What to expect in Botswana – Lonely Planet top choice for 2016 holidays

Botswana named the best place to visit

Recently, Botswana got a lot of coverage in social media. The reason was very simple – Lonely Planet named Botswana the best place to visit in 2016.

After reading their article, you might be tempted to pack your backpack and take off for the adventure right now, but be aware – it is now over 40 degrees Celsius in Botswana in November. For European homo sapiens it is simply too hot. We would advise to use the long Autumn evening hours, when it is dark outside, and plan your family trip to Botswana for next July/August. It would be the dry season in Southern Africa and school holidays time in Europe.  July and August are malaria-free months, so you don’t need to worry about health issues. No problem to take your children with you and show them how animals live at large.

And one more, final benefit: your kids, after such an adventure, will never want to go with you again to your local ZOO, so you will save a lot on cotton candy… 🙂

No excuses! This time children can go with you. They don’t have to be left with their grand parents…

Sunset in Okavango Delta
Sunset in Okavango Delta

What to expect in Botswana?

This year we went to Botswana with our two boys and were totally delighted with the wildlife we saw there. It is hard to believe such places still exists on the Earth. You feel as if Noah let all his animals out from his ark over there…

Our two best picks from Botswana were Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve. Both located in Northern part of Botswana.

“One picture is worth a thousand words”, so take a look at some photos we took during our family safari in Moremi Game Reserve in Okavango Delta. If African Safari is still on your Bucket List, it is high time to cross it out and make your dream come true…

Yes, we did it! Sleeping among wildlife gives you more adrenaline than a roller-coaster.
Yes, we did it! Sleeping among wildlife gives you more adrenaline than a roller-coaster.
Herd of Red Lechwe
Herd of Red Lechwe
Very small Kingfisher easy to be overlooked when you are in a boat. Usually can be seen while flying away...
Very small Kingfisher easy to be overlooked when you are in a boat. Usually can be seen while flying away…

Baboon male

Little Bee-eater - the smallest among bee-eaters.
Little Bee-eater – the smallest among bee-eaters

Give yourself more free time – check our photo gallery with amazing wildlife pictures.

Enjoy your weekend…

Tomasz & Dominika
“Walking Stones”

 

 

 

Two best places in Holland to see the Dutch windmills

Today we had a “windmill day”. First we had a tour in the highest windmill in Holland in Schiedam near Rotterdam, and then we had a family walk through a windmill complex in Kinderdijk, which in 1997 was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The windmills and pumping stations drain the excess water from the Alblasserwaard into the river Lek via the Elshout sluices. Subsequently, the river transports the water into the North Sea.

Highest Dutch Windmill
Highest Dutch windmill in Schiedam

At the end of our walk, the sky and sun started to wrestle making the light perfect for landscape photos.

 

Dutch Windmill in Kinderdijk
Windmills complex in Kinderdijk, Holland

Both places are worth visiting, but if you are short of time, I would suggest visiting only the Kinderdijk windmill complex as the surroundings of windmills in Schiedam have nothing special to impress you.

For other ideas for family weekend getaways in Holland visit our Facebook fan page Walking Stones.

Best Safari – Face to face with a white rhino

White rhino “jogging” towards our car (encountered in Marakele National Park in South Africa). It was the first meeting with a rhino on our African family safari and the most exciting one, as we were afraid he would want to wrestle with our 4WD car. As white rhinos can weight above 2 tonnes and charge with a speed of 45km/h, the outcome of such a clash was easy to predict…

For more photos from our family African Safari visit our fan page: Walking Stones

Beautiful birds of Southern Africa – Lilac breasted Roller.

Liliac-breasted Roller, Etosha, Namibia, bird
Liliac-breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted Roller can be frequently spotted in Etosha, Namibia, but it usually flies away before you manage to take a photo. This one was bold enough to make a fashion show for us and showed how colourful she was.

For more photos from our family African Safari visit our fan page: Walking Stones

When it comes to birds, size does not matter…

Kingfisher, Yellow Water, Kakadu, Australia
Kingfisher, Yellow Water, Kakadu, Australia

We spotted this elegant gentleman on our very morning cruise on the Yellow Water in Kakadu National Park, the beautiful and mysterious land of Aborigines.

Getting up before 6 am is not what we are especially keen on, but when you are on family vacations in Australia, you do it for pleasure, not because you have to…

If you plan to go to Kakadu, take either the very first, morning cruise on Yellow Water or the last evening one. The sunshine is playing magic, making each your photo good enough to be a postcard.

 

Five top activities to keep your teenagers busy in Costa Rica

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Have you ever wondered what you can do with kids on your summer holidays? Should they limit your natural drive to have an adventure? Are lazy summer holidays in a luxury sea resort the only option?

It all depends on what you like doing. If you are the type of person who can lie on the beach in a full sun no more that 10 minutes, then invite your kids to join the adventure trip. In Costa Rica, the choice of family activities, your kids will love, is limitless…

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I will risk saying, that if you survive the adventure holidays of your dream, your kids will manage it as well.

The top adventures in Costa Rica on our kid’s list are following:
1. Zip line
2. Whale watching
3. Swimming up the river and jumping from 5 meter cliff
4. Wild animals watching in the rain forest
5. Horse riding into the rain forest

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Just let me know if you would like to learn how to organise these adventures…

Do not disturb the mating Humpback Whales

When we watched David Attenborough’s program on BBC Nature about whales reproduction process, we didn’t even think for a moment that few months later we will see it real-life in the waters on Bahia Drake (Costa Rica).

The BBC film showed the whole process from various perspectives and it seemed to be quite calm. Frankly speaking, without watching this film, it would be really hard to imagine how whales DO IT. What can you expect from mammals which are up to 15 meters long and weight between 30 to 40 tons. I am not going to describe it here, just watch the film, if you need to dig into details… It is of very high educational value, even for kids, which will ask you whole tone of questions. For example we got a question:

– Dad, do people do it in a similar way…?

Humpback Whale mating, Costa Rica, photo by Grzegorz Kaminski
Humpback Whale mating, Costa Rica, photo by Grzegorz Kaminski

In Bahia Drake, we did not have to explain anything. We were just in the middle of the whole scene. It was not yet the tender loving scene. That was just the beggining… Three males chasing the female, swimming about 15km per hour. We could just experience this for a few blinks of the eye, but believe me – my adrenaline level grew up very quickly. We were really close and suddenly our boat seemed to be very, very small. My son – Greg – just managed to press the shutter button, whereas I started to record the scene on the camera. One picture, few seconds of film, but the memories of that event will stay with us for ever.

If you want to help me grow Travelling Families Community, please share this link with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. Thank you.

Referendum

Let’s assume for a moment, that we live in a democratic country, called Democratica. It is not a big country, but only projects which are supported by majority of voters are promoted to the phase of REALIZATION. In this country, if the results of the referendum are to be binding, at least 50% of country population must vote.

Let’s assume, that Democratica has only 100 citizens.

So now, it is your turn. Please take part in “Referendum” and decide. Every vote counts. It will take from 1 to 5 seconds to give your vote. You do not have to leave your house or office. You can vote on-line. Link is provided below:

signed: Democratica Labour Force

Travelling with no backpack was a real bliss

When we arrived to Costa Rica, it turned out that all our luggage was left at the London airport. We had no choice, but to start travelling without any backpack. All we had, was a camera recorder. Surprisingly, travelling without the backpack was really a bliss. Nothing to carry – we just had plenty of time to enjoy the slow start into the great Costa Rica adventure.

Lazy life of a Sloth

Have you ever observed a sloth in its natural environment? Its slow movements up the cecropia tree are so much different to the way we move. Sloths are unimaginably slow, but they always get what they want – a leaf of cecropia, change of their position on the feeding tree, feeling of safety.

We – humans – move much faster,  but can we say we are more effective? Do we always get what we want? Do we always figure it out how to move up? Or maybe, we just need so many things that irrespective of our efforts, we cannot grasp them all…

Anyway, watching the sloth in Finca Verde farm in Bijagua de Upala on our trip to Costa Rica was a great family moment, though probably conveying a different message to parents and to kids…

Let us know if you would like to get there on your next summer holidays. We will be glad to help.

Visit our webpage to get involved in Travelling Families Community.

Independent family trips

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