The Tsingy of Madagascar

The Tsingy of Madagascar

The tsingy of Madagascar, the thin, needle-like rock formations in the country, have a soft, sweet sing-song name.

With one foot on a knife-edge, the other in the air, the word soft didn’t come into it. I gripped the tsingy and tried not to look down. A long, long way down.

In Malagasy, the word tsingy means “walking on tip toes” or “the place where one cannot walk barefoot.” It’s a translation I’d overlooked for reasons that didn’t come to mind right now.

My hand grazed another and I did my best to ignore the pace of my pulse. I had to focus, to cling, to move. To grip and not to slip.

And then she appeared.

Light of foot and dancing.

A lemur. Then another. And another. Hopping, bouncing, chatting and calling, they danced and danced while I clung on.

And despite my heavy, dizzy, legs, I felt my heart join in, fluttering like lemur tails to be here in the wild in Madagascar.
Continue reading “The Tsingy of Madagascar”

Planning Your Trip to the Grand Canyon

Planning Your Trip to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the Earth’s greatest wonders and one of the crown jewels in America’s National Park System. Visiting the Grand Canyon should be part of any traveler’s bucket list. However, visiting the park does take some planning and preparation, especially if you plan on going during the peak tourist season, so Expedia.com asked me to share my insider tips to help you make it your best trip yet.

To get your vacation started, check out all of the Grand Canyon hotel options at Expedia.com.

Continue reading “Planning Your Trip to the Grand Canyon”

Katmai National Park, Alaska

Overview

Brooks Camp is the entry point for most visitors to Katmai National Park
Brooks Camp is the entry point for most visitors to Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park is a national park located near King Salmon in the southern portion of Alaska. This park is most known for the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and the Alaskan brown bears that inhabit the park premises. Since the park was established in 1980, it has averaged total annual visits of more than 37,000. The park is managed by the US National Park Service.

Katmai National Park spans a total land area of more than 4 million acres. The total land area of the park is therefore somewhat similar to the size of Wales. It is also a designated wilderness area. Therefore, all forms of hunting are banned within the park.

Unlike many of the other remote Alaskan national parks, Katmai has a lodge and support services within the park at Brooks Camp. Brooks camp has food and lodging available. Visitors to Brooks Camp have a mandatory bear safety training course which they must go through, given the large number of bears in the park in the summer.

Continue reading “Katmai National Park, Alaska”

Lake Clark National Park, Alaska

Lake Clark National Park, Alaska

Overview

Lake Clark National Park is a national park located in South West Alaska, in the Southern Alaska Range and along the Cook Inlet. It is one of 8 National Parks in Alaska and one of 24 National Park Service sites in the state. The entire park measures at 4.03 million acres in land area and is adjacent to the Lake Clark National Preserve. As of 2016, the total number of annual visitors is just over 21,000 per year, making it one of the least visited national parks in the United States. This is primarily due to the fact that there are no roads connecting the part to the outside world. It is only accessible through a small aircraft (such as floatplanes) or via boat.

Lake Clark National Park is an undiscovered gem. It has a mix of mountains, coastal areas, and a large hinterland. It also has an incredible amount of wildlife that only a few other national parks in the US can approach.

Lake Clark National Park

Before it was named a national park, it was a national monument in 1978.
Continue reading “Lake Clark National Park, Alaska”