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Backpacking Zanzibar: Everything You Need to know

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

I’ve been backpacking in Zanzibar many times over the last 9 years, it’s one of my favourite places in Africa and I love taking my Rock My Tanzania & Zanzibar Adventure tour groups there and showing them just how magical it is! A lot of people think of Zanzibar as a honeymoon or romantic destination, but it is also a great place for backpackers and solo travellers too! But where is Zanzibar? Zanzibar isn’t actually an island, it’s an archipelago that lies in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Tanzania. It’s made up of 3 main islands (Unguja, Pemba and Mafia), plus a number of smaller islands. Unguja is the largest island, where you will find the capital Zanzibar City (more commonly referred to as Stone Town – which is an area of Zanzibar City) and is what most people mean when they refer to Zanzibar. Pemba is north of Unguja and Mafia is to the south, near Mozambique. Backpacking Zanzibar is awesome, so here are my essential travel tips to help you plan your own adventure – when to go, what to do, where to stay, where to eat and where to meet other travellers! For the purpose of […]

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‘The Top Ten Revealed’ Premieres February 11 at 9:30/8:30c on AXS TV!

by Rory Graham @ AXS TV

Each week our diverse cast of experts count down through a catalog of topics ranging from Best Guitar Riffs to Vietnam Anthems and '80s Rock Ballads.

39 Things You Need To Know Before Backpacking Africa

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

So you’re planning (or are thinking about) backpacking Africa! Well, you’ve come to the right place! Backpacking in East and Southern Africa has been a huge part of my life for the last 9 years now and I truly believe that it’s the best way to really experience the continent. Backpacking allows you the freedom to immerse yourself in the local culture in a way that you wouldn’t get to otherwise. Safaris and big bucket list experiences are only a tiny part of what Africa is and contrary to popular belief, it’s an amazing place for an independent and intrepid traveller. I’ve just returned from another 4 month stint leading tours and travelling through the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania (and Zanzibar), Malawi and Zambia and here are a few things I think you need to know to help prepare you for backpacking in Africa! It’s Highly Addictive Pretty much everyone I know who goes to Africa gets addicted. This continent gets under your skin and into your blood like no other. Just look what happened to me! Within 5 minutes of landing in Zambia, that was it. I was gone. 8 and a half years later, I’m […]

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The Ilala Ferry, Malawi – My Best Worst Journey Ever

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

Africa is a place where the journey is often as much a highlight as the destination. And the MV Ilala Ferry in Malawi is one of the true great African journeys… My friend Melissa and I were sitting in the bar of our hostel planning our next move. I’d just finished leading my last Rock My Adventure tour of the year in Tanzania (Melissa was on that trip) and we’d made our way overland to Nkhata Bay, on the central part of Lake Malawi. We’d been in Malawi for about a week, taking local transport everywhere, hitching rides in the back of pick up trucks, attending the dowry celebration of the daughter of the Chief of Lvingstonia (one of my favourite days ever) and pretty much having an amazing time – this was my kind of travel. It had been an absolutely incredible experience so far, very frustrating at times (and you should know that I am about as laid-back as they come when it comes to travel), but wonderful all the same, mainly due to the awesome people we’d met along the way. Our ‘plan’ for Malawi was that we had no plan, we would go where the wind took us, but we […]

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★★★★ Grand Sea Hotel, Da Nang, Vietnam

★★★★ Grand Sea Hotel, Da Nang, Vietnam


Booking.com

Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Grand Sea Hotel offers accommodations in Da Nang. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar.

Bioaccumulation and Effects of Heavy Metals in Crayfish: A Review

Bioaccumulation and Effects of Heavy Metals in Crayfish: A Review


SpringerLink

Metal pollution is a global problem which represents a growing threat to the environment. Because of bioaccumulation and negative effects of heavy metals, their bioavailability needs to be monitored.

AP sources: Manafort tied to undisclosed foreign lobbying

AP sources: Manafort tied to undisclosed foreign lobbying


Spokesman.com

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s campaign chairman helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy. The revelation, provided to The Associated Press by people directly knowledgeable about the effort, comes at a time when Trump has faced criticism for his friendly overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It also casts new light on the business practices of campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Rock My Adventure – On New Beginnings and Big Changes

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

I’m back in Africa, my happy place! I’m currently in beautiful Zanzibar with my friend Brenna (of This Battered Suitcase) – who took the lovely photo above as we were walking along the beach today. She’s at the end of a 6 week trip through East Africa and I’m just at the beginning of mine. It’s been 4 months since I left my old job and created my new one. Nothing much has really happened in that time, yet EVERYTHING is different. My life is different. I’m different. Turns out that I switched the nine to five, for the nine to midnight (or later). But then no-one ever said starting your own business was easy. Running a blog and a tour company single-handedly is a lot of work! There are days when I face obstacle after obstacle and I’m like ‘Why am I doing this?” And I definitely feel like I’ve aged a little over the last few months. Well, in body at least, definitely not in spirit, if the photo above (taken at Glastonbury Festival a couple of weeks ago – thanks to Jen at She Gets Around for this pic) is anything to go by. But you know […]

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Welcome to Liverpool: A Local’s Guide to the City

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

Last week, I had the pleasure of welcoming two travel bloggers (Helene from Helene in Between and Andrea from VoloGratis.org) to my home city of Liverpool and my adopted city of Manchester. My task was to create the perfect itinerary and show them all my favourite places in both cities. We started in Liverpool, a city known for its music, maritime heritage, football, resilient and friendly people, a great sense of humour, beautiful buildings and vibrant night life. It’s also very affordable too. If Liverpool isn’t on your radar, it really should be!. Liverpool has always been a quirky and gritty city, filled with interesting and creative people, but over the last 30 years or so, Liverpool has really come alive again and I was eager to show my new friends what we’re made of up north. What surprised me was just how emotional an experience it was and made me fall in love with the city all over again. Everyone was so welcoming and I had so much fun talking about Liverpool, playing tour guide and just enjoying my own city as a tourist – something I don’t usually do. So I wanted to share my Liverpool city guide […]

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Veterans angry, disappointed following PBS’ Vietnam War documentary

Veterans angry, disappointed following PBS’ Vietnam War documentary


The Mercury News

South Vietnamese and American veterans are disappointed with Ken Burn’s documentary on the Vietnam War.

Come With Me to Africa! 2018 Rock My Adventure Tours Announced!

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

Who wants to go on an African adventure? This year has been crazy. I left my job, I’ve drove Scotland’s North Coast 500, been to my first Glastonbury Festival, taken a cheeky trip to Portugal and a few days ago I just got back from a 2-week island hopping trip in Hawai’i. Backpacked through Malawi and Zambia and led 5 tours through Uganda, Rwanda & the DRC, Kenya and Tanzania. The 2017 Rock My Adventure tours have been amazing. I’ve met and travelled with so many cool people – and honestly, I couldn’t have asked for better groups who were up for all the adventures I threw at them!! It’s been none stop but so much fun! The feedback I’ve had has been really wonderful and this year I even had 2 of the 7 from the Rock My Kenya Adventure in 2016, come back and join me for the trips in Uganda, Rwanda & the DRC and Tanzania & Zanzibar in 2017! But now it’s time to look forward to 2018! And have I got some amazing adventures lined up for you! I’ve got 10 trips to Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and Namibia. Some of the trips are replicas […]

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Review: Queen + Adam Lambert still reigns in vintage rock. Freddie Mercury would be proud

Review: Queen + Adam Lambert still reigns in vintage rock. Freddie Mercury would be proud


South China Morning Post

Lambert is no Freddie Mercury, but he brings a winning theatrical presence that’s all his own in Queen’s first Hong Kong appearance

Out of Africa: The 2017 Rock My Adventure Tours in Pictures

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

I started writing this post in the Masai Mara, on my 4th Rock My Adventure trip of 2017, whilst dressed in traditional Maasai clothing (this is what happens when you tell your Maasai friend “I like your outfit, I want to dress like a Maasai” and he says “Ok, let’s go shopping tomorrow then” and that was that) and going by my given Maasai name ‘Naserian’. I can honestly say that I’ve had the best and most challenging few months of my life – I just don’t know where the time has gone. The trips this year have been awesome (even if I do say so myself), but it’s mostly because of everyone I’ve travelled with and the locals and other travellers that we’ve met along the way. That’s what makes for an awesome travel experience. The people. After the trips, a few of my group members went off to travel by themselves and in some weird turn of events, even though we were all moving around, I managed to be in the same place as all of them at one point or another, so we got to hang out again in Zanzibar and Nairobi! It’s also been amazing to […]

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An Epic 2-Week Hawai’i Itinerary: Oahu, Maui & the Big Island

by Helen @ Helen in Wonderlust

In September, I disappeared off radar for about 2 weeks. That’s because in between running my Africa tours I went on an epic adventure to Hawai’i. I didn’t do any social media, I just went on holiday, relaxed, ate amazing food and had lots of adventures. On this trip there were 5 of us – me, my husband and three of our best friends, the same crew that went on the California road trip in fact! We had the most incredible time exploring the islands of Maui, Hawai’i (the Big Island) and Oahu. We spent 5 (6 if you count the first night overlay) nights on Oahu, 5 on Maui and 4 on The Big Island, although I could have spent longer on all of the islands. Our itinerary was awesome and I wanted to share it with you to help you plan your own trip to Hawai’i. So here’s what we did, and also a few suggested adjustments on what I would do differently, knowing what I know now. An Epic 2-Week Hawai’i Itinerary: Oahu, Maui & the Big Island Maui (5 Nights) After flying into Honolulu (on Oahu) and staying overnight, we flew to the island of Maui. Maui […]

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Roof 409 Bangkok - Rooftop Bar at Mercury Ville Chidlom

Roof 409 Bangkok - Rooftop Bar at Mercury Ville Chidlom


bangkok.com

Roof 409 Bangkok may just be one of our new favourite places to drink in Chidlom, opening-up at the start of 2015 on top Mercury Ville’s additional fourth floor. Occupying a pretty elevated terrace space right next to Bangkok’s Skytrain, this stylish bar and restaurant is a

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