Connect with us

News

The Best Safaris in Africa

Published

on

[ad_1]

When driving through the scenic savanna landscape, tall grass and pristine acacia trees dot the horizon. Animals sightings are overwhelming. At first glance you will rush to your camera to take a photo of the grazing animals; giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, impala, waterbuck, and oryx. It is incredible to think how many centuries they have roamed these lands. The real hunt while on safari is searching for the Big Five. Find elephants, rhinos, buffalo, leopards and of course lions, all come with time. On some safaris, they may come in one day.

Have you always wanted to go to a safari, but imagined an incredibly high price? If you are looking for a good safari on a budget, some are easily accessible, self-driving is allowed, and entry fees are friendly to the wallet. What about packing for a safari. There are a few essential items not to forget. With our top picks in Africa, you will see all the expected animals, including a good chance at the Big Five.

What Animals Will I See on Safari?

It is normal to see a lot of wildlife and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Expect to see A LOT of wildebeest and antelope. Some parks have a lot of elephants and giraffe. Depending on your luck and patience, seeing Lions is common, but you may only see a few. Seeing Leopards and Rhinos are rare. They are at many parks, but they are elusive. Leopards tend to hide in the trees while Rhino’s stay far from the vehicles.

Can I Go on a Safari on a Budget?

Yes, you absolutely can! Safaris in East Africa cost the most, starting with the Serengeti and Masai Mara. If you are on a tight budget, scratch your plans to visit those parks, because they will rack up a cost of several hundred each day you visit. While they are worth it, they are not budget friendly. Safaris in South Africa and Namibia are great, which have very cheap entry fees and you can self-drive in a small sedan. Renting a car is cheap in those countries, making a safari very affordable. Another way to save money on safari is to bring or rent a tent. National Parks in Namibia and SA have campgrounds and it gets expensive if you do not intend to camp.

Which is the Best Safari in Africa?

Each safari is unique. The landscapes create a different environment for what you are looking at each day. Some make it very difficult to spot animals, while others are wide open and much easier. Some safaris need 4×4 and typically you need to hire a driver, especially those in East Africa. Self-driving is allowed at most safaris in Southern Africa, great for those independent travelers or backpackers on a budget. Finding the best safari in Africa for YOU depends on what you are looking for, but you likely will find it at one of these park:

Best Safaris in Africa:

Masai Mara National Park, Kenya

What to Expect:

This iconic park, when one thinks of safari, rolling savannas filled with animal life unlike any other, the Masai Mara fits the bill. Popular for decades as the premier park in Africa, the action here cannot be beat. Within minutes you can see lions, rhinos, a leopard, and some cheetahs. The big 5 are all in this park and you have a good chance of seeing all of them, possibly even in one day. Come during the Wildebeest migration between July and early September for the most action and the famous river crossing, with the best time to come in early September.

• Self-driving is an option. The park requires 4×4 only.

• Park entry cost is $80 per day.

• Camping is available from $7 – $15 per person outside the park gates.

Norongoro Crater National Park, Tanzania

What to Expect:

The Norongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive and unfilled caldera, with the floor itself over 100 square miles (260 sq km). The wildlife is impressive. Elephants, buffalo, giraffe and lions graze within the crater. Elephants spend their last days in the Norongoro Crater. They travel hundreds of kilometers just to make it there. Views are stunning with crater walls surrounding the flat plains, and the wildlife is dense considering the size of the crater. It is a common side excursion as a day trip while on safari at Serengeti.

• Self-driving is an option. They require 4×4 only.

• Park entry cost is $60 per day plus 18% VAT and $40 per day for the vehicle.

• Camping costs $30 per night per person.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

What to Expect:

When most think of big game parks and some of the most iconic parks in Africa, Serengeti is often the first to roll off their tongue. This famous park in Tanzania borders Masai Mara to the South and is an enormous park. Hosting over 3,000 lions and 1,000 leopards, Serengeti is home to what most say is the largest population of big cats in Africa. There are also over 2 million wildebeests, of which over 1.5 million annually migrate North into Masai Mara as part of the Great Migration. Come during the migration between July and early September for the most action and the famous river crossings, with the best time to come in early September.

• Self-driving is an option. They require 4×4 only.

• Park entry cost is $60 per day plus 18% VAT and $40 per day for the vehicle.

• Camping costs $30 per night per person.

Etosha National Park, Namibia

What to Expect:

This gem of a park in Namibia, not far from the scenic Namib sand dunes, is one of the top parks in Africa. It is a very large park with a central salt plan that floods during the rainy season. The park has excellent drives along the salt pan and savanna, as well as through the forest. Many natural and artificial watering holes help the animals congregate, especially during dry season. There are three main camping areas with watering holes for night viewing. The park is dense with wildlife. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, antelope, and elephants. all call Etosha home. We had several close encounters with lions. A momma cheetah attempted a kill of antelope with her two young cubs. Hundreds of giraffes would congregate for some water. Etosha was one of our favorite safaris, and is an excellent option for those on a budget. For the quality of animals and accessibility, this might be the best budget safari in Africa. The best time to visit is from May through October during the dry season.

• Self-driving is an option and 4×4 is not needed.

• Park entry cost is $6 per day plus $2 per car per day.

• Campsites up to 8 people cost $18 per night.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

What to Expect:

Mountain gorillas can only be found in four National Parks all bordering the Virunga Mountains. You can visit Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in Congo, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has the most mountain gorillas of all the parks, home to nearly 400 of the 900 mountain gorillas alive. Viewings are daily, and you often can track large families with several large male silverbacks as well as young gorillas. This is unique to most African safaris, that you are in search of only one species and it is entirely on foot, but the memories of this may beat all the rest.

• The best time to visit is from May to September when it is not rainy season. Prices are lower during the rainy season, making this a good time for those on a budget.

• Bwindi mountain trekking costs $600 per person during the main season and $450 during the low season (April, May and November).

• Camping is $5 per person in the national park and $7 -$10 at rest camps outside of the park.

Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

What to Expect:

This highly underrated park is possibly the most diverse of these parks. It hosts the Nile Rivers greatest waterfall, Murchison Falls, along with excellent game drives and Nile River scenic boat cruises. The delta here next to Lake Albert provides for excellent hippo and bird viewing. The savanna is stunning with rolling hills. We loved the unique landscape at Murchison which was littered with palm trees, a rare occurrence in the savanna. The park is home to many giraffes, hippos, exotic birds, lions, antelope, buffalo, crocodiles and the occasional leopard. There also are chimpanzee treks available. The best time to visit is from May to September.

• Self-driving is an option and 4×4 is not needed.

• Park entry cost is $40 per day.

• Camping is $8 per person at Red Chili Rest Camp.

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

What to Expect:

Moremi Game Reserve in northwest Botswana sits next to the Okavango Delta, worth a visit when going to Moremi. This park is one of the best safaris for self-drive enthusiasts. Thick sand roads make for fun but tough driving conditions through forests and smaller open plains. You can drive in for a couple of days, or make the longer trek through Moremi on to Chobe for a 5 to 7-day Safari. Wildlife is very dense with elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, antelope, lions, leopards, hyenas, and the rare wild dogs. The best time to visit is from June through September during dry season but when floodwaters are at its highest in the Okavango River Delta.

• Self-driving is an option. They require 4×4 only.

• Park entry cost is $11 per day plus $5 per day per vehicle.

• Camping ranges in cost from $15 to $50 per person depending on each campsite.

Chobe National Park, Botswana

What to Expect:

Chobe National Park is one of the premier parks in Africa and has some of the densest animal concentrations in Africa. They host the second most elephants in Africa. Animals come for hundreds of miles to make the journey down to the Chobe River. Joined with Moremi, this park is excellent for self-drive enthusiasts. Their game drives are excellent, but the real bonus is the Chobe River. Take a sunset boat cruise and watch as elephants cross the river, hundreds of hippos eating, exotic birds, crocodiles laying out, and many other animals can be spotted. The occasional lion might be found on the banks of the river grabbing a drink. The best time to visit is from May to September.

• Self-driving is an option. They require 4×4 only.

• Park entry cost is $7 per day.

• Camping ranges in cost from $15 to $50 per person depending on each campsite.

[ad_2]

Source by Timon Peskin

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?

Published

on

[ad_1]

Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program

Direct Sales Agents

Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.

Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.

Colleges and Universities

Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.

Freelancers

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.

Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.

Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions

There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.

Advertise!

The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.

Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.

[ad_2]

Source by Lina Stakauskaite

Continue Reading

News

Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them

Published

on

[ad_1]

The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.

The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?

Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.

Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.

Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon

First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.

Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:

  • 2006 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
  • 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
  • 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
  • 2020 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2020 to? – Prices Decline

*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.

The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.

Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound

Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.

Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.

Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.

To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.

Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care

If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.

However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.

Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.

This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”

Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price

This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”

However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.

Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.

Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.

Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price

Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.

Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.

During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.

The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.

Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission

Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction

Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.

For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.

Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.

In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.

By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.

[ad_2]

Source by Robert W. Dudek

Continue Reading

News

Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer

Published

on

[ad_1]

Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:

1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers

If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.

2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer

It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.

3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part

Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?

4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer

It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.

5) Brand is important

Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider

If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.

[ad_2]

Source by Damien Oh

Continue Reading

Tags

Live Statistics

Trending