Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Up in the air . . .

BRITISH AIRWAYS is offering a special 20 per cent Christmas discount for all gift vouchers for a session on a British Airways full-motion flight simulator booked by December 24, 2016. 

This truly unique experience will begin with the user ‘reporting for duty’ at British Airways’ state-of-the-art Flight Training Centre near Heathrow where the airline’s 4,200 professional pilots are trained. Would-be-pilots will have the chance to take-off at any of British Airways’ near 200 worldwide destinations and land at another, with the simulators using cutting edge motion, audio and graphics technology to deliver a completely immersive experience. 

Gift vouchers are available for purchase at www.ebaft.com. Gift vouchers must be purchased by December 24, 2016 using the promotional code SANTA to receive the 20 per cent discount. The voucher can been redeemed for available dates during the 12 months from the date of purchase.


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Picture Credit: British Airways

US State Department issues Europe travel advisory






THE US State Department has issued a travel advisory for all Americans considering travel in Europe over the Christmas period due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks over the holiday period.

The alert states "U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning. Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests."

The travel alert is set to expire on February 20, 2017.

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360 degrees in Scotland



A new interactive online experience of some of Scotland’s most spectacular viewpoints is set to put adventurous visitors in a spin during the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

The videos allow viewers to spin the screen 360 degrees to give a complete panorama. The national tourism organisation hopes the interactive films will inspire visitors to pull on their hiking boots, get on their bike or grab their climbing gear and sample the beautiful Scottish landscape for real.

The great outdoors is one of Scotland’s most attractive assets, with 49% of visitors inspired to come here due to the scenery and landscape. One in 10 respondents to the #Scotland Visitor Survey 2015 visited Cairngorms National Park while one in five took in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Last year 9 million day visits in Scotland by domestic visitors included outdoor activities as part of their trip, which amounted to £186 million in expenditure.


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Picture Credit: due_mele flickr.com/photos/52181296@N06/10568302225 Trail from Loch Lomond up Atop Ben Lomond, Scotland  via photopin

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

On the runway . . .



SWISS  has been named Official Airline of next year’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to be held in St. Moritz, Southeast #Switzerland, from February 6-19.

SWISS’s involvement in the event will include prize draws among #skiing fans for SWISS flight vouchers and admission tickets. 

Further off-piste highlights will include spectacular overflights by SWISS aircraft. And SWISS will also be supporting the Youth Camp project of the event’s organizers by flying tomorrow’s ski stars to #StMoritz from all over the world.

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Picture Credit: philippflenker flickr.com/photos/78253319@N06/8510234631 St. Moritz/Samedan via photopin

Winter glamping


#CHRISTMAS offerings from pitchup.com with a number of winter glamping options available this December across the UK and Europe. Cosy log cabins and barns, roasting chestnuts over an open fire or enjoying brisk winter walks, wrapped up warm in winter woollies a Christmas outdoor break is the perfect choice.

Lampeter, west Wales: Cwmcoedog Farm, a working farm in west Wales. The cosy heated camping pods come with a double and single bed and can sleep up to four guests. Bathroom facilities including hot showers are available in a nearby pod and there’s also an indoor games room.

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland: The cosy individually designed snugs at GG’s Yard are perfect for a romantic pre-Christmas escape. Each snug is self-contained and private, enabling guests to enjoy the stunning sea views and starry skies from the comfort of their bed through the snug’s glass-fronted doors.

Newbury, Berkshire: Hollington Park Glamping, a luxury glampsite just 45 minutes from London. These cosy heated pods may be near Highclere Castle, but aside from the bone china provided in each lodge, this is no Downton Abbey. The entire family, including the dog, will love this vintage-style site.

Wortwell, Norfolk: Wortwell Hall Barn offers a number of beautifully appointed twin and double bedrooms, with ensuite bathroom facilities. Guests also have shared access of communal facilities including the outdoor terrace overlooking the countryside. The barn is located in Waveney Valley in the heart of the Norfolk countryside, but within easy reach of the market town of Harleston, ideal for Christmas shopping.

Flims, Imboden Switzerland: Camping Flims near the Flims Laax Falera region is an ideal base for those seeking fun in the snow to get in the festive spirit. The site offers a range of snow-covered heated timber pods, sleeping up to four people including beds, bed linen, a table and chairs. Hot showers are available onsite and there’s also a restaurant. The Laax ski lift is just five minutes from the site via a free shuttle bus for those wishing to fit in some time on the slopes.

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Picture Credit: www.Pitchup.com

Check-in procedure change at Vic Falls Airport


SINCE the opening of the new Victoria Falls International Airport there have been changes to check in procedure. Historically drivers and guides were able to join guests in the check-in queue and assist them all the way to the counter and with their check-in. This is now no longer allowed and the drivers and guides have to leave the guests once they join the queue. This is for security reasons and to avoid congestion in the queues.

After check-in, guests will be directed to the immigration section for security screening and immigration formalities. After passport control, guests will go through to the departure Lounges. 

These are security regulations applied by the Civil Aviation Authority of #Zimbabwe, according to International guidelines and will not be compromised.
 


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Monday, 28 November 2016

Reindeers on Parade

THE annual #reindeer parade and Christmas procession through Truro, #Cornwall happens on Wednesday November 30 this year and is a favourite in the family festive calendar, heralding the start of late night shopping in the city.

The reindeer parade starts at 6.45pm from Victoria Square and travels via Little Castle Street, River Street, St Nicholas Street, King Street, Princes Street, Green Street, Lemon Quay and Lower Lemon Street and finally ending in Victoria Square.

There are chances to enjoy looking at the reindeer along route, which takes about an hour.


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Picture Credit: tomylees flickr.com/photos/71256895@N00/31138361081 331:365, 2016, Ready for Christmas IMG_0349 via photopin

Catch the waves in Texas

#KITESURFING is one of the fastest growing watersports and the gulf coast in #Texas is the ideal place to go. Here are the best beaches to go to in the Lone Star state.

Surfside Beach - good for amateurs and pro's alike with over 12 launch sites.
Corpus Christi - smooth water, easy starts and fast speed.
Port Aransas - easy beach launch and strong NE winds with rolling waves getting bigger the further out you go.
South Padre Island - amateur and pro launching sites with smooth water.
Isla Blanca Park - head downwind and catch a cab back to start all over again!


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Picture Credit: astielau flickr.com/photos/64796036@N07/30193059975 Jump! via photopin

Harry Potter arrives at Heathrow Terminal 5

THE HARRY POTTER™ SHOP has officially opened its doors to passengers at Heathrow Terminal 5.

The shop sells over 200 items, many of them exclusively at Heathrow, from across J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. The shop sells newly released products from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as collectibles, gifts, novelties and souvenirs from Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station and the West End hit play ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts One and Two’.

The shop will be open 7 days a week from 5:30am-­10:00pm and will be visited by more than 16 million passengers coming through Heathrow Terminal 5 each year to travel around the globe.

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

National Geographic: 21 must-see places to visit in 2017

NATIONAL Geographic Traveler magazine announced its annual Best of the World list today, which highlights 21 must-see places to visit in 2017. The #destinations were all chosen by the Traveler editors and fall into one of three categories- Cities, Nature, or Culture. 

The 2017 Best of the World destinations are (in alphabetical order):

Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Baja California National Marine Parks, Mexico
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Canton Uri, Switzerland
Cartagena, Colombia
Central India’s National Parks
Chengdu, China
Cradle of Humankind, South Africa
Ecuador’s Cloud Forests
Finland
Georgia, USA
Guadeloupe Islands
Hamburg, Germany
Kauai, Hawaii, USA
Madrid, Spain
Malta
Marrakech, Morocco
Moscow, Russia
Papua New Guinea
Seoul, Korea
Via Dinarica, Western Balkans

The online hub includes an immersive visual experience with 360 videos along with helpful tips and facts for planning trips to each locale. Visitors will also find inspiring illustrations to download and share.


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Picture Credit: kahunapulej flickr.com/photos/94937042@N00/15397673713 Sing-sing via photopin

Deals on the slopes



WITH the Alps and North America already experiencing heavy snowfall, the forthcoming #ski season is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years. For those who haven’t yet booked, there are still plenty of great deals available to those ‘in the know’, including peak school holiday dates over Christmas, February half-term and Easter.

Ski Solutions have put together their ‘Top Ski Hacks’, to ensure customers get the best deals on the slopes this season.

1. Be snow sure
Early birds wanting to bag the best deals and avoid the lift queues should head to the high-altitude resorts where the snow is guaranteed.Situated at an altitude of 1,907 metres, the village of Obergurgl, Austria enjoys excellent early snowfall and already has a base building covering of 45cm. The resort is a good all-round destination with pistes suitable for all ski standards.

Those willing to hop across the pond will enjoy excellent snow-sure conditions from late November at Park City in Utah. Thanks to the new direct Delta service from London in to Salt Lake City, it’s never been easier to ski Stateside. The hotel is centrally located, just minutes from the historic Main Street and offers breath-taking views over the mountains.

2. Time poor, budget poor or just unsure?

For nervous first timers, unsure how they will take to full days on the piste, or simply for those on a budget, a short break to the easily accessible resort of Courmayeur in Italy is the ideal choice. With excellent piste and off-piste skiing to suit all abilities, plus fantastic shopping, restaurants and nightlife away from the slopes, this high-altitude resort at the foot of Mont Blanc caters for all.

Experienced time poor skiers can now book short breaks to St Anton, Austria, one of the finest and oldest resorts in the Alps.

3. Don’t delay, book today for school holiday dates

With key dates for Christmas, February half-term and Easter already selling fast in light of the recent snowfall, the advice is to book now to avoid disappointment and to take advantage of early season offers.

4. Escape Europe to beat the plummeting Pound 

Whilst the value of the Pound against the Euro and USD remains low, in Canada, the Pound is still worth a staggering 1.7 CAD, which means holiday spend will go much further.

5. Go all-inclusive

Another way to beat the currency fluctuations and control holiday spend, whilst ensuring great value for money, is to book an all-inclusive ski package. Many now go beyond the traditional inclusive dining options to also include ski tuition and lift passes.

6. Ski longer for less this New Year

As New Year falls on a Sunday this year, a traditional transfer and change over day for ski resorts; many hotels have had to overcome this problem by offering nine night breaks for the price of seven, resulting in two free extra nights over the holiday period for skiers. .

7. Take advantage of opening offers

There are a number of new hotels set to open for the upcoming season including the five-star Taj-I-Mah in Les Arcs. By taking advantage of the early opening rates, skiers can enjoy top-notch accommodation and the opportunity to experience the hottest new hangouts, without the premium prices.


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Picture Credit: lukas schlagenhauf flickr.com/photos/132252811@N07/31140742346 sunset above the fog via photopin.com

News from Wild Horizons

#ZIMBABWE continues to experience a shortage of US Dollars cash. 

There are cash withdrawal restrictions in place at ATM’s and these vary between $300 and $100 per card per day. Travellers are encouraged to bring small denomination US$ bills with them for payments where credit cards are not accepted, such as some smaller shops and restaurants, as well as the craft markets. 

Note that Euros, Pounds and ZAR are also accepted in cash but exchange rates may not be favourable so US Dollar cash is recommended.

www.wildhorizons.co.za



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Picture Credit: paulafrenchp flickr.com/photos/38397433@N04/30759962670 Elephants walking across the plains in Bumi National Park via photopin

Saturday, 26 November 2016

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go

INSPIRED by #Italy the third edition of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go has been released. "Women love Italy because Italy loves women," says author Susan Van Allen, who has been traveling there for 40 years.

She guides readers to places where women have been worshipped, (Diana's temple in Sicily or Santa Maria Novella in Florence), and places where women lived and flourished, (Peggy Guggenheim's museum in Venice, Isabelle d'Este's Renaissance studiolo in Mantua).

There's advice for her favorite gardens, beaches, and spas. Her sections on shopping and indulging taste buds come with hidden female backstories, including the rise of women-owned wineries in recent decades.

For those looking for immersion experiences, she offers cooking classes, (such as rolling pasta in Calabria), or hammering mosaics in Rome, as well as hiking and biking adventures and entertainments-from operas to puppet shows. Rounding out the book is delightful practical advice, including the encouragement to "flirt, but don't take any of it seriously."

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Longleat: Festival of Light

LONGLEAT'S ‘Festival of Light’ which started in 2014, features thousands of giant lanterns and was seen by more than 180,000 visitors last year. 

The festival returned on November 11 for their biggest and brightest show yet which will run until January 2. Europe's largest chinese lantern festival celebrates #Longleat's 50th anniversary this year along with an amazing display of Beatrix Potter characters.

As part of Longleat’s continued 50-year anniversary celebrations, LCI Productions will create and deliver the festival’s 'grand finale’ - a large-scale installation using latest technology. It is designed to enhance the visitor experience over the ‘Festival of Light’ period.

Tickets and further information: https://www.longleat.co.uk/whats-on/festival-of-light


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Picture Credit: A K Gray