffes in Kenya. The Manor is home to Rothschild Giraffes, which are seen roaming around the surroundings. It’s such a beautiful experience!

15. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Photo Source: Safaribookings

The vast Conservancy lures visitors from around the country in search of unforgettable adventures. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located in Nanyuki, between the foothills of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares. The conservancy is home to the ‘Big Five’ and offers a scenic landscape, wildlife ambiance an exciting experience.

16. Rolf’s Place

Rolfs Place’s opportunities for exciting adventure are enough to thrill any visitor. It’s a leopard cliff Mansion built like a medieval fortress, located just 25 minutes from Nairobi.Rolf’s Place offers a panoramic view of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngong Hills. It also has some neighbouring parks that offer visitor opportunities to experience wildlife.

17. Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is one of the most beautiful lakes in Kenya. The lake is located in Lake Nakuru National Park and lies in the Rift Valley of Kenya. The lake is renowned as a location of the beautiful bird species – loads of fuchsia pink flamingoes.

18. The Coral Gardens of Wasini

Photo Source: Footprintstours

The Wasini Coral Gardens, located in Wasini Island, about 100 km south of Mombasa. The garden is a surrounded by mangrove forest, beautiful landscape and offers amazing views.  It offers several activities that will give you a unique experience.

19. Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate National Park is located North West of Nairobi. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, bird species. Hell’s Gate National Park has exciting attractions and activities such as Hot Springs, The Olkaria Geothermal Station, The Mervym Carnelley Raptor Hide, Fisher’s Tower and many others.

20. The Aberdares

Photo Source: Safarilanga

The Aberdares’ beauty is not something we can ignore. The 160km long mountain range of plateau offers some of the best mountain views in the country. The Aberdare range is a beautiful place and its full of wonder.

Is there any fascinating places in Africa you would like us to know about? Share your experience with us – info@natureboundafrica.com

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10 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Kenya

10 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Kenya

kenya stunning locations 2015 11 15 07 11 54 UTC 10 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Kenya

For those who are not entirely familiar with their Atlas, Kenya is a gorgeous little country in the Eastern side of Africa. she is home to the second highest mountain in the continent (Mount. Kenya), home to the Maasai Mara and her breathtaking annual wildebeest migration, home to a majority of the world athletics champions and home to an insanely gorgeous coastal line that just so happens to include Mombasa and Lamu.

Although Kenya is synonymous with quite a few wonderful things, Ski holidays, winter sports and being snowed in are all things she is NOT known for. We are in the tropics, and on this side of the sun we have breathtakingly beautiful weather.

Kenya is a touristic mammoth. That’s how beautiful this country is. But as world famous as she may be in some circuits, there are still some facts about this country that even Kenyans are not too familiar with. That being said, here are 10 things we bet you didn’t know about Kenya

Kenya has 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places that are recognized as being of great physical or cultural significance. It is a privilege that only some of the most exclusive locations in the world hold; these are places worth preserving, and Kenya has 6 of them!

  • Fort Jesus, Mombasa
  • Lamu Old Town
  • Mount Kenya Forest
  • The Sacred Kaya Forest, South Coast
  • Lake System in the Great Rift Valley
  • Lake Turkana
Kenya has a ‘cheese tasting’ culture

Almost no one would associate Kenya with cheese. But wouldn’t you know it; the country has a rich cheese tasting culture that is the preserve of a few enthusiasts who know where to look. In Limuru, there is a farm called ‘Brown’s Cheese’ that has a cheese factory which offers tasting tours to those interested. You get to see and learn how the cheese is made, eat quite a bit of it and drink some wine. Visit: Brown’s Cheese

You Can Go Snake Hunting

You have probably heard of pythons, mambas, cobras and puff adders. Most of us prefer to keep our distance from these slithery vials of poison. But for the dare-devils, a chance to act out scenes from Anaconda and go hunting for pythons in the wild is simply too tempting to pass up. Kenya has well over 100 documented snake species, most of which are illusive, poisonous and not the kind of creepy-crawlies you want keeping you company by the way side. In Watamu, there is an outfit called ‘Bio-Ken’ which has taken it upon itself to show you all Kenya has to offer in terms of snakes. You can book tours that will take you through some of the most dense forests, rugged rocky cliffs and watery riverbeds (all this in the name of finding these illusive creatures).

Kenya Values Conservation

With all that is going in the world today, from impossibly high levels of environmental pollution and encroachment into lands meant for wildlife, Kenya is one of the countries that are leading the fight against the kind of damage that we can do to our world as humans. We have 65 protected areas specifically meant for wildlife. These are beautiful National Parks such as Meru National Park, amazing Marine Parks, national reserves and sanctuaries. Aside from that, the very first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Prof. Wangari Maathai; an environmentalist from Kenya.

Kenyans are highly religious people

About 70% of the people in Kenya can be classified as Christians (Catholic and Protestant); roughly 25% still adhere to indigenous religions and the remaining 5% comprise of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’is and Parsees. The deeply rooted religious culture within the country can be witnessed by simply reading the words of our National Anthem (it is a heartfelt prayer for the nation that was adapted from the Pokomo tribe).

Elizabeth became Queen while in Kenya

Princess Elizabeth was staying at the ‘The Treetops Hotel’ with her husband, now Prince Philip, when she got the news that her father, King George VI, had passed away. Of course, she had to go back home and get coronated, but technically, she became Queen of England while in Kenya.

Kenya is perfect for big blockbuster film locations

You may not know this, but every now and again, big movie production houses in Hollywood do tour the world to produce all those wonderful silver screen pictures that we simply cannot get enough of. Kenya, being an annoyingly gorgeous country, has been host to some of the most renowned on-location film shoots. Here are some of the most famous movies shot on-location in Kenya.

  • Out Of Africa (Perhaps the one movie that shows Kenya’s beauty in its full splendour)
  • King Solomon’s Mines
  • Nowhere in Africa
  • The Constant Gardener
  • To Walk With Lions
  • Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
  • The Ghost and the Darkness
  • Mississippi Masala
Kenya is the ‘Strong Silent’ type

Although there have been a few skirmishes within the country, Kenya is known as one of the most peaceful Nations in Africa. With no civil war, no internal strife and a reputation for undertaking ‘Peace Keeping’ missions within Africa, Kenya is not only a pretty nation, but a peace loving one as well. But just because Kenya isn’t known for her violence and invasions does not mean the country does not have an army to speak of. KDF (Kenya Defense Forces) is ranked as the 46th strongest standing army in the world and the 6th in Africa.

Kenya is OLD and has the scars to show it

There have been discoveries of Paleolithic remains in Turkana that have led scientists to believe that Kenya might just have been the birth place of humanity. If that does not impress you, then try this, the Great Rift Valley, which runs across the face of the country and can be seen from space, is well over 20 million years old. It is said that it was formed when the Earth’s crust started that tedious splitting business that formed all the continents.

You can swim with Dolphins in Kenya

Okay, this is not an exclusively Kenyan thing, but it is still pretty cool. From having dinner on floating restaurants, to feeding crocodiles and having breakfast with Giraffes, the number of weird, yet thrilling things you can do in Kenya is simply mind boggling. Did you know you could ride and eat an Ostrich? But we digress. Back to the dolphins. Yes, you can swim with dolphins in Wasini. These are dolphins in the wild, so you can’t quite get them to stand still long enough to hold a conversation or pet them, but they do swim up real close.

With well over 40 million people and some of the most fascinating wild life on the face of the planet, Kenya is not only beautiful, eclectic and insanely sunny, but she is also strong and peaceful.

If you haven’t toured this country, you should make a point to do so before you are all out of touring days. For those who have, let us know some of the lesser known facts about this beautiful country from your point of view.

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