Australia | Travel Talk Pt.1

Australia | Travel Talk Pt.1

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Heading down under with this post all about the awesome aussie east coast, starting off in sunny Sydney!

Icon : Sydney Opera HouseI flew from Heathrow airport in London on an Emirates flight – which was incredible. The service, food and choice of films couldn’t have been better. With a stop off in Dubai airport we continued our 18 hour journey to the beautiful city of Sydney. ( I have tried to give rough estimations on what I spent in Sydney, please take this as guide price and always look for online discounts or deals that may be available in other months/times of the year! )

Quick Prices: Return Economy Flights with Emirates ( 1x stop off June/July – August/September) £900 $1400

When we arrived at our first hostel ‘The Base‘ we checked in, dropped off our backpacks and decided to head for a large coffee in Hyde park and take a stroll through Sydney’s botanical gardens – which led us to our first glimpse of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Very surreal to finally see it up close and its a lot smaller than it seems on tv but just as magnificent with the back drop of the harbour bridge. The architecture and design of it is stunning and after soaking up the sun on the steps of the opera house we headed back to our hostel to catch up on some much needed sleep! The Base’ facilities were really well maintained and all the staff were very friendly and helpful. Your able to book tours through most of the hostels you go in and can even work shifts for free accommodation or food – so make the most of this if your on a budget!

Quick Prices: 1x Night Accom. The Base £16 $24

 

holding the #sydney #operahouse #austrailia #selfie #instadaily

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Whilst in Sydney we discovered that you can get water taxis across the harbour. We hopped in one and jetted over the scenic harbour taking in a 360 view of the opera house and bridge – pretty cool way to see it and I’d definitely recommend going in one as they are only a couple of dollars – way better than cramming onto a ferry! It took us over to The Taronga Zoo to check out our first glimpse of Australian critters. The zoo itself was huge, there was so much to see and do. We saw everything from koalas to kangaroos, crocodiles and platypus’ as well as loads more. Some great photo opportunities for any wildlife photographers out there. A great and well run zoo packed with information on wildlife, we managed to get our ticket in a deal with the water taxi by scouting out around the harbour and combining deals.

We managed to get our tickets in a deal with the water taxi return fare as well! Look out for the promoters round the harbour front and don’t be scared to haggle for better prices – theres loads of different tour operators but they all want your custom!

Quick Prices: Taronga Zoo & Taxi Return £27 $41

Taxi view #watertaxi #sydney #austrailia #instadaily

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Giraffe In The City

Tiger Light

Hi Nigel! #pelican #bird #instadaily

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We also took the opportunity to visit Darling Harbour for a bit of sightseeing round the city and a chance to check out the shops and food places. If your looking for a day of retail therapy with snacks and drinks then you should head here. Theres everything you could want and its all set around a picturesque harbour front. Whilst here we visited Wildlife Sydney which was another chance to see some of the animals indigenous to this country. Wildlife Sydney had a more up close and personal feel with some of the smaller creatures of the bush and was catered a lot more to families with young children – so if this is you I’d head to Wildlife Sydney for your dose of aussie animals.

As this is part of the Merlin attractions family you can usually get great discounts to combine entry to multiple places, so really good if your planning to visit more than one of them and make the most of the deal. Make sure you look tickets up online as well as you can often save money on online deals and discounts!

Quick Prices: Online Booking £10 $15 | Walk-In Booking £15 $21

RexBoomerangs

Being in Sydney we couldn’t not take a bus down the road to the famous Bondi Beach. A beautiful small beach located just 20 mins bus journey out of the city offers stunning oceans views and a bustling beach town with cafes, restaurants and shops to explore. I just enjoyed sitting on the beach soaking up the incredible views and ocean sunset! The bus system in Australia is run very efficiently as you can buy tickets in local shops or by machine – they do not take cash on board so its just a swipe on and off system which makes travelling really quick and easy. Trains work in the same way but you buy all the tickets as you go down into the underground using machines.

Quick Prices: Sydney Town Centre – Bondi Beach Bus Return £5 $8

I’d quite happily live on bondi beach #sydney #bondi #beach #instadaily

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sunset at bondi #beach #bondi #sunset #perfection

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

You can take a walk along the famous Harbour bridge and glance out across at the Opera house and city from the Pylon Lookout at the centre of the bridge. You can also walk the harbour bridge if your feeling brave and want a higher view of everything!

Quick Prices: Harbour Bridge Climb Day £135 $205 | Twilight £170 $260 | Night £116 $176 | Dawn £170 $260

Amazing views from the bridge #sydney #austrailia #landmark #operahouse #instadaily

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To finish our first stop in Sydney off we took a trip back down the harbour and relaxed in the Opera bar that comes alive at night with bars and tables set up along the harbour front. Massive fire patio heaters light the way and you are able to order food from the bars restaurant as well. You can soak up the atmosphere as you look out onto a bustling harbour front whilst you sip your ice cold aussie beers.

Quick Prices: Beer £4 $6 | Red/White Wine £5 $7 | Pizza £10 $15 | Chips £5 $7

 

perfect end to the day a cold beer at the opera bar #ideal #sydney #austrailia

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the best course #dessert #cake #foodporn #instadaily

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Travel. Create, Be Nice!

 

Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.2

Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.2

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The kenyan adventure continues…

The second part of the trip was all about safari. We woke up early and departed our home in Malindi and headed for our first game park Tsavo East. We stopped off at a small shop on the way to get snacks and some souvenirs and were able to walk down to a river – where there were hippos and crocodiles. No barriers – we were truly up close and personal with animals now.

We headed off through the reserve and got our first taste of the safari experience – amazing. (All Photographs are my own copyright 2015)

Our first camp was an eco camp that was set up with large green tents right in the heart of the reserve. The camp looked out over a watering hole where a group of elephants and buffalos were gathered. Amazing to watch these gentle giants up so close. I think that was what was the most overwhelming – not realising quite how close you would be to so many of these wild animals. At night you could hear loud noises and on the morning game drives you’d see the aftermath. Dining with lions for breakfast.

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Eco-Camp in Tsavo East | Copyright Jack Gunns 2015

Elephant Eyes by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Flying Antelope by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Buffalo Soldier by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Simba by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Hide and Seek by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

After exploring Tsavo East we headed for the next national park – Amboseli the home of Elephants. Staying at Kilima Safari Camp were we were given a quick break to refresh and then headed out on some more game drives. The hotel and staff were very friendly and the bedrooms were incredible and there was also two large pools and the facilities were great – not what you would expect to find out in the wilderness. We climbed the tower to watch a burning red sunset behind Mount Kilimanjaro and were treated to a relaxed evening around a fire pit with music. A truly spectacular hotel that sits underneath he magnificent Mt.Kilamanjaro. k2

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Kilima Safari Camp | Copyright Jack Gunns 2015

Elephant Crossing

Monk II by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Tribal Bird by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Cheetah. by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

We got the chance to visit Mzima Springs and although it was the height of a drought we still managed to see a few hippos and wildlife. I’d definitely recommend seeing this place especially when it is in full bloom there are usually hundreds of hippopotamuses! Smile

Our final stop ‘The Severin Safari Camp‘ in the Tsavo west part of the reserve was another amazing place to stay. Being upgraded to the royal suites on arrival with outside private showers and a watering hole right beside our balcony was a truly luxurious experience. The facilities here were top class and you were escorted between the lodges and the main restaurant reception areas by Masai warriors in case you bumped into any wildlife on the way…More game drives and our final chances to spot animals. Finishing off watching elephants and giraffes wander around the watering hole by our balconies at sunset – priceless. If your looking for a luxurious safari experience right in the heart ion everything then this place is for you!

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Severin Safari Camp | Copyright Jack Gunns 2015
source: http://www.severin-hotels.com/severin-safari-camp/tents-suites/
source: http://www.severin-hotels.com/severin-safari-camp/tents-suites/

it’s days like these that I #wish I was on #safari in #hot #africa #goingback #oneday

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Elephantidae by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Elephant & the Bird by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

On Safari by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Zebra Crossing by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

The journey of our safari had come to an end after a week of roaming the national parks and witnessing some truly spectacular sights. I think i’ll finish off with one of our final destinations when we were back in Nairobi – The Giraffe centre and Manor. Another place you should check out as you couldn’t get much closer to giraffes if you tried, lots of hand-feeding and petting with these blue-tongued spotted giants.

Giraffe Close Up by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

My time in Kenya was jam-packed with some incredible places, people and experiences. It is somewhere that I will for sure have to visit again and could not recommend this trip more to anyone looking for a taste of the wild thrill of safari and cultured beauty of Africa.

Landscape I by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

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Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.1

Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.1

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I love to travel. I’ve thought about how I can incorporate this into my new site and blog – and so ‘travel talk’ was born. I’ll be giving a brief review and sharing my experiences in a series of posts around the places I have explored. And so here is the first of the bunch…Kenya pt.1

When I think of Africa i think wild, untamed, a country rich in culture and The Lion King. Since a very young age it has been somewhere I have always dreamt of seeing myself. When the opportunity came up in 2009 to visit a school and go on safari I couldn’t get on the plane quick enough.

We flew into Nairobi airport full of excitement and anxiousness. This was it, I had finally made it to a country and experience I had dreamt about. The adventure begins.

Fresh from the arrivals lounge we jumped straight into a truck and headed off to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Now it’s important to note that elephants are number one on my list of animals to see so heading straight to an elephant orphanage was the best possible start to the trip I could have asked for.

One Man & His Elephant by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

The David Sheldrick wildlife trust was an amazing place and the work they do there for young orphaned animals like elephants and rhinos is outstanding. The keepers themselves are assigned an animal to look after on a 1-1 24hr basis. I would definitely recommend popping into this place if you are planning a trip as you can get real close to the elephants and watch them play, feed and even put them to bed; we adopted an elephant named Kibo!

Baby Elelphant by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Elephants by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

#tb to this little guy 👋 #rhino #travels #africa 🌍

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We headed straight to our new home for the next few weeks in Malindi – got settled, met the garden monkeys, checked out the pool and went straight to the local beach bar – as you do! The Driftwood was an amazing beach hut bar with incredible ocean views! You can go camel riding (on George) along the beach and book various diving boat trips as well – a must do!

Paradise Cove by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

George

Whilst we were there we took the chance to go to a crocodile farm where you get to get pretty close to all sorts of reptiles and lizards. We watched a feeding frenzy in the crocodile pit and got to hold a massive python! The farm was really well run and was a great experience to hold a baby croc and python.

Feeding Frenzy

What's For Dinner?

Once we had settled into life in Malindi and had our first few encounters with wildlife we ventured to our first big project which was to go see and teach at Marafa school. When we first entered the school we were surrounded by a sea of smiling curious faces that followed us everywhere. Once the initial shock wore off we relaxed into our teaching roles. On a rotation of 25+ children in each group we began a week of lessons. It was a fantastic experience and incredibly rewarding to see the kids listening and interested in what we had brought with us. They especially had fun with my camera – which gave me some great photos!

Creative Culture

#africa #mask #tbt #instadaily #insta #instahub

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After a week of teaching the school put on a traditional tribal dance for us – I was pulled up to bust a move or two.

#tbt #dance #travels #happy

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With an incredible first week and introduction to Kenya, we packed up our teaching bags and got ready for the next adventure – safari!

Kenya pt.2 coming soon…

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