One of our favorite things to do in Egypt was to wander the local markets, or souks. The markets are set up like large mazes, with new and fascinating things around every corner.
- Bargaining is part of the shopping experience in Egypt. It is customary to haggle back and forth over the price until you reach one that seems fair to both the seller and the buyer.
- Visitors like to stock up on exotic spices and colorful textiles. There are many, many stands in the markets that offer these items.
- Sometimes the merchants will offer coffee or tea so the customers will feel at home while shopping.
- Since chess and backgammon are very popular games in Egypt, the markets sell lots of different styles. They are good gifts to bring back as souvenirs that friends and family can treasure and play with forever.
- Egyptian cotton is famous worldwide. In the markets you can find all kinds of cotton clothing in made in Egyptian or American fashions, and also sheets, blankets, and towels. Anything you could possibly want made out of cotton can be found at the markets.
What kind of souvenirs do you like to buy when you travel? Share in the comments!
Botswana has some of the most diverse wildlife in Africa. Almost 40% of the country is preserved just for the animals. They roam free on the uninhabited land and visitors come to experience them in their natural habitat without disturbing them while on safari in Botswana.
- There are about 200,000 elephants in Botswana, more than anywhere else in Africa.
- Hyenas are known to be scavengers, but they are actually very good hunters, too.
- Lions prey on big animals like zebras, warthogs, and antelope. The larger males weigh over 500 pounds!
- African buffalos travel in herds and prefer wet, grassy areas. Like their cow cousins, they eat lots and lots of greenery.
- Rhinos have poor eyesight, but very good senses of smell and hearing. They are solitary, meaning they don’t travel in a group like other animals.
- Zebras are social animals and don’t hide from predators, but will bark and snort to warn the rest of the group.
- Hippos are semi-aquatic. They stay in bodies of water during the day to keep cool and come out onto the land at dusk to graze on grass.
- African leopards have beautiful spotted coats that can vary in color. They are stealthy and fast, sneaking up on prey.
Have you seen any of these animals on a safari or at a zoo? Tell us about your favorite in the comments!
The pyramids in Egypt are the most famous in the world, although they exist in other places, too. People travel from all over to learn about the history of the pyramids and see them up close and in person. We learned all kinds of cool facts about the pyramids on our trip!
Did you know…
- More than 130 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt so far.
- The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest Ancient Wonder of the World. It is also the largest pyramid and is 455 feet tall. (That’s 150 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty!)
- The pyramids are giant tombs. Bodies buried there were mummified to preserve them. Valuable jewels and other items were also buried in the tombs.
- All the pyramids were built on the west bank of the River Nile.
- The pyramids of Giza are guarded by the Great Sphinx. It is the largest monolith statue in the world. “Monolith” means it was carved out of one huge rock.
- On average, each pyramid took about 200 years to build, though historians have noted that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built over a span of 20-30 years.
Did you study the pyramids in school? Leave a comment and tell us some of your favorite facts about Egypt.
It’s true that Iceland has ice, but it’s not cold all the time. In fact, the weather changes so quickly that you might feel like you’ve experienced all four seasons in one day. There are some other things about Iceland that might surprise you:
There are about 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. Because there are glaciers, frequent snow and rain, and plenty of cliffs, it’s the ideal environment for waterfalls. Some are big and powerful, others small trickles, but all are beautiful to see.
Glaciers have their own weather. It’s true! These big icy masses have their own weather systems and aren’t affected by the sun. 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers and people travel from all over the world to study them. There are tours where people can climb and hike on the glaciers, or even ride snowmobiles.
Volcanoes made hot springs. Because of Iceland’s geography, the volcanic land and geo-thermally heated water create steamy hot pools called natural spas. You can swim in some of them, or just relax in the mineral-rich water.
Adventure is under the ground. Iceland has lots of caves to explore. Those made by the volcanoes are called “lava tubes.” They have stalactites and stalagmites and all kinds of cool shapes left by the lava. When a cave is around for a long time, it gets covered by ice and frozen sculptures.
Have you traveled anywhere that was full of surprises? Tell us about it in the comments!
When most people hear the word “rainforest” they think of hot, tropical jungles, like in the Amazon. But there are also temperate rainforests, which means that they can be cooler and have conifer trees. That’s right, it can feel like Christmas in the rainforest!
Great Bear Rainforest is in Canada on the British Columbia Coast. It has incredibly unique wildlife because it is close to both the mountains and the ocean. Here are some of the animals we saw there:
These social animals love to hang out together on land. They stay in a big group and jump in the water when they are hungry or want to go for a swim. They eat all kinds of fish and can stay underwater for five minutes at a time.
There are lots of cougars in the Great Bear, although they prefer to come out at night and can be hard to spot during the day. Also known as mountain lions, these cats are large and quiet. They hunt small animals like rodents, or large animals like deer. They can jump 18 feet into the air and run up to 50 miles per hour!
Humpbacks, fin whales, and killer whales all can be seen in the Great Bear. Lots of people visit just to catch a glimpse of them from their boats and we were lucky to see a whole bunch of humpback whales. They like to slap the water with their tails and eat tiny fish like krill.
A subspecies of the black bear is the Kermode bear. They are native to the area and nicknamed “spirit bears” in BC. They are very special because one out of every ten cubs is white instead of black. Spirit bears are one of the rarest animals on earth, so we were very excited to see one!
Have you seen any special wildlife? Tell us about it in the comments.
Greenland is one of the most remote places on earth and also one of the most beautiful. It’s not a place many people travel to because it’s somewhat isolated, though you can take a day trip from Iceland and fly there in less than two hours.
Once you’ve arrived, there are things every traveler should do!
Visit the local people.
It’s pretty special to live in such a unique, unspoiled place. Smile and wave hello to the local people. Most are indigenous and their families have lived in Greenland for generations. Stop by the local gift shop and buy a handmade craft as a souvenir. Go to a restaurant and sample the food. They serve fresh fish, crabs, and if you’re adventurous, even seal and whale meat.
See the sledding dogs.
Dogsledding is an important part of Greenland’s traditions. Greenlandic sled dogs look like large huskies, can run really fast, and like to hang out together in packs. We even got to pet some that were puppies!
Look to the skies.
If you are traveling between September and April, you can see the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights. It’s a spectacular colorful show in the sky. You wear lots of warm clothes and drink hot cocoa while you patiently wait for the lights to start. You’ll be glad you stayed awake because there’s nothing like it!
Experience the icebergs.
Greenland is the iceberg capital of the world and there are thousands of icebergs. You can see them from the airplane, from coastal towns, or up close from a boat. Each one is different and they make creaking noises as air escapes through their cracks.
Have you been to Greenland? Where is your dream place to visit? Leave us a comment!
We know that the spirit of adventure is in all of you, which is why we are super excited to bring you this holiday giveaway so that you can document all of your travels, adventures, and creativity!
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to earn entries to win a brand new GoPro HERO4 — it’s the smallest, lightest, and most rugged GoPro yet, perfect for capturing moments from your next hiking, biking, swimming, camping, or neighborhood adventure!
Pssst…you can Tweet every day for extra entries!
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Our very first adventure took us to Botswana, a beautiful country located in South Africa with more than 2 million residents. Here are some of the fun and interesting facts that we learned.
3 Interesting Facts About Botswana
In South Africa, Botswana has the largest elephant population and the average African elephant lives to be about 56 years old. Did you know elephants that live out in the wild live longer than elephants that live at zoos? The average age for an African elephant in a zoo is only 17 years. That’s quite the difference and lots of food for thought.
English is the “official” language of Botswana and is taught in all the schools and spoken in tourist areas. However, Setswana is the national language and the most spoken language throughout the country.
3. Diamond Mine
Before Botswana because an independent country, it was controlled by the British government and one of the poorest and least developed countries in Africa.
Once it gained its independence, a huge diamond mine was found in Orapa and Botswana is now one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. Eco-tourism is also a fast growing sector of Botswana’s economy. Each year, the government invests a large portion of the budget in education.
Do you know any interesting facts about Botswana or Africa? Share in the comments!
Egypt is an amazingly beautiful place that we had the privilege of exploring while writing our book Travels with Gannon & Wyatt: Egypt. Here are five interesting facts that we learned during our adventure that you might not know!
5 Interesting Facts about Egypt
Fact #1: The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and the largest Egyptian pyramids. This incredible structure weighs as much as 16 Empire State buildings!
There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock and the pyramid is built on top, the private chamber of the King and Queen are higher up in the pyramid, and the main part is actually a complex of buildings.
This complex includes two mortuary temples in honor of Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, three smaller pyramids for Khufu’s wives, an even smaller “satellite” pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small tombs surrounding the pyramid where nobles are buried.
Photo credit: Great Pyramid by Nina
Fact #2: The Egyptian alphabet contained more than 700 hieroglyphs!
Hieroglyphs are made from two Greek words:
- Hieros meaning holy
- Glyphe which means writing
Essentially, it means holy writing. Isn’t that neat? You can visit this website to see what your name in hieroglyphs!
Fact #3: Cleopatra was the last of a series of rulers called the Ptolemies who ruled Egypt for nearly 300 years. She was also allegedly, the last true pharaoh of Egypt.
The story of Cleopatra is very interesting! The tomb of her and her husband Antony has never been found. You can learn all about Cleopatra’s life here.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Fact #4: The Egyptian flag consists of 3 colors, which are red, white, and black. There’s a gold eagle on the white part of the flag. The black on the flag is representative of oppression, the white on the flag is representative of a bright future, and the red represents the struggle against oppression.
Fact #5: Ancient Egyptian women had more rights than most other women in the ancient world. Some examples are that they could own their own property and own their own businesses. Women from more affluent families could become doctors or priestesses, too.
These are just a few fun facts about Egypt. Do you have an interesting or favorite fact about Egypt? Share in the comments below!
Quotes connect with people on so many different levels, especially when those quotes speak to what a person is passionate about. Since our passion is travel, here are some of our favorite travel quotes.
“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” — Samuel Johnson
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” — Mary Ritter Beard
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” — Bill Bryson
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” — Lao Tzu
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” — Robert Frost
“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” — Anatole France
Do you have any favorite travel quotes? Share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!