Minneriya Elephant Gathering – A Magnificent Wildlife Spectacle

Via-pixabay,ajoheyho,CC0

Although poachers have ruthlessly brought down the elephant population across the regions of Asia and Africa, Sri Lanka is home to some 5,000-8,000 elephants. Found in north-central Sri Lanka is the Minneriya National Park where hundreds of elephants every year travel to the banks of the reservoir constructed by King Mahasena to mate, feed, bathe and even socialize.

One of world’s biggest “gatherings”

Welcoming jeeps full of tourists from across the world, this wildlife spectacle occurs every year. Known as “The Gathering”, it offers a great chance to catch glimpses of elephants spraying muddy water onto each other, calves playing around and older elephants pulling the lush grass off the ground.

When and where?

The Minneriya National Park is found about a ten-minute drive away from the popular Habarana forest. As the water in the other sources in the park recedes during the dry season from July through early November, massive herds of elephants start to advance toward the reservoir. Many a popular travel & lifestyle magazine published online such as Cinnamon Magazine features The Gathering during the season providing enough information for enthusiastic tourists and locals.

How can you head to The Gathering?

Luckily enough, there are many safari planners and tour guides around the Minneriya Park. You can easily arrange a tailor-made safari to visit and witness The Gathering.

The plus points

Although relatively small compared to other reserves in Sri Lanka, Minneriya Park is also home to other wildlife including sambar, spotted deer, langurs and even macaques.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Things To Do In Kalutara You Didn’t Know About – Hidden Gems That Are Totally Worth Exploring!

 

Kalutara in the dazzling western coast offers more than just golden beaches. Here are a few things to do in Kalutara, Sri Lanka that you probably didn’t know about.

Canoeing in Kalu River

a couple canoeing on a river

Canoeing is the best way to explore Kalu River

Gently flow along the Kalu Ganga (කළු ගඟ ) (River) which in Sinhalese means the “Black River”. According to local travel guides such as Travel Kalutara this can be done as a half day tour or overnight tour. Along the way, you’ll see verdant tropical greenery, exotic birds and cheeky monkeys who’ll make funny faces at you!

Water Sports

jetskiing is a motorized water sport

Jet Skiing – Photo via Pixabay

Where there’s a beach, there’s almost always a chance for some fun in the water. In Kalutara you can try out a number of watersports such as

  • Jet skiing
  • Water skiing
  • Bodyboarding
  • Banana or tube rides, to name just a few.

 

Fishing Trips

fishing trips in kalu river

Hope on to a traditional boat ( Oruwa) and go on a fishing trip

Have some fun and catch your lunch at the same time! There are many hotels and tour operators who offer deep sea fishing expeditions in Kalutara. Hunt for a variety of fish ranging from tuna to sailfish, dorado, mackerel, and even the humoungous Marlin!

Spa in Kalutara

anantara spa in kalutara

A luxury spa in Kalutara – Photo by Anantara Kalutara Resort

You need a good break, after all, that adventuring around right? So book a spa session at one of the many luxury hotels in Kalutara and be prepared to be pampered like a prince or princess with a wide range of holistic Ayurvedic treatments.


Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

How To Enjoy a Non Hiker’s vacation in Nepal – Who needs hiking boots anyway?!

top vacation destinations , nepal

Phewa Lake , Pokhara , Nepal – Photo via Pixabay

Over the last couple of years, Nepal has been one of the top vacation destinations to visit, especially for hikers. But, if you’re not one, visit Nepal anyway – here’s how to enjoy your trip!

Bird watching

Nepal is known to be home to around 10% of the world’s bird population with over 856 species that have been identified. Online blogs such as The Vacation Gateway will also be able to provide other popular locations for bird watching enthusiasts.

Food

nepal food

User: (WT-shared) Shoestring at wts wikivoyage, Dal Bhat Tarkari,Nepal, CC BY-SA 4.0

There are many good local restaurants in Nepal which offers a fresh choice of ingredients and lean meats for diners. Common ingredients used in Nepalese cuisine include tomatoes, potatoes, yoghurt, garlic and lentils.

Adrenaline activities

nepal landscape

Lush landscape in Nepal , Photo : Pixabay

With beautiful breathtaking landscapes, Nepal is the ideal destination for adrenaline junkies. You have the option of rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, riding on a hot air balloon or on a wildlife safari!

World Heritage Sites

In addition to Nepal’s unique cultural charm of monasteries, temples, etc, you will be able to find several UNESCO World Heritage Sites here such as Kathmandu Durbar Square, Lumbini etc.

Lakes

Nepal is said to have over 200 jaw dropping lakes with glacier origin. Popular lakes to visit are Rara Lake, Tilicho Lake etc.

Related

Bhutan Adventure Travel – Uncover a Land of Unbridled Adventure in the Exotic Kingdom of Bhutan


Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Discovering Hanifaru Bay in Maldives – Underwater Adventures

One of the most precious marine habitats in the Maldives, Hanifaru Bay has a rich marine biodiversity and offers plenty of amazing sights to be discovered. Those lucky enough to dive here will also see a wide range of marine life that swim wild and free in its waters.

Where can it be found

Hanifaru Bay can be found in what is known as the Baa Atoll in Maldives. While this site is part of a Biosphere Reserve it is also a Marine Protected Area. Those in search of a hotel near Hanifaru Bay from which to head to this site can consider options such as Dhigali Maldives.

The highlight at Hanifaru
The main draw at Hanifaru Bay is undoubtedly the chance to see manta rays. In fact, this site is known as one of the largest manta ray feeding destinations in the world. Little surprise that underwater photographers love coming here!

Best time for mantas

When it comes to seeing mantas feeding on plankton at Hanifaru Bay, the best time to visit is the period from May to November. Literally, hundreds of mantas can be seen during this time and make for an unforgettable underwater spectacle.

Other marine inhabitants

Apart from manta rays, this underwater area is home to other species too including sting rays and whale sharks which add to the allure of Hanifaru Bay. Diving here is bound to be an experience you won’t soon forget.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

 

Bali Safari and Marine Park -Wildlife and wild life

This theme park is the ultimate day of fun, be it with family or friends, and is the island’s most visited animal theme parks of all time.

Wild Animals | Image Courtesy: By Yogwi21 (Own work) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABali_Safari_Animal_4.jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Wild Animals | Image Courtesy: By Yogwi21 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


The Bali Safari and Marine Park opened in 2007 and not a day has gone by since without it having a full house. Covering 40 hectares of natural habitats, this park is home to about 60 species of animal and birds, all of which are free to roam and enjoy the enclosure while in their natural habitat.

About

Bali Safari and Marine Park | Image Courtesy: By William Cho (Bali Safari & Marine Park) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABali_Safari_%26_Marine_Park_(2688927963).jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Bali Safari and Marine Park | Image Courtesy: By William Cho (Bali Safari & Marine Park) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


The majority of species come from 3 regions, namely, Indonesia, Africa, and India, including Himalayan bears, spotted deer, nilgai, bucks, African hippos, elephants, camels, zebras, ostriches, lions, and baboon. The classic safari jeep takes you through the different habitats created by man, and let you see a collection of wildlife you would otherwise have to travel 3 different countries to see.

Going inside

Wild Animals | Image Courtesy: Walter Lim

Wild Animals | Image Courtesy: Walter Lim

It takes one full day to enjoy everything the park has to offer, and for some nature lovers, even that isn’t enough. It is a different world in there, a world of magical forests and mighty lions and this visit is not something you’d forget easily.

Stay

Accommodation in Bali | Image Courtesy: By Simon_sees from Australia (Hotel Intercontinental Bali) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHotel_Intercontinental_Bali_(7373589284).jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Accommodation in Bali | Image Courtesy: By Simon_sees from Australia (Hotel Intercontinental Bali) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


After a tiring day at the park, all you’d want is a luxury wellness and spa visit. Don’t you worry, there are ample choices when it comes to spas in Bali, and one of them is at the COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Bird Watching Sites in Sri Lanka – Many and Varied

Bird Watching

Image Credit:  Malkey Rent a Car

Sri Lanka is a Birdwatcher’s Paradise and bird watching sites are dotted all around the island. The country has more than 400 bird species comprising of endemic, resident and migrant birds. There are approximately 23 endemic and 200 migratory birds recorded within the island. The climate and environment of Sri Lanka is very conducive to the well-being of bird life. One of the best things to do in Sri Lanka is bird watching and when travelling around the island, if you are in need of a superbly conditioned vehicle, rental companies such as Malkey Rent a Car would be a good choice.

Kumana National Park (Yala East) 361 km from Colombo on the southeastern coast is the island’s most popular bird sanctuary and famed for its large migratory waterfowl and wading birds. An important feature here is a 200ha water body known as the Kumana Villu which is powered by the Kumbukkan Oya. It is here that many birds nest in May and June. It has been recorded that more than 225 species of birds have been found here, including the rare species of Lesser adjutant, Black necked stork and Eurasian spoonbill. Other birds here include pelicans, spoon bills and painted storks. Bundala National Park is in the Hambantota district of southern Sri Lanka and is the island’s Ramsar wetland site. It is said that each and every water bird in Sri Lanka visits Bundala. It is an internationally recognized wintering site for migrant birds especially the Greater Flamingo who migrate here in large numbers. Kalametiya in the south is the island’s oldest bird sanctuary and the best time to visit is from November to March. Birds here include the Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl, the Sri Lanka Black Capped Purple Kingfisher, and the Indian Reef Heron.

Other great bird watching sites are Kithulgala, the Peak Wilderness, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawattekele Sanctuary in Kandy, Horton Plains National Park, Knuckles World Heritage Area, Kandalama Sanctuary, Wilpattu, Chilaw Sand Pits, Anavilundawa Sanctuary, Mannar and Vankalai Sanctuary. Closer to Colombo, the Talangama Tank and Marshes and the Bellanwila –Attidiya Sanctuary are good bird watching areas.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Fun Activities to do in Kalutara – Discovering a World of Coastal Wonder

Image Credit: AVANI Kalutara Resort

While Sri Lanka’s south coast has many towns and cities along its shoreline that have become quite popular amongst locals and tourists alike, there is a quaint locale that one can tend to overlook while on your travels. The idyllic town of Kalutara with its iconic temple which towers above the townscape as you drive across the main bridge is a super spot for some fun in the sun, lazy days on the sand and frolic in the surf. There are plenty of fun things to do in Kalutara and since it is only around an hour and a half from Colombo, it makes a great place for a day trip as well.

As with most south coast locales, one of the highlights here is the golden, soft sandy stretch of beach. A perfect place for working on that holiday tan which will be the envy of all once you get back, the beach area here is ideal for everything from chilling out on the shore to building sandcastles with the kids. Ideally, look to find accommodation right along the beach itself and options such as AVANI Kalutara Resort are worth considering if you want to spend lots of time by the ocean.

If you are the active type, you can always try kayaking on the local river known as the “Kalu Ganga”. It’s a great way to get a feel of the area and get a workout at the same time! There are more water sports to be enjoyed in the lagoon area too. For more adventure look to head to the historic mansion called Richmond Castle. Constructed during the time of British colonial rule, this fascinating structure retains its old world charm even though it may have lost some of its grandeur over the many decades.

For a change of scenery, plan a visit to Thudugala Ella Falls. You will have to head a bit inland to the Thudugala Estate, located in the village of the same name, in order to get to this waterfall. In the heat that radiates throughout the country during certain months, Thudugala Ella Falls and its natural pool, in particular, is the ideal spot to cool off and enjoy time surrounded by nature.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Submarine diving in Maldives – Explore the treasures of the sea

The latest buzz in Maldives is Submarine diving. This activity is fun and a great way to explore the colourful world of life under the sea in Maldives. Tourist attractions on the islands are somewhat limited, but the biggest attraction and most popular is definitely the colour reefs and diverse variety of marine life.

If you’re not a fan of swimming or not even strong at the activity, but desperately want to explore the treasure trove of the ocean, then submarine diving is the perfect activity! Submarines can usually hold a total of 50 people and descends to a depth of 150m, while stopping at depths of 25m and 40m.

Sites like The Maldives Travels have a list of places you can visit while on the islands and more information on the islands if you need to do more research before booking your trip.

The submarine diving tour is believed to be the first and largest deep diving tourist submarine in the world.

While on your tour, you’ll be able to see lion fish, anemone fish, butterfly fish, parrotfish, sea turtles, sting rays, manta rays, eels, giant groupers, grey reef sharks, white tip and black tip sharks and even whale sharks!

lion fist

Lion Fish By Alexander Vasenin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The further down you dive, the more exotic the species you’ll come across. On your dive, you will be able to see ship wrecks and coral reefs.

Submarine dives even happen at night for those who are interested in looking at sea in a different view. Some of the corals species that you’ll be able to see are the brain coral, staghorn coral, rose coral, star coral and many others.

Underwater Maldives Colors Corals Trip Color

Underwater Maldives Colors Corals , Photo via Maxpixel, CC0 Public Domain

Submarine diving is also great for those travelling with children, as it’s a great way to show the little ones what life under the sea looks like, without worrying about their safety and the ability to swim!


Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

The Ghost Tower – Infamous Haunted Skyscraper in Sathorn, Bangkok

Do you love ghost stories? Does hearing about a real life haunting make your hair stand on end, but leave you wanting to find out more? Then, by all means, do read on and hear the tale of the infamous Ghost Tower in Sathorn, Bangkok!

While traversing the streets of Sathorn you will come across a rather derelict looking building that has now become amongst the well known Bangkok tourist attractions in the city.

This structure which was originally known as Sathorn Unique was initially meant to offer luxury apartments, but when the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 hit, construction was suspended too.


Video by It’s better in thailand via Youtube


Neglect and disrepair took over and this unfinished tower soon attracted a whole different set of “crowd” than was originally intended.

Stories of it being haunted soon began to propagate with claims including that the building had been constructed on the grounds of what was once a graveyard, which angered the spirits here and who in turn plagued the project and those who worked on it.

Little wonder that for those who love ghost stories, this 49-storey tower has become such a popular attraction amongst the many others you can find out more on at travel blog sites like Travel Bangkok Now.

A post shared by Matt Van (@mattvan82) on

The Ghost Tower is something to be seen from the outside and is generally off-limits to the public.

However, there have been instances where people have snuck inside and made their way up to the top floor.

This is by no means advised, though since it is an abandoned building that is unsafe, not taking into account encounters with any angry spirits that may still wander its hallways.

Adding a new twist to the tale, in 2014, a body of a Swedish national was found on the 43rd floor of the building, apparently having committed suicide by hanging himself.

And so the frightening tales of the Ghost Tower continue to grow and provide quite a unique sightseeing opportunity in Bangkok… from the outside of course!


Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Banana Reef – One of the Oldest Dive Sites in Maldives

Maldives is well known for its remarkable natural dive sites. Banana Reef is one of the oldest dive sites that can be found in Maldives that is renowned internationally. The reef is shaped like a banana which provides excellent protection to the marine area. It is also a protected marine spot due to its exceptional shape, a large number of fish varieties that dwell beneath the shimmering waters and rare caves and canyons that are found scattered across the depths of the sea. Due to its popularity among divers, it is frequented by tourists as well as locals who enjoy diving in spectacular natural locations. If you are a diving fan and staying in a Maldives luxury resort the likes of COMO Cocoa Island, The Maldives, you can take a boat trip to this must visit location to fulfil your diving fantasies. Beginners, as well as professional divers, are sure to enjoy this panoramic reef that boasts beautiful soft coral growths, overhangs and small canyons.

The multicoloured coral reefs and large schools of small to big fish that can be seen here make your dive worthwhile. Some of the predators that can be seen here include barracudas, sharks and groupers. It is also home to an array of small and attractive fish species that can be widely seen while diving.

Banana Reef is situated north of Male within the atoll when you pass the airport. Diving takes a new meaning at Banana Reef when the current is relatively mild. It is the best time for all types of divers to take a plunge and explore the breathtakingly beautiful soft corals quite safely. However, diving near the middle of this reef area can be quite risky for amateurs due to the strong incoming currents across the channel that can create an effect of a spinning washing machine!

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+