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Okonjima Nature Reserve – The African Cat Experience

After six days in Etosha National Park, we failed to spot any big cats – and this was what I had dreamt about when envisioning an African safari!  Therefore, we took matters into our own hands and went to the one place we could guarantee a sighting of these magnificent creatures: Okonjima Nature Reserve.

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8 Fun Things To Do In Cape Town

Cape Town is a vibrant city with a mix of cultures, beautiful landscapes, beaches, and plenty of activities. With these activities, you should be able to get a good feel for the Mother City and what it is all about. We’ve included activity costs and some safety precautions to help you plan your trip. Here are our 8 fun things to do in Cape Town.

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Table Mountain – Hiking vs. The Cableway

We are back in the world of internet, so we’re catching up with some of our African adventures!

We started our worldwide trek with two weeks in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa.  With a photogenic curving coastline and a variety of activities to offer – from penguins and wine to hiking and history – we were excited for this first stop in a new continent.

One of the main attractions we were looking forward to was ascending the centerpiece of the city: Table Mountain.  We were there long enough to climb it twice, and each was a unique experience.  Which method would you prefer?

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Climbing our First Sand Dune in Namibia – Big Daddy Dune

One of the main attractions in Namibia is the enormous sand dunes. The tallest in Namibia and the world is Dune 7 located near Swakopmund. It is a whopping 383 meters (1,256 feet) tall. We missed this one to see big cats (a must – post coming soon!), so we climbed Big Daddy Dune instead at about 325m (1,000′). This choice was the best at the time and we have no regrets.big-daddy-dune-2

 

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Magical Moments in Etosha

Every day in Etosha we saw wild elephants ranging from one to thirty at a time. The youngest were so playful in the waterholes. They would roll around together in the water, and even boldly chase after other animals. We always looked forward to seeing their beauty and grandeur, and each moment with them was special.

While we still have a limited internet connection in Namibia, we are keeping our posts short. Expect more from us in August when we arrive in Europe. See you then!

We Were Robbed While Traveling – How You Can Learn from Our Mistake

Happy Independence Day to our American readers!

We’ve been on the road for two weeks now, and our first leg is drawing to a close.  We’ll be sharing more posts on the beautiful city of Cape Town and the many amazing activities to do while visiting, but first, we wanted to address safety.

Many people warned us against visiting South Africa.  And while we took precautions, we still wound up victims.  This is our story of being robbed in Cape Town, and how you can learn from our mistake.

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Where to Start a Trip Around the World: Cape Town

As I am writing this, we are two days out from getting on our first flight to Cape Town South Africa. It has been quite a scramble getting ready for this trip, and it feels like we will never be truly ready. From the packing to the planning, it has been a bit brutal at times. All the hard work is about to pay off. With three years in the making, we’ve finally begun our world trip!  And this is where.

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How Does it Feel to Travel the World?

We’ve finally made it!!  Welcome to Day 1!  We’ve been planning this trip for about three years now, and it’s always been something “out there” in the future.  Now it’s here.

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for us, especially over the past month.  This is what it really feels like to completely uproot your life and take the leap into the unknown.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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5 Tips for Mastering Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing.com is a website platform for connecting a global community of travelers, facilitating stays with locals or opening your home to visitors. Sometimes hosts can offer a private room and bathroom; sometimes it’s literally nothing more than a couch upon which to crash for a night. It is also a place to organize events in cities around the world.

We have used this platform to host eight amazing travelers, and we have also been hosted once abroad in Norway. All of the people we met through this platform were incredible. They all came from different walks of life, and they shared their own travel stories and cultural experiences with us (like teaching us how to drink like a Russian!).

We are the type of hosts who like to treat our guests to local Portland activities, hikes, and even trips to the coast. We enjoy meeting new people, and every experience is completely unlike the last. There are many reasons to love this platform.

Over our many hostings and stays, we’ve learned a lot.  Here are five tips for mastering Couchsurfing.

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Essentials for enjoying an evening drinking with a Russian

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