Travel Hot Spots by Eleanor Chatman

Everyone knows that travel is the university of the world, but it’s important that the destinations are chosen carefully so you get the most for your time, efforts and money. Let’s talk about some of the best places to travel to and when.

Right now, South Africa and Dubai are two great countries to visit. Why these countries now? Well, South Africa’s winter is here (June, July and August) and the temperatures can go down to 70 degrees, a comfort level which we really love!

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Dubai at dusk.

In addition, the hotels and tours are priced lower and are less crowded, so you can learn and do more than at other times of the year. Both countries are south of the Equator, therefore their seasons are opposite from ours here in the United States.

This is also true of Dubai, which is the playground destination these days and offers many fantastic learning experiences and 22 carat gold moments.

It is also the ideal time to travel to Kenya or Tanzania if you want to be there for the real safari runs. Not just a visit to look at animals – these are the real animal runs and you will be able to witness thousands of animals in their real habitat. Plus, many of the safari lodges are luxurious, not just some thrown up tents.

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Kenyan safari

Going On Safari In Kenya
Good times to travel to West Africa – mainly Senegal and Ghana – are the months of October, November and February. October and November are known as shoulder periods of travel – the months between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. The big summer crowds of tourists have gone and the airfares, the hotels and tours are less.

February is a great time to travel to either of these countries because they each celebrate Black History Month by offering special rates and activities for the entire month for Americans.

Ghana Enslavement Location
It’s not necessary to cross the oceans to have a fabulous vacation and learn some different things. Countries just to the south of us are wonderful destinations, as well. Think Vera Cruz, Mexico. Less than four hours to get there and your fun and learning experiences begin.

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Vera Cruz Square
The first thing you notice and appreciate, as a traveler of color, is that no one stares at you in the airport because people of African descent have lived in this area of Mexico for 300 years longer than folks of African descent have lived in North America.

The history, art and music are great. Vera Cruz is not to be confused with Acapulco, Cancun, and the other traditional tourist spots. With great food, beaches, entertainment, and history, Vera Cruz is the area that Mexico has kept secret for many years.

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Cuban street dancers

Cuban Street Dancers
Cuba is another must-visit location – only 90 miles from Florida. The history of this island is glowing and the fun, entertainment, and learning never stop. Taking weather conditions into consideration, we like to travel to Cuba between October and May. There are year-round music, art and dance festivals. All those travel restrictions you have heard are not true. We know because we send travelers there year-round.

I hope this information will help you in planning your next tour. Remember, there is more to a tour than the price and you deserve to get the most for your money!

(Eleanor Chatman is President of Africa Travel Advisors, Inc. She contributes regular travel stories to our website at ndigo.com. For more information, visit Eleanor’s website at www.africa-travel-advisors.com.)

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